Principal refines ban on peanuts at Barkstall School

CHAMPAIGN – Speaking to parents at a hastily called meeting, Principal Trudy Walters said she's modifying her ban on peanuts at Barkstall School.

But, Walters said, the school is stepping up vigilance about life-threatening allergies.

Tech recycler finds way to Danville

DANVILLE – A St. Louis nonprofit business known for recycling and refurbishing computers is expanding in Danville, all because its president is directionally challenged.

Angela Haas, who started WITS (Web Innovations and Technology Services) in 2002, was supposed to view a couple of potential expansion sites in Newman but somehow missed a turn and ended up in Danville. Instead of turning around, she decided to check into whether Danville had any vacant buildings that met her needs – in other words, anything cheap.

Champaign principal's principles

CHAMPAIGN – Along with a new principal, there's a new "way" coming to Centennial High School this fall.

At a meet-and-greet with parents on Wednesday evening, Principal Ron Bode welcomed parent questions and concerns and introduced some of his beliefs on how to run a successful school. "I want to start to create a context in which we can start to understand each other," he said.

New take on story time

URBANA – Brian Ruffner may not yet be a movie-making star, but he's getting closer to that goal this summer.

The 10-year-old learned how to make costumes and props, painted pictures and performed take after take in front of a green-screen – a blank green backdrop that will be replaced digitally with paintings done by Brian and 11 other young students.

Westville schools $10.99 million budget rolled out

WESTVILLE – School officials unveiled their proposed $10.09 million spending plan for the upcoming fiscal year on Wednesday, and expect to approve it formally in September.

Superintendent Jim Owens said it was difficult making a budget without knowing how much state aid to expect – state legislators still have not settled their own budget, so Owens said he assumed the state would provide the same amount next year that it provided this year.

School saving for more computers

DANVILLE – Holy Family School students may have more access to the Internet in the classroom later this school year.

That's because officials at the Catholic elementary school have been saving money for a portable laboratory that will have 20 laptop computers with wireless capabilities.

DACC chief, faculty member honored

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College's president and a longtime faculty member have been recognized by the Association of Community College Trustees.

President Alice Jacobs received the chief executive officer award for the association's central region, and speech instructor Glenda Boling received the faculty member award for the region.

Georgetown schools may have to borrow funds

GEORGETOWN – If county tax and state aid payments are not received soon, school officials may have to borrow funds in order to meet expenses, Superintendent Kevin Tate said Monday.

The Georgetown-Ridge Farm school district has a $10.46 million budget for the current fiscal year. The district plans to generate about $10.15 million in revenues during the fiscal year, leaving a projected deficit of $301,000.

UI researcher leads effort to map protein functions

If understanding the function of various protein molecules is the next frontier of biology and medicine, as many scientists believe, a team headed by a University of Illinois researcher may be leading the way to better mapping of that frontier.

UI biochemistry Professor John Gerlt and colleagues Matthew Jacobson and Patricia Babbitt at the University of California, San Francisco, and Steven Almo at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have combined computer search techniques and modeling with experimental validation to tease out the function of some of the millions of proteins whose purpose is as yet unknown.

Danville pilots healthy school program

DANVILLE – Sure, kids go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

But what happens when Northeast Elementary Magnet School officials replace the sugary cereal – and the maple syrup-laden pancakes, for that matter – with healthy grain cereals and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits in the breakfast lineup?