Champaign man gets message from beyond

Sixty-three years after a B-17 bomber crashed into the North Sea, a piece of the plane washed up on the beach.

It was a stunning moment for Michael Darter of Champaign, who was there for a memorial service for his brother, who had been on the plane and died in the frigid waters.

On May 3, Darter was in Holland, where a memorial was erected for his brother, the radio officer on the plane, missing in action since 1943.

Bement superindendent will step down in 2009

BEMENT – School Superintendent Darrell Stevens has announced he will be retiring effective July 1, 2009, ending what will be a 20-year career at the helm of the school district.

Stevens, 53, said his tenure in the district has been a marvelous opportunity for him and his family. "If I had to do it all over again, I'd do exactly the same thing," Stevens said. "No regrets at all."

Businesses can shop around for power now

In the deregulated utility market, commercial customers can now shop around for power.

The Illinois Commerce Commission lists more than a dozen suppliers who sell to nonresidential customers. Businesses began switching from Ameren and Exelon, parent company to Commonwealth Edison, in December when they no longer had to pay a transition fee to leave a public utility, ICC spokeswoman Beth Bosch said.

School districts looking for money to continue staffing

Rose Goodman of Mahomet has been a mentor in the Champaign school district for eight years, meeting weekly with two students who are now in middle school and high school.

"These two young people that I have will be friends for life," Goodman said.

Parkland's Exley not coming back after medical leave

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College board members are expected to announce Tuesday that Parkland's fourth president, Robert Exley, will not return after his medical leave expires May 21.

Exley also will not attend Parkland's graduation tonight at Krannert Center.

New Catlin board members sworn in

CATLIN – Four people were sworn in to the Catlin School Board Thursday – three who were re-elected to their seats, and one who is returning to the board after a two-year absence.

Jeff Fauver, Tom Koerting and Terry Prosser all ran unopposed for their seats on the school board last month. Doug Klemme ran unopposed for the seat vacated when Toni Stone chose not to run for re-election after eight years on the board.

Program aims to help Danville students read

DANVILLE – Danville school officials want to help some low-income students keep up on their reading skills over the summer.

That's why the school district is launching a new summer school program for students and their parents who live at the Fair Oaks public housing complex.

Parkland to get new administrative software program

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College officials are shopping for a new administrative software program, their first major change in 17 years.

Admissions Director Mike Henry said the current system has worked well because campus technology employees have altered it to meet Parkland's needs, including its Internet needs.

SJ-O board hires familiar face to lead district

ST. JOSEPH – When the St. Joseph-Ogden High School board hired a superintendent, board members decided to go with an experienced candidate.

The man they chose started as a superintendent only four years ago, but he has been in education long enough to teach or coach more than half the members of the board or their children.

Unit 4 school board welcomes new members

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board on Monday said goodbye to four members, including board President Margie Skirvin, and welcomed new members to replace them.

Newly elected members include Greg Novak, Susan Grey, Kristine Chalifoux and Scott MacAdam. Re-elected unopposed to a two-year term was Nathaniel Banks.