Urbana teachers union, district optimistic about contract

URBANA – Urbana teachers union negotiations may be settled as early as Tuesday.

Urbana Education Association President Tracy Luchik, an Urbana Middle School teacher, said she hopes the union and the district could come to an agreement as soon as early next week.

Unit 4 losing ultimate go-to person

CHAMPAIGN – The first voice many area teachers hear in the morning is that of Pat Grimsey on the telephone.

Grimsey is at her desk and ready to start dialing by 6 a.m. every day. She finds substitute teachers, teachers' aides and clerks for the Champaign school district. Many refer to Grimsey as their wake-up call.

Teacher has spent 41 years helping Urbana students

URBANA – The same year the Urbana school district integrated, Jonell Hastings started her teaching career.

When asked in her job interview if she would have a problem teaching black children, she remembers, "I said no, but that I didn't know if the color of the skin made a difference."

Six treated, released after two-car crash

ST. JOSEPH – Six people in a van that rolled over Monday morning were all treated and released from Carle Foundation Hospital.

Champaign County sheriff's Sgt. Dan Coile said Keith Fish, 59, of Champaign was driving a grain truck north on County Road 2200 E about 9:20 a.m. when he reported he did not see a westbound passenger van on County Road 2100 N and pulled into its path.

No one injured in three weekend blazes

Fire officials report there were no injuries in three fires over the weekend.

A fire at 2810 Salisbury Court, C, caused an estimated $23,000 damage Friday night, according to Champaign fire Deputy Chief Tim Wild.

Danville schools to experiment with health initiative

DANVILLE – When Kayla Pickett's daughter comes home from school, she does not always grab the snack her mother wants her to have.

"Kirsten likes candy," Pickett said of her daughter, a kindergartener at Northeast Elementary Magnet School. "I wish she'd have an apple or carrot sticks instead."

Power of people vital to UI's new fund campaign

It's going to be a big one.

On Friday evening, donors and University of Illinois administrators will gather in Chicago's Navy Pier ballroom to kick off the university's biggest fundraising campaign yet.

After 15 years, a graduation of sorts for Amberg

URBANA – When Urbana High School graduates flip their tassels today, many will wave goodbye to as many as 15 years in the school district.

Those kids won't be the only ones taking the next step.

Franklin Middle School back to being honor society

CHAMPAIGN – Eighth-grade students from Franklin Middle School were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society during a formal ceremony at Lincolnshire Fields Country Club in early April.

They received certificates and solemnly shook hands with Franklin Principal Carol Stack, as proud parents applauded and took photos. Stack told the students they were "the very finest of what Franklin has to offer."

Unity Junior High to add sports teams

TOLONO – The Unit 7 school board has decided to start baseball, softball and wrestling teams at the Unity Junior High beginning this fall.

"This is something we feel can happen and can be positive for our students," said athletic director Scott Hamilton.