Champaign superintendent's contract extended to 2013

The Champaign school board voted to extend Superintendent Arthur Culver's contract for one additional year following a 3½-hour closed-session evaluation Monday night.

His contract now goes to 2013.

The vote was 4-3, with board members Arlene Blank, Greg Novak and Dave Tomlinson voting no.

Danville school board's meeting to focus on warehouse

DANVILLE – Danville school board members will discuss Wednesday what to with the district's warehouse facility at 131 N. Jackson St.

Buildings and Grounds Director George Schildt said extensive repairs are needed on the exterior brickwork, windows and iron lintels, and the building needs a new roof and boiler. Work has been estimated at more than $750,000.

Days numbered for Champaign Public Library's bookmobile

CHAMPAIGN – As the Champaign Public Library's bookmobile pulled into the Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park on Monday afternoon, there were already three youths, arms full of books and videos, waiting.

Two young mothers who live in the north Champaign mobile home park, just off Market Street, were waiting with them.

Judge finds former schools chief Amberg guilty in White case

URBANA – Former Urbana school district superintendent Gene Amberg admitted in criminal court that he mishandled reports of abuse by a former grade school teacher against his students.

In a stipulated bench trial Monday, Judge John Kennedy found there was evidence to prove Amberg, 58, of Urbana, guilty of failure to report suspected abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services suspicions that Jon White engaged in conduct with female students designed to satisfy the former Thomas Paine Elementary School teacher's sexual urges.

Man unfurls 340 flags around Oakland to thank slain soldier

OAKLAND – The 340 flags flapping in the wind were Larry Eckhardt's gift.

And he lined the streets of Oakland with them to pay tribute to a hometown hero he had never met.

Civil rights leader Bond to visit UI campus on Wednesday

URBANA – Civil rights leader Julian Bond will visit the University of Illinois campus Wednesday as part of a speaker series highlighting the achievements of African Americans.

Bond served four terms as a Georgia state representative and six terms in the Georgia State Senate. He was originally barred from taking his house seat in 1965 because of his outspoken statements against the Vietnam War. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in his favor, and he was seated the next year.

Oakland residents offer a final salute to fallen soldier

OAKLAND – Seven light poles around Oakland's town-square park honor the names of soldiers in the Illinois National Guard.

And the one devoted to 1st Lt. Jared Southworth is heartbreakingly easy to spot, with flowers draped around the base and a red, white and blue wreath placed at the foot.

Yankee Ridge students turning back clocks for anniversary

URBANA – Shhhhh ... in a classroom at Yankee Ridge Elementary School, it's showtime.

Well, unless the toilet in the bathroom next door flushes. Then it's time for a do-over.

Set difficulties aside, students and alumni of the Urbana school are creating – and recreating – 50 years of the building's history in a video that will be a part of the school's anniversary celebrations on March 14 and later shown on public television.

UI's bright idea a winner at Rube Goldberg Machine Contest

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick? Or perhaps it was Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with the rope.

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with the candlestick? Or perhaps it was Miss Scarlet in the conservatory with the rope.

You'll have to go to the University of Illinois Engineering Open House to see which of them replaced the incandescent light bulb with a more energy-efficient light-emitting design.

Say what?

Replacing the bulb was the theme of the 27th annual Purdue University regional Rube Goldberg Machine Contest, named for the late cartoonist who drew whimsical machines with complex mechanisms to perform simple tasks.

DACC exploring partnership with schools for 'middle college'

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College and most Vermilion County schools are partnering to launch a new "middle college" program to help more students earn their high school diploma.

"This is something that's been needed for years," Georgetown-Ridge Farm schools Superintendent Kevin Tate said of the alternative school program that targets students at risk of dropping out.