Plan for second TIF district draws crowd

RANTOUL – Angela Gordon of Rantoul says she worries about the kind of town her seven-week-old baby will grow up in if Rantoul gets a second tax increment financing district.

"Five families on my street moved away, and my home is worth less now than it was when we purchased it five years ago," said Gordon, who lives on the former Chanute Air Force Base. "Putting a cap on our schools' money for 23 years is insane. It doesn't make sense."

Rantoul board supports county sales tax

RANTOUL – The Rantoul Township High School board would like to reduce school real estate taxes next year. And the board would like to have folks shopping at the big box stores on North Prospect in Champaign to pick up the tab.

The high school board voted 7-0 Monday to approve an initiative to establish a 1 percent county school facility occupation sales tax in Champaign County.

Danville seniors offer students living history lessons

DANVILLE – Some Danville High School students got a unique history lesson on Tuesday – hearing personal stories about the Great Depression and World War II from local residents who experienced them.

"I didn't realize, as a kid, we were in a depression," said Martha White, a resident of the Liberty Estates independent living center in Danville. "I was a poor person. But all of my friends were in the same boat. I think we accepted ... that was the way it was."

Champaign school site list down to 3 choices

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district has narrowed its search for a site for a new school on the north side of the city to three locations, and school officials expect to settle on one in the next month or so.

The sites are:

Rantoul districts send out letters about TIF district concerns

RANTOUL – Rantoul schools sent home letters to parents this week warning about the ramifications of the creation of a second tax increment financing district.

The letter, jointly signed by the school boards of Rantoul Township High School and Rantoul City Schools, expressed concerns that tax dollars intended for the schools might be shifted to nonschool projects within the district.

Edison students research history of school

CHAMPAIGN – Sixth-grade students at Edison Middle School are getting a glimpse of what life at their school was like in the past, through a history project.

It wasn't always a middle school. For four decades, it was Champaign High School.

Danville High School restructuring set for vote

DANVILLE – Danville school board members will vote Wednesday on a restructuring plan aimed at boosting student achievement at Danville High School.

The high school faces restructuring because juniors failed to meet state learning benchmarks the last five years. Also, the graduation rate fell just short of the state requirement in 2007.

Text-message alerts to become available at DACC

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College students and staff can soon sign up to get weather-related and emergency-warning messages via their cell phones.

DACC has a contract with a text-messaging company to provide the service.

High school band heading to Orlando

GEORGETOWN – The Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School Thunderin' Buffs Marching Band plans to perform in Orlando, Fla., next March.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm School Board members voted Monday to give band director Sara McGovern permission to pursue her plans to take the marching band and color guard to attend the Disney Magic Music Days next year.

Winning teacher tries to get to know students

CHAMPAIGN – Mallory Morris gets down to business as soon as her students enter her Jefferson Middle School classroom. The day's assignment is on the blackboard, and she quickly reviews what they'll do during class.

"We need to do some vocab review because our quizzes on Monday were abysmal," she says.