Mother's Morning Out finds new home in south Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – A downtown Champaign preschool and drop-in child care program is moving to a new home in south Champaign.

Mother's Morning Out, located for 42 years at the First Presbyterian Church downtown, will relocate next summer to Temple Baptist Church, 1100 Broadmoor Drive, near Bottenfield Elementary School.

"This is two tons of stress off our shoulders," school Director Mimi LaPointe said Monday. "We're all very excited."

The preschool is conducting registration for the 2010-11 school year through March 12.

200 supporters turn up at UI unions' furlough teach-in

CHAMPAIGN – More than 200 supporters gathered Monday to mark a furlough teach-in at the University of Illinois.

Speeches and a skit were among the events at the University YMCA, where UI unions celebrated a group furlough day by appealing for greater shared governance in managing the 143-year-old institution and calling for "shared sacrifice" from administrators.

It's Your Business: Bender's to add Champaign showroom

Bender's Mattress Factory and Sleep Shoppe in Urbana plans to open another mattress showroom in Champaign at the end of this month.

The store will be at 1207 S. Mattis Ave., in the former Andy's Shoes space near Christie Clinic's CU Sleep, home of the clinic's Department of Sleep Medicine.

Owners Tom and Ryan Bender said they chose the Mattis Avenue location because of the street's high vehicle traffic, but it doesn't hurt to have a sleep clinic nearby, they said.

Volunteers building 'Fab Lab' to teach fabrication skills

URBANA – Volunteers are creating a "Fab Lab" on the University of Illinois campus where school kids and area residents alike can learn fabrication skills.

When completed in a couple months, the lab will join about 40 other Fab Labs around the world where people can design and build their own projects.

The labs are typically equipped with laser cutters, sign cutters and milling machines, as well as electronic assembly and test equipment, power supplies, resistors, capacitors and circuit boards.

Texas man gets 14 years over marijuana-filled truck

URBANA – A Texas man acting as a mule for drug dealers was sentenced Friday to 14 years in Illinois prison.

Fidencio Udabe, 25, of Houston told Judge Tom Difanis he knew what he was doing was wrong when he drove a truck filled with cannabis through Champaign County last fall.

"I lost my job. It was a gamble I took," said the married father, who had been laid off from his job three weeks before his arrest Oct. 31.

High-tech language of love on display

A bouquet of flowers or box of chocolates for your valentine? How about an e-valentine instead?

It's not even halfway into the semester yet, and some of the University of Illinois students enrolled in CS 125 (Introduction to Computer Science) have started playing with their newfangled programming skills by creating valentines.

Catlin school officials face 'worst part of job' -- cuts

CATLIN – Superintendent Gary Lewis said Thursday that school officials would look at ways of cutting hundreds of thousands of dollars from the district budget in the coming weeks due to the uncertainty of payments from the state.

The Catlin school district is currently owed about $207,000 from the state, and Lewis said he is looking to cut about 10 percent of the district's budget next year by eliminating expenses, staff and programs.

"This is the worst part of this job," Lewis said. "This will affect people's lives."

Urbana school board to hear budget cuts plan

URBANA – The Urbana school board will begin talking next week about how it will make budget cuts for the upcoming school year.

Business Director Carol Baker said the school board will hear the administration's recommendations for potential budget cuts when it meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Burkholder Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U.

Baker would not comment on the suggested cuts before the presentation to the board on Tuesday, nor on the amount of the cuts.

St. Mary's will close this spring

WESTVILLE – The 107-year-old St. Mary's School will close at the end of the school year, despite recent efforts by parents, the parish and the Westville community to keep it open.

"It's an unfortunate situation," said the Rev. Timothy Sauppe, who will inform parishioners of the closing at church services this weekend. He informed school staff on Friday.

Schools of Choice consultant to speak at Unit 4 forum

CHAMPAIGN – The consultant who designed the Champaign school district's Schools of Choice student assignment plan will speak at a community forum next week.

Dr. Michael Alves of Boston will be at the schools of choice community forum at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Temple Baptist Church, 1100 Broadmoor Dr., C.