GCMS' driving safety program wins top honors

GIBSON CITY –You can't beat being No. 1 in the nation.

And that's the regal title a bunch of enthusiastic kids from Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School claimed Friday when their yearlong effort to get kids to buckle up and slow down won the national Project Ignition contest.

Champaign schools referendum soundly defeated

CHAMPAIGN – Although Champaign schools may go back to voters in November seeking money for improvements, Superintendent Arthur Culver says officials will have to address requirements for north side space before then.

Voters Tuesday resoundingly defeated a building bond proposal to build three new schools in Champaign and make major improvements to most other elementary schools.The final votes: 4,006 in favor of the proposal and 7,079 against it.

Champaign school board's decision upsets crowd

CHAMPAIGN – In a stunning about-face Friday that infuriated an already angry black community, Champaign school officials advised board members to stick with the Boulder Ridge site they picked Monday for a new northwest Champaign school.

Backlash was immediate. Activist Imani Bazzell said the black community will almost certainly turn to its attorneys and a court monitor to ask for legal sanctions, including an extension of the costly consent decree that's due to expire in the 2008-09 school year.

Some seek to save oldest sections of Dr. Howard School

CHAMPAIGN – The original Dr. Howard School sits on Park Avenue, a brick street lined with stately trees and century-old homes.

Circa 1910, it blends nicely with the old neighborhood. But some of the school's later additions aren't nearly so picturesque – notably an ill-conceived walkway connecting a 1950s-era addition to the east.

Gibson City students' campaign stresses dangers of unsafe driving

GIBSON CITY – Bonnie Arends says her whole world came crashing down on her on Jan. 17, 2003.

That's the morning when her twin sons, Greg and Steve, both seniors at Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School, were riding a silver Oldsmobile on Illinois 54 outside of town when the car suddenly left the road and struck a utility pole.

Champaign board plans special meeting to consider school options

CHAMPAIGN – School officials have proposed a compromise to address concerns of the black community – replacing and enlarging Washington School instead of building in Boulder Ridge.

The board will hold a special meeting at 6:30 p.m. Friday at district headquarters, 703 S. New St., to consider that and any other options that might emerge.

Opinions, emotions mix over school site

CHAMPAIGN – Emotions ran high at a meeting Wednesday between school officials who are trying to find a location for a new north side school and black community leaders who don't accept the site the district chose.

During the 2-hour meeting, community members lashed out at school officials, questioning their commitment to their legal agreement to equalize education for white and black children. Lawyers and officials clashed, confrontations quickly quelled by committee head William Trent, a University of Illinois education official who guides the committee's discussions.

The routines just got even more routine

In the world of cheerleading, sometimes flips flop.

That's why, just days before the NCAA basketball tournament launched its madness, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators changed the rules on college cheerleaders everywhere. On March 6, the association recommended to the NCAA that it ban human pyramids more than two levels high, and basket tosses (a type of throw) without the use of a mat, from all NCAA events.

Officials warn of phishing scams

Two women at the University of Illinois fell prey to someone "phishing" for financial information.

Authorities warn citizens not to give out any personal information, including Social Security numbers, bank account or credit union account information or credit card numbers to anyone online.

Site for new Champaign school draws fire

CHAMPAIGN – Two leaders of the black community are criticizing the site for a proposed new school in northwest Champaign.

"It is so far out and so unacceptable," said Tracy Parsons, head of the Champaign County Urbana League. "I drove out there myself to see it. I think it presents a dilemma to those of us who want to support the school referendum. It's important because work needs to be done in the schools. But that location is unacceptable, and there's no way we can support that."

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