UI presidential search panel planning forums

URBANA – The University of Illinois' presidential search committee will hold public forums on each of the three campuses to give faculty, students, staff and the general public an opportunity to discuss qualities needed for the new president.

Pamela Strobel, a UI trustee and the committee chair, will moderate the forums.

Johnson mixes congressional business with exercise

It wasn't a particular illness or event that brought about Congressman Tim Johnson's lifestyle changes 20 or 25 years ago, just a feeling that "the quality of my life would be improved if I elevated my fitness to a different level."

So he changed his diet and became more active. In turn he persuaded friends and colleagues to join him on long walks, both in Urbana and in Washington. The five-term Republican even tried to incorporate parts of his personal fitness philosophy into the national health care bill that cleared the House earlier this month.

DACC board takes action to boost cash reserves

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College officials have a little more peace of mind knowing they'll have enough money in the "bank" to keep the college running next year.

After close to six months of planning and preparation, trustees on Tuesday took the final step in authorizing a $1 million bond issue to boost the working cash fund, which has been set at $3.4 million for a number of years.

Urbana High to host 38th annual Thanksgiving meal

URBANA – When Mariah Burgess sits down to Thanksgiving dinner with her family, the meal won't take place Thursday.

Oh, she'll celebrate the holiday on Thursday. But it won't be the traditional family gathering. That will have to wait until Saturday.

Deadline nears for bids to help Danville district plan

DANVILLE – Danville school officials are eagerly awaiting proposals from companies that want to help develop a long-range facilities plan for the district.

"There has been a lot of interest," said Superintendent Mark Denman, who hopes that results in a number of strong submissions by Monday's deadline.

UI 4th overall in 2008-09 for hosting of foreign students

URBANA – The University of Illinois' Urbana campus continues to host more international students than all but three other universities in the nation, according to the Institute of International Education.

The UI is No. 1 among public universities.

3 historical groups joining forces for book sale

DANVILLE – Some local historical organizations will join forces so people can expand their personal libraries or perhaps find a good holiday gift for someone else.

The Vermilion County Museum Society, Illiana Genealogical Historical Society and the C & EI Railroad Historical Society are hosting a holiday historical book sale from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Vermilion County Museum, 116 N. Gilbert St.

GEO members vote to ratify tentative deal with UI

URBANA – The members of the Graduate Employees' Organization, American Federation of Teachers/Illinois Federation of Teachers Local 6300, have voted to ratify the tentative contract agreement reached between the GEO and University of Illinois Board of Trustees bargaining teams in Urbana on Nov. 17.

With the ratification, GEO members also officially voted to end the GEO strike against the UI Board of Trustees that began on Nov. 16. The contract will be forwarded to the board of trustees for its approval.

Group raising funds to send cargo trailer of aid to Congo

URBANA – A group of area residents who immigrated here from Africa have spent the last several months gathering donations of medical equipment and supplies for three hospitals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They've packed a 40-foot-long cargo trailer with 36 hospital beds and a variety of donated items, including face masks, crutches, blankets, catheters, adult diapers, surgical gloves, thermometers and surgical tables.

Homeless problem escalates as available shelters shrink

About the Knight Project series

These reports are part of a joint project of The News-Gazette and the University of Illinois Department of Journalism in an ongoing examination of poverty and its related issues in Champaign County.

The project is funded by the Marajen Stevick Foundation, a News-Gazette community foundation; a matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, a journalism foundation based in Miami; and contributions from the UI.

Some homeless men in Champaign-Urbana might be left out in the cold this winter if organizers are unable to revamp an overflow shelter that rotated among area churches in past years.

The TIMES Center, a transitional housing facility for homeless men at 70 E. Washington St., C, previously ran the overflow shelter. Men who needed refuge would show up at the center to go through a screening process and were then taken to a church where they stayed the night. But after five years, the center no longer will offer the service this winter.