Big crowd welcomes Maroons home

CHAMPAIGN – Ryan Grey grinned from ear to ear as he clutched the state Class 3A third-place basketball trophy.

"It makes all the hard work it took to get here worthwhile," said the Champaign Central junior forward. "We were really wanting the state title, but we're still pretty excited to bring something back to the school."

Researchers get to bottom of how body repairs DNA

DNA molecules that hold our genetic code and are essential to our health and well-being get a lot of abuse for all the good they do us.

Radiation, toxic chemicals, ultraviolet light and other factors cause damage and mutations in the molecules something like 20,000 times a day, University of Illinois researcher Robert Pugh noted recently.

Bement board gives approval for Peru trip

BEMENT – Bement High School students can visit Peru in 2009 for a 10-day trip, as the school board unanimously approved plans Wednesday.

Juniors and seniors, as well as sophomores with a parental chaperone, are eligible. Fundraisers will be held to help with expenses, and students will pay part of their own expenses.

Champaign loses lead, game

PEORIA -- Champaign Central can still win its final game of the boys' basketball season.

The Maroons will have that opportunity Saturday but not in the game they wanted. Central was thrust into the third-place contest of the IHSA Class

3A state tournament by a Chicago Simeon team chasing a third straight state championship.

State police plan roadside checks

Here's a sobering thought:

Nearly half of the 105 drivers involved in fatal crashes throughout the Midwest on St. Patrick's Day last year were driving drunk.

Monticello board considering security cameras

The Monticello school board discussed installing security cameras at the Monticello high and middle schools, based upon a recent safety audit, at their meeting Wednesday night.

"The purpose is to improve overall security on campus. It will not stop major violent events but it will deter some incidents," Superintendent Vic Zimmerman said. "It will provide an extra set of eyes and an increased perception of security for the community and students."

Paxton school district looking for extra space

PAXTON – The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district has begun looking at solutions to future classroom space issues.

Superintendent Cliff Mc-Clure told the board that a committee feels the best resolution to possible future learning space issues would be to convert the band room at Eastlawn Grade School into two new classrooms.

Westview beefs up security after incident

CHAMPAIGN – Westview Elementary School has made some changes in security, in the wake of an attempted abduction at the school last week.

The school's front doors are now locked during the after-school program, which runs from 2:10 to 6 p.m. Anyone coming to the school must ring a doorbell at the front door.

Rantoul school districts raise concerns on TIF district

RANTOUL – Representatives from Rantoul's two school districts expressed concern over the creation of a second tax increment financing district in the community.

And a school board member warned that establishing the district could force Rantoul City Schools to ask the voters to approve a property tax increase.

Catlin board considers $500,000 bond

CATLIN – School officials said Thursday they are considering extending up to $500,000 in bonds to pay for some projects to make Catlin Grade School more energy-efficient.

Superintendent Guy Banicki said the Catlin school board is considering replacing the steam boiler and the hot-water boiler that heat the two wings of the school, replacing some drafty windows from 1952 and 1962 and replacing 11 external doors at a projected cost of $518,000.