PBL planning to tap high-speed Internet pipeline

PAXTON – "Lightning fast" connections to the Internet would be available to students in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district under a plan to hook into the Illinois Century Network, a telecommunications pipeline already used by thousands of schools and other public entities statewide.

Bement schoolchildren help decorate governor's mansion

BEMENT – Among the festive Christmas trees inside the Executive Mansion in Springfield is a homespun variety adorned with paper hearts, pine cones and Victorian fans.

The ornaments were all hand-made by 31 young artists from Bement Elementary School, who got an unexpected field trip to Springfield to see their handiwork last week.

SURS change will affect only new hires

Only new hires at the University of Illinois will be affected by a new law that will eventually save the state money by lowering payouts and eliminating double-dipping.

The Pension Code changes that affect the State Universities Retirement System become effective Jan. 1.

If you are a current SURS participant, the act does not affect you.

Gifford school board abates some property taxes

GIFFORD – Gifford property taxpayers won't be paying toward the bonds for the Gifford school district next year.

That's because the school board will abate that amount ($143,343), using proceeds from the 1 percent Champaign County sales tax.

Prairieview-Ogden explores options for turbine

ROYAL – Prairieview-Ogden school board members want to get the most bang for their buck if they have a wind turbine built to provide electricity for PVO South Elementary School in Ogden.

Because of that, they asked if some alterations could be made to the turbine.

DACC official organizes benefit for animal shelter

DANVILLE – Before moving back to Danville, Dawn Nasser worked at a Humane Society in Savannah, Ga., and before she moved away, she volunteered at the Vermilion County Animal Shelter.

These experiences made her keenly aware of the needs of shelters, especially in winter.

Some school board seats contested

Both the Champaign and Urbana school districts will have contested races next spring for seats on their school boards.

The final day for candidates to file nominating petitions was Monday.

Newcomer gets top spot on Danville school ballot

DANVILLE – Danville school board candidate Steve Bragorgos won Tuesday's lottery, so his name will be listed first on the ballot in the Danville school board race on April 5.

Danville school board Secretary Martha See conducted the lottery at 4 p.m. Tuesday at the school district office.

Villa Grove school board continues discussion on budget cuts

VILLA GROVE – The Villa Grove school board has set a budget reduction goal of $350,000 for the 2011-12 school year, but hasn't decided how to reach that target.

Safe-driving initiative making a difference at Centennial

CHAMPAIGN – Centennial High School students who were wearing their seat belts as they left school one day last week were rewarded for their safe habits with an ice scraper.

The school's Operation Cool program was doing a prize giveaway to remind students to be safe behind the wheel.