Volunteers sought for basketball tournament held at DACC

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College and the city of Danville need volunteers for the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II Men's national basketball tournament March 16-20 in the Mary Miller Gymnasium on campus, 2000 E. Main St.

This year marks the 25th ann- iversary of the tournament and the 17th year that DACC has hosted it. The tournament has expanded from 12 to 16 teams.

Catlin-Jamaica school cooperative being explored as an option

CATLIN – Superintendent Gary Lewis said Friday that there are no firm plans to create a cooperative school program between the neighboring Catlin and Jamaica districts, but that school officials are seeking the legal authority from the state to operate a cooperative program.

"There have been some very preliminary talks so far, but that's all," Lewis said.

Everything on table in quest for budget cuts for Urbana schools

URBANA – Although nothing has been voted on yet, Urbana school board members appear willing to cut everything from teachers to paper to travel to trim $2 million out of next school year's budget.

During a grueling three-hour study session Saturday, board members arrived at $1.35 million of the cuts needed to balance the budget for the 2010-2011 school year.

Urbana District 116 board members identify $1.3 million in potential cuts

URBANA — Although nothing has been voted on, Urbana District 116 school board members look like they’re willing to trim everything from teachers to paper to come up with $2 million in cuts for next school year’s budget.

On Saturday, the board took straw votes on 50 different line items that the staff put forth for reduction or elimination for the 2010-2011 school year. After a grueling three-hour session, they had identified cuts totalling $1.3 million.

Danville school district proposes cutting 82.5 jobs, $300,000 in other cuts

DANVILLE — The Danville school district is proposing to eliminate 82 ½ positions and $300,000 in other expenses in the upcoming fiscal year due to the state’s financial crisis.

Administrators said they’re devastated to have to lay off so many employees. But they said the nearly $5.25 million in proposed staff cuts is needed to ensure the viability of all of the district’s non-grant-funded programs and its financial soundness as it heads into a new year of uncertainty in state funding.

Street work to begin Monday on University Avenue near First Street

CHAMPAIGN — To complete a pavement patch at the northeast corner of First Street and University Avenue in Champaign, Illinois American Water will close a westbound lane of University Avenue from Monday to Wednesday.

Westbound traffic will be reduced to one lane in the area.

Danville school board adds 'critical' building projects to life-safety plans

DANVILLE – Danville school board members on Wednesday laid the groundwork for using life-safety funds to help pay for some "critical" building improvements in the next 12 months.

Board members approved amending the district's 2000 health and life safety plan to include updating Edison and Cannon elementary schools' electrical systems and replacing Garfield Elementary School's roof and a portion of Danville High School's roof.

Another year added to Culver's contract at Champaign schools

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school district Superintendent Arthur Culver got a one-year extension on his contract, in large part because of his work in helping the district successfully satisfy the requirements of its federal consent decree.

The school board evaluated Culver in closed session Tuesday night and voted 4-3 to extend his contract for an additional year, to June 30, 2014.

Danville school board OKs arts-themed 'Upper House' at high school

DANVILLE – Danville High School staff said they'll be able to take the school's rich history with the arts to the next level with the approval of the ACE House's new curriculum.

Danville school board members on Wednesday approved curricula for both the ACE and GLOBAL "upper houses," aimed at boosting student engagement and achievement. The educational programs for sophomores, juniors and seniors in those houses will kick off in the 2010-11 school year.

State House committee holds off on bill for 4-day school week

SPRINGFIELD – The Jamaica school district in southern Vermilion County could save as much as $100,000 a year by moving to a four-day school week, Superintendent Mark Janesky said Wednesday.

Janesky and state Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, appeared before the House Education Committee to promote Black's bill that would allow school districts to lengthen their school day while shortening their school week.

The bill is being held in committee, Black said, while the State Board of Education reviews it.