Champaign schools' mentoring supporters speak out

CHAMPAIGN – Kim Dalluge has seen her son struggle to fit in at school.

His autism makes it difficult for him to participate in sports or music, and he has problems with social skills.

ROTC grad gives brother first salute

University of Illinois senior and Army ROTC Cadet Battalion Commander Matthew Ewing hoped his brother Michael would be at the UI over the weekend and on Monday for his graduation and commissioning.

But Michael's business kept him on the road – in Iraq, where he's a Marine corporal, based at Camp Al Asad air base.

Tuscola school's history program wins best in state

TUSCOLA – As Tuscola prepares for its sesquicentennial celebration this summer, it's fitting that one of its schools has received state recognition for excellence in history education.

In fact, East Prairie School in Tuscola has the best history program in the state, according to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency. It won the single Governor's Award at an expo last week.

Urbana School Board meeting to highlight art by students

URBANA – The Urbana school board's first business meeting with new officers Tuesday looks to be a little more colorful than most.

The board will recognize student art from each of its elementary schools as part of an annual fine arts program. The art will hang on the walls of the Burkholder Administrative Service Center, 205 N. Race St., U, for a year.

Danville trustee plans quiet start to term

DANVILLE – When Dr. Jon Satterwhite announced he would step down from the Danville Area Community College Board of Trustees, Dr. Ron Serfoss saw a chance to give back to the community.

"DACC is one of the more significant institutions in our community that contributes to the well-being of Danville and East Central Illinois," said Serfoss, 63, of Danville. "I wanted to make a contribution to the college and the community.

Reorganized district 'turning a corner'

RANTOUL – Carolyn Hinton summed up the past school year at Northview Elementary School succinctly.

"This is a year I wouldn't want to live through again," said Hinton, Northview's principal.

Champaign man gets message from beyond

Sixty-three years after a B-17 bomber crashed into the North Sea, a piece of the plane washed up on the beach.

It was a stunning moment for Michael Darter of Champaign, who was there for a memorial service for his brother, who had been on the plane and died in the frigid waters.

On May 3, Darter was in Holland, where a memorial was erected for his brother, the radio officer on the plane, missing in action since 1943.

Bement superindendent will step down in 2009

BEMENT – School Superintendent Darrell Stevens has announced he will be retiring effective July 1, 2009, ending what will be a 20-year career at the helm of the school district.

Stevens, 53, said his tenure in the district has been a marvelous opportunity for him and his family. "If I had to do it all over again, I'd do exactly the same thing," Stevens said. "No regrets at all."

Businesses can shop around for power now

In the deregulated utility market, commercial customers can now shop around for power.

The Illinois Commerce Commission lists more than a dozen suppliers who sell to nonresidential customers. Businesses began switching from Ameren and Exelon, parent company to Commonwealth Edison, in December when they no longer had to pay a transition fee to leave a public utility, ICC spokeswoman Beth Bosch said.

School districts looking for money to continue staffing

Rose Goodman of Mahomet has been a mentor in the Champaign school district for eight years, meeting weekly with two students who are now in middle school and high school.

"These two young people that I have will be friends for life," Goodman said.