Parents should register soon to keep kids in same school

CHAMPAIGN – Attention parents with a child in elementary school in Champaign and another entering kindergarten: If you want your children in the same school, you need to go through kindergarten registration with the district.

And Monday is your last opportunity to do so and get a priority for that school.

Seat Belt Convincer drives home a point

CHAMPAIGN – Seconds after 16-year-old Antoine Anderson buckled his seat belt and started moving, he slammed to a stop, the seat belt pulling tight across his stomach.

"If y'all ate some cereal, don't get in," the Central High School sophomore advised his classmates.

Harmony Week events focus on building tolerance

URBANA – If a child has two dads, does he call both "Dad"? And if he does, how do his dads know whom he's talking to?

"When it's the middle of the night," joked Brandon Bowersox to his co-dad, Kevin Johnson, "he's asking for you. I can tell."

Class to use cooking oil to make biodiesel

TOLONO – What was once used to fry lunch for University of Illinois students is now being used to teach Unity High School students about renewable energy.

Doug Bennett, an energy research scientist for Waste Management Research Center, brought a reactor to Unity's ag classroom Tuesday and showed students and teacher Rich McCabe how it works.

Teen tells his story of addiction

TUSCOLA – It started as a hobby.

It was nothing serious when he started drinking and "drugging," said Nate B., an 18-year-old recovering addict who can't use his last name because of his participation in Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.

Tax increase referendum awaiting approval of school districts

TOLONO – In October 2007 Illinois lawmakers passed legislation allowing school districts to propose a sales tax increase in their counties – with one stipulation – that the revenue be used for school construction projects.

Unit 7 Superintendent Michael Shonk told school board members Wednesday that the tax increase could be a good way to help Champaign County children.

Tutoring program looking to expand

DANVILLE – Every Tuesday for the past few weeks, Jerry Rollings has taken a break from his job breaking down cardboard boxes to read a book for a half-hour or so.

It's an activity his supervisors on the assembly line not only condone, but encourage.

$6 an hour tuition increase OK'd for DACC

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College trustees on Tuesday approved a $6-per-credit-hour tuition hike, but the vote wasn't unanimous.

Trustee Ron Serfoss said he couldn't support the 7.7 percent increase because he feels it would be a hardship for students and may even keep some from enrolling. "Especially the students who really need to get in here," said Serfoss, who cast the lone "no" vote.

Urbana district gets grant for mentoring teachers

URBANA – In the battle for state dollars, Urbana school district has come out $60,000 richer after receiving a competitive grant from the Illinois State Board of Education for the school district's New Teacher Mentoring Program.

The grant money will go toward giving mentor and first-year teachers time outside of class for professional development, including working with each other.

Tuscola principal urges increasing credits for graduation

TUSCOLA – The Tuscola school board is considering raising its high school graduation requirements.

On Monday, Tuscola High School Principal Kyle Ransom proposed increasing the number of credits needed to graduate from high school from 20.5 to 22.5.