UI scholar's 'Art in Conversation' talk set tonight

URBANA – Culture critic Jabari Asim, scholar-in-residence at the University of Illinois Department of Journalism and the UI's African American Studies program, will give an "Art in Conversation" talk at 5:15 p.m. today at Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

Earlier this month, Asim was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in creative arts. The fellowships are cash grants intended to free up time for those in mid-career. There are no conditions on how the money is spent.

Danville High phones to be down during tests this week

DANVILLE – The phones at Danville High School will be shut off temporarily on Wednesday and Thursday when students take their high-stakes standardized tests.

Juniors will take the ACT national college entrance exam on Wednesday. Phones will be shut off until 12:50 p.m. that day.

Local author combines curiosity, danger in book of experiments

CHAMPAIGN – If you've ever been enthralled by Theo Gray's "Gray Matter" column in Popular Science magazine, you're in for a treat.

The chemistry buff has bundled 55 of his most outrageous experiments into "Mad Science," a 239-page, full-color, hardcover book published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.

Private school administrator picked as next Uni High principal

URBANA – The next principal of University Laboratory High School hopes to blend the best of public and private education at the school.

Glee club changes booed by some UI alumni

URBANA – Changes to the University of Illinois Varsity Men's Glee Club have some alumni singing an unhappy tune.

They're upset students can no longer simply try out for the glee club, but must instead audition before a panel of music faculty, who then assign students to whichever School of Music choir is deemed to be the best match.

Champaign consent decree hearing to focus on north seats

PEORIA – Lawyers on both sides of the Champaign school district's consent decree case will argue later this month on whether the decree should be extended.

U.S. District Court Judge Joe Billy McDade set a hearing for 9 a.m. April 28 at the federal district court in Peoria. The hearing is open to the public.

Kindergarten registration set in Urbana

URBANA – Children who will be 5 years old by Sept. 1 can be registered for kindergarten in Urbana schools next week.

The Urbana district will host kindergarten registration April 23-24 at its six elementary schools, for children entering kindergarten in August. Early registration helps schools plan for the number of kindergarten teachers needed at each school, officials said.

42-year Urbana Park District Board member attends final meeting

URBANA – For 42 years, Bruce Larson spent at least one Tuesday night every month attending a meeting of the Urbana Park District board.

No more. The University of Illinois emeritus professor of biochemistry and nutritional sciences attended his final park board meeting Tuesday, after opting to not run for an eighth six-year term. Larson is the longest-serving commissioner in the history of the park district, eclipsing the 40 years served by J.C. Blair, who was on the original park board and was its first president in 1907.

Edgar says community colleges important for economy

DANVILLE – As they have done previously, community colleges again will play a major role in helping people get through these tough economic times, a former Illinois governor told community college officials on Tuesday.

"The recession will end, but things won't be the same," said former Gov. Jim Edgar, now a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. "We have to be prepared and have our workers prepared for the new economy. This is a great opportunity for you in higher education."

Concoard Coalition panel seeks solutions to fiscal woes

CHAMPAIGN – We have problems.

That's one thing three Washington insiders agree on, even if they don't share common views on how federal budget deficits, a mounting national debt and escalating health care costs should be contained.