Tuition increase on table at DACC

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College trustees said Tuesday they don't like the idea of hiking tuition.

However, they dislike even more the only other alternative they see in light of Illinois' financial crisis – cutting programs and services to students.

"It's important to keep DACC at the highest level possible, especially when the economy is down," Trustee John O'Rourke said during a discussion of a proposed $10 per credit hour tuition increase for in-district students.

Residents show support for threatened jobs at Urbana schools

URBANA – Residents provided an outpouring of support Tuesday for the Urbana school district's parent outreach coordinator at a public forum on budget cuts for the district.

The board room was packed, and many people spoke about how important Janice Mitchell is to the district and the community.

The district must cut $2 million from next year's budget, and her job is one the district is considering eliminating. But parents and students urged the district to find somewhere else to cut.

Community speaks out on proposed Urbana school budget cuts

URBANA – Community members spoke Tuesday night in support of several positions and programs that could be cut from the Urbana school district.

A public forum on budget cuts had a packed house. Many spoke in support of Janice Mitchell, the district's parent outreach coordinator. Her position is one that could be eliminated.

Others spoke in favor of Latino community liaison Lucia Maldonado, the C-U One-to-One mentoring program, and the minority enrichment program at Urbana High School.

Champaign school board discusses plans for building improvements

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board talked Monday night about how it will plan for building improvements for the next decade.

Bruce Knight, planning director for the city of Champaign, talked to the board about policies that will help the school district create a 10-year capital improvement plan.

The plan will guide the district in building, maintaining, upgrading and replacing its buildings. One of its key purposes will be to help allocate limited funds to the highest priority projects.

Homelessness Marathon to air today on WEFT 90.1 FM

CHAMPAIGN – As a closer to its second annual Radio Food Drive with the Eastern Illinois Food Bank, WEFT 90.1 FM will air the 13th annual Homelessness Marathon, which will be broadcast live from the streets of Detroit starting at 6 p.m. today.

The 14-hour nationwide broadcast, through 8 a.m. Wednesday, will carry the voices of the homeless, advocates for housing and shelter, and other guests. The broadcast will be heard on more than 150 stations nationwide, and at WEFT's Web cast at

DACC board to discuss proposed tuition increase Tuesday

DANVILLE – Kari Shaw said she chose to attend Danville Area Community College because of its fire science program, but also because of the college's "reasonable" tuition and fees.

The Fairmount resident wasn't happy to hear that starting this summer, she may have to pay more to finish her degree.

Meeting on 2010 goals for Market on the Square set Tuesday

URBANA – A meeting to set goals for the downtown farmers' market is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Urbana Civic Center, 108 E. Water St., U, with follow-up sessions in March and April. The first meeting will include city staff and a steering committee made up of market vendors, local businesses, elected officials and the public.

They will create mission and vision statements for the 2010 season and set goals for the future, according to Rebecca Bird, a city planner working with Lisa Bralts, director of Market at the Square.

Heritage district addresses concerns about number of fundraisers

HOMER – Heritage Superintendent Andrew Larson said some parents are questioning the large number of fundraisers being held at the district's two schools.

He said the complaints followed a youth basketball game during which a collection tin for Haiti relief funds was passed around the stands. Larson said some parents also voiced concern that school fundraisers should only benefit local families.

District plans budget cuts, layoffs to counter shortfall

MAHOMET – The Mahomet-Seymour school district has announced proposed cuts to its 2011 budget totaling $643,211, including employee layoffs and some cuts to programs.

According to a letter released to the media and public on Friday, the cuts are a direct result of the state's revenue crisis.

The state is currently running an estimated $12 billion deficit.

"We'll have to take precautionary steps, because there are some question marks out there right now," Keith Oates, superintendent of Mahomet-Seymour schools, said.

Careful budgeting allows for library face-lift

DANVILLE – On Monday, work will begin at the Danville Public Library that will extend tile surfaces and replace the original, 15-year-old carpeting.

The $167,000 project includes carpet contract, shelf moving contract and architectural fees, according to Suzie Halftown, library business manager.