Danville schools to experiment with health initiative

DANVILLE – When Kayla Pickett's daughter comes home from school, she does not always grab the snack her mother wants her to have.

"Kirsten likes candy," Pickett said of her daughter, a kindergartener at Northeast Elementary Magnet School. "I wish she'd have an apple or carrot sticks instead."

Power of people vital to UI's new fund campaign

It's going to be a big one.

On Friday evening, donors and University of Illinois administrators will gather in Chicago's Navy Pier ballroom to kick off the university's biggest fundraising campaign yet.

After 15 years, a graduation of sorts for Amberg

URBANA – When Urbana High School graduates flip their tassels today, many will wave goodbye to as many as 15 years in the school district.

Those kids won't be the only ones taking the next step.

Franklin Middle School back to being honor society

CHAMPAIGN – Eighth-grade students from Franklin Middle School were inducted into the National Junior Honor Society during a formal ceremony at Lincolnshire Fields Country Club in early April.

They received certificates and solemnly shook hands with Franklin Principal Carol Stack, as proud parents applauded and took photos. Stack told the students they were "the very finest of what Franklin has to offer."

Unity Junior High to add sports teams

TOLONO – The Unit 7 school board has decided to start baseball, softball and wrestling teams at the Unity Junior High beginning this fall.

"This is something we feel can happen and can be positive for our students," said athletic director Scott Hamilton.

N-G appeals Parkland's denial for Exley agreement

CHAMPAIGN – The News-Gazette is appealing Parkland College's denial of a request for a copy of the separation agreement between the college and former President Robert Exley.

Exley's resignation after 10 months in office was accepted at the Parkland board's May 15 meeting. The next day, The News-Gazette filed a Freedom of Information Act request for a copy of the separation agreement. The law governs the release of public records in Illinois.

Grant will pay for fixing Rossville-Alvin school fixtures

ROSSVILLE – The Rossville-Alvin school district received a $30,946 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation to replace fixtures in the elementary and high schools.

The grant will make the lighting more energy efficient in both school buildings, according to Rossville-Alvin Superintendent Carl Sartwell.

Parents upset about end of Stratton after-school program

CHAMPAIGN – Several parents whose children participate in an after-school program at Stratton Elementary School at virtually no cost are upset the program is ending.

They spoke at a special meeting of the Champaign school board Wednesday night.

Vermilion Conservation District getting ready for summer

The Vermilion County Conservation District is gearing up for a great summer of activities as well as sprucing up for visitors who just want to take a quiet walk or get a quick county history lesson.

"The parks, especially the Bunker Hill Historic Area, are very popular," said Jeff Howard, a district maintenance worker, as he helped rebuild part of the historic area herb garden. "It's a good place to bring your family."

Danville High School extending freshman orientation

DANVILLE – When Sunny Strader started Danville High School last August, she had a bad case of the freshman jitters.

To the then-14-year-old, her old school and the new, much larger and unfamiliar one seemed like two different planets.