Cultures mesh at Urbana Adult Education's Thanksgiving meal

URBANA – About 400 years ago, European settlers and American Indians met, sharing both food and thanks.

In 2008, the tradition continued at the annual Urbana Adult Education Thanksgiving dinner on Tuesday, where about 150 people from dozens of countries met to give thanks and eat a meal representing the joining of cultures in cooperation.

Some in Danville cry foul over high school basketball cuts

DANVILLE – Some black community members have accused the Danville High School boys basketball head coach of racial profiling for cutting at least eight black players from an all-black team.

Now they're planning to organize a protest in an attempt to get Coach Gary Tidwell, who is white, removed.

Unit 4 looks at options for expelled middle school students

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign middle school students who are expelled from school during the spring semester could end up spending five hours a week with a tutor.

With Columbia Center closing and the READY alternative program full, the school district is looking at other options for middle school students facing expulsion. But right now, the option available is providing homebound services to those students.

Late aid payments put Georgetown-Ridge Farm schools in bind

GEORGETOWN – School officials are still awaiting overdue payments from the state, Superintendent Kevin Tate said Monday, and are quickly running through cash reserves in some district funds.

Late payments from the state have left the district's transportation fund with a balance of less than $30,000, Tate said, which would cover transportation costs for fewer than three months.

Danville YMCA marking 125th anniversary

DANVILLE – Danville Family YMCA officials are planning a year of activities to mark the 125 years since it was chartered Dec. 9, 1883.

The first is a dinner and program Dec. 6 at the YMCA, 1111 N. Vermilion St. Tickets cost $12 and are available at the agency. Executive Director John Alexander encouraged anyone who has been involved with the Y to attend.

Urbana High volunteers give reasons to offer thanks

URBANA – Got gobble?

If not, then Urbana High School students have a plan to fill your Thanksgiving calendar, at the UHS Student Senate's 37th annual Thanksgiving dinner.

The free meal – held from 5 to 7 p.m. at UHS – is open to everyone, from University of Illinois international students to elderly folks to anyone looking for a place that's "friendly, warm, inviting," said Yvonne Alvarez-Cortes, a UHS Spanish teacher and student senate adviser. The turnout, she said, is always "extremely diverse."

Urbana High School's restructuring getting rave reviews

URBANA – It's fifth period, and two girls recline in cushy chairs, one reading "Twilight," the other immersed in "The Memory Keeper's Daughter." Nearby, sophomore John Willrem works on homework, while a student near him writes in his planner.

What kind of class is this?

Welcome to Urbana High School, version 2008-09.

Before the school got news this fall that it had passed state testing benchmarks, everyone prepared for the worst. For four years, the high school hadn't made adequate yearly progress, and if it hadn't in the fifth, it would have to restructure – to change the school in ways that would make a tangible difference in student learning.

But, though the school did pass, it's restructuring anyway.

DACC trustees to vote on adding wind energy degree

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College officials hope to launch a new associate degree program that would prepare students for a high-tech, high-paying, high-demand career in one of the fastest-growing segments of the energy industry – wind energy.

Champaign school board planning for Columbia's closure

CHAMPAIGN – When Columbia Center, the Champaign school district's alternative program for middle and high school students, closes at the end of this semester, its students will have to go elsewhere.

One Champaign school board member is concerned about options for middle school students there.

The Champaign school board will talk about placement for Columbia students when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Requests made to add soccer at Heritage High

HOMER – Heritage school board members have been asked to add high school soccer to the fall sports program.

Mary Hack, coordinator of the St. Joseph soccer club, asked the board to consider adding high school soccer so that Heritage students who participated in the St. Joseph community club last year will have a place to play.