Community forums planned for Champaign school parents

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district will begin holding community forums this week to provide information to parents about its schools of choice program and school registration.

The forums include a showcase of schools, with staff members who can talk with parents about each school.

Study to look at traffic options near Danville High School

DANVILLE – Shortly before 2:30 p.m. on most weekdays, a two-block stretch of Jackson Street becomes impassable.

It's not because of weather or construction, but a fleet of school buses that fills all lanes of the one-way section of Jackson Street next to Danville High School as students dismiss for the day and board buses, catch a ride, begin their walk home or drive away.

Library's Web site offers basic lessons in languages

CHAMPAIGN – Anyone taking a trip to Japan, Spain, France or Germany this year should check out the Mango Languages database at Champaign Public Library. In simple steps, this program teaches language needed to travel in a foreign country – how to greet one another, ask for directions, and even where the nearest public restroom is.

Mango Languages is a language learning database accessed through the library's Web site ( under the "Find Answers and Facts" category on the home page. Champaign Public Library cardholders can access this database at home for free by entering their 10-digit library number. Language lessons are delivered right to a home computer. Non-cardholders can still use this database but on a computer at the library. The program is free, but personal headphones are required.

Two overdue books are returned - about 90 years late

CHAMPAIGN – Sorting through book returns on Friday, a Champaign Public Library employee came across two bedraggled books, with crumbling spines and pages aged to a dirty yellow.

It became evident that the books were old – very old – and long predated any automatic computer systems. As close as anyone can estimate, the books were returned to the library roughly 90 years after they were checked out.

Early retirement might be offered at UI

URBANA – The University of Illinois is considering a voluntary separation plan, but only for the Urbana campus at this point.

No school today in Danville

DANVILLE – Danville school students are getting a day off today after the first severe winter storm of the season swept through the region Thursday.

Danville students getting a grip on fun, fitness

DANVILLE – Shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday, several Northeast Elementary Magnet School students, were climbing the wall.

Instead of scolding them, the principal and teachers cheered them on.

UI leaders to appear on WILL, answer questions

URBANA – If you have questions about University of Illinois furloughs, budget cuts, the presidential search or fallout from the Category I admissions crisis, here's your chance to ask UI leaders directly.

Interim President Stanley Ikenberry and interim Chancellor/Provost Robert Easter will be the featured guests on a one-hour program at 9 p.m. Monday on WILL-TV and WILL-AM 580 radio.

Champaign firm at top of list for District 118 facilities study

DANVILLE – Danville school administrators plan to begin negotiating today with a Champaign architectural firm on a price and other terms for a long-term facilities and health-life safety study for the school district.

Proposed Urbana school calendar calls for earlier start

URBANA – Urbana students will start school a week earlier this August, under a proposed school calendar for the 2010-11 school year.

Students would also end their first semester, and high school students would take their final exams, before their winter break. The Urbana school board discussed the proposed calendar at its meeting Tuesday night.