Urbana swim facility set to reopen Jan. 16

URBANA – Urbana swimmers can see some water at the end of the tunnel.

The Urbana Indoor Aquatic Center, closed since a July 24 fire, is scheduled to reopen on Jan. 16, Urbana Park District spokeswoman Dana Mancuso said.

Urbana school officials approve plan to gradually buy land

URBANA – It's official. The Urbana school district wants to buy the houses on the block between Iowa, Washington and Race streets and the high school parking lot.

But only when owners want to sell.

Danville elementary students reading, writing & publishing

DANVILLE – Some pupils at St. Paul's Elementary School can add published author to their resumes.

Not bad, considering they're still learning how to read.

Lakeview expansion under way

DANVILLE – Lakeview College of Nursing officials have begun a $500,000 construction project to give students much-needed classroom space.

"This means a great deal," Chief Executive Officer Dick Shockey said of the project's launch. "We can see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Studio may supply some digital images to students

PAXTON – Paxton-Buckley-Loda students may get their homecoming photos after all.

Iroquois County State's Attorney Jim Devine announced this morning that an attorney for Evolution Studios, 116 S. Poplar St., Onarga will be delivering digital images it shot earlier this fall both to PBL and to Argenta-Oreana High School as soon as today.

New report cards give more detailed view of performance

CHAMPAIGN – When Champaign fifth-graders received their report cards this month, they and their parents learned what letter grade they earned for the first quarter in reading, math and other academic subjects.

Some parents also received a report card indicating how their children were doing on both reading fluency and comprehension. It gave them marks on whether they stay on topic when writing a story, and it showed how well they understand multiplication, know the factors of a number and measure angles.

Urbana School Board considers adding space

URBANA – Walk down a leafy section of Washington Street or Race Street near Urbana High School today and you'll see houses, yards, an empty storefront where Sunshine Grocery used to be.

But in 10 years, maybe 20, maybe more, several Urbana school board members hope to see that block of houses demolished, replaced by green space, parking and athletic fields for the high school and middle school.

Improve efficiency, reduce consumption

One of the positive outcomes of the dramatic spike in energy costs is that far more people are paying attention to energy conservation measures, UI administrators said.

Earlier this year, UI President B. Joseph White established an energy task force of faculty and administrators from all three campuses. The group will make recommendations on how the university can reduce energy costs. A preliminary report is expected in March.

She prepares kids for life's bigger tests

URBANA – Sara North powers her classroom on dreams.

Like emotional gasoline, the hopes, wishes and wants of students in North's combined fourth- and fifth-grade class drive them forward, just as they have driven North into the position she's been dreaming of for decades: elementary school teacher.

Higher prices putting strain on UI budget

The cost of keeping University of Illinois buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, the lights on and the computers whirring has spiked in recent years, prompting the UI to pay for its increased energy costs with money that would have gone toward teaching or research.

If you've paid a power bill in recent years, you know of the enormous price jumps. Even though the UI can produce electricity and heat at Abbott Power Plant, it has not been immune to cost increases.