County sales tax likely to draw support

URBANA – The Urbana school board is expected to back a proposed county sales tax for schools Tuesday, with the stipulation that a third of Urbana's sales tax income go toward property tax relief.

A state law passed last fall allows school districts collectively to put a ballot question before voters for up to a 1 percent countywide sales tax, to raise money for school facilities. If voters approve it, the money would be divided among districts based on enrollment and could be spent on new buildings, renovations, safety or energy conservation work or building bond debt.

Urbana High School seeks emergency funds to fix balcony

URBANA – Emergency authority to repair the balcony at Urbana High School's auditorium and initial planning for a complete auditorium remodel are also on Tuesday's school board agenda.

Part of the ceiling underneath the balcony collapsed late last week. No one was injured, but the theater has remained closed to students and the public.

Principal fulfills a promise as students raise shelter funds

MONTICELLO – Eric Hillman had no choice.

The Lincoln Elementary School principal had promised that, if the students managed to raise $1,000 for the proposed Piatt County Animal Shelter, he would kiss a duck in front of the entire student body.

Mahomet-Seymour board to host meeting on sales tax

MAHOMET – The Mahomet-Seymour school board is hosting a public meeting about a proposed countywide sales tax.

The meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday at Middletown Early Childhood Center, 101 N. Division St. in Mahomet.

Murdock man charged with firearms possession

MURDOCK – A Murdock man was arrested Wednesday on charges that he illegally possessed firearms.

Police found two pistols and two shotguns belonging to Luther W. Clark III, 49, even though he doesn't have a firearm owner's identification card.

Completion of I-57 interchange still 3-4 weeks away

It's going to take a few more weeks before the Curtis Road interchange on Interstate 57 opens in Champaign.

And drivers between Danville and Champaign-Urbana should be prepared to slow down.

Unit 7 district gives support to new county sales tax

TOLONO – The Unit 7 school district is the latest to throw its support behind a proposed countywide sales tax.

The school board Wednesday unanimously approved a resolution asking the Champaign County Board to place a referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot asking voters to allow a 1 percent tax to be placed on most goods sold in the county. A law the Illinois General Assembly enacted in October 2007 allows an additional sales tax of up to 1 percent to be placed on merchandise except drugs, medical supplies, vehicles, boats, trailers, mobile homes and food not intended for immediate consumption.

PBL demonstration drives home alcohol message

PAXTON – The screams for help sounded real.

That empty case of beer stuck beneath the car certainly held 30 full cans at one time.

High school dress code on Danville school board agenda

DANVILLE – At the request of a community member, Danville school officials suggested Wednesday night forming a committee to consider uniforms, or a more strict dress code, at Danville High School.

Thomas Miller, pastor at New Life Church of Faith, 1415 N. Bowman Ave., asked the Danville school board Wednesday what steps would have to be taken to investigate implementing uniforms at the high school.

Students repair bikes for kids in need of wheels

RANTOUL – More than 60 needy Rantoul children will get their own bicycles next weekend, thanks to the efforts of some Rantoul special education students.

More than 25 young people in the Rantoul Pathways special education program have spent the school year repairing abandoned and broken bicycles salvaged by the local police department. The work is part of a program that teaches students how to use tools while providing bikes for children.