Catlin board approves tax levy

CATLIN – School officials voted Thursday to approve a $1.98 million tax levy for the upcoming year – an increase of about $212,000 from the current levy.

Superintendent Guy Banicki said the additional funds would be used to help cover salary and benefit costs and to help with some minor building maintenance projects. He said no major building renovation or repair projects are expected for the upcoming year.

Schlarman to celebrate man's 100th

DANVILLE – Holding an event to celebrate the 100th anniversary of a person's birth after that person has died doesn't happen often.

But the Schlarman High School community is an exception, as it will host a "100th Birthday Celebration" to honor Msgr. Charles Bourk Motsett on Jan 12.

Champaign schools panel addresses negative perceptions

CHAMPAIGN – Those planning for the future of the Champaign school district face some challenges.

Updating aging buildings. Ensuring students are adequately prepared for college or the work force. Increasing parental participation in the schools. Providing more professional development for teachers. Paying for everything.

Committee to oversee hiring PBL football coach

PAXTON – The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school board will create a committee to handle the interview process for the hiring of a new football coach.

Jim Zenner resigned as football coach last month after a disappointing second season.

Parkland dental students to help Ninth Ward kids

CHAMPAIGN – Many children in New Orleans' St. Bernard Parish haven't seen a dentist since Hurricane Katrina leveled their neighborhood, and that worries Parkland College dental students.

"Our understanding is, there are no dentists in the parish because they haven't come back after Katrina," said Peg Boyce, who will take 20 of her dental hygiene students to New Orleans after Christmas to set up clinics at two schools in the parish to take care of students' dental needs.

Driver's ed fee in Champaign will double next summer

CHAMPAIGN – Driver's education fees for Champaign students will double, beginning next summer.

The fee for behind-the-wheel instruction will increase from $50 to $100. The school board on Monday night approved a gradual increase in the fee up to $200 over the next three years.

Mahomet-Seymour High School helps families in need

CHAMPAIGN – Late Friday afternoon, a small convoy of cars and pickup trucks laden with food pulled into the lot at Restoration Urban Ministries.

As charity officials watched, students from Mahomet-Seymour High School's student council delivered more than 1,000 pounds of food collected during a recent drive.

Carrie Busey students raising money for Crisis Nursery

CHAMPAIGN – 'Tis the season for Christmas lists and making gift requests of Santa. But the kids at Carrie Busey Elementary School are also thinking about giving.

The school is holding a fundraiser this week to collect money for Crisis Nursery. Students are collecting change in their classrooms for the "Change for Change" fundraiser, and they hope to raise $1,800. To do so, they are asking for help from the community.

Students learn to work out problems, avoid fights

URBANA – Small fights can get big fast. A little gossip, a couple punches. Someone holds a grudge, someone gets hurt.

It's not pretty, and when anger gets out of control, one needn't search far from the front pages of recent newspapers to find that its consequences can be tragic.

Danville board to vote on increased tax levy

DANVILLE – The Danville school board will vote Wednesday on whether to adopt a 2007 tax levy that would increase the amount of property taxes the district brings in next year.

The board will meet at 6:30 p.m. at the Jackson Building, 516 N. Jackson St., Danville.