Governor's reform commission to visit UI next week

CHAMPAIGN – Gov. Pat Quinn's Illinois Reform Commission will come to the University of Illinois College of Law next week for a town hall meeting to hear suggestions for cleaning up state government.

The session will be held from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Max L. Rowe Auditorium at the law school, 504 E. Pennsylvania Ave., C. The meeting is open to the public.

C&U Poster Co.'s billboard archives heading to Duke

CHAMPAIGN – Ninety years of billboard history are heading to Duke University.

Kip Pope is taking the archives of longtime billboard company C&U Poster Co. to Duke's Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History, where the materials will be housed as part of a national outdoor advertising collection.

Westville Catholic school to remain open through 2009-10

WESTVILLE – When 12-year-old Morgan Wright heard that St. Mary's School might close this year, she told her parents she wouldn't attend seventh grade anywhere else.

Tara Wright said her daughter, a sixth-grader, and son Garett, a second-grader, have gone to St. Mary's since they were in the 3-year-old preschool program.

Champaign schools' reductions include tech specialist

CHAMPAIGN – Tonia Kirby relies on a computer specialist to help her and her second-grade students learn about new technology, get technology such as SMART Boards set up in her classroom at Robeson Elementary School and troubleshoot problems.

"She has great lesson plans," Kirby said of the specialist. "She teaches my kids why it's important not to share their passwords. She has a whole other perspective than I do as a classroom teacher."

UI College of Veterinary Medicine to host open house

URBANA – The 2009 University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine Open House will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, with more than 300 veterinary students offering a behind-the-scenes look at the care and treatment of animals.

The Urbana campus has the state's only veterinary college.

Forum set for Champaign school board candidates

CHAMPAIGN – Want to know where a Champaign school board candidate stands on a particular issue?

Community members will have the chance to find out this week, at a candidate forum hosted by the Champaign PTA Council. The forum will be from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

State grant to make for 'even nicer' new Mahomet library

MAHOMET – Officials at the Mahomet Public Library said a state grant announced on Thursday will help make their new building more than a "bare bones" project. "We needed money to make the building more energy-efficient," said Library Director Lynn Schmit.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office announced on Thursday the Mahomet library was receiving a $125,000 grant.

Registration deadline near for kindergarten

CHAMPAIGN – Parents with children who will enter kindergarten in the Champaign school district this fall have a few more days to go through the schools of choice kindergarten registration process.

Parents who register with the district's Family Information Center during March can list their top three preferences for an elementary school for their children. "We need to remind families to come on out and get that done," said Hattie Paulk, director of the Family Information Center.

Champaign schools hoping to hold the line on spring layoffs

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district will lay off about the same number of teachers next week as it did last year, even though it is looking to cut staff costs for the next school year.

The district will lay off 80 teachers and 23 support staff, said Beth Shepperd, assistant superintendent for human resources. The school board will be asked to approve the layoffs when it meets at 7 p.m. Monday at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

Dr. Howard area traffic may be congested due to sewer work

CHAMPAIGN – Traffic may be congested early next week around Dr. Howard school in Champaign. Sewer work in the 1200 block of West Park Street will continue Saturday, the city said in a release.

The contractor is Duce Construction. The city said the company has added workers and if the weather cooperates will aim to reopen the street by Monday. If the work isn't finished, though, drivers may encounter congestion Monday.