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.

Parkland panel helps applicants find out what employers want

CHAMPAIGN – Sometimes it pays to think before you open your mouth.

That's especially true in a job interview, where a wrong answer can cost you a livelihood.

Urbana High teacher recovering from surgery

MADISON, Wis. – Urbana High School teacher and Danville Ward 4 Alderman Terry Baldwin is recuperating this morning from a nearly six-hour liver transplant Thursday at University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics.

Baldwin, who has a rare genetic disease, was told Wednesday night that a match was found. Baldwin, 54, had been experiencing medical problems related to his condition. He was recently placed on a waiting list for a new liver.

Parkland president to undergo bypass surgery

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College President Robert Exley will have coronary bypass surgery on Friday, officials said Wednesday.

Lin Warfel, chairman of the college's board of trustees, said the surgery was moved up a month because Exley had some heart-related episodes at home after he was released from the hospital last Saturday.

Tanner tells students to aim high

CHAMPAIGN – Astronaut Joe Tanner's fourth and final space mission in September was the hardest one he's been on, he said Tuesday, but he took time to appreciate how special his job is.

"It's beautiful," he said of the view of the Earth from space. "You can't see the borders between countries. You see the curve of the Earth and the thin layer of atmosphere."

Nursing college holds health fair for low-income seniors

DANVILLE – When Polly Bishir attended a health fair at Mer Che Manor on Monday, she expected to get her blood pressure and glucose checked.

She did not expect to learn she may have osteoporosis.

Officials dedicate all-weather track in Danville

DANVILLE – After 30 years of wishing, five years of planning and eight months of building, the Danville school district on Wednesday dedicated a $1.3 million all-weather track.

Though the track and field facility was built for the high school, district officials said it belongs to community members, whose hard work and generosity turned the dream into a reality.

Champaign school district reports clean audit for last fiscal year

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district received an "unqualified" opinion on an audit of its 2005-06 financial statements – the highest rating level available.

The clean audit means the district can get a lower interest rate on any bonds it sells in the future. Chief Financial Officer Gene Logas reviewed last year's budget in explaining to the board Monday night why the district received the clean audit.

Charter school proposal submitted

CHAMPAIGN – A proposal for a charter school has been submitted to the Champaign school board.

Andrea Carter, one of the organizers behind the proposal, said she submitted the required information to the board last week. The board has 45 days from when it received the proposal to schedule a public hearing on the matter.

Course helps individuals prepare for work force

DANVILLE – Walking across the Danville Area Community College campus, someone asked 19-year-old Michael Spitz how to get to the Mary Miller complex.

Spitz knew exactly where to direct them. Just seven weeks ago, he wouldn't have known.