WILL drive to help fight hunger

As part of its winter fundraising campaign, WILL and the Common Ground Food Co-op will work together to raise money for public radio while addressing hunger.

For every contribution in any amount to WILL radio during its Thursday-through-Saturday radio pledge drive, Common Ground will donate the cost of three meals to the Eastern Illinois Foodbank.

Officials want to put facilitators in all grade schools

DANVILLE – Although Danville school officials may have to cut state grant-funded positions and programs next year due to an uncertainty in state funding, they hope to expand a new initiative supported through federal funding.

This year, the district used federal Title I grant money to hire five experienced teachers to work in four elementary schools as data and instructional facilitators.

Choir camp scheduled for Feb. 13

DANVILLE – North Ridge Middle School will host its third annual Redcoats Jr. Show Choir Camp at 9 a.m. Feb. 13 at the school, 1619 N. Jackson St.

The camp is open to any current fourth- or fifth-grade student in or outside the Danville school district.

DACC trustees ponder moving funds to pay some bills

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College officials said the college needs to borrow money from its internal "bank" so that the college can pay its bills.

On Tuesday, trustees will vote on transferring about $4.43 million from the working cash fund to the education and operations and maintenance funds.

Police meticulously search for 'why' in double slaying

Two years after two best friends were found brutally slain in the Edgar County home of one of the men, authorities remain mystified as to who killed them and why.

Agents from the Illinois State Police, especially Kim Cessna, probably know more about Ryan Riddell and Mark Prasse, both 32, than many of their closest friends did.

Cessna, the lead special agent on a case that has been touched by many detectives, estimates she's talked to more than 300 people since the friends were found in Mr. Prasse's rural Chrisman home on Jan. 28, 2008, the apparent targets of one or more killers.

UI researchers use gamers' brains to analyze learning

URBANA – Maybe practice makes perfect when it comes to baking a loaf of bread. But it's your brain size that counts a lot when it comes to scoring high on a video game, researchers have found.

A study conducted at the University of Illinois looked at MRI brain scans of men and women trained on "Space Fortress," an approximately 30-year-old video game developed at the UI, and discovered that how well gamers performed could be predicted by the size of certain regions of their brains.

Parkland to launch entrepreneurial scholarships

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College plans to give students greater exposure to entrepreneurship in hopes of creating more jobs in the community.

Thanks to contributions from donors, the Parkland College Foundation is launching an entrepreneurial scholarship program this year that will expose students to the world of business – and perhaps match them with mentors.

"We've generated approximately $150,000 so far toward this," said Carl Meyer, the foundation's executive director.

Champaign school district seeking $2 million in cuts

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign school officials will consider cutting all departmental budgets, forgoing the purchase of new equipment and eliminating jobs across the district when they begin talking about budget cuts next week.

Would-be baby sitters can take class

CHAMPAIGN – Would-be baby sitters from 11 to 15 years old may take a Red Cross class Saturday.

Lessons on choking rescue techniques, cardiopulmonary resuscitation, first aid and basic child care will be offered.

Music educator Willie Summerville again teaching class

CHAMPAIGN – Longtime music educator Willie Summerville will again teach a music class starting Monday that focuses awareness of diversity issues. The University of Illinois class is open to community members.

"Harmonizing Differences Using African American Sacred Music" will help people wanting to learn the appropriate sacred music for special occasions and African-American holidays, Summerville said.