Paxton school district looking for extra space

PAXTON – The Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district has begun looking at solutions to future classroom space issues.

Superintendent Cliff Mc-Clure told the board that a committee feels the best resolution to possible future learning space issues would be to convert the band room at Eastlawn Grade School into two new classrooms.

Westview beefs up security after incident

CHAMPAIGN – Westview Elementary School has made some changes in security, in the wake of an attempted abduction at the school last week.

The school's front doors are now locked during the after-school program, which runs from 2:10 to 6 p.m. Anyone coming to the school must ring a doorbell at the front door.

Rantoul school districts raise concerns on TIF district

RANTOUL – Representatives from Rantoul's two school districts expressed concern over the creation of a second tax increment financing district in the community.

And a school board member warned that establishing the district could force Rantoul City Schools to ask the voters to approve a property tax increase.

Catlin board considers $500,000 bond

CATLIN – School officials said Thursday they are considering extending up to $500,000 in bonds to pay for some projects to make Catlin Grade School more energy-efficient.

Superintendent Guy Banicki said the Catlin school board is considering replacing the steam boiler and the hot-water boiler that heat the two wings of the school, replacing some drafty windows from 1952 and 1962 and replacing 11 external doors at a projected cost of $518,000.

Danville program yields better grades, behaviors

DANVILLE – Robin Langston, 9, is one of the better readers in the Boys and Girls Club's tutoring program, said Coordinator Gail Buford.

Robin, now a fourth grader at East Park Elementary School, once received Ds and Fs. She now makes As and Bs.

Frazier's late shot lifts Illini

INDIANAPOLIS – Nothing has been easy for Illinois this season. A win against a depleted Penn State team in today's Big Ten tournament was no different.

Tenth-seeded Illinois outlasted seventh-seeded Penn State 64-63 on Chester Frazier's last-second basket at Conseco Fieldhouse today. Seniors Shaun Pruitt and Brian Randle combined for 27 points and 14 rebounds to ensure a quarterfinal matchup Friday against second-seeded Purdue (5:30, Big Ten Network).

Donors come through to send Central students to game

CHAMPAIGN – Central High School students will be getting out of school early Friday to see their basketball team compete in the state tournament.

Tipoff for the semifinal game in Peoria is at 1:45 p.m.

Students with game tickets will be dismissed from school at 11 a.m. Friday, the end of third period. Fan buses will be leaving the school shortly afterward to take students to Peoria.

Officials disappointed with Unit 4 planning meeting turnout

CHAMPAIGN – The crowd was not as big as organizers hoped for, but the first community forum resulted in many good ideas for the Champaign school district, they said.

The forum, held Wednesday night at Centennial High School, was part of the district's long-range planning process. About 75 people came out to talk about their ideas for the district.

Man accused of reckless homicide appears in court

URBANA – A Bement man is tentatively scheduled to be tried in May on charges that he drove in such a reckless manner that he killed a Tolono woman in a foggy crash.

Thomas Brittenham, 46, turned himself in to Champaign County authorities Wednesday on a warrant that had been issued March 5 charging him with reckless homicide. He posted $5,000 cash and was later released from jail. Judge Richard Klaus ordered him to be back in court April 28.

Research on display at science fair

URBANA – What if, one day, people powered their cars on apples? Or their homes on kiwi?

It could happen – but it probably won't any time soon, as sixth-grader Chang-hee Lee found out when he studied the electric charges of fruits as part of Urbana Middle School's first sixth-grade science fair.