Illini pilot says he'll wear hockey jersey on space shuttle

Col. Lee Archambault is wearing an Illini hockey game jersey, circling the globe aboard Space Shuttle Atlantis.

The astronaut spent six years at the University of Illinois, playing hockey, dating Kelly Raup and earning two engineering degrees.

New Unity East principal ready to begin

PHILO – When Laura Fitzgerald starts her job as principal of Unity East Elementary School on Aug. 1, it will mark her first time as a building principal.

But she said the core values she has learned after more than 20 years in the education field will remain the same.

Villa Grove student handbook changes OK'd

VILLA GROVE – In a special meeting, the Villa Grove school board voted 5-1 to approve proposed changes to the student handbook – but more changes may be coming next year.

In response to concerns raised at the last regular meeting about current discipline structure in the athletic training code, the board requested that a special committee be formed to give it further study.

Urbana teachers get new contract

URBANA – The Urbana teachers have a new contract, with raises each year for the next three years.

On Tuesday night, the Urbana school board voted unanimously to ratify the new contract, which begins in August. The new contract calls for an average salary increase of 4.5 percent for the first year of the contract for certified personnel, an average 4.25 percent for the second and an average 4 percent for the third.

Bring your toothbrush to Provena Covenant Medical Center

If you're coming to Provena Covenant Medical Center soon, bring a toothbrush for somebody who needs one, hospital officials urge.

Collection sites have been set up throughout the hospital for individual packages of mouthwash, toothbrushes, toothpaste and dental floss, and will be in place through June 15.

Grant to expand Schlarman science curriculum

DANVILLE – Next school year, some Schlarman students will conduct an experiment to learn how wind energy can turn on a light bulb.

Their teacher hopes the activity and others on alternative energy sources will spark their interest in science and technology.

Urbana teachers OK new contract

URBANA – Teachers in Urbana could have a new contract tonight.

On Monday, teachers voted to ratify a new three-year deal, said Tracy Luchik, president of the Urbana Education Association, the union representing the educators.

Teachers return to class in search of new insights

DANVILLE – Teacher Jayme Biava returned to the classroom on Monday afternoon, but not as the teacher.

Biava and about 34 colleagues gathered at the Meade Park Elementary School library to learn about teaching strategies and classroom activities that will engage and motivate students in the Summer Bridges summer school program.

Summer lessons break boundaries

DANVILLE – On her first day of summer school, Kylie Baxter learned that mangroves are trees that grow in shallow water and provide a habitat for fish.

Classmate Caleb Sago learned that sea turtles swim in the ocean and are different from those on land.

Donation allows for upgrades to 5 DACC computer labs

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College was able to update equipment in five computer labs this year thanks, to a gift from the late Melvin E. "Jim" and Rosemary Cary.

The DACC Foundation received nearly $82,000 from the Cary Trust a few years ago. Foundation board members approved using the endowment, which had grown to about $100,000 because of interest earned, for the technology upgrades earlier this year.