Head Start class being added in fall at DACC center

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College and the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency are partnering to put a Head Start classroom at DACC's Child Development Center this fall.

The two entities, along with the University of Illinois, also are bringing to the classroom a federally funded program, aimed at creating a language- and literacy-rich environment for preschoolers and boosting their readiness for kindergarten.

School board signs off on settlement of consent decree

CHAMPAIGN – Calling it a monumental day for the Champaign school district, school board President Dave Tomlinson and the other board members ended the district's consent decree case Wednesday night when they voted to approve a settlement agreement in the case.

To bring the case to an end, the school district agreed to adopt several policies regarding opening and closing schools, special education referrals, and support for students in alternative programs.

Danville agency's after-school program to begin Aug. 25

DANVILLE –The Boys & Girls Club of Danville will begin its after-school program for the 2009-2010 school year on Aug. 25. The program runs through May 28, 2010, with regular hours from 2:15 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

During the program, members may participate in Smart (skills, mastery and resistance training) Moves, which teaches against influences of drugs and violence and how to make good decisions, and Youth for Unity, which teaches the importance of appreciating diversity.

Salvation Army distributing school supplies in Danville

DANVILLE – The Salvation Army and Project Success of Vermilion County will distribute basic school supplies for up to 500 children in kindergarten through 12th grades from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Salvation Army, 855 E. Fairchild St.

Those seeking school supply assistance need: picture identification of the adult making application, proof of the ages of all the children receiving supplies and proof of the last 30 days income for the household.

Retired area minister dies in hiking fall in New Mexico

ABIQUIU, N.M. – The Rev. Don Mason, 66, a Presbyterian minister in Urbana and area ecumenical leader for 17 years, has died from a fall during a hike in northern New Mexico.

He and his wife, Donna, had been volunteering at Ghost Ranch, an education and retreat center owned by the Presbyterian Church USA, since April. It is located at Abiquiu, north of Santa Fe and Los Alamos.

Former UI presidents call for removal of current trustees

URBANA – Two former University of Illinois presidents called for a dramatic change in the university board of trustees, including removing some of its members and changing the way trustees are chosen.

In the last decade, the board has become more political, more involved in management of the university and has come to view the university more like a state agency instead of an institution of higher education, said former UI presidents James Stukel and Stan Ikenberry, testifying Monday before the Illinois Admissions Review Commission.

White tries to distance himself from admissions flap

CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois President B. Joseph White says he never heard of "Category I" or a controversial Rod Blagojevich crony until recently, and he distanced himself from Chancellor Richard Herman in testimony Monday before the Illinois Admissions Review Commission.

The UI president repeatedly said winning back the school's reputation is "Job No. 1" and promised reforms, including the creation of a code of conduct on admissions, an ombudsman for application questions, the elimination of Category I, and the removal from the admissions process of anyone higher than the dean level. There would be a year-long review of admissions policies.

DACC trustees to weigh expanding preschool program

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College's preschool program could expand under a proposed agreement with the East Central Illinois Community Action Agency.

Trustees on Tuesday will consider entering into an agreement with the Danville-based agency to put a Head Start classroom at DACC's Child Development Center.

UI president, predecessors ready for commission hearing

URBANA – His bosses and employees had their chance to explain an admissions process set up for politically connected applicants at the University of Illinois. Now it's President B. Joseph White's turn.

White is the featured witness at Monday's hearing of the Illinois Admissions Review Commission, which will move from Chicago to Urbana for the day.

Westville schools officials reveal $10.68 million budget

WESTVILLE – School officials unveiled a proposed $10.68 million budget for the 2009-10 fiscal year Wednesday, but Superintendent Jim Owens said he expects to make lots of changes to the anticipated revenues and expenditures before the school board votes to formally adopt it in September.

Owens said the proposed spending plan anticipates about $10.6 million in revenues as well, but that information from the state about funding keeps changing.