14-year-old arrested in pepper spray incident

URBANA – Twenty students went to the hospital after someone sprayed pepper spray in Urbana Middle School early Thursday afternoon. A 14-year-old student was arrested in the incident.

"There were some who were in the direct area of the release and a few who were transported to the hospital just for precaution," said Mike Dilley, division chief of the Urbana Fire Department, which responded to the call at 12:42.

Students raise money to buy animals for people in Africa

CHAMPAIGN – Westview Elementary School students used the money they made from selling homemade notecards this month to make some unusual purchases.

They bought a cow. And a water buffalo. And a couple of chickens.

DeLand-Weldon OKs sports co-op with Cerro Gordo

DeLAND – The DeLand-Weldon school board has approved a sports cooperative agreement with Cerro Gordo for boys' baseball and girls' softball for the upcoming season.

Last year the school had a co-op agreement with the Blue Ridge school district for the two sports. Blue Ridge dropped the agreement last year in the wake of new IHSA regulations concerning school size for playoff games.

Exley at first Parkland board meeting since heart attack

CHAMPAIGN – Less than two months after a heart attack and subsequent major surgery, Parkland College President Robert Exley was back in his seat at the board of trustees' regular meeting Wednesday.

He expressed his thanks for all the help he and his family members, who accompanied him to the meeting, received during the ordeal just four months into his tenure as president.

Urbana High School may drop remedial-level courses

URBANA – Many of Urbana High School's remedial classes aren't working, said Principal Laura Taylor, and the answer isn't in fixing them, it's in dropping them altogether.

She said the classes have not prepared students with enough information or set high enough expectations for them.

Parents, students speak out for school menu changes

URBANA – Ask a cafeteria table of eighth-graders what they think about school lunch and you won't have to wait long – or even until the end of the question – for a plateful of answers.

Morgan Applebee thinks that school lunch is "gross."

Hoopeston district's superintendent dies from heart attack

DANVILLE – When Anderson Funeral Home Director Ryan Anderson thinks of Hoopeston Area school district Superintendent Mark Conolly, he recalls a time when Conolly, then the principal at Hoopeston Area High School, wrote his parents a thank-you letter for raising a good student.

"Not too many principals would do that," said Anderson, 27, a Hoopeston Area graduate and now an assistant coach for the school's baseball team.

Unit 7 middle school applying to join athletic league

TOLONO – Although the Unit 7 school board has not yet decided if it should add three sports to the programs offered at Unity Junior High, the school is applying for membership in the Junior High Okaw Conference (JHOC).

In May, the Okaw Valley Conference added both nonconference Unity High School and current Little Okaw Valley Conference member Tuscola High School for the start of the 2007-2008 season. Unity and Tuscola worked together for about 10 months in their effort to join the league that also includes Argenta-Oreana, Central A&M, Clinton, Decatur St. Teresa, Maroa-Forsyth, Meridian, Monticello, Shelbyville, Sullivan and Warrensburg-Latham.

Danville school district donates used computers to some students

DANVILLE – Some Danville students are getting a new computer, but it's not from Santa.

It's from the Danville school district.

Rantoul board looks at policy for use of school buildings

RANTOUL – Members of the Rantoul Township High School board Monday took a first official look at a policy spelling out how their facilities should be used by the public.

They are expected to approve the policy at the January meeting after looking at some lingering issues, chiefly the amount organizations that use the playing fields and the school's Cafetorium would have to pay for custodial services.