UI researcher leads effort to map protein functions

If understanding the function of various protein molecules is the next frontier of biology and medicine, as many scientists believe, a team headed by a University of Illinois researcher may be leading the way to better mapping of that frontier.

UI biochemistry Professor John Gerlt and colleagues Matthew Jacobson and Patricia Babbitt at the University of California, San Francisco, and Steven Almo at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York have combined computer search techniques and modeling with experimental validation to tease out the function of some of the millions of proteins whose purpose is as yet unknown.

Danville pilots healthy school program

DANVILLE – Sure, kids go cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs.

But what happens when Northeast Elementary Magnet School officials replace the sugary cereal – and the maple syrup-laden pancakes, for that matter – with healthy grain cereals and fruit-and-yogurt parfaits in the breakfast lineup?

Board members won't rush in developing building plan

CHAMPAIGN – Schools that need major renovations. An obligation to put more elementary seats in north Champaign. A 97-year-old elementary school with nine different floor levels. And a skeptical public, wary of past financial mismanagement and a controversial last-minute siting for a new school before a failed referendum question last year.

It won't be an easy task for Champaign school officials to put together a plan for their buildings and get the community to pay for it. The school board began work last week, discussing how it will develop such a plan.

Unit 7 school lunch prices, some fees to increase

TOLONO – School meal prices and some fees will be higher in the Unit 7 school district, though its financial picture overall is in "pretty good shape."

Superintendent Michael Shonk reviewed the school district's annual financial report Wednesday with the school board.

Wall of Fame nominations open for Danville High School

DANVILLE – Nominations are being sought for Danville High School's Wall of Fame.

The Wall of Fame currently honors 40 Danville High graduates and former students who have made distinguished achievements in business, arts, entertainment, sports or community service.

Families miss the bus on transportation info

CHAMPAIGN – There's a lot about starting school that can be intimidating. Making new friends. Meeting the teacher. Learning where the bathroom is.

And for many children, the first day of school also means the first time they ride a school bus.

Missing man playing piano at church in New Orleans

A Southern Illinois man who had been listed locally as a missing person is safe in New Orleans.

University of Illinois police Investigator Tove Ghent said the sister of Charles Quinton, 53, reported Tuesday that he was in New Orleans.

Parkland College ends year on firm ground

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College ended its fiscal year on a positive financial footing, with revenues exceeding expenditures by nearly $2 million.

But board members Wednesday reviewed major upcoming bills that include the purchase of a new mainframe computer, which will cost $334,830 over a period of three years. The college is also shopping for new administrative software, which will likely cost more than $3 million.

Champaign school board picks two to work on facilities plan

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board appointed two of its members Tuesday night to begin the process of coming up with a master plan for building improvements for the district.

Kristine Chalifoux and Greg Novak were directed to come up with a proposed timeline and framework for developing the long-range plan, including who might serve on two planning groups.

Wounded Douglas County deputy dies

Long before television glamorized crime scene investigating, Tommy Martin was picking up clues at the scenes of horrific crimes using only his five senses.

The affable and professional law enforcement man died at 11:30 p.m. Tuesday at Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana, after being shot almost a month ago by two men police say were on a multicounty crime spree.