Two to be added to Schlarman Hall of Fame

DANVILLE – Schlarman High School will add two names to its Hall of Fame during halftime of its homecoming football game with Milford this evening.

Susan (Graham) Farren, Class of 1975, and Danville resident Raj Karinattu join 65 other people inducted since the hall of fame began in 1974.

Rantoul Township High School contract talks set for tonight

RANTOUL – Representatives from the Rantoul Township High School teachers' union and the high school board are planning on meeting behind closed doors this evening in one more attempt to resolve outstanding negotiation issues.

The Rantoul Township High School Education Association and the school board will meet for the first time with a federal mediator at 6:30 p.m. at the high school. The major sticking point is salaries, according to union spokesman Gene Vanderport, The two sides have been bargaining since the spring. When the union and school board were unable to reach an agreement on a contract, a federal mediator was assigned to the negotiations.

Residents warned of bogus check scheme

Residents in Douglas County are being warned of deals that seem too good to be true.

Revenue, expenses both up in 2008 for Danville schools

DANVILLE – The Danville school district saw an increase in both revenue and expenditures in its fiscal 2008 year.

School board members voted to accept a 2008 audit report Wednesday night. The 2008 fiscal year ended June 30.

Unit 4 teachers ratify contract with 4.5% raises for most educators

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign teachers voted Tuesday afternoon to ratify a new three-year contract that includes raises of 4.5 percent per year for each of the next three years for most teachers, and increases beyond that for teachers with more than 21 years of experience.

"I'm happy with what they've put up for us," said Franklin Middle School teacher Cindy Stein. "They've got some good proposals that I think, outside the salary, are nice additions."

Man wrongly convicted discusses his case with lawyers, students

URBANA – Jerry Miller has every right to be angry, bitter and ugly for serving almost 25 years in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Outwardly, he's not any of those things.

"If you just be realistic about life, what in life is perfect?" the 50-year-old man asked a room full of defense attorneys. "Struggle makes character."

Board OKs restructuring plan for Urbana High School

URBANA – While the U.S. presidential candidates debated in Nashville on Tuesday night, the Urbana school board members finally ended a debate that had gone on since the spring and approved a restructuring plan for Urbana High School in a 5 to 2 vote.

Board President Mark Netter; Vice President John Dimit; and members Cope Cumpston, Steve Summers and Brenda Carter voted for the plan. Carter said she thought the administrative team – charged with monitoring how well restructuring is going – will be able to properly evaluate the district's progress.

UI's Bugscope gives area students personal look at insects

CHAMPAIGN – The images on the computer screen looked like something out of a horror movie. Giant jaws. A long, barbed extension. Claws covered with setae, or stiff, hair-like bristles.

"Grasshoppers have claws?" asked a student in Sheila Kirby's eighth-grade science class at Judah Christian School.

"That is so cool," another said.

Kirby's class was getting a close-up look at teeny, tiny bug parts, thanks to Bugscope, a project of the University of Illinois' Beckman Institute. The project makes a powerful electron microscope available to schools via the Internet.

UI president clarifies stance on political activities

URBANA – University of Illinois President B. Joseph White emailed UI staffers Monday to tell them they were free to show their political colors.

A previous newsletter had warned UI employees about state law governing political activities.

Board to consider Urbana High restructuring plan

URBANA – After months of back and forth, the Urbana High School restructuring plan may finally get a majority passing vote at the school board meeting on Tuesday – though probably not a unanimous vote.

At the last board meeting, the board discussed two new elements to the plan. The first was a team made up of district administrators and two University of Illinois education experts to come up with a method to evaluate the plan's progress and start the job.