UI Extension plans dairy program in March

URBANA – Area residents interested in the dairy industry can learn more about it during an upcoming four-part seminar sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension.

The program, called the "Dairy Grazing Brown Bagger Teleconference," will be held from noon to 1:15 p.m. on March 7, 14, 21 and 28.

'It all boils down to the kids'

TUSCOLA – Teachers Jennie Sullender and Stephanie Terwelp always have plenty to teach their kindergarten students.

Reading, math, social studies, science, fine arts and even social and emotional skills are expected to be taught in kindergarten, according to state standards set up in 2006.

Moore's customers have taken a shine to him

Jesse Moore grabs the wooden-handled brush and gets to work.

In vigorous back-and-forth motions, he attacks winter's grit and grime with vengeful purpose. Next, he takes a mild cleaner and washes off the shoes and wipes them down. Then it's back to the brush to knock off any stubborn muck. A minute later, he pops off the lid from a tin of Kiwi shoe polish – as the unmistakable smell wafts around the chair – and smears a dab on a white washcloth. He rubs the polish in tight circles, then grabs a clean, folded cloth and starts buffing.

Rantoul HIgh School to discuss problems with its west wing

RANTOUL – Rantoul Township High School's west wing may be only five years old, but it already has problems.

"Humidity is the most pressing problem," said school Superintendent Dave Requa on Thursday. "During the summer the air is quite humid. The humidity makes our ceiling tiles get heavier, and they have begun to sag."

Hope Academy will steer students to diplomas, jobs

CHAMPAIGN – A program at Columbia Center, designed to help students who are behind on their credits, is about to get under way.

Hope Academy will offer an alternative schedule for students – they'll spend afternoons in class, working to catch up on the credits they need to graduate – and it will help them find jobs or internships to prepare them for the working world. The program will also address the social and emotional development of students, and help connect them with social services they might need.

Officials face tough decisions when cold weather hits

After a holiday, two teacher in-service days and a day off for cold weather, students in Urbana were back in school today for the first time since last Friday. In Champaign schools, it was the second day of school this week.

Spencer Landsman, principal of Urbana's Leal Elementary School, said school was "business as usual" this morning. Other than an outside activity that had to be postponed Thursday and again today, Landsman said staff members "haven't had to make a lot of adjustments" in lesson-planning or for kids getting back into school routines.

Singers tuning up for fundraising event

DANVILLE – The Danville High School choral department will host its biggest fundraiser of the year this weekend.

The Midwest Classic begins with eight show choirs for Illinois and Indiana competing beginning at 5:30 p.m. Friday in the Danville High School auditorium, 202 E. Fairchild St.

GCMS school district to get $500,000 more in state aid

GIBSON CITY – The Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley school district will receive an additional $500,000 in state aid now that the budget implementation bill has passed the state Legislature.

The district can expect to begin receiving the additional money as early as its second January aid payment, Superintendent Chuck Aubry said at Tuesday night's board meeting.

High school speech team to be created

MAHOMET – Next year, Mahomet-Seymour high schoolers will get the chance to participate in a new school-sponsored program: a speech team.

The district's school board Monday unanimously approved creating a position for a speech team sponsor, which will create a program at the high school.

DACC dropping track programs

DANVILLE – Calling it one of the most difficult decisions they've had to make, Danville Area Community College trustees on Tuesday voted to eliminate the men and women's track programs at the end of the school year.

"We never like to do anything that impacts students directly," Trustee Dave Harby said of the move that was made to help eliminate a growing deficit in the college's athletic program. But "we have to make sure this institution remains viable financially ... so that we don't have to start cutting academic programs."