Books for prisoners wins 2nd place

URBANA – The local Books 2 Prisoners program won second place in its category at the 2009 Governor's Hometown Awards in Springfield.

The awards were announced in late October.

Westville school officials unveil $2.3 million tax levy

WESTVILLE – School officials on Wednesday unveiled a $2.3 million tax levy for the upcoming year, and plan to formally approve it next month.

Superintendent Jim Owens said he estimated that the proposed levy would generate about $80,000 more than the current levy. He also said that he expects the value of property within the district to hold steady at about $50 million, allowing the schools to collect more money with just a small increase in the tax rate.

Judge rules in favor of Villa Grove boy's service dog

TUSCOLA – A Douglas County judge ruled on Tuesday that the Villa Grove school district must continue to allow a 6-year-old boy to bring his service dog with him to attend fall classes.

Nichelle and Bradley Drew of Villa Grove filed suit in circuit court to require the school to allow the dog, a yellow Labrador retriever named Chewey, to accompany their son, Kaleb, to school.

Champaign high school redistricting set for fall 2010

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign high school redistricting plan will go into effect next fall.

The school board approved the redistricting plan at its meeting Monday night.

Urbana Middle principal to retire at end of school year

URBANA – After spending 36 years as either a teacher or school administrator, Urbana Middle School Principal Nancy Clinton is ready to spend her days at her own speed, rather than the fast, intense pace of a middle school principal.

New Washington School design OK'd

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board Monday night approved the design for a new Washington Elementary School and heard more about plans for an expansion of Garden Hills Elementary School.

UI teaching, research assistants prepared to strike

URBANA – The University of Illinois' graduate teaching and research assistants could be going on strike for the first time.

On Monday, the Graduate Employees' Organization announced the results of its strike authorization vote. Spokesman Peter Campbell said 92 percent of participating GEO members chose to authorize a strike against the UI Board of Trustees in votes taken over the course of three days last week.

Students plan community baby shower

DANVILLE – Three Lakeview College of Nursing students this weekend will host a unique baby shower, where the guests of honor will receive more than just baby gifts.

Lecture to focus on e-waste issues

CHAMPAIGN – The founder of PC Rebuilders & Recyclers will be on the University of Illinois campus Wednesday to discuss "The Truth, Tragedy and Transformation of E-Waste."

Willie Cade, who founded PCRR in 2000 to provide refurbished personal computers to schools, non-profits and at-risk children, will speak at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Illinois Ballroom of the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., C.

UI, GEO headed for showdown

URBANA — The University of Illinois’ graduate teaching and research assistants could be going on strike for the first time.