Parkland offering class to help special-needs cooks

CHAMPAIGN – If aging or illness is making it difficult for you to lift pots and pans, peel a potato or pour boiling water into a teacup, are your days in the kitchen necessarily over?

Not according to Parkland College instructors Rebecca Bahnke and Jane Valentine, who can show you how to cook a healthy meal using tools that have been adapted especially for folks coping with physical challenges.

Middle-schoolers diving right into freshwater ecology

URBANA – Some sixth-grade students are getting a hands-on look at fish this week, as part of a study of freshwater ecology.

Students from Edison Middle School took turns holding bluegill and helping transfer bluegill and largemouth bass caught from a pond at the University of Illinois South Farms to a large plastic tub. They spent the day with scientists from the Illinois Natural History Survey, learning how those scientists collect fish and what they study.

UI trustees name Ikenberry as interim president

URBANA – Stanley Ikenberry has never really left the University of Illinois.

As he said on Saturday – his first official day as interim president-designate, a job which will entail working with current President B. Joseph White before White's resignation takes effect at the end of the year – "I've had a love affair with the University of Illinois that started 30 years ago." And that love affair has never faded over the decades, he said.

One of world's best drummers teaching in Champaign-Urbana

CHAMPAIGN – Bolokade Conde was only 2 years old when his mother realized he would be a drummer – mainly because of the way he pounded on her shoulders as she carried him on her back.

Conde, who grew up in a village in the Sankaran region of Guinea, Africa, remembered that he also always asked her to take him to wherever people were drumming.

Professor's project draws attention to environment

URBANA – Illinois American Water often talks about the Mahomet Aquifer as a container.

With her Mahomet Aquifer Project, University of Illinois dance Professor Jennifer Monson aims to make us think of our own bodies as containers and to examine our relationship to the aquifer, the source of our clear, good-tasting drinking water.

Leal Elementary opens time capsule from 1981

URBANA – Remember tetherball? The hostage crisis in Iran? Record players? Mimeographs?

They were all a part of the world for Leal Elementary School students in 1981, when they buried a time capsule as part of the celebration of the school's 125th anniversary.

PBL homecoming parade canceled

PAXTON – PBL High School's annual homecoming parade scheduled for tonight has been canceled due to inclement weather, and a pep rally will be held inside the school's gymnasium instead.

Health Alliance deal offers choice of Provena providers

URBANA – If you have health coverage through Health Alliance Medical Plans, you've got a new choice of hospitals starting today.

Urbana-based Health Alliance and Provena Health have reached an agreement that means Provena Covenant Medical Center, Urbana, and Provena United Samaritans Medical Center, Danville, are now in-network providers for all Health Alliance members. The deal extends to all the insurer's PPO, HMO and Medicare Advantage plans.

Merit-based system of raises planned for administrators

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school district will develop a merit-based system for awarding pay raises to administrators.

The Champaign school board approved 3 percent raises for administrators Tuesday night, and asked administrators to come up with a plan to award salary increases in the future based on performance.

Champaign getting $10,000 from federal government

CHAMPAIGN – The city of Champaign will get more than $10,000 from the federal government to pay for school safety equipment and programs.

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Springfield, announced on Tuesday that Champaign will receive money from the Department of Justice's Office of Community Oriented Policing Services.