Couple give $100,000 for DACC scholarships

DANVILLE – Years ago, Dr. Angelo Anaclerio worked at his university's library to help put himself through college and medical school.

Now the retired Danville ophthalmologist and his wife, Alberta, want to help out local students like him. The couple recently donated $100,000 to the Danville Area Community College Foundation to establish a scholarship fund for working students.

Danville district to take in-depth look at middle schools

DANVILLE – Jennifer Szott looks forward to the day when more Danville middle school students say, "Hablo Espanol."

"I think everyone who teaches a foreign language feels that way," said Szott, who teaches Spanish at Danville High School and used to teach it at North Ridge and South View middle schools before the subject was eliminated. "The earlier you start learning a foreign language, the easier it is to pick up.

Parkland offers one-stop learning center

MAHOMET – Jamie Faulkner thought about going back to school for 10 years.

"I was scared," said Faulkner, a Mahomet resident now beginning her third year at Parkland College. "I was 42, I hadn't had any education since 1979 and my two sons were older than the kids in my classes. Each year I've ventured out a little more, and now I'm to the point where I can recognize people who have that same look on their face and try to help them."

Halftime at Memorial Stadium chiefly ordinary

Herb Erickson of Wheaton, who attended the University of Illinois himself and sent two kids through, certainly missed the spectacle that was Chief Illiniwek.

"I thought it was a crime that there is no more Chief," he said Saturday in the stands at Memorial Stadium, standing next to a seat covered in a UI Alumni Association Official 1984 Rose Bowl Tour cushion. "It's very sad."

Union workers get top payout for sick days

Exactly how much sick leave a city employee can accrue varies, depending upon whether an employee is a member of a union. Police and firefighters, who are unionized, tend to have the most generous sick leave buyback provisions in both Champaign and Urbana.

In Urbana, upon retirement, a police officer can cash out half of his or her accumulated sick leave hours; firefighters with 20 years of service can get a 20 percent cash-out. Both firefighters and police also can cash in sick leave hours above a minimum amount each quarter at a 50 percent rate. Urbana sets no maximum on the number of sick leave hours that can be accrued.

Vacation, sick leave a big expense when employees leave

DECATUR – When Richard Marley left his job as assistant city engineer for the city of Champaign last winter, his final check from the city was a little bigger than usual.

Under city policy, Marley was able to cash in all of his accumulated vacation time and 60 percent of his accumulated sick leave. The 22-year city employee was sent a check for $46,536 on March 9.

Bement High School brings back past queens for celebration

BEMENT – In 1962, Mary Sue Burgess strolled through Bement's homecoming coronation in a strapless gown of midnight blue and white gloves, her short hair curled around her face. Her crown as Bement's homecoming queen: a ring of flowers.

And Mary Burgess Postlewait will get to feel that shiver of excitement again when she and some 16 other former homecoming queens will be honored guests Saturday night at the Bement Alumni Dinner.

Urbana truancy outreach program learns of funding

URBANA – With no notice of funding from the state, Urbana school district outreach counselors couldn't reach as far as usual when their hours were cut to save money – until Friday.

That's when Director David Adcock heard word on the program.

'Fresh start' at high school doesn't mean lax security

MONTICELLO – Although Monticello High School has taken a "fresh start" approach to security with the start of a new school year, Principal Tip Reedy said that doesn't mean things are lax around the high school.

"We've always been concerned about school safety," Reedy said. "There's always been a concern for school safety and there always will be."

Two Urbana school programs put in financial pinch

URBANA – Kids skipping school may see cuts in the hours of truant alternative program outreach workers as a boon, but several members of the Urbana school board are outraged at program cuts made due to the lack of immediate state funding.

"It's this evil, stupid thing that keeps happening every year that there's not enough money to take care of our children," said board member Ruth Ann Fisher, adding that "the beginning of the school year is the absolute wrong time" to cut hours from the program.