UI worker considers running for Urbana school board

URBANA – A third potential candidate for the Urbana school board has picked up board candidacy materials.

County board will vote on school sales tax ballot question

URBANA – The Champaign County Board will vote Jan. 22 on whether to put a sales tax for 14 school districts on the April ballot.

Board member Greg Knott, who heads the Republican caucus of the board, said it's a virtual certainty the board will vote to put it on the ballot.

Ex-minister reprising Great Emancipator role for event

MAHOMET – Warts and all, Steve Shoemaker still believes Abraham Lincoln is head and shoulders above the political crowd.

The retired minister and former director of the University YMCA will play the president on his 200th birthday, Feb. 12, at a party at the Early American Museum in Lake of the Woods Forest Preserve.

Graduation in Catlin may require some public service

CATLIN – High School Principal Kevin Thomas said Thursday that he was exploring the idea of adding a service-work requirement for graduation.

Thomas told the Catlin school board the high school's social and emotional learning committee is in the early stages of putting together a proposal for board consideration.

Danville panel to formulate school building recommendations

DANVILLE – After hearing what community members at three forums had to say about the Danville school district's most problematic buildings, school board members said one thing is clear.

Residents favor replacing East Park Elementary School and North Ridge and South View middle schools with new buildings, rather than renovating them.

Income to be factor in Champaign school assignments

CHAMPAIGN – A child's race will no longer be a factor in assignment to elementary schools in the Champaign school district. Instead, the district will begin using income as a factor in deciding which kindergarten children will attend, beginning with the 2009-10 school year.

More Danville residents call for new school construction

DANVILLE – Though Rickey Williams Jr. has fond memories of attending East Park Elementary School, he told Danville schools officials on Wednesday he would like to see it torn down and replaced.

"It's decrepit, and it's time to move on," the Danville resident said, adding the same goes for North Ridge and South View middle schools, which are in the same shape.

$2 million arrives from state for Urbana schools

URBANA – Urbana schools got a long-overdue payment of more than $2 million from the state.

Carol Baker, the district's business manager, said at the Urbana school board meeting Tuesday that the payment came over the winter holidays. However, though the money brings the state closer to what it owes the school district, it's not yet even – and every month, the bills keep coming. In December, Baker said the state owed the district about $2.6 million.

Kacich: Lincoln not the only one with a big birthday this year

This year, you may have heard, marks the bicentennial of the birth of Abraham Lincoln.

Just as important, it's the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Kirby Avenue-Florida Avenue viaduct in south Champaign, the centennial of Tuscola's successful effort to retain its county seat and the silver anniversary of Champaign-Urbana's first shopping center.

Residents urge change at Danville school facilities forum

DANVILLE – Danville resident Dean Carlton still remembers feeling a draft in his North Ridge Middle School drafting class about 35 years ago, when the school would have been about 10 years old.

"They were poor designs and built on the cheap, and we've had to live with them," he said, also referring to South View Middle School and East Park Elementary.