Uni High director search narrowed down to 4 candidates

URBANA – After this spring, Steve Epperson will retire – for real this time.

After being lured back to the working world from a career in public education, Epperson has been interim director of University Laboratory High School for two years.

Program's survey results reinforce need for nutrition class

DANVILLE – The Young Women Aware program isn't letting much time elapse before reacting to results from a recent I Sing the Body Electric survey.

The outreach program of Provena United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation asked Vermilion County high school students for lots of information regarding their lifestyles. A portion of the survey showed poor nutrition as a problem. As a result, the Young Women Aware program will partner with University of Illinois Extension workers to share information on nutrition.

East Park students' drive to collect small change adds up

DANVILLE – East Park Elementary School students raised more than $400 for the Vermilion County Museum, one cent at a time.

The money was collected through a penny drive held in honor of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

Unemployed turning to education programs in large numbers

When Robert Bias of Champaign lost his factory job, he knew his current skills weren't going to get him another position – not in this economy, anyway.

So he went back to school, and now he's enrolled in a basic education class at Urbana Adult Education.

UI collaborating on folklore project to publish at least 18 books

URBANA – Three university presses – including the University of Illinois' – have received a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to establish a new book series titled "Folklore Studies in a Multicultural World."

The UI Press will collaborate with the University Press of Mississippi, the University of Wisconsin Press and the American Folklore Society to develop and publish at least 18 first books in the field of folklore.

Schools keep watch for potential food problems

When parents bring in snacks for Sally Burgett's kindergarten class at South Side Elementary School in Champaign, she just asks that they are packaged and relatively healthy.

But now Burgett will be taking a closer look at the snacks before handing them out to her students, after hundreds of products containing contaminated peanuts have been recalled. They include ice cream, cookies, candy, snack crackers, granola bars and trail mixes.

Central High School headed for restructuring

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board is set to vote on a plan that will reorganize how Central High School operates.

The high school has a proposed restructuring plan, required because the school has failed to meet adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act for five consecutive years. The restructuring plan outlines changes that include splitting the freshman class into teams with a group of teachers assigned to each, closed lunch for freshmen and sophomores, vacating and reposting all administrative positions other than principal, and offering extra support for students, including summer academies.

Parkland students become Tennessee volunteers

CHAMPAIGN – Parkland College dental hygiene students clean teeth at the college's clinic, but their work last weekend was different.

They worked at a faster pace than they were used to, in a temporary clinic set-up, with dentists they had just met. They did cleanings, assisted with tooth extractions (something not done at Parkland), and sterilized equipment, some of which was unfamiliar.

Five vie for three seats on Villa Grove school board

VILLA GROVE – Five candidates will be vying for three open seats on the Villa Grove school board this spring.

School board seats are elected from two districts. The Camargo Township district has one open seat and the district that covers outside of the township will have two openings to fill. School board representatives are elected to a four-year term.

Companies recalling products with peanuts

Two more companies have launched voluntary recalls of products containing peanuts due to potential salmonella contamination.

Both recalls are precautionary measures resulting from the recently expanded recall by Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) to include all peanut ingredients produced in its Blakely, Georgia facility.