Autism trainer takes knowledge to India

In many ways, the autism training Erin Quarnstrom did in India in early December was not very different from what she does here.

The people she worked with in New Delhi had some knowledge of autism, of their children's abilities and needs, and of the issues with which they needed help.

Safe Routes project to wage campaign for clear sidewalks near schools

For Kelly Hill and her daughter Sidney, walking to school in the winter can mean a choice between navigating a snow-packed or icy sidewalk or walking in the street.

Grant will help foundation work with homeless children

A new grant to the Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation will help it provide necessities to more homeless children in 2011. It also will help children with urgent dental and vision care needs.

The $7,000 grant is from First Midwest Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of First Midwest Bank.

Thomasboro school board approves tax levy

THOMASBORO – The Thomasboro school board will abate its general obligation school bonds from the 2010 property tax levy.

The bonds, which amount to $81,583, will be paid from the 1 percent Champaign County sales tax.

The board approved the 2010 tax levy of $650,104.

7 hopefuls vying for 3 Parkland board seats

CHAMPAIGN – Paul Quinlan remembers days not long ago when it was difficult to find people to run for the Parkland College board.

Not this year. There are seven candidates for three six-year seats on the board in the April 5 election.

Quinlan, a Champaign resident and a Parkland board member since 1993, isn't one of them.

Junior high students get study help in Rantoul

RANTOUL – Three days a week, after classes have finished at Eater Junior High School, children file into the cafeteria and have a seat.

They aren't there for a meal. They're not there as disciplinary cases. They're there to get extra help for their studies.

PBL planning to tap high-speed Internet pipeline

PAXTON – "Lightning fast" connections to the Internet would be available to students in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school district under a plan to hook into the Illinois Century Network, a telecommunications pipeline already used by thousands of schools and other public entities statewide.

SURS change will affect only new hires

Only new hires at the University of Illinois will be affected by a new law that will eventually save the state money by lowering payouts and eliminating double-dipping.

The Pension Code changes that affect the State Universities Retirement System become effective Jan. 1.

If you are a current SURS participant, the act does not affect you.

Bement schoolchildren help decorate governor's mansion

BEMENT – Among the festive Christmas trees inside the Executive Mansion in Springfield is a homespun variety adorned with paper hearts, pine cones and Victorian fans.

The ornaments were all hand-made by 31 young artists from Bement Elementary School, who got an unexpected field trip to Springfield to see their handiwork last week.

Prairieview-Ogden explores options for turbine

ROYAL – Prairieview-Ogden school board members want to get the most bang for their buck if they have a wind turbine built to provide electricity for PVO South Elementary School in Ogden.

Because of that, they asked if some alterations could be made to the turbine.