Top of the Morning, March 29, 2017

— "We recovered — and our town is more beautiful than ever"

— "If we can make it through this, you can too"

— "You are stronger than you think, and you will make it through this"

Champaign school board OKs buying house near Dr. Howard Elementary

CHAMPAIGN — Despite opposition from several neighbors, the school board on Monday approved the $111,453 purchase of a home near Dr. Howard Elementary School.

Five community members voiced concern during public comment at the meeting, asking the board to postpone its vote until it has given residents an explanation of its plans for the single-family home at 1203 W. Park Ave.

UI at 150: Higher-education higher-ups

With the University of Illinois celebrating birthday No. 150 this year, we caught up with hundreds of graduates who have gone on to greatness. Every Tuesday and one Sunday a month throughout 2017, Managing Editor JEFF D'ALESSIO will tell their tales. Today, in Part 17: Higher-ups in higher ed.

DACC trustees to vote on proposed tuition hike today

DANVILLE — Students could be paying a little more to attend Danville Area Community College next fall.

Trustees today will vote on whether to approve a tuition increase to help offset a decrease in state funding.

UI hires executive search firm for provost job

URBANA — The University of Illinois has hired Witt Kieffer, an executive search firm, to help find a new provost for the Urbana campus.

Chancellor Robert Jones said earlier this year he intended to use a consultant to help the provost's search committee find a replacement for Ed Feser, who left for a new job last month. Library Dean John Wilkin is serving as interim provost.

George Shapland: Always delivering

CHAMPAIGN — You could say that George Shapland got an early start shaping the real-estate landscape in Champaign.

He was 15 and on his summer break when his older brother, Earl, recruited him to help build his first home — a small, one-story concrete-block house — on an empty lot south of McKinley Field.

UI med school prepping for national agency's visit

URBANA — The new Carle Illinois College of Medicine has cleared two more hurdles as it moves toward a July 2018 opening.

The college's four-year medical degree received approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education earlier this month, and the national body that approves medical schools plans a site visit in June.

She's made career of sharing her passions

All her life, JENNI FRIDGEN has had two passions: chemistry and agriculture.

The Tolono woman managed to combine her two favorites first as an ag instructor and now director of Parkland College's agriculture program, currently serving 220 students.

More kids can get Head Start thanks to move

URBANA — After a little rearranging and a couple fresh coats of paint, the Urbana Head Start program can now accept nearly double the amount of low-income children it was serving last year.

Just 1 Question: March 23, 2017

Forget professional photographers.

This year, it's up to Monticello students to fill the pages of their high school yearbook. All they need to get their favorite memories featured in the Class of 2017 book: a smartphone and a Snapchat account.