This spring Ameren will start installing new automated meters in the area, eventually reducing the need for meter readers.
In response, local meter readers and their union, the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, have filed grievances.
Mona Lisa probably wasn't a man, and it's even more unlikely that the famous artist who painted the famous painting used himself as the model.
So conclude University of Illinois researchers, who created a buzz last year when their facial-recognition software was used to analyze the Mona Lisa's enigmatic smile. (Conclusion: The model was happy, with touches of disgust, fear and anger, at least as Leonardo da Vinci painted her.)
An old building in Danville has been transformed into a new banquet center, but the owners have kept the wood floors and high tin ceilings in the new, traditional-style decor.
Called Vermilion Place, the banquet center at 14 N. Hazel St. last housed The Big Barrel tavern.
CHAMPAIGN – Slurp-and-spit.
That's how Mark Herriott describes the process of coffee "cupping" – a method coffee connoisseurs use to evaluate different varieties and blends.
If you don't ask somebody a question and they give you the answer to the question you were thinking about asking but didn't, you might mark it down to an odd coincidence, or to ESP.
If your computer is on and you don't run a Google search and you still get an answer, you might think a hacker has taken over the machine, or a cyber-savvy poltergeist.
CHAMPAIGN – Solar power will supply some of the energy for a new College of Business building.
The building will be the UI's first "green" or sustainable building, meaning it is designed to be more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly. Thanks to a $186,500 grant from the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation, the building will include solar panels on its auditorium roof.
For those who would exercise if only the gym would come to them, Urbana-based personal trainer Ziemowit Mazur has launched a new business called Fit with Z.
He'll bring his training, nutrition counseling and sports conditioning services to your home or office – at any hour.
CHAMPAIGN – Mimosa Acoustics has received FDA approval to market a device that can identify hearing problems related to the middle ear.
But ironically, one of its greatest benefits may be ruling out severe hearing problems in newborn babies.
CHAMPAIGN – The Illini Entrepreneurship Center in Champaign will receive about 16 percent more in state dollars this year than it did last year, state officials announced today.
The center, which serves startup businesses in East Central Illinois, will get $350,000 for the current fiscal year, up from $300,000 for the year that ended June 30, 2005.
URBANA – Robert Tonkinson says he has no problem with the state establishing legal requirements for tax-exempt hospitals to provide free care to the poor.
"I understand the state's right to set some standards," says Tonkinson, chief financial officer at Carle Foundation Hospital. "I think something like this could be beneficial if it's crafted in the right way."