Urbana plan aims to preserve 'legacy' trees on private property

URBANA — A massive, 100-foot-tall bur oak still stands at the intersection of Maple and Main streets today because community members intervened.

When Long's Garage sought to expand in 1979, they appeared ready to cut down the 200-year-old tree. At the urging of a University of Illinois forestry class and some encouragement from city officials, the Long family built around the tree.

Aqua Illinois to use chlorine for water treatment for next few weeks

DANVILLE — Aqua Illinois officials are warning water customers in the Danville area that their water may have a slight chlorine taste next month as a result of a routine, temporary procedure at the water company facility.

EPA discusses procedure, effect of 'sole-source' aquifer designation

CHAMPAIGN — An effort by a coalition of local government agencies to get special federal protection for the Mahomet Aquifer continued on Wednesday as officials explained that a "sole-source" designation is unlikely to affect most projects above the drinking water reservoir.

Water-sewer vote in Homer may not come till Feb. 11

HOMER — It may be almost two weeks before the village board again considers voting on a proposed contract with Sunrise Coal for treated water and sewer services, according to Mayor David Lucas.

Homer delays vote on contract with coal mine

HOMER — Village board members will not be voting on a water and sewer agreement with Sunrise Coal tonight, according to Mayor David Lucas.

The special meeting was canceled because work on the contract had not been completed in time to provide adequate opportunity for review by board members and the public, Lucas said in an email.

Environmental Almanac: Researcher conducts high-tech hunt for Chicago food gardens

Although press coverage of urban agriculture sometimes seems to suggest that growing food in the city is a new phenomenon, it's really a tradition with deep roots in Illinois and one that's especially strong in Chicago.

Prairielands Council of the Boy Scouts of America Klondike Derby 2013


Scouts compete during the sled races of the Prairielands Council of the Boy Scouts of America annual Klondike Derby at Camp Drake near Oakwood Saturday Jan. 26, 2013. 

Updated: Meeting canceled on Homer water, sewer deal with mine

Updated 10:15 a.m. Monday:

Editor's note: This meeting has been canceled. See story here.

HOMER — The village has scheduled a special meeting on Monday night with the intent to vote on a water and sewer agreement with Sunrise Coal.

No final draft of water agreement yet in Homer

HOMER — Village board members hope to meet next week to vote on an agreement with Sunrise Coal for treated water and sewer services for a proposed coal mine, but a final draft of the agreement is not yet in the hands of board members, according to Mayor David Lucas.

Environmental Almanac: UI researchers study fate of snakes in warming climate

I'm more fond of snakes than most people. My family and I enjoy finding garter snakes in our yard, and I consider it an added bonus to see water snakes in a river when I'm fishing. My daughter even keeps a corn snake for a pet. But I retain in my heart a special place for rat snakes. They are the largest nonvenomous snakes in the eastern U.S., and they get tame fairly quickly with handling.