New network 'opens the door to so many opportunities' for learning

Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband may be a high-speed fiber-optic Internet network that's connecting local institutions and underserved households.

For local school districts that will be connected through UC2B, the value doesn't necessarily lie in fast connections, but in what that means for collaborations both between their own schools and with other institutions around the community.

Franklin student uses marathon to get Nooks for school

CHAMPAIGN — Daniel Ramkumar wanted to raise money for a good cause while running the Provena Illinois 5K last spring, a race that's a part of the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon.

So he approached then-Principal Angela Smith at Franklin Middle School, where he attends, to see what sorts of things the school needed.

Toys for Troops founder helping cool soldiers down

URBANA — Lori Stewart has lots of fans. And in the next few days they'll be heading to Kuwait and Afghanistan to help cool off soldiers there.

The Urbana woman is the founder of Toys for Troops, which started in 2007 when her son Brian Jolley had his first deployment overseas.

Then a 21-year-old Army private, Jolley was serving as a combat engineer in Iraq.

Tractorcade planned for Farm Bureau anniversary

CHAMPAIGN — Don't be surprised if you see a long line of tractors in Champaign on Saturday.

About two dozen tractors — dating from 1939 to 1980 — are expected to take part in a tractor drive marking the Champaign County Farm Bureau's 100th anniversary.

Alcoa gets look at fruits of its technology grant

DANVILLE — In a conference room at the Alcoa plant in Danville, Cody Bainbridge showed top corporate officials how to draw and manipulate geometric shapes using sophisticated computer software, then explained how he and his peers have used the skills to design everything from small-scale furniture to model vehicles.

Provena CEO concerned about Danville cell tower

DANVILLE — The CEO of Provena hospitals told aldermen Tuesday night that he has concerns with AT&T Wireless' plan to build a cellular tower near the flight path for Provena United Samaritan Medical Center's emergency helicopter landing pad.

Vermilion County seeks electricity suppliers' proposals

DANVILLE — Vermilion County officials are now requesting proposals from electricity suppliers for an opt-out electric program for Ameren customers throughout the county.

Gearhead of the Week: John and June McFarland

John and June McFarland of Fairmount talk about their 1928 Chevy Master.

Urbana warns about 'misleading' letter from electric supplier

URBANA — City officials have contacted the Illinois Commerce Commission and want to alert residents to what they call a "highly misleading" letter promising savings on their electric bill.

State says Danville cell tower wouldn't affect Provena helipad

DANVILLE — The Illinois Department of Transportation's Division of Aeronautics has determined that a proposed AT&T Wireless cellular tower immediately northwest of Provena United Samaritans Medical Center will not compromise the helicopter landing pad on the north side of the hospital.