Author: Focus on waste should shift back to manufacturing

CHAMPAIGN – So you recycle your cans, plastic and paper waste. You take your reusable cloth bags to the grocery store, instead of getting plastic bags for your groceries.

It's a good start.

"It matters what we do. It matters that we take our bags to the grocery store. But that's not enough," said Heather Rogers, an author and filmmaker who writes about environmental issues and mass consumption.

Recycling deals with waste after it's been made, she said, but she is calling for deeper changes that start with looking at what is manufactured.

UI team takes top honors in national accounting competition

CHAMPAIGN – The second time proved a charm.

Last year, a team of University of Illinois accounting students reached the finals of PricewaterhouseCoopers' xTREME Accounting competition. This year, a UI team won the whole thing.

$5.1 million earmarked from stimulus package

Champaign County will get $5.1 million from the first federal stimulus package, final figures from the Illinois Department of Transportation show.

The package, formally called the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, provides $4.1 million for Champaign-Urbana, about $400,000 for Rantoul and about $600,000 for various rural county projects.

Westville educators praise new online testing service

WESTVILLE – School administrators had unanimous praise Wednesday for the online testing service that Westville schools began using this school year.

In 2008, Westville school board members approved a one-year agreement with the North West Evaluation Association of Lake Oswego, Ore., to provide online testing to kindergarten through 10th-grade students three times per school year to gauge their understanding and abilities in math and reading.

Your Family Resource Connection in Danville getting face-lift

DANVILLE – There's plenty of activity at Your Family Resource Connection these days.

The smell of fresh paint and wax and the sound of a sander will give way to the chipping and replacement of mortar when good weather arrives.

YFRC houses the domestic violence services and residential program as well as the homeless residential program on its second and third floors.

2 UI professors, 11 area businesspeople honored

CHAMPAIGN –Two University of Illinois professors who developed a new form of lighting were in the spotlight Tuesday, along with other local entrepreneurs and businesspeople.

Gary Eden and Sung-Jin Park, founders of Eden Park Illumination, received the Innovation Discovery Award at the Innovation Celebration awards ceremony at the Forum at Carle.

Ag census shows farms sprouting in Champaign County

Reversing a trend that dates back 75 years, there are today more farms in Champaign County than there were five years ago.

Past federal agriculture censuses show that the number of farms in the county had declined slowly but steadily from 3,409 in 1935 to 1,285 in 2002. (There were 3,315 Champaign County farms in 1930).

Baltimore Aircoil to close Paxton facility by late June

PAXTON — The largest employer in Paxton informed its 223 workers today that they will lose their jobs and the manufacturing facility will be closed by late June.

Agency states housing project's case to Hoopeston council

HOOPESTON – Norma Deck would love to live in one of the 25 houses proposed as part of a $4.7 million affordable housing project in Hoopeston.

"It would be like moving into a castle," said Deck, who was comparing the proposed houses to her current living quarters – an older, two-story home that's been divided into four rental units.

Champaign County unemployment: The ups, downs and whys

CHAMPAIGN – What happened to the good old days, when Champaign County's unemployment rate was in the 2 percent range?

Those days are long gone. During the last half of 2008, Champaign County's unemployment rate topped 6 percent in all but one month.