Author says iPod shuffled more than just music

Steven Levy, the chief technology correspondent for Newsweek magazine and a longtime Apple watcher, received an iPod by courier from the company the day the digital music player was announced in 2001.

But it took the author of the new book "The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Culture, Commerce and Coolness" a while to discover what he thinks is the device's defining feature. He'd never had 1,000 songs in his pocket before. How do you decide what to listen to, manage your music, find a song?

Georgetown council meeting focuses on usual business

GEORGETOWN – Mayor Darrell Acord promised that city council meetings would be "business as usual" despite the public-indecency charges recently filed against him, and that was exactly what he delivered on Monday night.

An audience of about 30 witnessed a meeting where council members paid bills, bought awnings for the drive-through window and back door, approved building permits and then adjourned – all within 15 minutes.

Cause of fatal blaze at duplex unknown

DANVILLE – Local and state fire officials are still investigating a fire that killed a 56-year-old Danville woman early Monday morning.

Carol Bates was pronounced dead at 6:59 a.m. at her duplex at 9 Ambassador Drive, Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson said.

UI Extension asks for $20,000 to keep Vermilion operations

DANVILLE – University of Illinois Extension officials asked Vermilion County Board members for $20,000 to help the agency keep its budget in the black.

Michelle Pride, executive director of the service, told members of the finance committee Monday night that Extension is already about $15,000 in the hole this fiscal year, which runs from July 1 to June 30.

Danville police investigate weekend shooting

DANVILLE – Danville police are investigating a shooting early Sunday morning that injured a 26-year-old Danville man.

Larry Thomason, Danville police spokesman, said Danville police received a call at 2:32 a.m. Sunday reporting shots fired at the back of the Elks at 505 E. Main St. in Danville.

UI football players kicked off team after arraignment

CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois football players Joseph "Jody" Ellis and Derrick McPhearson have been dismissed from the team after being charged with residential burglary today.

"After talking with (Ron) Guenther and Chancellor (Richard) Herman, it was agreed that both Jody and Derrick would be dismissed from the football team," said UI coach Ron Zook in a statement released late Friday afternoon.

Committee to discuss fate of old nursing home building

URBANA – Champaign County could spend $1 million to knock down its recently vacated nursing home, or spend the same amount to remodel it for other uses, says the chairman of the county's facilities committee.

The committee meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday for a tour of the old nursing home, then meets in its dining room.

Rantoul plant seeks change in pollution code

RANTOUL – One of Rantoul's industrial plants is asking the village to ease environmental restrictions on pollutants it sends into the wastewater system.

Eagle Wings Industries, a manufacturer of parts for the automobile industry, has requested permission to increase the amount of fluoride and nickel that it discharges into the sewer system.

Solving a planetary plateau puzzle

You wouldn't think a piece of the Earth's upper layer large enough to influence the rising of the Tibetan Plateau and the Himalayan Mountains would be easy to lose.

But until some University of Illinois researchers came along, the huge chunk of "lithosphere" – the rocky shell composed of the planet's crust and uppermost, solid portion of its mantle – that apparently broke off some 15 million years ago was missing, or at least unobserved in any empirical sense.

FedEx employees arrested in drug case

URBANA – Two Champaign men are due back in court later this month to face charges that they stole about 10 pounds of cannabis from a box at FedEx.

Champaign County Assistant State's Attorney Dan Clifton said Deron Frank, 27, who listed an address in the 1800 block of Coventry Drive, and Eric Moody, 27, of the 400 block of Briar Lane, were employees of FedEx in Champaign last May.

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