Ebertfest official friendly, helpful – and gets the job done

URBANA – Every year from mid-January to late April, Mary Susan Britt's life revolves around Roger Ebert's Film Festival.

Her husband, Tad, and their daughter, Grace, have come to accept that.

Gardens may hold big yields - fun, nutrition, exercise - for families

CHAMPAIGN – The way Julie Pryde sees it, one of the best ways to reverse the obesity epidemic in America is to teach people how to grow their own fruits and vegetables and give them an opportunity to try it.

UI students, neighborhood works together on 'green' flooding solutions

CHAMPAIGN – A group of University of Illinois students has paired with city officials to design "green" solutions for residents of the John Street watershed, a neighborhood that historically has experienced flooded streets and basements.

School volunteer says helping others helps him

URBANA – The volunteer in the seventh-grade math class helps the teacher by preparing a worksheet to review the previous day's lesson with students every morning.

He works with kids to help them understand math concepts they are struggling with.

Around the Big Ten

News from the home cities (and sometimes states) of the Big Ten.

MICHIGAN STATE: Ex-Rep Kennedy speaks at MSU 'green commencement'

Program aims to take parents from courtroom back to family

One and a half years ago, Jami Smith stood in a Vermilion County courtroom.

Smith, a longtime substance abuser, had failed a drug test two months earlier. She had been sentenced to jail for violating her probation in a criminal case, and her 2-month-old son had been taken from her for child neglect. Her three older children had been taken for the same reason the year before.

UI institute studying the 'anytime, anywhere' nature of learning

URBANA – When Professor Nicholas Burbules envisions the classroom of the future, he doesn't see large lecture halls filled with hundreds of students listening to a professor.

He sees them in coffeehouses or residence halls, interacting with teachers on iPhones, doing homework over the Internet or watching lectures remotely.

How Family Treatment Court works

Family Treatment Court is a highly structured, highly supervised program that aims to help addicted parents who are involved in neglect cases overcome their addictions, turn their lives around and reunite with their children.

C-U Zipcars cruise past usage goal

The popularity of a car-sharing program means local financial obligations have been met early.

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, the University of Illinois and the cities of Champaign and Urbana are participating in the Zipcar car-sharing program.

40th Earth Day bringing week of C-U activities

The 40th annual Earth Day on Thursday is the inspiration behind a week of activities in Champaign-Urbana.

Events include a campfire at a meditation center, talks on environmental initiatives and a concert.


The Ananda Liina Yoga & Meditation Center offers tours of alternative energy technologies at its site from 2 to 6 p.m.