Higher prices putting strain on UI budget

The cost of keeping University of Illinois buildings warm in the winter and cool in the summer, the lights on and the computers whirring has spiked in recent years, prompting the UI to pay for its increased energy costs with money that would have gone toward teaching or research.

If you've paid a power bill in recent years, you know of the enormous price jumps. Even though the UI can produce electricity and heat at Abbott Power Plant, it has not been immune to cost increases.

Pardon Moi: Clues for clueless

CHAMPAIGN – You want to know what really irritates Amy Wicker?

Take your sick kids out in public, where they wind up coughing and sneezing germs all over other kids.

UI busy with several new honey bee studies

Honey bees probably would have been near the top of the list of species whose genes scientists wanted to map even if they weren't so sociable.

They are, after all, the premier pollinating insect on the planet and have a hand in producing billions of dollars in U.S. food crops every year, University of Illinois entomology Professor Gene Robinson said recently.

UI chefs go head to head to make the best salmon dish

Picture the roast beef, pink and rare. Smell the herbs in the creamy fettuccine Alfredo.

Dormitory food is far from institutional these days.

As students in the University of Illinois' largest dining room chowed down on the beef and pasta Wednesday night, cooks from all over campus prepared gourmet salmon plates for judges. Don Block, the director for UI dining services, wore a red and silver cape to emcee the event, providing commentary throughout the evening via portable microphone.

Volition growing up fast

CHAMPAIGN – Volition, the video game development company in downtown Champaign, expects to top 200 employees in coming months.

But company President Mike Kulas said its space in One Main Plaza should be sufficient for a couple years.

Champaign recommends alternative routes to shopping

CHAMPAIGN – If you're spending too much of your valuable shopping time sitting in traffic jams on North Prospect Avenue, you're obviously missing out on the super-secret shortcut.

And you probably haven't discovered the extra easy expressway, either.

Stores plan early starts on Friday

CHAMPAIGN – Oh, the allure of getting up before dawn to go bargain-hunting on the busiest shopping day of the year.

"It's surprising sometimes how many come out," says Carrie Nicholson, marketing manager at Market Place Mall in Champaign, which plans to open its doors to shoppers at 6 a.m. Friday.

Three more names submitted for county board leadership post

CHAMPAIGN – Three new candidates have emerged to lead the Champaign County Board.

The chair is currently held by Democrat Barbara Wysocki of Urbana; another Urbana Democrat, Steve Beckett, serves as vice chair.

UI made to pay $9,750 an acre for land

URBANA – A Champaign County jury has ordered that the University of Illinois pay a Champaign woman $9,750 an acre for farmland she owns that the UI wants.

The amount is about half of what Renee Lo, 67, had hoped that the jury would award her for 132 acres she owns south of Urbana that lies in the heart of the area that the UI has earmarked for its expansion of the South Farms.

Provena Health chief executive steps down

MOKENA – Provena Health Chief Executive William Foley has resigned, the Mokena-based health care system announced Friday.

Provena Health, which operates Covenant Medical Center in Urbana and United Samaritans Medical Center in Danville, said Foley cited "personal and professional reasons."