Field of Orchard Downs potential developers down to two

The field has narrowed from five potential developers to two.

The University of Illinois initially had five development teams vying for the job of master developer of Orchard Downs. One dropped out last fall. And two more decided to drop out before submitting their proposals last month.

Man dies after truck hits pavement roller

SAVOY – A worker doing resurfacing on U.S. 45 died this morning after a two-vehicle collision on the north edge of Savoy.

According to a Champaign County sheriff's report, Steven M. Hartrick, 54, who listed an address in the 1700 block of West Green Street in Champaign, was driving an asphalt pavement rolling vehicle as part of a work crew doing resurfacing work on U.S. 45. The vehicle is used to compact asphalt.

Reminders of child abuse fall victim to thieves, vandals

The blue wooden silhouettes were meant to be silent witnesses to the destruction of child abuse.

How appropriate, then – or disturbing – that more than a third of the figures of children placed around the county last month were themselves destroyed.

Bees dying in big numbers across nation, but not here

URBANA – Honeybees are dying off in massive numbers all over the nation, threatening crop production – but Illinois is a notable exception.

"We've escaped so far," said May Berenbaum, head of the Entomology Department at the University of Illinois, as well as author of several insect books.

UI hosting conference on scientific research

URBANA – More than 900 scholars from 55 nations are expected to attend a conference at the University of Illinois this week exploring new ways to conduct and analyze scientific research.

The third International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry began Wednesday and continues through Saturday at the Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., U.

Wolfram Research, Mathematica enter new software era

Theodore Gray's office was uncluttered and organized, so something big must be up at Wolfram Research this week.

Gray always said he would tidy his office when Mathematica 6, the newest version of the Champaign-based company's internationally known software for scientific and technical computing, was done.

New threat discovered in a school bathroom

MONTICELLO – A second threat alluding to Virginia Tech was discovered written on a laminated piece of paper in a boys' restroom in a section of Monticello's Washington Elementary School used by high school students.

The school reported the threat to police around 11:45 a.m. Wednesday. It stated, "Virginia Tech two weeks away."

Hobbico purchases Revell Monogram

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign-based Hobbico has acquired the assets of Revell Monogram, the worldwide market leader in plastic model kits, the company announced Wednesday.

Revell, which sells model cars, trucks, ships and planes, will continue to operate from its Northbrook headquarters as a subsidiary of Hobbico. But Hobbico President Wayne Hemming said it's likely some of its operations will eventually move to Champaign.

Likely Illinois smoking ban gets cold reception in Danville

DANVILLE – A statewide smoking ban will be "devastating," said one local bar owner. And he and city officials wonder how enforcement will take place.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich's signature is all that is needed to enact a statewide smoking ban that passed the Illinois House on Tuesday. The ban would require all workplaces and indoor public areas – including bars and restaurants – to be smoke-free. It would also prohibit smoking within 15 feet of any such facility.

Garfield Park project pushed back one year

DANVILLE – It will be another year before an anticipated water playground will be built next to Garfield Park.

The Danville Chapter of AMBUCS announced Wednesday that its planned zero-depth aquatic playground has been postponed because the city's negotiations are taking longer than expected for the necessary land that borders Garfield Park.