The cost of cleaning up after past generations

The cost to clean the site of a relic of 19th century Champaign-Urbana will be as much as $15 million, and we're all paying for it.

We can thank the early residents of Champaign-Urbana – and the technology they used to heat their homes and light the community – for a big cleanup project in north Champaign and for a monthly surcharge on our natural gas bills.

The do-anything Legislature

In one energetic day, the Illinois House took care of three big issues. Or did it?

As the Illinois House adjourned Wednesday after one action-packed day in session, Speaker Michael Madigan congratulated lawmakers on their work. "We should do things like this more often," he said.

Governor out of hiding

With corruption-related headlines temporarily disappearing from the news, Rod Blagojevich has his mojo back.

It was just a few months ago that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was the state's invisible man, rarely showing his face in public and mostly refusing to answer questions from the news media.

No 'change' in political rhetoric

For all the talk this year about change in Washington, D.C., and in the presidential campaign there has been, sadly, very little of it.

For a while the presidential candidates said this year's campaign was going to be different. Unfortunately some of us believed them and now we are again left disappointed and disillusioned.

New-look stadium welcomed

Workers labored into the early morning hours Sept. 6 at the University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium as they put on the finishing touches necessary to open the stadium to thousands of fans a few hours later.

Later, more than 60,000 people showed up to see just how much difference a $120 million renovation can make. Turns out it makes a lot of difference. Whether it was the glass-covered luxury boxes on the west side of the upper deck, the redone Great West Hall inside this mammoth structure or the north end zone that was closed in last year, Memorial Stadium has a whole new look.

Boeing, union spoiling for fight

Prosperity has its pitfalls for Boeing as employees walk off the job.

Although the economy continues to grow slowly, there's no doubt this country has hit a rough patch and that times are hard for a lot of people.

Champaign land buy could pose a problem

Government officials are courting trouble when they add the role of private property development to their traditional responsibilities.

A 9,000-square-foot Family Dollar store is under construction on Bradley Avenue and Market Street, a few blocks east of Neil Street, and it's the result of the city's collaboration with a private developer to bring retail shopping to the area.

Tough decision ahead on Crystal Lake Pool

It now appears there may not be a phased refurbishing of Crystal Lake Pool in Urbana. An engineering report seems to indicate the pool either has to be rebuilt entirely or closed.

Things are not getting any easier for the members of the Urbana park board. They had planned to spend much of this fall discussing the details of another property tax increase referendum next April, including whether there could be a phased refurbishing of the 28-year-old pool at Crystal Lake Park. A 25-cent tax increase proposal, including money for pool improvements, failed last February.

Community responds to need

Local volunteers, businesses, a church, the Red Cross and fellow tenants stepped forward last month after a frightening late-night incident at an Urbana apartment complex.

It was a small thing but it was a big thing. The collapse of a roof under repair at an Urbana apartment building last month forced about 30 tenants to evacuate the building in the middle of a rainy night. And it sent dozens of volunteers into action, providing a fine local example of care and compassion.

Edwards thinks better of visit

Trapped in an embarrassing sex scandal, former presidential candidate John Edwards had decided to cancel a scheduled visit to campus and remain incommunicado.

Former President Harry Truman had a common response when he'd hear complaints about what a tough business politics can be: if you can't stand the heat, get off the lecture tour. Or something like that.