West Nile surfaces in Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN — The hot, drier weather has created a buzz, but not the kind anyone wants.

For the first time this summer, a mosquito batch in Champaign County has tested positive for West Nile virus, according to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

Who wins and loses under Obama's stricter power plant limits

JOSH LEDERMAN, Associated Press

Rob Kanter: A tale of two ponds, and the Salt Fork

I had occasion to be around two ponds last Saturday.

The first is on a friend's property in Vermilion County, south of Oakwood. It's deep and cool and clear, surrounded by woods except the edge formed by the dam that forms it. Wooden docks provide access to the water for people who have cabins there and it's a pond people do access, especially for fishing but also to swim.

Weekend planner: Butterflies at the Virginia

We've all heard of the sad decline in the monarch-butterfly population. It's one reason the Champaign Park District wanted to focus on butterflies this summer. So the district, with Mitch Marlow, front-of-house coordinator at the Virginia Theater, came up with the family-friendly "Flight of the Butterflies" event starting at 2 p.m. today at the Virginia.

Solar farm construction begins on UI campus

CHAMPAIGN — After several years of design and delay, construction has finally begun on a new "solar farm" at the University of Illinois.

The 20.8-acre installation, a field of solar panels that will connect to the UI's power grid, is considered a key step in the campus's transition to renewable energy.

Mussel survey must be done before Sylvan Island bridge fix

MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — A study must be done about the possible impact on any threatened or endangered mussel species before Moline's Sylvan Island pedestrian bridge can be replaced.

Rob Kanter: Amphibian survey can indicate environmental health

If you were to base a movie character on Dave Stone, you'd probably have to tone down his enthusiasm for science and teaching — and that's saying something, given that he'll begin his 32nd year in the classroom at Uni High this fall.

Hauler to stop using stickers in Monticello

MONTICELLO — Area Disposal Co. has announced it will discontinue its sticker-based garbage hauling program in Monticello. Stickers will be sold through the end of the July via the company's Clinton office, and pickup of garbage bags with stickers will cease Oct. 1.

Virus kills 250 fish at Dawson Lake

By SERAH WELBORN/.LeRoy/Farmer City Press

LeROY — Roughly 250 dead fish were counted along the edges of Dawson Lake earlier this month.

Some users are abusers: Recycling bins headed for suspension

DANVILLE — Hypodermic needles, dirty diapers and Styrofoam are not on the approved list of recyclables list at Bryant Industries.

But those are among the items employees have discovered in the household recycling bins at the company's 1406 Warrington Ave. location in Danville. They're also a big reason Bryant will be suspending its program on Friday, according to company officials.