Opposition fails to derail county wind farm ordinance

URBANA – Despite protests and a "suggestion," when it came to a vote by the Champaign County Board on Thursday night, approval of a county wind farm ordinance was a breeze.

After about two hours of discussion, with comments for and against, the wind farm ordinance was approved by a vote of 24-2 with one abstention.

New UI Pollinatarium already abuzz with activity

URBANA – On this beautiful spring day the place is buzzing with excitement.

Thousands of bees crawling over a hive will do that to a roomful of fourth-graders.

"Ooooh, ooooh," they gasp as University of Illinois entomology Professor Gene Robinson pulls out a tray of bees busy making honey.

"You have to stay calm, because if you go crazy, they'll go crazy, and they'll sting you," warns junior bee expert Kayla Sharp.

Old IMPE basketball floor now ready for new shoes

CHAMPAIGN – During its three-and-a-half decades at the Intramural-Physical Education Building, the basketball floor withstood the pounding of thousands of feet as University of Illinois students made moves from one court to the other.

Now the floor will see new life of a much different kind.

As a result of a collaboration between architecture and dance students, the IMPE floor was "recycled" for a graduate-student dance studio in the university's East Art Annex 2, 1206 W. Peabody Drive, U.

Get creative when seeking outlet for green thumb

DANVILLE – Maria Sermersheim doesn't believe you need an acre to have your own garden, whether it's for flowers or vegetables.

"We are hearing that 35 percent more families ... will start a garden this year," said the coordinator of the nutrition program for the Univerity of Illinois Extension office in Danville.

Panel: Mahomet Aquifer management should be voluntary

CHAMPAIGN – The Mahomet Aquifer – the major underground water source for East Central Illinois – should be managed on a regional and voluntary basis, according to a government-appointed planning committee.

"In order to keep regional and local planning in place, voluntary is the preferred method," said Brad Uken, director of the Champaign County Farm Bureau and chairman of the East Central Illinois Regional Water Supply Planning Committee.

Parkland seminar to focus on capturing, reusing rainwater

CHAMPAIGN – Capturing and reusing natural rainwater is the subject of a Saturday seminar at the Tony Noel Agriculture Center at Parkland College.

Chris Sturdyvin of Chris' Water Gardens, Homer, will discuss methods for anyone interested in water gardening, ponds or rainwater harvesting.

Keep Vermilion County Beautiful awards $10,400 in grants

DANVILLE – Keep Vermilion County Beautiful has awarded $10,400 for 32 beautification projects being done by various groups throughout the county.

Melody Ehrlich, grants chair, said the organization funded all grant requests this year, but not at all their requested levels. Twenty of the 32 are new projects, and included trees to border the soccer fields in Hoopeston; finishing the Discovery Garden at Bismarck Henning Elementary School; trees to be planted at Catlin Park; and new landscaping at Catlin High School, Southwest Elementary School in Tilton, Northeast Magnet School in Danville, South View Middle School and Oakwood Elementary School. All of the school projects had a little extra funding from other sources.

Air Force done with asbestos cleanup on ex-base pipes

RANTOUL – The Air Force has completed the removal and cleanup of 6,000 feet of asbestos-coated pipeline on the south side of the old Chanute Air Force Base.

But it won't be cleaning up the rest of the remnants of the old steam pipelines that criss-crossed the base, said Paul Carroll, an environmental coordinator for the Air Force Real Property Agency.

YMCA seeks help with Dump and Run sale

CHAMPAIGN – The University YMCA is looking for help with the collection for its annual Dump and Run sale.

Volunteers are needed for the next two weeks, but especially today, Saturday and Monday.

New Census figures: Population mostly white in East Central Illinois

Although new Census Bureau estimates say that nearly half of the children under 5 in the United States are minorities, that's far from the case in East Central Illinois.

Even in ethnically diverse Champaign County, about 67 percent of the under-5 population is white. Blacks make up 16.17 percent of the county's population under 5, with Hispanics at 8.8 percent and Asians at 8.1 percent.