Beckman Institute marks 20 years of collaboration

URBANA – In 1985, the Illini baseball field, Strawberry Fields and a cinder track, five laps to the mile, dominated the area near Wright and University.

Within four years, a $50 million facility jutted from the area, a 20-year experiment in bringing scholars from different fields under one roof that has paid off with research that benefits our daily life.

Apartment building recycling in Champaign by late 2010 OK'd

CHAMPAIGN – Residents of Champaign multi-family apartments are expected to have recycling available next year.

Champaign city council members were unanimous in support Tuesday night of directing city staff to proceed with a multi-family recycling program. The program is not expected to be implemented until November 2010.

Champaign pondering recycling options for apartments

CHAMPAIGN – Families living in Champaign apartments may get recycling services.

Champaign city council members will discuss options on multifamily recycling at a study session after the regular council meeting.

Middle-schoolers diving right into freshwater ecology

URBANA – Some sixth-grade students are getting a hands-on look at fish this week, as part of a study of freshwater ecology.

Students from Edison Middle School took turns holding bluegill and helping transfer bluegill and largemouth bass caught from a pond at the University of Illinois South Farms to a large plastic tub. They spent the day with scientists from the Illinois Natural History Survey, learning how those scientists collect fish and what they study.

Professor's project draws attention to environment

URBANA – Illinois American Water often talks about the Mahomet Aquifer as a container.

With her Mahomet Aquifer Project, University of Illinois dance Professor Jennifer Monson aims to make us think of our own bodies as containers and to examine our relationship to the aquifer, the source of our clear, good-tasting drinking water.

Peru providfes a trip of a lifetime

When we talk about our trip of a lifetime, people usually ask, "Why did you choose Peru?" The answer is more diverse than the country itself, which offers Pacific coastal wonders, Andes mountain ranges and rain forest jungle adventure; all with an ancient Inca presence.

My 17-year-old daughter and I chose a package with G.A.P. Tours out of San Francisco. The trip included airfare, lodging and a number of meals for $2,000 a person. What you paid up front in initial cost, you got back threefold with the exchange rate in Peru, which is 3 soles to $1.

Vermilion residents have a couple recycling options

DANVILLE - When Vermilion County ends its recycling program next month, residents will still have some options for recycling certain materials including paper, cardboard and plastic bottles.

A private business, Advantage Recycling at Henning Road and U.S. 150, has started accepting cardboard, paperboard (such as cereal boxes) and plastic water and soda bottles for recycling.

Farmers in area counties can get federal disaster loans

CHAMPAIGN – Farmers in several area counties may be eligible for federal disaster assistance.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recently granted Gov. Pat Quinn's request to designate 58 Illinois counties as natural disaster areas. That designation means farmers in those counties – and 30 contiguous counties – may be able to get federal assistance, including low-interest emergency loans.

Declining dumping-fee revenue dooms recycling effort

DANVILLE – For 10 years, the Vermilion County Health Department has been providing an opportunity for county residents to "go green" through recycling, but for the county, "green" has meant spending money, not making it.

Lynn Wolgamot, Vermilion County recycling coordinator, said people often think the county makes money on recycling, but the opposite is true. In 2007, it cost the health department $207,952 to run the recycling program's seven sites in Danville, Westville, Georgetown, Catlin, Bismarck, Sidell and Kickapoo State Park. The county contracts with ABC Sanitary Hauling of Champaign to keep the bins emptied on a regular basis and process the material at its facility.

Rural residents upset by pending recycling shutdown

DANVILLE – In less than two months, Thelma Thormann and Paula Dees will have nowhere to take the glass, plastic, paperboard and cardboard they both have been recycling every other week for several years at a Vermilion County drop-off site a few miles from their homes.

"It's just a shame," said Dees, who was dropping off a couple bags of recycling last week at the Vermilion County Recycling bin in Kickapoo State Park.