FutureGen Alliance offers conditional support for new plan

WASHINGTON – In a carefully worded press release, the FutureGen Alliance board has offered conditional support to the U.S. Department of Energy's revised FutureGen 2.0 project.

Quinn, UI sign sustainability agreement

CHAMPAIGN – Gov. Pat Quinn joined top officials at the University of Illinois on Friday to sign an updated agreement pledging the Urbana campus to be a leader in sustainability.

Quinn, UI President Michael Hogan and Urbana campus interim chancellor Robert Easter signed a campus sustainability compact at a symposium at the I Hotel.

Energy audits steer nonprofits toward savings, efficiency

CHAMPAIGN – Ten nonprofit agencies are hoping federally funded energy audits will help them become more efficient and take a chunk out of their utility bills.

Life Remembered: Scientist did 'instrumental' work with birds

OAKWOOD – Arlo Raim died doing what he loved, tracking birds on a radio rig he invented, in his own car.

The Illinois Natural History Survey scientist, 67, was a nationally known expert on bird tracking. He was hit by a train Friday in a suburban Chicago forest preserve, while studying the effects of trains on birds.

Some Urbana residents can get free energy audits of their homes

URBANA – A limited number of Urbana residents now can get free energy audits of their homes through a program sponsored by the city of Urbana and the Ameren Illinois utilities.

Company launches free recycling of household electronics

CHAMPAIGN – A long-time recycler of scrap iron and metal will now be accepting household electronics for recycling.

Tom Falender, spokesman for Mervis Industries, said three Mervis outlets in Central Illinois will begin accepting electronics this week at no charge.

Rantoul schools not screened for lead-based paint before summer renovation

RANTOUL – Lead-based paints are still present in Rantoul City Schools' five buildings, "an issue impeding the opening of the school district" on Sept. 7, Superintendent Bill Trankina said.

Burned wire causes power outage in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — More than 1,300 electric customers in Champaign are without power.

Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris said that a burned wire caused the loss of electricity for 1,361 customers starting at 5:46 p.m.

Morris said he did not have an estimated time when power will be restored.

Work under way on green upgrades at MTD facility

The Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District is getting a new permeable parking lot in Urbana.

Slice of bur oak tree tells story 190 years in making

TILTON – When Gary Wilford got a call to come look at an old, cut-down tree, he had no idea of its historical significance.

Residents often call on Wilford, a naturalist from the Vermilion County Conservation District, for his advice on wildlife and nature.

But the call from Margaret Miller of Tilton wound up being an educational gift to the district as well.