RFK Jr.: Country needs to retool energy system

URBANA — Robert F. Kennedy Jr. sees every house as a potential power plant, part of his vision of a carbon-free and more democratic energy future.

Retooling the nation's energy system is the surest way to "walk us out of the recession," he said Wednesday in a speech at the University of Illinois Foellinger Auditorium.

Wind turbine case back to zoning board

URBANA -- A zoning case for a 30-turbine wind farm development is going back to the Champaign County Zoning Board of Appeals, the county board voted Tuesday night at a committee of the whole meeting.

Firms win statewide sustainability award

CHAMPAIGN — Cabot Corp. in Tuscola and the University of Illinois Retrocommissioning Group in Champaign have been named winners of the 2011 Governor's Sustainability Award.

They were among 19 first-time winners of the award presented by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center at a luncheon last week.

Danville considers $396,000 for environmental work

DANVILLE — The Danville City Council will consider Tuesday (Nov. 1) night whether to spend most of a $400,000 environmental grant on a consulting firm to assess potentially contaminated properties in the city.

With cooler temperatures come pests

The cooler fall weather brings a lot of unwanted guests into our homes, places of business, and other buildings.

University of Illinois Extension Horticulture Educator Rhonda Ferree says spiders, mice and insects all try to find shelter from the cold weather.

Covenant to become smoke-free next month

URBANA — Provena Covenant Medical Center will become a smoke-free campus Nov. 17.

Covenant currently bans smoking in the main hospital building and within 15 feet of the entrance.

But next month, Covenant will join its sister campus in Danville, United Samaritans Medical Center, and Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana in banning smoking on its entire medical campus.

Vermilion committee backs greater wind turbine setback, fees

DANVILLE — A Vermilion County board committee agreed Thursday night to change the county's wind turbine ordinance by increasing the distance turbines are required to be from a house and increasing the per-turbine permit fee the developers must pay the county.

Illinois American Water asks for rate increase

     A major water supplier in Champaign County is asking for a rate increase.

     Illinois American Water has filed a request with the Illinois Commerce Commission for an increase of around $7 a month for a typical customer.

Public can learn more on UI reactor demolition this week

     The University of Illinois is tearing down a building that once housed an atomic reactor, and the public has an opportunity to learn more about it this week.

Officials say now is time to get rid of unwanted devices

URBANA — Officials are reminding residents that, if you've been hanging on to that brick of a cellphone or an old computer for no particular reason, now is a good time to get rid of it.