Cultivate your curiosity about nature

"When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe." Naturalist John Muir made this statement in 1911.

It is as true today as it was then. Beyond television and technology, have you ever wondered how the world (including us) is hitched?

Bee colonies on upswing in Illinois

FAIRMOUNT — If every beekeeper started out like David Burns did nearly 20 years ago, Illinois likely would not be enjoying its current upswing in honeybee colonies.

Construction expected this summer for wind farm

KEMPTON — Construction of a proposed 199-turbine wind farm encompassing portions of Ford, Iroquois and Kankakee counties is expected to begin by early August, the project's developer said.

Tolono OKs design of storm sewer

TOLONO — The village has authorized its engineering firm to begin the design of a new storm sewer on North Calhoun Street.

Sewage backup leaves families without home

CHAMPAIGN — City officials say they are still working with residents of four apartment units at a North Mattis Avenue complex where raw sewage backed up and poured out of the toilets, leaving residents' floors and belongings soaked with fecal matter.

Ag chemical container drive set for August

A roundup of agricultural news:

TOLONO — Farmers in East Central Illinois will have a couple chances in mid-August to recycle their empty agrichemical containers.

Hope rising

RURAL OAKWOOD — While boaters haven't been allowed on the Middle Fork River most of this week, Todd Alcorn is crossing his fingers that the current conditions won't spill into the Fourth of July weekend.

City confirms emerald ash borer infestation

CHAMPAIGN — What city officials always knew would become a problem is growing into a full-blown infestation as they confirmed 11 new cases in June of ash trees inhabited by emerald ash borer — an invasive beetle that is expected to kill the majority of the city's 1,889 ash trees.

The city already has removed nine of those trees.

Emerald ash borer spotted in Urbana

The dreaded emerald ash borer has made its way to Urbana, but the city said it doesn't plan to go after it aggressively.

New law aims to bar repeat of Hoopeston fire

Debris gone from site, though traces of fine dust still permeate area

HOOPESTON — Pat Dooley remembers being "half asleep" one year ago when her son-in-law came rushing into her house at 5 a.m., telling her to evacuate because of a massive fire in the 400,000-square-foot tire-recycling facility behind her home.