Failed pump causes sewage backup into Homer Village Hall

HOMER — Homer Village Hall is off-limits to the public after a failed pump station caused raw sewage to back up into the building.

Don't smoke 'em if you got 'em

The signs declaring Parkland College a tobacco-free campus have long been up.

For months, a reminder on all internal communication with students and staff warned, "The end is coming." Today, that message changed to "The end is here."

While most on the Champaign community college campus are well aware the new tobacco ban kicks off today, that doesn't mean they like it.

Sanitary district makes offer on land needed for Cronus project

The Urbana-Champaign Sanitary District has made an offer to a property owner along the pipeline path to the Cronus plant near Tuscola.  It's a move that officials said is a step in the process to take the land through eminent domain, but it doesn't mean eminent domain will happen.

IEPA issues draft permit for Vermilion County mine

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has given preliminary approval to a proposed coal mine in southern Vermilion County.

Cleanup starts at White Hall

RANTOUL — A cleanup operation of asbestos-containing materials and other hazardous substances has begun in White Hall on the former Chanute Air Force Base.

Monticello sports-field plan draws crowd

MONTICELLO — The fate of a proposed 31-acre multisport recreation area on the west side of town drew a larger crowd than usual at Monticello's city council meeting.

Environmental Almanac: Look but don't touch

Two kinds of snapping turtles occur in North America, and both of them can be found in Illinois.

Alligator snappers, by far the rarer of the two, are listed as endangered in Illinois, and they inhabit only larger rivers and streams in the southern part of the state, the Mississippi, Ohio and Wabash rivers, and tributaries directly connected to them.

Ivesdale board backs seeking water grant

IVESDALE — The village board approved a resolution of support to submit an application for a Community Development Assistance program grant for improvements to the village's water system.

Hurdles cloud future for Cherry Orchard

RURAL THOMASBORO — It's been several years since a 44-unit apartment complex on U.S. 45 between Thomasboro and Rantoul caused Champaign County officials countless headaches over sanitary sewer and occupancy violations.

Now, its owner is shopping the property, but a potential buyer backed out over the cost of renovation. Hurdles remain before it can be used again.

Big Grove Tavern a winner in Green America contest

CHAMPAIGN — Jessica Gorin was committed to using locally produced ingredients when she became executive chef at Big Grove Tavern three years ago.

This week, that commitment helped the downtown Champaign restaurant become one of three winners of Green America's People & Planet Award for spring 2015.

Specifically, the restaurant was honored for: