Spring brings out aggression in tom turkeys

URBANA – Never mess with a wild tom turkey during mating season.

Stacy Lischka of the Illinois Natural History says male turkeys are feeling a bit of urgency about now.

Official: Enjoy geese from afar

URBANA – Halt! Put down that marshmallow! Don't feed that fowl!

Signs have gone up at Crystal Lake Park warning animal lovers that they're not doing the geese any favors by teaching them human flavors.

Farmers prepare to meet biofuel demand

DANVILLE – This year, farmer Greg Learnard intends to plant more corn than he usually does, because he's anticipating an increased demand from local ethanol plants.

Learnard of Catlin normally plants 1,000 acres of soybeans and 1,000 acres of corn, but this year, he'll plant an extra 100 acres of corn and only 900 acres of soybeans.

Two horses found dead east of Tuscola

TUSCOLA – Fourteen horses have been taken to new homes after sheriff's deputies and state animal investigators discovered two dead horses at a horse training center in rural Douglas County.

According to a Douglas County sheriff's report, deputies were helping serve an eviction notice at the Three Crosses Learning Center on U.S. 45 east of Tuscola on Saturday when they discovered two dead horses and several others in distress.

Most residents concerned over smell of cattle operation

POTOMAC – Maris Huls grew up in the livestock business, but she has questions about a beef cattle operation that is set to be built near her property in Middlefork Township.

"I think it's going to devalue my property," Huls said. "I agree that agriculture and the beef industry has taken a hit, but I think there needs to be some questions (answered)."

Enzyme may have key dual role in memory formation

That a protein molecule common in the brain turns out to have two roles isn't surprising.

"If nature invents it once, you'll find it again and again and again," University of Illinois Professor David Clayton said recently.

Ethanol project near Royal to break ground this spring

ROYAL – When Walker Filbert and other Pike County leaders started making plans to build an ethanol plant at Griggsville, the fuel enhancer made from corn was selling for less than $1 a gallon.

But four and a half years later, that price has nearly quadrupled, ethanol is the talk of the market, the Pike County project has expanded to a site at Royal in Champaign County and planners are ready to break ground this spring, after they wrap up a few details, at a 62-acre site just north of the JBS United elevator .

It's your business: Sea Boat lands 2nd location in Champaign

Sea Boat restaurant will be bringing its popular fish sandwich and an expanded menu to a second location in Champaign.

Qaiyim and Baseemah Abdullah, who own the original Sea Boat at 1114 N. Market St., C, have leased the former Denny's dry cleaning building at 403 W. Kirby Ave., along with a new partner in the second Sea Boat, Curley Lee of Champaign.

Weather warning: Midwest due for serious drought

URBANA – A popular Iowa State University agricultural meteorologist says the Midwest is overdue for a serious drought.

But Doane Advisory Services market economists say corn prices, which got a substantial boost last year from the hot ethanol market, will remain relatively high even if that drought doesn't materialize and yields are high in 2007.

Early birds get the financial aid money

Talk about sticker shock.

The average price tag for one year at a public college or university is $12,796 for 2006-07, according to the College Board. At private, four-year colleges, the price averages about $22,218. A year.

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