With switch in yard waste pickup, maybe not picking up yard waste is the right switch

DANVILLE – If it sounds impossible to fit two weeks of yard waste in one toter now that the city is collecting yard waste less often, one solution may be to leave grass clippings on the yard.

Black urges state to work on laws to allow more use of waterways

SPRINGFIELD – A resolution urging the Illinois Department of Natural Resources to work with groups to develop laws permitting expanded use of state waterways was approved 10-0 by the House Agriculture Committee.

Area residents are mulling options as emerald ash borer approaches

LODA – Residents of towns near where the emerald ash borer was discovered last month have varying reactions to the reality that the tree-eating pest has arrived.

Some, like gardening enthusiast and Loda resident Mary Dickinson, are applying pesticides to prevent the beetle's spread to ash trees on their properties.

Farm income helps put Piatt, Ford counties among highest earners in '08 in Illinois

Some rural counties in East Central Illinois had among the highest per-capita income in the state in 2008, according to new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

Piatt and Ford counties had the fourth- and sixth-highest per-capita income that year, with figures of $43,313 and $40,516, respectively.

Health department gets a dose of irony

DANVILLE – To the disappointment of city officials, Danville has missed out on federal grant funds to clean up potentially contaminated sites, while Vermilion County was awarded $400,000.

Drawing Saturday for Keep Vermilion County Beautiful raffle

DANVILLE - Tickets are still available for the Keep Vermilion County Beautiful car and landscaping raffle.

The drawing is 1:30 p.m. Saturday at Kennekuk County Park's Laury Barn, following the Great American Cleanup event at the park. The cleanup, a volunteer event, will start at 9 a.m. rain or shine. Registration for the cleanup will be at 8:30 a.m.

Students spend a day fighting erosion, shoring up bank of North Fork

DANVILLE – If 40 Danville High School students travel to Ellsworth Park at 10 a.m. on a Sunday with shovels, buckets and wheelbarrows, how long will it take them to plant 450 trees and shrubs?

Evidently, the answer is less than two hours.

Gardens may hold big yields - fun, nutrition, exercise - for families

CHAMPAIGN – The way Julie Pryde sees it, one of the best ways to reverse the obesity epidemic in America is to teach people how to grow their own fruits and vegetables and give them an opportunity to try it.

40th Earth Day bringing week of C-U activities

The 40th annual Earth Day on Thursday is the inspiration behind a week of activities in Champaign-Urbana.

Events include a campfire at a meditation center, talks on environmental initiatives and a concert.


The Ananda Liina Yoga & Meditation Center offers tours of alternative energy technologies at its site from 2 to 6 p.m.

UI Extension announces budget cuts

Several University of Illinois Extension center offices, including its one in Champaign, are slated for closure, but all the local county offices will remain open, according to a restructuring plan.