Recycling expansion in Urbana to be discussed

URBANA – Urbana City Council members will continue discussing adding small businesses to the city's recycling program.

The topic, first introduced by Alderman Charlie Smyth two weeks ago, is on the agenda for Monday's study session as the Urbana council meets as committee of the whole at 7 p.m. at the council chambers, 400 S. Vine St.

Big Bud, world's largest tractor, makes way to Rantoul

RANTOUL – "Welcome, Big Bud."

Skip Kirkland of Mahomet, Nora Fourez of Rankin and Don Miller of Paxton held a sign bearing the greeting on the grounds of the National Aviation Center in Rantoul late last week, welcoming the world's largest tractor.

Thousands expected for Historic Farm Days in Penfield

PENFIELD – Up to 8,000 people are expected to attend this year's Historic Farm Days July 9-12 in Penfield.

The world's largest tractor and the Allis-Chalmers machinery line will be among the featured attractions.

Climbing test planned for DACC wind-energy program

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College has been looking to fill the first class of its new Wind Energy Technician associate degree program. Those afraid of heights need not apply.

DACC officials said the program comes with a unique prerequisite: a climbing test. An actual wind turbine tower, measuring 240 feet or so from base to hub, if they get their way.

Water main reported broken at Ameren site

CHAMPAIGN – Ameren crews working to remove contaminated soil at the Fifth and Hill streets site reportedly have ruptured a water main, cutting off water service to an undetermined area.

The water company has reportedly provided bottled water to some households, along with a warning that after the main break is repaired, it will take a further 36 hours to purge contamination from the line.

'We've got wind; why not benefit from it?'

DANVILLE – Herb and Rosa Lee Osterbur had no hesitation in agreeing to lease some of their farmland near Hope for a wind turbine farm.

"I knew right away we would be interested for financial reasons as well as for the benefit to energy," Rosa Lee Osterbur said. "We've got wind. Why not benefit from it?"

Urbana weighs letting small businesses join recycling effort

URBANA – Urbana Alderman Charlie Smyth said it was an "aha!" moment.

He was riding back via bicycle from Champaign's West Side Park last Friday night, between storms, when a friend riding with him mentioned the Urbana recycling program.

It's been wet in Champaign-Urbana - but not that wet

URBANA – There have been record amounts of precipitation in the Chicago area this year – 25.32 inches of rain and snow from January through June 21.

But the wet weather isn't setting any records in Champaign-Urbana. The twin cities have had 21.93 inches of precipitation so far in 2009.

Decommissioning fund for Clinton back on track

CHAMPAIGN – Exelon Corp. says it has caught up on its obligations for replenishing the trust fund for decommissioning the Clinton nuclear plant – but it still hasn't put enough aside for retiring the Byron and Braidwood plants.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on Friday notified the operators of 26 nuclear generating units across the U.S. that, as of the end of 2008, they weren't setting aside enough money to cover the units' dismantling costs.

Prairie habitat in works near Forest Glen preserve

WESTVILLE – The Vermilion County Chapter of Pheasants Forever is about to make its dream come true, and the Vermilion County Conservation District will benefit from that dream.