Parkland College's Land Lab: A plot to learn

CHAMPAIGN – It takes a community to raise corn and soybeans at the Parkland College Land Lab.

Larry Thurow, his Parkland students and a long list of industry suppliers help Thurow plant crops on 30 acres on the college's southwest side and 12 acres on the northwest side.

FutureGen sites get a last chance to make case

TUSCOLA – Tuscola residents will have one final chance to give their views on bringing a $1 billion clean-coal power plant to town. The FutureGen Alliance and the U.S. Department of Energy will hold a public hearing on June 28 at the Tuscola Community Building, 122 W. North Central Ave.

The evening will begin with an open house from 4 to 7 p.m., when residents can meet one-on-one with FutureGen and Department of Energy representatives to share their views.

Fishing OK again on Heritage Lake

RANTOUL – Uncle Sam says it's OK to bring your fishing pole back to Heritage Lake.

Air Force Real Property Agency Environmental Coordinator Paul Carroll announced Thursday that the Air Force has removed restrictions on fishing at the manmade lake, located on the southeast side of the former Chanute Air Force Base.

It's your business: Ticket firm sets up shop at mall

A Bradley-based sports and music ticket broker with one retail store in Bourbonnais will open its second shop at Champaign's Market Place Mall on June 1.

Go All Out, to be located in the Bergner's wing, will sell tickets to major league sporting events, NASCAR races and concerts across the nation. The shop will also carry sports apparel.

Having a hot time with horseradish

URBANA – Emily Cox drafted adventurous friends and classmates to help her finish her pungent second-semester project.

"It makes your scalp tingle," said Caitlin Ramsey, a graduating University of Illinois physics major who stopped by Cox's recent horseradish taste test on the UI Quad. Participants sampled horseradish Cox made from five different cultivars grown by doctoral candidate Mark Uchanski, who has discovered a way to cure a devastating horseradish disease.

EPA: Chanute cleanup funding diverted to Iraq war

RANTOUL – The war in Iraq has affected the Air Force's ability to clean up Chanute Air Force Base, according to a state environmental leader responsible for remediation of federal sites in Illinois.

Clarence L. Smith, federal site remediation manager for the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, told the Chanute Redevelopment Commission on Wednesday that Department of Defense money that otherwise would have gone toward the base's cleanup has been diverted toward the war effort.

Stuck valve causes ammonia leak in southwest Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Valves frozen open on an anhydrous ammonia tank in a farm field west of town created a cloud over a portion of southwest Champaign this morning.

Lt. Ed Ogle of the Champaign County sheriff's office said authorities learned about 7:40 a.m. that a cloud was over a farm field near the construction site of the Interstate 57 interchange with Curtis Road. The location was not far from the First Christian Church, 3601 S. Staley Road, C.

State officials sorting assets of defunct business

ROSSVILLE – Starting today, Illinois Department of Agriculture officials are meeting individually with farmers and creditors affected by Kaufman Grain Co. going out of business.

On April 26, the Department of Agriculture assumed control of Kaufman Grain's elevators in Rossville, Rankin and East Lynn. The company voluntarily surrendered its Illinois Grain Dealer's and Illinois Grain Warehouse licenses.

Area experts to speak about Salt Fork River project

CHAMPAIGN – University of Illinois Professors Clark Bullard and Bruce Rhoads will talk at 7 p.m. Wednesday about the effects of work on the Salt Fork River in Champaign County.

The talk takes place at Champaign County Democrats Headquarters, 14 E. Washington St., downtown Champaign. The function is the Democrats' May Meet-Up.

Bees dying in big numbers across nation, but not here

URBANA – Honeybees are dying off in massive numbers all over the nation, threatening crop production – but Illinois is a notable exception.

"We've escaped so far," said May Berenbaum, head of the Entomology Department at the University of Illinois, as well as author of several insect books.