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.

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.

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.

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:

Rob Kanter: Bouncing sphere mystery solved

What's spherical and white, less than a millimeter in diameter and bounces like a Mexican jumping bean?

Illinois attorney general sues Monticello over sewage in streets

MONTICELLO — The Illinois Attorney General's Office has filed a four-count lawsuit against the city of Monticello for reportedly pumping sewage through the streets during a 3-inch rainfall last July.

Debate over wildlife park proposal isn't done

SULLIVAN — Big, spitting camels people should never get too close to, zebras that could suffer from sunburn, no guarantee that a wild animal wouldn't escape, the potential for injuries and lawsuits — and those are just some of the concerns a retired zookeeper has about allowing a zoo and wild animal park to open on a piece of farmland near Arthur.

Health officials urge collection of dead birds

PAXTON — The Ford County Public Health Department is asking for assistance from the public in the collection of dead birds found in the county.