Otters make major comeback in Illinois

DANVILLE — As a sixth grader in 1997, Josh Gabehart opened one of the pens that held 15 river otters being released at Kennekuk County Park in an effort to reintroduce the animal to Illinois waterways.

Early results show turbines not exceeding noise limits, firm's lawyer says

DANVILLE — The preliminary indication from a sound study at the California Ridge Wind Project is that turbines are not exceeding Illinois noise limits, according to an attorney with Invenergy, the wind farm owner.

Turbine-sound study finished; results not yet public

DANVILLE — Two acoustical experts have finished a sound study in the California Ridge Wind Project, but whether the results show that wind turbines are exceeding Illinois noise pollution standards is not yet being disclosed, according to an attorney representing the wind farm owner, Invenergy.

Gifford water tower may have to be replaced

GIFFORD — Seventeen days after their water treatment plant was heavily damaged by a tornado, Gifford residents learned that they no longer have to boil their water.

The village's public works director, Jess Childress, drove a sample of the village's water to the Illinois EPA laboratory in Springfield on Tuesday.

Sandra Mason: This gardener is thankful for many things

Too much wind, too little rain. Why does it take extreme events for us to realize what truly matters? My heart goes out to all who have the wearisome task of pulling their lives back together after our recent tornadoes.

UMS program lets parents share expertise with top students

URBANA — On a recent Thursday at Urbana Middle School, several seventh-graders gathered around a table, diagramming how greenhouse gases work in the atmosphere and using iPads to evaluate their own use of energy.

Environmental Almanac: Sandhill cranes put on a show

The calls of sandhill cranes carry on the wind by some magic. Whether they are flying, and your view of them is obscured by a tree line, or they're feeding in a harvested cornfield, where their rust-stained gray feathers make them difficult to pick out, you typically hear cranes before you see them.

Students want to end UI investment in coal

URBANA — Students voting in an online campus referendum this week overwhelmingly supported a move to end University of Illinois investments in coal.

The activist group UIUC Beyond Coal gathered 4,238 signatures to place a question before students in an online ballot asking: "Do you support the University of Illinois' endowment removing investments in coal by the year 2017?"

Danville planting trees

DANVILLE — While they aren't yet big enough to provide a splash of vibrant fall color, Peggy Wheeler was happy on her walk Friday to see the newly planted trees lining the parkway strip along a five-block section of Williams Street.

Treading lightly: Used-tire service back in business in Tilton

TILTON — A little more than four months after a fire destroyed a used-tire recycling facility in Hoopeston, the owners are back in business, leasing part of a building at the former General Motors foundry in Tilton.