Weather service issues wind chill warning for our area

The National Weather Service has issued a wind chill warning until noon Tuesday.

Areas affected include Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt and Vermilion counties.

A wind chill warning means the combination of very cold air and strong winds will create dangerously low wind chill values.

Environmental Almanac: My resolutions for 2014

When I was younger and found myself cornered for New Year's resolutions, I offered up only this: fish more in the new year than I did in the preceding one.

As I've advanced in years, I've added others, but most of them have something of the same self-serving quality. So:

Winter storm bringing snow Wednesday

The National Weather Service says that a winter storm system is expected to bring some accumulating snow to East Central Illinois on Wednesday afternoon and evening.

Affected areas include Champaign, Coles, DeWitt, Douglas, Edgar, McLean, Moultrie, Piatt and Vermilion counties.

Sandra Mason: Ready to download some garden apps?

I'm at an age where I drag one foot in the old and stick a toe in the new. I wrap myself in the comfort of the familiar but wonder what I'm missing.

So where does technology fit into the world of gardening? I garden because it engages all my senses in a way no technology can touch. However, I've slowly comprehended technology's use as one more tool to morph us into smarter gardeners.

Holiday will delay recycling pickup

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign's multifamily recycling program pickup schedule will be delayed by one day due to Christmas.

Allied Waste will not collect recycling for Feed the Thing on Wednesday.

Therefore, Wednesday collection will take place on Thursday, Thursday collection on Friday, and Friday collection on Saturday.

Environmental Almanac: Make wildlife a conversation topic

‘Tis the season to find yourself standing awkwardly among people you may not see often, balancing food and drink in your hands, maintaining a smile and racking your brain for agreeable things to talk about.

New UI building taking energy efficiency to whole new level

URBANA — The miles of cable strung through this building would rival any on campus.

As its name implies, the $95 million Electrical and Computer Engineering Building going up on Wright Street, just south of the Beckman Institute, will require some serious power.

Sandra Mason: Learn how to identify evergreens

Snow elevates every tree to a theater stage. Every twig, branch and stem stands out with its backdrop of white velvet. Stop a moment to enjoy the free show of colors and curves of the naked trees. Evergreens offer a gift of gratifying green when all others are shades of brown and gray. Evergreens are prominent in our landscapes and in corner sales lots.

Local Christmas tree supply dwindling

If you're still looking to get a live Christmas tree, officials say you better hurry.

Several local tree growers said they are either out of full-sized live trees or are down to just a handful.

University of Illinois horticulture educator Sandy Mason said the shortage could be due to a rush on trees early on in the holiday season.

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.