Melissa Merli: Just outside Carbondale, sky was clear for totality

CARBONDALE — I don't feel different. My perspective on life and the universe hasn't changed.

Well, maybe it's shifted a bit, after I experienced the total eclipse of the sun on Monday. Mainly, it was a lot of cosmic fun, with 27 old and new friends in and around the backyard pool at my old friends Mark Brittingham and Kathy Pine's home 5 miles west of Carbondale.

E-recycling event organizers add 80 more time slots

CHAMPAIGN — Registration for the next Champaign County residential electronics recycling collection event — including most residents of the county — will begin online at 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 5.

The actual collection will be from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 14 at Parkland College in Champaign.

For area students, eclipse 'a one-of-a-kind thing'

DANVILLE — Five, 15, even 50 years from now, Jaden Winters will be able to recall not only where he was when Monday's total solar eclipse took place, but also what he thought about it.

"It was amazing," the South View Upper Elementary School fifth-grader wrote in his "dashboard diary," shortly after he and his classmates viewed the rare natural phenomenon outside on the school's lawn.

Eclipse '17: The latest

As Melissa Merli sets up camp in Carbondale, we'll provide updates throughout what appears to be a cloudy Monday (submit your pictures - from school, from your backyard, from a watch party -

Discovery of wreck of USS Indianapolis 'exciting' for area survivors, families

Reacting to news that his old ship had been found at the bottom of the Philippine Sea, one of the 19 living survivors of the worst naval at-sea disaster in U.S. history said Saturday of the new development that he was "glad it happened."

"It's one of those things we've been waiting to see if it would happen," said World War II veteran Art Leenerman, 93, of Mahomet.

Just Askin': Closing water-treatment plants

Why is Illinois American Water decommissioning its water-treatment plant on Lincoln Avenue in Urbana?

Because it no longer needs it, senior manager Dave Farrar said, since its water-treatment plans on Bradley Avenue and Mattis Avenue can meet water-service demand.

Letter from Birdland: The forest has no borders

We are in an alpine forest on the edge of Lake Dorothy in Washington. Yellow lotuses float, and the breeze blows the lightest of ripples toward our shore, and yet the lotus pads float still and silent on the surface.

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Eclipse activities

If you can't travel Monday to the solar eclipse path of totality in southern Illinois, you can watch the rare phenomenon mid-day at various sites, among them the Champaign Public Library, which will throw a viewing party from noon to 2 p.m., featuring live, otherworldly music from Barry Morse's Etherphonic Theremin Ensemble.

In the Garden: Our moon and 'The Old Farmer's Almanac'


This weekend, I will be traveling to southern Illinois for the experience of a lifetime — a total solar eclipse.

The eclipse will occur on Monday and will only be viewable in "totality" within a narrow band of approximately 70 miles that extends across the United States from Oregon to South Carolina.

Safety, glasses concerns have area schools adjusting eclipse plans

Champaign's Unit 4 and other area school districts are changing the solar-eclipse activities they had planned for Monday because of safety concerns, including whether their glasses for students and staff are the real deal.