From a distance, it might seem there's little mystery involved with nutrient pollution in waterways that flow through the intensively farmed landscapes of the American Midwest. Farmers put fertilizer on fields, and some of it ends up in streams when it rains.
But how does it "end up" in streams?
Each year, just before soccer season starts, Central High School coaches walk the practice field behind Franklin Middle School — not for exercise, but to look for trash.
Really old trash: Broken glass from the 1930s or '40s. Bricks from old buildings. Even, legend has it, a piece of an old gun.
If there's a North American insect that qualifies for the label "charismatic," it's the monarch butterfly.
CHAMPAIGN — Scientists at the University of Illinois are being asked to review alternatives to disposing of toxic PCBs at a landfill over the Mahomet Aquifer, the drinking water supply for approximately 500,000 central Illinoisans.
The coming weeks promise to be a whirlwind for Brian Sauder of Champaign. In early May, he will be licensed toward ordination in the Mennonite Church U.S.A., which means the church affirms his calling to minister on behalf of creation as a pastor.
Shortly thereafter, he will be awarded a master's in business administration from the University of Illinois College of Business.
DANVILLE — When the foot-thick ice on Raymond Calton's 1-acre pond finally thawed in March, many of the fish in it were floating — and dead.
"This was a bad year as far as freeze-up," Calton said as he waited Friday afternoon to pick up the hundreds of new fish he ordered to restock the pond on his property, off Henning Road in Vermilion County.
DANVILLE — The Vermilion County Sheriff's Department is giving the public a safe way to dispose of unused or expired prescription drugs or over-the-counter medications today.
Sheriff Pat Hartshorn said the department is participating in a Drug Enforcement Agency event called National Prescription Drug Take Back Day.
In anticipation of Earth Week, which begins today, I checked in with some of the people who are coordinating events on the University of Illinois campus.
Stephen Ritz calls himself an "insurgent educator," appropriate for the man who once brought a 22-foot snake into his classroom.
The janitor inadvertently let it out one day, and the school was closed for a week after it moved into the ceiling.