Coal firm clears major hurdle for mining permit in Illinois

SIDELL — Indiana-based Sunrise Coal has cleared a major hurdle in its five-year quest to secure an Illinois mining permit for coal reserves in southwestern Vermilion County.

Entertainment listings, Nov. 30-Dec. 7, 2017


This weekend


What: Annual Christmas display of lights in the park.

When: Light displays, 5 to 11 p.m. every evening, Nov. 30 until Jan. 2, 2018.

Where: McFerren Park, Hoopeston.

Cost: Free.

More info: Call 217-495-2800 or 217-274-2956.


Area bio-refineries' plea for tax credit: 'We need stability'

DANVILLE — Danville's biodiesel plant is in a battle, according to local farmer Mike Cunningham.

About a year since the facility expanded, it's facing economic threats, old and new — uncertainty over whether a federal incentive will be renewed and foreign biodiesel producers undercutting the market in the United States.

Champaign council unanimously supports dockless bike-sharing systems

CHAMPAIGN — The city council on Tuesday expressed unanimous support for implementing bike-share rental systems that allow users to park bikes anywhere when finished.

Letter from Birdland: A unique look at Chicago's Botanic Garden

We left Birdland to wild storms and flash flooding to drive north. Michael and I had business in Chicago and traveled through sheets of rain that became sloppy, wet snow clumps hitting our windshield and slickening the highway. By the time we got to the city, the rain had slackened and the sky was gray.

Champaign council looking at options for possible bike-share system

CHAMPAIGN — A bike-sharing system may be rolling its way into town — without public docking stations in tow.

Next week, the city council will hear initial options for launching a bike-share system unlike one in Chicago, where riders return bikes they rent to a limited number of parking stations in the city.

UI professor's Paper 2 Tree project aims to grow an academic forest

A University of Illinois professor is encouraging his colleagues to give back to their communities — trees included.

Mattia Gazzola, assistant professor in UI's Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering, just launched Paper 2 Tree — a project for UI researchers to fund local tree planting and provide educational outreach once their papers get published.

Entertainment calendar, Nov. 23-30, 2017


This weekend


What: Urbana High School Student Senate hosts a dinner with all the trimmings for those who are in need of a warm, comfortable environment to spend their Thanksgiving. Reservations are not needed, but call ahead for a ride.

When: 5 to 7 p.m. Nov. 23.

Wired In: Keilin Jahnke

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet KEILIN JAHNKE, a Ph.D. student in agricultural and biological engineering at the University of Illinois.

Letter from Birdland: Every dog has a superpower

It was a simple meal: a quarter of a baked butternut squash. The bulb end, so I could drop a pat of butter to melt into the bowl where I had scooped out the seeds before baking.

Alone for the evening, I had work to do, so I took my meal at my desk. I settled in to my writing and my supper, when Ursula raised the alarm.