Rob Kanter: Beavers again common in the Prairie State

On a recent walk at River Bend Forest Preserve, someone I met on the trail asked if I knew a good place in Illinois to see beavers. After a moment's thought, I answered, "Anywhere," because there are unmistakable signs of them in so many places.

Environmental Almanac: Wild turkey population is strong in Illinois

With all of the Thanksgiving press devoted to domesticated turkeys — how many we're going to eat this week, how best to cook them, etcetera — you probably weren't aware of this fact, but we're living in the age of the wild turkey.

Ribbon-cutting for UI's 'solar farm' set for this morning

CHAMPAIGN — A solar installation three years in the making is up and running at the University of Illinois, with an official ribbon-cutting and public tours scheduled this morning.

The 21-acre "solar farm" near First Street and Windsor Road reached a milestone a week ago, connecting to the UI's electrical grid.

Tolono board weighing fines for illegal leaf burning

TOLONO — At its next meeting, the village board will consider amending its leaf-burning ordinance to allow violators to be fined.

Last November, the board enacted an ordinance to restrict residents to burning leaves only between sunrise and sunset on Wednesdays and Saturdays from April 1 to May 15 and Sept. 1 to Dec. 15.

It's in the bags

CHAMPAIGN — Residents have two reasons to feel good about Champaign's new yard waste collection and recycling program.

First, it's keeping some farm animals warm this winter.

And second, it's saving the city thousands of dollars in recycling costs alone.

Rob Kanter: Farmer's message spreading quickly

Prior to the release of his book "Restoration Agriculture" in early 2013, Wisconsin farmer Mark Shepard's agent reassured him: "You'll tour and do some signings for five or six months, but after that, sales will taper off and demands on your time will be negligible."

'Floating support group' tackling cancer with even strokes

CHAMPAIGN — As a recent breast-cancer survivor and psychotherapist, Kelly Bradham knows how much she and her fellow survivors need exercise and mutual support, and she hasn't let living in a landlocked community stop her from finding both those things in a boat.

A 42-foot-long pink dragon boat, to be exact.

Care to join her?

Villa Grove boil order likely to last through weekend

VILLA GROVE — A boil order that was issued on Tuesday likely won't be lifted until Monday, city officials warned.

The order affects water customers in Villa Grove and the village of Camargo. The cause: the discovery of midge fly larvae in the water treatment system.

Boil order issued for Villa Grove, Camargo

A boil order has been issued for the city of Villa Grove and the village of Camargo, until further notice, due to the discovery of midge fly larvae in the water treatment system (which are harmless to humans).
To alleviate this issue, clear wells will be flushed, water towers will be overflowed and high chlorine will be added to the water.

Dan Corkery: The emerald ash borer is here to stay

One group finds Illinois a great place to live: the emerald ash borer.

That's the half-inch-long metallic-green bug — an invasive species from Asia — that feeds on the leaves of ash trees and lays its eggs on the bark. After those eggs hatch, the larvae chew their way beneath the bark to get to the food they really want.