Champaign getting rid of 1,481 ash trees at cost of $700,000

CHAMPAIGN — The city has already removed 659 ash trees because of the emerald ash borer and anticipates spending at least $700,000 to remove the remaining 1,481 trees, the public works department told the city council Tuesday.

Tom Kacich: Glimmer of hope for Clinton plant

An agreement in New York state to require utility customers to pay at least $500 million a year to keep Exelon nuclear power plants open has given supporters of the Clinton nuclear power plant a bit of optimism.

But the outlook for the plant is still anything but sunny.

The Clinton plant, also owned by Exelon, is slated for closing on June 1, 2017.

Park district, schools could share Spalding

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign Park District board has agreed to allow Unit 4 to use land at Spalding Park for shared athletic space, but with a few pricey provisions.

Any changes to Spalding would have to "meet the park district's mission and future plans," park board President Tim McMahon wrote in a letter that Unit 4 board President Chris Kloeppel read aloud at this week's meeting.

Sandra Mason: Beneficial bugs

You'll find a lot of good guys in the garden

The good, the bad and the bugly. Despite common horror-show depictions, not all bugs are bad. Outside of horror flicks, the likelihood of a bug crawling into your ear and sucking out your brain is pretty remote.

Tom's #Mailbag, July 29, 2016

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Wetlands wild

Not far from the Middle Fork River, Lake Vermilion and Lake Mingo, you'll find places where the ground is underwater too.

Area update: Villa Grove residents bring water concerns to council

VILLA GROVE — About 20 residents addressed the city council with concerns about the quality of their water and the possibility of contracting with an outside company to provide water for the city.

"I can assure you that the first thing on our mind is your health and safety," said Mayor Pro Tem Ron Hunt.

PechaKucha: Slices of life

Since the first PechaKucha Night Champaign-Urbana in 2009, the presentations have moved from the professional to the more personal.

Love in the air

Summer's the perfect time to spend a magical moment with a significant other at a romantic spot. Though surrounded by corn and soybeans, this area has plenty of them. Our five recommendations, courtesy of staff writer Melissa Merli:

Lake effect

Heron County Park