Environmental Almanac: Plenty of reasons for hope in our area

If you're looking for inspiration and energy this month — and who's not? — let me call your attention to the state of the environmental community in central Illinois and some of the ways it has flourished over the past year.

Prairie Rivers Network, where I'm a board member and long-time volunteer, celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2017, and it's currently stronger than ever before.

Forest preserve district hoping you'll see stars at Middle Fork

PENFIELD — Growing up in the middle of farm country in northern Champaign County, far from street lights or anything that interferes with a view of the sky, Matt Kuntz didn't think much about being able to see lots of stars and constellations on any clear night.

You can't tell now, but December, all of 2017 were warmer than normal

Given the brutal cold during the last eight days of December, it's hard to imagine this: Temperatures last month in Champaign-Urbana were above average.

They were for the year, too.

Entertainment listings, Jan. 4-11, 2018


This weekend


A fresh blanket of outdoor opportunities

Now that the temperatures have started climbing upward again, it's time to look for something that burns holiday calories more than making snowmen and snow angels.

C-U Public Health District urges homeowners to test for radon

CHAMPAIGN — Ever tested your home for radon? The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District encourages that, and is now making test kits available for the public.

Oh, snap: This cold is really hanging around

CHAMPAIGN — Temperature readings at Willard Airport in Savoy remained below zero from 6 p.m. Dec. 31 through 1 p.m. Tuesday, a period of about 43 hours.

Letter from Birdland: A full nest for the holiday

Our boys have been arriving one by one like migratory birds.

First, I picked up Ellis, our youngest from across town. He had finished his finals and was ready to come home for a visit.

Next, the two of us picked up Chandra, his oldest brother, who had flown in from Seattle.

UPDATE: Wind-chill warning in effect through noon Tuesday

UPDATE, 8:45 a.m. Monday:

A wind chill warning remains in effect until noon Tuesday for east central Illinois.

Expect wind chills to range from 15 below to 30 below zero through Tuesday morning.

* * * * *

UPDATE, 11 a.m. Sunday:

County crews doing all they can to de-ice rural roads

If you skid down a slick side street on your way to work this morning, don't blame road-maintenance crews.

Tracy Wingler, maintenance supervisor for the Champaign County Highway Department, sympathizes with motorists but says crews have been working daily to clean up roads since more than 3 inches of snow fell throughout the area on Christmas Eve.