Ameren set to charge up electric vehicles when public's ready

URBANA -- Ameren Illinois says its system is ready to charge electric vehicles whenever the public is ready to drive them.

With gas prices hovering around $3.50 a gallon, that time may come sooner than later.

Company aims to improve posting content to Web

CHAMPAIGN - A Champaign company plans to launch a product this week to make it easier to post "rich-media" content to the Web, embed it on a Facebook fan page and distribute it by Twitter.

The product is ZingZag, which company CEO Randy Sandone said allows individuals and small businesses to deliver text, photos and videos to the Web with ease.

New MTD kiosks up and running

URBANA - Five new Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District information kiosks have gone into operation on the University of Illinois campus.

The kiosks display information about scheduled bus arrivals and anticipated waits, and are capable of offering other data, said MTD Managing Director Bill Volk.

Verizon to launch 4G in C-U this year

CHAMPAIGN - Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE network to include Champaign-Urbana and four other markets in Illinois by the end of this year, the company said Monday.

The network which the company said has download speeds 10 times faster than its existing 3G network should make it easier to stream movies, conduct mobile business, download songs and upload photos.

Resident questions Vermilion wind farm rules

DANVILLE - The Vermilion County committee charged with overseeing the permit process for wind farms met for the first time Monday to begin its review of the county's first wind farm application. But one resident at the meeting still wants the county to reconsider its wind ordinance before moving through the application process.

Big Broadband consultant floats idea of closed meetings

A Maryland consultant hired to advise Champaign and Urbana on building the Big Broadband network has suggested they could meet behind closed doors.

But Deborah Frank Feinen, a Champaign City Council member and the chair of the Big Broadband policy committee, says "no way."

UI trustees won't vote on turbine at next meeting

URBANA – The University of Illinois trustees won't be voting on a proposed Urbana wind turbine project at their March 23 meeting, though a deadline is looming.

The turbine would be near the intersection of Old Church and Philo roads, and has caused some concerns among Urbana residents.

Bill would require governments to disclose number of surveillance cameras

SPRINGFIELD – Government agencies would be required to disclose the number of video surveillance cameras they have – but not the locations – under a bill approved by the House Judiciary Committee.

Paxton to upgrade some radios to meet federal rules

PAXTON – The city will need to update its radios and licenses by Jan. 1, 2013, Ford County 911 coordinator Dennis Higgins told the city council. Higgins said federal regulations will affect all public and private license holders and are in place to change from wide-band to narrow-band frequencies to create more licenses. The process has been ongoing for 20 years.

Waste-energy firm drops Gibson City from consideration

PAXTON – Minutes after Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen announced that a Wisconsin developer is no longer interested in Gibson City as a site for a proposed waste-to-energy plant, the board made arrangements to meet with a second company exploring a similar project.