Ameren narrowing list of routes for high-voltage line

URBANA – Ameren Illinois officials have begun winnowing the number of options for a new high-voltage transmission line, built with 75- to 100-foot-tall structures, that would connect a substation near Bondville with another on the southwest side of the University of Illinois campus.

Utility company employees met Tuesday afternoon with local officials to discuss the route for the transmission line and will hold an open house from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday at the Urbana Holiday Inn, 1003 Killarney St., U. At the open house, Ameren officials will meet one-on-one with customers to discuss the project and the potential routes the 138,000-volt transmission line could take.

Syndicated-show lineups coming together for this fall

CHAMPAIGN – Area TV stations haven't solidified all their programming changes for fall, but several have committed to new shows.

In terms of syndicated shows, some of the biggest changes will be at WBUI, the CW affiliate in Decatur. It will pick up two comedies, "The Office" and "My Name Is Earl," to be shown weeknights, said Program Director Graham LaMontagne.

Area TV stations not adding any more 'subchannels' yet

CHAMPAIGN – Area TV stations say they aren't planning to add more digital "subchannels" soon, even though they have the flexibility to do so.

When TV stations began broadcasting digitally, they gained the ability to divide their signal across several video subchannels or "feeds."

Cost of fiber-optic broadband proposal drops in C-U

CHAMPAIGN – The application for state funding for the Urbana-Champaign big broadband project is due today, and the overall project's cost is going down.

The estimated cost of creating a community-owned fiber optic network was reduced by about $10 million, to the $35 million to $40 million range, following a survey of about 500 households this past weekend. The survey showed that more low-income households have Internet service than originally thought, and that several areas in Champaign-Urbana therefore don't qualify for federal funding to have big broadband brought directly to their home.

AT&T's U-verse now available in select parts of area

CHAMPAIGN – For folks who have griped for years about the cable company's "monopoly," there's now competition.

AT&T has rolled out a system that provides TV, phone and high-speed Internet service and is making it available in some parts of Champaign, Urbana, Savoy, Danville and Tilton.

Tiny town of Hope all that's left of trinity of communities

Faith, Hope and Charity and the greatest of these – apparently – is Hope.

Not many people know that in the mid-1800s, the three communities of Faith, Hope and Charity were settled in western Vermilion County.

Day camp at UI shows science 'not just for boys'

URBANA – Cathy Seebauer squealed as she added baking soda to a beaker with water colored purple from the dye of cabbage, a good pH indicator.

"It turned blue. Cool," said the 11-year-old from Urbana.

Champaign library sets Twitter workshop for Aug. 11

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Public Library is hosting a workshop to explain Twitter to people interested in learning more about the social networking service.

It's scheduled for 7 p.m. Aug. 11 in the Robeson Pavilion Room A & B at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C.

Blackhawk Biofuels quickly earns key designation

DANVILLE – Less than eight months after starting production in Danville, Blackhawk Biofuels, LLC has earned BQ-9000 Producer status from the National Biodiesel Board and the National Biodiesel Accreditation Committee.

"Today the petroleum industry is demanding biodiesel from BQ-9000 Producers," Gary Haer, vice president of sales and marketing of Renewable Energy Group, said in a news release. The company is a national biodiesel production and marketing company based in Ames, Iowa. "This certification distinguishes this strategically located, multiple feedstock facility as a high-quality fuel provider for petroleum distributors in Illinois, the greater Midwest region and distributors across the country."

AmerenIP announces plans for 138,000-volt power line

URBANA – The public will help determine where a 138,000-volt power line proposed by AmerenIP will go.

That would supply enough power for a city of 20,000 to 40,000 homes, according to the Illinois Commerce Commission.

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