3G service activated on AT&T cell sites in 28 locations

CHAMPAIGN – Customers with AT&T mobile phone service may have noticed increased availability of 3G service in the Champaign-Urbana area in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the company formally announced that 3G technology has been activated on 28 cell sites in Champaign, DeWitt, Piatt and McLean counties.

Heritage and history highlighted in Piatt barn tour

John Leischner's barn is more than a place where a pony makes its home, it's a building that has been in the family for generations.

Leischner's father inherited the barn at 2038 N. 500 East, DeLand, from his uncle. Now the barn is under the care of Leischner and his siblings.

The family barn will be shared with the public during the 12th annual Piatt County Museum Barn Tour on Friday through Sunday.

What began as a one-day excursion to barns scattered throughout the county has developed into an award-winning three-day festival highlighting one township in Piatt County annually.

Open house will celebrate Fire Prevention Week

CHAMPAIGN – A fire engine rally and a fire department open house are planned this weekend to kick off National Fire Prevention Week.

On Saturday, the Champaign County Fire Chiefs are organizing a fire engine rally.

Attendance low at ICC hearing on water rates

CHAMPAIGN – For the Illinois American Water Co. officials who had to defend the utility's 34.7 percent rate increase request at a public hearing, it could have been worse.

There was plenty of criticism Thursday night, but not many critics.

For UI alumus working at Pixar, filmmaking 'hard fun'

CHAMPAIGN – Making a Pixar animated film might take five years of hard, collaborative work, but gee, the Pixar Animation Studios in Emeryville, Calif., sure seems like a nice place to work.

University of Illinois alumnus Michael "wave" B. Johnson, who leads the acclaimed studio's Moving Picture Group, showed photographs of the Pixar workplace during a talk he gave Tuesday on the UI campus on Pixar history and culture and its production pipeline.

Garden Hills celebrates completed geothermal system

CHAMPAIGN – Garden Hills Elementary School has brighter hallways and cooler classrooms this fall, and the distinction of being the Champaign school district's "first green school."

On Tuesday, the school celebrated the completion of a geothermal system that provides a more efficient way to heat and cool the building.

Landscape center will have road work Wednesday morning

URBANA — Due to road resurfacing, the Landscape Recycling Center at 1210 E. University Ave., U, will be closed on Wednesday from 8 to noon.

Genetic testing helps sisters in fight against cancer

URBANA – When Pam Moore had breast cancer nearly three decades ago, she counted a lot on her two sisters to help her through it.

"I love my sisters, and I don't know what I'd do without them," she says.

Stations go off air, power down for tower improvements

CHAMPAIGN – One Champaign radio station went off the air for nearly three hours and another station temporarily reduced its power on Sunday in an effort to improve reception for people listening to National Weather Service broadcasts.

Ed Bond, engineer and producer at WDWS-AM and WHMS-FM, said work crews spent late Sunday morning and part of Sunday afternoon replacing the National Weather Service's antenna on top of the radio tower near Neil Street and Windsor Road.

UI team wins grant to do energy audits

CHAMPAIGN – A team of students from the University of Illinois has won a $50,000 grant to help prospective tenants in the Champaign-Urbana area learn the energy efficiency of apartments they might rent.

With the Ford College Community Challenge grant, the students hope to build an online database that would show the energy efficiency of rental properties in the community.