METCAD marking three decades of serving Champaign County

URBANA – The 911 emergency dispatching system in Champaign County is approaching a milestone.

The Metropolitan Computer Aided Dispatch Service will celebrate its 30th anniversary next month.

Committee to discuss community fiber-optic network

CHAMPAIGN – A proposal to install a community-owned fiber-optic network throughout Champaign-Urbana would cost at least $30 million – possibly as much as $35 million.

But with the federal government possibly providing up to 80 percent of that cost through its stimulus program, the cities and the University of Illinois can't afford to miss what amounts to "an amazing opportunity," said Michael Smeltzer, director of networking for the UI, who is leading a public effort locally to apply for the federal funding.

Educator retiring after 54 years of teaching in East Central Illinois

PAXTON – Arcelia Watson is ending a tireless career in education at the end of this month – a career that spans five decades and touched the lives of hundreds of people in the Paxton-Buckley-Loda school community.

"She has sprinted into retirement," said Superintendent Cliff McClure. "She has given it her all every day. Like everything else she did, she did it right."

Simple recipes for eating with honors after graduation

After the graduation ceremony, families typically invite family and friends back to the house or to the nearest park for a celebration.

Sometimes the grill's the centerpiece, with burgers and all the sides, and sometimes the after-graduation parties focus on nibbles. If you're interested in the latter – to preclude having to wash dishes and silverware – consider some of these recipes for party foods. They range from light snacks like sweet, spicy nuts to meatballs and veggie pizzas.

Fresh fruits, vegetables readily available in area

It's the season we've been waiting for – local homegrown vegetables and fruits being sold at farmers' markets.

Here's a directory of ones in our area. You might want to clip and save and put on your refrigerator so you don't forget the days and times.

Advance ticket sales booming for 'Terminator Salvation'

Fans of the "Terminator" franchise are buying tickets in advance of Thursday's midnight showing of "Terminator Salvation" at the Savoy 16 theater.

Assistant Manager Kya Gream said she has four prints available for the Christian Bale film, which continues the man-vs.-machine series begun 25 years ago.

Savoy trustees get details about AT&T's U-verse

SAVOY – AT&T representative John Quinn answered questions from the village board Wednesday about U-verse – the company's new Internet Protocol network – which will be offered starting this summer to selected parts of Savoy as well as Champaign, Urbana and Danville.

The network will provide services, which AT&T said are a competitive alternative to cable, such as Internet-based TV, high-quality videos and games.

Proposed wind farm ordinance advances to full county board

URBANA – An ordinance to regulate wind farms in Champaign County will go to the full county board later this month.

Members of the county's Environment and Land Use Committee voted unanimously Monday night to send the ordinance to the county board for its May 21 meeting.

Associate director picked for research park

CHAMPAIGN – Laura Frerichs has been named associate director of the University of Illinois Research Park and its business incubator, EnterpriseWorks, effective June 16.

Forums to be held on creating plan for broadband program

URBANA – Public forums will be held on creation of a local plan for a possible high-speed Internet program in Champaign-Urbana.

The Broadband Access Committee of the Champaign-Urbana Cable Television and Telecommunications Commission will host the first forum at 10 a.m. Saturday at the Lewis Auditorium of the Urbana Free Library, 210 W. Green St., U. Another forum is set for 7 p.m. May 21 at the Champaign Public Library, 200 W. Green St., C.