Rich Warren: Checking out the latest stuff always eye-opening

When the mediocre sound of MP3s overwhelms me and poor quality Web videos tire me, I head over to Glenn Poor's Audio-Video in the Old Farms Shops in Champaign to recalibrate. That usually means a semiannual visit.

Proprietor Geoff Poor always infectiously waxes ecstatic about new products during my visits, such as the one at the end of August.

Illinois Ancestors: 'Irish Lives Remembered' update available

The September 2013 issue (No. 16) of the free online e-magazine "Irish Lives Remembered" can be read/downloaded at

As in previous issues, this issue devotes many pages to genealogical research in a specific county; this issue features County Cavan.

Kenwood to offer training, computer to parents of students

CHAMPAIGN — While students at Kenwood Elementary in Champaign will be out of school next week for their fall intersession, their parents and guardians will have a chance to learn about computers at school.

A setback for wind farms

HOPE — An airplane that never takes off. A diesel truck idling. An interstate highway. Tennis shoes thumping in a dryer.

That's how several Vermilion County residents who live in the California Ridge wind project describe the various noises from wind turbines near their homes.

Carle schedules phone maintenance Saturday night

URBANA — Due to basic maintenance on phone lines at Carle Foundation Hospital over the weekend, some callers may experience delays getting through.

Beginning at 10 p.m. Saturday, primary phone lines will have limited service.

Inbound calls to Carle's main number, 217-383-3311, will be possible, but callers may experience busy signals and delays.

Cameras might be in courts by year's end

SPRINGFIELD — Cameras and other recording devices could be in courtrooms in the 6th Judicial Circuit by the end of the year.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Friday approved allowing the devices for the 6th Circuit, which comprises Champaign, DeWitt, Douglas, Macon, Moultrie and Piatt counties.

Hulten considers machines to ease early voting

URBANA — Champaign County Clerk Gordy Hulten is considering purchasing 12 new election tabulators to make early voting easier for county residents.

The equipment would cost about $85,000, he said, and would be covered by a combination of federal grant funds, credits for surplus equipment that is being returned and money saved within the clerk's office.

Computer programming workshop set for dyslexic students

URBANA — A free workshop about computer programming for dyslexic students is scheduled for 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, in the Lewis Auditorium at the Urbana Free Library, 200 W. Green St., U.

The workshop is free and open to the public.

Rich Warren: Reader protests statement about cellphone companies

Once in a while we touch a nerve. This column avoids politics but sometimes inadvertently crosses the line. Thus, the following rebuttal to the Aug. 15 column:

Chicago campus has joined the Common Application Consortium

CHICAGO — Overall admissions numbers and the quality of student applicants both improved this year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, which recently joined the Common Application Consortium.

But UI officials say it's too soon to gauge the full impact of the school's decision to use the Common App, which has not been adopted by the Urbana-Champaign or Springfield campuses.