Laser rock 'n' roll shows are 'back' at Staerkel Planetarium

CHAMPAIGN — From 1990 to 2010, the Staerkel Planetarium at Parkland College put on rock 'n' roll light shows nearly every weekend.

Since they ended, planetarium director David Leake has had on average two persons a week asking him when he would bring back the "laser shows."

Here's a secret, one that's not necessarily well-kept:

Rich Warren: The preview has come and gone

The whirring slot machines continue dinging in Las Vegas, but the future has moved on to Best Buy, Glenn Poor's Audio-Video and The International Consumer Electronics Show decamped a few weeks ago, seeding its new products to us for this spring.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: State to celebrate 200 years in 2018

In anticipation of Illinois' 200th birthday in 2018, the newsletter of the Illinois State Archives, "For The Record," will feature a document from the Illinois State Archives' holdings in each issue over four years, that is relevant to Illinois history.

UI research may ease monitoring after traumatic brain injury

CHAMPAIGN — After a traumatic brain injury, doctors know it's important to watch out for pressure building within the skull that can lead to further injury or death. But today's monitoring technology comes with some down sides.

Outages prompting fresh look at campus phone plan

URBANA — A sixth outage in just over a year has the University of Illinois considering a new vendor for the phone services that connect the campus to the outside world.

Intermittent problems with outside calls to and from the campus system prompted an Illini Alert for about two hours Friday, urging employees to use their cellphones or campus emergency phones to call 911 if needed.

Archaeological dig gets international recognition

CHAMPAIGN — When a team with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey in Champaign began excavating a site in former stock yards near East St. Louis several years ago, they couldn't foresee the breadth and importance of the discoveries they would unearth there.

Rich Warren: Keeping your privacy is getting tougher

If you value your privacy, take a few minutes to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your digital devices. Whether smartphones (Apple or Android) or TVs, if you drill down through the settings menus you'll come across options on whether to share information with the manufacturer or service provider. Disabling sharing most likely will not alter the performance of the product.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: FamilySearch reviews 2015 progress

FamilySearch, operated by the Genealogical Society of Utah, is the largest family history organization in the world and provides free access to its collections of records on the Internet at

Rich Warren: Not everything stays in Vegas — especially at CES

Viva Las Vegas, land of Sheldon Adelson, the playground of the late, great Rat Pack and home of one of the world's two largest electronics exhibitions.

If it has a plug, batteries or LED, it's in Las Vegas this week.

The International Consumer Electronics Show began with press day Jan. 5 and ends Saturday.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Apply for genealogical research grant

Is your local genealogical society in need of extra funds in order to tackle that necessary project (such as a computer upgrade, publication of data, planning a reunion, etc.)? Why not apply for one of Megan Smolenyak's Seton Shields Genealogy Research Grants.