Rich Warren: Be careful what you repair, the fix could be in

Most farmers spend winters repairing and refurbishing their machinery. My former neighbor Jimmy used to strip down his combine and tractor, replacing worn parts while cleaning and lubricating the rest. He boasted of using his machinery for over 20 years. That's not as simple as it once was, since most new farm machinery, especially combines and planters, now include sophisticated electronics.

Just 1 question: What's cool about Engineering in the Classroom?

If you know how to use simple machines, you can create anything. That's the lesson fifth-graders at Lincoln Trail Elementary in Mahomet are learning from local engineers who have been paying twice-a-week visits to their classroom since the beginning of January.

Deal could speed up UC2B installation

CHAMPAIGN — If you're still waiting on Big Broadband to come to your neighborhood, a pending deal could speed things up in the near future if Champaign and Urbana officials approve.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: White slave children's ancestry traced

White children who were kidnapped between 1660 and 1720 and sent to plantations as servants in Maryland and Virginia have been documented in Richard Hayes Phillips' book, "Without Indentures: Index to White Slave Children in Colonial Court Records (Maryland and Virginia." In his most recent book, "White Slave Children of Colonial Maryland and Virginia Birth a

Wired In: Leanne Labriola

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet DR. LEANNE LABRIOLA, 36, the daughter of an Italian grocer and English professor who became a Carle ophthalmologist and professor at the University of Illinois College of Medicine. 


Rich Warren: Our channel surfing continues

While astronomers clean their lenses seeking a ninth or 10th planet, our readers discover even more TV channels than listed in a recent column. Here's one reader's suggestion:

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Library of Congress Magazine online

The most recent issue of the Library of Congress Magazine (January/February 2016; Vol. 5, No. 1) is now available for viewing/downloading (free) at

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Fundraising party at Orpheum

Wired In: Ben Newell

On Sundays, we spotlight a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet BEN NEWELL, 36, president and co-founder of Build Equinox.


Danville, Rantoul districts get state OK for millions in interest-free loans for construction work

Three area school districts are among 29 across Illinois that have received the state's OK to take out interest-free bonds for construction projects.

The Illinois State Board of Education announced that nearly 200 districts across the cash-strapped state — including Champaign and Urbana — applied for its Qualified School Construction Bond program.