Rich Warren: Looking for a deal? Wait till the New Year

For those who participated in retail madness over the Thanksgiving weekend, may you enjoy the fruits of your mania. I saw very few advertised "black Friday" electronics specials that were truly special.

Illinois Ancestors: U.S. offers guide for American Indian research

The U.S. Department of the Interior has a helpful 10-page booklet on the Internet, "Guide to Tracing Your American Indian Ancestry," at Whether one wishes to "verify a family tradition" or "just learn more," this publication can be most helpful.

Obiter changes business model to adapt

CHAMPAIGN — In the labs and offices of Obiter Research, chemist Bill Boulanger and his brother Chad are refining their formula for business success.

Twitter behavior a growing challenge for school officials

When in doubt, write it out.

But don't click "tweet."

That's the advice Armstrong Township Principal Darren Loschen gives his high school students when it comes to expressing themselves on Twitter.

Updated: Urbana native Hopkins works on Orion spacecraft project

From The Associated Press:

Rich Warren: Presenting some gift advice

'Tis better to give than to receive. Yet, what if what you give already was received, or perhaps not ideal for the recipient? Most storefront retailers and some online sellers are tightening the screws on returns, even for gifts. When purchasing an electronic gift or something for yourself, be very sure to document a merchant's return policies.

Presidential project was a bust

Paul Debevec isn't allowed to say exactly when he went to the White House to help make a 3D scan of President Barack Obama. He can only reveal it was some time last year.

But the 1988 University Laboratory High School grad can talk now about how the portrait, believed to be the first made in 3D of a sitting head of state, came together.

Amazon's new robot army is ready to ship

BRANDON BAILEY, AP Technology Writer

Rantoul class uses drones to learn technology

RANTOUL — One quick flick of the finger, and the four propellers on the drone start spinning. Soon, the $400 machine is lifted off the grass of the football field at Rantoul Township High School.

All eyes turn skyward as Steven Lowe and students from his Drafting 2 class take the drone for its first spin — high and far across the west end of campus.

Rantoul officers wearing body cameras

RANTOUL — After nearly three years of planning, 23 Rantoul police officers are now using body cameras.

The police department received a large, anonymous donation in 2011, and the donor specified the money must be earmarked for the research and purchase of body cams.