Program beneficial to school nurses

BISMARCK — When school nurse Josie Siddens starts her day, she makes sure to have the tools of her trade on hand: a stethoscope, thermometer, nebulizer and — what's come to be her most indispensable tool — a cellphone.

"It's a lifeline," said Siddens, who serves nearly 1,000 Bismarck-Henning students who are spread out in three buildings.

Questions to ask electric suppliers

Here are some of the questions the Illinois Commerce Commission suggests you ask suppliers before signing with them:

— What is the price per kilowatt-hour?

— What is the total price for, say, 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity usage?

— Is it a fixed rate or variable rate?

Alternative suppliers vie to save you money on electric bill

CHAMPAIGN — Residential electric customers in Illinois can save some on their bills if they're willing to do a little homework.

Thanks to deregulation, customers served by Ameren Illinois can select an "alternative retail electric supplier" who can give them a break on energy prices.

Some phone, Internet service out in Champaign

Some people who live and work near South First Street in Champaign are out of telephone and Internet service after a telephone line was hit by a work crew on Thursday afternoon.

Ameren IP Leigh Morris said an Ameren crew boring an underground cable for an electric line at 806 S. First St. hit an AT&T cable, affecting telephone and Internet service to the area.

First Champaign County wind farm hearing set

URBANA — The first of a series of public hearings on a proposed wind farm — the inaugural wind complex in Champaign County — is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Brookens Administrative Center, 1776 E. Washington St., U.

Verizon will launch 4G in C-U on Sept. 15

CHAMPAIGN — Verizon Wireless plans to expand its 4G LTE network to include the Champaign-Urbana area on Sept. 15, the company said Monday.

The expansion will make available download speeds 10 times faster than Verizon's existing 3G network. That will make it easier to stream movies, download songs and conduct mobile business.

Technology at UI could revolutionize batteries

CHAMPAIGN — If a new technology developed by Paul Braun and his team gets adopted by industry, it may take only minutes to charge your laptop, instead of an hour or so.

Braun, a professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Illinois, has come up with a faster way to charge batteries.

Scientists awarded grant to continue developing optical device for medical exams

URBANA — Primary-care physicians could be using a handheld device that combines the functions of several tools at once, all linked to massive data storage, within the decade.

The National Institutes of Health have awarded a team led by the University of Illinois $5 million over five years — with a renewal options — to improve the UI's optical tomography tool.

QR codes come to campus sites

URBANA — Kindly Alma Mater has 58,599 "likes" on Facebook as of Thursday, and the first day of classes hasn't even hit yet.

The popular statue has welcomed University of Illinois students since 1929. Abreast of the times, her social-networking even includes a Twitter account.

County board gives final OK to high-speed rail resolution

Updated 9:10 p.m.

URBANA — The Champaign County Board is now on record in support of Midwest high-speed rail, calling on Congress to “include a program to develop an integrated network of high-speed trains and expanded Amtrak service in the upcoming transportation authorization.”