Pilot class helps Parkland students write applications for faculty members

CHAMPAIGN — Eric Terhark is looking for a change in careers.

This semester, Terhark, 39, of Monticello was part of a pilot class taught by David Bock at Parkland College that may help with that change.

Benefits touted for high-speed rail

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign County needs to pursue both a high-speed rail line and improved air service, the CEO of the county's economic development group says.

John Dimit said a 220-mph rail line running from Chicago to St. Louis via Champaign makes sense from both a transportation and economic development standpoint.

GPS provides cross-cultural experience for young scientists

URBANA — A lesson on GPS units might have taught local fourth-graders how the technology can be used in scientific fields.

But it also resulted in a multilayered lesson that included science, language, working with high school students and an appreciation of different cultures.

Bring out your dead electronics

CHAMPAIGN — The first Champaign County residential electronics recycling event of the year will be Saturday morning at The News-Gazette distribution center.

Lessons from $18 million Global Campus failure

In his inauguration address in September 2005, then-University of Illinois President B. Joseph White first introduced the concept of a fourth, virtual campus to the university community.

Could the university create something that would combine the academic quality of the University of Illinois with the user-friendliness of the University of Phoenix?

The UI would give it a shot.

After UI's short-lived experiment, Web courses, enrollment on rise

URBANA — MOOCs, moodles, wikis.

What's your online learning IQ?

A MOOC is a "massive, open online course." Moodle is an open-sourced e-learning platform. And with wikis, many different users contribute to online content.

Food bank has shot at $1 million through social media

URBANA — The Eastern Illinois Foodbank has a shot at winning $1 million — about half its annual budget — through a new social media campaign being run by Walmart and its Walmart Foundation.

And if you'd like to help, it's "super easy," says food bank marketing director Cheryl Precious.

Villa Grove schools approve electricity agreement

In an effort to save on energy costs, the Villa Grove school board has approved an agreement with First Energy to provide the district with electricity for the next two years.

The school district now gets electricity from the Illinois Energy Consortium and pays nearly as much as it would through the traditional utility company.

Urbana approves bidding pool for better electric rates

URBANA — City council members on Monday night gave administrators the green light to add Urbana to a bidding pool that they believe will get residents better rates on their electric bills.

Tuscola officials confident they have what it takes the next time a company comes calling

TUSCOLA — Tuscola might have been unsuccessful 4 1/2 years ago attracting the $1 billion-plus FutureGen power plant.

But the pursuit may have a happy ending after all as various investors have shown interest in building an industrial plant there instead.