Computer project uses media coverage to see political patterns

Kalev Leetaru wants to forecast political crises, like a meteorologist does the weather.

The assistant director of text and digital media analytics at the University of Illinois Institute for Computing in Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Leetaru said his supercomputer project can't predict uprisings and downfalls.

Champaign tests credit-card parking meters downtown

CHAMPAIGN — If you have ever been short on change for the parking meter in downtown Champaign, that could become a problem of the past with new technology city officials will begin testing today (Thursday, Oct. 13).

Champaign County Humane Society named finalist in web makeover contest

     The Champaign County Humane Society has been named a finalist in a website makeover contest being sponsored by a central Illinois web company.
     LRS Web Solutions, of Springfield, is sponsoring the "Big Website Makeover" contest.

Costs for high-voltage line skyrocket

CHAMPAIGN — What a difference 21 months makes.

In January 2010, Ameren Illinois estimated that the cost of building a 9.8-mile-long high-voltage line across southwest Champaign would be $14 million.

On Tuesday, Ameren Illinois spokesman Leigh Morris said the estimated cost of that "preferred" route had risen to $23.8 million.

County board OKs $100,000 for new electronics at courthouse


URBANA -- Champaign County Board members Tuesday approved using $100,000 from a courts construction fund to pay for new video arraignment system at the courthouse, as well as the replacement of a failing sound system in the courtrooms.

Both systems date back to the opening of the courthouse in 2001.

Parkland debuts online tuition calculator

     Students who will be attending Parkland College in Champaign have a new way to find out how much they'll have to pay.

Program tries to give kids a leg up on tech

Jamaica schools seventh-grader Rylan Tate always liked math, particularly geometry. Still, he didn't know why it's important to understand things like lines, angles and shapes, other than to do well on tests.

He does now, thanks to the Gateway to Technology pre-engineering program, which Vermilion Advantage brought to his school this year.

UI plans clean-energy workshop Oct. 13

URBANA — The University of Illinois will hold a clean-energy education workshop Oct. 13.

First of six bike-repair stands ready to help in downtown Urbana

URBANA — With tethered screwdrivers and wrenches dangling, a new fixture in downtown Urbana is obviously not your typical garage workshop.

Maybe the bicycle air pump gives it away.

Ameren Illinois to detail plans for power line

CHAMPAIGN — Area residents will have a chance next week to learn more about a high-power transmission line that Ameren Illinois plans in southwest Champaign.

Ameren Illinois will host an open house on the 138,000-volt line from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil St., C.