Outages prompting fresh look at campus phone plan

URBANA — A sixth outage in just over a year has the University of Illinois considering a new vendor for the phone services that connect the campus to the outside world.

Intermittent problems with outside calls to and from the campus system prompted an Illini Alert for about two hours Friday, urging employees to use their cellphones or campus emergency phones to call 911 if needed.

Archaeological dig gets international recognition

CHAMPAIGN — When a team with the Illinois State Archaeological Survey in Champaign began excavating a site in former stock yards near East St. Louis several years ago, they couldn't foresee the breadth and importance of the discoveries they would unearth there.

Rich Warren: Keeping your privacy is getting tougher

If you value your privacy, take a few minutes to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with your digital devices. Whether smartphones (Apple or Android) or TVs, if you drill down through the settings menus you'll come across options on whether to share information with the manufacturer or service provider. Disabling sharing most likely will not alter the performance of the product.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: FamilySearch reviews 2015 progress

FamilySearch, operated by the Genealogical Society of Utah, is the largest family history organization in the world and provides free access to its collections of records on the Internet at

Rich Warren: Not everything stays in Vegas — especially at CES

Viva Las Vegas, land of Sheldon Adelson, the playground of the late, great Rat Pack and home of one of the world's two largest electronics exhibitions.

If it has a plug, batteries or LED, it's in Las Vegas this week.

The International Consumer Electronics Show began with press day Jan. 5 and ends Saturday.

Joan Griffis/Illinois Ancestors: Apply for genealogical research grant

Is your local genealogical society in need of extra funds in order to tackle that necessary project (such as a computer upgrade, publication of data, planning a reunion, etc.)? Why not apply for one of Megan Smolenyak's Seton Shields Genealogy Research Grants.

Go figure: Jan. 5, 2016

A numerical look at local headlines


It was fun while it lasted but ALEX DOZIER's record-long reign as Chief Illiniwek officially ended when he turned in his senior thesis at semester's end.

Reluctant Townie: Set for takeoff: Best practices for drones

The Federal Aviation Administration estimates that more than 1 million drones were sold during the 2015 holiday season. If, like me, you were one of the million who became a proud owner and operator of an unmanned aerial vehicle, you may have questions about what your rights and responsibilities are as a drone pilot.

Wired In: Akshay Singh

On Sundays, staff writer Paul Wood spotlights a high-tech difference maker. This week, meet Akshay Singh, 24, a former software engineer who is Chief Technology Officer for Quicket Solutions, which provides technological support for law enforcement agencies.

Why you might encounter Quicket

Getting Personal: Gene Robinson

Each week, we offer a Q&A with a local personality. Today, 60-year-old Champaign resident Gene Robinson, the director of the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, chats with The News-Gazette's Paul Wood. Robinson also is the Swanlund Chair of Entomology and Neuroscience.