Ground broken for Big Broadband

CHAMPAIGN — More than two years after organizers conceived of the project locally, they were one step closer on Tuesday to flipping the switch on the Big Broadband project and narrowing the "digital divide" in Champaign-Urbana.

Computer store set to open

CHAMPAIGN — As a teen growing up in Champaign-Urbana, James Wang frequented Internet cafes to play games, and over the years he built computers from parts that he bought or salvaged from other computers.

GCMS welcomes students' electronic devices

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley High School students will soon find that personal technology devices such as cell phones will be welcomed instead of banned from their classroom.

UI has all sorts of apps to help dorm dwellers stay plugged in

University of Illinois students who live in the residence halls have more options to rarely leave their rooms.

Want to know how many calories there are in the lemon mist cake in the cafeteria? Want to see if there's a dryer free? Check on a package?

Kirsten Ruby, who works in UI Housing as assistant director for marketing, says there's an app for that.

Wind farm developer has no agreement to sell power yet


URBANA -- The developer of a proposed 30-turbine wind farm in Champaign County does not yet have a deal with a utility to buy the output of the project, an attorney for Invenergy LLC admitted Thursday.

UI's Urbana campus considers electronic communications policy

URBANA — The Urbana campus has never had a formal policy on electronic communications and will soon enact one that could be a model for all three campuses of the University of Illinois.

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.

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.

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?

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.