Waste-energy firm drops Gibson City from consideration

PAXTON – Minutes after Ford County Board Chairman Rick Bowen announced that a Wisconsin developer is no longer interested in Gibson City as a site for a proposed waste-to-energy plant, the board made arrangements to meet with a second company exploring a similar project.

Paxton to upgrade some radios to meet federal rules

PAXTON – The city will need to update its radios and licenses by Jan. 1, 2013, Ford County 911 coordinator Dennis Higgins told the city council. Higgins said federal regulations will affect all public and private license holders and are in place to change from wide-band to narrow-band frequencies to create more licenses. The process has been ongoing for 20 years.

Open-house visitors get firsthand look at Virginia Theatre's renovations

CHAMPAIGN – Sunday afternoon's Virginia Theatre open house brought back pleasant memories for Mary Wood of Champaign, whose son, Steve Wood, worked there as a manager in the 1970s.

Robot competition at UI Engineering Open House a culmination of fun

URBANA – They worked thousands of hours for those seven minutes Saturday.

That blip of time in which four remote-controlled robots competed against each other to collect balls and dump them into a designated bin for points represented months of trial and error, but mostly fun, for the college engineering and computer students who designed and built the machines.

UI Open Houses, March 11-12, 2011.

Beckman Institute, the Engineering Department, and the College of ACES all held their annual open house's on Friday, March 11 and Saturday, March 12, 2011.

Lampmaker plans to ramp up production

CHAMPAIGN – Eden Park Illumination is producing a few hundred microplasma lamps every few weeks at its plant in west Champaign, co-founder Gary Eden said.

In the next 12 to 18 months, the company hopes to move to larger-scale production, said Eden, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Illinois.

UI grad student wins Lemelson-MIT inventor prize

URBANA – University of Illinois graduate student Scott Daigle has won the $30,000 Lemelson-MIT Illinois Student Prize, given annually to an outstanding student inventor on campus.

Daigle, a graduate student in mechanical science and engineering, started IntelliWheels Inc. to add automatic gear shifting to wheelchairs.

Champaign council gets update on 'Big Broadband'

CHAMPAIGN – Policy and technical conversations have been going on since Champaign-Urbana received a $22.5 million federal stimulus grant last year, and officials could be ready to break ground on a new high-speed Internet infrastructure by August, organizers told the city council on Tuesday.

Champaign council to be updated on Big Broadband project update this week

CHAMPAIGN – City council members will hear an update on the $24 million Big Broadband project when they meet this week as committees have been working on the details of the high-speed Internet network for months.

The council will meet in study session on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the Champaign City Building, 102 N. Neil St.

NCSA to share in $4.5 million project

URBANA – The National Center for Supercomputing Applications will share in a $4.5 million project to help small and medium-sized manufacturers learn how to use state-of-the-art design technologies.