No cause for concern over 'bleachy' water taste

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois American Water customers who might notice a slight bleachy smell or taste in their water have nothing to be concerned about.

Randy West, spokesman for the water company, said the chlorine is increased routinely for disinfection purposes.

UI alum's mobile-app firm to open office at EnterpriseWorks

CHAMPAIGN — A mobile-applications company started by a University of Illinois alumnus plans to open an office in EnterpriseWorks in September, the director of the UI Research Park said.

Lextech Global Services, a Lisle-based company founded by Alex Bratton, is expected to hire five to seven full-time employees locally at the outset, research park Director Laura Frerichs said.

Law allows renewable energy districts

A bill that would allow for the creation of a special local government district that could build and operate renewable energy facilities, including wind turbines, and sell that electricity has been signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Plans for waste-to-energy plant on hold in Gibson City

GIBSON CITY — A Massachusetts-based firm has put its plans on hold to build a waste-to-energy plant in Gibson City.

Garrett Gates, vice president of business development for Cambridge, Mass.-based Eco Manufacturing LLC, said his firm has not ruled out building the plant in Gibson City, but he said company officials need more time to evaluate their options.

IBM drops out of Blue Waters project

URBANA — IBM has ended its relationship with the Blue Waters project as a prime supplier of the water-cooled supercomputer.

The effective date was Aug. 6.

According to the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, IBM will return money received to date. NCSA will return equipment delivered by IBM according to the terms of the contract.

Electronics recycling set for Saturday

CHAMPAIGN — This year's third countywide residential electronics recycling event will be held Saturday morning at The News-Gazette distribution center in north Champaign.

Police use simulator for driving skills

CHAMPAIGN — It may have been sunny and 86 degrees outside but inside a recreational vehicle on the parking lot at the Champaign police department, officers were enduring rain, snow, ice, blown tires and all other kinds of nasty conditions Thursday.

Researchers at UI taking part in $1.3 million geology project

Underneath the flat expanse of much of Illinois is a basin that University of Illinois researchers can study by measuring tiny earthquakes from dozens of sensors.

Stephen Marshak, a UI geologist, is a leading investigator on this portion of EarthScope, a nationwide grid of sensors that will help to generate a three-dimensional picture of the ground beneath our feet.

Covenant, Carle have surgical robot system available

URBANA — Patients can now go to either Urbana hospital for the minimally-invasive urology and gynecology procedures done with a robotic surgical system some doctors prefer to use.

Provena Covenant Medical Center purchased a da Vinci surgical system earlier this month for $1.5 million, and Carle has had one since 2008.

Study: Most smartphone users don't use 'large chunks' of data

If you have a smartphone, chances are you are paying for a plan that provides you with more megabytes of data than you use, according to a consumer advocacy group.

"The stereotype is that smartphone users are devouring large chunks of data," said Patrick Deignan, spokesman with the Chicago-based Citizens Utility Board.