University of Illinois

University of Illinois

For UI's new provost, it's always been about growth

URBANA – It may be a long way from growing up on a Texas farm to filling one of the most powerful posts at the University of Illinois when he steps into his interim provost position, but Robert Easter isn't one for forgetting his roots.

He still grows, from fruit trees on his once-rural Mahomet acreage, to friendships that span decades, to knowledge of how pigs function and how that, in turn, can help understand how people function.

Program to help farmers recycle chemical containers

The Illinois Department of Agriculture is encouraging farmers to recycle their empty agrichemical containers.

The department announced last week a recycling program for the containers that begins later this summer. Designated sites across the state will collect the containers and grind them into small plastic chips used to make shipping pallets, fence posts, drainage tubing, plastic lumber and other products.

Majestic eagles an Illinois Power Point presentation

CLINTON LAKE – A drive to Clinton Lake might be in order if you'd like to see American bald eagles soaring over the local landscape.

There's a nest of the eagles with three little ones – called eaglets – near the Illinois Power Employee Recreation Area.

Firm uses new technology to refine crude petroleum

CHAMPAIGN – A former University of Illinois employee has launched a company intent on making the petroleum-refining industry cleaner and less energy-intensive.

Tried and True: Mushroom variety key to spaghetti

Each week, we'll be using this space to feature a recipe that has been tried and comes highly recommended. Sometimes the recipe and review will come from one of us on staff who loves to cook, and frequently it will come from our food-loving readers.

This recipe from Food Network cook Rachael Ray produced a quick, delicious supper for my husband and I, and there were enough leftovers for a couple lunches or more. The mix of a variety of mushrooms is key, though. I used shiitake, crimini and oyster mushrooms. I also used whole-wheat angel hair pasta. And I had no leeks in the house, so I substituted a whole yellow onion that I cooked along with the mushrooms.

Garden Fresh: Choose spinach for nutrients, minerals

If the rabbits haven't eaten it all, fresh spinach is popping up ripe and ready for eating these days.

Experts love spinach because they've learned – maybe from Popeye – that its nutrients and minerals keep us strong and healthy. Grocery stores offer bags of prewashed spinach that's delicate enough for fresh salads.

UI disables lobbying branch's access to student info

URBANA – The University of Illinois has restricted access to its student-information system following a News-Gazette report that found legislators attempted to influence the admissions process on campus.

The office of government relations, or the university's lobbying branch, was suspended from having access to the UI's Banner system, which includes student information.

Veteran ACES dean named interim provost at UI

URBANA – A veteran dean who continues to teach and do research was designated interim provost at the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois on Tuesday.

Robert A. Easter, the dean of the UI College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, has the job, pending approval by the board of trustees at its July 22 meeting in Chicago.

UI suspends its "Category I" special admissions list

URBANA – The University of Illinois on Monday announced it has suspended use of the so-called "Category I" list following recent reports that trustees, legislators and others tried to influence the admission of some students to the university.

The university will also create a task force to review the UI's admissions process, according to a university statement released Monday afternoon.

UI's flash economic index increases slightly in May

URBANA – The University of Illinois flash economic index was up for the first time in 10 months – but only slightly.

The index increased to 94.1 in May, up from 94 in April.