Staff writer Paul Wood chats with the University of Illinois geologist who is part of a team that has developed new computer models to help researchers better forecast volcanic eruptions.

Linda Hewerdine's Society for Hooved Animal Rescue and Emergencies houses as many as 72 of them at a time at her farm outside Dewey. Many will find safe, new homes.

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Next week, Richard Norman will point his Farmall 560 southwest from his home in Akron, Ind., and drive the approximately 170 miles to Rantoul for the Half Century of Progress show. The diesel tractor gets about 12 miles per gallon.

The honor roll of area state-fair stars continues to grow. Joining the hog-calling and karaoke champs spotlighted in these pages Monday: Paxton’s Faith Foster (Grand Champion Poultry Meat Pen), a 17-year-old high school senior.

Farmers and drug-enforcement agents spent decades trying to rid Illinois fields of cannabis, considered both a noxious weed and an illegal plant. But the star-shaped “cannabis sativa” is making the transition to commercial crop, now that the state has legalized hemp production and both medical and recreational marijuana use.

Lots of groundbreaking in this week’s Mailbag on everything from mastodon remains found during a construction project 50 years ago to road work to a university construction project to updated natural gas lines in Champaign to a new business.

Though the Champaign County village's population clocks in under 2,000, gate receipts over the five days of this year's event were expected to hit around 8,500, with people from all over the area flocking to the fairgrounds for carnival rides, a country music concert, a tractor pull, a donkey race and a demolition derby, among other attractions.

Items about rerouting U.S. routes 45 and 150 through Champaign-Urbana, the new football performance center, closed rest areas, the washboard surface of North Lincoln Avenue in Somer Township, blocked intersections, mowing the grass along rural roads, and how soon C-U will see flashing yellow arrows.