Read more about the article South Mahomet Road drainage agreement discussed for years before public was told
A graphic depicting the project location from the project's petition documents.

South Mahomet Road drainage agreement discussed for years before public was told

An agenda item on the Oct. 18 meeting packet stated that the school district had an “obligation” to complete on-site underground storm sewer work at the Middletown Prairie campus as private land west of Middletown Prairie Elementary (MPE) developed. That obligation may have been the first time the public was made aware of the situation, yet, through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made by CU-CitizenAccess, it is evident that all parties involved, including the boards, were aware of a developing situation as early as 2016 and 2017. It started with a drainage issue and led to an agreement for South Mahomet Road while the school district finalized their plans for Phase II construction on the elementary school. 

Continue ReadingSouth Mahomet Road drainage agreement discussed for years before public was told
Read more about the article Urbana experiences the lowest number of nuisance complaints in three yearsDarrell Hoemann
Busey Avenue looking south from Illinois Street in Urbana on Wednesday, December 15, 2021. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess

Urbana experiences the lowest number of nuisance complaints in three years

Throughout this year, about 466 nuisance complaints were reported in Urbana. Nuisance complaints include weeds and overgrown trees and vegetation, trash, debris, loud noise…

Continue ReadingUrbana experiences the lowest number of nuisance complaints in three years
Read more about the article Inconsistent garbage pickup angers Champaign residentsDarrell Hoemann
Republic Services exterior at 2801 N Willow Rd, Urbana, IL 61802) on Sunday, December 19, 2021. Photo by Darrell Hoemann/CU-CitizenAccess

Inconsistent garbage pickup angers Champaign residents

The inconsistent pick up by some commercial garbage-hauling companies has been sharply criticized residents in the Champaign area. Despite an increase in complaints, no companies have received a fine from the city. The city also has no employee in the city’s public works department who is dedicated to dealing with complaints about waste haulers. 

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Read more about the article Community members, businesses rally to clean littered fields in business areaDarrell Hoemann
Litter in a field by Interstate Drive in north Champaign, IL on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

Community members, businesses rally to clean littered fields in business area

In response to uncontrolled trash piling up in the North Prospect business area, community members rallied together to pick up 29 bags of litter…

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Read more about the article Champaign residents seek litter solutions after delayed city cleanup efforts, untracked complaints
Trash lines the bus stop next to Walmart on North Prospect Ave. in Champaign on April 5, 2021. Photo by Dylan Tiger.

Champaign residents seek litter solutions after delayed city cleanup efforts, untracked complaints

Champaign residents erupted on social media in early March about the excess litter in the Champaign area, especially North Prospect, with some claiming they have never seen the city so polluted before. In late spring this year, resident Michael Chrasta expects “a revival” of the Loving Our City cleanup initiative that was cancelled in March 2020 as COVID-19 entered the community.

Continue ReadingChampaign residents seek litter solutions after delayed city cleanup efforts, untracked complaints
Read more about the article County Forest Preserve says tax referendum is “not a partisan issue”Champaign County Forest Preserve District
Museum of the Grand Prairie in Mahomet's Lake of the Woods preserve, one of the six forest preserves run by CCFPD.

County Forest Preserve says tax referendum is “not a partisan issue”

The Champaign County Forest Preserve District is a week away from learning if voters will support its plea for an increase in taxes to support catching up on more than $4 million in backlogged capital projects. The referendum proposes an increased tax levy of 0.0160 to 0.1033 percent. The district decided not to increase its tax levy before a tax cap implementation in 1996.

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Read more about the article Climate change and poverty contribute to local flooding
Photo by Tiffany Jolley. Roads in SW Champaign were closed for hours due to flooding. Photo taken July 12, 2014.

Climate change and poverty contribute to local flooding

On-going flooding still plagues the Champaign area, despite multi-million-dollar changes made to local water areas over a decade ago. Based on observations from Champaign’s COOP weather station, not only have water levels in Illinois have been increasing about 0.6-inches every decade since 1899, but the daily precipitation has also grown in the same time span. Over the last 20 years, Champaign has been doused with the highest rate of precipitation on record.

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Read more about the article Illinois EPA seeks public input on Dynegy plan to stabilize Middle ForkIllinois EPA via Public Records Request
The banks of the Middle Fork River near Dynegy's coal ash ponds at the Vermilion Power Station are eroding at a rate of 2.3 feet per year. The company is applying for a permit to install more than 22,000 cubic years of rock to prevent the river from breaching the ash ponds.

Illinois EPA seeks public input on Dynegy plan to stabilize Middle Fork

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency will have a public hearing on a proposal by Dynegy Midwest Generation, LLC to stabilize the Middle Fork River…

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Read more about the article Report shows toxic contamination at coal ash sites throughout IllinoisJack Brighton/Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
Andrew Rehn of the Prairie Rivers Network presents the report "Cap and Run: Toxic Coal Ash Left Behind by Big Polluters Threatens Illinois Water" in a packed room at the Illinois state capitol building in Springfield.

Report shows toxic contamination at coal ash sites throughout Illinois

A new report published by several state environmental groups shows severe pollution of groundwater at nearly every known coal ash storage site in Illinois.

Continue ReadingReport shows toxic contamination at coal ash sites throughout Illinois
Read more about the article Public comments now open on Dynegy plan to stabilize the Middle Fork River near coal ash ponds
Dynegy proposes to build wall of rock for more than a third of a mile along the Middle Fork River to stop riverbank erosion near two of the company’s coal ash ponds near Oakwood, Illinois. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking public comment on the proposal until December 28. (SCI Engineering/from open records request)

Public comments now open on Dynegy plan to stabilize the Middle Fork River near coal ash ponds

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking comment on a proposal by Dynegy Midwest, LLC to install a rock wall to prevent millions of gallons of coal ash from polluting the Middle Fork River in Vermilion County.

Continue ReadingPublic comments now open on Dynegy plan to stabilize the Middle Fork River near coal ash ponds