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SPews: December 10, 2010

Bus ridership approaches record,” News-Gazette, December 10

In contrast to the national trend, bus ridership in Champaign-Urbana is headed for a record this year, members of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board were told Wednesday.

Through October, the number of bus riders locally is up 8.1 percent this year. And although final November numbers are not available, MTD Director Bill Volk said the MTD gave more than a million rides last month for only the third time in its existence.

UI proposes bigger classes to ease budget concerns,” Daily Illini, December 8

Increased class sizes are being considered by University officials to allow for more out-of-state students, who pay higher tuition rates.

The tentative endorsement – which needed to be approached with caution, administrators said in a letter Wednesday – was one in a series of recommendations to increase revenue. According to the letter, which was signed by Chancellor/Interim Provost Robert Easter and Interim Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Richard Wheeler, this recommendation could have adverse effects.

Students for Environmental Concerns investigates UI disposal of coal ash,” Daily Illini, December 9

[Students for Environmental Concerns] filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requesting a document concerning [the University’s disposal of coal ash], and were surprised with the response, Wolz said.

The University provided them with the document, but information regarding the disposal of the coal ash and the chemical content of coal ash and incoming coal were redacted, or blacked out.

Champaign schools will get grant for geothermal systems,” News-Gazette, December 8

The Champaign school district is getting nearly a half-million dollars to help pay for geothermal systems at three elementary schools.

The district learned it will get a $481,000 state grant through the Illinois Energy Plan, which aims to invest in development of renewable energy resources, energy efficiency projects, biofuels and other “green” technologies.


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