December 12, 2012

Indianapolis to Replace Entire Fleet with Electric, Hybrid

The mayor of Indianapolis announced Wednesday that the city is taking a major step toward energy independence. It plans to replace its entire non-police fleet with electric or hybrid vehicles by 2025, the first major U.S. city to do so.

The city will buy about 30 to 50 energy efficient cars each year to replace its 470 sedans. It estimates it will save $12,000 per vehicle. 

City spokesman Marc Lotter said the mayor, a retired Marine and Gulf War veteran, wants to change the national discussion on energy and foreign policy.

"Our dependence on foreign oil is putting our troops' lives in harm's way, it's costing our taxpayers billions of dollars each year in military expenditures, and it's something we no longer have to do because the technology is there," Lotter said.

The city hopes to replace its heavy trucks, like trash collectors and fire engines, to run on Compressed Natural Gas, Lotter said. It also wants to work with car manufacturers to develop plug-in hybrid police cars.

October 25, 2012

Rain Hasn’t Helped Illinois’ Drought Impact

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Drought Monitor, updated Thursday, shows about 92 percent of Illinois as abnormally dry, including several counties in northwest Illinois in extreme drought.

October 12, 2012

New Park Opens in Urbana

After more than two decades of planning and fundraising, a new park will be dedicated this Sunday at 5 p.m. just north of the Urbana City Building.

October 11, 2012

Bugs Help Plants Tolerate Drought, Frost

A new study shows bugs, even those that feed on crops, might not always be a bad thing for farmers. It is possible some could ultimately do more good than harm to the plants they feed on, by helping them pull through hardships like this year's drought.

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