Center for juvenile delinquents deals with more than 500 clients a year

There is no such thing as a typical day at the Youth Assessment Center in Champaign, according to director Jonathan Westfield.

The center, which has been operating since 2013, works with young people in the community who exhibit “troubling behavior.” Law enforcement, schools or family can refer them as an alternative to prosecution and in hopes of preventing future delinquent activities.

“It’s a diversionary program that keeps juveniles from being fully immersed in the juvenile court system,” Westfield said. “It allows them to see the impact of their actions directly and indirectly — not only how it affects them, but how it affects the victim, their family and the community as a whole.

Champaign schools implement coding curriculum

Champaign Unit 4 Schools have implemented a curriculum based around coding, beginning in kindergarten and going all the way up through high school. The students have designated time each week to learn how to code through the programming language Scratch.

Long-time housing for migrant farmworkers closes

Since 2001, the former hospital on Nightingale Court in Rantoul, Ilinois housed as many as 450 migrant farmworkers and their families to work in the fields in central Illinois.
But this year, its owner – Unique Storage Inc. – did not submit a migrant labor camp application for the site, known as Nightingale, according to the state public health department.
Instead, housing for the farmworkers was moved elsewhere.

Damage from dicamba spurs confusion, questions

In 2016, Monsanto released its dicamba-resistant soybeans in the company’s largest ever rollout of a new biotechnology.
But its accompanying herbicide – XtendiMaxTM herbicide with VaporGripTM Technology – was not approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency until several months later, leading some farmers to use other versions of the herbicide on their soybeans.

In wake of new Monsanto seed, Illinois sees more crop damage

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has received 368 complaints so far in 2017, which are more alleged pesticide misuse complaints than in the previous three years combined, according to a review of a statewide database of complaints by the Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting.

Lack of irrigation reporting leaves uncertain future for Illinois groundwater

Almost 1,000 pivots have been installed in counties statewide in the past four years as a result of higher crop prices and the demand of seed corn companies, an almost 20 percent increase in overall irrigation that equals the use of more than half a million people each year.