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Air quality monitors and streaming media players are among the high-tech devices available for checkout at a public library in central Illinois.

The air testers are the newest items added to the Fondulac District Library's equipment depot, which now include invention kits, and appliance load testers. Library Director Geena Buhr says the library also purchased a 3D printer in July and will be offering free 3D printing classes starting in October.

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A law recently signed by Governor Bruce Rauner will make it easier for Illinois residents to access family members' social media accounts after they die.

The legislation requires that tech companies, such as Facebook, offer users a chance to name a beneficiary who would be given access to the account after they die, or become incapacitated. Hillside Democratic Representative Chris Welch sponsored the law.

Eduardo Woo / Flickr

A popular site for "Pokemon Go" characters in a conservation area on the north Chicago lakefront has attracted hundreds of players and inspired legislation to protect ecologically sensitive areas.

Volunteers have spent years trying to restore the Loyola Dunes area in the Rogers Park neighborhood. They say gamers in search of a rare Pokemon have been trampling on grassland that helps prevent erosion.

Mike Miletich / WGLT

A  family in Normal is trying to start a trend towards solar energy systems for houses in the community. Paul and Kathy Packard own the home with the Solar Bloomington-Normal program's first solar installation.

Feed My Starving Children

They say a picture is worth a thousand words but in the case of a group of Illinois State University students, a picture is worth a million meals.  

Jonathon Malone will be graduating and moving on to a job at State Farm but he’ll continue working on a class project even after he has his diploma in hand.

Staff / WGLT

The man often referred to as "one of the most technically proficient hackers on Earth" is the keynote speaker for Illinois State University's Science and Technology week.

Charlie Miller speaks at ISU Tuesday night, April 12 as part of the university's President Speaker Series. During a GLT Sound Ideas interview, Miller said he's been hacking things since he was a kid, and now spends time hacking his own kid's toys.

Bob Carroll / Image from God's Eye News: The Use of Drones in Journalism

Rules governing the use of drones for business and other areas are set to be released this spring by the Federal Aviation Administration. For the past couple of years, the FAA has studied the technology and how it best fits into society given obvious safety and privacy issues.

Rugby471 / Flickr via Creative Commons

Apple says it's challenging government efforts to overcome encryption on at least 14 devices nationwide in addition to the phone of a San Bernardino, California, shooter. Lawyers told a New York federal magistrate judge that Apple is opposing giving up information on at least 15 devices including at least one in Illinois. The government has said Apple's position on the issue was inconsistent.

Member of Illinois' congressional delegation are appealing to the head of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency in support of Scott Air Force Base's bid to host its new facility. U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk and other Illinois congressmen wrote a letter to NGA Director Robert Cardillo this week, urging him to select a 182-acre site in St. Clair County as the location of the agency's new $1.6 billion campus. Cardillo visited with U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Illinois' 12th congressional district and others in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday.

2 Illinois Nuclear Plants Get Extensions

Jan 29, 2016
Ben Jacobson / Flickr via Creative Commons

Exelon officials say the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved licenses for the Braidwood Generating Station southwest of Chicago for another 20 years. The plants, Unit 1 and Unit 2, have been operating since the late 1980s. The new licenses are valid through 2046 and 2047 respectively. They were originally issued through 2026 and 2027. Nearly 900 employees with a nearly $90 million payroll work at the site.

Challenger Learning Center

30 years ago the space shuttle Challenger blew up as it was reaching for the sky, killing its crew. Charlie Schlenker talks with Stacey Shrewsbury, the Director of the Challenger Learning Center at Heartland Community College, and Libby Norcross, the Flight Director at the center about the anniversary.

MetroNet Past Shows Problems

Jan 11, 2016
Srieffler / Creative Commons

The company that wants to bring an all fiber network to Bloomington-Normal has a problematic track record.

Bloomington Normal Becomes Gigabit Community

Jan 7, 2016
srieffler / Creative Commons

A proposed fiber-optic internet system would make Bloomington-Normal a Gigabit community. Evansville Indiana based MetroNet is planing on bringing speeds of up to a gigabit per second to homes and businesses. Kathy Scheller is a spokesman for the company. While not disclosing subscription costs, she says the company will be competitive with existing providers.

Scheller says work is scheduled to begin this spring. Bloomington Mayor Tari Renner says people will benefit from the competition. She says the company is investing millions of dollars installing the fiber-optic network.

ISU School of Communication

Illinois State University figures to be at ground zero when President Obama delivers his final State of the Union address next week. ISU's American Democracy Project will serve as the national collegiate hub for social media and other activity during the annual speech next Tuesday. WGLT's Willis Kern speaks with event coordinator Steve Hunt, Director of Illinois State's School of Communication.

IDOT Monitoring Holiday Drone Sales

Dec 21, 2015
Bob Carroll / TV 10

Add the Illinois Department of Transportation to the list of government agencies closely watching the sales of drones this holiday season. The Federal Aviation Administration's new drone registration program is now in place and IDOT is weighing in.

The Drones Are Coming

Dec 15, 2015
Bob Carroll / TV 10

The drones are coming, and so are the rules for the unmanned flying machines. Randy Aberle  of Flying Ag in Gibson city says he welcomes the new rules, for the most part. One rule that does bother him is a requirement anyone flying for hire must obtain a pilot's license. Aberle says that is standing in the way of farmers who want to use drones to get a better picture of conditions of the fields.

NCHS Students Design High Tech Holiday

Dec 10, 2015
Jim Browne / WGLT

Tech students at Normal Community High School are working with mentors from State Farm Insurance to address some of the most pressing problems this time of year: When's Santa coming? How can we celebrate? How does one catch a flying reindeer?

www.tedxnormal.com

The theme of this Saturday's TEDx speaker series in Normal is "Anything But Normal." During an interview with WGLT's Charlie Schlenker, Ken Myszka says a "normal" chef wakes up and goes to the restaurant, works with staff, purveyors, unpacks food out of boxes and so on.

Young people have a lot of energy and a lot of ideas. But, sometimes that can create problems as well as solving them. Today in our series of interviews leading up to the TEDx conference in Normal, we address the idea of empowering young people to get stuff done with the head of the Action Research Center at Illinois Wesleyan University. In this conversation with Charlie Schlenker, Deborah Halperin says to help focus that energy, adults need to create a structure for youth to scaffold their efforts.

We've all heard it over and over. Think outside the box. Take it to the next level. But, when you do that, often it turns out there's no there, there. All this week GLT is talking with speakers at the upcoming TEDx event in Normal. Alex Bruton calls himself "the innographer"--someone who can teach innovation.

The ones who change the world are the ones brave enough to question it. That's the title of one of the speeches in the upcoming TEDx conference in Normal. All this week, GLT is hearing from TEDx speakers as they talk about disrupting the status quo to "Break Free From Normal."

Police Body Cameras Coming To Bloomington

Oct 12, 2015
Michael Hill / WGLT

The Bloomington City Council approved a body camera pilot program for the Bloomington Police Department. The trial will begin in January, when the funds from a $29,000 grant become available. Police Chief Brendan Heffner said body and dash cameras will come together to help the police force accurately report events.

Illinois State University

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month. The information age has opened new possibilities of both establishing relationships with other people and abusing them. The Virtual Enemy is a new book co-authored by Shelly Clevenger of Illinois State University. It focuses on the relationships of intimate partners and cyber-crime.

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