Ben Zigterman

Ben Zigterman

Champaign County home sales up 4.5% in August over 2017

CHAMPAIGN — Home sales in Champaign County picked up in August compared with the same month last year, with 301 homes sold.

That's up 4.51 percent from 288 in August 2017, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

Former C.V. Lloyde building's face-lift: $630,000

CHAMPAIGN — A 116-year-old building is receiving a face-lift.

Champaign-based Wells & Wells Construction is replacing some of the brick on the former C.V. Lloyde building at 102 S. Neil St.

Registration now open for Oct. 13 electronics recycling event

CHAMPAIGN — Registration has opened for this fall's electronics recycling event.

Residents from participating communities can register for 15-minute slots between 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Oct. 13 at

Frasca International lands biggest-ever contract for Navy helicopter simulators

URBANA — In its 60th year, Frasca International has landed the largest contract in company history.

Over the next two years, the Urbana-based flight-simulation company will build 10 helicopter simulators for pilots training at a Naval air station in Florida.

North Champaign Wendy's closed temporarily for maintenance

Restaurant questions? Ask them here

CHAMPAIGN — During Monday's heat wave, customers craving a cool Frosty from Wendy's had one fewer place to turn as the store on North Prospect Avenue was closed for maintenance.

Just Askin' | No through traffic on Leverett Road next week

Email your questions to Ben Zigterman at

Q: What's happening at the railroad crossing on Leverett Road?

A: Construction crews will be replacing the Canadian National Railroad crossing about 6 miles north of Urbana next week, according to the Illinois Department of Transportation.

Glove story: Urbana grad's brand breaks barriers with Major League debut

URBANA — Earlier this month, a Major League Baseball player wore a glove created by an Urbana High School grad.

In doing so, Toronto Blue Jays centerfielder Jonathan Davis became the first player in the modern era to wear a glove made by a black-owned glove brand.

Hopefuls in three Champaign County races argue their cases

CHAMPAIGN — Some 70 people chose to spend their Friday evening at the Champaign City Building, where they heard from six candidates for three Champaign County seats.

In the first of three Friday forums hosted by the League of Women Voters, NAACP and The News-Gazette, candidates for county sheriff, clerk and auditor answered questions submitted by the audience.

UI professor to lead $5 million study on switchgrass as biofuel

URBANA — For the past several years, a University of Illinois professor has been developing a variety of switchgrass for biofuels called Independence.

At the University of Nebraska, other researchers have been developing a variety called Liberty.

A new $5 million U.S. Department of Education grant will study real-world applications for these and other varieties.

'Yards' group heads to D.C. to lobby for federal grants for project

WASHINGTON, D.C. — After pitching the Champaign City Council on the plan for "The Yards" development in the southern part of downtown, local officials traveled to the nation's capital to secure federal funding for the estimated $200 million project.