Ben Zigterman

Ben Zigterman

Fields of plenty: Carle's development has southwest Champaign thriving

CHAMPAIGN — Since employees moved into the Carle at the Fields development in April, the parking lots are full, a new hotel has opened and a day care nearby is filling up.

Across the street from the 300,000-square-foot Health Alliance building, the Hampton Inn opened Sept. 28 and has already experienced a couple sold-out nights.

Latest deal for Urbana's Landmark Hotel falls through

URBANA — The back-up bidder for the Landmark Hotel has backed out.

After selling for $1.3 million in an auction this September, the top bidder failed to put a deposit down.

So it went to the second-place bidder of $1.2 million, who the property's broker, Rick George, said had experience in historic preservation.

UPDATE: Document links law professor to 2002 allegation

UPDATE, 2:55 p.m.:

URBANA — A document obtained by News-Gazette Media reveals that University of Illinois Law Professor Jay Kesan was aware of allegations of improper conduct made about him as far back as 2002.

AG seeks default judgment against Suburban Express, accuses it of stalling

CHAMPAIGN — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is seeking a default judgment against Champaign-based Suburban Express and is accusing the bus company of stalling.

Madigan sued the bus company and its owner, Dennis Toeppen, in April for alleged discrimination and harassment of his customers, with the goal of getting the company to follow the law or go out of business.

Davis not surprised by his razor-thin victory, even if CNN was

CHAMPAIGN — U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he wasn't necessarily surprised that Tuesday's election was as close as it was.

But he was thrown for a loop when House Speaker Paul Ryan called to offer his condolences after CNN called the 13th Congressional District for his Democratic opponent, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan.

Davis ekes out re-election to a House his party no longer controls

UPDATED 3:30 p.m.:

Democratic challenger Betsy Dirksen Londrigan has conceded to Republican incumbent Rodney Davis in the heated race for the 13th Congressional District of Illinois.

While Davis declared victory late Tuesday night, Londrigan hadn't conceded after the Associated Press called the race shortly after midnight.

UI seeking 16.5% rise in state funding to fill gap left by budget impasse

URBANA — The University of Illinois system plans to ask for 16.5 percent more funding from the state than last year as it seeks to fill the gap left by the budget impasse.

If approved next week by the board of trustees, the UI system will request $692.5 million in taxpayer funds from the state, or $97.9 million more for operations than last year.

Trials for 3 Ford County terrorism suspects delayed until February

URBANA — The trials for three Ford County men charged with crimes committed as part of a homegrown terrorist organization, including an attempted bombing of a Champaign women's-health clinic, will be delayed until February.

Just Askin' | The early-Thanksgiving effect

Q: Does Thanksgiving falling so early affect how much people spend on Christmas gifts?

A: It doesn't appear to.

Thanksgiving lands on Nov. 22 this year, the earliest it can be. But Ana Serafin Smith, a spokeswoman for the National Retail Federation, said, "It really doesn't make too much of a difference."

Bike-sharing program growing, but not without challenges

CHAMPAIGN — They've appeared inside dorms, on the Quad and on top of bus stops.

And they've made it from the Walmart in Urbana to Walmart in Champaign to Curtis Orchard.

The 500 turquoise VeoRide bicycles have made their mark on the Champaign-Urbana landscape just two months after they first arrived, with more than 115,000 rides taken on the rentable bikes.