Ben Zigterman

Ben Zigterman

Hard work, rise of craft beers help 'friendly' taverns thrive

From 2004 to 2014, 1 in 6 neighborhood bars closed in the United States, according to a Nielsen report, and that trend doesn't appear to be slowing.

But several in the area have survived for decades in an industry known for high turnover, and despite being known for cheap beer, some have thrived by adapting to the rise of craft beers.

Christensen's lawyers get 3 more weeks for mental-health examinations

PEORIA — U.S. District Judge James Shadid granted lawyers for accused kidnapper and killer Brendt Christensen extra time to have more experts examine their client's mental health.

Last week, his attorneys asked for the extension because they were unable to pay for the experts' services during the 35-day partial government shutdown.

KoFusion to move into former PNC Bank building downtown

Questions? Ask 'em here

CHAMPAIGN — Downtown's 109-year-old former PNC Bank building could see new life as a sushi bar by the end of the year.

Christensen case: Judge rules photo lineup can be used as evidence

PEORIA — Attorneys for accused kidnapper and killer Brendt Christensen have been denied another motion by U.S. District Court Judge James Shadid.

First Busey Corp.'s net income up 40 percent in 2018 over 2017

CHAMPAIGN — While its profits were down slightly compared to last quarter, First Busey Corp. finished the year with net income up nearly 40 percent over the previous year.

The company reported Tuesday that it had an adjusted net income of $103.5 million in 2018, up from $75.7 million in 2017.

For the year, earnings per diluted share were $2.01, an increase from $1.45 in 2017.

White-nationalist group's flyers pop up again in downtown Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — A white-nationalist group posted flyers on lampposts in downtown Champaign, the second time the group has done so in the area in recent months.

The flyers were from an organization called Patriot Front, considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

3-4 more being tested for measles after last week's confirmed case

CHAMPAIGN — Three or four people are being tested for measles after an unidentified person was diagnosed with the highly contagious disease last week, according to the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District.

The people have symptoms, or were unvaccinated and possibly exposed to the initial patient, said Julie Pryde, the health district's administrator.

Champaign County offices, courthouse closed Wednesday because of cold

URBANA — A forecast for severe cold Wednesday in the area has prompted the closure of several county offices that day.

The Champaign County Sheriff's Office and the county courthouse will be closing, Sheriff Dustin Heuerman said.

Authorities investigating break-in at Tuscola bar

TUSCOLA — The Douglas County Sheriff's Office is investigating an attempted burglary at a popular bar in Tuscola.

An unknown man entered Proud Mary's, 1003 E. Southline Road, around 11 p.m. Jan. 22 by damaging a window, according to the sheriff's office.

The man then tried to open the cash register but failed to, Sheriff Joshua Blackwell said.

Just Askin' | Alcohol at Willard

Q: Is booze going to be added to the menu at the Einstein Bros. Bagels at Willard Airport?

A: That's the plan.

"We're working on trying to get a liquor license so we can use Einstein Bros. to serve and sell alcohol," airport Executive Director Gene Cossey said. "Our plan is for prepackaged drinks. It won't be a full bar."

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