Construction comes to downtown Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Two massive construction projects in downtown Champaign are getting under way this week.

Preparations are being made for demolition of the YG Financial building, 115 W. Church St., to help make room for the new Hyatt Place Hotel at the southwest corner of Church and Neil streets.

Full-Fill Industries' Henning plant to add at least 30 jobs

HENNING — Full-Fill Industries is hiring again as the cooking-spray manufacturer's major expansion project has been finished and its three new production lines are now operational, according to company officials.

Rantoul bested Texas for new distribution site

CHAMPAIGN — Rantoul's chief competition for the new Easton-Bell distribution center came from the state of Texas, the outgoing CEO of the Champaign County Economic Development Corp. said.

John Dimit told the economic development group's board of directors Wednesday that in vying with Texas, the state of Illinois and Rantoul  "met and exceeded the competition."

Schools: Getting hands dirty can pay off in future

CHAMPAIGN — At a time when students may think they need a bachelor's degree to be eligible for good jobs, local educators are encouraging them to look into an education that would qualify them for well-paying local manufacturing jobs.

Job fair planned for substitute teachers

CHAMPAIGN — The Champaign school district will host a job fair in July for those who are interested in substitute teaching.

It's scheduled from 1 to 4 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 17, at the Mellon Administrative Center, 703 S. New St., C.

This will be the only opportunity for candidates to apply to be substitute teachers in the school district for the 2012-13 school year.

Easton-Bell's plan for new facility wins local approval

RANTOUL — Even though it seemed a mere formality after Tuesday night's special Rantoul Village Board study session, Lewis Hornsby still felt a tinge of uncertainty.

Easton-Bell plans local expansion, pending village OK

RANTOUL — Easton-Bell Sports, one of the leading manufacturers of sporting-goods equipment and apparel, wants to expand its base of operations to a proposed facility west of Interstate 57 in Rantoul.

But Rantoul would have to create a special taxing district and give three-fourths of the money it generates to the company. Still, village officials applauded the proposal Tuesday.

A new exodus: Many UI faculty, staff choosing to retire

URBANA — With her husband already enjoying retirement — happily reading the newspaper with coffee every morning while she goes off to work — University of Illinois administrator Carol Livingstone has been thinking about retiring for quite some time.

A change in the formula used to calculate her future pension payments, scheduled to take effect July 2, sped up her plans.

Because investment returns are down, money-purchase option will pay less to future retirees

State university employees who choose defined-benefit retirement plans receive a monthly annuity payment based on one of several calculations designed to provide them with the highest benefit.

Coles, Champaign jobless rates up; most in area fall

CHAMPAIGN — Unemployment rates in Champaign and Coles counties inched up in May, but most other counties in East Central Illinois saw their rates drop.

Champaign County's rate rose from 7 percent in April to 7.1 percent in May, while Coles County's rate climbed from 7.8 percent to 8.5 percent.