URBANA – Rain, even more than the recent heat wave, is being blamed for a drop in attendance at this year's Champaign County Fair.
Final figures have not been determined, but total attendance for the 154th fair was between 48,000 and 49,000, according to Champaign County Fair Manager Karen Duffin.
HUME – Shiloh High School's industrial technology program – the one that received national attention for making wood-framed glasses featured in "Vogue" and Martha Stewart's new magazine "Blue Print" – could be receiving a $1.5 million grant.
If it does, Mark Smith's shop program will become a learning center for other high schools in the area, and even some of the community colleges, nearby universities and industry workers.
MAHOMET – Mahomet may be able to spark economic development by tapping University of Illinois resources and drawing on young people who grew up in Mahomet and want to return, an expert on small-town development says.
About 100 Mahomet residents showed up at Grace Church on Tuesday evening to hear "Boomtown" author Jack Schultz talk about how the village can attract businesses and achieve success.
A rapid timetable has been set for completing environmental assessments of possible sites for the $1 billion FutureGen power plant.
Jack Lavin, head of the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, said in a phone interview Tuesday that FutureGen officials expect site assessment work for the Mattoon and Tuscola sites to be submitted by Nov. 17.
When Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev selected him as one of 200 scientists from the East Asian country to be rewarded with foreign exchange trips, Murzabek Baikenov could have gone almost anywhere.
But the chemist, a professor at E.A. Buketov Karaganda State University in eastern Kazakhstan, didn't pick the Sorbonne in Paris or the University of Hawaii. He chose Champaign-Urbana and the University of Illinois.
By The News-Gazette
If ordinary pizza just doesn't satisfy you, maybe Boston's The Gourmet Pizza will.
SPRINGFIELD – The state of Illinois has made a direct transfer of $17 million to help cover expenses of the alliance that's planning to build a coal-burning power plant in Illinois – or Texas.
And the state has other incentives to offer if the FutureGen Industrial Alliance picks Illinois for its plant, said Jack Lavin, director of the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, in a telephone interview Friday.
CHAMPAIGN – Tuscola reached the final four in the competition for hosting the $1 billion FutureGen power plant because evaluators found shortcomings in the Effingham site.
Effingham actually had the fourth-highest score among eight sites deemed qualified for consideration. But evaluators said the Effingham site was relatively small, long and narrow, making it difficult to build a railroad spur for coal delivery.
SAVOY – More construction projects are slated for Willard Airport in Savoy.
The Federal Aviation Administration awarded the University of Illinois airport $1.15 million to add a new passenger loading bridge and to rehab the area where airplanes park.
TUSCOLA – Selection as one of four possible sites for a high-tech coal generation plant puts Tuscola on the world map, said Mayor Dan Kleiss.
Both Tuscola and Mattoon are on a short list of proposed sites for a $1 billion not-for-profit FutureGen coal generation plant planned to serve as a demonstration site for clean technology.