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Two new hopefuls want to examine MTD's priorities

CHAMPAIGN – Two new candidates for the MTD board say they're interested in examining the district's priorities.

After county members complained there weren't enough choices for the mass transit district board, Democrats enlisted retired Professor Ronald Peters, and Republicans have longtime school superintendent Jerry Zachary.


Illinois American Water plans upgrades

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois American Water Co. announced today it will build a new water treatment plant in west Champaign, part of $40 million in capital improvements planned over the next five years.

The move comes as the cities of Champaign and Urbana continue to investigate a possible purchase of, or negotiations with, the water company following customer complaints about boil orders and low water pressure.


Historic downtown Champaign building purchased

CHAMPAIGN – A downtown landmark building has been sold, and one of the new owners said an extensive renovation is in the works.

A partnership made up of Jeffrey Mellander, George Grubb and Bob Ballsrud closed on purchasing the building at 219-223 N. Neil St. – at the southwest corner of Neil and Church streets – a few weeks ago, purchasing it from the Fu family.


Stores spotty on new Illinois drug law

SPRINGFIELD – While most pharmacies are obeying a new state law designed to keep methamphetamine ingredients away from illegal drug manufacturers, many convenience stores are not, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan reported on Wednesday.

Ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are active ingredients in dozens of nonprescription cold medicines, but are also critical for manufacturing meth, a dangerous and illegal stimulant.


Could I borrow a slice of Net service?

When Insight Communications' fast cable Internet service experienced outages amid work on the company's system this month, a lot of folks in Champaign-Urbana and elsewhere suffered from withdrawal.

A broadband Internet connection has become as essential, in many people's minds anyway, as the telephone or morning coffee.


It's your business: Mahomet Monical's changes location, menu

Monical's Pizza in Mahomet has moved into a new, larger building.

And there have been lots of changes made in addition to the location, says General Manager Kyle Smith.


Smoking ban hot topic of conversation

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign City Council vote was a close one – 5 to 4 council members in favor of the smoking ban – so perhaps it is no surprise reaction to the ban was also mixed.

When bartender Eileen Ford arrived at the Brass Rail on Wednesday morning, the smoking ban was already a hot topic of conversation.


Most cable Net glitches appear to be resolved

Insight Communications appears to have largely resolved problems with its cable Internet service that occurred amid an upgrade of the company's system in recent weeks.

"We still want people to call us if they're having problems," Melody Brucker, Insight's district vice president in Champaign-Urbana, said Tuesday. "There may be individual issues."


Bar owners express concerns

CHAMPAIGN – Though it was to no avail, a number of Champaign bar owners warned Tuesday that a comprehensive smoking ban will hurt their businesses.

The city council voted 5-4 Tuesday to enact a comprehensive smoking ban in public places, including restaurants and bars, effective Aug. 1. Urbana is expected to enact a similar ban next month.


Deck stacked against beer garden

URBANA – Safety concerns appear likely to kill a proposal to create an open-air beer garden on the second floor of the city's downtown parking deck.

The deck at Main Street and Broadway Avenue is not designed to accommodate a beer-garden use, where hundreds of people could be sitting or walking on the deck floor, without significant structural reinforcement, said engineering firm Desman Associates of Chicago.