MATTOON – Mattoon City Administrator Alan Gilmore said he hadn't heard about the FutureGen power plant two weeks ago.
Now his community is one of four Illinois finalists for the $1 billion power plant.
CHAMPAIGN – Curley Lee recently interviewed a job applicant at his Ford of Champaign dealership and was surprised by one of the man's questions.
"What kind of car do I get to drive?" the eager applicant asked.
SPRINGFIELD – A site just west of Tuscola is one of four Illinois finalists for a $1 billion project touted as the "coal plant of the future," according to Brian Moody, executive director of Tuscola Economic Development Inc.
The FutureGen project is expected to create 1,300 construction jobs at its peak and about 150 permanent jobs at the plant, plus as many as 750 permanent indirect jobs, Moody said.
CHAMPAIGN – Construction should begin within a few days on a luxury residential subdivision, Trails at Abbey Fields, west of Champaign.
Hallbeck Homes is developing the 100-acre subdivision, on farmland located north of Kirby Avenue between Staley and Rising roads. The Champaign City Council last week approved an annexation agreement and area general plan for the subdivision.
Three Hallmark stores in Champaign, Urbana and Danville have changed hands and have been renamed Dena's Hallmark, after their new owner, Dena Gaudio.
Gaudio bought the two former Andi's Hallmark stores at Urbana's Lincoln Square and Champaign's Market View Shopping Center at the end of March, and the former Karen's Kottage in Danville on Feb. 1.
CHAMPAIGN – It took grief and the thoughtfulness of friends to convince Jodee Stevens to start her own greeting cards company.
Fourteen years later, her company, Champaign-based Cardthartic, is producing cards sold in thousands of gift shops nationwide.
RANTOUL – A Rantoul-based company plans to build a new warehousing facility on the west side of Rantoul that could eventually employ up to 220 people.
The Rantoul Village Board on Tuesday night recommended passing a budget that calls for spending more than $2.7 million on infrastructure work to serve a new warehousing development on 40 acres at the southeast corner of Evans Road and U.S. 136.
URBANA – A proposed $4 million, 57-unit apartment project at the northeast corner of Main and Harvey streets was put in jeopardy Monday night when the Urbana City Council rejected a zoning variance request.
The council's 4-2 vote to deny Urbana developer Howard Wakeland's request to have the building encroach 8 feet into the required 15-foot setback along Main Street went against the unanimous recommendation of the city's Zoning Board of Appeals and the recommendation of city planning staff.
SAVOY – Come this summer, Champaign-Urbana air travelers will no longer be able to fly Delta directly to Cincinnati – but they will gain direct service to Atlanta.
Delta Air Lines announced Monday that on June 8, it will discontinue its three round-trip flights a day from Willard Airport to Cincinnati and add two round-trip flights a day from Willard to Atlanta's Hartsfield Jackson Airport.
Starbucks to put third C-U shop by Wal-Mart
After leaving local folks wondering for years why Champaign-Urbana didn't have a Starbucks, the coffee monster isn't wasting any time spreading its lattes around – at least on the Champaign side of the community.
In the past year, Starbucks has opened shops in Campustown and Market Place Mall, and now a third one is coming to Champaign's North Prospect Avenue.