DANVILLE – After five years at the helm of the Renaissance Initiative, Hank Norris is stepping down as executive director to live and work in Decatur.
Although he is eager to start his new job as a real estate agent at Brinkoetter and Associates, he will miss his work with the award-winning neighborhood revitalization program and the West Downtown neighbors who have contributed to its success.
ROYAL – An Indiana agribusiness company is planning to build a 100-million-gallon ethanol plant in this rural Champaign County town.
JBS United, which operates several grain elevators in Illinois and Michigan, including one in Royal, announced Thursday it intends to construct the plant, but a company spokesperson declined to offer many details about the project.
CHAMPAIGN – The University of Illinois College of Business plans to beef up its ethics curriculum, thanks to two $4 million grants from the Deloitte Foundation and the U.S. District Court in Northern Illinois.
The college announced plans Thursday to establish a Center for Professional Responsibilities in Business and Society.
SIBLEY – The Ford County Board has cleared the way for possible development of a wind farm.
After a California company expressed an interest in putting dozens of wind turbines south of Sibley, the county board earlier this month changed its zoning to allow wind turbines be proposed for rural parts of the county.
The empty coffee cups and caffeine-laden soda cans spread around the room told the story.
"Right now, we're very tired," was the commentary added by Christy Sauper, a University of Illinois senior in computer science.
Patrons of Borders Books & Music in Champaign will have to do without its cafe for three weeks.
The store's cafe closed Saturday, to be replaced April 17 with a Seattle's Best Coffee cafe, general manager Linda Bantz said. The cafe will sport new tables, chairs and colors.
CHAMPAIGN – Developers wanting to build a hotel in downtown Champaign still haven't found a place for it.
But plans for their other project – a retail/office/condominium complex on the northwest corner of Church and Neil streets – are progressing, with a construction manager chosen this week.
CHAMPAIGN – The guy who's been working to make the University of Illinois more attractive to big business has left to take a job in – where else? – big business.
Tony DeLio, the UI's director of business development, has joined National Starch & Chemical as general manager for its North American food division. The Bridgewater, N.J.-based company provides industrial starch to the food industry.
CHAMPAIGN – If you think Illinois is all about corn and soybeans, you haven't heard the latest on the grapevine.
Vineyards and wineries across the state have flourished in recent years, blossoming into a $20 million annual industry.
There he was, a retired guy standing around while his wife and daughter shopped in a children's clothing store in Tulsa, Okla.
And there they were, right in the store: a stack of colorful, purse-size directories advertising kid-friendly products and services in the Tulsa area.