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.
CHAMPAIGN – The Andersons, a grain storage, marketing and farm fertilizer business in northwest Champaign, is considering building an ethanol plant there.
In response to interest expressed by The Andersons and the possibility of other plant proposals coming down the pipeline, the Champaign County Department of Planning and Zoning has suggested amending the county zoning ordinance.
The country farmhouse look is on its way out at the former Smokehouse restaurant in Tuscola.
Remodeling is under way to turn the place off Interstate 57 into a modern-looking sports bar and nightclub catering to young adults.
CHAMPAIGN – Korean schools and factories could be the first big users of food-contamination detectors made by a Champaign-based company.
Kim Laboratories, which has developed quick ways to test for salmonella, E. coli O157 and other bacteria, has already received preliminary orders from a South Korean company for eight devices.
Sure, to shred a piece of paper you could just tear it into strips with your hands, and if you don't want to do that, any office supply store sells automatic paper shredders these days.
But where's the fun in that?
URBANA – The second floor of the downtown Urbana parking deck could be transformed into an open-air bar on summer weekend nights, under a proposal before the Urbana City Council.
Urbana bar owners Scott Glassman and Ian Goldberg are proposing to convert part of the upper deck into a Friday and Saturday night outdoor entertainment site, with live "world beat" music, umbrella table seating, portable bars and a small live music stage. The temporary bar would be called The Upper Deck.
CHAMPAIGN – Four finalists have been chosen in the search for a permanent executive director for the Champaign-Urbana Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The candidates include:
SPRINGFIELD – The suspense continues for Urbana's Provena Covenant Medical Center, which is waiting to hear whether its tax-exempt status will be restored.
Illinois Department of Revenue Director Brian Hamer on Thursday refused to say when he might issue his final decision, despite repeated questioning at a Senate confirmation hearing.
TOLONO – An overflow crowd packed the Tolono Village Board meeting Tuesday, with most speaking out against a proposed change in the village liquor ordinance.
As many as 35 people crowded into the board room and spilled over into the hallway to show their concern about a proposal made last month by bar owner Angie Fry that bars be allowed to open as early as 11 a.m. on Sundays. The village ordinance currently forbids bars from opening until after 1 p.m. on Sundays.