Business & Professional Briefs April 7, 2013

New jobs

Schaefer, Lewis receive promotions.Tony Schaefer and Kim Lewis have been promoted at First Federal Savings Bank of Champaign-Urbana.

Schaefer is assistant vice president, residential/consumer loan officer. He joined the bank in 2003 and was most recently assistant vice president of operations.

Technology developed by Champaign firm enables live broadcasts

CHAMPAIGN — Pick a major live TV broadcast — the Super Bowl, the Oscars, the Grammys, the U.S. Open — and there's a good chance technology developed by Champaign-based Cobalt Digital helped make it possible.

Cobalt Digital, which recently moved into new quarters at 2506 Galen Drive, C, has been in Champaign-Urbana about 15 years.

Pavlov set to acquire Shouting Ground

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign-based Pavlov Media announced Wednesday it is acquiring Shouting Ground Technologies, a local provider of managed information-technology and network-technology solutions.

Shouting Ground will keep its name and operations and stay in Champaign, according to a Pavlov release. Shouting Ground's customers should see no change in service, the release added.

Business roundup: First Financial to expand Illinois footprint

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — First Financial Bank has agreed to acquire seven branches and two drive-up locations in central and southern Illinois from Bank of America, First Financial announced Tuesday.

The branches are in Mattoon, Charleston, Hillsboro, Mount Vernon, Salem, Benton and West Frankfort.

Business calendar March 1, 2013

Monday, March 4

'Are You Ready to Buy a Home?' 6 p.m., Habitat for Humanity, 119 E. University Ave., C. Topics in this 2013 homeownership community education class include: "How Do You Buy a Home?"; "Mortgage Payment and Other Costs of Ownership"; "How Much Can You Pay for a House?" Free. Call Michelle Stallmeyer at Habitat for Humanity, 819-5113, to register.

Comcast boosting speeds of its Internet plans for free

CHICAGO — Comcast will increase the speeds of its Blast and Extreme 50 Internet plans in March for no additional cost, the company announced Tuesday.

The Blast plan will increase its maximum download speed from 25 Mbps to 50 Mbps and its maximum upload speed from 4 Mbps to 10 Mbps.

Volition's 'Red Faction' franchise up for sale -- again

CHAMPAIGN — The "Red Faction" video-game franchise will go up for sale — again.

THQ Inc., which sold off many of its assets in a bankruptcy-related auction in January, announced Tuesday that it plans to sell off several remaining assets, including the "Red Faction" franchise.

CEO of eBay notes major changes ahead for retailers

CHAMPAIGN — Retailers can expect to encounter changes in the next few years as massive as those experienced recently by the newspaper and movie industries, eBay CEO John Donahoe said.

"There will be more change in how consumers shop and pay in the next three years than in the last 20," Donahoe told an overflow crowd of students at the University of Illinois on Tuesday.

It's Your Business: Kirlin's Hallmark coming to Champaign, Danville

Folks who hated not having a local Hallmark store open for Valentine's Day can take heart.

Kirlin's Hallmark plans to open Friday — and possibly as early as Wednesday — in the former Dena's Hallmark location at Marketview Shopping Center in Champaign.

Kirlin's also plans to open a store March 8 in Danville's Towne Centre, also in a former Dena's Hallmark space.

Manufacturing lab could boost UI, state

CHICAGO — A public-private manufacturing laboratory that harnesses the University of Illinois' supercomputing power promises to boost manufacturing in the state and it could also better position the university and the state to compete for big federal grants in advanced manufacturing.