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URBANA – Urbana Middle School teachers knew they wouldn't have a lot of extra money to support high-tech lesson plans, so they looked for alternative funding sources.
The Champaign-Urbana Schools Foundation stepped in, granting four teachers at the school $3,379 to support a science program to help eighth-graders learn lessons about many different aspects of science and technology by building towers from toothpicks and knocking them down.
DANVILLE – Ron Neufeld has heard every excuse in the book when it comes to why residents don't pay their sanitary sewer bill.
"'I didn't get a bill. I lost my job. I've had health problems. I've had unexpected expenses. I don't have enough money,'" recited Neufeld, the city comptroller. "We've heard them all, and some are a little hard to believe."
RANTOUL – This year's World Free Fall Convention drew 500 more sky divers to the Rantoul airport than a year ago.
Convention spokeswoman Beth Mahlo said Friday that 3,000 men and women took to the skies over Rantoul during the 10-day festival, which concluded on Sunday.
Another new business will join Champaign's redeveloping commercial area on North First Street this fall.
Kimberly Muhammad of Champaign, a Nature's Sunshine products distributor, plans to open Herbally Yours Health Products at 308 N. First St. about the third week of September, she said.
Tuscola City Administrator Drew Hoel thought he had a balanced budget this year until the state sent him an unexpected bill in late June.
The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency billed the city $15,500 for a permit to discharge wastewater into the state's waterways.
CHAMPAIGN ? For most of its life, the newly unveiled condo project known as Uptown on Columbia was an industrial laundry. The front was the original Tumble Inn, then Giovanni's, Champaign's first gay bar.
The 1897 Buzard Organ Company building, 112 W. Hill St., was the Women's Town Center, known colloquially as "Menopause Manor," before the top floors opened this month as upscale new loft apartments.
ADDISON – Doris Christopher was a stay-at-home mom raising two daughters when she began selling kitchen tools from the basement of her home.
Now she works from an executive office in the brand-new, 780,000-square-foot corporate
HOMER – For more than a century, the Independent Order of Odd Fellows hall on Homer's Main Street housed a variety of stores until the building fell into disrepair.
Transplanted New Englanders Ray and Christine Cunningham looked past the rot and ruin and saw a treasure – a piece of local history worth preserving for their adopted hometown.
MATTOON – A new infusion of cash could keep Mattoon's bagel plant running three shifts a day while another Lender's plant stays dark.
Aurora Foods, the parent company of Lender's Bagels, declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy last year after reporting a net loss of $483.2 million.
CHAMPAIGN – The flag, and the Marines, have been to Iraq and back.
Cpl. Scott Clarkson, son of Steve Clarkson, a deputy chief in the Champaign Fire Department, brought back a signed flag given to his Marine reserve unit by the "Fighting First," the first shift at the main fire station, and presented it during a brief ceremony at the main Champaign Fire Department on Friday.