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Champaign Off-Track Betting to close doors and reopen at the Brickhouse

URBANA – The Brickhouse bar and restaurant in east Urbana will become the new home to off-track betting later this month.

Champaign Off-Track Betting, 2002 W. Springfield Ave., C, will close its doors Oct. 16 and reopen at the Brickhouse, formerly known as TK Wendl's, on Oct. 20 or 21, said Bill Welbes, operations manager.


Panel to draft relief proposals

SPRINGFIELD – Gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon have pinched the pocketbooks of area families, businesses, school districts and local governments. The costs of everything from pizza delivery to airplane tickets to furniture have risen along with fuel prices.

But after the fifth and final hearing of the House Republican Task Force on Motor Fuel Pricing on Tuesday, its chairman, State Rep. Bill Black, R-Danville, admitted there is little the state could do about that.


Vocational training moving to new site

CHAMPAIGN – The Developmental Services Center plans to move its vocational training center to the former Degussa BioActives building in west Champaign this fall.

For several years, the center has been using about 30,000 square feet at the former Southland distribution center for vocational training.


Signs point to higher utility bills this winter

Brace yourselves. Monthly utility bills are about to get even higher.

Not only are prices for gasoline and diesel up, but natural gas prices are also climbing. By a lot.


Concrete walkway to put Hessel visitors on safe path

CHAMPAIGN – For years, walking around Hessel Park has pitted pedestrians against drivers.

By the end of October, though, there will be an 8-foot-wide concrete path safely within the confines of the 1918 park, and for the first time it will be accessible to people with mobility issues.


Funding a nice surprise for area groups

SPRINGFIELD – The Eastern Illinois Foodbank was one of several area organizations to receive the surprising news that their long-promised Illinois FIRST grant funds have finally been released.

After so much time had passed without word from the state, many had given up hope that the money would ever show up.


Paxton man turns $20 into $2 million

PAXTON – Larry Kinney scratched off his $20 Illinois instant lottery ticket Saturday and found three bells smiling back at him. That meant a $2 million win.

He was in his car at the time so he nervously drove home and immediately called his wife, Carol, on her cellphone.


New health district fee schedule takes effect next month

CHAMPAIGN – Taking a sick child to the doctor this month: Free.

Taking a sick child to the doctor starting next month: $24.25.


Consumers urged to watch for fraud

Consumers might want to monitor their checking accounts a bit more closely and be wary of cashing certain checks in light of several warnings issued about a Web site which allows people to create their own checks.

At the Web site, www.qchex.com, registered participants can create and issue checks for a fee. But the Web site, which is owned by Neovi Data Corporation, does not investigate or verify any of the transactions, warned the Federal Deposit Insurance.com.any and local police.


Champaign sets up clinic in October

CHAMPAIGN – School officials say hundreds of Champaign students haven't yet complied with state rules requiring them to file health records at their schools.

To make compliance easier for everyone, the district has scheduled a clinic from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 4 for physicals and immunizations. Services will be free, said Ecomet Burley, assistant superintendent for pupil services, who says he's worried about the number of children on the noncompliance list this year.