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Urbana considers new artist for King work

URBANA — City officials will look to a new artist to come up with a design for public art in King Park after they rejected the initial concept developed by a Massachusetts artist.

Market Street to undergo repairs

CHAMPAIGN — Traffic will be reduced on a portion of Market Street on Champaign's north side beginning Monday as part of the Market Street improvement project.

Cross Construction will be working on the east side of Market Street between Kenyon Road and Wallace Avenue starting Monday, April 15.

Rantoul man taps into past, makes syrup

Don't be surprised if Al Varney and Mrs. Butterworth know each other on a first-name basis.

A Vermont native, Varney grew up tapping maple trees the way many central Illinois residents grew up tasseling corn and baling hay.

It was a way to make some cash.

Now 86, the Rantoul man still keeps his hand in making maple syrup, but on a far smaller scale.

Summer registration open for Danville club

DANVILLE — Area youths can now register for the summer program session at the Boys & Girls Club of Danville. The session runs from June 10 through Aug. 16.

The fee is $175 per member and $125 for each additional member in the same family. Fees must be paid in full in order for members to have a guaranteed spot.

Mild temperatures, wet week ahead

CHAMPAIGN — Warm temperatures will remain through at least Wednesday, but keep an umbrella close as the National Weather Service forecasts showers and thunderstorms through Friday.

Early Monday morning brings the first chance for thunderstorms. The high temperature is expected to reach the mid-60s during the afternoon, but showers are likely throughout the day.

Business and professional briefs April 14, 2013

New jobs

First State Bank adds Gensler. Justin Gensler has joined First State Bank as branch manager of the facility at Neil Street and Windsor Road in Champaign.

In addition to operational oversight of the branch office, he will focus on mortgage lending and community engagement.

$6 million setback

Carle's tax exemption will hammer more than two dozen area taxing districts this year, especially the Urbana school district — and next year, the burden will likely fall on taxpayers' shoulders

URBANA — A property tax exemption given to the Carle Foundation will cost more than two dozen taxing districts in Champaign County nearly $6 million in lost revenue this year.

UI researcher starting silver-inks firm in C-U

URBANA — Brett Walker seemingly can't stop creating stuff.

The 27-year-old doctoral student at the University of Illinois started a gun-parts business in high school.

He turned his attention to fuels in college, converting waste grease into biodiesel and "slop oil" into pipeline-grade oil.

Wheelchair athletes at the University of Illinois remain on the fast track

Spectators were crowding along the sides of the road next to the start line of the Boston Marathon. The wheelchair participants were lined up, and the top racers in the world were being introduced.

And Aaron Pike was pretty pumped up for his first Boston Marathon.

Busy trumpeter making stop at Krannert

In early March, monster trumpeter Arturo Sandoval sent a tweet to a younger but equally awesome trumpeter, Alison Balsom:

"Italian Concertos. Congratulations, dear Alison, you are simply amazing."

He then suggested the two of them play duets. Looks like that might happen.

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