Just Askin': Ameren's new smart meters

What are the new meters Ameren is installing?

In June, Ameren will begin installing more than 130,000 smart meters in and around Champaign, DeWitt, McLean, Piatt and Vermilion counties.

The new meters will allow for two-way communication between the meter and Ameren.

Wired In: Thomas Nicol

Each week, staff writer Paul Wood chats with a high-tech difference-maker. This week, meet THOMAS NICOL, a software developer and senior consultant at PowerWorld Corp. in Champaign.

Business listings, April 16, 2017

These applications for assumed business names were filed with the Champaign County clerk's office:

Fresh Cut Lawn Care, 2218 Morningside Drive, St. Joseph, Duane Johnson, same address.

Mo's Burritos, 1104 N. Prospect Ave., C, Milton Anaya, 515 Edgebrook Drive, Apt. 11, C.

Revised Landmark Hotel deal awaiting developer's response

URBANA — The developer for the proposed Landmark Hotel renovation project hasn't agreed to recent deal revisions — which take the city's contribution down from $9.5 million to $7 million in post-construction bonds paid over 15 years — but said it will respond soon.

About those downtown benches ...

Restaurant questions? Ask Tom Kacich here

CHAMPAIGN — A popular downtown bar is getting a makeover with the addition of new wooden tables and benches.

Art Theater temporarily closed

CHAMPAIGN — Projector problems have led to the temporary closure of the Art Theater in downtown Champaign.

The theater announced late Thursday afternoon that a technical malfunction with its projector led to the closure.

Staff said they are working on getting the equipment back up and running as soon as possible.

Renovated State Farm Center about to demonstrate its versatility

CHAMPAIGN — Over the next few days, State Farm Center warps to adapt to Lil Wayne, a musical with acrobatics, comedian Daniel Tosh, pro wrestling and monster trucks in advance of the main event — three days of Garth Brooks.

Former Vermilion beer distribution hub up on auction block

TILTON — More than three years after Earl Gaudio & Son Inc. filed bankruptcy, its state-of-the-art Anheuser-Busch distribution facility is now up for auction.

Rauner presses for balanced budget in visit to Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Gov. Bruce Rauner paid a visit to a Champaign business Wednesday to call for the state to enact a balanced budget and freeze property taxes.

"We need a budget that works for the people of Illinois," Rauner told a crowd of about 55 people gathered at HL Precision Manufacturing near the Round Barn Centre shopping area.