Homer Discount Mart getting ready to open

HOMER – Shoppers for discounts on general merchandise will soon have a new, local alternative. The Homer Discount Mart is scheduled to open at 110 S. Main St., next door to the Homer Auction, on May 10.

Business owner Bill Marietta of Danville has been stocking shelves and getting the store ready.

Danville United Way moving to new home

DANVILLE – Next month, United Way of Danville will move from the Red Cross building to new offices in the Robert Thornton building in downtown Danville.

The move saves money for the United Way and boosts its visibility, according to Jeanne Mulvaney, executive director of the agency.

Danville Health Club building sold

DANVILLE – A Canadian businessman has bought the Danville Health Club building in downtown Danville and hopes to attract a restaurant and bakery to the site.

George Gill with KKG Investments of Toronto closed early this month on the property, 125 N. Vermilion St., which was previously owned by Chad Bryant.

Couple again pushing zoning change

DANVILLE – A couple whose zoning petition failed last year at the city council is seeking second consideration.

Anthony and Nicole Dye are requesting a zoning change for 104 Porter St. from single-family residential to highway business.

Jobless rate down from last month, up from 2007

DANVILLE – March unemployment rates were down from February's in most counties of East Central Illinois, the state Department of Employment Security reported Thursday.

But the March rates tended to be about a point higher than they were a year ago.

Arthur nursing home seeks donations for landscaping

ARTHUR – As an Arthur nursing home nears completion on a $6 million expansion project, home leaders have launched efforts to raise money to provide new landscaping for the property.

David Eversole, administrator of the Arthur Home and Eberhardt Village, said Wednesday that the facility is launching a drive to raise $100,000 to pay for landscaping improvements for the facility.

Man charged in death of ex-Loda woman

KENOSHA, Wis. – A Wisconsin man faces criminal charges of homicide by negligent driving for the death of a 2006 Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School graduate.

Thomas J. Sillcocks, 37, of Kenosha, Wis., was charged Tuesday in Kenosha County Circuit Court with two felonies – homicide by negligent operation of a vehicle and hit-and-run involving death – following an accident last week that caused the death of Ashley C. Marcotte, 20, a former Loda resident who was living in Kenosha.

Busey's first-quarter earnings per share down 22%

URBANA – First Busey Corp.'s first-quarter earnings per share were down 22 percent from a year ago, the Urbana-based bank holding company announced Tuesday.

"We have continued to experience deterioration in our loan portfolio, primarily in southwest Florida," First Busey President and Chief Executive Officer Van A. Dukeman said in a letter to shareholders.

Residents cruise Arcola grocery store's aisles

ARCOLA – The steady beep of groceries crossing a cash register was music to Arcola residents' ears as they checked out their new grocery store, Arcola Family Foods, on Wednesday.

"Every town needs a grocery store," said resident Beverly Pryor.

Company trimming number of shareholders

SAVOY – Paris-based First BancTrust Corp., which has banking offices in Savoy and Rantoul, plans to cut the number of its shareholders so it will no longer have to file periodic reports with the Securities & Exchange Commission.

The company – which operates First Bank of Savoy and First Bank of Rantoul – announced Monday that the increasing costs of being an SEC-registered, Nasdaq-traded company aren't justified by the benefits, given the company's limited trading activity.