Firm industrious with supplies

MAHOMET – Jerry Hearnley started by selling brooms and brushes, but over the last 34 years his business has expanded to cover all sorts of industrial supplies.

Hand tools, buckets, trash bags, extension cords, floor squeegees – all those and more are sold to companies across the nation by The Brush Man Inc.

Champaign man's store specializes in hard-to-find foods

CHAMPAIGN – When Rafet Yaman came to the United States 10 years ago, he was discouraged by his job prospects.

Yaman, who was 25 at the time, had been working for the stock market in Istanbul, Turkey. But when he came to America, "I had no job; I had no cars; I didn't know anybody."

Garber's Cleaners plans to end its 78-year run

CHAMPAIGN – A family-owned dry cleaning business in Champaign plans to call it quits after 78 years in business.

Garber's Cleaners plans to close its main store on Wright Street and sell its satellite stores at the Shoppes of Knollwood and Village at the Crossing, according to Garber's Cleaners owner Steve Hamburg.

Danville restaurant plans gospel brunches on Sundays

DANVILLE – Local restaurant owner Dana Wheeler is watching a longtime dream come true. Now she just needs people to share the dream.

What's Cooking, her restaurant in the Danville Inn and Convention Center just off Lynch Road, has begun offering a Sunday Gospel Brunch on the last Sunday of the month. This Sunday's entertainment is Doc Ashton and the St. James United Methodist Worship Team.

Bargain hunters hit store seeking Christmas decor

CHAMPAIGN – Shoppers browsing for bargains on Christmas decorations a day after the holiday found soothing Christmas music and uncrowded aisles in Champaign's Prairie Gardens.

Just after the store opened at 7 a.m., Cathy Cherry of Ogden found herself again shopping just after a major holiday. She braved Black Friday's doorbuster sales after Thanksgiving and helped her daughter shop for an artificial Christmas tree on Wednesday.

Former church turning into teen hot spot in Oakland

OAKLAND – The name of The Hub, a former Oakland church that's become a place for teens to gather, is fitting.

It's become a central gathering place for youth from Oakland and nearby communities.

UI graduate uses Pepsi products to build Illini tribute

URBANA – Staff at the County Market on Philo Road in Urbana are expressing their love for the Illini three-dimensionally this year.

In preparation for the Rose Bowl – where the University of Illinois football team will play the University of Southern California – Andy Burwell decided to get creative with a Pepsi display.

Work on Family Dollar in Champaign to begin soon

CHAMPAIGN – Work on the new Family Dollar store at the northeast corner of Market Street and Bradley Avenue should be starting soon.

The city council paved the way last week by approving a rezoning of the property and the sale of two city-owned lots – two of the four properties Family Dollar needed to piece together a half-acre site.

Builders proceed with caution after glut of new homes

CHAMPAIGN – Homes are still being built in Champaign County, but builders have become more careful and conservative in picking their projects.

Customers are still hiring builders to custom-build homes, said Bill Peifer, president of the Home Builders Association of East Central Illinois.

Gas leak cuts service to downtown Urbana eateries

URBANA – A gas leak in downtown Urbana late Saturday afternoon kept gas service off at two restaurants for several hours.

The leak occurred when an electrical contractor was "boring a fiber optic line and they drilled into a two-inch gas main," said Steve Barkley, gas construction supervisor for AmerenIP, which was working on repairing the line at around 7 p.m. Saturday.

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