Embarras Valley Film Festival to honor Joan Allen

CHARLESTON – The fourth annual Embarras Valley Film Festival honoring Eastern Illinois University alumna Joan Allen will take place from Tuesday through Nov. 8 on the EIU campus and in downtown Charleston.

Throughout the week, there will be afternoon sessions and evening screenings with discussions led by members of the EIU faculty, screenings at the Will Rogers Theatre and an afternoon reception at Miller's Banquet Hall that Saturday. All events are free and open to the public.

Gill Athletics' CEO tells of trials at agency's annual meeting

CHAMPAIGN – Gill Athletics plans to triple its size in Champaign. But the future didn't always look so bright for the athletic equipment manufacturer.

Originally known as the Harry Gill Company, the firm was founded nearly 90 years ago by Gill, the University of Illinois track coach. For 50 to 60 years, the company enjoyed "almost monopoly status," company Chief Executive Officer David Hodge said.

ZF Boge sued by UAW over closure of facility in Paris

URBANA – The United Auto Workers have filed suit against auto supplier ZF Boge, claiming the company's decision to close its Paris manufacturing plant is a breach of contract.

"We had a very straightforward agreement with the company," said Gary Abernathy, bargaining chairman for UAW Local 2343, in a news release. "If they agreed to keep our plant open, we would modify our contract."

ADM, ACH announce joint venture

CHAMPAIGN – The ACH Food Companies plant in Champaign will be affected by the Memphis, Tenn.-based company's decision to form a joint venture with Decatur-based Archer Daniels Midland.

Three area initiatives earn 2008 Governor's Home Town Awards

A new village park, an academy dedicated to giving former high school dropouts a new start on life and a new memorial for the men and women who served in Iraq and Afghanistan were honored by the state last week as the 2008 winners of the Governor's Home Town Awards.

The awards are annually presented by the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Altrusa donating products to Developmental Services Center

CHAMPAIGN – The Developmental Services Center today was expecting two truckloads of cleaning products from Altrusa International of Champaign-Urbana.

Altrusa, a service organization of business and professional leaders, collected some $2,000 worth of things like detergent and anti-bacterial wipes for the center as part of Make A Difference Day.

Rantoul woman earns agency's Employee of the Year honor

Georgia Womble's boss says she is the type of person you would want by your side in troubled times.

"She's just very compassionate and a very gentle person," said Rosalie Adkins, area administrator for Community Care Systems, where Womble works as a caregiver for elderly clients.

Womble was recently recognized as an Employee of the Year by the Illinois Department on Aging. There were nine statewide recipients of the award honoring older workers who continue to play a very important role in the workforce.

UI study-abroad students learning to reduce carbon footprint

PHILO – The Vienna Woods it isn't, but Jim Evans' walnut grove gave participants in the Austria Illinois Exchange Program a lesson in conservation.

Seven students and two University of Illinois faculty members pedaled bikes from campus to the Evans' home near Philo on Sunday to get ideas of how to make Champaign-Urbana a greener place.

Voters to decide method for choosing Oakland fire board

OAKLAND – Voters in the Oakland Fire Protection District in northern Coles County will decide on Nov. 4 whether they want their fire department board members appointed or elected.

Brian Bower, an attorney for the district, said that the three fire department trustees have been appointed by the Coles County Board for many years.

Wolfram Research founder projects further growth

CHAMPAIGN – While some companies scale back, Wolfram Research continues to swell in what founder Stephen Wolfram calls a "rapid expansion phase."

"We've added 24 new people in the last two months," Wolfram said on a visit to Champaign last week. "We're hiring lots of technical research-and-development people and adding strengths in business and marketing."