Jobless rates improve from a year ago

Unemployment rates in East Central Illinois dropped sharply in September – not only from the previous month but also from the previous year.

That's right: September unemployment rates for most area counties were lower than they were in September 2009.

Westchester auction, real estate arms get new name

CHAMPAIGN – The auction and real estate arms of the Westchester Group have gotten a new identity as the result of a change in ownership.

Westchester Auctions and Westchester Real Estate are now known as Murray Wise Associates, named for the man who founded Westchester Group in 1986.

First Busey earnings up slightly for quarter

CHAMPAIGN — First Busey Corp. continued to show slight improvement in earnings during the third quarter of 2010, the company announced.

After delays, brewpub ready to begin work in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Construction is expected to begin soon on the long-awaited brewery and restaurant planned for downtown Champaign.

Destihl Restaurant & Brew Works recently filed a building permit application with the city of Champaign for just over $1 million of work in the M2 building at Neil and Church streets.

It's Your Business: New Chinese restaurant opens; Korean one coming

A new Asian restaurant, Six Minute Chinese, has opened in the shopping plaza on Green Street just west of First Street in Champaign.

The concept is fresh, healthy Chinese food, said owner Zhen Wang through a translator.

Prospective owner of Lincoln Hotel believes it will succeed

URBANA – The prospective buyer of the historic Lincoln Hotel said he hopes updating the building with modern amenities while preserving its old-European style will make it a successful venture.

Urbana may commit $1.5 million toward Lincoln Hotel renovation

URBANA – The owners of the historic Lincoln Hotel seem to be moving toward an agreement with a potential buyer, and the city has proposed committing nearly $1.5 million in special funds over five years toward the hotel's renovation.

Midland States acquires assets from a failed Missouri bank

EFFINGHAM – Effingham-based Midland States Bank has acquired the loans, deposits and investments of WestBridge Bank & Trust Co. in Chesterfield, Mo., under an arrangement with federal regulators.

WestBridge was closed Oct. 15 by the Missouri Division of Finance, with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. appointed as receiver.

Grant helps Parkland train state transportation workers

CHAMPAIGN – A $400,000 grant is helping Parkland College train workers for the Illinois Department of Transportation, which is seeking to diversify its workforce.

Erik Gleghorn, 44, of Champaign is in the midst of an intensive eight-week pre-apprenticeship that could lead to him being an electrician.

Normal decision has no effect on Champaign project

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign developer Cody Sokolski said Normal's termination of a redevelopment agreement with his company has "no bearing whatsoever" on the M2 on Neil project in downtown Champaign.