Schnucks olives recalled

ST. LOUIS – Mario Camacho Foods has launched a voluntary recall of Schnucks brand Spanish olives in the 5.75-ounce jar size.

All Schnucks customers are urged to check for olives with this UPC code: 04131819003, and a date of "best by" 02/06/11, the grocery chain said.

Barfly under new ownership

CHAMPAIGN – There's a new owner at Barfly in downtown Champaign, and he's planning some changes.

Chris Knight, who also owns The Blind Pig pub downtown, closed on his purchase of Barfly at 120 N. Neil St. a week ago.

April home sales slump in Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN – The extent of the housing slump in Champaign County became more apparent in April, with home sales down more than 30 percent from April 2007.

Statistics released by the Champaign County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service showed 177 homes were sold and closed on in April. That was down from 263 in April 2007, a drop of 32.7 percent.

Investment firm now Granite Hill Partners

CHAMPAIGN – Sports Venture Partners, a private-equity investment firm with an office in Champaign, has changed its name to Granite Hall Partners to reflect more accurately the firm's wider investor base.

The firm was founded in 2000 to provide professional athletes and sports executives the opportunity to invest in a diversified group of private equity firms. It now serves a broader range of individual and institutional investors.

Mattoon official encouraged after FutureGen hearing

David Wortman got his first taste of the nation's capital Thursday – but he wasn't exactly a disinterested tourist.

Wortman, Mattoon's public works director, headed to Washington on his own dime to advocate for building FutureGen in Mattoon. After a Senate subcommittee hearing on the topic, he still feels pretty good about the prospect.

Durbin questions Secretary of Energy about FutureGen

Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman faced some tough questions Thursday during a Senate subcommittee meeting about FutureGen.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois interrogated him about the reasons the Energy Department restructured the clean-coal project. Durbin was a guest of the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee.

Lincoln Hotel owners don't want historic tag

URBANA – The new owner of the Historic Lincoln Hotel agrees that the 78-year-old hotel is, well, historic and probably deserving of local landmark status.

But the Normal-based company that bought the hotel in March doesn't want the designation, contending that just the prospect of being declared a local landmark is driving away hotel brands that could turn around the hotel's fortunes.

Forging site may absorb laid-off workers

DANVILLE – Although ThyssenKrupp will close its Voorhees Street machining facility next month and lay off workers there, company officials plan to rehire some of those employees at its forging facility that's under expansion.

The closure of the Voorhees plant in the midst of a $19 million investment project at the forging facility along Lynch Road is part of ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft Co.'s overall plan to consolidate its crankshaft machining and forging operations at one site and invest in new machining and forging technologies.

Red Cross closing its office in Danville

DANVILLE – The American Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter will be closing its Danville office next month, although services will continue in Vermilion County, officials said.

The office, at 320 N. Franklin St., also housed United Way until that organization moved to the Robert Thornton building just this month.

Centrue Bank's Ashkum branch to close

ASHKUM – Centrue Bank plans to close its branch in the Iroquois County community of Ashkum on June 27, according to Thomas A. Daiber, president of the bank's holding company.

That company, Centrue Financial Corp., recently disclosed plans to close the Ashkum office, at Main Street and U.S. 45, in its first-quarter earnings report.