Ex-con artist trying to help former inmates find jobs

CHAMPAIGN – Years ago, Steve Wireman was scamming residents across East Central Illinois into investing with his business, promising them profits he knew they would never see.

He injected tens of thousands of dollars' worth of customers' money into his personal accounts, according to court documents. Before long, he was arrested, tried in federal court and sentenced to prison.

Most area stocks enjoy '09 rebound; First Busey falls

Last year was a wild year for the market, with many stocks rebounding from the pounding they took in the general market free fall of late 2008 and early 2009.

Of 57 companies with a notable presence in East Central Illinois, 41 ended the year with a stock price higher than at the end of 2008. Sixteen companies found their shares trading for less.

For the companies whose stock appreciated, the gains were often significant. The Dow Jones industrial average was up nearly 23 percent for the year, and the Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 26 percent.

It's Your Business: Gallery moving to Lincoln Square

Urbana's Lincoln Square Village will welcome a new arts-related tenant next month.

The gallery Wind Water & Light, at 10 E. Main St. in downtown Champaign, will move to Lincoln Square and reopen in its new space Feb. 10.

Lake Land community choir seeking new members

MATTOON – Lake Land College Community Choir is seeking new members.

Rehearsals will begin on Jan. 26, taking place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays in the Lake Land College Theatre.

Bank vows to increase occupancy at Inman

CHAMPAIGN – Brickyard Bank has been named mortgagee in possession of the Inman Plaza retirement center in downtown Champaign.

The bank plans to continue operating the Inman as a senior living center, make repairs to the building and increase occupancy, said Michael Stein, a consultant to the Lincolnwood-based bank.

Champaign pizza depot going to Nestle in deal

CHAMPAIGN – The Kraft Foods pizza depot in Champaign would be transferred to Nestle as a result of Kraft's agreement this week to sell its North American pizza business to Nestle for $3.7 billion.

Kraft spokesman Mike Mitchell confirmed Wednesday that the facility at 901 N. Country Fair Drive, C, would be part of the transfer. He said five sales representatives work there.

Illini Farm Toy Show to feature more than 40 exhibitors

The sixth annual Illini Farm Toy Show will be held in Urbana this weekend.

The toy show, sponsored annually by the Champaign, Douglas, and Vermilion County Young Farmers and Young Ag Leaders, will feature more than 40 exhibitors from Illinois and neighboring states.

Danville accounting facility sold to international firm

DANVILLE – In May, employees at the Walgreen accounting center in Danville will still be handling the accounting for the nation's largest drugstore chain, but not as Walgreen employees.

CIB Marine Bancshares emerges from bankruptcy

CHAMPAIGN – Central Illinois Bank's parent company has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy free of debt and endowed with more capital.

"We have successfully completed our reorganization, and we have emerged as a much stronger bank holding company," said John Hickey Jr., the chairman and chief executive officer of CIB Marine Bancshares, in a statement released Wednesday.

Firm will provide Walgreens accounting services

DANVILLE — Walgreens has signed an agreement with Genpact to provide the drug-store chain with accounting services.

The 10-year agreement will affect Walgreens’ Danville accounting office.