Feeling the Pinch: Experts say nest is rickety, but egg will be OK

CHAMPAIGN – As prices rise at the gas pump and grocery store, those counting on their nest egg to grow have been sorely disappointed.

Stocks tumbled this year, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 13 percent since Jan. 1. For people whose retirement plans and portfolios are stock-heavy, it's been a dismal time as folks watch their savings shrink.

People who depend on their nest egg for income are particularly troubled. Do they withdraw more money to cover expenses, or simply try to cut back on living expenses? And when will the market turn around?

Housing slump proves challenging for area real-estate agents

CHAMPAIGN – Wes Cravens bought a house in Champaign's Sawgrass subdivision two years ago when he moved here to take a job as a software engineer.

Now his three-bedroom house on Trailway Drive is on the market as he and his family contemplate moving to a larger house.

The house has been up for sale only three weeks, but already Cravens has noticed the market has changed since 2006.

At that time, the family had a baby on the way, and he needed to find a house quickly. But he couldn't find much in the size, style and location he wanted.

"When I look now, there are tons of them," he said. "There's a much bigger inventory now."

Foreclosed properties proving not to be worth risk right now

CHAMPAIGN – Some area real estate agents are getting calls from prospective buyers wondering how to buy a foreclosed home, according to Barb Manka, president of the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

But at least one real estate agent who has bought foreclosed homes and fixed them up is no longer doing so because of the soft market.

Team building a better wheelchair for Paralympic athletes

URBANA – Inside a nondescript building in the middle of a parking lot, scientists are using a giant wind tunnel to figure out how to make disabled athletes move faster – starting with several of the University of Illinois athletes competing at the Beijing Paralympic Games starting today.

When those athletes start competing, Greg Busch will be watching.

PC Magazine: UI the No. 1 'wired' campus in the country

URBANA – The University of Illinois is the No. 1 "wired" college in the country, and that honor isn't just for Mountain Dew consumption.

The Princeton Review, in the latest edition of "PC Magazine," rates the Urbana-Champaign campus as the best in the country for computer students and others in terms of service, academics and availability.

Owner will demolish burned-out Danville building

DANVILLE – A burned-out building in downtown Danville is set to be torn down in October.

Owner Tenley Lippie of Fort Wayne, Ind., opted to demolish what remains of the building at 105-109 N. Vermilion St., after city officials rejected her plans for a "bare bones" renovation.

Ecology will come first at couple's planned Champaign store

CHAMPAIGN – Wendi and Bart Lindsay started their own eco-lifestyle at home.

Now they plan to open a store in downtown Champaign that will help other people find products – from baby diapers to housewares – that are earth-friendly.

The new store, to be called B. Lime, is set to open in November in a redeveloped building – which itself is undergoing a green construction makeover – at the northwest corner of Hickory and Washington streets.

UI officials tout bright future of nanotechnology at lab dedication

URBANA – Nanophotonic crystals, nanobiosensors, nanocharacterization.

Buffalo Wild Wings sports bar and grill coming to Danville

DANVILLE – Ryan Messmore likes to watch a lot of professional football, so he's very happy that a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant with more than 20 television screens full of football, basketball, baseball – whatever the sport in season happens to be – is coming to the Village Mall in Danville.

Tolono trustees get update on TIF district funds

TOLONO – The village board has some decisions to make about its tax increment financing district.

The board Tuesday heard from Dan Walker, vice president of Thomas N. Jacob & Associates, a Bloomington-based consulting firm hired by the village to administer its tax increment financing district, which was formed in 2002.