Exec wants extended, expanded home-buying incentives

CHAMPAIGN – The president of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate chain is pressing for the first-time home buyer credit to be extended and greatly expanded.

But Jim Gillespie said he doesn't know how successful the proposal will be because it could push up the federal deficit.

Tokyo Game Show 2009: Great things are coming our way

From Sept. 24 through 27, I was at the Tokyo Game Show 2009, held at the Makuhari Messe convention center just outside Tokyo, experiencing some of the many games that will be coming our way in future. The following are my impressions of just a few of the games I saw, and more is on the way.

Champaign County home sales rise for third month in a row

CHAMPAIGN – Home sales in the Champaign County area were up from a year ago for the third straight month, according to September statistics from the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

However, the rise in activity still seems to be fueled primarily by lower-priced homes – and the availability of the first-time homebuyer credit.

Close on house purchase by Nov. 30 to qualify for tax credit

URBANA – Therese Catanach hopes to get a tax credit of about $6,500 as a result of buying a home last month on East Park Street in Urbana.

The doctoral student at the University of Illinois moved to town from College Station, Texas, and decided she didn't want to rent any more.

Allied Waste proposes toter system for Hoopeston

HOOPESTON – The consensus of a larger-than-typical audience at the Hoopeston City Council meeting was things are fine – don't change them.

The change being considered was a proposal by Allied Waste to institute a toter garbage pickup system, like the one used in Danville. Allied Waste, which collects trash under contract with the city, would provide toters – heavy gauge garbage containers – to the 2,200 houses in Hoopeston, free of charge.

A-1 Alarm to be acquired by competitor F.E. Moran

CHAMPAIGN – An alarm company that's been in Champaign for 41 years is being acquired by a larger, local competitor.

A-1 Alarm Service, founded by Cecil Byrnes in 1968, has agreed to be acquired by F.E. Moran Alarm and Monitoring Services, effective Oct. 30.

Chicago company acquires local mortgage broker

CHAMPAIGN – A longtime mortgage broker in Champaign and Northbrook has become part of a larger financial-services firm based in the Chicago area.

Revere Mortgage Ltd. has been acquired by Wintrust Mortgage, a subsidiary of Barrington Bank & Trust Co. That bank is one of 15 banks owned by Wintrust Financial Corp., a Lake Forest-based financial-services firm.

3G service activated on AT&T cell sites in 28 locations

CHAMPAIGN – Customers with AT&T mobile phone service may have noticed increased availability of 3G service in the Champaign-Urbana area in recent weeks.

On Tuesday, the company formally announced that 3G technology has been activated on 28 cell sites in Champaign, DeWitt, Piatt and McLean counties.

Heritage and history highlighted in Piatt barn tour

John Leischner's barn is more than a place where a pony makes its home, it's a building that has been in the family for generations.

Leischner's father inherited the barn at 2038 N. 500 East, DeLand, from his uncle. Now the barn is under the care of Leischner and his siblings.

The family barn will be shared with the public during the 12th annual Piatt County Museum Barn Tour on Friday through Sunday.

What began as a one-day excursion to barns scattered throughout the county has developed into an award-winning three-day festival highlighting one township in Piatt County annually.

Fallon's owner to raze buildings on North Neil Street

CHAMPAIGN – Fallon's Master Cleaners had a run of nearly 70 years, but by year's end, owner Tim Fallon expects the building at 518 N. Neil St., C, to be demolished.

The dry-cleaning business was established in 1940 by Tim's father, Thomas Fallon. Tim Fallon has operated it since 1968, most recently with his son, Troy.