Champaign panel seeks to increase wind-farm buffer zone

CHAMPAIGN – City planning officials like the idea of using wind farms to generate electricity. They really do.

But not in the city's backyard.

At the city's plan commission meeting this week, members voted 5-0 to not protest a proposed county zoning ordinance text amendment that would allow wind farms in the county Agriculture 1 zoning district with approval of a special-use permit by the Champaign County Board.

Buildings, offices on EIU campus to close early Fridays

CHARLESTON – In an effort to save money, Eastern Illinois University will close some buildings and offices at noon Fridays during the summer.

The shorter hours begin Monday.

Gateway Studios tells residents they must move out

CHAMPAIGN – It was a Friday afternoon, generally a time for relaxing in anticipation of the weekend.

But the residents at Gateway Studios, 1505 N. Neil St., were anything but relaxed. Rumors began spreading Thursday that the company that owns the downtrodden former hotel – which rents rooms by the day, week or month – was far behind on its utility bills.

Two area credit unions investing in student loans

CHAMPAIGN – Two area credit unions are among 12 statewide that have collectively pledged to invest nearly $100 million in securities to support student loans.

CHAMPAIGN – Two area credit unions are among 12 statewide that have collectively pledged to invest nearly $100 million in securities to support student loans.

The University of Illinois Employees Credit Union and Rantoul-based Credit Union 1 plan to buy securities issued by the Illinois Student Assistance Commission.

Assistant dean takes over UI's entrepreneur academy

CHAMPAIGN – John F. Clarke has assumed responsibility for the Academy of Entrepreneurial Leadership and the Illini Entrepreneur Center Network at the University of Illinois.

Clarke, an assistant dean for strategic initiatives at the UI College of Business, took over the duties previously handled by the academy's executive director, Tony Mendes.

Champaign County business leaders stump for projects

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign County business and civic leaders vow to keep beating the drum for five capital projects they consider most important for the local economy.

The projects – which they talked up to state legislators and department heads during a "lobby day" this week – include:

Burnham 310 signs raise red flags

CHAMPAIGN – The city wants the Burnham 310 project to succeed. Indeed, Champaign has provided $1.2 million in infrastructure and streetscape improvements for the 18-story apartment project.

Leadership changes at Strategic Capital Bank

CHAMPAIGN – James Ballsrud has been named acting president of Strategic Capital Bank following the April 16 resignation of former president Stephen Wills.

Ballsrud has been the bank's chief financial officer, and his new appointment is subject to approval by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Home-based gun business in Philo draws some objections

PHILO – A village decision in March to let a gun business open in a private home has prompted the objections of some residents.

Philo resident Terry McFall on Wednesday gave the village board a petition with 49 signatures of people asking the board to reconsider its decision to allow Sean Talbott to conduct a firearms sales and repair business out of a home he is renting at 105 W. Madison St.

Autumn Glen residents in Rantoul making plans to move out

RANTOUL – Many residents of Autumn Glen apartments in Rantoul have started looking for a new place to live.

They believe the closing of the apartment complex is inevitable.