Survey: Jobs becoming plentiful in Vermilion County

DANVILLE – Some big and small developments in the aviation industry are keeping Danville Metal Stamping busy enough that the company has hired 20 employees since the first of the year.

"We've got a number of new projects as well as a significant increase in our base business," said Judd Peck, president of Danville Metal Stamping, 17 Oakwood Ave., which produces a variety of metal components for the aerospace and gas turbine industries.

Cause of deadly fire is undetermined

INDIANOLA – The state fire marshal's office continues to investigate a house fire that killed an 11-month old boy Tuesday afternoon.

"At this time, the cause is listed as undetermined due to damage to the house," said spokeswoman Januari Smith.

Company starting work on new campus grocery

CHAMPAIGN – It's taken the owners of County Market groceries some time to design a smaller-than-average store that will cater to students and families alike, plus have something hard to come by in the heart of the University of Illinois campus area – a parking lot of its own.

And they're sure looking forward to seeing it open.

Cable rates to increase in April

URBANA – Comcast Cable customers in East Central Illinois can expect to pay 6 percent more for expanded basic cable, beginning April 2, the company said today.

The rate for the 69-channel expanded basic package will rise from $49.75 a month to $52.75 a month, according to Melody Brucker, director of Comcast's Champaign-Urbana District.

Covenant receives tax refund from Champaign County

URBANA – Less than a week after a judge suggested Champaign County wasn't going to prevail in a lawsuit with Provena Covenant Medical Center, the county decided to refund five years' worth of the hospital's property tax payments, plus interest.

County Treasurer Dan Welch on Tuesday said he issued a check for $6.1 million to Covenant, covering $5.8 million in taxes the hospital paid under protest and $315,849 in interest.

Urbana business buys new location in Danville

DANVILLE – Almost three years ago, the Urbana-based Ohana Pools Spas and Billiards store opened a new location in Danville. The expansion has been a success, so Ohana has bought a new site in Danville.

"We leased, because we didn't know how the store would go. But we have built up a pretty good client base over there. We're happy with everything," said Ginger Spillers, president of Ohana, which has its main location at 105 E. University Ave., U, and a third store in Mahomet.

Flash index show recession hasn't hit Illinois yet

URBANA – The University of Illinois flash economic index in February rose for the second straight month after six months of decline.

"It appears the recession hasn't arrived in Illinois," said economist J. Fred Giertz, who compiles the index for the UI's Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

Round Barn mail site set to close

CHAMPAIGN – After more than 20 years of operation, the postal facility at Round Barn Centre appears destined to close.

March 12 is the last scheduled day of business for the postal contract station, which has been serving customers in west Champaign since 1983.

Revenue decline in forecast for Danville

DANVILLE – NAPA Auto Parts owner Dale Fathauer has seen a "surprising" increase in sales, given the current state of the economy.

Business was up 9 percent last year, Fathauer said, and revenues have increased 15 percent over last year so far.

New stamp honors UI professor, inventor Bardeen

John Bardeen never ran for six touchdowns against Michigan.

Then again, Red Grange never won two Nobel Prizes nor invented anything like the transistor, the linchpin of the modern electronic age.

Which is why the late UI physics professor will join the Illini football legend Thursday as the latest person with local connections to end up on a commemorative stamp from the U.S. Postal Service. Grange was honored in 2003.