Crumbling building blocked off

DANVILLE – Bresee Tower is not the only downtown building with barricades around it.

City officials blocked off a section of sidewalk late last week in front of the former AT&T building at 25 N. Walnut St. after noting small chunks of concrete had fallen from the vacant, two-story structure.

Annexation would bring in land for Rantoul industrial complex

RANTOUL – More than 40 acres of farmland west of Interstate 57 could be annexed by the village of Rantoul on Tuesday night as the site of a proposed industrial complex.

Alliance Resources, which operates facilities at 906 Eagle Drive and 200 Turner Drive in Rantoul, has asked the village to approve an annexation agreement for 40.856 acres it owns south of U.S. 136 at Evans Road.

Retailers, banks hardest hit in area stocks in 2007

CHAMPAIGN – Retailing and banking took it on the chin in 2007, with some of the biggest losers on Wall Street falling into those two sectors.

Locally, Bon-Ton Stores and Macy's both suffered big drops in stock prices, with Bon-Ton's price falling 72 percent and Macy's sliding 32 percent during the year.

Art Mart owners passing torch to new generation

URBANA – The two young sisters who started running Art Mart 45 years ago have decided to "step back" from the business – but not retire.

Linda Ballard and Carol Ann Hurt plan to turn over day-to-day management of the Lincoln Square Village store to Linda's daughter, Courtney McKay, and her husband, Brian, in February.

It's your business: Dena's Hallmark moving to new spot

The Dena's Hallmark store at 27 E. Marketview Drive, C, will be closing soon for a move to another space at the same shopping center.

And when it reopens later this month, it will have a whole new look, says owner Dena Gaudio.

Longtime Arcola restaurant up for sale

ARCOLA – After some 35 years of dishing up mashed potatoes and gravy and slices of home-made pie, the owners of the Dutch Kitchen restaurant are ready for a break.

Allen and Ruth Ann Yoder have listed their venerable restaurant on Arcola's Main Street for sale, and are looking to retire.

As library adds Net access, study analyzes usage trends

When Champaign's new library opens Sunday, it will have 87 Internet-connected computers available for public use, not to mention wireless access for people with their own laptops.

The 20 computers in the old library usually had people waiting to use them, library Director Marsha Grove said, so the resource was an important element in planning the new building.

Apartment's sprinkler system still under repair

SAVOY – Workmen continued making repairs Friday to water pipe and fire sprinkler systems that caused temporary evacuation of about 200 residents of an apartment complex in Savoy.

Kathy Grim, vice president of marketing for GMH Communities, owner of the College Park Fields apartments at Sterling Court, Savoy, said a sprinkler system in one of the buildings broke Wednesday. The break was caused by the cold weather, she said.

Male revue sparks ordinance questions in Tolono

TOLONO – When a male revue comes to Tolono on Friday, women armed with dollar bills won't be the only ones watching.

Radmaker's Rock and Roll Tavern will host the Midwestheartbreakers All Male Revue on Friday night.

New owner has big plans for Mansfield's shuttered FS station

MANSFIELD – When Mansfield's FS service station closed in early 2007, Les Shores saw it as a sign that his town was dying.

Shores, a self-proclaimed "hometown boy," remembers riding his bicycle to the station as a boy for a pop and candy bar, and later getting his car worked on. He thought the station needed to be preserved.