Declining dumping-fee revenue dooms recycling effort

DANVILLE – For 10 years, the Vermilion County Health Department has been providing an opportunity for county residents to "go green" through recycling, but for the county, "green" has meant spending money, not making it.

Lynn Wolgamot, Vermilion County recycling coordinator, said people often think the county makes money on recycling, but the opposite is true. In 2007, it cost the health department $207,952 to run the recycling program's seven sites in Danville, Westville, Georgetown, Catlin, Bismarck, Sidell and Kickapoo State Park. The county contracts with ABC Sanitary Hauling of Champaign to keep the bins emptied on a regular basis and process the material at its facility.

Owners of The Timbers turn attention to Italian food

URBANA – A "family-friendly" Italian restaurant is expected to open later this month in what was formerly The Timbers steakhouse in Urbana.

Nikki Marie's will be operated by the same family that ran The Timbers, which closed Aug. 15 after a two-year run.

Longtime pageant organizer took it to national level

HOOPESTON – For more than 30 years, Delores Crabtree has been a major organizer of the National Sweetcorn Festival's Sweetheart Pageant, a local event that has grown into a training ground for Miss America hopefuls from across the nation.

Safe Routes project aims to educate students, drivers

The young woman on the cell phone didn't even slow down as she passed Bottenfield Elementary School, even though the crossing guard was already in the middle of Prospect Avenue.

She drove past the school, easily going faster than 20 mph, said Bottenfield parent Leeann Stack, who watched the woman continue her conversation as she drove past the crossing guard last week.

'Extreme' exposure paying dividends for Champaign charity

CHAMPAIGN – Donation bins overflow, shelves are stocked with food, the place is definitely spiffier – and the line of people needing help is longer than ever.

That's what a little extreme TV exposure can do.

Champaign-based Volition staying on target with games

CHAMPAIGN – Video-game sales have dropped dramatically this year, and Champaign-based Volition Inc. isn't immune to the falloff.

From March through July, industry sales were down every month compared with the same month last year, the Los Angeles Times reported, citing sales data from market research firm The NPD Group. July sales were down 29 percent from a year ago.

A move in the right direction for Goodwill Industries

CHAMPAIGN – Goodwill Industries plans to move into the former Rhodes Furniture building in north Champaign later this fall.

UI Research park to get street extensions

CHAMPAIGN – Look for several new streets to criss-cross the University of Illinois Research Park in a few years.

The university expects $6.8 million in state and federal grants for extending Fourth Street south to Windsor Road, Hazelwood Drive east to Fourth Street and Gerty Drive east to Fourth Street, said Bruce Walden, a director in the UI's Office of Capital Programs and Real Estate Services.

UI's flash index stays unchanged in August

URBANA – The University of Illinois flash index stayed the same in August after dropping 10 of the preceding 11 months.

But that doesn't mean Illinois' employment numbers will increase any time soon, UI economist J. Fred Giertz said.

Danville to apply for funding for beltline

DANVILLE – Although one alderman philosophically objects to the federal stimulus program and another questions whether people will really be put to work with those dollars, the Danville City Council on Tuesday authorized applying for a $45 million federal stimulus grant to build a beltline highway to attract economic development.

Alderman Sharon Mc- Mahon, Ward 4, said that no one can predict the future and know when economic development will occur if a beltline highway is built, but it will create the opportunity.