$3 million going to UI, private firm

URBANA – Several million dollars will come to East Central Illinois, thanks to earmarks in the recently approved Department of Defense appropriations bill.

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, announced Thursday a $2 million grant for University of Illinois nanomedical technologies research and a second $1 million grant for Creative Thermal Solutions, an Urbana company developing cooling units for soldiers.

Allegiant Air leaving Willard after three months of service

SAVOY – Allegiant Air will stop offering direct flights to Las Vegas from Willard Airport in December, the airline announced Friday.

The announcement came less than three months after Allegiant began offering the scheduled service.

New logo reflects bank mergers

CHAMPAIGN – Busey Bank signs are going up at Main Street Bank & Trust offices this weekend as the two locally based banks merge.

Their parent companies, First Busey Corp. and Main Street Trust Inc., merged on Aug. 1, taking the First Busey name. Now it's time for the banking offices to adopt the Busey Bank name.

All four possible FutureGen sites pass evaluation

TUSCOLA – Both Tuscola and Mattoon have cleared the final hurdle in its race to get the world's cleanest coal plant.

Congressman Timothy Johnson, R-Urbana, announced Thursday night that all four finalists for the FutureGen near zero emissions coal plant equally passed environmental evaluations by the U.S. Department of Energy.

'Dealing room' proposed for M2

CHAMPAIGN – It started with a conversation at Boltini.

Champaign developer Jon "Cody" Sokolski was talking with Joost Pennings, a University of Illinois associate professor of agricultural and consumer economics, about the possibilities in downtown Champaign.

Union tells UI it intends to strike

Building and food service workers at the University of Illinois have notified the university of their intent to strike.

But if a strike occurs, it's not expected to happen until after the union's next meeting, scheduled for Nov. 26, with the university and a federal mediator.

Businesses voice opposition to MTD annexation plans

SAVOY – Scott Garth and Linda Stark are among a select number of Savoy businesses owners whose property, on the east side of U.S. 45, could be annexed immediately by the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District if an annexation agreement with the village is approved.

"I joke and say it's because we're on the wrong side of the tracks," said Stark, owner of Savoy Storage, near the corner of U.S. 45 and Church Street.

One of 10 job fairs for vets set for today in Danville

The state has scheduled a series of 10 job fairs for veterans, including one today in Danville.

The event will run from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Illinois Employment and Training Center office at 407 N. Franklin St. Veterans' job fairs are also being held today and Friday in other Illinois cities.

Danville's 3rd pawn shop open for business

DANVILLE – One hour after receiving his city pawnbroker license, Kevin Johnson had the "open" sign at his Vermilion Street pawn business turned on.

His first customer of the day was a woman selling speakers.

Two Main Street businesses in Danville to close

DANVILLE – Rhodes-Burford Furniture Store and E.B. Collins Carquest Auto Parts store both survived more than a century of change. But recent economic pressures finally proved too much for the historic downtown businesses.

"It's just pure economics. The old-fashioned furniture stores and mom-and-pop stuff is on its way out. It's box stores and superstores," said Shane Darr, manager of Rhodes-Burford Furniture Store at 103 E. Main St., Danville.