Champaign council approves raising development fees

CHAMPAIGN – Despite outspoken opposition from local developers, the city council voted this week to raise development fees by an average of 25 percent to 30 percent.

The increases will take effect June 1 and will generate an additional $168,000 annually for the city.

Easton-Bell, with plant near Rantoul, sees rise in sales

RANTOUL – A few companies actually saw sales increase in the final quarter of 2008, and Easton-Bell Sports was one of them.

The Van Nuys, Calif.-based company, which makes bicycle helmets at its plant east of Rantoul, reported that net sales in the fourth quarter totaled $169.2 million, up 9.1 percent from the same quarter a year earlier. For full-year 2008, net sales totaled $775.5 million, up 7 percent from the previous year.

Burnham 310 contractors report difficulty getting paid

CHAMPAIGN – After a wait of several months, Bacon & Van Buskirk finally got paid for the glass work the company did last fall on the Burnham 310 apartment project.

But an Urbana concrete company hasn't been as lucky.

First Busey to cut dividend to build up capital

URBANA – First Busey Corp. will cut the dividend it pays to shareholders by 60 percent in an effort to build up capital, the company announced Tuesday.

The Urbana-based bank holding company sold $100 million of preferred stock to the Treasury Department in March and wants to redeem it as soon as possible, said Chief Executive Officer Van Dukeman. But to do so, it needs to build capital.

Bank files complaint for foreclosure and sale of Inman Plaza

CHAMPAIGN – A foreclosure complaint has been filed against the owners of the Inman Plaza in downtown Champaign, seeking sale of the property.

Lincolnwood-based Brickyard Bank filed suit against Avigdor "Victor" Horowitz, Ahuva Horowitz, Inman Plaza Inc. and Champaign Plaza LLC in Champaign County Circuit Court in March, claiming the defendants defaulted on a promissory note.

Local author combines curiosity, danger in book of experiments

CHAMPAIGN – If you've ever been enthralled by Theo Gray's "Gray Matter" column in Popular Science magazine, you're in for a treat.

The chemistry buff has bundled 55 of his most outrageous experiments into "Mad Science," a 239-page, full-color, hardcover book published by Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers.

Foreclosure regulations for tenants vary with circumstances

CHAMPAIGN – Tenants of properties that are foreclosed on generally have at least seven months – and probably longer – before they might have to move, an attorney for the Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation said.

Karen Hsu said she couldn't speak about the specific circumstances faced by residents of The Inman retirement center in downtown Champaign, since she wasn't familiar with the foreclosure complaint against the owners.

Skilled volunteers needed to help injured vet in Mahomet

URBANA – Professional construction tradespeople are needed to help build injured Army Sgt. Cameron Crouch an accessible home in Mahomet.

The signup will be from 1 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn, 1501 S. Neil St., C.

Eastern Orthodox Easter celebration getting under way

Holiday observances, which follow Julian calendar, take place at churches this weekend

URBANA – Thousands of fresh flowers, rose petals and bay leaves perfume some church sanctuaries this weekend.

Area's only black-owned radio station celebrates 2 decades

URBANA – Champaign-Urbana took some time out Friday night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the only black-owned radio station between Chicago and St. Louis.