First-annual CASA Barbecue Fundraiser set June 27

CHAMPAIGN – The Matzner Chiropractic practice in southwest Champaign is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Champaign County Court-Appointed Special Advocates program.

The first annual CASA Barbecue Fundraiser will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 27, at Matzner Chiropractic, 1712 S. Duncan Road, C. The event will feature food, a dunk tank, a bounce house; face painting, a silent auction, family photos and wellness screenings.

First National Bank of Danville now on shaky ground

DANVILLE – First National Bank of Danville suffered heavy losses during the first three months of this year and, as of March 31, was considered "undercapitalized" by federal regulatory standards.

Hoopeston amped about Main Street program's results

HOOPESTON – What a difference some enthusiasm makes.

"Main Street has made a vast improvement in our downtown," said Dana Goodrum, Hoopeston's economic development director. "It has dedicated volunteers, great events and is always thinking creatively."

Turtle Races' future hinges on Saturday turnout

DANVILLE – Since 1964, a local group has put on annual Turtle Races for the community and raised thousands of dollars for children with disabilities.

But, organizers say, if they don't have a good turnout at this year's event on Saturday, the tradition may come to an end.

Inspectors find many faults at closed Gateway Studios

CHAMPAIGN – City inspectors found mold in a number of rooms at the former Gateway Studios during an inspection of the now-closed hotel Wednesday. The inspection will continue today.

Tried and True: Anchovies add piquancy to red clam sauce

This recipe for linguine with red clam sauce is a fast, easy and cheap meal that happens to be delicious, too. It's a great one for a work night when you don't want to make a big mess in the kitchen and it truly is ready to eat as soon as the pasta is cooked.

It's from Rachael Ray again, sorry, but she knows how to churn out the meals without a whole lot of fancy stuff. I've never yet created a clinker from one of her recipes. She uses anchovies in this, and though I had convinced myself they were evil, they truly do disappear and lend a nice background flavor.

Danville child care program's pending closure shocks families

DANVILLE – About 60 Vermilion County families are scrambling to find new child care services after learning on Tuesday morning that theirs will close later this month.

The Center for Children's Services announced it will close its Early Learning Center at 702 N. Logan Ave., Danville, on June 26 for financial reasons.

Carle Clinic discounting prices on employee screenings

URBANA – Carle Clinic is offering local businesses a little recession relief.

The clinic's occupational-medicine department has begun reducing the prices of employee physicals and drug screenings, and plans to keep the discounts in effect through Dec. 31.

Alloy Engineering & Casting workers get week of furlough

CHAMPAIGN – Alloy Engineering & Casting and its parent company, Wirco, have furloughed their entire work force for a week as a result of the sluggish economy.

The furlough affects about 65 employees at Alloy Engineering's plant in Champaign and about 26 employees at Wirco's fabrication facility in Avilla, Ind., said Wirco President Chad Wright.

Executive explains reasons for Ameren's rate-hike request

CHAMPAIGN – Uncertainty in the economy and in Illinois government is causing problems for the Ameren Illinois Utilities and is part of the reason the downstate utility has filed for a $226 million increase in gas and electric rates, the president of the company said Tuesday.

"The costs of our business – major investment in substation and transformers and poles – we're seeing very modest increases," Scott Cisel, the president and CEO of Ameren Illinois, told The News-Gazette editorial board. "What's costing so much is the financing around those acquisitions of material.