UI Law school hires new dean from within

Bruce Smith, currently an associate dean in academic affairs for the college, will be the new dean, pending approval next week by the university's board of trustees.

Current economic development leader's contract extended

CHAMPAIGN – John Dimit can expect to serve at least two and a half more years as president and chief executive officer of the Champaign County Economic Development Corp.

On Thursday, the group's board of directors authorized its executive committee to finalize a contract with Dimit extending his service through June 30, 2011. Some details remained to be worked out.

Lawmakers, energy nominee discuss FutureGen

WASHINGTON – Illinois lawmakers say they're feeling hopeful about the prospect of building FutureGen in Mattoon after a meeting Wednesday morning with President-elect Barack Obama's nominee for energy secretary.

News-Gazette uses Twitter to send alerts

CHAMPAIGN – Along with faithful publication of the daily newspaper, The News-Gazette is taking new approaches to how it publishes news.

Many of them involve the Internet. The paper can send news alerts to cell phones using Twitter, and it plans to improve interactivity with a Web site redesign coming later this year.

99-year-old Georgetown flower business prepares for end

DANVILLE – All it took was a handshake and Roy Lake Burgoyne had himself a flower shop.

No contract, no bill of sale, just a verbal agreement and a handshake.

That was Oct. 25, 1909.

Now, less than a year shy of its centennial birthday, the closure of Burgoyne's Floral and Greenhouses, located at 804 N. Main St., Georgetown, is imminent.

All it took was an economic downturn.

Sparse crowd shows up at meeting over proposed salvage yard

DANVILLE – Bryant Industries on Wednesday addressed the concerns of six local residents regarding the company's plans for a new auto-parts salvage area.

The salvage area would be on Bryant's property west of Danville.

Metropolitan building's insurer delaying neighbor's demolition

CHAMPAIGN – Hopes that demolition could begin soon on a fire-damaged building downtown appear to have been dashed this week.

Foreclosure counseling available on Saturday 'helpline'

CHAMPAIGN – People with questions about home foreclosures can get them answered for free on Saturday, thanks to a "foreclosure helpline" sponsored by Attorneys' Title Guaranty Fund.

Volunteer real estate attorneys will offer legal counsel to anyone calling 1-800-252-0402 from 9 a.m. to noon that day.

Orpheum's board seeks proposals for building new museum

CHAMPAIGN – The people who run the Orpheum Children's Science Museum think it might be better off in different quarters than the historic 95-year-old Orpheum Theatre building in downtown Champaign.

So they've put out a request for proposals asking local developers if they would be interested in building a new, larger children's museum, and for their ideas about a potential reuse of the theater building.

Champaign demolition on hold at insurer's instruction

CHAMPAIGN – Hopes that demolition could begin soon on a fire-damaged building downtown appear to have been dashed this week.

State Auto Insurance Cos. of Columbus, Ohio, the insurer for the former Metropolitan Building that was destroyed in the Nov. 7 fire, have instructed their clients not to allow the fire site to be used as a demolition-staging area for an adjacent building, at 215 N. Neil St., that was structurally damaged in the fire.