Astronaut Tanner gives glimpse of future

CHAMPAIGN – The space shuttle is a "magnificent flying machine," in the words of shuttle astronaut Joe Tanner, with one fatal design flaw – one that cost the lives of seven astronauts in 2003.

So as NASA looks toward post-shuttle missions to the moon and, later, to Mars, it will borrow from a 40-year-old design used in the Apollo space program of the 1960s, the Danville native said Sunday night.

April cold snap hurts some area apple orchards

The cold snap in April cut Ron Wolfe's apple crop in half.

And his peach crop? Pretty much a dead loss.

El Informador moving from monthly to weekly

CHAMPAIGN – Come Wednesday, readers of El Informador can get copies of the Spanish-language newspaper weekly, rather than monthly.

The newspaper, which started five years ago as a student project on the University of Illinois campus, has been adopted by The News-Gazette and converted to a weekly paper.

New line being added at forging facility

DANVILLE – Thyssen-Krupp officials announced Friday afternoon that the crankshaft company will make a $40 million investment in a new machining line at its Danville forging facility.

The new line will produce a wide range of heavy duty crankshafts for the over-the-road truck market in the United States, according to the ThyssenKrupp Crankshaft announcement.

Animal triggers 3-hour power outage

About 1,900 Ameren customers were without electricity for about three hours Friday night.

"A small animal, possibly a squirrel," damaged equipment at a Tolono substation, Ameren spokeswoman Natalie Hemmer said, knocking power out shortly after 6 p.m., mostly in Tolono and Sadorus.

A.G. Edwards deal done; no changes set for local offices

CHAMPAIGN – Wachovia Corp. completed its acquisition of the A.G. Edwards financial services firm this week, but the company says no changes are imminent at the local Wachovia Securities and A.G. Edwards offices.

"There hasn't been any decision made about any specific mergers of A.G. Edwards and Wachovia Securities offices yet," Wachovia Securities spokesman Tony Mattera said Tuesday. "In some cases, we will remain operating in separate offices and separate facilities, but eventually all offices will evolve to the Wachovia Securities name. That will not happen until 2008 at some point.

New firm to build 1 of 9 ethanol plants in Danville

DANVILLE – A newly formed Central Illinois corporation is betting that new technology developed at Purdue University will be the key to making ethanol production more feasible and lead to the construction of nine facilities, including one in Danville.

The new process reduces pollution, uses less water and increases the number of co-products that can be sold, according to Dale Elder, vice president and chief financial officer of Reed-Three Rivers Bio-Grain, a newly formed corporation based in San Jose, southwest of Bloomington.

It's your business: New shop to feature cheesecake creations

Karen Mikle thinks people shouldn't have to choose just one of all the different kinds of cheesecakes she makes – the toffee crunch, the white chocolate raspberry, the chocolate-covered strawberry, the caramel apple pecan, and many more.

So she makes her cheesecakes in 2-inch miniatures and sells assortments of them in candy boxes.

Illini fans scramble for seats to watch team on satellite TV

Sitting in a sea of orange and blue shirts at a sports bar in Savoy, Jennifer Downs was part of a crowd cheering Illinois to victory over Penn State.

Downs, a Champaign resident, was one of many who flocked to local bars to see the game. Comcast doesn't air the Big Ten Network, so many bars got DirecTV or DISH Network.

UI hopes i-card program keeps growing

Like frozen custard? Need to send flowers to a friend?

Several area businesses in town are offering discounts to holders of the i-card, the identification card University of Illinois students and employees carry.

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