Area credit union losses skewed by one-time expense

CHAMPAIGN – A quick glance at first-quarter results for area credit unions might give you the false impression that most are awash in red ink.

Twenty-five of 34 credit unions in East Central Illinois showed net losses for the quarter that ended March 31, 2009. But most of those losses occurred because the credit unions elected to realize a one-time expense in the first quarter.

It's Your Business: Bone Appetit to offer pet treats, clothing

If you're the kind of pet owner who likes to treat your pooch by buying him a baked treat or dressing her in an Illini jersey, you'll want to visit a new pet boutique and bakery.

Bone Appetit Pet Boutique and Bakery in the Round Barn Centre in Champaign will open Aug. 1.

Bells, whistles toned down for Showcase of Homes

SAVOY – Nicole McGuire Thompson said she wanted to go into home building from an early age.

Three years ago, she got the chance. Her father, Jeff McGuire, was in the home-building business in Gibson City, and she joined him after seven years in pharmaceutical sales.

Grand opening for Bryant Industries' salvage lot set

DANVILLE – Bryant Industries Inc. is hosting a grand opening Saturday for its new U-Pull Auto Salvage facility.

The yard at 1406 Warrington Ave. contains vehicles that are 10 to 15 years old, have been inventoried by make and model, and are awaiting crushing at the adjacent facility, said Erik Plotner, chief financial officer for Bryant Industries. Customers are allowed to use hand tools to remove parts from the vehicles. Entry is free, and wagons are provided to haul parts to vehicles. Tool sets can be rented for $5.

Spanish tapas bar planned in old Office bar space

URBANA – A tapas bar and lounge named after the Spanish painter Picasso is coming to downtown Urbana.

Victor Fuentes, who also runs the El Toro regional chain of Mexican restaurants, is hoping to open V. Picasso restaurant in the former Office bar space, 214 W. Main St., in mid-September.

Champaign may extend recycling to multifamily dwellings

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign apartment dweller Mary Flesher says she wants to recycle but seldom does.

She blames the fact that Champaign does not offer recycling to buildings with five or more apartments. She and her husband, David, live in a 12-unit apartment building at 607 W. Springfield Ave.

CIB Marine Bancshares considers filing Chapter 11

CHAMPAIGN – The holding company for Central Illinois Bank has proposed filing a Chapter 11 expedited bankruptcy – similar to those filed by General Motors and Chrysler – as the best way to address mounting debt.

Ex-Masonic Temple being converted into luxury apartments

CHAMPAIGN – Renovations to the former Masonic Temple in downtown Champaign have begun, with plans to convert it to a luxury apartment building called The Lodge on Hill.

The building at 202 W. Hill St. – for many years known as the Jefferson Building – was acquired by Robert Grossman last fall, and architect Neil Strack of Architectural Expressions drew up plans for the building's conversion.

UI professor among 3 killed in car-train accident

SOMONAUK – A retired University of Illinois professor, his wife and a granddaughter were killed in a collision between their car and a passenger train in northern LaSalle County on Monday afternoon.

A release from LaSalle County Coroner Jodeen Bernard said Benjamin Rasmusen, 82, and his wife Marilyn Rasmusen, 81, both of Leland, were killed when the car they were in was hit by an Amtrak passenger train about 1½ miles west of Somonauk.

Champaign County group to lobby for funds in D.C.

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign County business and civic leaders plan to send a delegation to the nation's capital in September to lobby for local projects.

The group, being assembled by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce and the Champaign County Economic Development Corp., is scheduled to make the trip Sept. 22-25.