News-Gazette switching to morning-only on June 1

CHAMPAIGN – The News-Gazette will move to being a morning-only newspaper beginning June 1, following a decades-long industry trend.

Editor and Publisher John R. Foreman cited readership trends, cost efficiencies and changing ways of delivering news as reasons for moving to morning-only.

Philo man wants to open gun business

PHILO – A resident wants to open a firearms business in his home, but officials are not sure whether the village's zoning ordinance allows that.

Sean Talbott told the Philo Village Board on Wednesday about his plans to sell firearms, offer the repair and cleaning of firearms and sell reloading supplies from his house on Madison Street. The business would be part-time as he has two other jobs.

Bon-Ton Stores reports $87.7 million quarterly loss

CHAMPAIGN – The company that operates Bergner's and Elder-Beerman department stores recently reported a quarterly loss of $87.7 million.

But aside from closing an Elder-Beerman store in Hamilton, Ohio, Bon-Ton Stores Inc. doesn't plan to close any of the 280 department stores it operates in 23 states, said Mary Kerr, vice president of investor and public relations for the York, Pa.-based retailer.

Inmate at Pontiac indicted over letters to Vermilion County

ROCK ISLAND – A federal grand jury in Rock Island has indicted a Pontiac prison inmate for sending a letter to the Vermilion County state's attorney's office threatening to kill two lawyers there.

A release from the office of Rodger Heaton, U.S. Attorney for the Central District, said Lewis L. Clark, 22, was indicted Thursday not only for sending a letter to the Vermilion County state's attorney's office, but to other court officials in Henry and Adams counties.

Solo Cup Co.'s 4th-quarter loss put at $12.8 million

URBANA – After enjoying a year of steadily improving profits in 2007, Solo Cup Co. found much tougher sledding in 2008, ending the year with a net loss of $12.1 million.

The Highland Park-based company, which employs about 300 at its plant in Urbana, reported a $12.8 million loss in the fourth quarter. During the same quarter a year earlier, the company turned in one of its best performances in recent history, reporting $98.7 million in net income.

CIB Marine Bancshares looking to restructure debt

CHAMPAIGN – Central Illinois Bank's parent company is asking holders of its trust preferred securities for permission to restructure the debt, in hopes of averting default.

CIB Marine Bancshares sent out a consent solicitation Monday asking the four trusts that issued the trust preferred securities to allow the change.

Harwal owner says Danville hampering loan prospects

DANVILLE – An individual has an interest in buying the dilapidated, vacant Harwal Hotel and renovating the building, according to one city official, but the current owner has his own plans to renovate the historic structure for low-income housing.

Mayor Scott Eisenhauer declined to name the individual who wants to buy the Harwal or disclose the person's plans for the four-story brick building at 101 W. Harrison St., which has been empty since 2007.

DACC workshops to help organizations go green

DANVILLE – Danville Area Community College, in partnership with the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, is providing a series of workshops on organizations becoming more "green."

The workshops will teach participants how to protect the environment and save money. The center is in the process of attaining continuing education units for these workshops, which will be open to large and small businesses, organizations, municipalities and others.

Marathon in jeopardy of losing permits without volunteers

CHAMPAIGN – The organizers of the Illinois Marathon will lose city special-event permits necessary to hold the April 11 race if they don't quickly come up with more traffic-assistance volunteers.

Casmar Events of Fargo, N.D., has been given until April 1 to come up with enough volunteers to cover 225 intersections in Champaign and Urbana that the marathon route will pass through. At this point, there are about 150 traffic volunteers and the event needs at least another 100 people, preferably 150 to 200 more, to hold the event safely, said Mark Knutson, executive director of the Illinois Marathon.

Busey's parent: Loss doubles as a result of writedowns

URBANA – Busey Bank's parent company lost $37.9 million in 2008 – more than double the $15.3 million it originally said it lost.

First Busey Corp. reported late Friday that it revised the figures as a result of a $22.6 million "goodwill impairment charge" it's taken against its Florida-based bank subsidiary, Busey Bank, N.A.