Day care providers to get day of pampering, networking

Tori Ellis loves most everything about her job as an in-home day care provider and preschool teacher – the kids, teaching, being her own boss and working from her Westville home.

New Meijer a major boost for Urbana sales tax revenue

URBANA – Urbana officials hope to have a little breathing time to catch a wave of recovery in the future.

Urbana Comptroller Ron Eldridge said city general fund revenue is projected at $1 million over expenses for the fiscal year that ends June 30. By a year from then, the surplus is expected to shrink to $500,000 and the year after that "basically break even."


Business groups: Shop here with confidence

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County Chamber of Commerce, in partnership with other area business groups, has launched a campaign to promote local shopping and spending.


Public invited to meeting on Hoopeston Main Street program

HOOPESTON – Wendy Bell, Illinois Main Street program coordinator, will visit Hoopeston on Monday to help write a vision statement for the Hoopeston Main Street program.

The program's board of directors invites people from all sectors of the community to help decide how to revitalize the downtown district over the next five years.

Clothing search engine a winning idea for UI team

CHAMPAIGN – If you've ever bought clothes online and wondered if there was anything better – not in the shop next door, but out there in the virtual shopping universe – Fashion Latte may have the answer for you.

Fashion Latte is a visual search engine designed by University of Illinois students to look for clothes online. With it, shoppers will be able to browse dresses by color, pattern and cut using only visual information.

Foundation gives $17,100 for digital police car cameras

URBANA – An organization born out of the deaths of two Ogden sisters killed by a drunken driver has donated another $17,100 to two area police departments to help in the fight against driving after drinking to excess.

On behalf of the Journey Foundation, Jim and Barb Esworthy of Ogden on Wednesday presented $12,600 to Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh and $4,500 to Assistant University of Illinois Police Chief Jeff Christensen to buy cameras to put in squad cars at their departments.

Urbana High students learn about Vietnam era through interviews

URBANA – For a group of high school students, a history assignment has become a case of lights, camera, flashback.

Beyond textbooks, this group of Urbana High School juniors has begun turning the pages of history, studying primary documents and conducting interviews with locals to find out just what motivated people to protest during the Vietnam era – and specifically after Kent State and what it was like on both sides of the barricade.

AmerenIP defends cleanup plans for Fifth and Hill site

CHAMPAIGN – A neighborhood group is blasting as "outrageous" a state-approved cleanup plan for the Fifth and Hill street site of a former manufactured-gas plant, saying AmerenIP should be required to remove contaminated groundwater from the site.

The cleanup plan also shows that a major portion of the site, and a small area off-site, are releasing vapors with contaminants in excess of proposed state indoor standards, according to Claudia Lennhoff, a leader with the Fifth & Hill Neighborhood Rights Campaign.

Area projects to benefit from just-passed U.S. spending bill

CHAMPAIGN – The passage of the Omnibus Appropriations Act by Congress on Tuesday includes nearly $230 million for Illinois projects, according to a release by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin.

Tolono, Dewey grain companies to consolidate Aug. 1

TOLONO – Stockholders of two major grain companies in Champaign County have agreed to a merger.

Grand Prairie Co-Op, based in Tolono, and Fisher Farmers Grain and Coal Co., based in Dewey, are scheduled to consolidate Aug. 1 under the new name Premier Cooperative Inc.