Danville moves closer to getting its own casino

SPRINGFIELD – A bill that would permit casinos in Danville and three other Illinois communities was approved late Saturday night by the Illinois Senate, 30-28.

Sen. Mike Frerichs, D-Champaign, voted for the bill. Area Republicans Bill Brady of Bloomington, Dale Righter of Charleston and Dan Rutherford of Chenoa all voted against it.

Report: Area saw increase in jobs

Champaign and Bloomington were the only metropolitan areas in Illinois to see an increase in jobs from April 2008 to April 2009, according to data released Friday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

The Champaign-Urbana Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Champaign, Ford and Piatt counties, had 1,200 new jobs added between April 2008 and April 2009, according to the department.

Many area road projects projects beginning next week

Work on a number of road projects is scheduled to begin next week, weather permitting, and motorists are asked to exercise caution in all work zones.

In-ground or above, backyard pools are easy to create, enjoy

CHAMPAIGN – Members of the Law family point out that an in-ground pool costs no more than a nice automobile – $30,000 to $60,000.

An above-ground pool – a big seller this year – starts at $2,900.

"It's like putting Legos together, you can do it yourself," said Amy Law. She married into the Law family and pool business 10 years ago. "I think that's why they call it 'The Big Easy.'"

Groups getting more than $2.2 million from United Way

CHAMPAIGN – Fifty-five local programs will share $1.15 million in funding from the United Way of Champaign County starting July 1.

The United Way's board Thursday approved more than $2.2 million in allocations recommended by a group of 100 community volunteers.

Money from federal recovery act having impact locally

CHAMPAIGN – Money from the federal economic recovery act is making its way to East Central Illinois.

An event organized by the U.S. Small Business Administration on Wednesday highlighted how one local business has benefitted from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

First of Orpheum's Dinosaur Detective Days is Saturday

The Orpheum Children's Science Museum in downtown Champaign is offering a summer of Dinosaur Detective Days. The first will be from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday.

A strange dinosaur, still under wraps, has reappeared near the wall high up on a rock in the courtyard of the Orpheum Children's Science Museum, 346 N. Neil St., C. Children and parents are invited to find clues that will help to discover what the creature is like.

Relatives of drunken-driving victim ready to start healing

Mike and Michele Babb and Zach Acton were surrounded Wednesday by scores of family and friends who are sharing their pain in the loss of their daughter and fiance.

"Everything turned out the way we wanted it to," Mike Babb said of the sentence that Elizabeth Drewes received for killing his only daughter, Brittany Babb, 24, of Ogden.

For growing number, health insurance no longer an affordable option

RANTOUL – When he had great health insurance, Cliff White didn't have to worry about how much the doctor was going to charge.

He didn't have to pay for most of his wife's back and knee surgeries, either, because insurance picked up most of the $60,000 cost.

METCAD marking three decades of serving Champaign County

URBANA – The 911 emergency dispatching system in Champaign County is approaching a milestone.

The Metropolitan Computer Aided Dispatch Service will celebrate its 30th anniversary next month.