Wolfram|Alpha Web site makes top 50 list

CHAMPAIGN – The Wolfram|Alpha Web site has been chosen as one of's 50 best Web sites for 2009.

The list, posted Monday, included some familiar sites, including Flickr, Twitter, Skype, Google, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Wikipedia and Facebook.

Bioscience company plans to add workers in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Chromatin Inc. may expand its staff in Champaign by as much as 50 percent, its chief executive officer said.

"We may add another four to five employees in the next six months," Chromatin CEO Daphne Preuss said last week. The Chicago-based bioscience company already has 10 full- and part-time employees in the University of Illinois Research Park, she added.

Bid to allow hard liquor misses shot in Fisher

FISHER – In a close vote that reflected the divided opinions of residents who addressed the board, the Fisher Village Board will not allow the sale of hard liquor under its new liquor ordinance.

Mayor Milt Kelly voted against the sale of distilled spirits and broke a 3-3 tie before an audience of about 35 residents.

Clunkers program revved up sales for area dealers

URBANA – Jim Turner has become a believer in the "Cash for Clunkers" rebate program.

Franchise cuts put area dealer out of new-car biz

TUSCOLA – Phil Lamb told employees this week his days as a new-car dealer are numbered.

His dealership, Four Seasons Auto Plaza in Tuscola, lost its Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep franchises earlier this summer.

Gilman bank agrees to be acquired by Edgar County bank

GILMAN – First National Bank of Gilman has agreed to be acquired by Edgar County Bank & Trust, the banks announced Thursday.

The move is expected to put the Gilman bank on stronger footing. The bank, which had recently suffered losses and seen its capital dwindle, was one of several area banks in which the Campbell family held an interest.

Mansfield lands two Safe Routes to School grants

MANSFIELD – The village of Mansfield has received two grants for the Safe Routes to School program.

The Illinois Department of Transportation recently announced that the village was awarded $2,000 for educational materials and $15,000 for speed feedback trailers and signs. Trustee Bambie Roy wrote the grants with help in the planning stage from Blue Ridge School district administrators, Farnsworth Group engineers, and other trustees.

Variety is spice of farmers' market in Danville

DANVILLE – Even overcast skies and some rain didn't keep a steady flow of customers away from the farmers' market in downtown Danville on Wednesday.

DzymeTech to launch lead-detecting device this fall

CHAMPAIGN – DzymeTech plans to launch its first product – a fluorometer that can detect lead in water – in October, its vice president of engineering said.

Philo family chosen for ABC show's newest house

PHILO – It was the worst-kept secret in this small town.

Rumors had been circulating for at least a week that Nathan and Jenny Montgomery and their two boys and two girls had been chosen for ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," the TV show that depicts a family getting a brand-new home built for them within a week, while they are on vacation.