Company seeks Piatt County land for corn facility

WHITE HEATH – A controversial proposed corn plant may be planning a new Piatt County location.

Piatt County Zoning Officer Trish Gale said Monticello residents Danny and Barb Carroll applied for a special-use permit Friday to allow food-grade corn processing and storage facilities on their property in White Heath. The application was filed on behalf of Clarkson Grain and Molinero, a subsidiary of Chicago-based El Milagro.

Nursing home in Gifford wants drainage resolved

GIFFORD – Country Health Nursing Care Center is planning a multimillion-dollar expansion and wants to make sure problems with water won't sink the plans.

Two members of the nursing home's board were at Thursday's Gifford Village Board meeting to ask about an ongoing drainage issue.

Zoning vote favors Danville retirement community

DANVILLE – A new retirement community is one step closer in Danville, thanks to a nod of approval from the Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission.

Primrose Retirement Communities, based in South Dakota, wants to build a 76-unit facility, at a cost of $3 million to $5 million, on 8.8 acres of land at 955 E. Winter Ave. The all-inclusive facility would offer several amenities, such as transportation, meals and entertainment venues, including a movie theater, billiards room, pub and ice cream parlor.

Rantoul braces for impact of plant closings

RANTOUL – Employees at three Collins & Aikman auto-parts plant are worrying about how they'll survive, now that their employer announced it will permanently lay off the plants' 535 employees by July 20.

"To a lot of people (it) probably felt like it's a death in the family," said Dawn MacVittie, who has worked at Collins & Aikman for almost 12 years.

Auto-parts plants closing

RANTOUL – Collins & Aikman Corp. will close all three of its auto-parts plants in Rantoul, putting more than 500 people out of work, Village Administrator David Johnston said.

Johnston said the company notified the village Tuesday that permanent layoffs will begin as soon as Friday and continue through July 20. He said negotiations to sell the plant to Cadence Innovation broke down, resulting in the closure.

Apprenticeship application deadline near

SAVOY – Saturday will be the last day to submit applications for the apprenticeship program offered by the local plumbers and pipe fitters union.

Applications will be accepted from 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Local 149 office at 1005 N. Dunlap Ave. (U.S. 45), Savoy.

Flash index up in June

URBANA – The University of Illinois flash economic index increased from 106.6 in May to 106.8 in June, indicating a relatively strong state economy.

The index has been stable over the last year, remaining in the 106 range for the most part, said J. Fred Giertz, the UI economist who compiles the index.

Dunkin' Donuts to open store on Prospect

CHAMPAIGN – Dunkin' Donuts plans to open a new store in the former Mobil Super Pantry space at 1302 N. Prospect Ave., C.

Local franchisee Sunil Modi said the new store, which will have a drive-through, is expected to open by the end of the year.

Mattoon man in the running for top spot

MATTOON – Another area resident is poised to take national leadership for an organization serving veterans: Tommie Cisna is hoping to become the Sons of the American Legion's national commander in 2008.

Cisna, a 47-year-old Mattoon resident, will be named the leading candidate in August. He'll most likely take that position in August 2008 and hold it until August 2009.

Rantoul officials pledge help to laid-off workers

RANTOUL – Village officials in Rantoul say their first efforts in the wake of the news that Collins & Aikman will be closing will be to do what they can to help the employees and their families.

The community of Rantoul learned Tuesday that Collins & Aikman Corp. – the town's largest employer – will close all three of its auto-parts plants in Rantoul, putting more than 500 people out of work.

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