Anheuser-Busch distributor in Urbana sold to Decatur firm

URBANA – Premium Brands Ltd., the Anheuser-Busch distributor in Champaign, has agreed to be sold to the company that distributes those products in Decatur and Springfield.

Decatur-based Skeff Distributing Co. plans to acquire Premium Brands at the close of the day Friday, said Skeff Distributing President John Skeffington.

Navigating Danville just got a lot easier thanks to Google

DANVILLE – Taking a virtual drive down Danville's streets is easier now, thanks to a new tool on Google.

Google launched eight new cities on its Street View feature Tuesday, including Boston; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minn.; Detroit; and Providence, R.I.

Kraft to outsource some maintenance work in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Kraft Foods plans to transfer some maintenance jobs at its Champaign plant to an outside contractor sometime in 2008, the company said Tuesday.

About 29 people will be affected, and they'll have the option of applying to work for the contractor, Washington Group International, or taking other jobs at Kraft if they qualify for them, company spokeswoman Cathy Pernu said.

Bank's parent company delays shareholders' meeting

CHAMPAIGN – Central Illinois Bank's parent company notified shareholders Monday that it won't be able to hold an annual shareholders' meeting until at least April.

In a letter to shareholders, CIB Marine Bancshares President John P. Hickey Jr. said the company previously stated it would hold the meeting in "early 2008." But he said he doesn't expect several quarterly reports from 2003 and 2007 – or the audit of financial statements for 2007 – to be ready until late in the first quarter of 2008.

Ogden moves to attract Dollar General store

OGDEN – Village board members in Ogden are investigating ways the town could attract a Dollar General store.

Board members are considering giving back some of the tax money the village would ordinarily collect from the store. In exchange, they hope the $850,000 store project would raise the overall value of property in the neighborhood and attract other businesses to town that may end up paying full taxes.

Champaign's sidewalk-shoveling rule kicking in

CHAMPAIGN – Downtown business owners and campus landlords, it's time to start shoveling sidewalks. But you have until 6 a.m. Wednesday to finish the job.

Thursday night's 2 inches of snow triggered the city's new mandatory sidewalk snow-shoveling ordinance for the downtown and Campustown areas. On Friday afternoon, city Public Works Director Dennis Schmidt declared that the snow and ice removal requirement was in effect.

Owners of restaurant branch out to Mahomet

MAHOMET – With nearly 30 years of experience in the restaurant business, Alex and Donna Garduno decided to open their second restaurant, this one in Mahomet.

The Mahomet Square Family Restaurant opened Nov. 26 in the former location of Esmeralda's at 804 Eastwood Center.

Ameren says area poses no danger; '09 cleanup likely

CHAMPAIGN – Ameren and state environmental officials say they do not believe the site of an old coal gasification plant at Fifth and Hill streets poses any immediate health threat to neighbors.

They also say that Ameren is well into the planning stages for a multimillion-dollar excavation and cleanup of the site, which Ameren expects to take place in 2009.

Wolfram Research accepting toy donations

CHAMPAIGN – Friday is the drop-off day at Wolfram Research for the Marine Toys for Tots program.

Donors can come through a covered area near Neil Street and Kirby Avenue, between the Trade Center and Hawthorn Suites, to drop off a gift or check and get a doughnut, according to Marcus Wynne, public relations director at Wolfram.

West Newell landowner exploring development options

DANVILLE – A local developer says he still has plans for the property he owns on the northwest corner of West Newell Road and Bowman Avenue.

"Right now, we're exploring our options," said Paul Offutt of Security Ventures Inc. "We're still going to go forward with it."