Wi-Fi coming to downtown Champaign

By next week, downtown Champaign should be covered in an invisible wireless net making free Internet access available to almost anyone with a wireless laptop and other mobile devices using the common Wi-Fi standard.

Employees from Champaign-based Pavlov Media, which is installing the system as a community gift and publicity tool; Go Networks, the wireless equipment provider; and the city of Champaign began deploying the necessary hardware Thursday morning.

Five years later, settlement over fish kill possible

Five years after an ammonia discharge into the Salt Fork killed about 100,000 fish, a half-million dollar settlement is near.

The governmental agencies and entities involved in the settlement are reviewing a consent decree and are expected to sign the document, which will eventually be made public.

First Busey says its merger with Main Street Trust complete

URBANA – First Busey Corp. announced Wednesday that it has completed its merger with Main Street Trust.

"Now that the merger of the companies is completed, we look forward to consolidating our two primary subsidiary banks, Main Street Bank & Trust and Busey Bank, into a single, rebranded Busey Bank this fall," said First Busey President Van A. Dukeman.

Yahoo to open C-U office in September

CHAMPAIGN – Yahoo plans to hire "upwards of 100 people" from the Motorola software design center in Champaign and have an office up and running in a month or so, a Yahoo vice president said today.

"We've got offers in people's hands," said Kevin Timmons, vice president of operations for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company. "We're currently looking at several options in the community for places to set down roots. This has to happen soon because we hope to be up and running in September."

Canadian partnership buys Champaign forging company

CHAMPAIGN – A longtime family-owned forging company in Champaign has been sold to a Canadian partnership.

Clifford-Jacobs Forging Co., which has been in business 88 years and employs about 120, was sold to IMT Partnership of Ingersoll, Ontario, for an undisclosed price in a deal concluded Tuesday.

Business picks a casino site, just in case

DANVILLE – Though state officials have yet to decide on creating more state gaming licenses as a solution to the state's budget crisis, one corporation has already spotted a potential site here for a casino.

The 37-2 Capital Corp., based in Belleville, has optioned land along the Vermilion River between Perrysville Road and the landfill, state Rep. Bill Black said on Wednesday.

Horizon Hobby buys land in Monticello for model flights

MONTICELLO – Horizon Hobby has purchased 20 acres on Monticello's north side for a radio-controlled modeling facility that will provide a parklike space for hobbyists to operate their remote-controlled vehicles.

Horizon will lease the ground to Monticello Model Masters, a nonprofit organization that promotes model aviation, according to a press release from the organization. Some members of the Monticello Model Makers formed the organization to pursue the new facility.

Printing firm to receive $1.05 million loan

URBANA – The county will make its largest job preservation loan yet, just over $1 million, to help keep 78 printing jobs local.

The Champaign County Board approved, by a voice vote, awarding $1.05 million in a Community Development Assistance Program grant to the owners of Printec Press, 2602 N. Mattis Ave., C.

Chain plans to open Mattis Avenue store in November

CHAMPAIGN – Sunbelt Rentals, a chain of equipment rental shops, plans to open new stores in Champaign and Springfield later this year, the company says.

The Champaign store will be located at 1401 N. Mattis Ave., and is set to open around the end of November, said Brandon Tancak, manager of Sunbelt Rentals in Decatur.

Upheaval delays report release

CHAMPAIGN – While most publicly traded banks are reporting earnings for the quarter that ended June 30, Central Illinois Bank's parent company is just now issuing quarterly reports from two years ago.

Last week, CIB Marine Bancshares issued three quarterly reports from 2005 and an annual report for the year that ended Dec. 31, 2005. The reports were delayed by financial problems from previous years that had to be unraveled.