Commission to consider permit for Danville speech clinic

DANVILLE – An overwhelming need for speech services has prompted speech pathologist Kimberly Payne to open her own practice.

The Danville Area Planning and Zoning Commission will consider issuing her a special-use permit to operate a private speech and language clinic at 1133 E. Seminary St. at its meeting Thursday. Payne has also requested that the zoning be changed from family residential to neighborhood business.

Consignment business keeps growing

CHAMPAIGN – Cari Harper used to buy a lot of stuff for her kids at garage sales.

But these days, she saves her shopping for a much larger sale – in fact, what some consider to be the mother lode of all sales for busy moms on a budget – One Week Boutique.

He speaks for farmers, but his own work speaks for itself

At the wheel of a Jeep towing a loaded people-mover last weekend, Dennis Riggs drove right beside vintage combines cutting corn at the Half Century of Progress show.

Locally based eyeglass maker perseveres as industry evolves

CHAMPAIGN – Ed Schmidt was apoplectic when he read financial columnist Marshall Loeb's column on saving money on eyeglasses.

What steamed him more than anything was Loeb's contention that mass-produced eyeglasses cost about $2 a pair to make.

Illinois American Water seeks 60 percent rate hike

CHAMPAIGN – Illinois American Water filed Friday for a nearly 60 percent increase in its water rates, saying the proposed increase is needed to help pay for a planned $51 million water treatment plant and other investments in the water system.

Urbana Mayor Laurel Prussing called the proposed increase, filed with the Illinois Commerce Commission, "unbelievable" and said it should spur the Urbana and Champaign city councils to consider pursuing an eminent domain purchase of the water system.

Firm taking closing plant's place in Rantoul

RANTOUL – "Just in time" took on new meaning Friday for auto parts workers in Rantoul – and it had nothing to do with materials arriving as needed.

Iowa-based Engineered Plastic Components made last-minute arrangements to start up work in Rantoul, just as Collins & Aikman finished its last day of production.

Menards to build homes near new Urbana store

URBANA – Menard Inc. intends to develop 540 homes near the giant new Menards store planned for Urbana, a spokesman for the building supplies company said.

"We are still working on approvals and annexations, but we hope to start construction next spring if we are successful in our approvals," said Marv Prochaska, vice president of real estate for the Eau Claire, Wis.-based company.

Tuscola officials make plans for business park

TUSCOLA – The farmland surrounding the Fuel Mart on U.S. 36 east of Tuscola is awash in corn and soybeans this summer.

But city officials hope the land can someday be converted to a business park for distribution centers and light manufacturing. Its name: the Tuscola Business Centre.

It's your business: Concrete coatings a chance for creativity

If you think concrete work is just for guys, Roberta Hoch and Mindy Billick stand ready to change your mind.

The two Champaign women, friends since childhood, are now partners in a business they're calling Creative Concrete Coatings.

Firm's innovation could allow drill platforms, naval bases at sea

URBANA – An Urbana-based company is hoping to sell clients on an invention that could keep huge platforms afloat in deep water.

Conceivably, the device could make possible drilling platforms, mobile ports and even military bases in the middle of the ocean.