Trio names new supercomputer after NCSA pioneer

CHAMPAIGN – If you're going to name something after Larry Smarr, why not a supercomputer?

Smarr – best known in Champaign-Urbana as the founding director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications – returned to town this week for a ceremony dedicating a supercomputer in his honor.

Great Impasta owner honored for commitment to downtown

CHAMPAIGN – Harold Allston expects to move The Great Impasta to a new location next year, but the Champaign Downtown Association wants him to know how much it has appreciated his being downtown.

The Champaign restaurateur is the association's 2008 recipient of the Seely Johnston Downtown Commitment Award.

Animal-welfare agencies plan event in Urbana farmers' market

URBANA – In recognition of International Homeless Animals' Day on Saturday, animal-welfare agencies from East Central Illinois will convene from 7 a.m. to noon that day at Market at the Square in Urbana.

The event at the farmers' market is intended to raise awareness of the plight of homeless animals and to spotlight the work that animal welfare agencies do to find those animals new homes.

Charleston firm begins cleaning up Farmer City Cemetery

FARMER CITY – One look at the vandalized cemetery here, and you can see that the people who did this are not only disrespectful but just plain lazy.

Somebody knocked over dozens of tombstones at the Farmer City Cemetery last week, and there's no pattern to it – except that the criminals went after old, historic stones in poor repair.

Parkland hosting conference on farming and energy production

CHAMPAIGN – Farmers and area landowners can learn about the role Midwestern growers may have in producing energy at a conference planned next week at Parkland College.

"Preparing for Tomorrow's Harvest" is the theme for the conference, sponsored by the Champaign County Farm Bureau.

Car-sharing business gets green light in C-U, Campustown

CHAMPAIGN – City council members gave their enthusiastic backing Tuesday night to creation of a car-sharing program in Champaign-Urbana, despite the fact that it could wind up costing the city thousands of dollars if drivers don't use it.

Meeting in study session, Champaign council members voted 8-0 in favor of directing staff to complete an intergovernmental agreement with Urbana, the University of Illinois and the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District, all of whom will share equally in the costs, and risks, of the car-sharing program.

Carle Foundation Hospital gets go-ahead to build addition

URBANA – Construction should begin by early next year on a $236 million addition to the main Urbana campus of Carle Foundation Hospital.

The hospital won state approval Tuesday for the nine-story addition from the Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board. The state panel voted 4-0 to approve the project, which will be next to the hospital's north tower.

State approves $236 million Carle expansion in Urbana

URBANA – Carle Foundation Hospital won state approval Tuesday to go ahead with construction of a nine-story, $236 million addition to its main Urbana campus.

The Illinois Health Facilities Planning Board voted 4-0 to approve the project, which will be next to the hospital's north tower.

Comcast to begin carrying Big Ten Network on Aug. 15

URBANA – Comcast cable subscribers who are fans of Big Ten sports can soon get their kicks on Channel 66.

Beginning Friday, Comcast will carry the Big Ten Network as part of its expanded basic lineup, with the network airing on Channel 66, said Melody Brucker, Comcast's Champaign-Urbana District director.

Close to 25 percent of First Busey borrowers are in Florida

URBANA – Nearly one-quarter of First Busey Corp.'s loans are to borrowers in southwest Florida, the Urbana-based bank holding company disclosed in its quarterly report to the Securities & Exchange Commission last week.

Altogether, the company has $756.2 million in loans in southwest Florida, or 23.9 percent of its total loan portfolio of $3.12 billion, according to the report filed last Friday.