iCyt founder predicts work force will greatly expand

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign-based iCyt Mission Technology could employ hundreds of people within five years if expectations for global opportunities pan out, company founder Gary Durack said Wednesday.

At an event heralding Sony Corp.'s acquisition of iCyt, Durack said it's difficult to predict the future. But he supposed iCyt's employees "could be measured in the hundreds within that time frame."

January home sales down from last year in Champaign County

CHAMPAIGN – After a strong finish to 2009, Champaign County home sales started the year on a weak note.

Sales of 88 homes were closed in January, down from 99 homes in January 2009, according to the Champaign County Association of Realtors' Multiple Listing Service.

The collective dollar value was also down – $12.5 million, compared with $13.6 million in January 2009.

One bright spot for sellers: The average selling price in January was $142,426, up from $137,480 a year ago.

Sony acquires Champaign-based iCyt Mission Technology

CHAMPAIGN – Sony Corp.'s acquisition of Champaign-based iCyt Mission Technology brings a big player on the global stage into the fast-growing field of biological instrumentation.

Sony announced Tuesday that it has acquired iCyt (pronounced like "eyesight"), a maker of flow cytometry equipment that employs about 30 in the University of Illinois Research Park.

PBL grad coming home for speech about flying cars

Chamber to host Terrafugia exec at annual meeting

Paxton-Buckley-Loda graduate Samuel Schweighart will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 18 at Lakeview Country Club in Loda.

Schweighart is vice president for engineering of Terrafugia, a company he co-founded with several fellow students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Terrafugia's goal is to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing personal aviation.

Sony acquires local firm iCyt

CHAMPAIGN — Sony Corp. has acquired Champaign-based iCyt Mission Technology and will operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary, the global electronics and entertainment giant announced Tuesday.

Gary Durack, the founder and president of iCyt, called the acquisition a “win” for his company and its customers.

The local company, which makes cell sorters used for stem cell and disease research, employs about 30 in the University of Illinois Research Park.

More charities added to state income-tax form options

If you're in a sharing mood this tax season, some Champaign County charities hope you send a piece of your state income tax refund their way.

Or, alternatively, add a few dollars to your tax payment for their cause.

The state's network of food banks and the six Illinois Crisis Nursery agencies are included for the first time as eligible charities for taxpayer checkoff donations.

Champaign man to be inducted in state Aviation Hall of Fame

CHAMPAIGN – An area man who died in 2003 will be inducted this spring into the Illinois Aviation Hall of Fame.

Hall of Fame President Walt Kessler announced this weekend that the late Rick Weinberg of Champaign will be inducted into the hall of fame.

Mr. Weinberg died on Aug. 7, 2003.

He developed the aviation curriculum for the University of Illinois Flight School, held the position of chief flight instructor and served as chief pilot for the University of Illinois Institute of Aviation's Professional Pilots Division.

Updated: Vote now unlikely on Big Broadband; consultant is ill

Updated 5:15 p.m. CHAMPAIGN – As council members continue to weigh the benefits of the proposed Big Broadband network and the doubts about its feasibility, a Maryland consultant who audited the proposal was to return to Champaign this week to field questions from the city council. But on Monday, the consultant told city officials he won't be here because he's ill.

Turpin wins N-G Publisher's Award; four others honored

CHAMPAIGN – "Penny for Your Thoughts" host Jim Turpin has won The News-Gazette's Publisher's Award, given for a career of commitment and contribution to the company.

Turpin, who also co-hosts "Saturday Sportsline" on WDWS-AM, is former general manager of the station, which is owned by The News-Gazette Inc.

Local developers adding to iPhones list of apps aplenty

You finally got around to asking her out. You landed a sitter for Saturday night. Your BFF is back in town for one night.

What are you going to do? Music concert? Dance performance? Gallery opening?