Champaign IBM employee going to South Africa

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign man is heading to South Africa for a month after being selected for IBM's Corporate Service Corps program.

Craig Pessman, an IBM mobile employee engaged in software sales, is one of the first 300 employees chosen to take part in the program.

Champaign visitors bureau seeks new executive director

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County Convention & Visitors Bureau is seeking a new executive director to succeed Scott Hockman.

Hockman resigned Monday after three years on the job. He did not specify reasons for leaving other than that he "decided to move on to other opportunities."

Condo owners taking over duties during foreclosure

CHAMPAIGN – A foreclosure complaint has been filed against the developer of a condominium community on Champaign's north side, and residents there are wondering when the subdivision will be completed.

Bank of America on May 29 filed a complaint of foreclosure against Raycorp-Champaign LLC, developer of Villas at Ashland Farm.

New columnist 'never paid full price,' doesn't want you to

MAHOMET – Sarah Holmes once bought more than $400 worth of groceries for less than $6. She paid the sales tax, and that was it. She had stored up coupons for free products and used them on one grand shopping spree.

Sarah has saved thousands of dollars by using coupons, rebates, refunds, rewards programs and mystery shopping opportunities. Holmes, who lives in Mahomet, will share her tips in a new column each Wednesday called "Coupon Corner."

UI team hoping to pile up points in national energy contest

URBANA – Would you like a house you could heat with a hair dryer? University of Illinois students are putting one together for a competition to be held in Washington.

In October, the U.S. Department of Energy will host the Solar Decathlon, and the UI is one of 20 universities to compete. A house students designed was moved here Monday from Homeway Homes in Deer Creek, which is between Peoria and Bloomington-Normal.

Fischer Theatre back in spotlight this weekend

DANVILLE – The Vermilion Heritage Foundation is lighting up, just as it hopes its work will light up the Fischer Theatre marquee once and for all.

Villa Grove, Shiloh school districts to get technology grants

VILLA GROVE – The Villa Grove and Shiloh School Districts will have approximately $25,000 a piece to improve technology and technology education in their schools and communities this coming school year. The two districts co-wrote the grant application for the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity Digital Divide Grant.

The districts have not been informed of the exact amount appropriated to the fund, but will be working with the administrators to work out the details in the coming months.

Philo Road businesses do best to fit in with landscaping

URBANA – Richard Andrzejczyk was happily busy filling drive-through orders at the new Burger King on Philo Road in Urbana on Wednesday, but he took a break to talk about his business.

"We are very excited to be here," said Andrzejczyk, director of operations for the Burger King franchise that now owns eight stores, including ones in Danville, Tuscola, Rantoul and Champaign.

UI senior, two graduates making 'green' their business

CHAMPAIGN – A University of Illinois senior and two 2008 UI graduates have dedicated themselves to making sure Champaign-Urbana businesses are really and truly "green."

They've formed the Illinois Green Business Association, a nonprofit group that helps businesses become certified as environmentally sustainable.

Champaign firm lighting way for Saudi, Egyptian projects

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign lighting-design firm has landed two major projects in the Middle East.

Charter Sills & Associates is designing the lighting for two giant planned communities in Saudi Arabia and Egypt.