Author to speak at UI about his experience

Chinese philosopher Confucius is credited with the proverb "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step."

China scholar Robert Oxnam can relate.

Rantoul workers notified of possible closure

RANTOUL – Collins & Aikman Corp. has notified employees at its Rantoul plants that the facilities could close in 60 days – even though Cadence Innovation has agreed to buy all three of them.

Collins & Aikman spokesman David Youngman confirmed Monday that all three plants in Rantoul are among the nine facilities Cadence plans to buy from Collins & Aikman.

Library begins initiative aimed at small businesses

CHAMPAIGN – Connie Loe is trying to come up with a name for the greeting-card business she hopes to start.

The Champaign woman got guidance from a business consultant at – of all places – the Champaign Public Library.

Election season busy for sign maker


In a pole barn cramped with rolls of bulk vinyl , autographed University of Illinois basketballs and stacks of design books, Kathy Pichon's latest project – a banner for a local politician's birthday – blazed on a computer screen.

Company to open tire and auto center on South Neil

CHAMPAIGN – Parham Parastaran plans to open his third Car-X store in Champaign this summer, but it will be unlike any Car-X you've known before.

The new store, to be built just north of Culver's on South Neil Street, will be a tire and auto center, a new concept for Car-X, Parastaran said.

Old Denny's in Urbana to become apartments, retail site

URBANA – A local developer plans to build a new $7 million apartment building in downtown Urbana.

JSM Development, Inc., of Champaign is close to a deal with the city to redevelop the old Denny's Cleaners site in downtown Urbana and construct a mixed-use building offering ground floor retail and between 56 to 84 apartments.

Vermilion County business expansions on hold

DANVILLE – Officials with Hawkeye Food service say plans to expand its Danville facility will be dropped and the operation relocated to another state if Illinois passes a gross receipts tax.

Hawkeye Food service employs about 53 people at its Danville site, 1536 E. Fairchild St., and has experienced steady growth in its Illinois market. The proposed expansion would double its Danville operation.

Possum Trot alumni open new eatery

URBANA – A new restaurant called The Timbers plans to open Thursday in the former Ned Kelly's building in Urbana.

Restaurant owners Johnny and Cheryl Lee have been working to get the place, at 1601 N. Cunningham Ave., U, ready for guests. They have decorated the place with colorful toy trucks and tractors and moved a piano into the entry area.

Ned Kelly's saying 'G'bye' to 3 locations

URBANA – Fans of Ned Kelly's Steakhouse can still enjoy the remaining restaurant in Bloomington, but the three others in Urbana, Springfield and Peoria have closed.

Ned Kelly's Ventures, the limited liability company that operated the restaurants in Springfield and Peoria, filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy on March 19, listing assets of $1,217,550 and liabilities of $2,454,988.

Danville mayor asks council to join him in opposition to tax

DANVILLE – Members of the city council may join Mayor Scott Eisenhauer in officially opposing the governor's proposed gross receipts tax.

During Tuesday night's city council meeting, aldermen were given a packet of letters written by businesses and Vermilion Advantage last month to state leaders opposing the governor's proposed gross receipts tax. The packet also included a draft letter from the city.

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