HOOPESTON – Boardman's Lorraine Theatre in Hoopeston has been sold.
Kevin Alvarez of Burlington, Wis., bought the twin-screen theater from Greg Boardman last week. He took possession this past weekend with the opening of "Shrek the Third." Alvarez, an experienced exhibitor, owns and operates the Plaza Theatre in Burlington, a four-screen theater complex.
DANVILLE – A longtime Danville business, Wagner Lock and Key, has gone completely mobile, closing its office on Walnut Street to walk-in business.
Owner Tom Wagner said if businesses want duplicate keys made, Wagner Lock and Key will go to them and do all the work on site, just like they've always done when fixing broken locks or installing new ones.
PHILO – For years, Dan Ault cracked cases for the Rantoul Police Department. He specialized in computer crimes, investigating eBay scams, identity theft cases and attempts to exploit children.
In November 2005, he left that career to devote himself full time to rescuing people facing computer catastrophes.
Hey, Champaign-Urbana – you're about to become a test market for Schnucks.
The St. Louis-based grocery chain is preparing to test the waters for stand-alone convenience stores with gas pumps outside its grocery stores by adding them to its two stores in Champaign-Urbana and the one under construction at Savoy Plaza, according to Schnucks spokeswoman Lori Willis.
CHAMPAIGN – Two title insurance companies have opened offices in Champaign County in the last three months.
On April 2, Downstate Title opened for business, with offices in Urbana and Rantoul. The firm employs five, and General Manager Bob Spencer expects the number to grow to seven soon.
URBANA – Pete Schnabel grew up in the hospitality business. His father was general manager of Jumer's Castle Lodge in Urbana for several years. His parents later operated the Bayern Stube restaurant in Gibson City before their daughter and son-in-law took over.
At Jumer's, Pete served as bellhop, busboy, waiter, front desk clerk and limousine driver. Later he helped with construction at Bayern Stube, worked as a waiter and dining room supervisor in Scottsdale, Ariz., then returned to Illinois to work as a manager at Bayern Stube for six years.
CHAMPAIGN – For weeks now, brown paper has covered the windows of Carmon's, the longtime diner in downtown Champaign that closed March 31.
But in July, Mike Nelson expects to unveil a new look and concept for the restaurant at 415 N. Neil St.
TUSCOLA – The city is turning to a southern Illinois company to help bring new life to a former department store building.
The Tuscola City Council voted Monday to approve a memorandum of understanding with the EcoDigital Development Group, based in Woodlawn.
CHAMPAIGN – A new day care in the University of Illinois Research Park will be located about 250 feet from a chemical storage building.
The day care's operator, who recently learned about this neighboring facility, has requested more information from the research park's developer and the university. Meanwhile, the developer of the research park said he is not concerned about the day care's proximity to the site. Developer Peter Fox and university officials maintain the chemical storage facility is safe and well-run.
CHAMPAIGN – Several downtown Champaign bars will remain smoke-free regardless of whether the city council repeals the smoking ban for bars and clubs this week.
Carlos Nieto, who owns six downtown bars, and Jon "Cody" Sokolski, who co-owns Boltini Lounge, 211 N. Neil St., both say they will continue to ban smoking inside their bars.