Ficklin Road in Douglas County to be closed for work

Drivers using Ficklin Road in Douglas County may need to plan to take alternative routes this week.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced Wednesday that Ficklin Road will be closed at the CSX Transportation Railroad crossing in Ficklin, west of Tuscola, for three to five days starting on Wednesday.

Beckman Institute marks 20 years of collaboration

URBANA – In 1985, the Illini baseball field, Strawberry Fields and a cinder track, five laps to the mile, dominated the area near Wright and University.

Within four years, a $50 million facility jutted from the area, a 20-year experiment in bringing scholars from different fields under one roof that has paid off with research that benefits our daily life.

It's Your Business: Women's clothing store to open

This fall, downtown Urbana will welcome a new business.

And it's not a lawyer's office or yoga studio.

The Wooden Hanger will feature new women's clothing made with fabrics such as organic cotton and bamboo.

Receiver in foreclosure case plans for completion of project

CHAMPAIGN – The receiver for a Champaign condominium development plans to finish off buildings that have been started and find an investor to build out remaining units.

The Villas at Ashland Farm – located southwest of the intersection of Interstate Drive and Neil Street in north Champaign – was intended to have 60 units.

Exec wants extended, expanded home-buying incentives

CHAMPAIGN – The president of the Coldwell Banker Real Estate chain is pressing for the first-time home buyer credit to be extended and greatly expanded.

But Jim Gillespie said he doesn't know how successful the proposal will be because it could push up the federal deficit.

Tokyo Game Show 2009: Great things are coming our way

From Sept. 24 through 27, I was at the Tokyo Game Show 2009, held at the Makuhari Messe convention center just outside Tokyo, experiencing some of the many games that will be coming our way in future. The following are my impressions of just a few of the games I saw, and more is on the way.

Champaign County home sales rise for third month in a row

CHAMPAIGN – Home sales in the Champaign County area were up from a year ago for the third straight month, according to September statistics from the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

However, the rise in activity still seems to be fueled primarily by lower-priced homes – and the availability of the first-time homebuyer credit.

Close on house purchase by Nov. 30 to qualify for tax credit

URBANA – Therese Catanach hopes to get a tax credit of about $6,500 as a result of buying a home last month on East Park Street in Urbana.

The doctoral student at the University of Illinois moved to town from College Station, Texas, and decided she didn't want to rent any more.

Allied Waste proposes toter system for Hoopeston

HOOPESTON – The consensus of a larger-than-typical audience at the Hoopeston City Council meeting was things are fine – don't change them.

The change being considered was a proposal by Allied Waste to institute a toter garbage pickup system, like the one used in Danville. Allied Waste, which collects trash under contract with the city, would provide toters – heavy gauge garbage containers – to the 2,200 houses in Hoopeston, free of charge.

A-1 Alarm to be acquired by competitor F.E. Moran

CHAMPAIGN – An alarm company that's been in Champaign for 41 years is being acquired by a larger, local competitor.

A-1 Alarm Service, founded by Cecil Byrnes in 1968, has agreed to be acquired by F.E. Moran Alarm and Monitoring Services, effective Oct. 30.