Urbana country club property to be leased

URBANA – The Urbana Golf & Country Club has agreed to lease the club's 130-acre property in north Urbana to Flex-N-Gate Corp. President Shahid Khan, with the expectation that the facilities will be upgraded.

Terry Rathgeber, president of the club's board, said Khan agreed to lease the property, effective April 1, with an option to buy.

Group to host 'clinic' on phone bills

CHAMPAIGN – It just amazes Jim Chilsen how many people pay for things on their phone bills that they never use.

He was even one of those people once.

277 acres near Wal-Mart sell for $4.19 million

URBANA – When it came to bidding, the Los were high.

About 275 acres of farmland less than a mile east of Urbana's Wal-Mart sold at auction Friday afternoon for $15,250 an acre, with Adolf and Renee Lo the successful bidders. That yielded an overall price of $4.19 million.

Nearly 100 people turned out for the auction at Urbana's Holiday Inn, with four bidders entering the fray at one point or another.

Plastipak expanding in Europe

CHAMPAIGN – Plastipak Packaging is increasing its presence in Europe with the acquisition of two corporations in Italy.

The Plymouth, Mich.-based company, which operates a plant in Champaign, acquired full equity interests in Europe Preforme and Preforme Sud in a deal that closed Feb. 29. Those corporations have facilities in the Italian cities of Verbania and Anagni.

Solo Cup turnaround evident in income gains

URBANA – Solo Cup Co. showed improvement in results for the fourth quarter and full year, giving credence to its recent winning of an award for "Industrial Turnaround of the Year."

The Highland Park-based company, which has a plant in Urbana, reported Tuesday that net income for the fourth quarter of 2007 was $98.5 million. That compared with a $34 million loss in the fourth quarter of 2006. The fourth-quarter results for 2007 were boosted by a $77 million gain on the sale of discontinued operations.

Judge: Suit against bank company can proceed

URBANA – A shareholders' lawsuit against the parent company of Central Illinois Bank is a step closer to going to trial.

In a case filed in 2005, several shareholders filed suit against CIB Marine Bancshares and its former president, J. Michael Straka, claiming they were misled about the bank holding company's financial health when they bought shares of its stock between 1999 and 2004.

Two asphalt companies join forces

URBANA – The owners of Champaign Asphalt and MACC of Illinois are forming a new company, Open Road Paving Co., that will manufacture and place bituminous hot-mix asphalt.

The new venture will take in all the asphalt plants owned by Champaign Asphalt and MACC of Illinois, said Joe Lamb, president of both Champaign Asphalt and Open Road Paving.

Aqua Illinois: Local water is routinely tested for safety

DANVILLE – Aqua Illinois customers have no need to worry about their drinking water, company officials said Monday.

An Associated Press investigation found various pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million people.

Vermilion Advantage chief to be guest on Internet radio

DANVILLE – Economic development in Vermilion County will be the topic today on a nationwide Internet business radio program.

Vermilion Advantage President Vicki Haugen will be a special guest and talk about a new grassroots effort, called Vermilion Valley Pride.

Home expo attendance down a bit, but interest high

DANVILLE – This year's AMBUCS Home and Business Expo brought four times the interest over last year for Frank Wright and his heating and air service.

"The main thing they're going to want is higher efficiency and better air quality than ever before," Wright said, pointing to a low-cost, high-efficiency heating system that kills germs with an ultraviolet-light attachment. "You don't have to have a high bank account to enjoy high-quality comfort."