Books by the Bushel event to help stock library shelves

CHAMPAIGN – Community members can help stock the libraries of area schools this weekend.

The 13th annual Books by the Bushel will be held at Barnes & Noble bookstore, 65 E. Marketview Drive, C, beginning today and going through Sunday. The event is sponsored by the Junior League of Champaign-Urbana.

Medicine disposal set for April 20-26

URBANA – Have any leftover or expired medicines around the house?

You can dispose of them safely by bringing them to eight Carle RXExpress locations in Champaign and Piatt counties during the week of April 20-26.

UI's flash economic index falls another point in April

CHAMPAIGN – The University of Illinois flash economic index fell by a full point in March to 95.3, indicating the Illinois economy continued to shrink.

The index was the lowest it's been since November 2002, when the state was emerging from recession.

Unemployment rates up in all but one area county

CHAMPAIGN – The good news is that DeWitt County's unemployment rate stayed the same in February.

The bad news is that every other county in East Central Illinois saw unemployment rate increases from January.

Special-use permit approved for Savoy pet facility

SAVOY – Dogs in the area may really have something to wag their tails about once the owners of TailWaggers Pet Chateau, 113 E. Church St., construct their new facility.

The village board Wednesday unanimously approved Katherine and Steve Berns' request for a special-use permit, which was required because the area they wanted to build in was zoned light industrial.

Competition, economy doom Rantoul Save-A-Lot

RANTOUL – The Rantoul Save-A-Lot grocery store will close later this month, thanks to the town's struggling economy and competition from the world's largest retailer.

Jerry Reynolds, president of Champaign-based Kirby Foods that has operated the Rantoul Save-A-Lot for about five years, says business at the store hasn't been good since the 2007 opening of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in town.

C&U Poster Co.'s billboard archives heading to Duke

CHAMPAIGN – Ninety years of billboard history are heading to Duke University.

Kip Pope is taking the archives of longtime billboard company C&U Poster Co. to Duke's Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising and Marketing History, where the materials will be housed as part of a national outdoor advertising collection.

Fresh start for Champaign County YMCA expansion plans

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign County YMCA is starting anew in its efforts to build a new Y, the chairman of its board of directors said.

Champaign schools' reductions include tech specialist

CHAMPAIGN – Tonia Kirby relies on a computer specialist to help her and her second-grade students learn about new technology, get technology such as SMART Boards set up in her classroom at Robeson Elementary School and troubleshoot problems.

"She has great lesson plans," Kirby said of the specialist. "She teaches my kids why it's important not to share their passwords. She has a whole other perspective than I do as a classroom teacher."

Rantoul Save-A-Lot to close at end of lease in April

RANTOUL – Kirby Foods will close one of its two grocery stores in Rantoul, Save-A-Lot, in late April, says Jerry Reynolds, president of the Champaign-based chain that also operates Jerry's IGA stores in the area.

The closing is the result of economic conditions in Rantoul, along with more competition from the new Wal-Mart store, Reynolds said.