DACC administrator focuses on accentuating the positive

DANVILLE – If you know Belinda Dalton-Russell, or even just crossed paths with her, chances are you've heard some words of encouragement.

"I like to spread the appreciation," says Dalton-Russell, who has a sign hanging on her office door that encourages those who enter to bring a positive attitude.

Double duty on jobs keeps people busy, pads the income

DANVILLE – Sue Duez starts her first job at 6:30 a.m. Some days, she doesn't leave her second job until after 9 p.m., but she doesn't mind the long hours that come with working two jobs.

"If I were at home, I'd be sitting in front of the TV," said Duez, an empty-nester who says it might be different if she had young children at home.

Rebates, loosened credit make it easier to get new auto

CHAMPAIGN – Rebates are rampant, and now that credit markets are freeing up a bit, it may be easier to finance that new car or truck.

Area auto dealers say they've never seen rebates on some vehicles as large as they are now, and if buyers have a good credit score and history, they shouldn't have a problem getting financing.

"If you have decent credit, you can get a car," said Bill Abbott, whose Monticello dealership carries General Motors' Chevrolet, Buick and Pontiac lines as well as Chrysler Motors' Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep brands. "Right now, our problem is not getting people financed as much as getting people in the doors."

Flex-N-Gate president gives assessment of auto landscape

URBANA – The president of Urbana-based Flex-N-Gate Corp. said he thinks General Motors and Ford will survive the auto industry's woes, but he's not so sure about Chrysler.

Shahid Khan, whose company supplies Detroit's Big Three as well as several foreign automakers with parts, said GM – like Citigroup and Bank of America – is "too large to fail." But he said Chrysler could face catastrophic consequences without a bailout.

It's Your Business: Champaign music school doubles space

The Champaign School of Music has moved to a new, larger location in Champaign.

The school was formerly at 1006 W. Anthony Drive, inside Samuel Music, and is now at 27 E. Marketview Drive, right next to The Music Shoppe and near the TJ Maxx store.

Small-town dealers managing to weather economic storm

MONTICELLO – Bill Abbott has been selling cars for more than 40 years and says he's "never seen a time like this in our business."

But Abbott is quick to point out the auto industry isn't alone in its suffering.

Even with one arm, mother knows she can 'still work wonders'

Life takes unexpected turns, and for Amish mother and housewife Cynthia Schrock of Arthur, a tragic twist and turn in her first spring gardening day last April came when the tines of a brand new rototiller ripped and chewed into the flesh of her right arm, splintering it and slamming her to the ground.

Helplessly pinned on her back under the tiller, she prayed that she stay conscious because her 2-year-old daughter, Valerie, stood beside her. "Mommy, let's go inside," Valerie cried. "Let's go inside." "I can't," Cynthia told her. "Stay close. Stay with Mommy."

Champaign County Court

URBANA – The following criminal court cases were resolved recently in Champaign County with guilty pleas entered by defendants or sentences imposed by judges:

– Javier Lopez, 39, of Grulla, Texas, was sentenced to six years in prison for possession with intent to deliver cannabis. He admitted that he had 7½ pounds of cannabis concealed in the engine air cleaner of his tractor trailer. He was stopped on Interstate 57 near Champaign on July 13 for a vehicle code violation and gave state police consent to search his truck.

Fisher closing not seen as hurting other plants

Champaign, Charleston could adopt products

CHAMPAIGN – Vesuvius USA's operations in Champaign and Charleston won't be greatly affected by the closing of the company's facility in Fisher, a Vesuvius official said Friday.

Road salt supplies running low in Champaign County

URBANA – Champaign County may be putting some of its highways on a low-salt diet if barge traffic on the Mississippi River doesn't improve quickly.