Photography class exposes students to knowledge

URBANA – It's no surprise that students in Susan Gleason's photography classes take pictures.

What's surprising is that, this week, they're inside the camera when they're getting the shots.

Urbana bar owners say first month has been tough

URBANA – Some Urbana bar owners and employees say the past month has been a difficult one, with a smoking ban in effect in Urbana while Champaign continued to allow public smoking until today.

Jim Kelly, co-owner of Bunny's Tavern, 119 W. Water St., said his bar lost 40 percent of its business this January compared with a year ago. Urbana's smoking ban for bars took effect Jan. 1 while Champaign's is effective today.

Champaign developer plans Normal project

CHAMPAIGN – Champaign developer Jon "Cody" Sokolski hopes to replicate his downtown development success in Champaign with a similar project in Normal.

Sokolski, whose company developed the One Main Plaza building in downtown Champaign, is planning a mixed-use development in downtown Normal similar in scale to the "M2 on Neil" project proposed in Champaign.

Champaign smoking ban under way

CHAMPAIGN – Clarence Adams was enjoying one of his final days of smoking freedom this week at Taffie's Restaurant, inhaling from an unfiltered Pall Mall while he sipped coffee at the counter.

The ban took effect at 12:01 this morning and Adams, interviewed Monday afternoon, was getting in a few last drags in a public place.

Year's 1st bar checks result in 69 citations

CHAMPAIGN – Police issued 69 notices to appear in court in the first series of bar checks of 2007, mostly in the campus area of Champaign.

Officers from the Champaign and University of Illinois police departments and the Illinois State Police recently conducted the first two details this year for Operation Campus/Tap.

Arcola looks for successor for IGA

ARCOLA – Arcola civic leaders are hoping to persuade an independent grocer to come to the community to help take the place of the Arcola IGA.

That grocery store, operated for the last 34 years by Champaign-based Kirby Foods, is expected to close this week as it sells down inventory.

Danville ethanol plants leap obstacle

DANVILLE – Two proposed ethanol plant projects have cleared a major regulatory hurdle as the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has granted preliminary approval for both to proceed with construction.

Both American Ethanol Inc. and Danville Renewable Energy plan to build ethanol production plants east of Danville near the intersection of Lynch Road and Illinois 136.

Inspection reveals space heaters working well

DANVILLE – Though the outside temperature has sunk to single digits, residents at 210 N. Walnut St. have enjoyed a warm 70 degrees inside.

City inspectors tested room temperatures Tuesday at the small complex, following an inspection earlier this month after a written complaint about the building's lack of heat.

Champaign County taking part in co-op

URBANA – Champaign County is one of the latest additions to an electric cooperative that could save taxpayers money over the next three years.

The county joins Urbana, Peoria and Decatur in an energy buyers' cooperative sponsored by the Champaign County Chamber of Commerce.

Candidates start filing petitions for Champaign school board

CHAMPAIGN – Voters will choose from at least a half-dozen candidates for five open Champaign school board seats, and other potential candidates have until the first of next week to get on the ballot.

Six candidates filed their nominating petitions and other required materials Monday morning at the Mellon Administrative Center. They are: Kristine Chalifoux, John Bambenek, Susan Grey, Greg Novak, Scott MacAdam and Melodye Rosales.

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