Parkland employees $3.5 million richer

FISHER – Every week for three and a half years, co-workers Pam Lytel and Donna Mayer played the lottery together, using the same numbers.

Sometimes they won money – $3 here, $100 there. They socked it away in a special account, which paid for the tickets they alternated buying. They work together at Parkland College's financial aid office.

Vermilion County Museum open for the holidays

DANVILLE – The Vermilion County Museum will open the doors to its Gilbert Street complex buildings to celebrate the holidays on Saturday.

The museum and the Fithian Home, where Abraham Lincoln is known to have spent the night and gave a speech from its balcony, will be open to the public for the free "Holiday at the Museum" event. The celebration combines holiday decorations; choral, dance, magical and historical entertainment; a wagon ride; photos with Santa; and light refreshments from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

Anheuser-Busch distributor in Urbana sold to Decatur firm

URBANA – Premium Brands Ltd., the Anheuser-Busch distributor in Champaign, has agreed to be sold to the company that distributes those products in Decatur and Springfield.

Decatur-based Skeff Distributing Co. plans to acquire Premium Brands at the close of the day Friday, said Skeff Distributing President John Skeffington.

Navigating Danville just got a lot easier thanks to Google

DANVILLE – Taking a virtual drive down Danville's streets is easier now, thanks to a new tool on Google.

Google launched eight new cities on its Street View feature Tuesday, including Boston; Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas; Indianapolis; Minneapolis; St. Paul, Minn.; Detroit; and Providence, R.I.

Kraft to outsource some maintenance work in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Kraft Foods plans to transfer some maintenance jobs at its Champaign plant to an outside contractor sometime in 2008, the company said Tuesday.

About 29 people will be affected, and they'll have the option of applying to work for the contractor, Washington Group International, or taking other jobs at Kraft if they qualify for them, company spokeswoman Cathy Pernu said.

Officials mum on indictment of Iroquois County clerk

WATSEKA – Officials are revealing few facts about the criminal allegations against Iroquois County Clerk Mark Henrichs, who was indicted on multiple felony charges of theft, forgery and official misconduct last week.

A grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against Henrichs, 51, of rural Buckley, on Dec. 6, following a six-month investigation by the Illinois Attorney General's Office. The indictment was unsealed to the public Tuesday.

Champaign council backs fifth public access channel

CHAMPAIGN – City council members don't want cable subscribers to have to pay more for a new public access channel.

Council members voted 8-0 Tuesday night to support a city staff recommendation against using increased cable fees or city funds to support a proposed local public access station, bucking the recommendation of a city consultant.

Groups honored for troop support

SPRINGFIELD – Two Champaign organizations received Homefront Hero awards on Tuesday for their work supporting U.S. troops overseas.

Lt. Gov. Pat Quinn, who presented the awards at a ceremony in Springfield, called the winners "a living testament to the power of American patriotism."

White Horse Inn closes doors

CHAMPAIGN – The White Horse Inn, a fixture in the heart of Campustown for decades, has closed.

But one of the White Horse's creditors, former restaurant operator Dan Manolakes, said the restaurant building at 112 E. Green St. may have a future as another restaurant.

Bank's parent company delays shareholders' meeting

CHAMPAIGN – Central Illinois Bank's parent company notified shareholders Monday that it won't be able to hold an annual shareholders' meeting until at least April.

In a letter to shareholders, CIB Marine Bancshares President John P. Hickey Jr. said the company previously stated it would hold the meeting in "early 2008." But he said he doesn't expect several quarterly reports from 2003 and 2007 – or the audit of financial statements for 2007 – to be ready until late in the first quarter of 2008.