Blowing snow hampers plows

Blowing and drifting snow is causing the most problems for Champaign-Urbana plows as they continue to work around the clock to clear roads.

Workers in both cities were expected to retrace their routes to keep roads clear as winds picked up late Tuesday into today.

Tracy Wingler, maintenance supervisor at the Champaign County Highway Department, said county plows spent the day pushing back the snow drifts Tuesday, and planned to continue dealing with high winds overnight.

Not all on board with Vermilion County employee residency policy

DANVILLE – Although several county board members don't agree with the policy, as of today, Vermilion County now requires all newly hired nonunion employees to live within its borders.

Board member Steve Fourez, R-District 3, said the policy will limit the labor pool for county jobs.

PBL grad coming home for speech about flying cars

Chamber to host Terrafugia exec at annual meeting

Paxton-Buckley-Loda graduate Samuel Schweighart will be the featured speaker at the annual meeting of the Paxton Area Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 18 at Lakeview Country Club in Loda.

Schweighart is vice president for engineering of Terrafugia, a company he co-founded with several fellow students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Terrafugia's goal is to provide innovative solutions to the challenges facing personal aviation.

Updated: Road condition reports for East Central Illinois

UPDATED 9:40 a.m. Here are reports on area roads and streets from Twitter followers of The News-Gazette and elsewhere.

@schenk I-74 west of LeRoy open now; semi vs. passenger unit. The usual message: Slow down, folks

More details for Danville school board on high school proposals

DANVILLE – Danville school board members on Wednesday learned more details of the proposals for the ACE and GLOBAL upper houses, including their pricetags.

Text of a speech by UI President Stanley Ikenberry

Here is the text of a speech made Feb. 9 by University of Illinois Interim President Stanley Ikenberry to the Civic Federation in Chicago.


Sony acquires local firm iCyt

CHAMPAIGN — Sony Corp. has acquired Champaign-based iCyt Mission Technology and will operate it as a wholly owned subsidiary, the global electronics and entertainment giant announced Tuesday.

Gary Durack, the founder and president of iCyt, called the acquisition a “win” for his company and its customers.

The local company, which makes cell sorters used for stem cell and disease research, employs about 30 in the University of Illinois Research Park.

Champaign city council meeting canceled

The Champaign city council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night has been canceled.

A release from the city says the cancellation is due to the weather predicted for tonight, which includes more snow and blowing and drifting.

The consultant on the proposed intergovernmental Big Broadband project is unable to attend because he's ill, and other agenda items are "no urgent," council member Tom Bruno said on Twitter.

University leaders ask state for reliable payment schedule for overdue money

UPDATED 11 a.m. -- The state’s public university presidents and chancellors released a joint letter today asking state leaders to commit to a reliable payment schedule for the schools’ past-due appropriations.

The letter calls on Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes to provide a payment plan for fiscal 2010 appropriations. It also asks elected leaders to work together to develop long-term financial solutions to the state’s budget crisis.

Several on Champaign school board say they're against cutting music

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign school board saw an expanded list of possible budget cuts, and ways to increase revenue, for the coming year on Monday night.

The board began talking about how to make more than $2 million in budget cuts in late January, and asked the administration for more options.

The board has heard the most public comment on the proposal included in the first list of possible budget cuts – to eliminate elementary band and strings. Several board members said they were not in favor of cutting the program.