Don Dodson

Don Dodson

Good ideas pay off at annual awards ceremony

URBANA — Ten individuals and companies were given awards Thursday for coming up with good ideas and carrying them out, at Champaign County's annual Innovation Celebration.

— Cobalt Digital, a company whose products are used in TV broadcasting, won the Longevity Through Innovation Award.

CEO of eBay notes major changes ahead for retailers

CHAMPAIGN — Retailers can expect to encounter changes in the next few years as massive as those experienced recently by the newspaper and movie industries, eBay CEO John Donahoe said.

"There will be more change in how consumers shop and pay in the next three years than in the last 20," Donahoe told an overflow crowd of students at the University of Illinois on Tuesday.

Bianca Green chosen for Athena Award

CHAMPAIGN — Bianca Green worked as an attorney for 16 years, representing clients in civil litigation.

But the stress of those cases and the awful circumstances they sometimes involved led her to seek a career "more in line with the life I wanted to lead," she said.

Laura Frerichs wins Young Professional Award

CHAMPAIGN — Laura Frerichs has been named winner of the 2013 Athena Young Professional Award, sponsored by past recipients of the Athena Award.

She will receive the award at the Athena Award luncheon today at the Champaign Country Club.

Thies: Law school debt 'unsustainable' over long term

CHAMPAIGN — Today's law school students, on average, face a debt load of about $100,000 for legal education, the president of the Illinois State Bar Association said.

That figure, John Thies said, doesn't include debt they may have incurred as a result of undergraduate education.

2 top Easton-Bell executives resign

Updated 1:35 p.m. Thursday.

RANTOUL — There's been a major shake-up in top management at Easton-Bell Sports.

Paul Harrington is out after five years as president and CEO of the Van Nuys, Calif.-based sports-equipment company, which is building a major assembly and distribution center in Rantoul.

C-U slips, Danville rises in ranking based on jobs, wages

CHAMPAIGN — A report from the Milken Institute on America's best-performing cities found Champaign-Urbana was slipping in 2012 while Danville was climbing.

Monticello-based bank firm a rarity: owned by employees

MONTICELLO — First State Bancorp of Monticello is now entirely owned by its employees.

The bank's employee stock ownership plan bought all remaining outstanding shares of the company's common stock on Dec. 24.

January is 12th straight month of rising home sales

CHAMPAIGN — Home sales in the Champaign County area were up in January for the 12th straight month, according to figures from the Champaign County Association of Realtors.

The association's Multiple Listing Service said 123 home sales were completed in January, up from 91 in January 2012.

Ruler Foods to add Urbana location this summer

URBANA — Ruler Foods is expected to open a grocery store in the former Jerry's IGA space on Philo Road this summer, The News-Gazette has learned.

It would be the third such Ruler Foods store planned for East Central Illinois. The discount food chain, which is affiliated with Kroger, has already made arrangements to open stores in Danville and Champaign.