Crop tour confirms record estimates

BEMENT — Expectations of a record corn crop gained support from scouting reports in the Piatt County area this week, with many locations estimating yields of well over 200 bushels per acre.

116,000 in area rely on food pantries, meal programs

URBANA — One out of five people in a 14-county area of East Central Illinois relies on food pantries and meal service programs to eat, according to a new report released Monday by the Eastern Illinois Foodbank and Feeding America.

Family Checkbook: Three tips for handling finances

By Kathy Sweedler

For families with college students, the countdown to moving-in day is getting very close! With the rising costs of college and student loan debt, college requires more financial planning than ever.

Rantoul chamber director leaves for aviation institute job

RANTOUL — After leading the Rantoul Area Chamber of Commerce for the past two years, Mandy Briggs will return to her first love — flying.

A licensed pilot, the chamber's director has resigned from the post to take a position with the Parkland College Institute of Aviation, where she will teach aviation courses.

Prognosis for pot facilities in area towns

These past few months, local governments and economic development organizations in central Illinois have been fielding calls from potential investors eager to grow or dispense medical marijuana in their backyards.

BRG to hire 30 more for Rantoul facility

CHAMPAIGN — BRG Sports plans to hire an additional 30 people in Rantoul as the assembly and distribution center there takes on more functions, the center's general manager said Wednesday.

Jelly Belly candy won't be made in Illinois

NORTH CHICAGO (AP) — The makers of Jelly Belly candy say they're reducing their workforce at the company's North Chicago factory and will no longer make their famous jelly beans there.

Mutual funds hunting for smaller game

NEW YORK — In the hunt for dividends, biggest doesn't always mean best.

Can Africa continue its winning streak?

WASHINGTON — They export BMWs and birdseed and plenty in between. Their middle class is growing fast enough to draw the likes of Marriott and Wal-Mart. China, Europe, Japan and the United States are vying to build roads and power plants there.

East Central Illinois a crowded market for convenience stores

Alimentation Couche-Tard's agreement to acquire Champaign-based Super Pantry involves two huge players in the convenience store market in Champaign-Urbana. Couche-Tard has 13 convenience stores in the two cities (under the Circle K brand), and Super Pantry has eight.

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