$15 wage endorsed, but sponsor not rushing proposal

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Democratic-controlled Senate committee on Wednesday approved an increase in the state's minimum wage to $15 an hour, but the sponsor hedged on calling for an immediate floor vote despite pressure from the new Democratic governor to send him legislation within two weeks.

Entertainment listings, Feb. 7-14, 2019


This weekend


What: Guest speaker is Dr. James C. Harden and performance by Leadership Development Academy. Refreshments will be served. Sponsored by Concerned Citizens of Rantoul. Rescheduled from Jan. 19.

When: 2 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 9.

Newman: Wind-farm debate talk of the town

Throughout 2019, we’ll spotlight our area’s tiniest towns — and what makes them tick. Today: Newman (population 900), where a proposed wind farm has residents speaking out:

NEWMAN — At the only gas station in town, Terry Payton relaxes with his morning coffee, sitting at a small table with a picturesque view of the city of Newman.

Champaign County RPC offering a leg up to those with two strikes

CHAMPAIGN — Though the Illinois Department of Employment Security has reported that Champaign County added 1,400 jobs last year, "young adults who live in areas of high poverty and crime face serious challenges to seeking and sustaining employment at a living wage."

Entertainment listings, Jan. 31-Feb. 7, 2019

EVENTSThis weekend


What: The Love For All Poetry Crawl celebrating the poetic talent of Central Illinois residents and students. Poems, prose-poems and song lyrics will be chosen by the committee, printed and spread through participating downtown businesses. Also multiple readings by those interested in performing. Presented by Imbibe Urbana.

Unemployment rate up in C-U, Danville in December over 2017

CHAMPAIGN — The local unemployment rate increased a bit in December compared with the same month in 2017, from 3.7 to 4.4 percent in the Champaign-Urbana metro area.

All of the 13 metro areas in Illinois saw an increase except the Chicago area, which saw a decrease from 4.9 to 3.6 percent.

Statewide, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.7 a year ago to 4.4 percent in December.

Financial officials in local governments preparing for a recession

URBANA — Market jitters and slowing economic growth have public officials in Champaign-Urbana singing a similar tune: A recession is coming.

Entertainment listings, Jan. 24-31, 2019


This weekend


The Law Q&A | Noncompete agreements depend on situation

Before she left office earlier this month, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan settled a suit she filed against payday lending company Check into Cash of Illinois LLC to stop its practice of requiring noncompete agreements with its low-wage employees throughout Illinois.

What is a noncompete employment agreement, anyhow?

Marathon Speedway station a welcome addition to Oakwood I-74 exit

Questions? Ask them here

OAKWOOD — On the heels of celebrating a $15 million investment in the newly-opened Love's Travel Stop along Interstate 74 in Oakwood, local officials are eagerly anticipating yet another development this year in that area.