Repair of gas leak to close Savoy road

SAVOY – Part of West Church Road in Savoy will be closed Friday so a gas leak can be repaired.

Savoy Public Works Director Brent Maue said AmerenIP discovered the leak at U.S. 45 and West Church Road. A portion of West Church Road near U.S. 45 is expected to close about 3 a.m. Friday so repairs can be made.

Farmers get facts about leasing land to wind-energy firms

DANVILLE – Chrisman-area farmer Joe Glick was contacted about a month ago about putting a wind turbine on his property in southern Vermilion County, and even though Glick believes in the wind-energy concept, he wants more information about the effect of leasing land for the turbines.

"I was looking for an unbiased opinion," Glick said.

Area grain companies plan merger

TOLONO – Two area grain companies plan to merge to form a new cooperative.

The board of directors of Fisher Farmers Grain and Coal Company and Grand Prairie Co-op Inc. this week unanimously approved a plan to consolidate.

UI researchers develop scab-resistant apple variety


URBANA – Researchers at the University of Illinois have developed a new kind of apple called WineCrisp that is resistant to apple scab.

Apple scab is a fungal disease often found in apples grown in areas of high rainfall and high humidity.

When uncontrolled, apple fungus can defoliate trees and blemish fruit to a point where it is unmarketable.

Bryant's special-use permit OK'd for auto scrap yard

DANVILLE – After two hours of debate among council members Tuesday night and many comments from residents for and against the issue, the Danville City Council approved a special-use permit for Bryant Industries to begin an auto scrap yard at its Warrington Avenue location.

The council voted 8-3 to allow the scrap yard on about 3 acres on the south side of U.S. 150 west of Danville, adjacent to the current Bryant scrap yard operation.

Meetings sought on wind farms in Ford County

PAXTON –- At least one resident sees trouble ahead from planned wind farm projects and has asked Ford County Board trustees to hold a series of public information meetings "to air both sides."

Rich Porter of rural Paxton said he believes that Ford County, like other counties, has relied too much on information supplied by wind energy representatives.

Vote on wind farm issue in Paxton delayed

PAXTON – For now, there are no new city restrictions on where wind turbines can be built outside city limits.

The plan commission on Monday was to have voted on a city council proposal to ban turbines within a half mile of the city limits on Paxton's northeast side and within a mile of the city's other three sides. Currently, turbines can be built as close as 1,500 feet to the city under Ford County's zoning laws.

Paxton plan commission weighs restriction on wind turbines

PAXTON – Rob Steiger knows wind farms mean more money for his county, its schools and its townships, but he also realizes the implications the 265-foot-tall structures could have on his city's ability to expand if they are built too close to town.

"If you build a wall around something, it's not going to continue, and I'm convinced we'd be building a wall around ourselves," if turbines are not regulated by the city, said Steiger, a member of Paxton's planning commission.

Official says wind energy firm committed to project

PAXTON – A wind-energy company official said the firm is committed to the Ford County project, regardless of the Paxton City Council's proposed restrictions on turbines around the city.

"Unequivocally, we're committed to develop in Ford County," said Joe Borkowski, development manager for E.On Climate & Renewables. "If a larger buffer around Paxton is voted in (by the city council), some turbines – but definitely not all turbines – would be reallocated to Iroquois County, but we're talking right across the border."

5 Pesotum Village Board spots up for election

PESOTUM – Five of seven village board positions are up for election in Pesotum.

Candidates for two two-year terms and three four-year terms, including the village board president, will meet for a caucus Jan. 12 at the community building to determine a slate of nominees.