FAA delays drainage project at former Chanute Air Force Base

RANTOUL – The Air Force's plan to excavate dirt on the former Chanute Air Force Base to improve drainage in south Rantoul and to backfill an excavation area may be delayed because it doesn't have permission from the Federal Aviation Administration.

Chanute Redevelopment Commission member Denny Long told the commission Wednesday that the FAA has put a hold on a proposal to remove 50,000 yards of dirt on the south side of the airport.

Record attendance seen at migrant school in Rantoul

RANTOUL – School officials reported record attendance at this Rantoul Township High School's migrant school.

More than 200 young people attended classes this summer, according to Migrant Elementary School Principal Todd Wilson and Migrant Middle School and High School Principal Scott Amerio. It's by far the highest enrollment for the program.

It's Your Business: Discount Gas plans to expand, remodel

Discount Gas, 102 S. Mattis Ave., C, is planning to start a remodeling project toward the end of this month.

The Chicago-based owner, Salim Patel, said his plans include removing the old repair service bays and expanding the convenience store. A new liquor license courtesy of the city will allow him to begin package sales.

UI advisers helping African entrepreneurs test natural products

URBANA – For generations, African elders have taken careful note of plants that seemed to have health benefits.

Now, with the help of advisers from the University of Illinois and Rutgers, African entrepreneurs hope to bring those beneficial properties to the global marketplace – perhaps including them in pharmaceuticals or nutritional supplements.

Ethanol plant in Gibson City ahead of schedule

GIBSON CITY – Work is moving along ahead of schedule on the ethanol plant being built here, according to its chief executive officer.

Grain companies plan merger

LUDLOW – The Ludlow Cooperative Elevator Co. and Danforth-Gilman Grain Co., Danforth, will officially combine operations on Friday, and operate as Ludlow Cooperative Elevator Co., according to a press release issued Monday.

"Both companies have served their area farmers/owners' grain handling needs for more than 100 years, and we look forward to building on our historical success as we work together to build an even more successful future," said Bruce Bastert, general manager, in the release.

Westville officials looking to fix erosion in crucial drainage ditch

WESTVILLE – Village officials voted Tuesday to pursue a plan to repair erosion along the banks of a storm water drainage ditch that runs on the north side of Moses Avenue, north of Zamberletti Park.

In March, inspectors from the Army Corps of Engineers investigated a complaint about the erosion in the ditch. According to Mayor Jeff Slavik, village officials apparently authorized a cleaning and deepening of the ditch in 2002 without receiving a permit to do so from the Corps of Engineers.

Traps set to check for infestation of emerald ash borers

CHAMPAIGN – Everyone knows a newspaper is "black and white and read all over." But what's purple, sticky and best when empty?

Nope, it's not a bottle of elderberry wine. The answer is an emerald ash borer trap, and 22 of them are hanging from ash trees in the Champaign-Urbana-Savoy area.

Conservation agency gets huge grant from USDA

CHAMPAIGN – The National Resources Conservation Service, which has its Illinois headquarters in Champaign, received a $200 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday.

Paige Buck, public affairs specialist for the Illinois office, said the her office has received $2.2 million.

Freedom says fuel tanks not to blame for station closing

TOLONO – Freedom Oil Company officials say its fuel tanks played no role in the closing of their Tolono location last week and that the decision to close it was the result of their trying to sell it without success.

According to Freedom president and owner Michael Owens, the company bought the store at 101 N. Watson St. in August 1993.