Area-based auto warranty firm focus of probe

The Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois is investigating complaints that a Bloomington-based auto warranty company failed to honor the warranties it sold to customers.

More than 80 complaints have been filed against Dealers Services. Its office was located in Bloomington, but telemarketers solicited business from all across the country, said John Harmon, dispute resolution specialist with the Better Business Bureau of Central Illinois.

Talk of wind power regulations in air in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – City council members in Champaign will talk Tuesday about wind power – not the hot-air-politics type, but the wind turbine type.

At a study session set to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the city council chambers, 102 N. Neil St., C, the city planning staff will discuss wind energy conservation systems, particularly small wind turbines within city limits and how to regulate wind farms near city boundaries.

Home being built in Philo will be 'Extreme'-ly green

PHILO – Faucets with aerators. Geothermal heat pumps. Energy-efficient appliances.

With all of its environmentally friendly features, the new home being built for the Montgomery family as part of ABC's "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" will be certified green according to a new certification program.

Variety is spice of farmers' market in Danville

DANVILLE – Even overcast skies and some rain didn't keep a steady flow of customers away from the farmers' market in downtown Danville on Wednesday.

Rural King is moving into former Wal-Mart building

CHAMPAIGN – Rural King plans to open a store in Champaign, taking over the space formerly occupied by Wal-Mart and Steve & Barry's. The farm supply retailer has slated an Oct. 1 opening for the store at 913 W. Marketview Drive, said Matt Garrison, regional manager for the Mattoon-based chain.

Environmentally friendly bucket truck debuted in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – Of course a city government would think about putting a "green" truck in its forestry division.

A hybrid bucket truck will be assigned to the division, said Elizabeth Hannan, administrative services manager for the city of Champaign.

VeraSun auctioning Tilton land as part of bankruptcy

TILTON – More than a year ago, VeraSun Energy Corp. bought more than 700 acres of farmland southwest of Tilton as part of its plan to expand its production of ethanol, but now that land is being offered at auction as part of the company's Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.

Vermilion County plans to drop its recycling program

DANVILLE – A myriad of funding factors have prompted Vermilion County Health Department officials to end the county's recycling program effective Oct. 31.

"It is purely a money issue," said Stephen Laker, administrator of the Vermilion County Health Department.

Lynn Wolgamot, coordinator of the recycling program, said it's just a very sad situation.

Monsanto exec: Ethanol still important energy source

CHAMPAIGN – The economics of corn-based ethanol aren't as bright as they were a few years ago, but the fuel still needs to be part of America's energy portfolio, a Monsanto Co. executive says.

"We were living in a pretty sweet spot a couple years ago," Martha Schlicher told about 70 people attending an "Agri-Energy" conference at Parkland College on Tuesday.

Fithian 18-year-old taking year to lead Illinois FFA

FITHIAN – This year, Amie Burke is getting a start on a career in agricultural education, but she's not heading off to college.

The 18-year-old Fithian resident is spending the year working with local FFA chapters and promoting ag education throughout the state as the 2009-10 Illinois FFA president.