Business and professional briefs, Dec. 15, 2013

New jobs

Ogden bank hires Damler. Jeff Damler of Champaign has been hired as vice president/commercial lending at the First National Bank of Ogden.

He previously was a commercial lender at Heartland Bank & Trust Co. for six years.

Gifford moving ahead

GIFFORD — It's been almost a month since a tornado barreled through this northeast Champaign County community, essentially leveling about a third of its homes.

Quickly, the rebuilding has begun in this town that a month ago had about 975 residents.

Hegeler makes largest gift Danville foundation has received

DANVILLE — As a youth, Julius W. Hegeler II preferred the great outdoors to the halls of education.

When the dismissal bell rang, he shot out of school and ran home, where he ditched his books for his shotgun and bird dog and went hunting for quail and pheasant in the nearby fields.

Deck us all with telephone carols (with video)

Now in its 53rd year, Dial-A-Carol at Snyder Hall involves spirited University of Illinois students belting out "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" and other songs to callers from around the world. The event, which takes place in the lounge of the residence hall, kicked off at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, and runs until 11:59 p.m. Dec. 18.

Prussing appoints Nightlinger fire chief

URBANA — Interim Fire Chief Brian Nightlinger could get the spot permanently if the Urbana City Council confirms Mayor Laurel Prussing's appointment next week.

Nightlinger has been acting fire chief since June, when former chief Mike Dilley retired. He would be taking over the position after spending the past six years as a division chief.

Benefit concert raised $400,000

BLOOMINGTON — The Dec. 4 benefit concert, Rock To The Rescue Extends A Hand To Those In Need, raised $400,783 for towns hit by recent tornadoes.

The sold-out show at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington raised funds for central Illinois communities, including Washington and Gifford, that were affected by the recent devastating tornadoes and winds.

There's still time to see Santa before Christmas

If you still want "an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time," as Ralphie Parker did in "A Christmas Story," it's not too late to ask Santa, or a reasonable facsimile thereof.

The News-Gazette has made a list and is checking it twice for late-season Saint Nick appearances.

Past, present, future together at Rose and Taylor

CHAMPAIGN — Quenton Hillsman doesn't have any hair. It doesn't make sense that he'd turn up in a barbershop.

Illinois Ancestors: Visit state in new 'Roadside History'

Anyone with an interest in the history of the cities and towns in Illinois will enjoy Stan Banash's new book, "Roadside History of Illinois," which is both informative and entertaining. Written almost as a tour guide, the book identifies Illinois' cities and towns in seven regions: Southern, Western, Central, Eastern and Northern plus Metropolitan Chicago and Chicago's Neighborhoods.

My Amish Home: Bike makeover better than meal mistakes

"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: he is a buckler to all them that trust in him. For who is God, save the Lord? And who is a rock, save our God? God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect." 2 Samuel 22:31-33