Retail sales rise as consumers shrug off stock price drop

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. retail sales rose modestly in January, evidence that Americans kept shopping despite sharp drops in stock prices.

The Commerce Department said Friday that retail sales increased a seasonally adjusted 0.2 percent last month, the same as in December. Excluding the effect of falling gas prices, sales rose 0.4 percent.

It's Your Business: Hilton's first Home2 Suites in Illinois opens

Visitors to Champaign-Urbana have a new option for overnight stays — one with many of the comforts of home.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Champaign/Urbana opened Tuesday at 2013 S. Neil St. in Champaign's Carriage Center complex.

General manager Molly Mooney said the new hotel is the 78th Home2 Suites and the first of that brand in Illinois.

Whatever Happened To: The $2 bill

It's a collectible to some, spending cash for others. Either way, $2 bill 'will be around for a while'

UPDATED: Nike contract with UI: 'More bang for our buck'

CHAMPAIGN — The new 10-year agreement with Nike will net the University of Illinois athletic department more gear, but less cash, than the previous deal.

Top of the morning, Jan. 25, 2016

It took a while, but it has begun. Development is coming to the Curtis Road/Interstate 57 interchange.

Developer hopes $23 million plan is missing link in Champaign's Midtown

CHAMPAIGN — Come 2021 or so, Dan Hamelberg predicts, you won’t recognize the neglected section of Champaign between downtown and Campustown.

There will be upscale restaurants. Sleek apartments housing young professionals. Underground parking. A public pedestrian plaza.

And that’s just for starters, the Champaign developer says.

It's Your Business: Hoping to make a pretty penny

CHAMPAIGN — A former restaurant on Champaign's south side will soon become the community's latest video parlor.

The mother-and-daughter team of Barbara Burch Rogers and Sarah Burch is converting the former Sea Boat restaurant building at 403 W. Kirby Ave. into Jim's Place.

Program makes Christmas merry for 10 families

SAVOY — Children from 10 area families will have a happier Christmas this year thanks to a partnership between the Savoy Fire Department, Champaign County Sheriff's Office and the Savoy Wal-Mart.

It was all part of a Shop with a Firefighter/Deputy event Tuesday evening.

John Roska: Illinois' lemon law for new cars isn't very fruitful

Q: I bought a car that has never run right. What can I do? Is there a lemon law that would get me a refund?

A: The Illinois lemon law only applies to new car sales, and isn't worth much. It's an example of how "consumer protection" laws often protect merchants more than consumers.