Danville attorney uses power of Internet for charity

DANVILLE – A simple online request posted by a Danville attorney and a friend hundreds of miles away has, in just three days, generated a stack of more than 500 gifts for Vermilion County foster children.

"I can't even tell you how amazed I am about what's going on here," said attorney John Halloran, who, with the help of his friend, Genevieve Dempre of New Orleans, put together a Christmas wish list for foster kids and got it posted Sunday night on, a news-aggregating and social-networking news Web site, and on Facebook, a social-networking site.

Power outage hits parts of Champaign

CHAMPAIGN – More than 1,000 electric customers in Champaign were without power Wednesday afternoon.

Ameren's Web site reported 634 customers in the 61821 ZIP code and 440 customers in the 61820 ZIP code did not have power at 3:50 p.m. Much of the Garden Hills neighborhood in northwest Champaign did not have electricity.

UI student's wheelchair features rolling, with changes

URBANA – If gear shifting is good for motorists and bicyclists, why not for wheelchair users?

That's what Scott Daigle wondered as he watched people propel themselves around the University of Illinois campus in wheelchairs.

"They were going about as fast as they could. Their arms were the only things limiting them," said Daigle, a first-year graduate student in mechanical engineering.

UI Research Park: Investment and returns

CHAMPAIGN – The gleaming new buildings at the University of Illinois Research Park have generated upward of $3.2 million in property tax revenue for Champaign, its schools and other taxing districts.

On the flip side: The university, state and local governments have sunk $47 million into the park and related developments since its inception in 2000, according to a News-Gazette analysis.

Conference center doing well, but I Hotel still in the red

CHAMPAIGN – The Web site promises "a commitment to 'wow.'"

The I Hotel opened in August 2008 touting itself as "a blend of luxury, privacy and comfort" – granite countertops, upscale fixtures, walnut columns, spa, the works.

UI receives federal grant for carbon dioxide study

CHAMPAIGN (AP) – The University of Illinois is getting a roughly $900,000 grant to study the possible environmental impact of storing the chief man-made greenhouse gas under water reservoirs.

The EPA grant covers what could be a three-year research project involving subsurface storage called sequestration.

Gibson City a finalist for company's 'green' plant

GIBSON CITY – The "green" business that has picked Gibson City as one of two finalists for a factory site is Eco Manufacturing of Cambridge, Mass.

Garrett Gates, vice-president of business development for Eco Manufacturing, said this week that the potential site of a plant would be on Gibson City's west side, along Illinois 9 and just south of Jordan Industrial Park. Eco Manufacturing has been looking at various sites for about two years and at Gibson City for one year. A Tennessee site is also "still in the running," Gates said.

Bytemobile hopes to expand Champaign office in 2010

CHAMPAIGN – A company that helps mobile networks operate faster and more efficiently hopes to add more people to its Champaign office next year.

Bytemobile, which has 12 full-time employees in the University of Illinois Research Park, plans to hire three more early next year, said Constantine Polychronopoulos, the company's founder and chief technology officer.

Gift only covers 25% of Virginia's renovation project

CHAMPAIGN – Even with Michael Carragher's $1 million gift to the Virginia Theatre restoration fund, the Champaign Parks Foundation estimates it will need $3 million more to complete the entire renovation project.

Mr. Carragher's gift will be spent mainly to remodel the front lobby and concession area. The bids for that work will be let after the first of the year, and the work will begin in mid-June and last through October.

Project's employment numbers not as big as projected

CHAMPAIGN – Was it all "pie in the sky?"

When the University of Illinois Research Park was proposed a decade ago, supporters talked of the park's potential to have 5,000 employees within a decade, or even five years.