MTD board orders new buses, vans

CHAMPAIGN — Members of the Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District board acted Wednesday to order 10 new 40-foot hybrid buses, three gas-powered vans and to apply for the agency's full $24.9 million state operating assistance grant for the current year.

The new buses, expected to be available by early 2013, will bring to 55 the number of hybrid coaches in the MTD's 102-bus fleet.

514 households commit to Gigabit deal

URBANA — More than 514 people in Champaign-Urbana and Savoy have committed at least $381,800 toward an effort to bring a community-wide fiber-optic network to the area, and officials are submitting an application to a private company offering to do just that.

THQ: 'Dominatrix' to get full-game treatment; preproduction stops on 'inSANE' trilogy

CHAMPAIGN — Jason Rubin liked Volition's "Saints Row: Enter The Dominatrix" so much, he upgraded it to a stand-alone game.

Rubin, the new president of Volition's parent company, THQ, told analysts Monday he had "an incredible amount of fun" playing "Enter The Dominatrix" and decided it shouldn't be just a stand-alone expansion of "Saints Row The Third."

Electronics banned at courthouse

URBANA — If you're on jury duty or waiting for a friend at the Champaign County Courthouse and need something to occupy your time, better plan on it being knitting, a magazine or a paperback book.

C-U foundation, DSO vie for online votes

Two local nonprofit organizations are in the running for a $15,000 office technology makeover, and you can vote to help them win.

The Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation and the Danville Symphony Orchestra are both finalists in the RK Dixon 7th annual Make My Non-Profit Run Better contest. The two organizations are among 20 non-profits who made it through the first round of voting.

Consolidated Communications income drops for quarter

MATTOON — Consolidated Communications, which recently completed its acquisition of SureWest Communications, reported a 47 percent drop in second-quarter net income.

Net income totaled $2.9 million, down from $5.5 million in the second quarter a year ago. The drop was due in part to higher interest expense related to the SureWest acquisition.

Neil to reopen Friday

CHAMPAIGN — Neil Street in downtown Champaign is expected to reopen late Friday afternoon.

Neil Street has been closed between Church Street and Park Avenue since July 24 for sewer work and to add a manhole, both related to the hotel project proposed at the site of the former Metropolitan Building.

City awaiting higher OK on new cell tower

DANVILLE — City officials are holding off on giving AT&T Wireless a building permit for a 199-foot cellular tower on a site that's close to Provena United Samaritan Medical Center's helicopter landing pad, because the city wants the Illinois Department of Transportation to give approval to the tower.

Plans outlined for high-voltage line

CHAMPAIGN — Ameren Transmission has outlined several potential route corridors it may use for a high-voltage transmission line connecting its Sidney and Rising substations.

All the potential corridors run west from Sidney to points along or west of Interstate 57, then north to the Rising substation northwest of Champaign.

Electronics recycling set for Saturday

CHAMPAIGN — Another countywide residential electronics recycling will be held Saturday at The News-Gazette Distribution Center, 3202 Apollo Drive, C.

The event will be from 8 a.m. to noon. Access to the distribution center is at the intersection of North Market Street and East Olympian Drive.