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You can now learn Irish dance at Old Farm Shops, Champaign.

Allie Hartlein has moved her Shamrock Academy of Irish Dance from Mahomet to Champaign and is now making classes available to a broader age range.

Classes had been largely serving ages 3 to 18. Now toddlers as young as 2 can take classes accompanied by a parent, and she’s building her program for adults, too, she said.

No previous experience is needed to learn, Hartlein said.

“I’ve taught my dad to Irish dance, who was not a dancer at all,” she said. “With that experience, I believe I can teach anybody.”

The age 2 parent-child class gets kids started, learning steps and rhythm, and is very introductory. Kids can start class on their own at age 3, she said.

Even kids who have tried other forms of dance, such as ballet and tap, may enjoy Irish dance, Hartlein said.

Summer classes have just begun, but new students can still sign up, she said.

To learn more, check out Shamrock Academy of Irish Dance on social media and/or send Hartlein an email at

Hartlein has been teaching Irish dance in the local area since 2016, and she holds a master’s degree in elementary education from the University of Illinois.

Coming soon in Fisher

Main Street Cookies & Cream, under construction in downtown Fisher, is set to open this summer — hopefully in mid-July — says co-owner Jessica Cox.

She and her husband, Devin, are opening this new ice cream parlor and custom-decorated sugar cookies shop at 101 N. Third St.

It will offer hand-dipped ice cream from Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream of Madison, Wis., coffees from Columbia Street Roastery and Cox’s decorated sugar cookies.

The interior will have seating and a modern ice cream parlor feel with black-and-white and subway tile, she said.

Cox, a lifelong Fisher resident, worked as a nurse, first for Carle, then for Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services. Her husband works for the University of Illinois as a pipe fitter.

Chamber head wins fellowship

Laura Weis, president and CEO of the Champagn Chamber of Commerce, has been chosen to take part in the fifth cohort of the U.S. chamber’s business leadership program.

The Business Leads Fellowship Program is intended to train and equip leaders of local and state chamber of commerce organizations, economic development agencies and others.

Weis said she applied for the fellowship based on needs on the community.

“The number one issue that drives successful economic development is a qualified work force. Our chamber board understands that we have to be proactive in helping to cultivate our talent,” she said. “The K-12 educational system and a qualified work force are intricately connected. This fellowship will give us access to the leaders in the talent industry as well as the the best practices across the country.”

Now open

The Stock & Field stores in Tilton and Watseka have reopened under new management and ownership following the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed by former owners.

The new owners are R.P. Acquisition Corp., a wholly owned subsidiary of R.P. Lumber Co. based in Edwardsville.

The company said most of the stores are reopening.

Share news about your business: Deb Pressey can be reached at

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