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GIBSON CITY — With brown paper and a “coming soon” message covering its front windows, the intrigue has been growing for weeks about the upcoming opening of Syd & Sadie’s Boutique at 102 N. Sangamon Ave. in downtown Gibson City.

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GIBSON CITY — When Jeanine Litwiller opened Strictly Kids Resale Shop in downtown Gibson City 25 years ago, she was a stay-at-home mom hoping to build a business that other mothers like herself could use to clothe their children with gently used, brand-name apparel at an affordable price.

PAXTON — The voter turnout in Ford County for last Tuesday’s consolidated election was lower than in any other election in at least 15 years, as 886 of the county’s 9,366 registered voters — 9.46 percent — cast a ballot.

PAXTON — Before giving the go-ahead to a local restauranteur to offer outdoor dining by one of his downtown Paxton establishments, members of the Paxton City Council would like him to clearly outline his plans.

CHICAGO — The unemployment rate in Ford and Iroquois counties was 6 percent in February, up nearly a percentage point from year-ago levels, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) and Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES).

GIBSON CITY — Gibson City-based Alliance Grain Co. has acquired Herscher Grain Co.The transaction was effective Feb. 26.The Herscher facility, with five full-time employees, has about 1.7 million bushels of grain capacity with access to the Canadian National rail market.

PAXTON — Due to an unspecified conflict, Ford County Circuit Court Judge Matt Fitton has recused himself from presiding over a lawsuit filed by the Illinois Attorney General’s Office against a bed-and-breakfast west of Paxton.

URBANA — A popular Paxton heating and air conditioning business has added a second location in Urbana.Dogtown Heating & Air has been in business at 109 S. Railroad Ave. in Paxton for several years.Dogtown repairs, replaces or serves anything involving heating and air and is a Lennox carrier.

PAXTON — Though it is not legally binding and could be viewed merely as symbolic, the Ford County Board voted Monday night to not recommend to the Illinois Department of Agriculture that a proposed hog-finishing facility be built about a half-mile west of SibleySeveral trustees of the town o…

BAYLES LAKE — Lakeview Country Club announced that the Tin Cup Restaurant & Bar will soon be opening in its clubhouse.The restaurant and bar will be operated by Peggy Burton, who co-owned the former Tin Pan restaurant in downtown Paxton. The Tin Cup Restaurant & Bar replaces Sage’s, …

ONARGA — Certified family nurse practitioner Crickett Engelbrecht has joined the staff at Gibson Area Hospital & Health Services’ Onarga Clinic.Engelbrecht joins the clinic’s staff of Dr. Benjamin Brewer, Dr. Doug Lanoue and family nurse practitioner Sue Gray. Engelbrecht will see patien…

PAXTON — The Harvest Ale House in downtown Paxton is offering the public a chance to name its new house brew, and suggestions have already come pouring in.The bar-and-grill announced the contest on its Facebook page last week after owner Ben Grice decided to create a house brew with the assi…

PAXTON — Ford County Board members spent two hours Thursday debating how to protect rural residents living around wind farms from nuisances that can be caused by wind turbines, such as low-frequency noise and shadow flicker.

By ROSS BROWNbluehavanaross@gmail.comSIBLEY — Opponents and supporters of a proposed 5,600-head swine facility under consideration by the Illinois Department of Agriculture packed the Sullivant Town Hall in Sibley Thursday night to hear details about the project and to voice their opinions.

PAXTON — Of the 40 or so people who toured the newly renovated second floor of Ford County’s oldest commercial building on Thursday, not one of them had to duck when walking up the stairs leading to it.The removal of a low-lying wooden beam that made navigating the stairs a bit tricky in the…

SIBLEY — There are now two swine facilities proposed to be built in the Sibley area in western Ford County.An informational meeting about one of them will be held by the Illinois Department of Agriculture at 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, at the Sullivant Township Hall, 125 W. Ohio St., Sibley.

PAXTON — Cristal’s Boutique in downtown Paxton has a new owner.Karen Beck, who moved last June to Lake Iroquois from the Danville area, said she is now running the business in the 200 block of North Market Street, which for the past couple of years had been owned and operated by Cristal Sheehan.

PAXTON — Open less than a year, the Little Chef Diner in Paxton has closed its doors permanently, leaving the restaurant building that once housed a Pizza Hut vacant yet again.It was the second diner to occupy the red-roofed building at 560 John St. east of Interstate 57 since the Pizza Hut …

PAXTON — When Paxton implemented its first tax-increment financing (TIF) district six years ago, city officials envisioned the economic-development tool being used to build hundreds of new homes, a senior-living community and a variety of restaurants, retail stores and manufacturing faciliti…

PAXTON — The sale of the city’s airport to a man who wants to use it for his aerial crop-spraying business continues to be delayed over concerns that the city could be sued by one of his competitors if the transaction were to proceed.

PAXTON — Sometime next year, the city is expected to begin revamping its historic downtown business district with the construction of a new street, curbs, sidewalks and street lights.

PAXTON — Despite concerns about the appearance of favoring one business over another, the Paxton City Council voted 6-1 Tuesday to designate five parking spaces downtown for use exclusively by clients of a yet-to-be-opened dental clinic.

PAXTON — The board of directors of Paxton-based Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative (EIEC) has appointed Lauri Quick as its newest board member.Quick will serve as a director for District 9, a position that became vacant after the death of Jay Hageman, a long-time EIEC director.

RANKIN — The Rankin Village Board last week approved allowing Rankin Rangers Pub and Grub to extend its hours of operation on Sundays.The bar-and-grill will now be able to open at noon — one hour earlier than it had been — and remain open until midnight — one hour later than it had been.

PAXTON — The developers of three proposed wind farms in Ford County warned the county board Tuesday that they may not be able to proceed with construction under even the least restrictive of proposed regulations being considered by the board.

PAXTON — At first glance, it might not look like a new beauty salon is open in the long-vacant building at 125 N. Market St.“I think when people first look, they’re like, ‘Is that really open yet? I can’t quite tell,’” said the salon’s co-owner, Dawn Stack, admitting that the building appear…

PAXTON — Accolade Healthcare has shut down one of its nursing homes in Paxton but purchased another, making the company the sole provider of long-term care in the Ford County seat.Accolade Healthcare owner Moe Freedman said his firm closed Accolade Healthcare of Paxton, located at 1240 N. Ma…

ANKENY, Iowa — During November, Casey’s General Store is hosting its annual “Dog Tag” promotion to raise funds and awareness for Hope for the Warriors, a national nonprofit dedicated to restoring a sense of self, family and hope for veterans, service members and military families.

BUCKLEY — Whether they are attending a Sunday service at St. John’s Lutheran Church or at a Buckley Village Board meeting, Peggy Shockley and Sue Stachura are constantly being asked when their diner/bakery will finally open.And finally, those inquiring minds have their answer.

GIBSON CITY — Gibson Area Hospital’s Elite Sport & Fitness held its grand opening Thursday in its new location at 619 E. First St. in Gibson City. Attendees toured the completely revamped facility, which was previously an Alco discount retail store. After the store closed, the building h…

PAXTON — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan filed a lawsuit Tuesday against a bed-and-breakfast near Paxton that failed to comply with an order issued by the Illinois Human Rights Commission, which determined the B&B discriminated against a couple based on their sexual orientation.

GIBSON CITY — The developers of a proposed wind farm in the Gibson City and Sibley areas in western Ford County are seeking to extend a special-use permit for the project that is due to expire next month.

KANKAKEE — Officials with Kankakee-based Riverside Healthcare and Watseka-based Iroquois Memorial Hospital (IMH) have each signed a non-binding letter of intent to explore merging IMH into Riverside Healthcare.The letter of intent gives both organizations the chance to work confidentially to…