Expert renowned as livestock consultant, autism spokesperson

Actress Claire Danes portrayed her in an HBO movie. She has the rare distinction of being an expert in the livestock industry and an internationally famous spokesperson on autism — but only after surmounting many obstacles.

Plant to add 2nd stunner in hopes of no more incidents

RANTOUL — Officials at a Rantoul hog-slaughtering plant hope the addition of a second carbon dioxide tunnel will prevent a reoccurrence of an incident earlier this year when two hogs were awake on a line that was taking them to a scalding tank.

Pleasant Acres library aide receives $500 EIEC grant

RANTOUL — Amber Stivers-Anders, a teacher Pleasant Acres Elementary School, has been awarded a $500 Empowering Education Grant from Eastern Illini Electric Cooperative.

Stivers-Anders plans to use the grant money to purchase books about Sept. 11, 2001, so students can learn about 9/11 and how it changed the nation.

Dawson honored for 25 years in business

RANTOUL — Nathan Dawson of Rantoul was recently honored on his 25th anniversary as the owner of Extended Life Appliance Repair.

Dawson started the business, which is based in Rantoul, in 1992 from his home after his retirement as an Air Force senior master sergeant.

The sunshine act: Ribbon-cutting ceremony set for new solar project

RANTOUL — A ribbon-cutting ceremony is scheduled next week to unveil the new 1-megawatt utility-scale solar field that has been constructed in south Rantoul.

The ceremony, scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday, April 21, will be hosted by the village of Rantoul, the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency and Altorfer.

'We're stuck in the old ways for sure': Making guitar amps out of organs

RANTOUL — Music is what brought them together.

Ben Juday’s goal was to become a college professor in geography, but he stopped after he had earned his master’s degree from the University of Illinois.

Brian Perry came to this area to help build a recording studio, Earth Analog, in Tolono.

Amplifier firm moves to Rantoul

RANTOUL — A boutique manufacturer of guitar amplifiers and MIDI controllers constructed from up-cycled Hammond organs has purchased a building in Rantoul.

Analog Outfitters recently moved from Champaign to Building 56 at 701 Pacesetter Drive in Rantoul.

Owned by partners Ben Juday and Brian Perry, the company builds amplifiers and sends them to dealers around the world.

Soaking up the sun: Demonstration field for solar project going up in south Rantoul

RANTOUL — Here comes the sun (make that solar) demonstration project.

On a bright, sunny November day last week, workers were installing some of the 10,000 solar panels in an 8 1/2-acre field in southeast area of the former Chanute Air Force Base.

Eagle Wings plant looking to regroup

RANTOUL — A Rantoul auto parts manufacturer that laid off 50 local temporary and full-time employees last year is expecting to regroup and acquire new customers in the wake of the announcement the Mitsubishi Motors plant would close in Bloomington.

Re-imagine: Project seeks to expand use of former base with food, renewable energy, other projects

Plans for development of a Rantoul food and farm initiative and a renewable energy research center are making the most progress as part of the Rantoul Re-Imagination Project on the former Chanute Air Force Base, a development official told the Rantoul Village Board last week.

And the food and farm initiative appears to be leading the pack in terms of readiness.

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