A yellow placard is seen posted in the window of Mandarin Wok, 403 1/2 E. Green St., on Nov. 3. The yellow color means the restaurant failed its health inspection on Oct. 22. The restauraunt passed a reinspection on Nov. 6 and received a green placard.

Roaches and rodent droppings among October health violations

Claire Everett/CU-CitizenAccess.org — Cockroaches, rodent droppings and flies were among dozens of violations that prompted health inspectors to fail four restaurants and shut down three last month. A health inspector found “numerous flies,” rodent droppings and a live cockroach in the dry storage area of Mandarin Wok at 403 1/2 E. Green St. in Champaign during its Oct. 22 inspection. The restaurant received an adjusted score of 29 out of 100 and a yellow “reinspection required” placard.

Champaign County farmer Lin Warfel points to a drainage area on his property on Nov. 5, 2014. Warfel is among the many farmers who oppose the Waters of the U.S. proposed rule.

Central Illinois farmers rally against proposed water rule

By Robert Holly/CU-CitizenAccess.org — Thousands of agriculture groups and independent farmers – including many from Champaign and other central-Illinois counties – are using a public comment window to express concern over federally proposed water regulation. The proposed Waters of the U.S. rule is a joint-proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. The rule aims to clarify which bodies of water the two federal agencies can lawfully regulate. The agriculture industry has largely opposed the rule, as farmers argue it will impede on their operations through unnecessary and unclear regulation. “It’s very concerning,” said Lin Warfel, a corn and soybean farmer from just outside Tolono.

Seven Saints in downtown Champaign
on Wednesday, November 5, 2014. photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

Small business development lagging in Champaign County

Sarah Soenke/For CU-CitizenAccess.org— Champaign County small business development is still struggling under setbacks from the Great Recession and have not returned to pre-recession conditions, said a county economic development official. Small business start-ups are still often unprepared for the amount of owner investment required by local commercial banks, said Kathy Larson, economic development specialist for the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission. “In general, our clients have been struggling due to the lingering effects of the recession,” Larson said. “They are finding it more difficult to find the amount of financial support they would like.”

Lending regulations have changed to enforce higher criteria levels and a 20 percent to 25 percent down payment from business owners. But the lack of small business growth in the county can also be attributed to fewer applications for loans.

Fear Factor Training- Champaign fire department Lt. Mike Kling demonstrates how in just over three minutes fire can build in a room without a sprinkler to students at the Illinois Fire Service Institute
on Saturday, September 27, 2014.

Cooking, trash spark dozens of university fires

By Robert Holly/CU-CitizenAccess.org — There were 10 university housing fires last year, most of which were caused by cooking gone wrong. One housing fire, however, was intentionally ignited. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign’s Campus Code Compliance and Fire Safety division detailed the fires in its Annual Fire Safety Report for 2013, which it released at the end of September. The University is required to update the public on campus security and fire safety each year under federal regulations and the Jeanne Clery Act. Mapping Fires on Campus

Click to see an interactive map showing where the most fires occur around the campus.