News briefs: University considers privatization of Willard Airport, asks for proposals

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – The University of Illinois says it is considering hiring a private company to operate Willard Airport.

The University, which owns the money-losing airport, last week asked potential operators to submit information about themselves by Aug. 2.

That’s a preliminary step as the university looks for ways to improve air service at Willard, University Trustee Bob Vickrey said. If the University still considers privatization an option, it would ask for formal proposals, and then select an operator.

Willard has lost $2 million in the fiscal year that ended in June 2006, according to the University.

The University has owned the airport, home to its Institute of Aviation, since 1945, according to Willard’s Web site.

Motorola breaks into three segments

WASHINGTON – Motorola Inc. said Tuesday it realigned its operations into three business segments, a change the company says will better suit the “evolving nature of our customers.”

The realignment will move Motorola’s “Good Technology” enterprise mobile computing software and services division from its mobile devices division, which makes the company’s wireless handsets, and creates most of its revenue.

The “good technology” division, as well as Motorola’s private networks and enterprise mobility businesses, will become a part of the company’s new “enterprise mobility solutions” division, according to the company’s filing with the SEC.

The third division, “home and networks mobility,” will include the company’s video and Internet products and systems for consumers and carriers.

Ill. House OKs incentives to land FutureGen coal power plant

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Illinois House approved a package of economic incentives and legal protections Tuesday in hopes of bringing a cutting-edge power plant to the state.

The $1.5 billion project, dubbed FutureGen, would burn coal but minimize air pollution by storing emissions deep underground.

“With this project, Illinois is going to be the leader not only in the nation but in the world,” said the sponsor, Rep. Kurt Granberg, D-Carlyle.

Illinois is competing against Texas for the project. Two Illinois sites are being considered, one in Tuscola and one in Mattoon. One study found the project could create more than 300 jobs and $20 million in annual wages for Illinois.

Illinois and Texas have until Aug. 1 to finalize offers to the developers, which includes the U.S. Department of Energy.

A decision on the plant’s location is expected in November.

Obama gets endorsement from District of Columbia’s mayor

WASHINGTON – District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty endorsed Democrat Barack Obama on Tuesday.

“Barack Obama is the candidate that can reach across party lines and inspire pride in our government again,” Fenty said.

Not to be outdone, the campaign of the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, New York Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, issued a news release Tuesday announcing her “Mayors Council” – a list of more than 100 present and former mayors who have endorsed her candidacy.

From Associated Press reports