News briefs: Main Street Trust will sell branches to merge with First Busey Corp.

By Jenette Sturges

Main Street Trust plans to sell five branches of its banks, in Champaign, Urbana and Mahomet, to Freestar Bank in preparation for its merger with First Busey Corporation.

According to a press release from Main Street Trust, the sale of the branches was required by the United States Department of Justice before the merger could be finalized. The sale is set to occur some time in the fourth quarter of 2007. The merger with First Busey is set to be completed following the close of business on July 31.

The branches being sold to Freestar include: 1611 S. Prospect Ave. in Champaign, 631 E. Green St. in Champaign, 1819 S. Philo Road in Urbana, 410 N. Broadway Ave. in Urbana and a branch in the Eastwood Shopping Center in Mahomet.

University to offer hands-on course in community development this fall

Students looking to get more involved with community development in Champaign may get their chance with a new course offered by the University this fall.

Community Development Workshop on North West Champaign is a six-hour course that will be held Fridays this upcoming semester.

Taught by Ken Salo in the Urban and Regional Planning program, the course will allow students to engage in the community by identifying and mapping environmental justice issues in Champaign. According to a press release, students will work with grass-roots community organizations, city officials and development professionals to map the neighborhood community development problems and help to identify how city plans and practices for community development are facilitated or challenged in these neighborhoods.

The applied course will involve students in fieldwork and meetings with city of Champaign officials as well as give students the opportunity to learn about neighborhood organizing.

For more information, contact Ken Salo at [email protected]

Compiled by Jenette Sturges