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U of I Community Credit Union donating 100 backpacks of school supplies to Urbana students

If you're searching for a little good news in this crazy world in which we live, here's some: The U of I Community Credit Union has collected 100 backpacks full of school supplies that they'll be donating to the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center for students in need.

The bags were collected as part of UICCU's Creating Member Loyalty program, which seeks to promote service culture throughout Champaign-Urbana - something that we always could use a little more of.

The donation ceremony will take place this Friday, July 29th at 6 p.m. at the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center, and the public are invited. For more info, check out the press release here:

Champaign, IL – U of I Community Credit Union will be donating 100 backpacks filled with school supplies to the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, July 29th.

As the final phase of their rebrand, U of I Community Credit Union launched Creating Member Loyalty™ in order to advance their service culture for both internal and external members. During the kickoff meeting, staff took a break to form an assembly line and fill backpacks with school supplies to be donated to the Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center. This was representative of the service they want to provide to external members as well as celebrating the community spirit.

“We are committed to this community,” said Chris Harlan, Executive Vice President/Chief Operating Officer. “UNCC shares this commitment and the desire to provide service to families in need within our community.”
The Urbana Neighborhood Connections Center’s vision is for a healthy, compassionate, progressive community where all children and families have access to services and support that empowers successful development. To bring that vision to reality, UNCC provides quality educational, social-emotional, spiritual and recreational enrichments to youth and their families within the context of a safe, structured and nurturing environment.

U of I Community Credit Union is a not-for-profit, member-owned cooperative that provides a wide range of financial products and services to anyone who lives or works in Champaign, Ford, Piatt, Douglas, and Vermillion, IL counties as well as University of Illinois employees and other select employee groups. To learn more, visit uoficreditunion.org.

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City of Champaign hosting free small business development session on Friday

For those of you interested in starting a small business, the City of Champaign will be hosting a (totally free) small business development information session on Friday, July 29th from 8:30-9:30 a.m. at the Illinois Small Business Development Center at the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation. 

During this session, the City's incentives for small businesses will be laid out, and a seemingly daunting process will be simplified by those who know how to make businesses succeed, all for the low price of nothing.

For more information, check out the City of Champaign's Facebook post below:

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Is this Craigslist job posting for Portillo’s in Champaign real, or bullshit?

With the news that Portillo's is "considering" opening in Champaign-Urbana after news broke they were opening in Bloomington — this mysterious Craigslist posting has appeared. Full text:

Portillo's coming to Champaign, IL in 2016!!!!

Ever wonder what it's like to work for a restaurant with sales topping millions of dollars every year? Are you ready to take the next step in building your food service career with a Chicagoland legend? Portillo's Restaurant Group is looking for experienced Restaurant Managers who understand that operating a high volume restaurant requires leadership, a focus on providing quality food, and a commitment to excellent customer service.

As a Restaurant Manager you will spend your day running a fast paced, high volume, quick service kitchen. Successful Restaurant Managers will simultaneously focus on motivating crew members, controlling costs and building sales. At the end of the day, our Restaurant Managers are able go home with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.

"What's cool about working at Portillo's is that each day is different"

"Everyone wants to see you succeed so they give you the tools that you need to get to the next level"

"I started out as an employee and I was promoted within five years to General Manager"

If you are looking for a job that is fun, has a great team atmosphere and allows you build a career in food service management, then Portillo's is the place for you!

Benefits:

As a Restaurant Manager with Portillo's, you will be part of a Chicagoland institution. Today, after 50 years of providing award-winning food, we have over 4,000 employees, 40 locations in four states, and do 27 million transactions a year. We are continuously expanding, and that success allows us to support your success with growth opportunities. In addition we offer you a comprehensive, multifaceted 14-week training program that combines on-the-job mentoring with classroom instruction at our Corporate Training Center in Oak Brook, IL.

Here's some of what we have to offer:
•Generous salary
•Bonus program
•Advancement opportunities! We promote 100% from within
•Medical, dental and vision coverage
•Life insurance
•Paid vacation
•401(k) plan with company match
•Uniform allowance
•Meal Discounts

Requirements:

Successful candidates in the Restaurant Manager role enjoy working in a fast paced environment and are comfortable leading and motivating team members. You will also understand that effectively delegating tasks is the key to meeting our overall goal of providing quality food and service to our guests.

Additional qualifications for the position include:
•High school diploma or equivalent
•2 - 3 years of RECENT experience as a Restaurant Manager in high volume quick service restaurants
•Must be 21 years or older
•Availability to work 5 shifts for 10 hours including nights and weekends
•Proven experience in recruiting, training and motivating food service team
•Strong leadership skills
•Positive track record of controlling costs
•Current Sanitation and B.A.S.S.E.T. alcohol service training a plus

We're currently awaiting word back about this from the listing.

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Allerton Park announces Bluegrass on the Prairie concert on August 5th

One of the many assets we have for live music in the greater Champaign-Urbana is Allerton Park, which has been throwing some awesome concerts of all genres (and for all ages) for the past few years.

On August 5th, they're back with Henhouse Prowlers and the Ben Miller Band for a night of bluegrass in Allerton's meadow.

For more info, check out Allerton's press release below:

Allerton’s August concert features bluegrass in the Meadow

Monticello – Allerton Park and Retreat Center will host their Bluegrass on the Prairie concert, presented by the U of I Community Credit Union, on Friday, August 5 at 6pm, at the estate, 515 Old Timber Road, Monticello.

Back for their third year performing at Allerton, Chicago’s Henhouse Prowlers will kick things off, playing original material inspired by the roots of bluegrass, as well as traditional songs and contemporary covers.  Then, fresh off their European tour, the Ben Miller Band will take the stage with music featuring elements of folk, blues, bluegrass, and country. Concert-goers will also be able to enjoy food and drinks available for purchase, including selections from The Caribbean Grill Food Truck.

The past two concerts at Allerton – June’s Irish Fest and July’s Reds, Whites, and the Blues – have brought out over 1,000 attendees to enjoy live music in the unique outdoor setting on Allerton’s Gate House Lawn. August’s Bluegrass on the Prairie will be the first performance held in the rolling 14-acre Meadow.

“Bluegrass is always one of our most popular shows,” said Derek Peterson, Associate Director at Allerton Park. “Holding the concert in the Meadow allows us to increase capacity, and it’s also a great test-run for September’s concert with Rusted Root.”

The Allerton Festival on September 16 will feature popular 90’s rock band Rusted Root, along with “The Voice” contestant Lupe Carroll and the University of Illinois’ steel band I-Pan. Nearly 400 tickets have already been sold, and organizers are expecting approximately 2,000 attendees. 

“We’ve had a great response so far, and are looking forward to hosting people from all over the region at Allerton,” Peterson explained. “The direction we’re moving is a festival-type atmosphere. Maybe multi-day events. We’re not there yet, but that is the direction we’re heading.”

The concerts are made possible with the support of presenting sponsor, the University of Illinois Community Credit Union, as well as: the News-Gazette, The Ayers Family, Illinois Public Media, Country Arbors, The Friends of Allerton, Kirby Medical Center, AHW LLC, The Atkins Group, Champaign Surplus, Champaign-Urbana Mass Transit District (MTD), The Herbold Family Trust, Kelly’s Accounting Service, Inc., Kennedy Hutson Associates, and Sterling Wealth Management.

There is a fee at the gate. Food and drink will be available for purchase and guests should bring blankets or chairs. For the complete 2016 concert schedule and more information visit allerton@illinois.edu or call (217) 333-3287.

Photo by the Allerton Park Photography Group

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Teenage Ghosts announces new EP, debuts “Apocalypse Times” video

Punk-shoegaze outfit Teenage Ghosts are releasing their first new material in five years. Entitled Revelations, the new EP will be off of C-U’s own Heirship Records. The label will also be releasing the band’s 2011 album Dreams, which had previously been out of print. 

The first single from Revelations is the pleasingly somnolent “Apocalypse Times,” an immersive, winding shoegaze experience that pulls you into its tunnel. The single comes coupled with a psychedelic video that pulls you through actual (well, virtual) tunnels.

"Apocalypse Times" prefaces an EP that will be a fresh new take on the drone scene in C-U, even if it’s actually an old one.

Revelations is set to officially drop on August 12th. You can preorder it now on the group's bandcamp page. 

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The GOALS Project a finalist in tech makeover contest

C-U nonprofit, The GOALS Project, is excited to announce they made it to the final round of voting for the R.K. Dixon "Make My Nonprofit Better Contest," where they have a chance to win a $15,000 technology makeover!

Support some of our community's most vulnerable members — teen parents and their children — by voting daily for the The GOALS Project at mmnprb.com (every device gets a vote!).

Thank you!

The GOALS Project is a 501c3 organization that empowers teen parents to improve their lives and the lives of their children. We offer mentorship, workshops, and support to teen parents as they tackle educational, career, and parenting goals. Check out our youtube video for more information on our group, and this contest.

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Virginia Theatre offering VT Series subscription program

For those of you who love the theatre (and specifically, The Virginia Theatre's stacked lineup this year), the Champaign Park District has announced a sweet program.

Regular single-show tickets go on sale August 19th, but if you want to get a jump on the action, you can become a subscriber to the Virginia by purchasing four tickets from the schedule (attached below) right now, eliminating the wait until mid-August and throwing in a discount for good measure.

If you bump your ticket order up to six shows, you'll also get to go to every film at The Virginia this year (excluding Ebertfest and special events) for free.

For more info on the program, click over to The Virginia here, and for a full schedule of shows, see the list below.

2016-2017 “VT SERIES”

8/4-6, 7:30pm, 8/7, 2pm | Champaign Urbana Theatre Company presents OKLAHOMA!

9/30, 8pm | Grace Potter

10/15, 7pm | That’s What She Said

10/29, 7pm | Masks, Music, and Merlot, with the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra

11/1, 7:30pm | Nick Offerman

11/3, 7:30pm | The Manhattan Transfer & Take 6 present “The Summit”

1/28, 7:30pm | Ricky Skaggs

3/4, 7:30pm | The MOTH Radio Hour

4/1, 7:30pm | Under the Streetlamp

5/6, 11am & 4pm | Cinderella presented by the CU Ballet

7/1, 7pm | Ice Cream & Independence

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Jay Moses releases new EP, The Thirst Vol. 1

Jay Moses has dropped a new EP, The Thirst Vol. 1, via TheGr8Thinkaz Soundcloud page. The project runs seven songs long, features production from TheGr8Thinkaz' own Rokmore on five songs and frequent collaborator H. Kal-El on two songs, and guest vocal appearances by Gr8Sky  and Klevah of TheGr8Thinkaz and Cii La'Cole. The new EP's title track, The Thirst, was released last fall to praise from our own Boswell Hutson, and last summer's Champaign Dreams: 1999 also found a spot on this release as the closing track. Check out the music video for Champaign Dreams: 1999, directed by local videographer FlyShotz, here on the FlyShotz YouTube page.

The album details the personal struggles and triumphs of Jay Moses's life as an aspring rapper. The production style throughout is spacey and chill, with lots of Rokmore's signature jazzy style and boom-bap drums providing a fitting canvas for Jay's smooth vocal flow and sometimes introspective lyrics. 

Earlier this year TheGr8Thinkaz' member Gr8Sky released his own EP, 5 pts, and TheGr8Thinkaz' member Klevah teamed up with T.R.U.T.H to release Mother Nature, the self titled debut LP from that duo, out on vinyl via Heirship Records. The trend of hip-hop's growing cache on the local scene seems to be going strong through 2016.

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U of I not considering selling beer at Illini football games

Sad news, Illini fans. During an interview with WCIA, University of Illinois Athletic Director Josh Whitman has revealed that of all the things facing the embattled U of I athletic programs, alcohol sales at Memorial Stadium during home games are not a high priority moving forward, despite previous press and legislation that would suggest otherwise

This will be especially hard on State Senator Chapin Rose, who gave one of the most rousing defenses of the sale of beer at Illini games that I have ever read, saying: 

I would hope they take into account that it doesn’t seem to be really fair to me that the rich guys get to eat their cheese and drink their wine in the expensive suites but the rest of us plebes can’t have a beer.

Who knows, maybe with Lovie at the helm Illini games will be do-able without beer. It's possible, I guess. But if the team wins like four games or something like they usually do, the least us fans should be able to get out of it is a cold brew. Sigh. I guess there's always next year.

Photo by FightingIllini.com