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The Canopy Club announces two nights with Young the Giant in 2015

The Canopy Club in Urbana is proud to announce a two-night stand with Young The Giant — February 28th & March 1st, 2015. Tickets will go on sale this Friday, November 21st at 10am CST via canopyclub.com, by phone 1-800-514-ETIX or locally at the Canopy Club, Manolo's Pizza & Empanadas and Exile on Main Street.

For their highly anticipated second album Mind Over Matter, Young The Giant enlisted Grammy-nominated producer Justin Meldal-Johnsen — known for his work with such diverse artists as Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Paramore, and M83. Featuring the electrifying lead single “It’s About Time,” the collection of songs finds the young band challenging themselves both lyrically and musically. Mind Over Matter follows the band’s debut, Young The Giant, which featured singles as “Apartment” and the RIAA gold certified smashes, “My Body” and “Cough Syrup." 

Young The Giant spent much of 2011 and 2012 traveling the globe, with sold out headline tours, top-billing on mtvU’s inaugural “Woodies Tour,” and show-stopping appearances at such festivals as Bonnaroo, Austin City Limits, and Lollapalooza.





Gender equality is coming to Christmas

If you're taking your little one out to Market Place Mall this season, he or she will not only have the opportunity to sit on Santa's lap, but now will be able to sit with Mrs. Claus for a Christmas story. I wonder if she gets paid 78 cents compared to his dollar just like the rest of the women in this country? She's still likely making better money than the elves. 


Two U of I admin tapped for governor-elect Rauner’s transition team

According to Illinois Public Media, two current U of I administrators, Chancellor Phyllis Wise and Trustee Ed McMillan, have been tapped for governor-elect Bruce Rauner's transition team. Rauner has reached out to a total of three higher ed administrators; the third is Glenn Poshard, a former Congressman and newly retired president of Southern Illinois University. The team will advise Rauner on issues that persistently affect higher education in Illinois.


Women's Resource Center to host free screening of The Punk Singer

The Women's Resource Center is hosting a free screening of The Punk Singer this Thursday, a film that explores the life and music of Kathleen Hanna. The screening takes place at 7 p.m. on the second floor of 703 S. Wright. Here is some more info about the film:

Kathleen Hanna, lead singer of the punk band Bikini Kill and dance-punk trio Le Tigre, rose to national attention as the reluctant but never shy voice of the “riot grrrl” movement. She became one of the most famously outspoken feminist icons, a cultural lightning rod. Her critics wished she would just shut-up, and her fans hoped she never would. So in 2005, when Hanna stopped shouting, many wondered why. Through 20 years of archival footage and intimate interviews with Hanna, The Punk Singer takes viewers on a fascinating tour of contemporary music and offers a never-before-seen view into the life of this fearless leader.


Urbana is the most bike friendly town in Illinois

Each year, the League of American Bicyclists ranks cities for their bike-friendliness depending on their infrastructure, bike education and other relevant factors. Today they released this year's rankings, revealing that Urbana has the highest ranking in Illinois with a "Gold" rank.

From Neutral Cycle's blog:

"Urbana has moved up from a Bronze award in 2010 to a Gold award this year, making it the highest-rated city in Illinois!  To get a feeling for how significant it is to be given a Gold rating, take a look at some of the other cities we share this rating with: San Francisco, Euguene, Seattle, Madison, etc.  And so no one in CU feels left out, I should mention that Champaign was given a Bronze rating, certainly nothing to scoff at."

Here's the scale on which cities are ranked:



Stream a new Motes single: “Freeway”

Motes are quietly one of the most talented local bands in C-U. If you had any doubts about that, their new single “Freeway” is debuted here to set you straight. The see-saw of Elizabeth Majerus’ and Matt Mitchells’ vocals eventually slide together to form harmonies, then break apart again. In the background are whimsical instrumentals—friendly bass lines and poppy guitar bits, segmented with jazzy taps of the cymbal. Simple indie rock for the ages.

Motes are playing a Smile Politely + buzz presents show at Cowboy Monkey this Friday with The Chemicals and Terminus Victor. The show will also be an Heirship Records showcase. For more information, check out the Facebook event and stream "Freeway" below.


Triptych Brewing launches Frequent Filler’s Club

Here's an opportunity that fans of Triptych Brewing in Savoy might be very interested in hearing more about. As of today, the brewery has launched a Freqent Filler's Club — which gets you some good perks if you're, well, a frequent filler.

Check out the information below, posted on their website. Check out Jess's recent feature on Triptych.

The Frequent Filler's Club is our way of recognizing and rewarding our customers who make having fresh Triptych beer a priority. Upon joining the club, all members receive their very own 32oz stainless steel growler. Membership costs $45 for the first year, with annual renewal costing $25 each subsequent year.

Membership benefits

  • 15% off every growler fill of your 32oz Frequent Filler Club growler
  • 20% off all Triptych merchandise (excluding glass growlers)
  • You're the first to receive invitations to all special ticketed Triptych events including: beer release parties, beer dinners, and holiday gatherings
  • Exclusive access to other limited edition merchandise (coming soon!)

Champaign County Law Enforcement honors WCIA's Dave Benton

From the press release:

Champaign County Law Enforcement honors WCIA Anchor Dave Benton

When: Wed November 19th, 2014; 10:30 a.m. Where: Champaign Police Department Multi-purpose room; Second Floor

82 E. University Ave; Champaign, IL Contact Person: Sheriff Dan Walsh 217-384-1205

The Champaign County Chiefs Association will be thanking Dave Benton for his many years of support and assistance. The Chiefs will be
announcing the creation of “The Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award”.

The Dave Benton Crime Fighter Award

This award is established by Crime Stoppers of Champaign County in honor of our Board member and WCIA Anchor Dave Benton. This award will recognize the Champaign County citizen who most exemplifies the crime-fighting spirit that Dave Benton exhibited during his award-winning newscasts and his tenure on the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors. He will always be remembered as “The Crime Fighting Anchor”.

Award Criteria (in the words of Dave Benton, with help from his co-host and friend, Carol Vorel):

“We want to make sure it’s open to as many people as possible in Champaign County, knowing we can’t honor people who call or text Crime Stoppers because the award would then ID them. So we’d like it to be open to any police officer or sheriff’s deputy, board member of Champaign County Crime Stoppers and the general public – someone who helps to stop a crime or is involved in their Neighborhood Watch Program and has been making a difference – maybe even a member of a Home Owners’ Association who has done great things to fight crime and make their neighborhood safer and better. They must have been involved in an activity or program that helped to stop crime, solve a case or make a big difference in a bad situation that made their neighborhood, community or Champaign County better.” 


Prairie Fruits Farm Holiday Open House

Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery is inviting everyone out to shop local for this holiday season. We are opening up the farm Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-6 p.m. for your local holiday food and shopping needs. We will also have open hours from 12-4 on Sundays, and you can find us at the indoor Farmer's Market inside Lincoln Square Mall from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Saturdays.

Starting on November 19th, the farm will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., with an Open House from 4-6 p.m. We will have goat's milk cheeses and gelato available, as well as house made crackers, jams, jellies, pickles, preserves and more. We also have t-shirts, goat's milk soaps, and other PFF merchandise that makes for great hostess gifts and stocking stuffers. Some of our farmer/artisan friends will be joining us as well. So, we will have breads/bagels/baked goods; organic produce; farm fresh eggs and hand spun yarn; and knife sharpening while you shop. It will be the perfect time to get a jump start on Thanksgiving!

Also, to help with your Thanksgiving plans — we are offering a holiday catering menu that features locally sourced ingredients, prepared by the PFF chefs. For the full menu, and ordering — check out our website — www.prairiefruits.com/holiday-food-menu. But, don't delay — orders are taken now through November 22nd at 5 pm.

Thank you! And Happy Holidays from the staff and goats at Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery!


Urbana #116’s Owen selected for National Connected Superintendents Summit

From the press release:

Donald D. Owen Selected for National Connected Superintendents Summit 
Wednesday at White House

Urbana – Dr. Donald D. Owen, superintendent of the Urbana School District #116, has been invited by the U.S. Department of Education as one of 100 top school leaders from across America to participate in the first-ever National Connected Superintendents Summit Wednesday, November 19th at the White House.

Dr. Owen remarked, “It is an honor to be invited to the Connected Superintendents’ Summit. I look forward to learning from my colleagues as we discuss transforming education to help all our students become ‘Future Ready.”

Superintendent Owen is among exemplary local school chiefs who will be recognized for their leadership in helping transition their districts to digital learning. This unique conference will bring together officials from throughout America to share with one another and the Education Department promising approaches to using technology in classes.

“Technology in the classroom is a vital piece of the district's overall strategic plan,” said Paul Poulosky, USD #116 Board of Education member. “It enables teaching the 21st century skills our students need while simultaneously increasing collaboration, strengthening student engagement, increasing accessibility to education, and lowering costs.”  

“School districts across the country are helping teachers harness the power of technology to create personal learning environments for all students,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.  “We want to make sure every child – whether he or she is in the inner-city, in a rural community or on a Native American reservation – has access to knowledge and the chance to learn 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The White House summit will be followed by a series of 12-15 regional summits that will focus on the digital progress both made and possible by local school districts.  The events will also include the unveiling of digital tools that facilitate incorporation of technology into short-term and long-range education planning.

“When technology is thoughtfully planned and implemented, it provides a rich classroom experience for both students and teachers,” said Kevin Erlinger, technology coordinator at Urbana Middle School. “Leadership in providing vision is key for this to happen. Dr. Owen is a driving force in technology leadership in our district.”

To help spotlight the value of technology in schools, the Education Department is sponsoring a Future Ready Initiative aimed at showcasing outstanding school leadership and strategies.

“The Future Ready Initiative highlights the critical role of district leaders in setting a vision and creating the environment where educators and students access the tools, content, and expertise necessary for thriving in a connected world,” saidRichard Culatta, director of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology.

Future Ready superintendents demonstrate effective use of technology in some of the following ways:

  • Fostering and leading a culture of collaboration and digital citizenship;
  • Transitioning schools and families to high-speed connectivity;
  • Empowering educators with professional learning opportunities;
  • Accelerating progress toward universal access to quality devices;
  • Providing access to quality digital content;
  • Creating access, equity, and excellence – particularly in rural, remote, and low-income districts;
  • Offering digital tools to students and families to help them prepare for success in college;
  • Sharing best practices and mentoring other districts in the transition to digital learning.

“Technology has the potential to transform education in America, allowing students to learn more, to do so at their own pace, and to develop the knowledge and skills employers demand,” Culatta said. “And yet, fewer than 30 percent of classrooms have the broadband internet to support today’s education technology needs.”

In June 2013, President Obama announced the ConnectED Initiative, starting with a goal of connecting 99 percent of students to next-generation connectivity within five years. Model schools and districts across the country are using technology to create personalized learning environments; technology will play an increasingly crucial role in the future.

For more on the work of the Department’s Office of Educational Technology, including resources for students, parents and educators, click here.


Urbana School District #116 is a unit district located in east central Illinois. Our outstanding schools in an outstanding community comprise of an early childhood school, six neighborhood elementary schools, a middle school, a high school, and an adult education center. Urbana High School is celebrating their 100th anniversary through-out the 2014-15 school year. The Joseph Royer designed building opened doors to it’s first students on Monday, November 24, 1914. To discover more about our award winning schools and students, please visit www.usd116.org. You can find us on Facebook at USD116 or follow us on Twitter: @Urbana116.