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Josh Whitman proposes a ban on players with violent histories

During Big Ten media days, U of I athletic director Josh Whitman announced that his department is drafting a proposal to ban athletes with a history of sexual assault or domestic violence from playing for the university. Seems like a step in the right direction for a problem that can be rampant in college and professional sports.

The Chicago Tribune has the full story.

Photo from the News-Gazette.


New outfit Designer Dog releases single

New alternative/garage rock band, Designer Dog releases their first ever single today, "White Picket Fence." The band consists of members from Finer Feelings and ex members of Penny Horses, not making this their first go around. Designer Dog has become the project that allows these members to really show their personalities outside of their other bands. Honestly, after listening to the little music available on their bandcamp, I'm pretty fucking pumped, this stuff is promising. Definitely lookout for this band in the future.

The band will be playing SvenStock on August 5th and donating any proceeds from the song to Imerman Angels, which is the same cause benefiting from SvenStock.

Check out the song "White Picket Fence" below and if you like it, or music in general and helping a great cause, think about attending SvenStock, more on the festival here.

Photo by Ashley Laine and Remy Tipei.

Brewlab Coffee and Hopscotch Bakery hosting grand opening bike party this Friday

Good news, good people of Champaign-Urbana. With the help of Neutral Cycle, two of C-U's newest businesses, Brewlab Coffee and Hopscotch Bakery will be celebrating their recent opening with a bike party this Friday.

The party, which will last from 9 am to 7 pm, will feature all of the coffee and baked goods your heart could desire, provided you can bike from one to the other.

To make things easier, Neutral Cycle has even outlined a recommended bike map for those choosing to jump between the two grand openings.

For more information, make sure to RSVP to the Facebook event here, and read the description below:

You're invited to a once in a lifetime grand opening party for BrewLab Coffee and Hopscotch Bakery + Market!

Grab your bike and your friends and join us this Friday for our grand opening celebration! The first 200 people to visit both locations (on bike) will receive a commemorative limited edition poster with purchase!

What an exciting time to be in Champaign-Urbana!

(Recommended bike route posted below)

Friday, July 28
9am - 7pm
Hopscotch Bakery + Market: 802 W. John St. Champaign
BrewLab Coffee: 630 S. Fifth St. Champaign


Triptych Brewing plans to purchase new building; will expand production

This morning, The News-Gazette is reporting that Triptych Brewing will expand their operation to a newly-purchased building across the street from their current location in Savoy.

The new location, which will be used for expanded production, was approved by the Savoy Village Board by a unanimous decision. This, in turn, will allow for expanded seating at the current tap room, as well as the potential for Triptych to produce enough volume to warrant a distributor. The project is expected to be finished by March 1st, 2018.

For more information, check out the full News-Gazette feature here, and read a selected snippet below:

Four years after opening, Triptych Brewing Co. is planning to double its production capacity at a facility across the street.

The co-owner of the microbrewery that opened in February 2013 said it has outgrown its location at 1703 Woodfield Drive.

"Our beer has been well-received, and we've basically signed a distribution agreement with a distributor, so we're sending our beer all the way out to the Quad Cities, and we're also sending it all the way up to Chicago," said James Voigtlander. "We just don't have a big enough system to brew it in the batch sizes we need."

The Savoy Planning Commission unanimously recommended to the village board a special-use permit for the new building and an amended special-use permit at the current building.

"We're thrilled to have the opportunity to stay here in Savoy," said co-owner Lyle Amacher. "We have a good, local customer base, and we're looking to continue to be a good neighbor to the surrounding community."

Triptych plans to buy the Flooring Surfaces Inc. store across the road and move most of its production to that building, where customers will be able to take tours, Voigtlander said.


Staerkel Planetarium will be hosting a weekend trip to see next month’s solar eclipse

On August 21st at 11:53 am, the moon will begin to cover the sun in what is the first coast-to-coast solar eclipse since 1918. It just so happens that one of the most optimal places in the country to view the eclipse is south of C-U, within the confines of Illinois.

To celebrate, Parkland College's Staerkel Planetarium (in conjunction with the C-U Astronomical Society and the Twin City Amateur Astronomers) is offering accommodation in southern Illinois for your eclipse viewing pleasure.

For more information about the eclipse as a whole, check out Parkland's write-up here, and for information on how you can register to go on their trip, check out this snippet below:

The William M. Staerkel Planetarium is partnering with the Champaign-Urbana Astronomical Society and Twin City Amateur Astronomers (from Bloomington-Normal) to offer a weekend of observing from Camp Ondessonk (, a Catholic youth camp located southeast of Marion and just south of Ozark, Illinois. The camp can provide rustic lodging and all meals for $115 per person. CUAS and TCAA will provide educational workshops on Sunday, the day before the eclipse, plus a dark-sky star party on Sunday night (weather permitting). Meals will be served in the camp dining hall. Tent camping is also allowed. If you would like to join us on our eclipse trek, you need to register by August 1. Point your web browser to for more information. The planetarium will not be accepting registrations and there will be no event at the planetarium on the day of the eclipse.

Let’s hope for clear weather! IF we miss this event, the next “Great American Eclipse” will be on April 8, 2024!

The planetarium will be including information about the eclipse during our Friday night “Prairie Skies” star show. For more information on this event and how to observe it, go to the Staerkel Planetarium’s website and click on the image of the solar eclipse.


Carol Ammons will not run for US Representative against Rodney Davis

Although State Rep. Carol Ammons had Champaign-Urbana fired-up about the 2018 election (a year and a half in advance), tonight, via an email, she has officially stated that she will not seek Rodney "Hot Rod" Davis' seat for the 13th district of Illinois.

For more information, check out Rep. Ammons' official statement below:

For the past two months, I have been considering a run for Illinois’ 13th Congressional seat in 2018. To determine if I should run, I held listening sessions throughout the district and spoke with hundreds of people about their concerns. If I wasn’t able to make it to your community, it was simply that time didn’t coincide with my ongoing work in Springfield and I hope to visit your community in the near future.

Throughout all the listening sessions, across the 13th - whether it was Champaign-Urbana or Edwardsville, the one thing that I have heard over and over is that the things impacting the lives of Illinoisans on a day-to-day basis, the things that are pushing people into survival mode, and crushing families - those are primarily state issues. Issues that have been exacerbated by the Governor’s refusal to negotiate, to enact a budget, and his disdain for the working people of Illinois. Issues that if he has another term, will destroy our state.

What I heard at the listening sessions, loudest and clearest, is that right now where I am needed is in state government. It is with the deepest thank you for what you have shared with me and the support and encouragement you have so freely given, that I have to say at this time I am choosing to not run for the 13th Congressional District in 2018.

If you contributed to the exploratory campaign: THANK YOU. I appreciate your generous and strong statement of support. Your contribution was used to travel the 13th, host events, and any remaining balance after reimbursing several volunteers who drove me hundreds of miles, will be donated to local not-for-profit organizations struggling because of the Governor's budget impasse.

If you signed up to volunteer: THANK YOU. I appreciate your willingness to volunteer your time and energy. Just because I am not running for Congress does not mean we’re done. There is a lot of work ahead for all of us in the coming election. I’ll be reaching out to you again shortly to help me fight for our state.

Please know that I did not make this decision lightly. I see what’s happening on the national stage and believe me; I share your concern. The purpose of the exploratory committee was to hear what you wanted and what I heard you say is that you want a stable state government. Although many people have asked me to run for Congress many more have asked me to remain a voice in Springfield, and right now, that’s where I need to be, and that’s what I promise to do.

Make no mistake - I will still be using my voice to hold Congressman Davis accountable in the coming election. He voted to take health coverage away from more than 50,000 of his constituents and has refused to honor his constituent’s requests for town halls - voters in every corner of his district must be reminded of this before Tuesday, November 6th, 2018.

Thank you for your support during this exploratory process and I look forward to working with you in 2018 to elect a new Governor and a new Congressperson who will put people and the planet first because Illinois cannot endure another four years of Governor Rauner.




Tigerbeat “breaks” into new album

Local indie/folk band, Tigerbeat, recently released a teaser for their new album Breaking Away, showing a tiny glimpse of John Isberg in front of the camera for once. It gives a deeper look into the studio work they're doing with James Treichler here in Champaign. This will be Tigerbeat's first release in almost four years. Check it out and get ready for the full release to come soon.


Three Spinners is collecting school supplies for C-U youth in need

While many of us used to dread back to school season due to the inevitable conclusion of summer, the purchase of school supplies is something that many take for granted each year.

To remedy this, Three Spinners, a C-U non-profit, will be collecting unused school supplies to give to immigrants, refugees and unaccompanied minors in Champaign-Urbana's various school districts.

For more information on how you can donate, and about what specific materials are sought, check out Three Spinners' Facebook post below:


Look at these neat weather photos from yesterday’s storm over Champaign County

Weather is neat. Andrew Pritchard has written for us in the past about all-things weather related in Champaign County — but he snapped some cool ones yesterday during the storm. Check out his full timeline for more, but here's a quick look:


Unit 4 to host open house on the new Dr. Howard School this Wednesday

Dr. Howard Elementary School on University Avenue in Champaign will look a little different in the coming years, and to make the public aware of these changes, Champaign's Unit 4 School District will be hosting an open house this coming Wednesday night (7/26) to talk about ideas and thoughts about the new building, as Unit 4 begins the design stage.

The open house, which will last from 6 - 7 pm, will be held at Dr. Howard Elementary (1117 W. Park, Champaign) and is open to the public.

For more information, check out this flier from Unit 4 Schools below: