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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.

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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

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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 (https://ondessonk.com), 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 https://ondessonk.com/event/2017-great-american-eclipse-event/ 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.

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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:

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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:

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Audiofeed Festival featured in The Guardian

Renown British newspaper, The Guardian, stopped by Champaign-Urbana's own Audiofeed Music Festival last month to discover an interesting cross-section of American humanity: metal heads, Christians and general festival fans.

If you've never been to Audiofeed, held every year at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, it truly is a remarkable amalgamation of people - on one hand, it's the typical festival atmosphere, but on the other, it has a religious tilt, unlike the bulk of music festivals in America today. This, in turn, leads to a melting pot that creates one of the most unique festival atmospheres in existence.

To read the full feature, check out The Guardian's article here, and read an excerpt from the story below:

At the beginning of July, I photographed Audiofeed, a Christian rock and metal festival in Illinois.

This was a bit of a reunion for me. As a teenager growing up in the evangelical subculture, I was a huge fan of Christian hard rock and metal in the early 2000s. The music helped me feel adventurous and unique, and it was an important way for me to craft an identity. I lost track of the scene after going to college, but I never stopped enjoying the music.

Since 1984, every Christian punk’s dream was to play at a festival called Cornerstone – a weeklong bohemian campout commonly likened to a Christian Woodstock. Cornerstone went defunct in 2012, and Audiofeed is in part an attempt to reunite the Cornerstone crowd, some of whom have moved on from Christian rock or from evangelical Christianity altogether. One of this year’s headliners, David Bazan, is a vocal ex-evangelical.

I came to this festival to get a clearer picture of what the next generation of post-culture war evangelicals will look like. A veteran of the festival recalled the days he couldn’t wear his Slayer T-shirt in church. Attending this festival made me wonder what kinds of things the current generation of evangelicals may be more tolerant of in, say, 20 years.

Top photo by KC McGinnis

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State Senator Scott Bennett proposes “Denny’s Law” bill

Our very own State Senator Scott Bennett took to Facebook yesterday to explain his new bill, "Denny's Law," which focuses on removing statutes of limitations on sexual crimes perpretrated against chilfren.

The law, which is named after Dennis Hastert, has made its way to Governor Rauner's desk, but as of right now, there is no indication of whether the Governor will sign or veto the bill.

For more information, check out Senator Bennett's statement below:

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Champaign Park District hosting golf outing to benefit C-U Special Recreation on August 26th

If you enjoy standing outside and trying to hit a small ball into a small hole hundreds of yards away (with a metal club, no less), Champaign Park District (as well as the Urbana Park District and C-U Special Recreation) will be hosting a benefit golf outing for CUSR on August 26th.

All proceeds raised that day will go directly to CUSR, and entry fees are $70/person and $280 for a team. Tee time is 12:30 pm, and you can register online here.

For more information, RSVP to the Facebook Event here, and read the description below:

Join CUSR for their Annual Golf Outing on Saturday, August 26 at Lake of the Woods Golf Course (Mahomet, IL). Teams tee-off at 12:30pm for a round of 18 holes of golf, with dinner following. All proceeds benefit the Champaign-Urbana Special Recreation Scholarship Fund - allowing families and individuals access to the financial support needed to make recreation an important part of their lives.

All registration forms must be turned in, with payment, to the Hays Recreation Center by Friday August 11. Registration forms are available here: http://bit.ly/2uoC4d4. Each player will receive a t-shirt and gift bag!

If you prefer not to golf, please join us for dinner!
$15/person in advance.
Dinner tickets may be purchased at Hays Recreation Center.

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The Champaign Room asked Illini football fans to predict this season in .gif form; it's hilarious

If you're looking for a good ol' fashioned hilarious Twitter thread and have an interest in Illini sports, have I got the thread for you.

Today, our friends over at The Champaign Room asked their followers to submit a .gif file (moving picture) to best describe Illinois' upcoming football season, and naturally, it's hilarious. Read 'em and weep, folks. 

(It will be beneficial for you going into this to know that Illinois football is awful, and the future looks only slightly less bleak than the recent past.)

To view the initial post and some selected replies, check out the embeds below:

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Clickhole hilariously crushes U of I Dr. Berenbaum for hiding "raddest" bug of all

Clickhole is, of course, a wildly active clickbait site meant to make you click on hilariously ridiculous headlines (within the realm of the Onion). This information is being provided to you in case this is your first time on the Internet. If so, welcome.

Moving on:

This time, Clickhole has really done it, with a local twist — featuring esteemed U of I researcher and entomologist Dr. May Berenbaum. This time, they admonish Dr. Berenbaum for hiding the "raddest" bug of all under her bed in a Tupperware container. Titled: "Disgrace: The President Of The Entomological Society Of America Has Resigned For Keeping The Best Bug In A Tupperware Under Her Bed". Awesome.

Go ahead and click that damn link and read it.

In case you're looking for some other information about Dr. Berenbaum within the realm of popular culture — there was a character on The X-Files based on her:

Bambi Berenbaum was played by Bobbie Phillips. The character was named for famous entomologist Dr. Berenbaum, from the University of Illinois.