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Hogchute Harvest 2018 lineup announced

After announcing the date for the 2018 installment of Hogchute Harvest on the wall of a public bathroom, Hogchute has announced the lineup for their fall installment at the Kalyx Center in Monticello. Headlined by Adam Remnant and HUM's Matt Talbott, Hogchute Harvest takes place on Saturday, October 13th. Check out the rest of the lineup and info below. Talbott announced he'd be playing solo shows for the first time ever just last month, so this appears to be ahead of that tour.

From the Facebook event:

Proud to announce our return to the barn for an even grander edition of the Hogchute Opry Harvest!
Get yourself primed and ready for another night of camping, bonfires, probably some spiders, and general goodness against the background of great music. We're always proud of our lineup, but this here is one for the books. 10 acts for $10, featuring:
Adam Remnant
Matt Talbott
The Bashful Youngens
The Chickadee Sermon
Clayton Deering
Cole Bridges
Colonel James Presents
Dearie
Our Landmark
Rebekah Songer
...
Stay tuned for more details and schedule!

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Nafissa Thompson-Spires Heads of the Colored People long listed for National Book Award

Earlier this year, I predicted that Nafissa Thompson-Spires, a professor of Creative Writing at UIUC, would become a legendary author, and that her new book Heads of the Colored People would cement her place in the long history of our community playing host to immensely talented scribblers. 

That prediction just took another leap in the right direction today, as the aforementioned collection of short stories has been long-listed for the National Book Award in Fiction

For those of you who don't follow literature and its various awards, it's basically like the "Film of the Year" at the Oscars or "Record of the Year" at the Grammys. Colson Whitehead, who was just at Champaign Public Library last night, won the prize in 2016 for Underground Railroad. Another former UIUC writing professor, Richard Powers, won the award for his 2006 novel, The Echo Maker, as well. 

It's a big big deal. 

She is the real deal. 

Buy it. Read it. 

Photo by Adrianne Mathiowetz

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Urbana’s Landmark Hotel has been sold for $1.3M

Urbana's Landmark Hotel has been sold for $1.3M. The auction, which started on Tuesday, has been completed and the reserve of $1.1M by the owner was met. Check out the auction site for the details.

The previous auction didn't meet the initial reserve by the owner, which ended up at a final $3.95M. So it appears that the expectations for the reserve were considerably lower this time around.

What this means remains fairly unknown, there's a closing process, and I'm sure we will find out more info soon enough surrounding the details.

Top photo by Justine Bursoni.

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Next auction for Urbana’s Landmark Hotel started up today

The saga of the Urbana Landmark Hotel continues today: The next auction for the property has begun with a starting bid of $600,000. This auction comes after the previous auction failed to meet the reserve after finishing with a $3.95M bid.

The auction closes on Thursday at 1 pm CST. We'll keep you updated with the results when they come through.

Photo by Justine Bursoni

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City of Champaign has finalized their Neil Street Corridor plan

The city has been looking at redevelopment possibilities for the stretch of Neil Street that runs from I-74 to Downtown Champaign, and they have created a final plan that will be presented to the Plan Commission on September 19th at 4 p.m. in City Council chambers. The plan contains six themes:

  • Corridor Identity: The Neil Street corridor’s local and regional identity and character will be defined and celebrated during the planning process.
  • Beautification: Through streetscape and roadway design, the Corridor appearance will be improved.
  • Multi-modal Function and Safety: All modes of transportation will be accommodated in the corridor.
  • Wayfinding: Accessibility and environmental communication will be prioritized for recommendations in the corridor.
  • Entry Node/ Gateway: The corridor design will include an intentional point of entry and sense of arrival.
  • Sustainability: All recommendations for the corridor will integrate sustainable strategies.

You can take a look at the final plan here, and dig more into the project at the Neil Street Corridor website.

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Grab your popcorn for the Betsy Dirksen Londrigan vs Rodney Davis debate

Although this event is taking place in Springfield, this is an important debate that is relevant to readers in the Champaign-Urbana area. 

IL-13 Representative Rodney Davis and his challenger, Betsy Dirksen Londrigan, will participate in a debate from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Monday, October 15th at the State Journal-Register (1 Copley Plz, Springfield). The event is free and open to the public.

Here's the info from the Facebook event page:

U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Taylorville, and Democratic nominee Betsy Dirksen Londrigan of Springfield, are both seeking the 13th Congressional District seat in the Nov. 6 election.

The two candidates will debate at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 15 at the SJ-R, which is located on Ninth Street between Capital Avenue and Monroe Street in Springfield. The debate will be livestreamed on sj-r.com and broadcast by our media partner, 94.7/970 WMAY.

The event is free and open to the public. We appreciate that the candidates have agreed to join us for what we expect to be a civil discussion of issues, and we trust that audience members will show the same spirit in attending.

Top photo from the Facebook event page.

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Submit your questions for Ask the Newsroom: Election Edition

The midterms are coming. Soon. And while all elections are important, there's are definitely some races this time around that have some weight to them — including electing a U.S Representative in IL-13, a governor, an attorney general; and loads of local postitions, including a county clerk, county executive, circuit judges, and many more. Illinois Newsroom wants to play a part in your election learning process with their Ask the Newsroom series, which has now turned it's focus toward November 6th. From their website:

We’re launching our Ask the Newsroom: Election Edition project so you can ask us your pressing questions about voting and elections in Illinois. You can submit a question through our submission box below and on future Illinois Newsroom stories.

Leading up to November 6th, we’ll select at least one submitted question a week for our reporters to answer through a web post. More answers may come in the form of our voter FAQ sheet, a fun video, or even a quick, private email from the team. Whatever seems best, that’s what you’ll get.

Don’t be shy to ask us anything. You will probably pose a question that many other people want answered, too! What are the gubernatorial candidates’ stances on marijuana legalization? Gun rights? What exactly does the Attorney General do? The County Clerk? How do I find out what’s on my ballot?

So make this a part of your election prep, because the election is only two months away, and this is a great opportunity to become a more informed voter. You can submit your questions here.

Illinois Newsroom is a regional journalism collaboration focused on expanding access to trusted, timely and relevant information across three key statewide topics: Education, Political Impact and Health/Environment. They collaborate locally with Illinois Public Media. 

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There’s a new website for campus bicyclers

The University of Illinois has launched a new website as resource for students, staff, faculty, and community members who want to know about all things bike-related on campus — from purchasing to volunteering to safety and more. Here's the scoop on Bike at Illinois from Facilities & Services, included updated info on Dockless Bike Sharing:

Whether you need to purchase a new bike while at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign or are an experienced rider looking to get more involved and volunteer at upcoming bike events, there’s a new website that can help you do it all.

Bike at Illinois (bike.illinois.edu) is the campus community’s comprehensive bicycling resource, helping everyone have a safer, more sustainable, and comfortable biking experience on campus. The site’s user-friendly, responsive, and accessible design makes getting information convenient while on the go using smartphones and tablets.

Facilities & Services (F&S) Active Transportation Coordinator Lily Wilcock said, “Bike at Illinois online was designed to bring all campus bicycle information into one easy-to-find location. The response and feedback to the site have been excellent, and students were very excited about it on Quad Day.”

The Bike at Illinois website includes detailed sections on registering bikes, campus bike rules, and the campus bike center, plus updates on news and upcoming events.

F&S Executive Director Mohamed Attalla said, “I am excited to see us launch this new website to showcase and celebrate the incredible efforts underway for bicycling on campus. The potential for greater outreach and engagement with students, faculty, staff, and community will help support our continued designation as a Bicycle Friendly University.”

Dockless Bike Sharing Update
VeoRide, based in West Lafayette, Indiana, is the first company to receive a Concession Agreement with the university for deploying dockless bike share bicycles in this area. The company will offer a fleet of 500 turquoise bikes, the maximum number allowed by the pilot program, throughout Champaign, Urbana, and on campus. The dockless bike sharing program will provide individuals with the ability to rent a bicycle through a smartphone app. Users can park the self-locking bicycles at any bike rack across campus or in the cities. For frequently asked questions about the pilot program go to http://go.fs.illinois.edu/bikeshare.

Screenshot from Illinois Facilities & Services website

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Barack Obama is speaking at Foellinger next Friday

Per the News Gazette, he will be here to receive the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government, and will be speaking at Foellinger at 11 a.m. Tickets will only be available to UI system students. Good news if that is you. Bad news for the rest of us...sigh. You can read the full announcement from the NG here.

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Maize included on list of best burritos

The Daily Meal has published a gallery of the "50 Best Burritos in America," and our very own Maize is number 11. 

We are all very well aware that we have delicious things in C-U, but it does feel good when other people and places recognize them as well. (Farren's was just included on a list of the best burgers.)

I guess we will all be eating burgers and burritos this week as a means to celebrate our excellence.

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Join Triptych for a sausage party

On September 30th, Triptych is releasing its märzen lager at the new taproom location (across the street from the current location), and is celebrating with sausage. 

Consider this an early Oktoberfest celebration, of sorts. Triptych is providing the beer, and  Michael's catering is providing German food, including the aforementioned sausages, as well as potato pancakes, slaw, and pretzels. 

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online beginning at 9 a.m. on August 30th; tickets include food, a mug, and two beers. The event is Sunday, September 30th from 4 to 7 p.m. Follow the event on Facebook for additional information. 

Triptych Brewing
1704 Woodfield Dr
Savoy

Top image from Facebook

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14th annual Innovation Celebration announced for March 29th, 2019

The 14th annual Innovation Celebration by the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation has been announced: March 29th, 2019 at Parkland College. The event is free and open to the public.

Innovation Celebration is an annual event that celebrates the outstanding innovations in the tech field in our community.

Check out who won from 2018's event here.

Top photo from 2018 INNCEL by Patrick Singer