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JT Walker’s Brewery celebrating one year anniversary November 20th

Per the JT Walker's website, they will have a party in a couple of weeks celebrating the one year mark since the opening of their brewery in Mahomet.

One Year Anniversary Party – Thursday, November 20th | 4pm – 10pm Wildwood playing from 7pm – 9pm. We will also be releasing our 1 year anniversary beer The Grand Chief. It is a double version of our Hale to the Chief. It is an Imperial Corn IPA that has a 10% ABV with 105 IBUs. We will be serving it that night and selling special 22 oz Bomber bottles to take home. We will also be serving some special offerings from Chester’s BBQ Truck. The event goes from 4pm – 10pm. We will also be releasing our Barrel-Aged Chester’s BBQ Ale that night as well.

Head over and grab a brew and a bite to eat — those are some seriously good local brews.

Top photo by Mahomet Daily.


Former locals Santah launch Pledge Music campaign

Santah might live in Chicago nowadays, but they started out here, and they are looking for some help from the public. They've recently launched a Pledge Music campaign (a Kickstarter/Indiegogo of sorts) to fund their upcoming second full-length record. Check out the campaign linked above, and if you're feeling generous, throw a few dollars their way to help them along. 

Check out our reviews of their debut White Noise Bed, and the follow-up EP, You're Still A Lover.


Wedge adding second location at the Crossing

Per their Facebook post, Wedge is adding a second location in C-U. This one will be located at the Crossing, while their location in Downtown Champaign will remain there as well. Check out Jess's review of Wedge here.


Hatch Art Exhibition & Art Fair seeking creative-reuse artists

Calling all creative-reuse artists! The Hatch Creative-Reuse Art Festival is seeking artists to participate in the 2015 festival's Hatch Art Exhibition at Indi Go Artist Co-op in Champaign Feb. 28-March 14 and the Hatch Art Fair, March 14 at the Savoy Rec Center. Both are juried shows, and the entry deadline for both is Nov. 16.

Applications are available online here. 

Hatch is produced by The I.D.E.A. Store, Champaign-Urbana's premier creative-reuse marketplace and an earned-income social enterprise of the Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation.

Questions about Hatch? Send them to hatch@the-idea-store.org. Also, check out the Hatch Facebook page for more information, including a look at past years' activities, https://www.facebook.com/AboutHatch.


Registration now open for 2015 Master Gardener Training

University of Illinois Extension serving Champaign County is hosting Master Gardener training in January 2015. Since 1992, over 500 Champaign County residents have completed the program. University of Illinois Extension sponsors the Master Gardener program and trains adult volunteers to help disseminate up-to-date, research-based horticulture information to home gardeners. Master Gardeners are passionate people who embrace the state motto of “helping others learn to grow.”

Master Gardener trainees attend an all-day class once a week for eleven weeks. Each class covers a different garden-related topic such as botany, vegetables, fruits, plant diseases, and organic gardening. Training costs $175 which includes a Master Gardener manual developed by University of Illinois Extension educators and is specifically written for Illinois gardens.

The University of Illinois Extension office also offers online Master Gardener training. Online training costs $250.

Once training is completed, Master Gardener interns have two years to perform 60 volunteer hours in approved projects. Interns can work at educational community gardens in the county including the Idea Garden at the University of Illinois Arboretum, the Juvenile Detention Center garden, Crisis Nursery garden, and the Champaign County Nursing Home. Other projects include the Horticulture Hotline, a help desk used to answer home gardeners questions, and the annual Garden Walk held in June.

Visit the University of Illinois Extension website to apply for the Master Gardener program: http://web.extension.illinois.edu/cfiv/. Applications are due by November 28th.

For more information please contact the Champaign County Extension office at 217-333-7672.

University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. University of Illinois*U.S. Dept. of Agriculture* Local Extension Councils Cooperating.


Champaign, U of I featured on The Onion

These are always fun to see. Check out this hilarious column in the Onion, which features "a study" from the University of Illinois. Check it:

Researchers: Quality Of Sleep May Be Affected By Abandoning Family In 1994

CHAMPAIGN, IL—According to a study published this week by researchers at the University of Illinois, an individual’s ability to get a good night’s sleep may be directly influenced by having made a decision 20 years ago to walk out on their family and never return. “In many cases, we found that chronic insomnia is strongly linked to reaching one’s breaking point on a winter evening back in 1994, waiting until everyone in the house was in bed, and then driving off into the night without looking back,” said study co-author Tim Liu, who noted a close correlation between erratic delta waves during stage 3 of the sleep cycle and not having spoken to your daughter since you tucked her in that night when she was 7. “Additionally, we saw that while nearly everyone who deserted their loved ones experienced some form of sleep loss, those who exhibited the most restless nights were the ones who told their new families they were off working on container ships 20 years ago instead of coming clean about the spouse and three children they left behind halfway across the country.” In a related finding, the researchers also concluded that individuals who carry on extramarital affairs with someone their spouse trusts sleep eight hours every night and always awake fully rested.


Ticket giveaway for Pallbearer, Tombs, Vattnet Viskar at the Highdive

Hey readers. We're doing a ticket giveaway on Twitter currently for The Pygmalion Festival's Show Series installment of Pallbearer, Tombs, and Vattnet Viskar at the Highdive. The show is this upcoming Sunday, October 19th.

Check out the tweet below and RT for a chance to win a pair of tickets.


Wayne McClain has passed away

Per a report by The News-Gazette, Champaign Central basketball coach and former Illini assistant coach Wayne McClain has passed away:

URBANA — Wayne McClain, the former Illinois assistant basketball coach and state-champion head coach at Peoria Manual, died Wednesday. He was 59.

Mr. McClain, the boys' basketball coach at Champaign Central,  was hospitalized earlier this week in the intensive-care unit, suffering from pneumonia.

He is survived by his wife Robin, son Sergio, daughter Brindeshie and grandson Sergio Jr.

Updated: 2:40 p.m.

Here's a statement from Champaign Unit 4 Schools:

​​Today our Unit 4 Family was saddened to learn that Central High School Basketball Coach Wayne McClain has passed away. This is a tremendous loss for not only our students, staff, and families, but for the community. Coach McClain influenced the lives of many during his time at Central, and impacted so many more during his long, successful coaching career. We offer our condolences and support to the McClain Family and will be offering support to staff and students during this difficult time. ​


This Jimmy John’s employee non-compete document is insanity

You're most likely already familiar with this incident. Well, here's some more bad news for the sandwich joint, which is headquartered in Champaign. Via Jezebel's Kitchentte, posted yesterday, discussed this absurd non-compete document that all Jimmy John's employees must sign. Here's a couple of paragraphs to begin:

Huffington Post obtained a copy of a Jimmy John's non-compete agreement that all employees are required to sign, no matter where they sit on the corporate food chain. The agreement states that after leaving Jimmy John's for any reason, the employee cannot work for two years at any Jimmy John's competitor. That would be crazy enough, but it gets even more Banana Town when you consider what Jimmy John's apparently considers a "competitor": any business that makes at least 10% of its revenues from sandwiches within three miles of ANY Jimmy John's.

Basically, any former Jimmy John's employee can't work at ANY restaurant that serves sandwiches or even any business that provides sandwiches as a side service (10% of their revenue, remember) within three miles of any existing Jimmy John's. A company spokeswoman refused to comment, because Jimmy John's doesn't give even a semblance of a fuck about basic human decency, and they're scared that if they have to publicly comment on this issue, that'll become blatantly obvious.

They're not making this very easy on us, are they?


Someone is having a good time on Tim Beckman’s Wikipedia page

There are some pretty great things happening at the Tim Beckman Wikipedia page, which, at the time of posting this SPlog, still remain. Below are some screenshots for you to see.

Here's what the text reads right now, in case it is deleted, or you have issues reading the screenshot posted above and below.

Tim Beckman, or Lasagña!!! to friends and family, (born January 19, 1965) is an American football "coach" and former player. He is the soon-to-be-former head football coach at the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. One of the worst hires in the last 20 years in all of NCAA football, he set the once promising Illinois program back so far that it will take years to recover from the stain of his reign. He was hired on December 9, 2011, by Athletic Director Mike Thomas, after coaching at the University of Toledo for three years.[1] By some miracle, Beckman's teams at Toledo saw consistent improvement. The 2008 team he inherited went 3-9. In 2009, his first year as a head coach, his team improved to finish 5-7. In the following year, his team finished 8-5, 7-1 in the MAC, earning a berth to the 2010 Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl, which they lost 34-32 to the FIU Golden Panthers. In his final year at Toledo, Coach Beckman finished 9-4, 7-1 in the MAC to be West Division co-champions with Northern Illinois. This team earned a berth to the 2011 Military Bowl. However, Beckman left after the regular season to become the head coach of the Fighting Illini.


Not to mention — "Tim Beckman (AKA Jimmy Peckerface)"

Someone is having a real hay day out there on the interwebz.

H/T to a reader for this suggestion. You know who you are.