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Novak’s site re-opens with memorials, information on arrangements

His last post was almost a year ago, but Unit 4 School Board member Greg Novak's campaign website has reopened with information about his funeral arrangements as well as a list of links to articles reflecting on a life that has affected an untold number of C-U residents. Novak, who died on Tuesday afternoon, will be missed as a tireless advocate for students and a consistent friend of Unit 4 faculty and staff. Moreover, during his tenure on the board, Novak was a voice of reason during times of tension and transition.

Personally, I have followed Novak's time on the board since he was elected in 2007. His even temperament and clear devotion to doing what was best for the district earned him respect from some of my most liberal and some of my most conservative friends alike. Needless to say, our district and our community suffered a genuine loss this week.

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Rep. Tim Johnson calls Grover Norquist anti-tax pledge “disingenuous and irresponsible.”

Rep. Tim Johnson had some sharp words for the anti-tax pledge pushed by Americans for Tax Reform, the anti-tax group headed by Grover Norquist.

In 2002, Johnson (or someone from his staff) apparently signed on to a pledge to "oppose any and all efforts" to raise taxes.

Johnson says he is not bound by the pledge, and may not have even made it. He is seeking re-election in a newly-drawn, more Democratic district.

http://www.rollcall.com/issues/57_106/Timothy_Johnson_Says_Not_Bound_by_Tax_Pledge-212973-1.html?pos=hbtxt

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WPGU wants your input, I think

Commenters (and writers) on this site have frequently debated the merits of various WPGU playlists, so here's your opportunity to give them input. THEY want YOU to TELL them WHAT you WANT to HEAR. This all happens on their music panel page, which is blocked from the computer I'm currently using, so I don't really know what happens.

http://wpgu.com/2012/02/wpgu-wants-your-musical-help/

Anyway, you should tell them to play "Telepathic Traffic" by the Archers of Loaf around 5:15 p.m., because that is like the best rush hour song ever. Because when you're stuck in traffic on 94, heading back from your terrible job at that gambling magazine, it would just be so awesome to hear. Then later when you're at the C.C. Club, you will ask your friends if they heard it and they'll say yes and give you a high five. Seriously Mary Lucia, will you just play it once? I mean, you request it like every day. Why won't she listen? Does she think she's too good because she's Paul Westerberg sister? C'mon, it's a good song!

I miss Minneapolis sometimes.

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Another “Bring Back Chief Illiniwek” petition arises

If you have even a slight connection to social media, you might have been seeing this "Bring Back Chief Illiniwek to the University of Illinois" floating around on your Facebook or Twitter feed. The petition is looking for 10,000 signatures and the following people/organizations are being "petitioned":

  • National Congress of American Indians
  • NCAA President and CEO (Mark Emmert)
  • Minority-Enhancement Program (NCAA) (Donnetta H. Moorman)
  • Public Relations (NCAA) (Wallace I. Renfro)
  • Public Relations (NCAA) (Jane Jankowski)
  • Chief of Peoria Tribe (John P. Froman)
  • University of Illinois Chancellor and Vice President (Phyllis Wise)
  • University of Illinois Vice Chancellor (Reneé Romano)
  • University of Illinois Associate Chancellor (Michael DeLorenzo)
  • University of Illinois Assistant to the Chancellor (Phyllis Mischo)

As always, this subject stirs up fiery conversation not only around the area and the state of Illinois, but in national news in ongoing arguments for/against NCAA programs and the use of their mascots. We'll see if "Proud Illinois Student" from Urbana makes any noise with this.

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Espresso Royale Peeping Tom arrested

Disturbing news has surfaced about a man who has been arrested for planting a recording device in the women's restroom and capturing footage of hundreds of women at the Espresso Royale on East Daniel Street in Champaign. Police got a tip after a woman spotted a camera in the restroom. Illinoishomepage.net has the whole story:

[Female customer] told [Espresso Royale manager Lauren Gramly] a camera was tucked away under a table in the bathroom.


"As she was telling me, he got up and ran out of the store and left all of his personal belongings behind," [Gramly] said.

 

The man left behind his cell phone, coffee and some mail. Those things led police to the Mahomet home of 57-year-old Michael Denight. When police searched the home, officers say they realized the problem was much bigger.  Police said they found hundreds of pictures of women and girls using the restroom.

 

...

 

Some of the victims were between the ages of 12 and 15 years old. Those girls and their parents have been notified. Because of that Denight faces two federal child pornography charges. He's being held in a DeWitt County jail. Denight faces up to 30 years in prison, if convicted.

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Art Theater (and the expense of going digital) featured on BusinessWeek.com

From an article posted late last week entitled "For Small Theaters, the Digital Future Is Dark." The lede:

When Sanford Hess started running a century-old movie theater two years ago, he knew Hollywood was replacing celluloid with digital files. But since the 250-seat venue in downtown Champaign, Ill., had already endured Betamax, VHS, Netflix (NFLX), and a 15-year stretch showing porn, he figured it would survive this latest transition. Now he’s not so sure.

Read the whole thing here

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U of I’s Alma Mater taking a leave of absence

If you're going about campus after May's commencement ceremonies, you might notice that something is missing. Due to the deterioration of the widely popular Alma Mater statue, it is being removed for about a year to spruce it up a bit. The whole story is over at the News-Gazette:

The 93-year-old campus icon will be taken down from her familiar perch at the corner of Wright and Green streets just after this spring's commencement, for up to a year of much-needed R&R.

Dedicated in 1929, the Lorado Taft sculpture has gone decades without proper maintenance and is now literally coming apart at the seams, UI officials said.

A campus Preservation Working Group has selected Conservation Sculpture and Objects Studio Inc. of Forest Park to repair the sculpture at a cost of $99,962, funded by the chancellor's office.

The firm will move the sculpture to the company's 13,000-square-foot facility, where conservators will develop a treatment plan.

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CU-CitizenAccess posts latest restaurant inspection failures

This posted last week, but better late than never, right? 

Only two Champaign County restaurants failed public health inspections in December, the fewest in any month since June.

Maize Mexican Grill, 60 E. Green St., and The Clark Bar, 207 W. Clark St., both in Champaign, failed after inspectors from the Champaign-Urbana Public Health District gave them each a score lower than 36 out of 100.