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The Cracked Truck is moving away

The Cracked Truck is moving away from C-U. Never fear: the Green Street location will still be open serving up breakfast sammies and tots. You can catch the Cracked Truck one last time this weekend on Saturday, September 26th at the Urbana Market in the Square

Photo provided by Cracked.

Read this letter from Cracked about their announcement:

Dear Champaign-Urbana,
Ten years ago, we had a dream to bring breakfast sandwiches to the masses. We didn’t know how this little project would turn out, but with great enthusiasm, Champaign-Urbana welcomed us with open arms. From Farmers markets to Football tailgates, from welcome week to graduation weekend, you’ve been there with us. We started out as one of very few food trucks in the area. Over the years, we’ve seen the food truck scene explode in town and none of this could have been possible without the love and support from the community.

It’s with mixed emotions we announce that our last Farmers Market will be this Saturday, September 26th. The Cracked Truck will be moving to Gary, IN starting this fall where we have an opportunity to share our breakfast revolution with a new town. We’ve been working closely with the town to make this project happen over the past few months. Our ultimate goal is to bring the same food truck culture to Gary as we have seen grow in C-U. We can only hope to have the same amazing experience there as we’ve had in Champaign-Urbana.

This move does not come without careful consideration. Since March, the pandemic has struck our little company very hard. Along with most of our friends and colleagues in the food and beverage industry, we have been forced to adjust our businesses and look to other avenues to keep our doors and windows open. This has been a hard time for everyone, and we encourage you all to continue to support your local small businesses in this time. We want to fully thank the entire community for embracing us over the years and helping us grow from one little food truck to a concept that spans multiple cities. For those of you who make us a part of your Saturday morning routine at the Lincoln Square Farmers Market,
we want to assure you that our storefront on Green Street will remain open. We look forward to having another amazing ten years slinging breakfast sandwiches to the entire Champaign-Urbana community.

Thank you again for everything you have given us over the years, we are truly in debt to this community forever.

With love and gratitude,
Cracked

Check out our recent interview with owner and founder here

Top image by Alyssa Buckley.

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Rep. Rodney Davis tests positive for COVID-19

Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13) has announced he has tested positive for COVID-19. Here's the tweet, we genuinely wish him a safe and fast recovery:

Top image from Rodney Davis' website.

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Unit 4 Schools announces distance learning through first quarter of fall semester

From the press release:

STATEMENT FROM DR. SUSAN ZOLA

"The health, wellness, and safety of our Unit 4 Community is one of our top priorities, especially now.  As we continue to receive feedback, we’ve made the difficult decision to engage in Distance Learning through the first quarter of the 2020–21 school year.

"We fully recognize that this may be distressing news for many students and families but we're here to provide support and guidance as we also learn to adapt to this new learning framework.

"During this Distance Learning period, we’ll continue to assess the state of COVID-19. By the end of September, we’ll make another decision whether to continue Distance Learning when the second quarter begins on October 19th or begin to transition to In-Person Learning.

"We understand that the next several weeks will feel overwhelming. We also must acknowledge that our most vulnerable students will need us to support equitable access to Distance Learning.  Addressing these inequities is critical, and we're committed to ensuring access for all students.

"As our re-entry plan is implemented, then develops into an everyday routine, we will face difficult challenges that require innovative problem solving and agile leadership. Through all of it, we will keep our Unit 4 community informed.  Because, above all, we’re powerfully committed to providing the guidance, knowledge, skills—and safety—for all students to succeed."

-Dr. Susan Zola, Superintendent, Champaign Unit 4 Schools

Top image by Jess Hammie.

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Krannert Center cancels public, in-person performances for Fall 2020

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts has announced the cancelation of all of their in-person, public performances for this fall. They will assess what spring looks like later this fall, and make the determination one way or the next based on the pandemic and a variety of other factors. In case you are curious what KCPA had lined up, you can check out the season booklet which is linked in the press release below.

From the press release:

KRANNERT CENTER CANCELS FALL, IN-PERSON PERFORMANCES

Urbana, IL—In the midst of the global pandemic and ongoing social justice issues, Krannert Center reaffirms its commitment to growth in inclusive, equitable practices and programming and remains steadfast in its support for the safety and well-being of artists, patrons, staff, faculty, students, and the community. In keeping with public safety guidelines and with a dedication to the University of Illinois’ academic mission, Krannert Center has made the difficult decision to cancel all public, in-person performances at the Center for fall 2020. 

The decision has been made in close conversation with resident academic colleagues from the University of Illinois School of Music, Lyric Theatre @ Illinois, Dance at Illinois, and Illinois Theatre, as well as colleagues from Sinfonia da Camera, the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra, PYGMALION, and the Champaign Urbana Ballet and includes the programming scheduled as part of the Krannert Center Youth Series. This course of action will allow the Center to offer its theatres to provide additional space and time for safer, physically distanced university classes this fall in accordance with campus guidelines and the State of Illinois Phase 4 Reopening Plan. 

Determinations about spring 2021 programming will be made later this fall, and those performances are not on sale at this time. As a means of honoring the artistry that had been planned for this fall, Krannert Center is sharing a digital copy of the intended season book. The Krannert Center mission will continue to be enacted through public engagement, teaching, educational support, and online programming that will be announced in the coming weeks as a way for patrons to continue their connection to artists, artistry, and one another. 

Patrons are encouraged to visit KrannertCenter.com, sign up for the Center’s email list, and follow Krannert Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for future announcements. A “frequently asked questions” document is available online. Patrons can also contact the Krannert Center Ticket Office at 217.333.6280 or kran-tix@illinois.edu. Those wishing to support Krannert Center are encouraged to visit KrannertCenter.com/Give.

Top image by Anna Longworth.

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Kofi Cockburn returning to Illinois basketball for sophomore season

And now, for SPlog #2 of the day surrounding Illinois basketball. Big man Kofi Cockburn will also return next year after testing the NBA Draft waters. This announcement comes just on the tail of fellow Illinois basketball teammate Ayo Dosunmu announced he would return for his junior season.

Check out Cockburn's tweet announcing this:

Top image from FightingIlliniBasketball.com.

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The Idea Store is offering up free supplies to Black led organizations

The Idea Store reminds us we why love them. If you want to continue to support them, check out their online store. They are also taking donations through appointments.

Dear friends,

You may have noticed our silence the last few months. Like many of you, we’ve been grieving and angry over the murders of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Richie Turner, Kiwane Carrington, and hundreds of other Black people with dreams, ideas, and people who loved them.

In breaking this silence, we hope that anyone and everyone hears us when we say, from the top of our lungs, ALL BLACK LIVES MATTER. Every single one.

There is no statement sufficient to stand in opposition to 400 years of systemic racism.

When we say Black Lives Matter, what you really deserve to know is:

What are we going to do moving forward?

To begin, we would like to offer supplies to any Black-led organization in the community for free. Do you need poster boards, paper for flyers, fabric, crayons, markers, chalk? Message us and let us know. We’ll do our best to supply you.

We are committed to making a sustained effort toward anti-racism here at the Idea Store, and committed to educating ourselves, listening to Black voices, acting accordingly, and being accountable for our actions.

Black Artists Matter. Black Environmentalists Matter. Black Teachers Matter. Black Ideas Matter. Black Lives Matter.

Love and solidarity,
The Idea Store

Photo by Julie McClure.

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Campustown bars to close this weekend due to COVID-19 concerns and Greek Reunion

Per the City of Champaign's announcement, bars in Campustown have voluntarily agreed to close this weekend due to concerns of Greek Reunion. We wrote about this earlier this week, urging action surrounding this situation.

Kam's, Second Chance, Red Lion, Joe's, and Brother's will be closed all weekend:

Top image from City of Champaign's tweet.

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Milo Eifler on returning this fall: Schools “are showing blatant disregard for student athletes”

University of Illinois linebacker Milo Eifler has stepped out to say something about returning to the playing field (and campus) this fall amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Eifler took to Twitter to state his belief that "schools around the country are showing blatant disregard for student athletes", as returning to the playing field will cause more infections and death.  Just last week, we wrote about how returning to on-campus instruction in the fall is a mistake.

See the tweets below, and head over to the thread to see responses from other players as well:

UPDATE: It apperas Elfie took down the second tweet, but here's a screenshot:

Top photo from Fighting Illini Football's website.

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I’m hungry for a cheesecake jar from Sugga Shaii Sweets

Have you heard of a cheesecake cup? I was today years old when I heard of a cheesecake cup. Now, I want one from Sugga Shaii Sweets. Take a look at her site and look at all the delicious options: brownies, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate covered Oreos, Sugga cake jars, and more.

Sugga Shaii Sweets is at the Champaign Farmers' Market on Tuesdays.

Photo from Sugga Shaii Sweets Facebook page.

Here's a little bit more about Sugga Shaii Sweets and the pastry chef behind the sweet treats:

My name is Shaii Smith, and I am originally from Memphis, Tennessee. In 2018, I officially start Sugga Shaii Sweets offering my Southern-style sweets and seasonal delights that are simply scrumptious. At Sugga Shaii Sweets, we sell milk chocolate turtles, white chocolate turtles, and a variety of cupcake jars. We are able to bake goods for specific dietary restrictions including gluten free and sugar free alternatives.

 

Top image from Sugga Shaii Sweets website.

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17th Street BBQ sauces are now at Cheese & Crackers

Cheese & Crackers is now offering 17th Street BBQ sauces. What's 17th Street BBQ? It's a nationally acclaimed barbecue restaurant in Murphysboro, Illinois owned by champion pitmaster Mike Mills.

In the world of barbecue, champion pitmaster Mike Mills is affectionately known as “The Legend.” He presides over the pits at his two nationally acclaimed 17th Street Barbecue barbecue restaurants in Southern Illinois.

In the early 1990s, he was co-captain of the Apple City Barbecue team, one of the most celebrated teams ever on the circuit. He is a four-time World Champion and three-time Grand World Champion at Memphis in May, otherwise known as the Super Bowl of Swine. He is also the 1992 Grand Champion of the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest and he won the Jack Daniel’s Sauce Contest that year as well.

Mike is the barbecue guru at and a partner in Blue Smoke restaurant in New York City. He was a founding partner in Memphis Championship Barbecue in Las Vegas. His book, Peace, Love, and Barbecue was nominated for a 2006 James Beard Foundation award and received the 2006 National Barbecue Association Award of Excellence. In October 2008 he was honored with the Pioneer of Barbecue award at the Jack Daniel’s World Invitational Barbecue Cooking Contest. Mike was inducted into the Barbecue Hall of Fame in 2010.

Cheese & Crackers
1715 W Kirby Ave
Champaign
T - Su 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
M 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Top image from Cheese & Cracker's Fish List email.

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Common Ground’s Board of Directors issue statement of solidarity

From the email blast:
 
FROM THE BOARD
 
The Board of Directors of Common Ground Food Co-op stands in solidarity with those in our community and across the US and the world who are protesting the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Rayshard Brooks, and calling for an end to police violence against Black people. We stand with them in opposing structural racism and white supremacy throughout our society, and this means taking a hard look at ourselves and the co-op we care so much about.
 
The cooperative movement is often said to have begun in 1844 with the Rochdale Pioneers, a group of English mill workers who came together to provide better-quality food for themselves and their families at prices they could afford. Black-owned cooperatives, starting with mutual aid societies in the 19th century which evolved into food co-ops, credit unions, and agricultural co-ops in the 20th, have a long history in this country. Black leaders and activists like W.E.B. DuBois, Fannie Lou Hamer, and Ella Baker consistently advocated for co-operation to help Black Americans capture the fruits of their labor and build wealth in the teeth of vicious economic exploitation throughout the United States. We know of two attempts to establish Black-owned grocery co-ops on North First Street, one in the early 20th century and one in the 1960s, as Champaign's Black citizens sought tools to fight back against the segregation in the North End that inflicts economic, political and physical damage on them to this very day. Unfortunately, we have only bits and pieces of what was once here - a brief article in the Urbana Courier, a listing in a directory. Common Ground is the only consumer co-operative in Champaign County, but we were certainly not the first, and we need to learn more about our history.
 
Common Ground Food Co-op was established in 1974 out of a desire for a better, more equitable, and healthier food system. Seeking an alternative to buying from multinational food corporations, our founders chose to organize Common Ground as a cooperative, where people unite together to meet their common needs through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise. However, our commitment to local food production and ethical business practices does not exempt us from the reality of segregation in this society. It is hard for a business to pursue multiple Ends at once, but we have to learn how to actively break down the barriers of race and class.
 
Why is our co-op, like many food co-ops across the country, so white? On our doors we say “Everyone welcome,” but are we really doing all we can--as owners, as board directors, as employers--to ensure that that’s the case? How can we make sure everyone in our community has access to healthy, sustainably produced food? We pride ourselves on being a community grocery store, but too many of our Black neighbors don’t think of this as their store.
 
Our board is committing itself to making our co-op more racially inclusive. We invite you to join with us in doing the following:
 
Learning about anti-racism: http://antiracismforbeginners.com/
 
Supporting Black businesses in our community: http://buyblackchambana.com/business-directory/
 
Taking action and donating: https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co/

Sincerely,

Common Ground Board of Directors
board@commonground.coop

Top image by Megan Flowers.

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Pavement’s Stephen Malkmus tweets about new HUM album

Stephen Malkmus, mastermind of the legendary indie rock outfit Pavement, had a listen to the new HUM record Inlet, which was surprise-released yesterday. He keeps his thoughts short and sweet, and its awesome to see the record making its rounds in the music world:

Top image from Twitter