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Video

Urbana City Council votes to release Urbana School Board from SRO contract (if they want)

Last night, Urbana City Council discussed the ongoing School Resource Officer (SRO) debate. If you are unfamiliar with the situation, here it is in brief: Urbana School District #116 would fund and add two armed SROs in Urbana schools, one at the high school and another at the middle school, costing the school district $321,300.

If you're curious what Champaign and Urbana school board members think about SROs in schools, look no further than our Editorial Board feature to showcase who thinks what.

There was concern that the City of Urbana would sue the Urbana Board of Education if the contract was not carried out, which turns out to not be the case. The City of Urbana's council discussed this at length last night, voting 5-2 in favor to release the school board from that obligation if they so choose with no penalty. This means that if Urbana School District's Board of Education votes to end their pursuit of adding SROs in their schools, they can choose to not continue the intergovernmental agreement between the city and the school district.

The Urbana BOE meets tonight at 7:30 p.m. to discuss what they will do about this situation.

The Urbana Public TV recording of last night's meeting is below. The discussion starts around 2:15 mark, with the vote around 2:45. In case you don't have time to watch the video, here is the resolution, here is the city council agenda for last night's meeting, and you can see who voted for the amended resolution below:

  • Brown: yes
  • Colbrook: no
  • Hursey: no
  • Luit: yes
  • Miller: yes
  • Roberts: yes
  • Wu: yes
Top image is a screenshot from Urbana's City Council meeting.
Video

In honor of Obama Day, watch his 2018 speech at the U of I

Today is President Barack Obama's birthday, and Barack Obama Day in Illinois. In honor of his birthday and to celebrate this noted day in our state, take an hour to watch the speech he delivered at the University of Illinois in 2018.

Can't watch? You can read our summary of it.

Though it might not feel like it right now, "better is always worth fighting for," so take a break, catch your breath, and keep on fighitng the good fight.

Top image by Anna Longworth.
Video

Shiners Moonshine is closing

Another bad news announcement this week: Shiners Moonshine is closing August 31st.

Sadly, the moonshine store never really had an opportunity to get off the ground; it's been open for less than a year.

Starting on Thursday, July 16th, you can stop by the Neil Street location to purchase bottles of booze. Everything is 25% off. Note that nothing will be restocked, and it's cash only.

Shiners Moonshine
809 S Neil St
Champaign
Th-Sa 2 to 7 p.m.

Top image by Patrick Singer.

Video

Help, I can’t stop watching this video of this adorable fox

I am in a bit of a trap, thanks to the Champaign County Forest Preserve District's video of this adorable trotting fox they captured on camera. I've been caught in the spiral of cute animal videos on the internet and can't get out. Do I actually want help? No.

I am considering making into a Zoom background that just is a continuous looping GIF image so others that I interact with virtually can experience it as well.

Animal content is good content; It's been bears and guinea pigs most recently.

Enjoy:

Top image is a screenshot from the video.

Video

Watch Elizabeth Majerus’ readings from the Allerton Poetree Hike on YouTube

This past Saturday, June 27, Allerton Park and Retreat Center hosted their first virtual poetree hike featuring tours of the Park's flora and fauna, along with readings by local poets. Well, in case you missed it, or if you just want to relive the event, check out this video of Elizabeth Majerus reading "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer, "The Leaf and the Tree" by Edna St. Vincent Millay, and "The Woman with a Dress of Sky" and  her own "The Woman with a Suit of Earth." Enjoy.

Top image: Allerton Park and Retreat Center logo above green field. Image from website.

Video

U of I professor of MechSE finds face masks help reduce spread of COVID-19

University of Illinois professor of Mechanical Science and Engineering, Taher Saif has conducted a study (with his team of researchers) finding that the use of face masks can greatly reduce the spread of COVID-19. Saif was recently interviewed by NBC Nightly News. Watch the video below.

Top image screenshot from the University of Illinois Mechanical Science and Engineering website.
Video

Watch this excerpt from Parkland’s 2018 illustration exhibition

If you've been longing for a good gallery visit, enjoy this short video from Parkland College's For Arts Sake! series featuring Liza Wynette, Instructor in Visual Communication Design. Wynette, a practicing illustrator, curated this exhibition in 2018. The exhibit included 10 illustrators, including Anna Balbusso, Elena Balbusso, Ed Binkley, Chris Buzelli, Marcos Chin, Tatsuro Kiuchi, Miriam Martincic, Bill Mayer, James Prosek, Ralph Steadman and Matt Wiley.

 

Top image: Photo from The Art of Illustration exhibition. Photo from Parkland College website.
Video

Take a look at this tribute to George Floyd, created by a local teacher

Cessily Thomas, a teacher at Centennial High School and founder of the Black Teacher Alliance, wrote these words and created a video featuring photos from Monday's protest in C-U. Here's what she had to say about it:

This song was inspired by the last words of Mr. George Floyd and the uprising that is happening as a result to the "officers" not ALL being held accountable. I am not a singer so shout our to my cousin Celica for giving a voice to my heart's song!

We spoke with Thomas in February ahead of her planned screening of Pushout: The Criminalization of Black Girls. The documentary is currently available on PBS. 

Photo by Anna Longworth.
 
Video

I need help deciding which REO Speedwagon song was their absolute and true greatest hit

REO Speedwagon is one of two musical artists to achieve massive — truly massive — success from Champaign-Urbana. The other is Alison Krauss. There are lots of bands and musicians who have done big big stuff, too, but in this case, I am talking literally top of the charts, arena tour, top festival billing, style success. 

Anyhow, REO Speedwagon had two number one hits in the 1980s: 

"Keep on Lovin' You" from Hi Infidelity (1981)

 
"Can't Fight This Feeling" Wheels are Turnin' (1984)
 
 
I have been having an internal debate about this for weeks now, and it's time to end that debate. Here's some facts: 
 
Both were #1 hits. 
 
The album that "Keep on Loving You" is from was nominated for a Grammy for Best Rock Performance, losing to The Police. And rightfully so. But still. 
 
"Can't Fight This Feeling" was #1 for three weeks, but only stayed on the charts for 18 total weeks. 
 
"Keep On Loving You" was on the charts for 28 weeks. 
 
"Can't Fight This Feeling" is certified Gold, selling over 500K copies. 
 
"Keep On Loving You" is certified Platinum selling over 1M copes. 
 
They are essentially the same song, as far as structure, lyrics, and identity. 
 
Help. 
 
Photo from Flickr with permission from its owner
Video

Watch CJ Run, Cole Bridges, and Zzo perform for Art Remastered from Home

Back in April, Krannert Art Museum announced they would be hosting the curated lineup of artists to perform as a part of their virtual Remastered from Home series. Remastered typically takes place in the museum itself, but due to COVID-19, the series went online, but the mission of creating a song based on artwork still remains. You can watch the sessions that have happened thus far, below: Zzo, CJ Run, and Cole Bridges have all performed.

Tune in every Thursday at 11 a.m., as there are a few more coming up in the coming weeks: Ausar on May 21st, and Mermaid Heaven on May 28th.

Top image from L to R: Zzo, CJ Run, and Cole Bridges, screenshots from the YouTube videos.