Uncorked at Krannert Tonight

Krannert Uncorked
The James Jones trio kicks of Krannert Uncorked tonight at 5p at KCPA on the U of I campus.

The Thursday after work event at KCPA is back for another season and it get rolling tonight at Krannert on the University of Illinois campus. The Uncorked at Krannert show (and drinks) start at 5p in the spacious lobby and its free. The series extends through the school year each Thursday afternoon.

Tonights kickoff group is The James Jones Trio is traditional blues band from nearby Danville. James Jones will whail away as you sip wine after work–don’t miss it!


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Fighting Illini Football Lightning Delay

It was a first ever for Memorial Stadium at the U of I–a lightning delay. There were few fireworks on the field, just a few from the corners as the Illini scored, but lots of lightning in the skies. As the tailgaters gathered into Memorial Stadium, a few clouds formed in the west–a harbinger of a long afternoon–and evening!

NCAA regulations require that when lightening occurs within 6 miles there must be a delay of 30 minutes. University of  Illinois regulations set it at 8 miles, so for almost 2 hours the Texas State game was delayed. Here are some photos from our cub reporter:

University of Illinois
The game started with a TD for Illinois on the first play from scrimmage.
Texas State vs Illinois
Then a few clouds gathered and the fans expected a bit of rain as forecasted. Lets hope the Illinois Nebraska game can go on without rain–our Illini need to be able to pass the ball in order to have a chance!
Texas State vs Illinois
Quickly, clouds formed, sprinkles dropped and lightning was heard in the west.
Tailgating parking
The stadium was emptied, the clock was frozen in the second quarter and 1000s of fans stood under the east and west stands.
Tim Beckman at Illinois
The new south scoreboard at Memorial Stadium made it clear–you must leave the stands. and take cover.
U of I
University of Illinois police and other law enforcement people made sure all was clear before the crowd was allowed to return to Memorial Stadium.

This weekend Illinois plays Nebraska in Lincoln and rain is forecasted–lets hope no lightning!

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Top Places to Walk, Jog, or Run in Champaign Urbana

Running spot in Champaign Urbana
Colbert Park in Savoy has a great hill for training as well as gravel trails for conditioning for trail running–and there is a water source and restroom!

Chambanamoms recently published a very good list of walking trails around Champaign Urbana–great resource.

When it comes to running spots in CU, there are several and they vary a great deal.

Here is an overview of seven top running and jogging places in the Champaign Urbana area:

-Lake of the Woods near Mahomet- good asphalt trail, 6 miles, shaded for most, nice scenery.

-Meadowbrook Park, Urbana- more of a walking spot and it is cement, but nice prairie area. Near the U of I.

Colbert Park, Savoy– Great hill and gravel paths all around–and drinking water and bathrooms. A bit windswept and near the University of Illinois

-Centennial Track- open almost all the time just west of Centennial High Schoool

Illinois Marathon Route and Stone Creek Drive Trail- decent street route through the Champaign Urbana area. Part of the route goes along Stone Creek Drive which has a great bike run trail.

-U of I Cross Country Trail- Near the Japanese Garden—nice grass trail with a hill

-Kickapoo State Parkand Middle Fork near Oakwood- Good trails both at the park and at the natural area to the north


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Champaign Urbana Fireworks

There are some great options for seeing forworks all around Champaign County and here are some of the favorites:

  1. Tonight at Lodge Park near Monticello. This is a neat little show and gets rolling at dusk. Bring a blanket and get there early!
  2. The show at the State Farm Center in Champaign is just a part of the Champaign County Freedom Celebration. Things are rolling all day in the area…a 5K run, parade, music and food00be there! The main stage is on Kirby between1st and Oak Streets.
  3. It is so amazing to watch the fireworks at Lake of the Woods. Admission is $1 per person and it gets started at 3p.
July 4 Firworks and 5K
The 5K at 9am is just a part of the Champaign Urbana July 4 festivities.
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U of Flash Index for May, 2014

UI Flash Index
The May U of I Flash Index was published in the News Gazette this morning…and the news is good!

The U of I Flash Index for May is up a bit fron April, and that means good news for the Champaign Urbana area economy. In April the figure descended to 106, falling for the fourth month in a row. Still any number above 100 is considered a positive economic situation for Champaign County. The figure for May is 106.2.

The UI Flash Index is published by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Publiuc Affairs and is a weighted average of important economic factors. The index has been on the rise for many months but decreased steadily since January of this year.

This economic stat is important for the Champaign Urbana real estate market because the price of homes and the CU real estate tempo in general is closely related to the factors that go into this index.

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Tennis Camps at U of I

U of I Tennis
The U of I Nike Tennis camps will be at the Atkins Center on the U of I campus. Photo from the Fighting Illini site.

University of Illinois Tennis

One true strength of the Fighting Illini sports programs is the tennis teams–both mens and womens. Over the past 20-30 years there have been some excellent coaches and players through Champaign Urbana and we have been treated to some high level local tennis. The NCAA regionals were even hosted here two years ago

Local Tennis Camps

Now your child can benefit from this UIUC resource by taking in the Nike Tennis Camps at the University of Illinois. There are both Junior overnight as well as day camps and the location at the U of I Atkins Tennis Center is so convenient. The director is U of I women’s tennis coach, Michelle Dasso and her skilled camp team.

All skill levels are welcome and there is even a section for high school tennis players.

There are two sessions coming up soon. One on June 22-26 and the other July 20-24.

Register at USSportscamps.com or call 11-800-NIKE CAMP.


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Illiniois Marathon Today

Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon route
Watch for these signs to alert you to Illinois Marathon runners today.

Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon

Today is the day as 21,000 runners take to the streets of Champaign Urbana for the running of one our area’s biggest events. Tons of info is available on the race website and you can even watch updates on local TV WCIA. it is called “The Extra Mile“.

If you are new to race day here are some pointers:

  • If you want to watch downtown Champaign is a good spot or just go to Memorial Stadium on the U of I campus
  • Watch out in traffic and relax. Look for a Illinois Marathon map and avoid those areas
  • Make a note to volunteer next year. The marathon site has an interactive map so you can volunteer in or near your neighborhood.

Illinois Marathon Results

There are two sites for race results. One is at the race site and the other is Illinois Marathon specific.

Have a great race day and enjoy the run!

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Illinois Renaissance

Renovations at The Farm

Here are some local observations on the work to rehab the old Assembly Hall- now The State Farm Center:

  • Offices that used to be at The Farm are popping up all over- we saw a ticket office out by Le Peep.
  • The wrecking machines were at work outside on the east and west sides and now there are pilings and footings going in
  • The NIT tournament game was won by the Illini basketball team last night but it was played in Boston. Why? Because The Farm is a war zone of construction.
  • Now we don’t know where the next game will be played in the NIT. Where is the U of I Clemson game and when? Because we have no venue, they are figuring it out–stay tuned.

It will be good to see the place spruced up, But for now it takes some adjustments.

Now we call it "The Farm".
Now we call it “The Farm”.
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This Week at Krannert- March 20, 2014

North American Saxaphone Alliance Conference

This week is it all about saxaphones- it is an ALLIANCE of the saxes actually- and all week starting tonight KCPA will be full of them. They call it NASA and this year NASA honors the 200th birthday of Adolphe Sax and the 20th anniversary of the first NASA biennial conference.

NASA 2014 Schedule

The days will be packed and the public is welcome to enfloy the woodwinds at Krannert as well as other University of Illinois venues. One way to keep up is to follow on twitter. Use #NASA2014 or follow @NASA2014.

Chip McNeill- from the NASA2014 site.
Chip McNeill- from the NASA2014 site.

Chip McNeill

One of the organizers is local jazz icon, Chip McNeill. Here is what the NASA site says about him:

In addition to his position with the University of Illinois School of Music, Professor Chip McNeill is Musical Director and Jazz Tenor Saxophonist for Grammy award-winning recording artist, Arturo Sandoval. He has toured with and recorded the compact discs (CDs) Americana and Hot House with Arturo Sandoval. In 1998, Hot House won a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz recording.

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Illini in the NIT- Halftime

Groce and the Illini are trying hard in the first half at the NIT in Boston.
Groce and the Illini are trying hard in the first half at the NIT in Boston.

The Illini basketball team is in the NIT in Boston. The halftime score is 24 -33, Boston.

The University of Illinois boys came out throwing so many bricks that it seemed they would damage the rim.

Same old good defense–just have a hard time hitting. Seems this Boston University is not just a hockey school.

This game would be at the Farm but it is being redone–too bad. There cannot be 3000 people at this game in Boston…and 2/3 of them are Illini fans.

Post game note: They fought hard and pulled it out–and now go on to play Clemson and the second round of the NIT. Game time TBA–again they are having to juggle because of The Farm renovations.


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