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Franklin STEAM Academy is hosting an Arts Showcase on Thursday

Check out the creativity of some of our local middle school students this week as Franklin opens their doors for an Arts Showcase. Here's what you can expect, per the press release:

  • Performances by the choir, strings orchestra, band and drama students, including a special dance performance by Zeta Phi Beta Step.
  • Student art showcase, with a special unveiling of the Glen Davies STEAM Mural at 6:15 p.m.
  • Art in Science with the University of Illinois Institute of Genomic Biology and geo-mapping with the Department of Geography at the University of Illinois.
  • Fulbright Scholars from the University of Illinois demonstrating Brazilian Art.
  • Control Y, a First Tech Challenge Robotics Team, demonstrating robots.

The showcase will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Franklin STEAM Academy is located at 817 N. Harris Avenue in Champaign.

Word

Ninth Letter has nominated several of their published works for The Pushcart Prize

The Pushcart Prize, a literary series published annually, features works published in small presses, and Ninth Letter is one of those small presses. This year they've nominated five of their published authors from this year, one of which — Rochelle Hurt — did a reading at Pygmalion this fall. 

Kyle McCord, “Envisioning My Grandfather in the Shadow of Hopper’s Lighthouse” (poetry), from Ninth Letter Web Edition, Winter 2018 (February 2018)

Patrick Nathan, “Host” (fiction), from Ninth Letter volume 15, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2018)

Rochelle Hurt, “Zombieland” (essay) from Ninth Letter volume 15, no. 1 (Spring/Summer 2018)

Dylan Loring, “Despite Radically Asynchronous Work Schedules and Fetishes” (poetry) from Ninth Letter volume 15, no. 1 (print edition, May 2018)

Shangyang Fang, “Tether” (poetry), from Ninth Letter Web Edition, Summer 2018 (July 2018)

Tom Howard, “Scarecrows” (fiction), from Ninth Letter volume 15, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2018-19, forthcoming Dec. 2018)

You can purchase print editions here

Word

City of Champaign will collect your trees on January 7th

If you're putting up a real tree this year, and live in Champaign, mark this date on your calendar so you make sure that you dispose of it in the most environmentally friendly way after the holidays. Here are the details from the press release:

The City of Champaign's Holiday Tree Collection Program collection date has been set as Monday, January 7, 2019.  This free collection program is available to all residential properties within the City's corporate limits.  

City residents must place their tree within four feet of the curb by 6 a.m. on Monday, January 7, 2019, for collection.

  • Collected trees are chipped and made into garden mulch.
  • Trees with stands, decorations, tinsel, lights, artificial snow/frost, plastic bags, or any other materials that make the trees non-recyclable will not be collected.
  • Residents may take trees to the Landscape Recycling Center at 1210 E. University Avenue in Urbana for free disposal during the months of January and February.

Please note that Holiday trees will not be collected by zone.  ALL trees must be placed on the curb for pickup by 6 a.m. on January 7.

Word

Did you know Hendrick House provides Meals on Wheels?

We're all familiar with Meals on Wheels right? It's a service many communities have, where volunteers bring hot meals to people who are unable to leave their homes due to mental or physical challenges. Family Service of Champaign County provides this for residents of Champaign, Urbana, and Savoy. Participants pay around $7-8 for a hot noon meal, and around $10-11 if they would also like a "supper sack" consisting of a sandwich, soup, and cookie or fruit that they can have later in the day.

Hendrick House, a U of I private certified residence hall that has become known for it's exceptional dining — they cater, host farm-to-table style dinners, have a rooftop garden, and have expanded into the community as Betsy's Bistro — has been preparing all of the meals for Meals on Wheels (almost) 365 days a year, save a few holidays, for two years. 

According to Hendrick House Food Services Director Diane McNattin, the HH chef works with the Meals on Wheels coordinator to prepare menus each week, then the kitchen staff prepares meals for 55-65 folks every single day, even taking into consideration the varied dietary needs of the recipients. Here's a menu example:

They also package everything individually in hot and cold bags for the route volunteers to pick up at about 10:30 each morning. Then recipients receive homemade food hand delivered by community members just want to help others.

Just a bit of a warm fuzzy to start off your weekend.

Word

Champaign Park District is hosting a fundraiser for the Martens Center

Champaign Park District is continuing to raise funds for the Martens Center, a new facility set to be built in Human Kinetics Park in North Champaign. On January 10th at 5 p.m. you can participate in that fundraising by attending their Ties and Tennies event. And yes, the attire is just what it sounds like. Dress up in your finest then throw on a pair of tennis shoes rather than those pinchy heels or dress shoes. Here are the details from the Facebook event:

Enjoy a fun night out at the historic Virginia Theatre at this new event hosted by the Champaign Parks Foundation. Ties & Tennies will feature tantalizing bite size treats from Biaggis, V. Picasso, and Dish Passionate Cuisine. The night will include live entertainment, wine pull, cash bar, and more, with proceeds going to benefit the new Martens Center, an innovative community center to be built in north Champaign.

Break out your ties and cocktail dresses, then mix it all up with your best pair of tennies and join us for this night of fun as we raise funds for a great cause and pay tribute to those who created the Champaign Parks Foundation!

Tickets are $50, and can be purchased here.

Word

The Office of Volunteer Programs is collecting toy donations

The Office of Volunteer Programs, located in the Illini Union, has set a goal of collecting 1000 toys for kids in need. They're looking for new, unwrapped items for kids from age 5 to 17. You can also donate money that will used to purchase additional toys, as well as wrapping paper and such. Find the full list of suggested toys here. Toys will be given to Toys for Tots to be distributed throughout C-U. 

There are several campus locations where you can drop off your donations through December 13th:

Office of Volunteer Programs
School of Art & Design
Academic Human Resources
Document Services
Illini Union Bookstore
Office of the Provost
Engineering Hall
Computer Science Administration Office

Word

MTD can help get you to the volleyball games this weekend

At the beginning of the Illini volleyball season, MTD launched the 280 tranSPORT to give fans another option for traveling to and from games — a pretty awesome thing because parking close to Huff, especially for these events, tends to be kind of awful to deal with. This allows you to park at or near the Biefeldt Athletics Administration Building at Fourth and St. Mary's, and hop on a shuttle to get you to the game. 

With the regionals of the NCAA tournament happening here this weekend, where there are sure to be big crowds, this seems like the way to go. Here are the details for this weekend's games:

NCAA Tourney Info: Illinois Volleyball's #3 seed team will host NCAA tournament matches on Friday, December 7 & Saturday, December 8 at Huff Hall. All fans can park & ride MTD's tranSPORT service for free from Bielfeldt Athletic Admin Building to Huff Hall. The service runs continuously before, after, & during the matches. See below for details on Volleyball tranSPORT service. GO ILLINI!

Friday, December 7: MTD Volleyball tranSPORT service begins at 9 a.m. and ends 1 hour after the completion of the last match.

Saturday, December 8: MTD Volleyball tranSPORT service begins at 1:30 p.m. and ends 1 hour after the completion of the last match.

Photo from Facebook

Word

Esquire has egg nog slushies

Look, you might think egg nog is disgusting, and that's fine. But for those of you who are here for it, rejoice! Egg nog slushies are available until Christmas. (The above photos are obviously not the egg nog slushies, but you get the idea, yes?)

Esquire has a few other specials this week, so stop by to give them a go:

 
Esquire Lounge
106 N Walnut 
Champaign
11 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
 
Top photo from Facebook
 
Word

Café Kopi is turning 25

This weekend, Café Kopi will celebrate its 25th birthday. Stop by on Saturday, December 8th between 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. for cake and free coffee. There will also be a raffle for a gift basket of goodies. Additional information is available on Facebook.

Here's to the next 25 years in Downtown Champaign!

Café Kopi
109 N Walnut
Champaign
7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily

Top photo by Jessica Hammie

Word

Consider ordering your holiday treats from Pekara

We do quite a bit of traveling during the holiday season — not terribly far, but away nonetheless, and I feel like life is just non-stop as soon as December rolls around. So I appreciate that we have some great local options for ordering items to bring to family gatherings that I don't have to bake myself, and I know they'll probably be way better than whatever I might attempt. Here is what Pekara has to offer this time around:

Photo from Pekara's Facebook page

Word

Should Illinois legalize weed? News & Brews tackles the issue tonight

After the November election, talk of legalizing recreational marijuana in Illinois began to ramp up, as the new governor is a proponent. Tonight, Illinois Newsroom will be focusing on this timely topic for the latest in their News & Brews series: Legalize It? Weed in Illinois from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Riggs Brewery, 1901 S. High Cross Road. 

From the Facebook event:

In the debate over whether to legalize weed in Illinois, there's a lot to consider. At our next News & Brews event on December 4th at Riggs Beer Company in Urbana, we're going to walk you through it: the politics, the money, the implications for health and criminal justice. Bring your thoughts, questions and opinions -- and join the conversation!

We'll provide a fact sheet to get everyone up to speed on recreational cannabis facts and research and a panel of reporters will share their deep knowledge of Illinois cannabis issues and answer your questions!

To help us shape the conversation, we would love to hear what you need to know about legalizing recreational weed in Illinois. Please text your questions to 1-217-394-5765 (standard text message rates apply.)

Here are some questions audience members have wondered so far:

-How can we make an informed decision when government restrictions present roadblocks to research?
-Is it true that legalization would result in financial benefits, like increased revenue and reduced prison costs?
-Where would taxes from weed sales go?
-Is Illinois likely to legalize recreational weed in the near future?
-If it becomes legal, will there be room for small businesses to cultivate recreational cannabis?

Should be an interesting one!