Music educator Willie Summerville again teaching class

CHAMPAIGN – Longtime music educator Willie Summerville will again teach a music class starting Monday that focuses awareness of diversity issues. The University of Illinois class is open to community members.

"Harmonizing Differences Using African American Sacred Music" will help people wanting to learn the appropriate sacred music for special occasions and African-American holidays, Summerville said.

Champaign council OKs plans for sesquicentennial

CHAMPAIGN – The city's yearlong sesquicentennial celebration will kick off in March with an exhibition chronicling the city's 150-year history, but planners are still seeking artifacts for the walkthrough.

The plans for the celebration, which will run through March 2011, were unanimously approved by the city council during its Tuesday night meeting.

Trailblazing nominees sought Innovation Celebration

CHAMPAIGN – Sponsors of the annual Innovation Celebration – which heralds local entrepreneurs – are seeking nominees for eight awards to be given Feb. 25.

The fifth annual awards ceremony is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. that day at the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St., C.

Jan. 24 prayer service to celebrate 'sanctity of life'

DANVILLE – The Women's Care Clinic will hold a Sanctity of Life Community Prayer Service at 6 p.m. Jan. 24 at the New Life Christian Center, 2105 N. Bowman Ave.

The service will include music, a client testimony, and an inspirational message about the gift of life, as well as an update on the services provided at the clinic.

Romance writers help each other at monthly meeting

URBANA – Sometimes, it takes more than love to make a manuscript.

Sometimes, you need a little help from a group of fellow writers to get to the heart of a story.

Consultant says fiber-optic Web network project too big

URBANA – Local officials are waiting for word on a federal grant application to help build a high-speed fiber-optic Internet network, but a consultant hired to advise Champaign and Urbana councils thinks the proposed project here is designed too large and will have big problems with capital replacement in 10 years.

At a meeting of the Champaign-Urbana Cable Commission Wednesday, project organizers said there has been extensive questioning by federal officials about a local $28 million big broadband project. Mike Smeltzer, director of networking for the University of Illinois Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services, told commission members, "We've been getting a going-over ... and we see this as hopeful."

Ex-UI prof chose best of European writing for book

CHAMPAIGN – Reviewers of Dalkey Archive Press' inaugural anthology, "Best European Fiction 2010," often wonder why such a collection hasn't been released before.

There's a good reason, said Martin Riker, associate director of the publishing house at the University of Illinois.

"It's an enormous undertaking to be able to publish new fiction from countries all around Europe," he said. "You need to translate an extraordinary amount of work" from which to select.

Fundraiser for WEFT 90.1 FM, food bank starts Monday

CHAMPAIGN – WEFT 90.1 FM and the Eastern Illinois Foodbank will begin collaborating Monday on their second annual Radio Food Drive.

For every $10 donated to the community radio station, WEFT will donate $1 to the food bank, which in turn will buy up to $10 worth of food for families in need through its network of wholesale food distributors.

Symphony's concert focuses on 'Faith, Tragedy and Joy'

URBANA – The Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra will present a 50th anniversary season concert with the theme "Faith, Tragedy and Joy" starting at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Foellinger Great Hall of Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.

The evening will begin with the world premiere of a fanfare, "Cahokia," written by Brian Baxter for the orchestra's golden anniversary. It chronicles the rise and fall of the ancient prehistoric metropolis in southern Illinois.

CUTC schedules annual Ginny Awards Gala for Jan. 30

CHAMPAIGN – The Champaign Urbana Theatre Company will host its annual Ginny Awards Gala on Jan. 30 in the Chancellor Ballroom of the I Hotel and Conference Center, 1900 S. First St. The event is open to the public.

The Ginny Awards, the CUTC's equivalent of the Academy Awards, are named after Champaign's historic Virginia Theatre, where CUTC productions have been staged since 1992. Ginny awards are given to CUTC performers who are voted "best" in a variety of categories: male and female actors; supporting male and female actors; up-and-coming actor; musical moment; dance moment; dramatic moment; and comedic moment.

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