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DANVILLE – Jim Van Duyn of Danville was a member of the Kickapoo Karvers even before the club got an official name.
"We were just a bunch of guys sitting around carving and decided to start a club because we wanted to have shows," Van Duyn explained.
So they organized, and this weekend the organization will hold its 27th annual Wood Carvers Show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the New Life Banquet Center, 1419 N. Bowman Ave. The banquet center is just north of the church in what used to be the Holiday Square Shopping Center at Bowman Avenue and Voorhees Street.
ARTHUR – The Chet Kingery Memorial Blue Grass Jam will take place this weekend in downtown Arthur.
All acoustic bluegrass and gospel musicians are invited for the annual gathering, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday and lasting until past dark in jam tents in the new Dorothy Jurgens Downtown Park and along south walls in the downtown area.
ALLERTON – There's an oasis of green plants and craft items with a touch of Scotland thrown in for good measure at a little shop called the Potting Shed in the heart of Allerton – not the park but the tiny town of 200 southeast of Champaign-Urbana.
But you might need to look twice to find this gem of a store.
CHAMPAIGN – Filmmaker Eleni Vlachos of Durham, N.C., will bring her feature documentary, "Seeing Through The Fence: A Documentary About Food," to the University YMCA for a screening at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The event is sponsored by Students Improving the Lives of Animals.
RANTOUL – An exposition for people 50 and older is scheduled Oct. 13 at the Rantoul Township High School cafetorium.
The first 50 & Over Expo will feature music, a fashion show, a tai chi demonstration, health screenings, flu shots and seminars. Nearly 40 area businesses will be participating, and dozens of door prizes will be awarded.
URBANA – The Krannert Center Student Association will continue its tradition of presenting an interactive murder mystery party with "The Pink Lace Diamond" on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings.
The mystery focuses on a Prince Regent Hotel maid's discovery of a murder and the twists that follow. A detective discovers an infamous jewel, the pink lace diamond, on one of the hotel's guests. During the investigation, all the hotel guests must help to solve the mystery behind the murder and the diamond's discovery.
URBANA – Three University of Illinois alumni who are published authors will be part of the Writers Come Home presentation taking place on Friday in connection with UI homecoming festivities.
Beginning at 4 p.m. Friday in the Alice Campbell Alumni Center, 601 S. Lincoln Ave., U, they will talk about their books. Afterward, they will sign copies and mingle with guests at an hors d'oeuvres reception featuring piano music by Rick Murphy, music director at University High School in Urbana.
New Orleans resident Kimberly Rivers Roberts wanted to leave town before Hurricane Katrina hit. She tried, to no avail, to find a rental car.
She, her husband and neighbors in the 9th Ward who could not afford to escape rode out the storm, with Roberts shooting the ordeal with a video camera.
"I believe Jesus the Lord will see me through this," she said in a voiceover as she shot her 9th Ward neighborhood when the hurricane first hit. "Whenever the Lord allows it, I'll be able to tell this story."
Two weeks later at a Red Cross shelter in Alexandria, La., Roberts and her husband, Scott, entered the camera frame of documentary filmmakers Carl Deal Jr. and Tia Lessin. The two eventually got to know Kimberly and Scott and to tell, to great effect, their story in "Trouble the Water," the documentary that incorporates Kimberly's compelling and horrifying footage.
URBANA – When their daughter was asked to take a role in a recent production at Krannert Center, Brent and Tammi O'Neill had no clue as to what kind of opportunity she was receiving.
"We never thought it would end up so amazing for her," Tammi said.
Caroline, a third-grader at Next Generation School, not only played a key character in The Builders Association's "Continuous City"; she will also travel with the new show, which had its world premiere last month at Krannert – a financial and technical supporter of the project.
URBANA – Jimmy Carter, the only original active member of the Grammy Award-winning gospel group Blind Boys of Alabama, won't tell his age.
"I just say I'm past 50," he says slyly.
His years beg to be guessed, though, considering that the Blind Boys formed in 1939, at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in Talledega. The original members sang together in a choir and then a glee club at the school before forming the Blind Boys and hitting the road in 1944.
"We've been going ever since," Carter said.