School's out, work's in: Highlights of UI's summer construction

School is out, and with a relatively dry May, the summer construction season is already in high gear on campus.

More than 50 improvement projects totaling tens of millions of dollars are scheduled between now and mid-August, when University of Illinois students return.

Entertainment listings, May 31-June 7, 2018


This weekend


John Frayne | Three cheers for Central Illinois Youth Orchestra concert

The East Central Illinois Youth Orchestra, conducted by Kevin Kelly, gave its spring concert in the Foellinger Great Hall on May 20. This youth orchestra, under Kelly's firm and encouraging beat, played eight pieces, in various moods, displaying a highly praiseworthy level of musicianship and technical achievement. This ensemble is a program of the Conservatory of Central Illinois.

Jim Dey | Baseball's physics guru provides 'seamless' analysis

Incoming calls have slowed to a trickle, but last Friday, University of Illinois Professor Emeritus Alan Nathan was talking by phone to reporters "virtually all day."

He said he's "not complaining." Indeed, Nathan accepts it as part of the responsibility that comes with being the "Unofficial Physicist of Major League Baseball."

National Council of Negro Women's 'living legends': 'It's up to all of us'

Earlier this month, the Champaign County section of the National Council of Negro Women honored local "living legends" at its annual gala.

Some of the 80-plus-year-old honorees grew up in Champaign-Urbana while others moved here as adults. Staff writer NATALIE WICKMAN spoke with four of them about the past and the future.

Transformation of Spalding Park gets underway today

CHAMPAIGN — Construction is set to start today on work that will transform Spalding Park to, in part, serve the needs of Champaign schools.

The work is a joint project by the Champaign Park District and the Unit 4 school district after the boards of both government bodies approved an intergovernmental agreement.

Charter-school proponents pledge to retool, resubmit proposal

CHAMPAIGN — Deferred, yes. Dead, no.

That's the way backers describe the status of the North Champaign Academy Charter School, which was formally rejected by the Unit 4 School District earlier this month. NCA officials say they plan to start the process anew, hoping to refine the plan that failed to win the district's backing after it was submitted on Feb. 26.

Retired suburban Chicago superintendent to speak at NAACP talk in Champaign

CHAMPAIGN — Barbara Suggs Mason might be retired, but she isn't quite finished educating people. That's partially why the Champaign native and former Matteson Elementary schools superintendent is headlining a Champaign County NAACP-sponsored talk Wednesday called "How to Raise a Successful Child." It runs from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Douglass Branch Library and includes refreshments.

UI system's interim CFO named to take over role permanently

URBANA — Avijit Ghosh, interim vice president and chief financial officer of the University of Illinois system, now has the job on a permanent basis.

UI President Tim Killeen announced the appointment Tuesday, saying Ghosh "has seen our operations from nearly every angle and knows our strengths, our opportunities and the power of our academic and research missions."

Aspiring chemist's enthusiasm lit a fire ... on his arms

PAXTON — In hindsight, Adam McMullin's chemistry experiment last summer was "really dumb," he admitted.

"I wouldn't recommend anyone do it," the 18-year-old Bayles Lake resident said, "because it was really dangerous."