University of Illinois

University of Illinois

UI chancellor says his future rests with board members

URBANA – University of Illinois Chancellor Richard Herman says he has no plans to resign but acknowledges his future rests with the school's board of trustees, which itself is in flux following a state investigation of political clout in the school's admissions process.

In a wide-ranging interview Tuesday with The News-Gazette, Herman said he regrets his involvement with the so-called Category I system for tracking politically connected applicants, and expressed his hope that the campus can move forward with admissions reforms and other priorities.

Indie-country singer Mattea to perform at UI Research Park

CHAMPAIGN – Indie-country singer Kathy Mattea would not use the word "proud" to describe her feelings about her Grammy-nominated album "Coal."

She'd rather say "astonished, thrilled and humbled."

For her, the discovery after decades in the music business, that simple songs – "if you get out of their way they can do their work and can be more than enough" – was a wonderful reminder at this point in her life.

Family of murder victim funding scholarship to UI

WELLINGTON – The family of a Chrisman man slain in his home almost two years ago has set up an endowment to fund a scholarship at the University of Illinois in his honor.

Marcia and Earl Prasse of Wellington, the parents of the late Mark Prasse, want students from a rural background with financial need who are interested in mechanical engineering to benefit from their legacy.

Charleston native, partner win 'Can You Duet' contest

NASHVILLE – After a decade of trying to get his big break in the music business, Charleston native Josh Jones has won a recording contract and the opportunity of a lifetime.

Steel Magnolia, the singing duo of Jones and his partner Meghan Linsey, were crowned the winners of this season's "Can You Duet" music competition on CMT. The season finale aired Saturday night.

Jones, 28, auditioned with his girlfriend Linsey and they were selected for the show over thousands of other hopefuls. The two have been singing and writing songs together for three years in Nashville.

Stagehands union protests work by out-of-state firm

CHAMPAIGN – A local union of stagehands and riggers has filed a grievance with the University of Illinois over renovation work being done in the Assembly Hall.

The university this spring awarded a nearly $1.2 million contract to Hoist Sales & Service of Florida to remove an old hoist system and install a new one in the Assembly Hall. The work began in July. Hoist systems hold stage equipment in the air, such as theater curtains and lights.

Tried and True: MeLinda Lee's Snicker surprise

"OK, you asked for it. ... This one is awesome," said MeLinda Lee of Broadlands of her Snicker Surprise. "This a nice quick dessert to take to a cookout and kids love it, too."

UI's flash economic index at lowest point in 26 years

URBANA – The University of Illinois Flash Index has dropped to its lowest point in 26 years.

The index, which reflects the condition of the Illinois economy, fell to 91.5 in July, down from 92 in June. The July reading was the lowest since the 90.5 reading for November 1983.

Minority teens consider business careers

URBANA – Jasmine Qualls said the past three weeks at the University of Illinois opened her eyes to new ideas and concepts.

"You don't have to stay where you are. You can go outside your surroundings," said the 17-year-old high school senior from Dallas.

Broadband resolutions on councils' agendas

Resolutions to support a communitywide Internet network are being sought from the Urbana and Champaign city councils.

Urbana council members will consider resolutions at their meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday at the Urbana council chambers, 400 S. Vine St. The Champaign council will consider resolutions at its meeting set for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Champaign council chambers, 102 N. Neil St.

The Fray to perform at the Assembly Hall in September

CHAMPAIGN – Don't be afraid to step into The Fray. They'll be stepping into Champaign's Assembly Hall at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15.

The Denver-based band will have tickets on sale for the local show starting at 10 a.m. Aug. 8.