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A 19-year-old University of Illinois student remains in custody today after authorities say he threatened classmates while referencing the shootings at Virginia Tech. Dany Sammack is being held on $250,000 bond after he was charged with felony disorderly conduct.  The Champaign News-Gazette reports Sammak was arrested over the weekend after he made what authorities said were "terrorist-like threats" and made shooting gestures with his hands. A search by law enforcement of Sammak's home, computer and other property didn't turn up any evidence that he was part of a larger plot to harm others.

 
Published in Local News

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - A top official from a Russian research university will be the new director of the University of Illinois' National Center for Supercomputing Applications.

The University of Illinois said Monday that H. Edward Seidel will be the new NCSA director.

Seidel has been a senior vice president at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology in Moscow. The institute is a relatively new private university opened in a partnership between the Russian government and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Seidel replaces Thom Dunning who retired this year.

Seidel's resume includes work at the National Science Foundation and the University of Illinois. He held several positions at the U of I in the 1990s including a senior researcher position at NCSA.

He has a Ph.D. from Yale in relativistic astrophysics.

Published in Local News

    The union representing about 800 building and food service workers who went on strike at the University of Illinois earlier this month says they've reached a tentative deal with the school.  Service Employees International Union spokesman Adam Rosen says employees will vote on the four-year offer today and tomorrow.  

     Details of the agreement aren't being released, but University spokesperson Robin Kaler says administrators are optimistic that it will be accepted.

 
Published in Local News
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The people behind the $300 million Blue Waters supercomputer project at the University of Illinois are celebrating this week.

The computer is now up and running. It is one of the world's fastest supercomputers and can maintain a speed standard known as a petaflop, which allows unusually complex calculations.

In late 2011 it looked like the project might never be finished. Original builder IBM pulled out and that set off a scramble.

Thom Dunning is director of the National Center for Supercomputing Applications at the university. He admits there were real worries the project might stop.

But Cray Inc. took over and Blue Waters is now essentially complete. It's running about 30 projects exploring everything from earthquakes to space satellites.

Blue Waters will be officially launched in a ceremony Thursday.
Published in Local News
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Shane Larkin hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with a minute left and Miami kept possession on a ball knocked out of bounds that probably should have gone to Illinois, helping the Hurricanes hold on for a 63-59 victory Sunday night to advance to the NCAA round of 16.

After Larkin's first field goal in about 9 1/2 minutes, D.J. Richardson missed a 3-pointer. In the fight for the rebound, the ball appeared to ricochet off the hands of Miami's Kenny Kadji out of bounds. But the Hurricanes kept the ball, and Durand Scott made two free throws after that.

Miami (29-6) is in the round of 16 for only the second time in school history. The Hurricanes play Marquette (25-8) in Washington D.C. on Thursday night.

Larkin, the only non-senior starter for Miami and the ACC player of the year, finished with 17 points. Rion Brown had 21 with five 3s.

Brandon Paul had 18 points for Illinois (23-13).
Published in Sports
Friday, 15 March 2013 02:45

U of I students want Chief back

He may not be coming back, but it is clear Chief Illiniwek still has strong support among University of Illinois students.

Almost 80 percent of the more than 11,500 students who voted in a recent campus referendum said they believed the American Indian mascot should be the symbol of the university's Urbana-Champaign campus.

University officials say that's not going to happen.

The university dropped the Chief mascot in 2007 under pressure from the NCAA.
Published in Local News
URBANA, Ill. (AP) - Students applying to get into the University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus will be able to apply online next year. But they won't be using an online process that allows students to apply to many colleges with one application.

The News-Gazette in Champaign reports that the university is developing its own online application for the Urbana-Champaign and Springfield campuses. Students applying to the Chicago campus can already use the Common Application Consortium that also covers more than 450 schools.

A university committee has decided that the $500,000 annual cost of the Common Application Consortium to the university's flagship campus outweighed its benefits. The university says an in-house system will cost about $50,000 a year.

The Springfield campus has an online application system. It also doesn't use the Common Application Consortium.
Published in Local News
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The University of Illinois says it will be spending the next year and a half re-evaluating its logos and branding, calling the effort overdue in sparking interest among recruits and fans.

The News-Gazette in Champaign reports that university officials say the review is unrelated to Chief Illiniwek.

As the university's assistant athletic director for corporate sponsorships, Marty Kaufmann says the university hasn't updated any of its brands since before 2007.

Kaufmann adds the university will work with Nike's graphic designers and marketing experts to refresh the school's look and brand, at Nike's expense. That could include tweaking a font or making the colors more consistent.

He says any changes likely won't be apparent until the fall of next year.

Kaufmann says the rebranding push won't address the mascot issue.
Published in Local News

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- After a long wait, Jabari Brown is finally feeling like part of the Missouri basketball program.

Making his first start of the season, Brown had 18 points and seven rebounds Saturday to lead the 12th-ranked Tigers to an 82-73 win over No. 10 Illinois in the annual Braggin' Rights game.

Laurence Bowers paced Missouri (10-1) with 23 points and 10 rebounds, while Alex Oriakhi added 13 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Phil Pressey had 12 points and 11 assists to help the Tigers win their fourth straight in the 32-year-old series.

Brown, a transfer from Oregon, became eligible after the first semester and made his initial appearance Monday in a 102-51 win over South Carolina State.

A blue-chip recruit, he made the most of his first starting assignment Saturday.

"It was fun. I'm part of the family now," he said.

Brown anxiously watched from the sidelines as the Tigers rolled out to an 8-1 record without him. After becoming eligible, he has worked hard to make up for lost time.

"I wanted to prove I could play right away and fit in any way I can," Brown said. "I spent a lot of time practicing and getting used to things and the way they play here.

"Now, I'm finally feeling comfortable."

Brandon Paul led Illinois (12-1) with 23 points. Tyler Griffey scored 14, Joseph Bertrand had 13 and Nnanna Egwu 12 for the Illini.

Missouri used a 9-0 run late in the game to take the lead for good at 70-64. The Tigers held a 58-35 edge on the boards and outscored Illinois 44-24 in the paint.

Illinois, which leads the overall series 20-12, won nine meetings in a row from 2000-08 before Missouri began its winning streak.

Brown triggered a key 9-0 spurt that erased a three-point deficit and put the Tigers ahead 70-64. He had four points and two rebounds during the 2:31 span.

Brown scored from close range off a perfect pass from Earnest Ross to increase the lead to 68-64. Pressey added a short jumper seconds later to complete the run.

Oriakhi, who had his fourth double-double of the season, was impressed with Brown's effort.

"He's unbelievable. He did a little bit of everything tonight," Oriakhi said. "I can't believe he's fit in so fast. He's one of us now."

Brown played in two games at Oregon last season before deciding to transfer. He watched last season's Braggin' Rights game from his home in Oakland and was intrigued by the atmosphere, which annually features a sellout crowd with the fans divided equally between the schools.

"I had visited (Missouri) and really hadn't made a decision, but I thought, if I choose (Missouri), that's going to be a fun game to play in," Brown said.

Missouri coach Frank Haith was more than pleased with the performance of his new addition. He immediately moved Brown into the starting lineup after a 12-point performance against South Carolina State, in which Brown excelled defensively.

"It was all about our balance," Haith said. "And he can do a lot of things."

The physical game against Illinois featured 19 lead changes, 35 fouls and 43 free throws.

"They've got a lot of depth and they've got size," Illinois first-year coach John Groce said. "They're good now. They've got a chance to get even better moving forward."

The Tigers scored 12 of the final 16 points in the first half to take a 41-35 lead into the break. Illinois reeled off eight unanswered points midway through the second half to go up 51-50 on a driving layup by Tracy Abrams. The Illini took their biggest lead of the second half, 64-61, on a baseline jumper by Egwu with 6:43 remaining.

But the Missouri defense took over from there, forcing seven successive Illinois misses. Brown, Ross, Tony Criswell and Pressey chipped in with key baskets.

Illinois managed only three field goals in the final 3:29.

Published in Sports
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