Villanova's Darrun Hilliard scores as Illinois' Rayvonte Rice looks on.

(Rob McColley/Illinois Public Media

December 10, 2014

Villanova Beats Illini 73-59 At Madison Square Garden

Villanova basketball player scoring a layupThe 7th-ranked Villanova Wildcats beat the Illini men 73-59 in basketball Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden in New York.

Dylan Ennis was one of four Wildcats to score in double-figures, leading his team with 18 points.

Illini coach John Groce praised the Wildcats' balance, and added that Villanova was better at just about everything.

“In the last eight minutes, I thought they were smarter, I thought they were tougher”, said Groce. “I thought they executed better. I thought they were more cohesive. I thought they had more grit. We’re not real thrilled about that. There were some things we’ll take away from the game that I thought were positive. And they’ll be some things that we need to get corrected extremely quickly.”

Malcolm Hill led all scorers with a career high 20 points.

Except for Hill (8-of-16) and Kendrick Nunn (4-of-7) it was another bad shooting night for Illinois. Rayvonte Rice connected on only 5-of-15 shots from the floor. Aaron Cosby was 1-of-8. Overall, the team shot 41% and only 50% on free throws.

The Illini committed 14 turnovers for the second consecutive game, but also forced 16 from Villanova. The Wildcats out-rebounded Illinois 37-30.

Notable Illinois alums John Giuliani and Bill Geist sat courtside, the latter with his son, Morning Joe co-host Willie Geist.

Villanova improved to 9-0 on the year. The Illini are now 7-2. They return to action Saturday afternoon at the United Center in Chicago, facing the Oregon Ducks.


The Office of the National Register for Secret State Information in Bucharest.

(AFP/Getty Images)

December 09, 2014

Live Blog: Report Says CIA Misled Senate, White House On Interrogation Program

The CIA "provided inaccurate information to the White House, Congress, the Justice Department, the CIA inspector general, the media and the American public," about the interrogation techniques it used on terror suspects, a long-held Senate Intelligence Committee report finds.


James R. Burgess, former Champaign County State's Attorney

(Courtesy of Champaign County Historical Archives,The Urbana Free Library)

December 09, 2014

Measure To Honor Burgess Heads To Obama’s Desk

Legislation is now headed to President Obama to name the Champaign post office in Campustown for James Burgess – after a bipartisan measure passed the US Senate Monday night.


December 08, 2014

Urbana Council OKs Contribution To Tournament Bid Package

The City of Urbana will contribute $5,000 a year for five years, if Champaign-Urbana succeeds in winning a contract with the Illinois High School Association to bring back the Illinois Boys’ High School Basketball Tournament.


Students protest before the "die-in" on the UIUC campus Monday.

Hannah Meisel/WILL

December 08, 2014

Students Stage Die-In On U of I Campus

Students protest before the die-in on the UIUC campus MondayStudents on the University of Illinois campus dropped to the ground in unison today for a "die-in" rally. The demonstration was held in solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri and New York, who are mourning the non-indictments of the white police officers who killed unarmed black men this summer.

Despite the cold and damp, 200 or so protestors lay on the ground, some staying as long as 4 and a half hours -- as long as Ferguson, Missouri teen Michael Brown's body lay in the street after he'd been shot and killed by a white police officer in August. 

The silence was in stark contrast to earlier shouts of "Black Lives Matter" and other chants. 

But then the singing began...

Led by a female student in a bright headscarf, protestors on the ground and with arms linked on the outside of the group sang, "Mama, mama can't you see what these people out here are doing to me? They killed my brother, won't let me be, someone take me out of this misery."

Brittany Darling, a senior at the U of I, says demonstrating helps her feel less ignored.

"It hurts me to see the country that I believe in really not care whether or not black children are dying," she said.

Darling's arm was linked with Marvin Johnson's, another senior at U of I. He says protesting is a first step in changing laws surrounding racial profiling.

"Because this killing, it has to stop," he said. "It has to stop."

Organizers say they have more solidarity rallies planned this month. 


Secretary of State John Kerry in October 24 file photo.

(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

December 08, 2014

US Prepares For Security Risks With Torture Report

The White House says U.S. embassies are preparing for a greater security risk with the release of a long-anticipated report on the CIA's harsh interrogation techniques. 


Isham Jones with his saxophone in the 1920's.

(Archeophone Records)

December 08, 2014

Two More Grammy Nominations For Champaign Record Label

man holding a saxophoneA local record label known for archival work will again be at the Grammys.  'Isham Jones: Happy', on Archeophone Records, reissues 1920 recordings of a saxophonist and Chicago band leader.

Jones was best known for writing ‘It Had To Be You’ in 1924. 

But Archeophone co-owner Richard Martin said their goal is seek out earlier, underrepresented material from the teens and early 20’s. 

“So in the case of Isham Jones, here is a band leader who is one of the most important figures in the development of the American dance band sound," he said.  "He’s celebrated from his hot jazz sides from the 1930’s – but he started in 1920.”

Martin and his wife and label co-owner, Meagan Hennessey learned Friday they’d been nominated for two Grammys - Best Historical Album, and colleague David Sager for Best Album Notes. 

"(Jones) wrote hundreds of songs, and maybe 30 of them were hits," said Sager.  "Jones said that it was just dance music.  And he was very clear, saying jazz is not necessary dance music.  All jazz is dance music, but not all dance music is jazz, and I think he understood what good, hot playing was about and incorporated it in his ensemble, but it was never considered a jazz ensemble."

Martin and Hennessey said there was a specific character to Jones’ sound in Chicago clubs.

"If you compare his arrangements with other people’s, his records sound very much ahead of their time," said Martin.  "They don’t sound like the other dance band orchestras recorded contemporarily.  And they don’t sound like his hot jazz.  It’s a very different feel."

"There are no lead vocals," said Hennessey.  "No lead coronet or trumpet – that’s the hallmark of jazz that emerges.”

These two nominations mean Archeophone and their collaborators have picked up 11 of them total – their one Grammy win was in 2007, a Best Historical Album award for “Lost Sounds – Blacks and the Birth of the Recording Industry.” 

The Grammys will be handed out February 8th in Los Angeles. 


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