News briefs

By Jenette Sturges

University extends graduate courses to Naperville in order to develop business

Naperville is about to get a little smarter. The University announced Thursday that it will begin offering graduate courses at a satellite facility in the Chicago suburb this fall.

The new Naperville facility will host for-credit graduate-level courses in Engineering and computer science, as well as Business and Industry Services, a program of University Extension.

The programs are aimed at developing business in the state by providing more training. “It’s a combination of the corporate training and consulting opening here, as well as the credit programs for U of I,” said BIS Executive Director Mary Rose Hennessy.

According to a press release from the University, one of the major goals of the new programming is to help local businesses survive on the global market. It is estimated that Business and Industry Services has helped about 6,000 companies since it was started 24 years ago.

Wide assortment of music to headline summer festival at Allerton Park

Allerton Park, one of the “Seven Wonders of Illinois,” as voted by the Illinois Board of Tourism, will play host to all kinds of music this summer, including American classical, Latin jazz, Balinese gamelan and zydeco. It’s all part of the new Allerton Music Barn Festival, which will be held this Labor Day weekend at the park near Monticello.

The program is the vision of the School of Music’s director, Karl Kramer, and will be held in a newly restored 19th-century Dutch barn at Allerton.

This year’s festival will feature four days of programming. Daily and weekend passes are available and will include a pre-event meal to match the music. Music- and food-lovers will enjoy the Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble and a meal of Havana market salad, white bean soup with spicy chorizo and kale, roasted pork medallions served with yucca, rice and beans, and tostones, and home-made flan on Aug. 31.

For tickets and more information, go to

Rantoul festival to focus on diversity, health- and work-related issues

This year’s Harvest Festival in Rantoul is going to be a little different from other local community festivals: it’s going to feature food from Real Hacienda and a showcase of Aztec dancing.

The third year of the event, hosted by the village of Rantoul, is designed to celebrate the diversity of the community and will offer services to the area’s migrant workers. In addition to the typical entertainment and a speech from Mayor Neal Williams, this year’s Harvest Festival will include workshops and health screenings. Organizations will also be on hand to distribute information on services including employment, farmworker rights and housing resources.

Also, boxes will be set out at the festival to collect long-sleeved T-shirts, which farmworkers use to protect themselves while detassling corn.

For more information call Aide Acosta at (217) 721-4114 or Juliana Gonzalez-Crussi at (312) 663-1522 ext. 205.

Compiled by Jenette Sturges