Briefs: Memorial bike ride to be held Saturday for student

By Amanda Graf and Susan Kantor

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of the death of Matt Wilhelm, a 25-year-old University graduate student killed on his bicycle by a driver downloading ringtones.

The Wilhelm family, along with local bicyclist groups, has organized a memorial bike ride through Campustown and Urbana to promote awareness.

“We’re trying to increase safety awareness on local roads, especially for bicyclists,” said Gloria Wilhelm, Matt’s mother.

The bike ride will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday morning at the Garden Pavilion in Meadowbrook Park, at Windsor Road and Race Street in Urbana. There is no cost to participate in the ride; T-shirts and snacks will be provided.

Wilhelm said she does not have an exact estimate of how many people will attend, but the family is expecting a large crowd. She also said that anyone can participate in the bike ride to remember Matt.

Human rights film series set to begin on Sept. 30

The Illinois Disciples Foundation’s semi-annual Human Rights Film Series will focus on issues of immigration.

According to a press release, the foundation hopes the series will bring discussion on immigration to the forefront in the community and work to uphold human rights for all.

The series begins on Sept. 20 with “Wetback: The Undocumented Documentary,” a film that follows migrants on their journey from Nicaragua to Canada.

The films will begin at 7 p.m. at the Illinois Disciples Foundation, located at the northwest corner of Springfield Avenue and Wright Street in Champaign. A facilitated discussion will follow the screening.

UI study: Isoflavones may reduce rotavirus infections

According to a University study published in the September edition of the “Journal of Nutrition,” isoflavones, a concentration present in soy baby formula, may reduce infants’ susceptibility to rotavirus infection by as much as 74 percent.

“Rotavirus is a primary causes of diarrhea in infants, affecting virtually all children before age five. In developing countries rotavirus causes approximately 611,000 deaths each year,” said Sharon Donovan, the Melissa M. Noel Professor of Nutrition at the University.

Donovan said she hopes the formula will be a cost-effective nutritional approach to decreasing the incidence and severity of rotavirus infections.

National gas turbine symposium to be held

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers International Gas Turbine Institute will hold the 2007 Gas Turbine Users Symposium from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13 in New Orleans.

The symposium allows users to exchange ideas for using industrial gas turbines and aero-engines.

Subjects such as engine management, maintenance and repair, and equipment and products will be covered in panel and roundtable discussions.

The International Gas turbine Institute promotes technical information exchange in the global gas turbine community.

New Amtrak consumer campaign comes to C-U

Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, will be at the Amtrak station in Champaign on Sept. 10 at 10:15 a.m. to participate in the “Catch an Illinois Train” campaign.

Officials will unveil Champaign-specific schedules and flyers designed to make Amtrak services easier for new riders to use.

“Amtrak is crucial to the vitality of Champaign-Urbana,” Jakobsson said. “By taking the train, people save money and reduce traffic congestion, which also cuts the release of automobile emissions into the air.”

Last year, Illinois doubled its financial commitment to train service and doubled frequencies along three routes in Illinois.

Carle holds reunion for former infant patients

Families cared for in the Carle Foundation Hospital’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) since 2001 will have a chance to reconnect with past staff members and other former patients at an annual reunion.

According to a press release from Carle, a NICU stay is a “lifelong memory and families will always have that bond with each other as well as the NICU staff.”

More than 500 guests are expected to attend. NICU reunions have been held for more than 20 years.