Local Briefs: School to celebrate Black History Month

By Andrea Cheng and Megan Kelly

Bottenfield Elementary School, 1801 S. Prospect Ave., is hosting its annual Kick Off Night titled “The Music of Our Soul.” The event will take place from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24 at the school’s gymnasium. The night is a “kick off” to Black History Month in February. Rev. Harold Davis will make an opening address, the Bottenfield Gospel Choir will sing “My Father’s House,” and professional musician Kevin Burt will sing along and play the guitar. In addition, the Bottenfield Student Council will provide information on four black musicians. For more information, contact Amber Owens or Jeanne Davis at the school, (217) 351-3807.

Early voting deadlines approaching

Mark Shelden, Champaign County clerk, announced the deadlines for the Feb. 5 general primary election. The deadline for Early Voting, a new voting process where voters do not need an excuse to vote before Election Day, is Jan. 31. Early Voting is at regular office hours from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on weekends at Shelden’s office, 1776 E. Washington St., in Urbana.

For those voting by mail, the deadline to submit an absentee ballot application is Jan. 31. Ballot return envelopes must be postmarked by midnight the day before the election. The last day to vote absentee in-person at Shelden’s office is Monday, Feb. 4. Absentee voters at the office must provide photo I.D. and a reason for voting using an absentee ballot. Shelden’s office will have additional hours for absentee voting from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2 and until 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 4. The office will be closed on Tuesday, Feb. 5 to conduct the election.

Award ceremony to recognize economic achievements

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The third annual Innovation Celebration will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 27 at the Beckman Institute Atrium. The event will recognize citizens and groups that have contributed to Champaign County’s economic success, the University’s economic development mission and the growth of entrepreneurial talent in the area. Eight awards will be presented at the ceremony: Social Entrepreneurship, Entrepreneur Advocacy, Economic Development Impact, Technology Transfer, Innovation Discovery, Entrepreneurial Excellence in Management, Longevity Through Innovation and Student Start Up. Award nominations are open to the public until Jan. 31. The Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of Illinois, the Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership of the University of Illinois and the Champaign County Economic Development Corporation will sponsor the event.

Web site launch celebrates Black History Month

Entrepreneurs William Moss (founder of HBCU.com) and Dante Lee (founder of BlackNews.com) have recently launched BlackHistory.com, a free online encyclopedia and social networking Web site featuring information, pictures and video about African-American accomplishments. The Web site is divided into five categories: people, places, events, terms and organizations.

“BlackHistory.com is a valuable asset to students and professionals looking to conduct research, but also to advertisers who want to show their strong support for Black History month,” Moss said in a press release.