Thursday, September 18, 2014

Illinois Innocence Project receives quarter-million dollar grant

The University of Illinois in Springfield gets a quarter of a million dollars for a special project.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Justice in the form of a grant, and will help fund the Illinois Innocence Project based at UIS. The group investigates credible claims of innocence and works to remedy wrongful convictions.

They receive over 300 requests a year for assistance. The grant will allow legal and student staff to continue working on potential cases.

"We are dependent upon grants and private contributions and whatever to help the university can provide for us in order to fund the project. So this is going to help in terms of funding legal staff to take the cases," said Larry Golden, founding director of Illinois Innocence Project.

The story was reported by WICS-TV 20 on September 17, 2014.

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UIS Athletics to hold first Hall of Fame induction on Oct. 11

The University of Illinois Springfield Department of Athletics will induct its inaugural hall of fame class of four individuals and one team Oct. 11 on the UIS campus.

The class includes former men’s soccer coach and athletic director Aydin Gonulsen (1976-2002), UIS supporter Harold Christofilakos, former tennis player Carla Jimenez Mills (1998-2000), former men’s soccer player Elias Shehadi (1976-1979) and 1986 NAIA national champion men’s soccer team.

The induction ceremony will take place in the Studio Theater at the Public Affairs Center at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

A pre-ceremony reception will be held 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the Food Emporium of the PAC and costs $25 for hors d’oeuvres, beer and wine as well as light refreshments during intermission of the ceremony. Children 15 and under are free. Reception tickets will not be sold at the door.

A banner honoring the Hall of Fame inductees will hang in The Recreation and Athletic Center.

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on September 18, 2014.

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More transfers boost UIS men's basketball roster

The University of Illinois Springfield men’s basketball roster has grown in size with the additions of Davi Austin, Colin Blaydes, Xavier Todd and Vince Walker.

Austin transferred from Lewis and Clark Community College. The 6-foot-1 junior guard was the Trailblazers’ leading scorer last season. He averaged 15.4 points per game. He also averaged a team-high 2.9 steals per game and 2.6 assists per game.

Another transfer is 6-4 junior forward Colin Blaydes. He averaged 4 points and 3.8 rebounds for Kishwaukee College last season.

Guard Vince Walker, Bill Walker’s son, is the squad’s sole freshman. Vince averaged a team-leading 12.5 points per game for Ankeny (Iowa) High School before he slipped on ice and broke his left ankle in February. It was repaired surgically and he is currently taking part in pre-season workouts.

The roster also includes 5-10 sophomore guard and Chicago native Xavier Todd.

UIS will have six new players, including junior guard JJ Cravatta and junior forward Sammie Elem, when practice begins Oct. 15.

“I wanted to upgrade the talent, which I think these recruits have helped try to start that process,” Walker said.

The team was featured by The State Journal-Register on September 18, 2014.

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