Thursday, June 2, 2016

UIS baseball to install turf infield

A bare-bones baseball diamond greeted Chris Ramirez when he became the University of Illinois Springfield baseball coach in July 2013.

It was mostly a blank canvas except for an outfield fence, chain link backstop, a bullpen, bases and pitching mound. In time for the 2014 baseball season, Ramirez transformed the practice diamond into a home field.

The Prairie Stars' inaugural season was 2011 and they played the first three years away from campus. In Ramirez's first season UIS began playing on campus, and the diamond has continued taking shape through the years.

UIS will play its seventh season on a field with artificial turf on the infield. The school announced Wednesday it is replacing the grass and will install turf in October.
“We’re the biggest program in town,” Ramirez said. “We need to have the nicest facility in town.”

Once the turf goes in, UIS will join Quincy as the only teams in the 16-team Great Lakes Valley Conference with turf infields.

“Three years ago, we were the only team in the GLVC that didn’t have a field,” Ramirez said. “Now we are one of two teams in the GLVC that will have turf. It takes us from being on the low end to being one on the high end.”

As part of its First Pitch Phase Facility Campaign, UIS raised $270,000 in donations in six months to install field turf on the infield.

The story was reported by the State Journal-Register on June 2, 2016.

Read the full article online.

Survey shows Sangamon County businesses worried about state finances

The Survey Research Office at the University of Illinois Springfield has released the Spring 2016 Sangamon County Economic Outlook Survey.

The study examines the economic perceptions, expectations and evaluations of Sangamon County businesses as well as public and non-profit organizations.

The spring 2016 survey reveals that economic expectations for the economy of Sangamon County have decreased slightly since the spring of 2015 across all economic sectors. More than a third of respondents (36%) expect to see a decline in the state of the overall economy in the next 12 months. Similarly, 27% say that overall employment will decline, and 25% think that revenue will also decrease in the next 12 months.

The story was reported by WUIS Radio on May 31, 2016.

Read/listen to the full story online.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Japanese-Americans see significance in Obama's Hiroshima visit

Erika Suzuki of Springfield recalled talking to an American who recently visited Hiroshima.

"He told me that they didn't expect an apology (from President Obama), that they only required three words: 'No more Hiroshimas,' in any places in the world," said Suzuki, program coordinator for International Student Services at the University of Illinois Springfield.

"In my feeling, the majority of Hiroshima people want him to see and learn what happened (as a result of the bombing) and to lead the world into the future."

The visit adds to the “Obama Doctrine,” especially the use of diplomacy rather than a unilateral approach, said Ali Nizamuddin, an associate professor of political science at UIS.

“It’s not just a cosmetic visit,” said Nizamuddin. “It sends a positive message that the U.S. is committed to Japan and the security alliance.”

The story was reported by The State Journal-Register on May 22, 2016.

Read the full article online.