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The Daily Illini

Friday April 26, 2013

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Vol. 142 Issue 147

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Suburban Express files more lawsuits Bus company has issued 125 small-claims lawsuits in 2013

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BY CORINNE RUFF STAFF WRITER

Students are continuing the conversation on the UIUC subreddit after Suburban Express lawsuits filed against passengers this year increased from 44 to 125 since Monday. Suburban Express filed 209 lawsuits since April 1994, when the first lawsuit was filed in Champaign County. Eightyfour of these lawsuits were filed prior to 2013. Jeremy Leval, a graduate student who authored the viral Facebook post about a fine he

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%($5 PORTRAITS BY BRENTON TSE

Illini on Target President Aleks Dapkus: “It’s a human right of self defense.� BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI

received after an incident with a bus driver, was one of many students who was charged with a lawsuit Monday. Leval’s attorney and father, Alain Leval, said he will respond “rigorously� to the lawsuit, “My goal is to defend my client, my son, and defend the rights he has,� he said. “I am not here to change the landscape of this situation. I don’t know if it will change or not.�

See SUBURBAN, Page 3A

STAFF WRITER

“Everything I do gives me callouses,� Aleks Dapkus says, and he crams another bullet into the handgun magazine wedged against his stomach and upper thigh. “I tend to overuse everything on one hand.� His smile turns to a thinner grin as he attempts to fit another round against the magazine’s curved, unmerciful metal lip with the bone-white fingers of his right hand. Aleks would never think of it that way: his right hand. No, it’s just his Hand, his Wrist, his Elbow and his Arm — the only ones he has. When Aleks was five weeks old, doctors discovered cancer in that left arm. They were forced to amputate at the shoulder. Today, Aleks is going to shoot some guns. Aleks is 21, and on a bright February day his thin frame is concealed beneath the black-blue wool of a surplus Italian officer’s coat. He has a friendly, boyish face edged only with a dense brown scruff under his chin, and he wears heavy-duty hearing protection gear over both ears.

The jacket has gold buttons. The left sleeve hangs loose and empty at his side. Two days before, Aleks was narrowly elected as president of Illini On Target, a Registered Student Organization at the University. Every other Sunday, Aleks and a handful of club members caravan to a local farmer’s property 20 miles southeast of campus. The farmer has allowed the group to set up an ad hoc range on his land. They bring their own targets and gear. Aleks is aiming a mean-looking .45 caliber USP pistol at a soda can on a bale of hay. He tilts the pistol 45 degrees to the left, so that the recoil will hit the fleshy part of his palm and drive his elbow slightly sideways. If he simply held the pistol upright, as a person with a standard two-handed grip would, the blast would rock the pistol straight up, terminally unbalancing his next shot. It’s the kind of situational adaptability that Aleks has honed his entire life, from the complexity of firing a handgun to the simple task of

opening a pickle jar. “You need to sit down before you open the pickle jar,� he says. “Once you sit down, where do I put it that’s best? Now that I have it open, how do I make it so that it doesn’t spill? So you break down a broad idea into core components.� Aleks pulls the trigger and fires, shredding the soda can and sending it end-over-end into the air.

Number of Suburban Express lawsuits greatly increase in 2013 This graph shows the number of small claim lawsuits filed by Suburban Express between 1994 and 2013.

More online: Watch three

members of Illini On Target talk about why they love to

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shoot at DailyIllini.com

“offbeat,� as he puts it, would set him off. “I felt like I was unjustly wronged, and I didn’t want to be wronged anymore,� he says. As he got older, Aleks learned restraint, and he received a lot of opportunities to practice it. The taunts continued throughout grade school, middle school, and even into his freshman year of high school. But by his sophomore year, the tide had passed him. There were other distractions in high school, so even the bullies left him alone eventually. But in some form, that old anger still persisted. So Aleks did what he knew best. He adapted. “I wanted a purpose again. I always want to be trying to change something and make it better,� he says. “I wanted a purpose to fight

Aleks doesn’t remember the specific way his grade school classmate made fun of him, but he knows it was about his arm. What he does recall is how he grabbed the boy by the neck and held him hard against a wall. “I lifted him, and as I dropped him, I punched him in the nose, and his nose just started gushing blood, and he ran off to tell the teacher,� he says. “I was pretty proud of myself.� He was a fighter in grade school, quick to anger. His obvious difference led to taunting, name-calling and frequent encounters with bullies. During those years, he was wound so tight that anything

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BY JANELLE O’DEA STAFF WRITER

Illinois soil was saturated enough to stop farmers from planting corn crops last week. The saturation of the soil is due to high precipitation levels in the past few weeks, according to a United States Department of Agriculture report. The report said statewide precipitation was 3.15 inches above normal. Statewide topsoil is at a 65 percent surplus, meaning only 35 percent of the soil in the state is suitable for growing crops. A surplus in soil moisture means the soil is too wet for crops to properly develop, said Greg Gholson, agricultural statistician at the USDA Illinois Field Office. The USDA defines topsoil as the first six inches of soil and the subsoil is everything below. Gholson said the top two to three inches of soil are used for planting, and crops need topsoil moisture to “get started, but they need the subsoil moisture later on.� Champaign farmer John Reifsteck said he had a small window where he could have planted corn,



but high soil moisture as well as cool soil temperatures contributed to the delay in planting it. At this time last year, Reifsteck was done planting both corn and soybeans, but he said predicting the yield for crops is difficult at any time because “you never know when you’re going to have conditions correct to plant.� According to data gathered by the Illinois Climate Network station in Champaign, soil temperatures in March this year were 18 degrees lower than in March 2012. “That’s just not good conditions for planting corn,� Reifsteck said. Dr. Jim Angel, Illinois State climatologist, said corn yields would not be impacted unless planting is delayed beyond mid-May. “In reality, the most important thing is what happens after the crop is planted,� Angel said. “Good weather for the rest of the growing season will trump a late planting date.� Angel also said soybeans still generally produce a successful yield even if they are planted late. Reifsteck said he hasn’t had the best success with corn in the

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Alison Melko, senior in Engineering, heads east on Gregory Street during the Naked Bike Ride on Thursday. Hosted by Amnesty International, the event aimed to to raise awareness about access to health care. Donations from the event will be sent to the Champaign County Health Care Consumers.

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last few years and will be “moving back to a more normal rotation of soybeans and corn.� Corn requires certain soil and weather conditions to produce a substantial yield, while soybeans don’t have such strict growing schedules and conditions. The deadline for the prime time to plant corn is quickly approaching, but Reifsteck and other farmers aren’t out of time yet. Many have planned ahead by utilizing crop insurance. Jake Taylor, junior in ACES, helps manage his family’s farm northeast of Champaign-Urbana. The farm lies on the Illinois-Indiana border and has a different type of soil than Reifsteck’s farm. Taylor said the sandy soil on his farm isn’t draining well from the abundance of rain, either, and the cool, wet weather has delayed planting for him as well. “I don’t see it being a problem yet, but we’re getting a little anxious; we would like to get them (the crops) in (the ground),� Taylor said. Despite the anxiety, Taylor said he is happy to see rain this year, compared with last year’s severe statewide drought. “Technically, the entire state is

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Heavy rain may delay farmers from planting crops Crop production may be disrupted by oversaturated topsoil in the last few weeks

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The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Daily Illini 512 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820 217 • 337 • 8300 The Daily Illini is the independent student news agency at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The newspaper is published by the Illini Media Co. The Daily Illini does not necessarily represent, in whole or in part, the views of the University of Illinois administration, faculty or students. All Illini Media Co. and/or Daily Illini articles, photos and graphics are the property of Illini Media Co. and may not be reproduced or published without written permission from the publisher. The Daily Illini is a member of The Associated Press. The Associated Press is entitled to the use for reproduction of all local news printed in this newspaper.

Managing editors Maggie Huynh 217 • 337-8343 Ryan Weber 217 • 337-8353 reporting @dailyillini.com

Opinions editor Adam Huska 217 • 337-8570 opinions@ dailyillini.com Design editor

Scott Durand 217 • 337-8345 design@dailyillini.com Asst. design editor

Austin Baird

Art director Eunie Kim 217 • 337-8345 visuals@dailyillini.com

Photo editor Brenton Tse 217 • 337-8357 photo@dailyillini.com

News editor Lauren Rohr 217 • 337-8352 news@dailyIllini.com

Asst. photo editor Hassan Khalid

Asst. news editors Tyler Davis Austin Keating Chrissy Pawlowski Daytime editor Hannah Prokop 217 • 337-8363 news@dailyillini.com Asst. daytime editor Danielle Brown Sports editor Eliot Sill 217 • 337-8561 sports@dailyillini.com Asst. sports editors Claire Lavezzorio Torrence Sorrell Jordan Wilson Features editor Alison Marcotte 217 • 337-8560 features@dailyillini. com Asst. features editors Sarah Soenke Emma Weissmann

TODAY ON DAILYILLINI.COM

Champaign

Sunday.

A 20-year-old female was arrested on the charge of battery in the 00 block of East John Street around 10 p.m. Monday. Q Residential burglary was reported in the 300 block of West John Street around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, a television, electronic gaming system, three electronic game accessories and 10 CD/DVD discs were stolen. One window was reported damaged. Q Residential burglary was reported in the 300 block of South Second Street around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, eight items of clothing were stolen. Q Attempted first degree murder was reported at Red Roof Inn, 212 W. Anthony Drive, around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday. According to the report, the victim was shot by the offenders. Q A 26-year-old male was arrested on the charge of public urination in the 500 block of South Elm Street at 3:30 a.m.

Urbana

Q

Copyright Š 2013 Illini Media Co.

Editor-in-chief Darshan Patel 217 • 337-8365 editor@dailyillini.com

POLICE

Video editor Krizia Vance 217 • 337-8344 video@dailyillini.com Vidcast producer Emily Thornton Copy chief Lindsey Rolf 217 • 337-8565 copychief@dailyillini. com Asst. copy chief Audrey Majors Social media coordinator Karyna Rodriguez Advertising sales manager Nick Langlois ssm@illinimedia.com Classified sales director Deb Sosnowski Daily Illini/Buzz ad director Travis Truitt Production director Kit Donahue Publisher Lilyan J Levant

Night system staff for today’s paper Night editor: Johnathan Hettingerl Photo night editor: Daryl Quitalig Copy editors: Natalie Leoni, Sari Lesk, Kirby

Gamsby, Muriel Kelleher, Samantha Kiesel, Kevin Dollear Designers: Ro Hassan, Elise King Page transmission: Natalie Zhang

Periodical postage paid at Champaign, IL 61821. The Daily Illini is published Monday through Friday during University of Illinois fall and spring semesters, and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday in summer. New Student Guide and Welcome Back Edition are published in August. First copy is free; each additional copy is 50 cents. Local, U.S. mail, out-of-town and out-of-state rates available upon request.

HOROSCOPES

Q Residential burglary was reported in the 900 block of North Broadway Avenue around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, unknown offenders entered the victim’s apartment sometime in the last two days and stole several items, including five pieces of electronic equipment and 30 CD/DVD discs. Q A 22-year-old female was arrested on the charge of aggravated battery and domestic battery in the 200 block of West Green Street around 1 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, the suspect and victim No. 1 were in a dating relationship in the past. The suspect shoved victim No. 1 and then victim No. 2 tried to assist victim No. 1 and was battered also. The suspect was arrested and taken to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office. Q Domestic battery was reported in the 1400 block of Silver Street around 5 p.m.

Wednesday. According to the report, the offender and victim are in a dating relationship and reside together. After a verbal arguThe Illinois tennis and golf ment, the victim claimed the offender became physical with teams will be competing at the her. The offender left for the Big Ten Championships this weekend. See Illini Columnist night. Johnathan Hettinger’s take online at DailyIllini.com.

April madness is approaching

University

Q Theft was reported at Loomis Laboratory, 1110 W. Green St., at 3 a.m. Thursday. According to the report, a University student reported that someone stole a bicycle that was secured to a rack outside the building. The bike has an estimated value of $800. Q Theft was reported at Campus Recreation Center East, 1102 W. Gregory Drive, at 11 p.m. Wednesday. According to the report, a University student reported that someone stole a backpack that was left unattended at the building. Inside the backpack was a cellphone with a value of $800.

Compiled by Sari Lesk

TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES

it. Imagine the project complete, and work backwards to see what steps are necessary. Inspire with treats.

money on bills ... one little treat’s nice. Get together face to face for best results. Build something of value.

Today’s Birthday

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22)

SAGITTARIUS (NOV. 22-DEC. 21)

BY NANCY BLACK

Appreciate trees today and all year. Get involved in causes with groups that share your passions. Until July, a financial boost fills your coffers; divert substantially to savings, despite spending temptation. Summer energy shifts to superpowered communications, as social networking gets fun and full of possibility. To get the advantage, check the day’s rating: 10 is the easiest day, 0 the most challenging.

ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19)

Today is a 9 — Creative work has a bittersweet flavor, and it still tastes good. Commit to what you believe in. But don’t bite off more than you can chew right now. Take baby steps at first.

TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20)

Today is an 8 — Relationship frustration and disagreement requires a step back. A solution is available, if you listen. Relax and breathe deeply. Look from the other’s viewpoint. Talk it over, and it goes better than expected.

LEO (JULY 23-AUG. 22)

Today is an 8 — Don’t try to bend the rules. It’s not worth the energy. It may require discipline to do what’s needed, rather than plot alternatives, but it’s ultimately the easiest route. Just do it.

VIRGO (AUG. 23-SEPT. 22)

Today is an 8 — Use an opportunity to dig deeper into a favorite subject. Your ability to concentrate gets enhanced marvelously. Express your true feelings gently at work. Replace outdated and broken junk.

Today is an 8 — Delays can be surprisingly fun. Check for changes before proceeding. If you’re going to be late, call. Don’t rest on your laurels just yet. Continue to put in extra effort, and follow your gut instincts.

LIBRA (SEPT. 23-OCT. 22)

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20)

SCORPIO (OCT. 23-NOV. 21)

Today is a 9 — It requires getting everyone aligned to move forward to get the task done ... but it’s worth

Today is a 9 — When it comes to money, now’s the time to watch and learn. View the situation from a different perspective, and then exceed all expectations. You may have to travel to get what you want. Today is a 9 — You’re in the spotlight today and tomorrow. Beat a deadline. Don’t spend all your

Today is an 8 — Venture farther out. Grasp the next opportunity. Compromise is required. Keep your objective in mind, and make the changes you desire. Don’t take more than you need. Listen with a practical ear.

CAPRICORN (DEC. 22-JAN. 19)

Today is an 8 — The action today is behind the scenes. Move files to storage or organize structures. You can afford a special treat (although saving counts the same as earning). Maintain self-control. Others warm to your ideas.

AQUARIUS (JAN. 20-FEB. 18)

Today is a 9 — Cultivate the ground. You’re learning, with practice. Friends are eager to help and vie for your attention. Seek help from a female teacher. Stick with the rules and routine. There may be a test.

PISCES (FEB. 19-MARCH 20)

Today is a 9 — Complete an old project, and stick with what worked before. Do a good job and increase your status. Keep a discovery private, for now. Travel and romance look good for the next two days.

The Daily Illini is online everywhere you are. Visit DailyIllini.com Follow us on Twitter @TheDailyIllini for today’s headlines and breaking news. Like us on Facebook for an interactive Daily Illini experience. CORRECTIONS Clarification: In the April 19, 2013, edition of The Daily Illini, the article “Viral Facebook post about Suburban Express sparks controversy�, Hanyu Gu described two incidents: one between a bus driver and an international student and one between a bus driver and fellow rider Jeremy Level. In the quotation, Gu was mainly referring to the interaction between Jeremy Leval and the bus driver, he said Thursday. Gu added his response to Suburban Express was also referring to the interaction he heard between the international student and the bus driver. When the Daily Illini makes a mistake, we will correct it in this place. The Daily Illini strives for accuracy, so if you see an error in the paper, please contact Editorin-Chief Darshan Patel at 217337-8365.

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HOW TO CONTACT US The Daily Illini is located at 512 E. Green St., Champaign, IL 61820. Our office hours are 9a.m. to 5:30p.m. Monday through Friday.

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Corrections: If you think something has been incorrectly reported, please call Editor-in-Chief Darshan Patel at (217) 337-8365 or email him at editor@dailyillini.com. Online: If you have a question about DailyIllini.com or The Daily Illini’s various social media outlets, please email our managing editors, Maggie Huynh and Ryan Weber, at online@dailyillini.com. On-air: If you have comments or questions about The Daily Illini’s broadcasts on WPGU-FM 107.1, please email our managing editors, Maggie Huynh and Ryan Weber, at onair@dailyillini.com. Employment: If you would like to work for the newspaper’s editorial department, please contact us at employment@dailyillini.com. News: If you have a news tip, please contact news editor Lauren Rohr at (217) 337-8352 or email news@dailyillini.com. Sports: To contact the sports staff, please call sports editor Eliot Sill at (217) 337-8363 or email sports@dailyillini.com. Features: If you have a tip for a features story, please contact features editor Alison Marcotte at (217) 337-8560 or email features@dailyillini.com. Photo: For questions about photographs or to suggest photo coverage of an event, please contact photo editor Brenton Tse at (217) 337-8357 or email photo@dailyillini.com. Calendar: To submit events for publication in print and online at the217.com, click on “submit an event� at the217.com or email calendar@the217.com. Letters to the editor: Letters are limited to 300 words. Contributions must be typed and include the author’s name, address and phone number. University students must include their year in school and college. The Daily Illini reserves the right to edit or reject any contributions.

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The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

Champaign and 111 miles from Chicago, according to Google Maps road directions. FROM PAGE 1A But Suburban ExpressIn a statement provided initiated lawsuits are nothing to The Daily Illini on April new. Since 1994, the bus 24, Suburban Express wrote: company has filed 209 lawsuits “We carried about 100,000 in Champaign and Ford passengers in the past year. counties combined, according Imagine what would happen on to Champaign and Ford counties a day when we’re running 75 circuit court records. buses (as we did Champaign on three occasions County Circuit t h is ac adem ic C ou r t rec ords year) if 5% of the also show that students decide Suburban Express to ride the wrong brought a civil bus, ask for a bus lawsuit against to wait for them, the Peoria Charter claim they bought Coach Company a ticket but forgot in 2009. In the to BRING it, or past, Suburban in general ask for Express has filed special treatment. 10 civil suits, Imagine the effect including lawsuits that all of this against Amtrak, would have on ChampaignUrbana MTD and the other 95%. It MURPH FINNICUM, would be chaos.” then-Lincolnland graduate student and UIUC S u b u r b a n Express, better subreddit moderator E x pr e s s also known as LEX. I n wa ke of responded to an email from The Daily Illini the lawsuits, Peoria Charter inquiring why lawsuits filed this customers were sent an email year have been in Ford County. Monday night that the company “Wide-open court calendar, has no pending lawsuits against easy parking, and service with a University students. The memo smile,” the bus company said in advertised a $2 coupon on all the email, adding that distance tickets until the end of April if is also a factor. The Ford passengers use the promo code County courthouse is located in “nolawsuits.” Peoria Charter Paxton, Ill., the county seat; the President Bill Winkler said it courthouse is 26.3 miles from has been used 75 times, as of

“...it is a good idea to advise that if [students] are riding [Suburban Express], they are putting themselves in danger.”

BEAR ARMS FROM PAGE 1A for, and my purpose became politics.” A junior at the University, Aleks is double-majoring in political science and philosophy, and he says that he one day wants to work as a “second-amendment lobbyist.” “I think the guns come in because it’s a human right of self defense,” he says. But those years of bullying left Aleks with something more than just a fighter’s instinct. He never forgot what it felt like to be outnumbered and disadvantaged in a fight. He never forgot what that kind weakness felt like. More than anything, Aleks wants to be able to rely on himself. But when he finds himself on a sidewalk at midnight walking toward an oncoming group of hooded teenagers, he says he can sense the echo of facing down a group of bullies in the first grade. In both situations, it’s the same fear and frustration: It’s knowing that when push comes to shove, you can be made helpless. Aleks sees government restriction on guns as a handicap upon everyone’s selfreliance and self-protection. It’s that same old story, knowing that when it comes down to it, your life is ultimately dependent on the government. Without a gun, you are not truly free. “If you can’t defend yourself and you find yourself needing to, that’s life we’re talking about, your freedom, your liberty. Life is life, there’s nothing greater than that. And to be unable to protect your own life, and rely on someone else ... seems kind of naive.”

Aleks has been waiting for his Glock 19 for nearly a month now, and the anticipation is killing him. He ordered the gun nearly one month ago, paid out of his own pocket, and once it arrives Aleks will be, at long last, a gun owner. He says it feels like

Thursday evening. W h i le the F ac e b o ok community brought the issue to light, UIUC subreddit forum users have continued the conversation. Murph Finnicum, graduate student and the subreddit’s moderator, said because usernames on Reddit are hard to trace back to a personal name, the website has become a place for students to discuss the Suburban Express lawsuits without the fear of receiving a lawsuit themselves. However, Finnicum said he received a letter from Suburban Express on Thursday afternoon, asking him to remove “libelous postings” from the threads. “Accordingly, if you do not take corrective action to remedy the damages from your false and libelous postings by removing the items at issue by April 27, 2013, Suburban Express has authorized the pursuit of legal action against you as a result of your conduct,” states the letter signed by the company’s attorney, James E. Long of Chapin & Long P.C. Finnicum said he responded to the letter in an email, saying he has no legal obligation to prevent these postings and will only remove content that violates Reddit community guidelines. He also posted his response on the UIUC subreddit. As a part of his job, Finnicum said he has had to remove

waiting for a Christmas present, but it’s even more than that: It’s a validation of his presidency of IOT. Indeed, why would anyone respect the president of a gun enthusiast club who doesn’t own his own gun? But in a twist of irony, the fear of impending gun control legislation after the Sandy Hook shooting has driven gun owners to stockpile weapons in record numbers, and buying a handgun like the Glock 19 has become has become very difficult for a regular consumer like Aleks. Aleks explained that large retailers like Dick’s Sporting Goods have been cleaned out for months, and even the website which Aleks ordered his gun from includes a disclaimer on the homepage that all shipments have been delayed due to the large volume of orders. This fear-driven demand has also affected ammunition, and a large percentage of conversation between IOT members revolves around which stores within driving distance still have some bullets left on the shelves. If Aleks could walk into Wal-Mart and simply purchase a gun off the shelves, he could have been testing the sights on his new handgun after 72 hours. Instead, it’s been 27 days and counting since he placed his order, and he has no idea how much longer it could take. For Aleks, gun demand has effectively become gun control. Yet, even with his own handgun, Aleks still has the misfortune of living in Illinois, the only state in the country currently without a concealed carry law. “It’s hell,” he says of Illinois’ gun laws. “It’s like you’re looking at the rest of the United States, and they’re teasing you with their rights.” However, some form of concealed carry law is expected to go into effect in June after a federal court ruled in December that Illinois’ blanket ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional. But even when Illinois is pushed, kicking and screaming, to pass its own form of a concealed carry law, Aleks still has

Lawsuits filed by Suburban Express against other transportation companies 2003 — Champaign-Urbana MTD 2004 — Amtrak 2005 — LEX 2008 — LEX 2009 — LEX — Peoria Charter Coach Company SOURCE: CHAMPAIGN COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT RECORDS

over a dozen posts that either revealed personal information or spammed the thread since April 19. While some threads have proposed a boycott of the bus company, others have suggested passing out f lyers with information about the lawsuits. “I think people on the Internet like to make a big deal out of things,” Finnicum said. “But it is a good idea to advise that if (students) are riding (Suburban Express), they are putting themselves in danger.”

Corinne can be reached at cruff2@dailyillini.com.

one very practical problem: Reloading a pistol with one hand is fantastically difficult and damnably slow. At best, the options are cumbersome. Aleks could re-holster the pistol, then insert a new magazine and reload it while it is anchored to his hip. He could also use the back of his shoe or belt to pull back the slide, “racking” the weapon. Or he could even get into a half crouch with the pistol wedged behind his right knee to provide leverage and reload the pistol in that position. These methods were originally designed in case a police officer was wounded and lost the use of an arm. “That’s why I’m completely against magazine capacity bans,” he says, and his argument is uniquely practical relative to the ideological and political debates surrounding high capacity magazines, which have been used in a number of mass shootings. “I absolutely hate (the ban) for a reason that pretty much no one else I know does. I hate it because it is potentially life ending,” he says. “If I have to a pull out a gun and I had seven rounds or ten rounds, then I’m going to have to reload. A normal criminal can reload in half a second. For me, I have to get down on my knee, rack it on my shoe or my belt. Horrible.” Aleks wants 15, 20, 33-round magazines — as much ammo as he can carry at one time. If something truly dangerous shows up on that sidewalk at midnight, Aleks doesn’t want to reload. He wants to be ready, and he wants as many bullets as possible.

Aleks vividly remembers the first time he fired a gun. It was at the police firing range in Champaign, two years ago. “I had this anticipation, this excitement, this fear, this anxiety, everything coming together. It was a powerful moment,” he says. “You have the power to do plenty of things, and you could use that power for good or for evil. What it comes down to is responsibility.”

TOPSOIL FROM PAGE 1A out of a drought now,” Taylor said. “We have some soil moisture and can actually see soil holding together. Everything is in a better state than it was.” Taylor is careful not to plant crops until the first date allowed by his crop insurance, because if he waits until that date and the crops do not turn out well, he and his family can collect money from the crop insurance to fund a replanting of the crops.

Reifsteck, whose household income is primarily from farming, said crop insurance was “a godsend” to many farmers during last year’s drought. “It assured there’d be money to pay the bills,” Reifsteck said. Although last year’s crops were planted early, the lack of rain throughout the growing season dramatically decreased crop yields. Crop yields could be affected in similar ways if the excess rain continues this year.

Janelle can be reached at jnodea2@dailyillini.com.

Surplus moisture may disrupt crop yields Illinois soil levels are far more saturated for the week of April 15-22, 2013, than they were in the same week of last year. Last year, drought issues disrupted crop production whereas this year, a surplus of moisture may impact crop production. 100

Surplus

11% % of cropland soil in IL with moisture level

SUBURBAN

3A

Adequate Short

80 65%

Very short

61%

60

Average soil temperature:

40

March 2012: 55˚

35%

March 2013: 37˚

25%

20

3%

0

April 15-22, 2013

April 15-22, 2012

Sources: USDA Crop Progress & Condition Report, Greg Gholson, Agricultural Statistician, USDA Field Office EUNIE KIM THE DAILY ILLINI

DANNY WICENTOWSKI THE DAILY ILLINI

Aleks Dapkus aims a .45 caliber USP handgun downrange. Dapkus, whose left arm was amputated at the shoulder when he was five-years-old, is the president of Illini on Target. The technique Aleks uses to shoot one-handed — tilting the gun inward to minimize shock on the wrist — was the result of the one lesson he received at the police gun range. Since no one else at the range shot one-handed, he was forced to work on his form and accuracy by himself. One day at the range, an officer noticed Aleks struggling with his aim and approached him from the right to try to give him some tips on how to better hold the gun. Reaching, he tried to bring up Aleks’s non-existent left arm. The officer immediately began apologizing when he realized his mistake. For Aleks, it was a surreally reflective moment: As he held his aim downrange, his finger on the trigger, Aleks remembered his younger self, his grade school self, and his childhood anger. He remembered how, at that age, he had fantasized

about taking triumphant, justified revenge on his tormentors, hurting them and having power over them. He remembered those terrible moments when someone would call even the slightest attention to his weakness — his arm — setting him off into a meltdown. But on that day at the range, that was all it was, just a memory. “When I was younger, that would be something that I would just gotten frustrated by, because it would have reminded me of being different, which would have been horrible. When I was younger, I would have fought him. But this time, here I am standing with the ability to do some horrible things ... but I just put the gun down, shook his hand and said ‘No problem. No big deal.’”

Danny can be reached at wicento1@ dailyillini.com.

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IT’S NOT

TOO LATE to purchase your

Illio Yearbook! Come to Illini Media at 512 East Green to pick up your copy for only $60.


4A Friday April 26, 2013 The Daily Illini www.DailyIllini.com

Opinions

The Daily Illini

Editorial

EDITORIAL CARTOON

Twitter should be used responsibly

JOHNIVAN DARBY THE DAILY ILLINI

Marathon runners should honor memory of Boston with courage

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wo bombs exploded at and near the finish line of the Boston Marathon nearly two weeks ago, and there is speculation about the motives and details of the case. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two suspected bombers still alive, remains in custody awaiting civilian trial. Since his capture last Friday, no other reports of possibly related bombings came across the news wires. On Sunday, the London Marathon began with a moment of silence as a tribute to the victims of the Boston bombing. As a precaution, security was bolstered, but its 35,000 competitors left that day unharmed by any copycat bombing and unfazed by any residual fear from Boston. Although few ran both the Boston and London marathons, neither was short of fearless runners and spectators. And we don’t expect to be any less courageous at the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon on Saturday as runners from every corner of the world turn out to compete. Security was bolstered for this race, too, but that doesn’t mean that fear increased. Those of us running the marathon will lace up our shoes and slap on our numbers with a reinvigorated courage to test human ability. We will carry with us the memories of those hurt and killed in Boston, and we will run all the harder. This sport ties people together from across the globe. Whether they are professional or amateur, that same sportsmanship, that same spirit will be even stronger Saturday as this road race winds itself through the heart of our community — through campustown, Champaign and Urbana. Tatyana McFadden, senior in ACES, won both the London and Boston marathons in the wheelchair division, and she dedicated her victories to the victims of the attack two weeks ago. It’s this kindred spirit which will help a shocked but recovering nation. The Illinois Marathon serves as a reminder that we won’t give into fear. That we pick ourselves back up when we are hurt. That we do not give up. That we do not quit. The Christie Clinic may be short in volunteers to staff the 26.2-mile race, but it will not be short of a passionate and caring crowd and competition. So, marathon runners, give it your all Saturday morning — give it your energy, your thoughts, your heart. Run this race as a celebration of the age-old sport and human potential and as a tribute to the three killed at the finish line and the 170 injured. Run without fear.

SHARE YOUR

THOUGHTS The Daily Illini reserves the right to edit for length, libel, grammar and spelling errors, and Daily Illini style or to reject any contributions. Letters must be limited to 300 words. Contributions must be typed and include the author’s name, address and phone number. University students must include their year in school and college.

Email: opinions@ dailyillini.com with the subject “Letter to the Editor.”

MELANIE STONE Opinions columnist

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Media skews audience’s view on world news SAFIA KAZI Opinions columnist

In

order for a democracy to work, the people should know what political leaders are doing and the ramifications of their policy decisions. The news we receive ought to provide us with enough information to hold our elected leaders accountable. Unfortunately in the United States, most news sources fail to give us a comprehensive perspective of violent conflicts. The media fail to cover violent conflicts accurately. For example, many news sources got ahead of themselves and declared the bombings during the Boston Marathon an act of terrorism before the suspects and their motives were known. The New York Post wrongly attributed the incident to an ArabAmerican student, dedicating the front page to his picture. Making the public think about this attack as terrorism changes what they expect from elected leaders. Having terrorism on our minds makes it easier to justify international interventions. As for how the media cover war, we tend to receive a sanitized version of what war looks like. Former CNN reporter Walter Rodgers said one of his reports showed a dead body and CNN received several calls about how people did not want to see dead bodies. Although I agree it is a gruesome sight and should have

some kind of warning before people see it, CNN should have every right to show a dead body. It is unrealistic to deny that death is a part of war. Militants, children and civilians will die during war. Refusing to acknowledge the collateral damage of wars won’t change the reality of it. The media’s exclusion of unpleasant outcomes of war hinders the public’s ability to evaluate war. A lack of authentic coverage of our international involvements challenges our ability to evaluate our leaders’ actions. Part of the reason we are OK with not receiving genuine news coverage is that with advanced technology, it seems logical that civilian casualties would be low; however, that is not the case. Drone strikes should prevent civilian deaths, but they don’t. Up to 98 percent of people killed in drone strikes are civilians. But very few news sources report on how many innocent people need to die to capture a few people deemed terrorists. Another major problem with the media and our leaders is that they value certain lives over others. President Barack Obama gave a sympathetic speech to the country after the tragedy in Newtown. He teared up during the speech. It’s hard to cope with so many innocent children dying in a senseless act of violence. His words were intended to serve as a sense of comfort for the survivors in Newtown and the friends and family of those who lost their lives in the attack. His statement did a good job comforting this nation during such a hard time.

But why hasn’t he issued a statement of condolence for the more than 150 children that died as a result of drone strikes he and his predecessor George W. Bush authorized? Why is it that the media talk about acts of terror American children experience while ignoring the terror children around the world feel as a result of American foreign policy? Three Afghani children were killed in an airstrike, and Marine forces believed these children were suspicious because they were digging a hole. Lt. Col. Marion Carrington said troops have to be on the lookout for “children with potential hostile intent.” Apparently, seeing kids digging a hole is now considered a suspicious activity, despite the parents’ assurances that these children were collecting dung for fuel. That kind of behavior from American children would not be a reason to call the police, let alone a justification for killing them. It is unpleasant to talk about civilian casualties in a war or any other conflict, especially when children are involved. But not talking about the results of our wars and conflicts perpetuates these kinds of problems. Keeping the American public from knowing about the ugliness of violence makes us more likely to support inhumane warfare tactics and conflicts that don’t need to be fought. Until we know everything a conflict encompasses, we can’t make the decision to support it.

Safia is a senior in LAS. She can be reached at kazi3@dailyillini.com. Follow her on Twitter @safia_kazi.

Appreciate the little things in life take for granted and that deserve recognition.

NICKI HALENZA Opinions columnist

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any of us have grown up with the comfort of living in a cushy environment. Some of our biggest complaints are about having to wake up earlier than noon, not getting enough guacamole on our Chipotle burritos, or the fact that we all desperately miss our dogs at home. I had my own bout of distress after a trip to the Thinking Chair, aka the Porcelain King, the Lou, the John — in other words, the toilet. I was twirling a wad of toilet paper off of the reel and I noticed how thin and rough the paper was. Ugh, 1-ply. This instance happened during my first week at college last year and I remember reminiscing not about how I missed home, my parents, or my friends, but how I missed 2-ply toilet paper. It was at that moment that I stopped and had two thoughts.

At what point in my life did 2-ply toilet paper become something that I felt entitled to? First: “Wow, OK, really Nicki?” Second: “At what point in my life did 2-ply toilet paper become something that I felt entitled to?” From this seemingly strange incident, I realized how our lives can lead us to have outrageous and petty expectations. We need to stop expecting and start appreciating the little things — like 2-ply toilet paper. So I decided to take it upon myself to identify a few of those little things that I

1. I appreciate having a roommate who does not snore. The past couple years, I have heard horror stories from friends at college who had to deal with the muffled roar of their roommate each and every night. These snorer stories (pun intended) have led to sleepless nights, exhaustion during class and the slight urge to smother their roommate with a pillow. I realized how each night I have this expectancy of a good night’s sleep and I have taken for granted that not everyone has this experience. I would like to say that I treat my roommate with the same privilege, but unfortunately she has the displeasure of never knowing when I will start laughing in my sleep (since I have done so three times this semester).

2. I appreciate the importance of a practical pair of shoes. This particular appreciation I learned the hard way. Being that I walk to all of my classes, I need shoes that will do me well come rain or shine — or blizzard or tornado or sweltering heat or blistering wind. Got to love Illinois, right? In the event of last week’s torrential downpour, I was glad to have my rain boots. However, about five minutes into my walk, a small pool of cold water filled my boot because of the worn down sole. Ironically, the shoes I bought specifically to keep out the rain are my least waterproof pair. Using my ingenuity, I now wear plastic Glad bags over my socks before I put on my boots. Moral of the story, never underestimate the luxury of a functional pair of shoes.

3. I appreciate clean laundry. Whether currently living in a

dorm or an apartment on campus, most of us can relate to the hassle that comes with doing laundry. I think this idea rings truest for incoming freshmen boys, who look like cavemen operating computers when using the machines. School provided a rude awakening when suddenly we needed five dollars to clean two loads and had to face the challenge of finding underwear in our laundry baskets that isn’t ours. I have even found myself wearing certain articles of clothing over and over again, spraying them with perfume between wears just to save me the trouble. There’s a definite line that dictates how long you can wear dirty clothes and have it be socially acceptable. And I am pretty sure I have crossed that line far too many times.

4. I appreciate 2-ply toilet paper. Beyond the obvious purpose of toilet paper, it is useful in many other scenarios such as cold and flu season. During those dreadful days, we comfort our red, raw, runny noses with tissues and toilet paper. But nothing is comforting about thin, crunchy paper with little absorbency. To get the same effect as 2-ply requires pulling yards and yards of it off the roll like birthday streamers, resulting in a mummified me as I entangle myself in the process. Needless to say, I show an immense amount of gratitude whenever 2-ply makes its way back into my life. These examples are only four of the many little things in my life that I am thankful for. By taking a step back and realizing how big of an impact supposedly trivial things really make, we can start to discover our many appreciations. From sleeping habits, to daily routines, we all have our certain levels of comfort that we mistake for requirements.

Nicki is a sophomore in Media. She can be reached at halenza2@dailyillini.com.

emember that one time Anthony Weiner tweeted pictures of his, um, Anthony Weiner? What about the recent strain of freakish Twitpics from Amanda Bynes? Or how about when the Associated Press (@AP) sent this out to the Twitterverse: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” Just in case you haven’t heard: There weren’t any bombs in D.C., and our president is perfectly OK. AP’s Twitter account was hacked Monday, sending our technologically dependent nation into a tailspin. The Dow Jones dropped 143 points after the tweet was sent out. One hundred and forty tiny characters can be a powerful, powerful force. Since its creation seven years ago, Twitter has exploded. Each day, there are over 200 million active users on the site, sending off approximately 400 million tweets every 24 hours. The company’s editorial director called the social network “a true global town square.” It is. Twitter welcomes people from every crevice of the Earth, and even further — 2009 marked the very first tweet from space.

Each day, there are over 200 million active users on the site, sending off approximately 400 million tweets every 24 hours. That’s right, Twitter has gone to infinity and beyond. Out of those 400 million daily tweets, there’s a lot of garbage, lies, libel and junk. This is part of the beauty of Twitter: You can say whatever you want. It’s the First Amendment on crack. Celebrities can lash out at the press (read: @AmandaBynes can threaten the Huffington Post to “choose a better photo or remove the story”). Politicians can create refined representations of themselves (read: They can hire people to write, groom and spell-check every single tweet). And the rest of us can express ourselves using our favorite slang words, emoticons and hashtags. I’ve certainly contributed my fair share of irrelevant quips to the site. I joined Twitter when I was a junior in high school, and since then, I’ve written over 9,500 tweets — the earliest ones are highly embarrassing. Twitter rolled out a new feature in December 2012, allowing users to take a little trip down memory lane. It’s a simple process: You go to settings, then the account tab, then you press the button that says “Request your archive.” I downloaded my archive for the first time a few days ago, and oh, was it fascinating. One of my first tweets read: “there ain’t nothin’ like late night bacon! yeee haww!!!” And then, a few days later: “i am excited to wear my new pink robe! Actually it’s more of a pinky-red color but I love it nonetheless!!” I like to think my tweets have matured since March 2009. Those tweets might have been permissible for our high school years, but this is college — the game has changed. There is no longer any wiggle room for typos or bad grammar or robes. We’re applying for jobs and internships, and our Twitter account could make or break us. One foul tweet can destroy your credentials faster than you can say “Anthony Weiner.” No matter what, there will always be junk on the Internet. Our only defense is to stop believing everything we read. There’s no fact-checker on Twitter — anyone can say anything, including @AP. The place is an open forum, and the entire world is invited. Twitter is not the end all and be all. It doesn’t have the final say. But this social network does grant us a small dose of power. We’ve got to use it wisely, read with a grain of salt, and tweet responsibly.

Melanie is a sophomore in Media. She can be reached at mastone3@dailyillini.com. Follow her on Twitter @mellystone.


The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

NEW YORK TIMES CROSSWORD 1

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Singer Justin Bieber boards his tour bus on Tuesday outside Grand Hotel where Bieber was staying during his concerts in Stockholm, Sweden. Swedish police said on Thursday they found drugs on Bieber’s tour bus in Stockholm, but had no suspects and were unlikely to pursue the case further.

Illicit drugs, stun gun found on Justin Bieber’s tour bus Police searched bus while Bieber performed in Stockholm; incident adds to singer’s list of troubles THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

STOCKHOLM — The list of troubles linked to Justin Bieber’s tour of Europe grew again after Swedish police said Thursday they had found drugs and a stun gun on the pop singer’s bus. No arrests were made since the bus was empty at the time, Stockholm police spokesman Lars Bystrom told The Associated Press. Police said they decided to act after smelling marijuana coming from inside the bus while it was parked outside the hotel where Bieber was staying in the capital. Drug officers searched the bus during the concert while Bieber was on stage, Bystrom said. He said a small amount of drugs and a stun gun were discovered during a search of the bus, which had been parked under the Globen concert venue in Stockholm, where Bieber was performing Wednesday. Bystrom declined to

identify the drug, saying that it was sent to a lab for analysis. Bieber, who arrived in Helsinki, Finland, later Thursday to perform in a concert the following evening, tweeted after his arrival: “some of the rumors about me....where do people even get this stuff. whatever... back to the music.� The incident is the latest in Bieber’s tumultuous European tour, which has included a monkey detention, a Holocaust museum furor and a health scare. In Britain, the 19-yearold singer struggled with his breathing and fainted backstage at a London show. He was taken to a hospital, only to be caught on camera clashing with paparazzi. The Canadian teenage idol had to leave his monkey in quarantine in Germany since

he didn’t have the necessary papers for the animal. Bieber then became the focus of intense criticism in the Netherlands for writing an entry into a guestbook at the Anne Frank House museum in Amsterdam, saying he hoped the Jewish teenager, who died in a Nazi concentration camp, “would have been a Belieber� — or fan of his — if her fate had turned out differently. The comment provoked a flood of comments on the museum’s Facebook page, with many people criticizing the singer for gross insensitivity. In Norway, where Bieber enjoys enormous popularity, education officials in a remote district rescheduled midterm exams for high school students so that the singer’s fans could attend the concert in the capital and not have to worry about missing the tests.

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DOT. COMMON JOHNIVAN DARBY

DOONESBURY

GARRY TRUDEAU

High percent of sexual assault revealed in biological anthropologist fieldwork BY ELEANOR BLACK CONTRIBUTING WRITER

About 60 percent of surveyed biological anthropologists have reported sexual harassment during fieldwork and 20 percent have reported assault, according to an online survey regarding the atmosphere of anthropological fieldwork. The survey of 124 anthropological field workers was conducted by Kathryn Clancy, an assistant professor of Anthropology at the University, along with Katie Hinde, assistant professor at Harvard, Robin Nelson, assistant professor at University of California-Riverside and Julienne Rutherford, assistant professor at University of Illinois at Chicago. Clancy said she launched the survey in February after discovering that sexual harassment and assault during fieldwork is a more widespread problem than she had previously thought. She said what she saw in the data surprised her â&#x20AC;&#x201D; she herself had never dealt with anything like that during her own fieldwork. Clancy said she had been compelled to look into the issue following a conversation with a colleague in 2011. Her colleague revealed that she had been sexually assaulted in the field, making the work she had to complete

to finish her doctorate difficult to handle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was when I first talked to her that I then discovered that there were actually many people,â&#x20AC;? Clancy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I started having these conversations and more people came forward having these experiences.â&#x20AC;? She posted two such experiences on her blog anonymously and the posts garnered attention. She then received an invitation to speak at the American Association of Physical Anthropology symposium on ethics April 13. Clancy realized that she only had anecdotal evidence and decided that a more systematic approach would be necessary. It was then that she launched the survey. Even though fieldwork occurs off campus, the Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Resources Center and the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access both deal with these kinds of cases. The Womenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Resources Center provides resources, support and advocacy services to help students who have dealt with sexual violence. Molly McLay, assistant director of the center, said, victim blaming is part of the reason that sexual harassment is underreported by victims. She added that questioning a victimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s decisions or

clothing choices undermines the offenderâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s actions. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It makes excuses for the people whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve done it and puts some of the responsibility on the victim to not get harassed or not get assaulted, which is really totally off,â&#x20AC;? she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It should not be that way at all.â&#x20AC;? Kaamilyah Abdullah-Span, associate director for the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Access said a lot of sexual assaults go unreported. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s someone that they know, or they donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to relive the incident by having to explain it to the police officer and then if it goes to trial, having to explain it to the jury or to the judge,â&#x20AC;? she said. In the meantime, Clancy said she thinks focusing on issues like these would be beneficial to the University. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think, in general, one of the things the University of Illinois should be doing in coming years is thinking of gender and racial equity,â&#x20AC;? Clancy said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If that were our priority, in terms of our mission as a university, we would come out in front of a lot of other elite public universities and then they would want to follow us.â&#x20AC;?

Eleanor can be reached at eablack2@ dailyillini.com.

Students, teachers collaborate on new literary journal BY BRYAN BOCCELLI CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The Universityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s English Department will publish its first undergraduate literary journal to showcase undergraduate work starting in the fall semester. Nicholas Millman, sophomore in LAS, came up with the idea behind the journal after talking to the English Advising Office. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They helped us get in touch with other faculty members and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where it all began,â&#x20AC;? Millman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There are a handful of undergraduate literary journals around the nation and we began to ask ourselves, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;what can we do to get into this network?â&#x20AC;&#x2122;â&#x20AC;? Millman is working with Jonathan Cheng, sophomore in LAS, and they have been spearheading the journal for a couple of months. The journal has not been named yet but â&#x20AC;&#x153;we want to be creative,â&#x20AC;? Millman said. The duo is receiving help from several staff members in the English Department, including English professors Lori Newcomb, Dale Bauer and University academic advisor Adrienne Johnson. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This is going to be a very faculty-collaborative project,â&#x20AC;? Millman said.

The journal is expected to be up and running by the beginning of the fall semester, but submissions will be limited to the English Departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s students during its initial stages. â&#x20AC;&#x153;One of the big concerns of the English Department right know is how to get students to care about the work they produce, and unfortunately it just gets filed away most of the time. This is a way of breathing new life into the writing you do,â&#x20AC;? Cheng said. The first prototype will be released at the beginning of next semester and is expected to be released annually at first. Eventually they hope to have it published every semester. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We write a lot of papers, especially if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re an English major,â&#x20AC;? Millman said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We usually just file it away in our computer and we never see it again. It kind of bothered me because I felt that I had put a lot of work into this and started to think of what else I could do with my writing.â&#x20AC;? Part of the reasoning behind the journal is to foster a closer relationship between the departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s faculty and its students. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There is sometimes a huge disconnect between undergrad-

uate students and the faculty,â&#x20AC;? Cheng said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really want to establish a mentorship process and have this collaborative effort with the English Department and various professors, because they are really the experts on how to do research, how to publish a paper and how to go through that process.â&#x20AC;? The submission process has not been completely laid out yet but is expected to be up and running sometime during the next couple of months. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Once we have the submissions, we will connect the students with a specific professor,â&#x20AC;? Cheng said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Much of it depends on how many faculty members we will have working with us next year. We are looking to have around five editorial board members, so we imagine we are going to accept around ten submissions.â&#x20AC;? Millman added the journal will focus mainly on academic work, but will be â&#x20AC;&#x153;interdisciplinary in a sense, where literary criticism is in dialogue with a lot of other social issues that are happening around campus.â&#x20AC;?

Bryan can be reached at news@ dailyillini.com.

BEARDO

DAN DOUGHERTY

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UNIVERSITY BAPTIST CHURCH on campus at 4th & Daniel Sunday Worship at 11am

a church for students, where students lead and serve ZZZXRILEDSWLVWRUJ 4-0484

University Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod A Congregat ion of St udents in the Hear t of Campus Life Divine Services

Su nday 10 : 30 a m 604 E. Chalmers 344-1558

1500 N Lincoln Ave, Urbana

Saturday 6pm Sunday 9:15 & 11am www.thevineyardchurch.us


The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

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Friday, April 26, 2013

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Fire burns aboard two fuel barges along Mobile River in Mobile, Ala., on Wednesday after explosions sent three workers to the hospital. The three were seriously burned and remain in South Alabama Medical Center.

Fuel barge explosions critically burn 3 people MELISSA NELSON-GABRIEL ASSOCIATED PRESS

MOBILE, Ala.â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Firefighters on Thursday extinguished a huge blaze that erupted hours earlier when two fuel barges exploded, leaving three people with critical burns and forcing the evacuation of crew from a nearby cruise ship. The cause of the explosions remained under investigation, but investigators believe it was likely from a spark caused by a crew cleaning the barges, Coast Guard Lt. Mike Clausen said. Firefighters from Mobile and Coast Guard officials responded to the pair of Wednesday night explosions involving the gas barges in the Mobile River east of downtown. More explosions followed over the next few hours. Authorities say three people were brought to the University of South Alabama Medical Center for burn-related injuries. The three remained in critical condition Thursday morning, hospital spokesman Bob Lowry said. Across the river, workers were evacuated from the Carnival Triumph, the cruise ship that became disabled in the Gulf of Mexico in February before it was towed to Mobileâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s port for repairs. A cruise spokesman said none of its workers were injured, and there was no damage to the ship. Alan Waugh, who lives at the Fort Conde Inn across the river from the scene, saw the blasts and said throngs of Carnival employees and others were clustered on streets leading toward

the river as authorities evacuated the shipyard. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It literally sounded like bombs going off around. The sky just lit up in orange and red,â&#x20AC;? he said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;We could smell something in the air, we didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know if it was gas or smoke.â&#x20AC;? Waugh said he could feel the heat from the explosion and when he came back inside, his partner noticed he had what appeared to be black soot on his face. Video from WALA-TV showed flames engulfing a large section of the barge, and a video that a bystander sent to AL.com showed the fiery explosions and billowing smoke over the river. Trevell Taylor was at work at Delta Bonds when he heard the blast. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It was so loud, I just about jumped up under this desk,â&#x20AC;? he said. Trevell said he next heard sirens from emergency vehicles and then a second, louder explosion. He turned on the local news and learned of the barge fire. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is a scary thing any time you are talking about gasoline and fuel fires. They are lucky more people werenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hurt.â&#x20AC;? The initial blast took place in a ship channel near the George C. Wallace Tunnel â&#x20AC;&#x201D; which carries traffic from Interstate 10 under the Mobile River. The river runs south past Mobile and into Mobile Bay, which in turn flows into the Gulf of Mexico. The tunnels were still open and operating.

Associated Press writers Phillip Lucas and Jeff Martin in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Champaign City Council funds housing programs BY EARN SAENMUK STAFF WRITER

The Champaign City Council voted to reallocate a portion of approximately $4 million of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unused bond money to the Illinois Housing Development Authority and the Eastern Illinois Economic Development Authority at its April 16 meeting. The unused bonds, or volume cap, which is the funding from bonds between local governments, will be used for affordable housing and economic development activities by increasing the number of affordable housing units. IHDA is a self-supporting authority created to finance affordable housing across Illinois. It partners with many organizations such as the EIEDA to deliver low-cost financing programs to keep Illinois residents working. Its funding mainly comes from bond financing, the Illinois Affordable Housing Trust Fund, HOME Investment Partnership Program, Low-Income Housing Tax Credits and Illinois Affordable Housing Tax Credits. Kerri Spear, Champaign neighborhood program manager, said this reallocation will support affordable housing programs throughout the state, and it will benefit people who want to buy homes in Champaign. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It will also boost employment in the city because there will be more jobs available,â&#x20AC;? Spear said. She also said there arenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t any projects in urgent need of funding right now, so this is the best place to put the unused volume cap. According to the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s report, the allocation may benefit many

IHDA programs, such as SmartMove, Welcome Home Heroes and Illinois Building Blocks. These programs offer a combination of down payment assistance, closing cost assistance, mortgage credit certification and favorable interest rates to home-buyers. Kevin Jackson, Champaign neighborhood services director, said the allocation will fill a financial gap for housing not only in the city of Champaign, but also in many cities throughout Illinois. He explained that the fund provides below-market-rate financing for various projects and will hopefully help provide housing to more people in the area, as well as provide funding for nonprofit and industrial development projects. â&#x20AC;&#x153;This fund will make it possible to provide more affordable housing, so more people will have a home of their own,â&#x20AC;? Jackson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;There will likely be more jobs for people in the community, too.â&#x20AC;? Council member Vic McIntosh, District 3, also said he thinks this project will help improve the quality of life. He said more people are likely to want to come to Illinois and the city of Champaign, and it is a good step to the growth of local economy. The city of Urbana has also reallocated their unused 2013â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s volume cap to the IHDA and EIEDA. This money will also go toward supporting the same affordable housing programs in Illinois.

Earn can be reached at saenmuk2@ dailyillini.com.


1B Friday April 26, 2013 The Daily Illini www.DailyIllini.com

Sports

PARENTAL GUIDANCE Fatherhood helps Ashante Williams overcome troubled past to put NFL dreams within reach BY CHAD THORNBURG STAFF WRITER

Baseball hosts Northwestern

Parr will attempt to tie, break hitting streak record recording hits in all but two of the Illini’s 36 games. The recipe to stopping His consistency, he says, is Justin Parr is simple: just a result of keeping to a rouadd water. tine. Friday night’s matchup So far in the standout cen- will show whether the rain ter fielder’s 24-game hitting out deviated too far from his streak, the only thing seem- regular schedule. ingly able to stop him has “There are different been rain, which resulted thoughts to that,” Illinois in the canhead coach cellation of Dan HartTuesday’s leb said. midweek “ W h e n guys are in matchup a rhythm, against you want to Eastern Illinois just keep I l l i n o i s . Northwestern (24-12, 6-6) Parr would (17-15, 6-9 Big Ten) playing. At have tied the same Friday, 6:05 p.m. the school time, when Saturday, 3:05 p.m. it gets a litrecord for Sunday, 1:05 p.m. longest hittle later in Illinois Field ting streak the season with a hit and they The Illini will be honoring veterans in that aren’t used Sunday with the second annual to playing game, but “Honor and Serve Day.” he’ll look to that many extend his games in streak and potentially take a row and you have all the sole ownership of the record academic demands, somewhen the Illini (24-12, 6-6 times a little bit of a break Big Ten) play Northwestern down the home stretch is a (17-15, 6-9) in a three-game good thing.” series this weekend at IlliWhile Parr attempts to stay the course, looking to nois Field. Parr has feasted on the snap out of his recent ways opposition this season with a .435 batting average, See BASEBALL, Page 3B BY JEFF KIRSHMAN STAFF WRITER

at

OUT OF BOUNDS

Five years in, my Daily Illini sports journey continues EMILY BAYCI Sports columnist

PORTRAITS BY BRENTON TSE THE DAILY ILLINI

Above: Former Illinois football player Ashante Williams and his son, Jayden Williams, point to Ashante’s bicep on the wall of the Illinois football weight room. Below: Jayden, 2, looks at the camera while waiting for his father at the Illinois football weight room.

T

he Illinois football wei g ht room is nearly empty on a quiet spring morning but for the rows of weight benches, squat racks and fitness machines and the musty smell of old sweat that permeates any gym. Tucked under Memorial Stadium’s north end zone stands, it’s packed with all the fitness equipment one could ever need, yet is large enough to feel spacious. The walls are plastered with inspirational sports cliches and images of Illini past and present. Ashante Williams’ massive biceps are among them, in the northwest corner, near the Illini greats — Juice Williams, Rashard Mendenhall, Red Grange. “That is Red Grange,” Ashante says when it’s pointed out. “Right up there next to me.” The words “It All Starts Here” line the wall near his arms. The phrase is true for the weight room of any successful football team, but it’s particularly fitting for Ashante. As his bulging biceps suggest, he’s a gym rat. He says he was poundfor-pound the strongest player on the team before he tore both his pectoral muscles more than two years ago. Today’s training session is a shortened one, about an hour and a half focused on his legs. He has a workout with the Cleveland Browns at the end of the week and wants his body fresh. But that doesn’t mean a day off. “I don’t like wasting a day,” Ashante says. “While you’re sleeping or sitting down, the next guy is up working and working real hard to be that much better than you.” When Ashante works out his legs, he isn’t working out the same muscles most people do. Quadriceps, hamstrings, calves — all of those are already chiseled to perfection on his 5-foot9, 195-pound frame. He’s finetuning the muscles that only a person hoping to make a living off athletics would often use. The tiny muscles that would give him complete control over every inch of his body, pushing it to its maximum potential, training it to compete at the highest level of his sport. His body is his livelihood. He sets up with an exercise ball and a bosu ball — an exercise ball split into a half-moon,

with a hard-plastic flat side to it — before shagging his 2-yearold son, Jayden, from the corner of the weight room he wandered off to. He plops Jayden on a nearby weight bench with a bottle of Minute Maid cranberry apple juice. Ashante, clad in Illini apparel, alternates from one-legged squats on the bosu ball to squatting with both feet on the exercise ball, controlling his balance in veritable circus fashion. He slips off the exercise ball, just once, and falls flat on his back. Undeterred, he gets back up and continues the routine. His muscles tense under his dark complexion with every rep, his shoulder-length dreadlocks hanging behind his head, tied into a ponytail. His intensive training program moves from exercise to exercise, muscle to muscle. He pauses only to rest and to remove and replace Jayden’s juice cap upon request. Jayden, who turns 3 at the end of June, knows the drill. He watches patiently as always, occasionally pouring juice into the cap — but mostly on his blue jeans — and drinking from it like a tiny cup. Memorial Stadium is his second home. “He’s like a little mascot,” Ashante says, smiling, as he always does when talking about his son. When Jayden was younger, Ashante would often wake him up in the early hours of the morning, bring him to the sta-

dium, wrap him in a blanket and let him finish sleeping in the Illinois locker room while Ashante got a lift in. On days when his schedule was especially tight, Ashante would bring Jayden to class. Ashante is preparing for the NFL Draft — 32 teams, seven rounds, 254 picks. He isn’t projected to crack that 254, but he hopes that one team will take a chance on him in the closing rounds or the post-draft free agency period. “I feel like if I get the opportunity, I’ll capitalize on it,” he says. “It’s not about getting drafted, it’s just about getting an opportunity.” His reason for putting his body through hell and back every morning is right there, fiddling with the cap to his juice. *** Ashante’s path wasn’t always headed toward the NFL. At times, it was hardly headed toward seeing the field at Illinois. Setback after setback — mostly his own transgressions — kept him on the sideline, souring his rapport with thenhead coach Ron Zook. “It was very shaky,” Ashante said of their relationship. “We didn’t really talk.” He graduated from high school a semester early to enroll at Illinois for spring ball, but nearly failed out of college. Adjusting to life as a studentathlete coupled with an ambitious course load wasn’t a reci-

pe for academic eligibility. He was forced to redshirt his freshman year rather than carve out a role on the defense. His troubles didn’t end there. He was suspended for one game in 2009 after testing positive for marijuana. Oversleeping for 6 a.m. workouts, arriving late to practice, bouncing on and off academic probation, missed meetings, it all added up. He had fallen out of favor with the coaches. “Everybody matures at a different rate,” Zook said. “He got to college, got a little freedom and tested that out a bit.” “He was probably on his high horse like any good athlete coming out of high school,” said his stepfather, Christopher Williams. “You think the world revolves around you.” Even when Ashante’s slate had been clean for months, he still watched from the sidelines on Saturdays. He played sparingly, mostly on special teams, making the occasional spotstart for an injured teammate. “Every little thing I did, Zook would pile up on me and just make it that much harder for me to dig myself out of the hole,” Ashante said. “And it just seemed like every day, I was digging myself in a hole further, and further.” Feelings of depression set in. He shied away from trips back home to Mayfield, Ohio. He didn’t want to look his parents

See WILLIAMS, Page 2B

T

his isn’t going to be your typical sports column. That nine-word sentence was how I started my first column of the school year, which I’m sure you all remember, because I know you have hung onto my every word. OK, I’m going to stop fooling myself with visions of a fan club consisting of every student, athlete and alumnus of this university. I’ll settle with what I have for now — thanks for being great. Rereading my column from last August gave me an interesting perspective on everything. I told you I was going to connect life and sports and give you columns that offered a perspective you’ve never seen before. This was my fifth year of eligibility, not much different from a redshirt athlete. It was time for more of a leadership role, or where you just pretend like you know things because you’ve been somewhere for five years. I took this year to find the perfect combination of swagger and poise, which I’m still working on, and establish myself as a necessary or unnecessary Team Mom of the sports staff — it’s whatever way you want to take it. The switch to a new position, from features and beat reporter to a weekly columnist was tough for me, and coming up with my own commentary on a weekly basis was more difficult than I ever could have imagined. I never gave enough credit to those who churn out these words on a daily basis, so hats off to all the column writers out there. It was a year of ups and downs, like anyone could expect. I now see where all the athletic cliches come in and have a new understanding of what it means to be an athlete, or a writer, or a human being. I had a strong start, with promises of the unknown and never been seen before. This school year was one of scandal, drama and heroic accomplishments, something we can come to always expect from the world of sports. I had the opportuni-

ty to touch on the topics closest to my heart, like men’s gymnastics, Penn State volleyball, the Paralympics and Title IX. I entered uncharted waters with a ghost story column, a satiric column about dating athletes and a montage of pump up speeches. I dedicated an entire month to writing about sports movies, complete with a #MarchMovieMadness. I took my weekends and related them to sports, which you should try sometime. It wasn’t all good times though. There’s what my dad, who happens to be my No. 1 fan, calls “Bad Column February,” featuring Black History Month and why you should date an athlete. There’s that week when I had to resort to bashing on Shaq — sorry, man — and then there’s the ideas that just never happened like my stellar review of “42” and that column where I tell you exactly how library science and sports fit together. I’ll give you the athlete cliche excuses, because I can and because they fit. I’m in graduate school for library and information science, and believe it or not it’s hard. Ten semesters is a long time to do something and sometimes you just get burnt out. My life is literally a roller coaster. I don’t even know what happens sometimes. But really, there’s no excuses and I have learned from my mistakes. I couldn’t be more than excited for another chance, because I know that there’s more talent just rustling inside of me like a bull ready to charge — yes that simile was entirely necessary. I’m eager to see if my favorite teams can redeem themselves and become powerhouses, if the Groce fever keeps catching and if a Beckman termination comes anytime soon. The ideas keep coming, the words continue to flow and there are a lot of sports to continue to witness. My application is currently pending with the NCAA for my sixth year of eligibility. They do try to send people to the real world sometimes. But at this rate, I’ll be that athlete who never knows when to retire.

Emily is a graduate student. She can be reached at bayci1@ dailyillini.com. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyBayci.


2B

The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

WILLIAMS FROM PAGE 1B in the eyes, thinking he was a disappointment. He felt ashamed and alone. Once the star athlete in high school, now he could hardly get on the field. His teammates’ words rang in his ears — You should be on the field with us, Ashante. We know you’re the best player for the position. — making it all that much harder as the seasons went by. “All that talent that I had to offer, everything that I had worked for to come to college, it was all just going to go down the drain and nobody was ever going to see the real Ashante Williams,” he said. “I felt like everything I did and everything I touched turned to darkness.” Midway through the 2011 season, senior defensive back Trulon Henry was moved from safety to play ahead of Ashante at the SAM linebacker position, a position unfamilliar to Henry. Ashante said it could have helped the defense to keep Henry at his natural position and insert Ashante into the lineup. “They just had me on the sideline standing next to him. ‘Hey, tell him what to do every play,’” he said. “And that was just like a slap in the face, but I understood the consequences of what I did.” When Henry would make a big play, Ashante couldn’t help but think of what should have been. It wasn’t jealousy; it was feelings of helplessness and lingering frustration. Four years into his career at Illinois and he had yet to make an impact. “The coaches felt like they couldn’t trust me, and I don’t blame them because it felt like every time they would give me a little leeway, I’d get back in trouble.” Ashante understood he had abused Zook’s trust, but he started to lose hope he could ever regain it. He was frustrated. It seemed that no matter how hard he worked, he couldn’t clear his name. His parents offered him an out. Transfer to a different school. Consider a Division-I AA school. But Ashante declined. He was going to stick it out. *** Ashante really isn’t one for birthdays. His 21st was set to be a low-key affair. Dinner and a movie. But with one phone call, dinner and a movie became shopping at Wal-Mart for baby supplies. A woman from his recent past surprised him with a request for child support. She thought he might be the father to her 8-month-old son, Jayden. Ashante took a paternity test the day after she contacted him. The results came in on his birthday, Feb. 15, 2011. All the responsibilities of fatherhood hit him at once. Nine months were condensed into 72 hours. Ashante’s mom transferred money into his account and he dropped $300 at WalMart. As he waited in the checkout line, his cart stuffed with Pampers and formula, he shook his head in disbelief. “I couldn’t believe I was a father.” Jayden was dropped off the next day, and father and son have been together since. He and his girlfriend, ChrisDell Harris, whom Jayden now calls mommy, plunged immediately into parenthood. Ashante’s thoughts kept going back to his own mother, Andrekia Williams, who had him at age 16. The odds were against her, but she battled her way to being the first person in her family to graduate from high school and is now a consultant making over six figures with two master’s degrees. “All I could think about is what

my mom was doing when I was younger, and that was fight,” he said. “Even if we were struggling, she didn’t let me see her struggle. All I could think of in the back of my head was fight.” Ashante’s biological father isn’t part of his life. They met once, when Ashante was in middle school. He brought Ashante the latest copy of “MLB: The Show.” They talked for an hour or two and left it at that. “I know who he is, but I don’t know who he is,” Ashante said. He’s open to a relationship — he’d love to meet the five halfsiblings who live with his biological father — but doesn’t require one. His stepfather, Chris Williams, filled that need. He adopted Ashante and his brother Amare, and they eventually took his last name. Chris Williams ensured that Ashante would have a father growing up, and Ashante is determined to do the same for Jayden. He refuses to go down the same path as his biological father. “I don’t hold it against him because I don’t know what he went through, what separated him from me,” Ashante said. “I just know that I want to be in my son’s life.” *** A hot summer night in July 2011 had Ashante, ChrisDell, a friend and his girlfriend indoors for a movie night. Ashante, five months into parenthood, wasn’t really one to go out anymore. He had been there, done that. He had two margaritas. After two or three movies, his friends were ready to go home. They had been drinking too. Ashante suggested they spend the night to avoid driving under the influence. An argument ensued, and Ashante, hoping to keep it from escalating to the point of waking a sleeping Jayden in the next room, offered to drive them home himself. He didn’t feel drunk, and they didn’t live far. His gas tank nearly empty, he pulled into the corner gas station. A police squad car soon followed. As Ashante pulled out, so did the officer. Ashante nervously and cautiously continued down the road, stopping at every stop sign — complete, not rolling stops — peering into his rearview mirror every so often as they traveled, block after block of a drive that suddenly felt much longer. He finally reached his friends’ street, flipped the right turn signal on and glanced back at the cop in his mirror. Lights and sirens followed and Ashante was slapped with tickets for improper lane usage, speeding and driving under the influence. He still doesn’t know what prompted the officer to pull him over. He didn’t think he was speeding and was ticketed for illegal lane usage on a one-lane road. Wearing a white tank top, athletic shorts and flip-flops, he was told he initially arose suspicion for fitting the description of a suspect. It wasn’t until a few hours later at the police station that he was read his Miranda rights and given a Breathalyzer test — his BAC was registered at 0.177. He thought his football career was over. He had turned over a new leaf and kept his slate clean as a new father. Camp Rantoul was less than two weeks away and this was his season to shine. But trouble followed him like an unwanted shadow. “I couldn’t get away from it.” *** Zook suspended Ashante for two months. He missed summer camp in Rantoul. He couldn’t work out at Memorial Stadium, couldn’t be around the team for practice. It continued into the season where he dressed for the first three games but didn’t play. Ashante was never convicted of his DUI, but it didn’t matter. News spread quickly. The dam-

PORTRAIT BY BRENTON TSE THE DAILY ILLINI

Jayden watches Ashante lift in the Illinois football weight room. age to his reputation was done. He couldn’t fall back into feelings of depression this time, though. Accountability was no longer optional; a 1-year-old at home demanded it. “All of a sudden it wasn’t about him, it was about somebody else,” Zook said. “Here he is trying to raise a young man and go to school and play football. He had a lot on his plate, and I don’t think there’s any question in my mind that it did make a difference. He grew up quickly.” Ashante had filed for full cus-

“AT THE END OF THE DAY, I STILL HAVE THIS LITTLE BOY AT HOME THAT LOOKS UP TO ME. AND NO MATTER WHAT I DO, HE STILL RUNS UP TO ME, SMILING, TALKING ABOUT DA-DA.” ASHANTE WILLIAMS, former Illini football player

tody of Jayden on March 30, 2011, soon after he arrived on his doorstep. On Jan. 17, 2012, he finally had it. Jayden’s biological mother has supervised visitation every weekend but rarely uses it, Ashante said. “He definitely puts it all in perspective,” Ashante said. “I want him to be able to look back and say his dad did something with his life.” Jayden got him out of the rut, but as far as football was concerned, he was still stranded deep in the hole he dug himself. Ashante needed a fresh beginning and got exactly that after the 2011 season. Zook was fired

JOIN THE

BEE

SCENE. BE AWARE. BE ALERT. BE SEEN.

and Tim Beckman was hired. “I told him, ‘I don’t care about your past; this is now and forward,’” Beckman said. Jayden got Ashante’s life back on track, and Beckman cleared his slate. He was never late, never absent. Beckman lauded his work ethic and leadership. He rarely drinks anymore. And if he does, he has the phone number for a taxi service programmed into his phone. “You won’t catch me in that situation again.” Beckman, Zook, it didn’t mat-

ter. Ashante just needed a fresh start. And he wasn’t going to get that from a coach he disappointed time after time. “If the roles had been reversed,” his stepfather told him, “if Coach Beckman would have got you as a freshman and Zook got you when you were a senior, you would have thought Zook was the best thing since sliced bread. “It wasn’t those two. It was you.” *** In the 2012 season opener, Western Michigan lined up with a three-receiver set, two to the left and one to the right. Quarter-

back Alex Carder waited in shotgun with a halfback to his right. The Illini defense disguised its man coverage, lining up with the illusion of zone. The center snapped the ball; Carder dropped back — three steps, just like Ashante and his stepfather had seen on film. Christopher Williams was in town for the month, helping take care of Jayden as Ashante prepared for his first season as a full-time starter. Christopher and Jayden would make their way to Memorial Stadium for an hour or two of film study after Ashante finished practice. It was there they spotted Carder’s gunslinger tendencies. “Some quarterbacks just think no matter how tight the window is that they can just get the ball in there,” said Christopher, a former college football player himself. Carder looked center, then left and fired the ball into his receiver, who cut back toward the ball just beyond the first down marker, a timing route. Ashante jumped the route and the ball was right there. He caught it and stumbled, his momentum propelling him forward. He regained his balance and streaked 60 yards to the end zone along the visitor’s sideline, where Jayden and the rest of his family were watching from the stands. “It made me believe in myself again,” Ashante said. “It just was a huge weight off my shoulders knowing that I could still play.” Ashante became the full-time starter at the hybrid linebacker/ safety STAR position and started on three of four special teams. He finished second on the team in tackles with 78, logging close to 1,000 plays in 12 games, the most on the team, hardly leaving the field except for the occasional sip of water and a few plays off for a minor shoulder injury. If it weren’t for this season, Ashante would be unknown. NFL scouts from the Chiefs and Ravens wouldn’t have stayed nearly an hour longer at Illinois’ Pro Day to issue him aptitude tests. The Eagles, Dolphins, Broncos, Rams, Colts and Texans wouldn’t have called him. The New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns wouldn’t have worked him out. “It started here. It might not have been a smooth ride, but in my heart, I know I fought like no other,” he said. “And I feel like in the end, that’s all going to pay off.”

*** A dejected atmosphere engulfed the linebacker’s room, used for postgame player interviews. Indiana, then the worst team in the Big Ten, had just trounced the Illini 31-17 on their home field. The Illini were 2-6 and wouldn’t win another game all season. The lingering members of the Illinois media contingent had run out of questions, and the players had run out of answers. “I’ve never been through this before,” remarked a disheartened Ashante to a small group of reporters. His responses were curt but earnest. The blowout losses were piling up. But his mood shifted on a dime when asked about his son. Ashante lit up, all traces of the loss vanishing from his face. “At the end of the day, I still have this little boy at home that looks up to me,” Ashante said. “And no matter what I do, he still runs up to me, smiling, talking about Da-da.” The NFL Draft may come and go without mention of Ashante Williams. All he wants is an opportunity, just one chance to show his talent. He’s hoping one team will see in him what he’s always known is there. A minimum salary of about $400,000 that only increases each year he remains in the league would mean a better life for his son. Even if he doesn’t make it through final cuts, practice squad players haul in roughly $100,000. Just over a week before the draft, Ashante received a letter from an NFL general manager inviting him to training camp. No matter what happens during or after the draft, he has at least one opportunity. And if you ask him, one opportunity is all he needs. He shared a teary-eyed conversation with his mother the next day. They discussed his past, his failures, his successes. He thanked her for teaching him how to fight, how to keep on. All the emotions of five years at Illinois came out at once. “You made it hard for yourself, but you’re definitely going to get an opportunity,” she told him. “From where we started to where we are now, that’s just phenomenal.” Ashante Williams is chasing his dream, and even if he doesn’t reach it, he’ll always have a little mascot cheering him on.

Chad can be reached at thornbu1@ dailyillini.com and @cthornburg10.

WHEN YOU’RE BUZZING AROUND CAMPUS it’s easy to get distracted. But don’t just bumble around aimlessly...be part of the Bee Scene. BE AWARE. If you’re walking, keep those antennae up— look left-right-left at intersections and stay on sidewalks whenever possible. BE ALERT. If you’re biking, watch out for opening car doors. And if you’re driving, make eye contact with others sharing the road. BE SEEN. Don’t just wing it—stay out of blind spots. BE IN THE BEE SCENE AND AVOID GETTING STUNG.

GOT IT?

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The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

3B

Men’s golf tries for 5th straight Big Ten title After wrapping up the regular season with a third-place finish in the Boilermaker Invitational on Sunday, the Illinois men’s golf team will have one more chance to prove the strength of its program at the Big Ten Championships in French Lick, Ind., looking to win its fifth straight title. Head coach Mike Small said all it will take for the team to win is play “fearless and confident golf,” which has been a goal for the team all year. With another win in 2013, the Illini would hold 12 Big Ten team titles overall.

Thomas Pieters leading the pack After helping the Illini win two Big Ten Championships in his first two seasons, Pieters will be a key player if Illinois wants to make it five straight titles. Last season, he tied for fifth and tied for 10th in 2011. He also won the 2012 NCAA individual title. Even though he is likely to produce a strong finish, Pieters is aware of other competition.

“All the other teams want it so bad because we won it the past four years,” he said. “We don’t have Luke (Guthrie) anymore, but we’re still a good team. But that still means we need to step it up. We need to shoot a lot under and just play solid golf.”

The roster Thomas Pieters Coming off of six top-10 finishes this season and reigning as the third-ranked player in the Big Ten, there is no question why Pieters is No. 1 on the roster going into the Big Tens. He leads the team in stroke average at 71.54. Thomas Detry Ranking second on the team with a 73.25 average, the freshman from Belgium will compete in the Big Tens. He has placed in the top 20 in six of the eight tournaments he has played in during the fall and spring season. Brian Campbell With a stroke average of 73.50, the sophomore from Irvine, Calif., will join the team in French Lick. He was named Big

Ten Golfer of the Week on Feb. 20 along with teammate Mason Jacobs. Charlie Danielson The Wisconsin native has finished in the top 30 in six of eight tournaments he has played his freshman year. This season alone, he has shot seven rounds under par. Alex Burge With a stroke average of 74.30, the sophomore has come off of 19th-place, 33rd-place and 13thplace finishes at the Boilermaker invitational, the Augusta State Invitational and Lousiana Classics, respectively.

»

The competition Even though Illinois comes out on top in Big Ten rankings at No. 30 in the nation, many teams are close behind. No. 31 Northwestern. No. 55 Iowa, No. 59 Indiana and No. 74 Purdue will provide tough competition for the Illini. The 12 remaining teams consist of Ohio State (87), Michigan State (102), Minnesota (110), Michigan (117), Penn State (125), Nebraska (144) and Wisconsin (167).

More online: To read

a preview of the women’s golf Big Ten Championships, visit

DailyIllini.com.

Prospects This 2012-13 season, the Illini have won five tournaments: the Wolf Run Invitational and the D.A. Weibring in September, the Tinervin Cup vs. Illinois State in February, the Lousianna Classics in March, and, most importantly, the Big Ten Match Play Championship, where they defeated Michigan, 4-0-1; Ohio, 5-0; and Michigan State, 5-0. Illinois’ wins put it in third for the most wins of any Big Ten team this season. Despite Illinois’ youth, its lineup is stacked with talent, proving more than capable of winning its fifth-straight Big Ten Championship. Play begins on the par-72, 7,152-yard Pete Dye Course on Friday at 7 a.m., where the Big Ten teams will play 36 holes, followed by play on Saturday and Sunday.

Claire can be reached at lavezzo2@ dailyillini.com and @clairelav228.

BASEBALL FROM PAGE 1B will be right-handed sophomore John Kravetz, who has struggled in his past two outings and drew ire from Hartleb after last weekend’s series loss against Ohio State. Kravetz allowed three earned runs and four walks in 5 2/3 innings against Purdue on April 13 and lasted just 2 2/3 innings in the Illini’s 7-6 loss to the Buckeyes last week. He is 0-1 with four no-decisions in four Big Ten starts this season, with an 8.84 ERA and .355 opposing batting average. The root of Kravetz’s struggles, Hartleb said, have been locating his fastball and getting behind in the count. “He gets upset when he’s not productive because he wants to win, and that can snowball on you,” Hartleb said. “At times, I think he takes things too personal and the game speeds up on him.” Kravetz used this week of practice to attempt to return to his freshman form. After meeting individually with Hartleb and pitching coach Drew Dickinson, he said he’s confident he’ll have more success against Northwestern. “I’ve gotten away from what’s gotten me to this point,” said Kravetz, who tied for second in the Big Ten in wins and broke the school record for wins by a freshman last season by going 8-3 with a 4.72 ERA. “I’ve always been a guy who pounded the zone with fastballs and challenged hitters. I’ve done too much dancing around hitters.” Kravetz broke Illinois’ freshman wins record after earning the second victory of Illinois’s three-game sweep of the Wildcats last season, while Kevin Johnson struck out a season-high nine Northwestern hitters in a complete-game shutout of the Wildcats in the Friday night matchup. Shortstop Thomas Lindauer said he expects

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ings, with the top six teams qualifying for the Big Ten Tournament. “I thought we’d be much better, honestly,” Lindauer said of the team’s standing at this point of the season. “We’ve played the best of the best in the Big Ten, and now it’s time to start winning baseball games.”

RN / LA UNF U UN DR RN A/ Y IN C UN PA IT RK IN G UT ILI ON S TIE I S I TE NC L.

quality pitching in this year’s edition of the in-state rival, which features the conference’s fourth-best ERA at 3.06. Still — like last weekend, and every series to follow until the end of the season — Lindauer and the Illini consider every Big Ten game essential to its chances at the Big Ten Tournament and subsequent postseason play. The Illini currently stand at .500 in Big Ten play and are seventh in the conference stand-

FU

# BDROOMS

FOLAKE OSIBODU THE DAILY ILLINI

Justin Parr bats during the game against Purdue on April 13. Parr will look to extend his hit streak and potentially take sole ownership of the record when the Illini take on Northwestern in a three-game series this weekend at Illinois Field.

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JONATHAN DAVIS THE DAILY ILLINI

Illinois’ Ross Guignon, left, and Tim Kopinski prepare for a return at the Atkins Tennis Center on April 12. Illinois men’s tennis will play Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament on Friday.

Illini gear up to rematch Wildcats in Big Ten tourney quarterfinals BY J.J. WILSON ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

Illinois men’s tennis found out Thursday that it would play Northwestern in the quarterfinals of the Big Ten Tournament but had already been preparing for a rematch with the Wildcats. Five-seeded Northwestern (218, 6-5 Big Ten), made quick work of 12-seeded Iowa (7-16, 0-11), winning 4-1. With Iowa scraping the bottom of the conference all season, it seemed to be more than a prediction that Illinois (13-9, 6-3) would play Northwestern in the second round, and Illinois head coach Brad Dancer recognized it. “We’re expecting Northwestern,” Dancer said at Wednesday’s practice. “We’d better be ready though. We’d better raise our focus, intensity, effort and everything.” When then-No. 20 Northwestern lost 5-2 in the Atkins Tennis Center on March 2, Illinois was just beginning Big Ten play and in the middle of climbing the top-25 rankings — ranked No. 17 at the time. But now, the Illini have their share of conference losses, falling to Minnesota, Michigan and Ohio State, and Dancer said they won’t hand anything over easy. “Definitely a different feeling going into Big Tens rather than a dual match just because it’s our last chance to show the conferences in the nation what this team’s made of,” freshman Alex Jesse said. “Any team can beat any team in the Big Ten, so obviously we’re going to be ready to play whoever ... but the confidence is high from last time.” Last time, the Illini took the doubles point to start the match against the Wildcats before taking four of six courts in singles, winning 5-2. This win marked the Illinois program’s 22nd win over Northwestern, but past records and seeds aren’t the only thing vouching for the Illini. In terms of ranked players, Northwestern is certainly the underdog. The Illini put up three top-100 tandems in doubles to the Wildcats’ none. And while the most success has come from the No. 13 sophomores Tim Kopinski

# BDROOMS

and Ross Guignon, who haven’t lost to any top-25 teams and are 10 for their last 11 paired together. Dancer said Illinois has its doubles game struggles in putting up “three strong courts.” Dancer also said they have attempted to split up Kopinski and Guignon to build three dominant teams. While Guignon hasn’t played much outside of the ranked pair, Kopinski is undefeated in his three matches with sophomore Farris Gosea, and they’re ranked No. 73 as a pair. Picking up another court is also the No. 85 freshman combo of Jared Hiltzik and Alex Jesse — 8-2 together, leaving two matches unfinished. Still, those tandems can only cover two of three courts. While the Wildcats post No. 87 Raleigh Smith as their leader in singles, the Illini boast No. 31 Hiltzik, who is coming off his third Big Ten Athlete of the Week award with his most notable victory over Ohio State’s then-No. 9 Blaz Rola. Though the Illinois coaching staff has struggled with singles rosters all season, Dancer considers it a good thing. Despite recent struggles from Guignon and seniors Bruno Abdelnour and Stephen Hoh, Dancer said seven guys are all in the contention for the six singles spots. “In a real positive way, A.J. (Jesse) is giving us problems,” Dancer said. “What we need to do is keep Jared (Hiltzik), Jesse, Kopinski and Farris (Gosea) at the level they’ve been playing, get those other three guys to step up their level, and then make some tough decisions as a coach who’s not going to get the call that day.” With the NCAA tournament looming in a few weeks, the Illini are trying to keep their focus on the matches at hand in the conference tournament. “We have an NCAA tournament goal in the back of our heads, but this weekend is just purely about the Big Ten Championship, and we’re going to keep our eyes on that for now,” Jesse said.

J.J. can be reached at sports@ dailyillini.com and @Wilsonable07.

RN / LA UNF U UN DR RN A/ Y IN C UN IT PA RK IN GO UT ILI NS TIE S I ITE NC L.

ASSISTANT SPORTS EDITOR

MISC.

FU

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4B

The Daily Illini | www.DailyIllini.com

Friday, April 26, 2013

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Leasing for Fall 2013 Engineering Campus

Illini Union 3 1/2 Blocks Mech. Eng. 3 Blocks

    

         

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The Daily Illini: Volume 142 Issue 147