Claire Hampton with her mother. Claire was born in Seoul, South Korea and came to the United States when she was four months old.

Growing up Asian in a white family; one adoptee’s struggle

By Earn Saenmuk/For — There was a girl in my Korean class. Well, there were more than one, but this particular one was special. She was very nice, and her Korean was so good that I felt a little intimidated. I noticed while the teacher was taking attendance that her last name did not sound like an Asian last name. Her name was Claire Hampton, though she told the teacher that she also has a Korean name, Hwaesuk.

The window for the  Urbana Police Department office inside the Urbana City Hall on Thursday, September 4, 2014. photo by Darrell Hoemann/C-U Citizen Access

Race makeup of local police staff mirror national trends

The racial makeup of police departments across the country has grown to become a heated national issue after a white police officer shot and killed Michael Brown – an unarmed black teenager – in Ferguson, Mo., last month.

An initial analysis by of local police staff numbers revealed a race gap mirrored in national and regional reports. The staff information was obtained through requests made under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

A small community of cyclists in Champaign-Urbana enjoying bike polo. Spring 2014.

Bike friendly Chambana draws new version of polo

Champaign-Urbana is a biking town, and as an avid biker, that was something I noticed very quickly upon moving here.

Bike lanes run all through both cities as well as campus. Shops like The Bike Co-op and Neutral Cycle provide local cyclists with affordable service and offer to teach people who come in how to maintain a bike themselves, while other stores deal with high-end, professional equipment. People get together to go on group rides.

Students slacklining at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Spring 2014

Slackers on a line

Klara Debie/For — On one of the first sunny days of spring, I saw some people balancing themselves on a tightrope – or that’s what I thought they were doing. They had put a rope between two trees on the quad and were walking across it, running sometimes, jumping on, doing tricks and often falling off it. They were slacklining. As with anything out of the ordinary, I was gripped the moment I saw it. How were they able to find their balance on such a thin, unstable surface?

Step by step instruction on financial aid application helps visitors to Shadow Wood lab

Giovanna Olea/For – Giovanna Olea works for as a community ambassador in a computer lab at Shadow Wood Mobile Home Park. has opened and operated a computer lab within the park for the community since 2011. Olea writes about her experiences here. Last week was a little busier than usual. The children were really nervous and excited because they were going back to school.