Tolono Public Library seeks volunteers

Tolono News TOLONO - The Tolono Public Library is looking for volunteers to help with their efforts in maintaining a valuable resource in the community.

Thirty years after its start in 1967, two generous Tolono library patrons provided enough money to fund a new 7,950 square foot building. The cost were also supplemented by a Live and Learn Grant from the Secretary of State. Now the library offers close to 40,000 titles, including audiobooks, large print books, DVDs, and video games.

Residents interested in volunteering with the Tolono Public Library are encouraged to contact Amy Wildman at or call (217) 485-5558.

Urbana Tigers 2023 Football Schedule

URBANA - Last week, the 2023 Urbana varsity football schedule was released by the Illinois High School Association. The Tigers look to rebuild their program after canceling the varsity program the past two season. UHS, under second-year head coach Curtis Blanden, open their 2023 season with 2pm road game on August 26 against the Centennial Chargers.

2023 Urbana High School Football Schedule

Aug 26 Centennial 2:00 Away
Sep 1 Peoria Notre Dame 7:00 Away
Sep 8 Peoria 7:00 Away
Sep 15 Normal Community West 7:00 Home
Sep 22 Champaign Central 7:00 Home
Sep 29 Normal University 7:00 Away
Oct 6 Normal Community 7:00 Away
Oct 13 Peoria Manual 7:00 Home
Oct 20 Danville 7:00 Home

Urbana High School
1002 S. Race St.
Urbana, IL 61801

Phone: 217-384-3505
Fax: 217-384-3532

School Web Site:
Athletic Web Site:

Other links:

Nickname: Tigers
Colors: Orange/Black
Conference(s): Big Twelve
Enrollment: 1126.5

Superintendent: Jennifer Ivory-Tatum
Principal: Jesse Guzman
Boys Athletic Director: Stephen Waller
Boys Football Head Coach: Curtis Blanden

Urbana to host free Shakespearean play at the Boneyard

URBANA - Looking for a classy date-night idea this weekend? The Starling Shakespeare Company will give a free performance of Julius Caesar on Friday, July 21, at the Boneyard Creek Park located next to 25 O'Clock Brewery.

Through a partnership with the Urbana Arts & Culture, the traveling group composed of a cast of just five actors present a 90-minute interpretation of the legendary playwright from Stratford-upon-Avon in the United Kingdom.

The performance looks at the political turmoil of ancient Rome and chronicles the betrayal of Caesar, led by his most-trusted allies.

Tickets must be reserved in advance online here on Event Bright.

Before the show, join the actors for a workshop from 5-6 pm on classical stage combat. The workshop is also free to the public. Participants will learn performance fighting techniques and how to make them realistic for audiences. The class will also stress the safety protocols necessary for choreographing fight scenes.

Guest Commentary | Just so you know, foreign companies are buy up America

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator

According an article on the Business Insider website, the world's total land mass consists of 36.8 billion acres of inhabitable land.

Amazingly, just few people own a lot of our planet.

King Charles III or the Crown Estate owns 6.6 billion acres of land worldwide. This includes Great Britain, Northern Ireland, Canada (90%), Australia (23 %) and a few other spots here and there. They also own the Falkland Islands.

With 6.6 billion acres, King Charles III or the Crown Estate, is far and away the world's largest landowner, with the closest runner-up (King Salman, Saudi Arabia) who holds control over a mere 547 million acres and a net worth of over $18 billion.

Coming in number three on the list is Pope Francis.110 acres owned by The Holy See constitute Vatican City. Also, roughly 17 million more acreage of various lands are owned by the Catholic Church throughout the globe, including the hundreds of Vatican embassies that are legally titled to The Holy See as an independent nation.

Ted Turner ranks high in major world land owners with over 2 million acres of land owned in Georgia, Montana and Argentina.

Jeff Bezos owns about 400,000 acres with much of that being in Texas. Bill Gates owns about 242,000 acres of farmland according to

According to the US Department of Agriculture, USDA, there are approximately 911 million acres of farmland in the United States

There has been concern about China’s growing land purchases in the United States. Chinese purchases of U.S agricultural land has sparked concern in Congress among a bipartisan group of lawmakers—but 18 other countries own more American agricultural acres than China.

Here are some of the American landowners:

1. Canada (12,845,000 acres)
2. Netherlands (4,875,000 acres)
3. Italy (2,703,000 acres)
4. United Kingdom (2,538,000 acres)
5. Germany (2,269,000 acres)
6. Portugal (1,483,000 acres)
7. France (1,316,000 acres)
8. Denmark (856,000 acres)
9. Luxembourg (802,000 acres)
10. Ireland (760,000 acres)

China ranks number 18 and owns roughly 384,000 acres of U.S. agricultural land, according to a 2021 report from the Department of Agriculture. Of that, 195,000 acres, worth almost $2 billion when purchased, are owned by 85 Chinese investors, which could be individuals, companies or the government. The other 189,000 acres were worth $235 million when purchased and are owned by 62 U.S. corporations with Chinese shareholders. Chinese agricultural land ownership only increased about 550 acres from 2015 to 2019. Then, their ownership jumped 30% from 2019 (

Chinese food manufacturer Fufeng Group bought 300 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota, to set up a milling plant. The project is located about 20 minutes from the Grand Forks Air Force Base, raising national security concerns. (CNBC.COM)

Then known as Shuanghui Group, WH Group purchased Smithfield Foods in 2013 for $4.72 billion. It was the largest Chinese acquisition of an American company at that time.

Bourbon lovers might be surprised to learn that a large number of Kentucky favorites are owned by Japanese companies. Way back in 2014 Japan-based Suntory bought Jim Beam at a 25 percent premium over market value for $16 billion. That means the world's best-selling bourbon, Jim Beam, is actually owned by a Japanese company. Suntory also owns Maker's Mark, Knob Creek and Basil Hayden.

If you have American land or business to sell, no worries, someone from China or another foreign country just might be interested.


He is the author of 13 books including UncommSense, the Spiritual Chocolate series, Grandpa's Store, Minister's Guidebook insights from a fellow minister. His column is published weekly in over 600 publications in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to



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