Ebert to appear on 'Oprah' on Tuesday with new 'voice'

Urbana native Roger Ebert will appear on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Tuesday, using a new text-to-speech computer-software generated voice based on his own.

Ebert told The News-Gazette on Friday via e-mail that he calls his new voice "Roger Jr."

"I'm writing a blog that will tell all," he added.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning film critic posted last week at Twitter that he had taped an "Oprah" segment and it was to air on Tuesday. Locally, the program airs at 4 p.m. Monday through Friday on WCIA Channel 3.

Erlanger home now a comfortable place for visiting artists

URBANA – The last decade of Margaret Erlanger's life must have been serene, particularly when she spent time in her home at 303 W. Indiana across from Carle Park in Urbana.

Designed by architect Jack S. Baker, now an emeritus professor at the University of Illinois, the 1960s modernist yet warm home, with nods to Scandinavian design, features:

– Walls of exposed Chicago common brick, a buff brick of multiple hues.

– A front courtyard, built of the same brick, that provides both privacy and openness.

Former Champaign resident takes center stage at Second City

Former Champaign resident takes stage as part of e.t.c. ensemble

When Mary Sohn walks in to work at The Second City in Chicago, she thinks of those who came before her.

"Every day, I walk through those doors and I think, 'Man, this is where Bill Murray used to sit,'" she said.

She works at the same place where comedy greats like Chris Farley, Stephen Colbert, Tina Fey, Amy Sedaris and countless others once performed.

Central graduate's film on HIV/AIDS 'puts a face on the disease'

CHAMPAIGN – Kimberly Conner knows for a fact that HIV and AIDS are not just a problem for drug users, homosexuals or bisexuals.

She had a cousin who died of AIDS-related complications after having been infected by her husband, who contracted HIV in a heterosexual affair.

Conner's cousin died four years later, and her husband passed a few years after that. Their son, who was not infected, was orphaned at 12.