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Savoy native to be in holiday special airing on WILL

SAVOY – Belmont University Brass choir member Taylor Dillon of Savoy will be part of the annual "Christmas at Belmont" holiday special to be broadcast at 7 p.m. Wednesday on PBS, including WILL-TV.

The TV special will be hosted by Belmont alumna and three-time Grammy Award-winning country artist Trisha Yearwood.

Independent Media Center celebrating 10 years

URBANA – The Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center will celebrate on Saturday the 10th anniversary of the birth of independent media.

At the Independent Media Center at 202 S. Broadway Ave., U, events will take place most of the day. The schedule:

Documentary to pay tribute to 'Red' Grange

CHICAGO – On Thanksgiving, football fans will not only be able to watch a number of games, but they'll also be able to view a new program about football legend Harold "Red" Grange.

The Big Ten Network will pay tribute to Grange in the documentary "Larger Than Life: The Red Grange Story," about his life and the making of the statue of Grange that now stands on the west side of Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

'Evening with Sean Astin' scheduled for Monday night

Actor Sean Astin will be in town Monday, when he appears at Foellinger Auditorium.

"An Evening with Sean Astin: What I've learned from being a Goonie, Rudy and a Hobbit named Sam" starts at 8 p.m.

C-U native experiencing early success in Hollywood

CHAMPAIGN – Picture the ultimate Champaign-Urbana homecoming visit:

– Native son buys his grandmother new flat-screen television. While he's installing it, he appears on screen.

– Same returnee takes his grandfather, who used to work the gates, to the Illinois-Michigan football game. Illini win.

'Extreme Makeover' episode evokes cheers, tears

CHAMPAIGN – Nathan and Jenny Montgomery laughed and cried, smiled and cheered with several hundred of their new best friends Sunday evening for the airing of their story on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition."

"It's more than we could have imagined," Nathan Montgomery said. "I could not be more happy with how ABC did it."

The couple held hands as they watched as their children were introduced to their new robot-, army- and candy-themed bedrooms on three giant screens at a viewing party at the I Hotel and Convention Center in Champaign.

Opportunities abound to see 'Extreme Makeover' house

The hottest tickets in East Central Illinois this week will allow holders through the front door of a house in Philo.

People who just can't wait until the 7 p.m. Sunday television show to see the interior of the "Extreme Makeover" home can bid for an in-person preview showing.

Meanwhile, viewing parties at hotels in Champaign and Bloomington are scheduled for $10 per person, with proceeds going to charity.

'Judge Joe Brown' to feature Champaign litigants

CHAMPAIGN – A Champaign case will air on the television program "Judge Joe Brown" at 3 p.m. today on WRSP Channel 55, the Fox Network affiliate in Springfield, and on WCCU Channel 27, the network affiliate in Champaign.

According to a release, in the case, Passyone Grady, 34, claimed her 22-year-old niece, Alicia Duckworth, borrowed her car in Champaign for one purpose but took it somewhere else. While there, she wrecked it and then ran away from the police, Grady said. Grady is suing her niece for $4,559, according to producers for the TV show. Grady said this is the cost to repair her vehicle.

500 tickets remain for Sedaris' lecture at Virginia

CHAMPAIGN – About 500 tickets remain for "An Evening with David Sedaris," his comedy lecture/book signing Friday at the Virginia Theatre in Champaign.

Tickets are $55, $47.50 and $42.50. Sales have been good, with the Virginia having sold 1,000 so far, Jameel Jones, manager of the theater, said earlier this week.

Marlee Matlin hoping to inspire others with new book

URBANA – The News-Gazette checked in with actress Marlee Matlin, who was the youngest winner of the Academy Award for best actress for "Children of a Lesser God" in 1986. More recently, you've seen her on "The L Word" on Showtime, NBC's "The West Wing" and the TV movie "Sweet Nothing in My Ear." She also performed in season six of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

You can catch Matlin at "An Evening with Marlee Matlin" on the University of Illinois campus next week. The talk is scheduled for 8 p.m. Wednesday in the Illini Rooms at the Illini Union. Admission is free, and the doors open at 7:30 that evening. It's sponsored by the Illini Union Board and LGBT Resource Center.