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One of the last emails I received from Roger Ebert came Feb. 9. Characteristically, it was about someone he was promoting, both as one of his "Far Flung Correspondents" — FFCs, the bloggers from around the world that he featured on his website — and filmmaker.
URBANA — The simple sign, hand-printed in black ink and left in front of Roger Ebert's childhood home in Urbana, says it all:
"Roger loved Urbana, and Urbana loves Roger!"
June 18, 1942: Born at Mercy Hospital in Urbana, the only child of Walter and Annabel Ebert. His father was an electrician at the University of Illinois, and his mother was a bookkeeper for the Allied Finance Co. The Eberts lived at 410 E. Washington St., U.
Chaz Ebert, whom Roger Ebert married in 1992, after having been a bachelor, was his rock, his foundation.
"How can I begin to tell you about Chaz?" he wrote. "She fills my horizon; she is the great fact of my life; she is the love of my life; she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading.
Roger Ebert will no longer physically be in the back of Champaign's Virginia Theatre, but Roger Ebert's Film Festival will go on.
And not just this year.
The $1 million gift that Mr. Ebert and his wife, Chaz, gave to his alma mater, the University of Illinois College of Media, established a film studies program in the famed critic's name.
While this column ranges far and wide, this response to a recent column took me by surprise:
DANVILLE — Cellular One of East Central Illinois is bringing two stars of A&E's reality show "Duck Dynasty" to Danville to benefit the new $6 million Environmental Education Center at Kennekuk County Park.
Si Robertson and his nephew, Jase Robertson, will make two appearances at the David S. Palmer Arena, 100 W. Main St., Danville.
My recent battery column elicited a few sparks, but I cannot confirm the veracity of the two emails I received concerning exploding lithium batteries. These emails won't be printed until I can be sure of their honesty and objectivity.
You want your movies, and you want them now. Not when the mail arrives. Not when the cable channel deigns to show them. Thus, this reader query: