Top of the Morning, April 22, 2014
Take two: Following up on our stories
— The Roger Ebert statue is scheduled to arrive outside Champaign's Virginia Theatre today. But it won't be unwrapped until noon Thursday when Ebertfest is underway.
"We'll watch over it to make sure people aren't peeking," statue campaign chairman Scott Anderson Jr. said.
The statue — three theater-style seats wide and about 4 feet high — depicts Ebert giving his signature thumbs up sign.
"It's fun to see a project like this become reality," Anderson said.
— Jean Driscoll kept her congratulatory email to fellow Illini Tatyana McFadden short and sweet Monday morning.
"I just wrote 'Wow!'" Driscoll said. "I said a few more things, but I really didn't need to say anything else. She's creating her own legacy."
Driscoll won a record eight Boston Marathon women's wheelchair races. McFadden, 25, has two after Monday's impressive performance (coverage, C-1).
Asked if McFadden could break her record, Driscoll said: "She could. She's already doing things that I didn't do."
— UI President Bob Easter almost got out of singing "Take Me Out To The Ballgame" on Saturday as Centennial scored 20 fourth-inning runs to enact the mercy rule against Decatur Eisenhower. But the Chargers moved Easter's solo up one inning — to the fourth — to ensure he'd be heard.
"In his own words, it was the his best public singing performance ever," said Centennial AD Brian Easter, Bob's son, "because it was his only public singing performance ever."
— Last week's Coaches vs. Cancer auction in Champaign netted $41,500, an increase of $27,000 from a year ago, according to Amanda German of the American Cancer Society. Attendance — and giving — was up, she said. Guest speaker David Diehl, a former Illini and two-time Super Bowl champion, helped the cause by auctioning game cleats and his Giants uniform. Popular items included a trip to Las Vegas to watch John Groce's Illini in November ($2,500) and dinner for six at UI footall coach Tim Beckman's house ($1,400).