Top of the Morning, May 19, 2017

Top of the Morning, May 19, 2017

Fifth- and sixth-grade students at Fisher Grade School welcome special guests today, including News-Gazette college basketball writer Scott Richey.

He will be part of the school's Writers' Extravaganza, a biennial event that celebrates the work done by the students.

"We also wanted to encourage the kids to write on their own over the summer," said teacher Eric Remington.

Students will be given a writing journal at the end of the event.

The idea started with the fifth- and sixth-grade teachers: Remington, Kim Clemmons, Trina Burk, Brian Vincent and Kathy Brake.

Richey will be joined today by Robin Kaler, University of Illinois associate chancellor for public affairs; David Black, UI director of creative services for public affairs; and science-fiction writer James Hazzard. There will also be a morning Skype presentation by freelance writer Lynn Freehill-Maye, who lives in Buffalo, N.Y.

"Keep your fingers crossed that the technology will work," Remington said.

Organizers have tried to bring a wide variety of speakers to the event, including former Fisher students who pursued writing careers.

On to my weekend recommendations:


"The Late Show With Stephen Colbert," 10:30 p.m., CBS

Hope you saw Brad Pitt on the show earlier in the week. Very funny. Tonight's guests include actress Jennifer Garner, who seems to be on every commercial.


"Saturday Night Live," 10:30 p.m., NBC

Can you come up with a more likable actor than tonight's host, Dwayne Johnson? Not sure it is possible. Johnson doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, which is why he works well on "SNL." He is hosting for the fifth time, putting him in very good company. Here's hoping for another appearance by "The Rock Obama."


"2017 Billboard Music Awards," 7 p.m., ABC

Champaign native Ludacris and Vanessa Hudgens host the show in Las Vegas. Drake and The Chainsmokers lead with 22 nominations each.

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