Top of the Morning, Sept. 3, 2018

Top of the Morning, Sept. 3, 2018

It's a big week around the News-Gazette Media radio studios. A few of the highlights:

— On Wednesday, for the 19th year in a row, we'll be teaming up with the Blossom Basket Florist for Good Neighbor Day.

At the two Blossom Basket shops in Urbana (1002 N. Cunningham Ave.) and Champaign (2522 Village Green Place) and at the former WDWS radio studios (2301 S. Neil St.), residents can drop off non-perishable food items to be donated to the CU at Home Men's Shelter.

In exchange, you'll receive a dozen roses from Blossom Basket.

But there's a catch: Blossom Basket asks that you keep a rose for yourself and give the other 11 away to brighten someone else's day.

The giveaway begins at 7 a.m. and goes until all 8,000 roses have been given away.

"This is one of the coolest things we do all year long," Vice President of News-Gazette Media Mike Haile said. "And we're grateful to Ron Bailey and his team for making this possible."

Since starting Good Neighbor Day in 1999, more than 185,000 roses have been passed out around C-U.


— On Friday, former president Barack Obama visits Champaign-Urbana for the first time since 2004, when he was a state senator.

Tickets will be distributed to UI system students, so getting into Foellinger Auditorium could be tricky.

If you're not lucky enough to score a ticket, Tim Ditman, Michael Kiser and Scott Beatty will be broadcasting live from campus starting at 10:50 a.m. ahead of the 11 a.m. speech, where Obama will be receiving the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government.

"It is very cool," Ditman said. "It doesn't get much bigger than covering a president."