Jim Rossow

Jim Rossow

Top of the morning, April 11, 2015

It's a big day for Max Colon and his Illinois teammates, who will arrive at Memorial Stadium well-rested after a jitter-free night of sleep.

"Nervous? Not at all," the 20-year-old from Mount Prospect said. "There's only a preponderance of excitement and pride."

Top of the morning, April 9, 2015

— Last call to submit information for publication in our annual Summer Fun Guide, which comes out May 10. This is a free-of-charge, popular supplement that we've been producing annually since 1991. If your event takes place between May 11 and Sept. 30 of this year, tell us about it via email (features@news-gazette.com) or post it to our online calendar at news-gazette.com.

Top of the Morning, April 8, 2015

An Election Day pick-me-up, courtesy WDWS/WHMS reporter Michael Kiser

In August, they ran side-by-side at Memorial Stadium. In January, they huddled at President Obama's State of the Union address.

Top of the morning, April 7, 2015

On Monday, director Steven Bentz gave me an hourlong tour of the Virginia Theatre, from Roger Ebert's statue on Park Avenue to the late film critic's dressing room beneath the stage.

It was part of a video project that we'll unveil at news-gazette.com on Sunday, ahead of Roger Ebert's Film Festival that runs April 15-19.

Top of the Morning, April 5, 2015

The Orange Krush used 31 T-shirts to make the quilt pictured here. Some came directly from the vast collection of Mary and Lou Henson, who founded the UI basketball's energetic student cheering section in 1976. It wasn't so popular back then.

"The first game," Lou said, "we had 60 T-shirts ready. I think we only handed out 15."

Top of the Morning, April 4, 2015

— Tom Kacich will run point for our Election Day coverage — both online and in print. As he did in November, Kacich will provide frequent video updates at news-gazette.com starting at 8 a.m. Tuesday. He'll wrap it up with his "Winners & Losers" video analysis.

As for top storylines, Kacich's going with voter turnout in Champaign.

So easy a third-grader can do it

In a strange twist, we've received dozens of audition tapes from would-be Jim Sheppards hoping to land the P.A. job for Illini men's basketball games — even though we have nothing to do with the decision.

Top of the Morning, April 2, 2015

Music marathon ... A to Z

Mike Haile, general manager for our three radio stations, is reintroducing one of his favorite routines this weekend.

Illini target: 'God will lead me in the right direction'

Charlotte transfer Mike Thorne Jr. announced on Wednesday that he would make a decision on his 2015-16 destination on April 25.

Top of the Morning, April 1, 2015

Mike Miner has yet to take in a performance at Parkland College's theatre. Now that the 315-seat auditorium goes by the name of his late parents, the 1967 Watseka High product thought he better get there.

"I'm looking forward to it," Miner said.