There was a lot of good taking place in town this weekend, from a cleanup on campus (pictures in Local) to Austin’s Day to a Parkland theatre dedication.
Austin Cloyd loved her Centennial Chargers. She was a big fan of Illinois basketball, too.
"I still have all her T-shirts at home," said her mom, Renee Cloyd, "so I'm going to make a T-shirt quilt — one side orange, one side blue — and bring it back. The students would get a kick out of it."
I was a presenter at Wednesday's Career Day at Monticello High School, but wound up learning as much as the kids in the audience.
Good thing Tabitha (Dallas) Elder has a big shed — and a heavy-lifting husband — at home. The former four-sport star at Bement High is going to need both when she picks up her set of bleachers from the school's "Hoosiers"-like gym.
"I don't know how I'm going to move them yet," she said. "All I know is that David is going to help."
— Another sign that we're closing in on warmer weather: the Prayer For Rain fountain is back in business.
At 11 a.m. today, Champaign Park District's operations crew is scheduled to turn on the water at the 116-year-old coin-throwing hotspot at West Side Park in Champaign. It will continue to pump water until October.
I'm used to seeing Vashoune Russell in his role as Urbana High's animated varsity basketball coach, pacing and yelling and cajoling. So imagine my surprise when I saw him at this weekend's Boneyard Arts Festival, gently showing off his collection of photographs in downtown Champaign.
"I'm usually the angry guy on the sidelines," he said. "This is showing another side of me."
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."
— 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 (email@example.com) or post it to our online calendar at news-gazette.com.
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.
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.