Frank's Faves: Celebrity casualties of 2016

This week: We paid a heavy toll this year in terms of human talent and pop-culture icons. Way too heavy.

It seems we say this almost every New Year's, but never has it been more excruciatingly accurate than this time around: 2016 was a particularly brutal year for celebrity deaths.

Carmike 13's new parent planning only small changes for now

CHAMPAIGN — After the U.S. Justice Department approved AMC's purchase of Carmike Cinemas last week, the local Carmike 13 isn't expecting any major changes, at least in the short term.

The $1.2 billion deal makes AMC the largest movie-theater chain in the United States, now with over 600 theaters.

Life Remembered: Pianists' daughter 'always the life of the party'

URBANA — Among the seven children of pianists Ian Hobson and Claude Hobson Campbell, Sophie Hobson stood out for her sense of humor — and the gifts she gave people.

One was a model of a frigate ship, complete with sails, that she offered to childhood friend Noni Fineberg for her wedding.

Chuck Koplinski: Stars stand out in powerful 'Fences'

Bringing August Wilson's Pulitizer Prize-winning play "Fences" to the big screen has been a passion project for Denzel Washington for some time, and his enthusiasm for the material is evident on screen.

The central role, that of the bitter Troy Maxson, is one that's right in the actor's wheelhouse, so much so that he won a Tony Award for his performance in the 2010 Broadway revival.

Entertainment listings, Dec. 22-29, 2016


This weekend


What: The 53rd annual Urbana Christmas tradition of the neighbors living on Grant Place decorating their homes for Christmas as a group. Drive cautiously and turn off headlights.

When: Every evening from 5 to 10 p.m. through New Year's Day.

Frank's Faves: Christmas-movie quotes

This week: "Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, upon which the entire kid year revolved." — Jean Shepherd

Richard J. Leskosky: Best-Christmas-movie lists varied, curious

After my previous column about the movies in The News-Gazette's Best Christmas Movies Ever miniseries, I spent some time looking through other lists of top Christmas movies and unearthed some curious phenomena.

Look ahead: Top picks from Melissa Merli for the week to come

Jams from the 1970s

Who lives here? Dec. 17, 2016

Each week on this page, The News-Gazette will show a screen shot of a home from a movie or TV show and ask readers, "Who lives here?" Email your guess of a character who resides in the featured home to, and we'll give a winner a shout-out on next week's page.

#TheMJs, Dec. 16, 2016

On Fridays, staff writer Marcus Jackson (@MarcusJ_NG) provides a quick glance at the best that Twitter has to offer.