Top of the Morning, Sept. 5, 2017

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... 'Monday Morning Quarterbacks' on WDWS 1400-AM, which returned on Labor Day. Longtime hosts Jim Turpin and Loren Tate answered 16 calls, 24 texts and two emails before running out of time. Listen to the podcast at

Urbana alderman Ammons joins county clerk race

URBANA — Alderman Aaron Ammons, the husband of state Rep. Carol Ammons, D-Urbana, said Sunday he'll run for the Democratic nomination for Champaign County clerk in 2018.

He planned to make a formal announcement this morning at the start of the annual Labor Day parade in Urbana.

Labor Day: Groups hope to boost diversity in local trades

URBANA — After walking in today's Labor Day parade, local unions and organizations will collaborate again — this time, on a new project to boost diversity in local trades.

Those Who Served: Marine had a feel for tension

WHITE HEATH — In two decades in the Marines, including Okinawa and Desert Storm, Ron Deckard nearly bought it just off the coast of Massachusetts.

Deckard, now 62, was in the Marine version of a C-130 transport plane, carrying a load that included a UH-1 "Huey" helicopter.

UI works to stress values of free expression, safety

URBANA — As colleges coast to coast grapple with violent protests over extremist rallies and controversial speakers, the University of Illinois is developing a position paper on freedom of expression and campus climate.

Area history, Sept. 4, 2017

Today is Monday, Sept. 4, 2017. Here are local news reports from 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1917, the last tests of the RMA — reserve military aviators — were brought to a close after a long-distance flight from Chanute Field to Elliott and back. Twelve men took the test and passed.

What's in a town?

DOWNTOWN FINKVILLE — Sarabess Fink is the matriarch of the First Family of Finkville.

Finkville is south of Fisher and north of Sangamon River Forest Preserve. To its west is a herd of cows.

In Finkville, you don't have to tangle with any government types or taxes.

Her son is mayor, and her grandson is the fire chief. And that's it for government.

Slim chants

CHAMPAIGN — There was no apparent wailing or outcry of dismay Saturday as loyal Illini fans experienced their first football game in decades without the so-called "war chant."

The Big 10 with Jeff D'Alessio, Sept. 3, 2017

A Broadway star, an NFL running back and a Naval commander are among the local legends set to return this fall to be inducted into their high school halls of fame.

We asked honorees from 2016 and '17 to tell us about the one person at their alma mater who had the greatest impact on their success, post-high school.


The Reluctant Townie: Caught with your chants down

Last week, the University of Illinois made public a recent decision to ban the long-standing Illini "war chant" from all future athletic events.