Top of the Morning, April 9, 2014

Faraway C Section seats weren't always the best place to watch a basketball game at State Farm Center.

In the mancave, however, they'd be ideal.

That's the kind of response the UI received when it surveyed season-ticket holders about the possible sale of seats removed during renovation currently underway.

LeRoy police chief takes part in MDA fundraiser

McLEAN — LeRoy Police Chief Jason Williamson is "going to jail," according to the LeRoy Police Facebook page, and he needs citizen support to "bail him out."

Williamson is participating in a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and any money raised in bailing out the mock jailbird will go toward MDA research.

'74 UHS grad being honored for humanitarian efforts

This weekend, two former Urbana Tigers and a pair of one-time Central Maroons will join Roger Ebert, Bonnie Blair and other local legends as Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation honorees. Leading up to Saturday night's gala, we're telling their stories. Up today: Bhavia Wagner, Urbana Class of '74.

New faces coming to Kickapoo trail

OAKWOOD — There will be some new faces along Clear Lake Trail in Kickapoo State Park this year, but hikers may have to search to spot them.

More than 20 hand-carved, wooden "spirit faces" will be nestled among the trees along a section of the trail called "Spooky Hollow."

UI event to support Native American student disturbed by Chief images

URBANA — A University of Illinois student group has organized a walk on the Quad tonight to show support for a Native American student who recently wrote about the anguish brought on by still seeing images of the retired, but not gone, Chief Illiniwek.

"Walk with Xochitl" is scheduled for 6 to 7 tonight on the UI Quad.

Austin Cloyd Day of Service is Saturday

CHAMPAIGN — The Centennial High School Interact Club will host the seventh annual Austin Cloyd Day of Service on Saturday.

Miss Cloyd grew up in Champaign and was a member of Interact while at Centennial. She died on April 16, 2007, as one of 32 people gunned down at Virginia Tech University.

Taft: More than Alma Mater

The University of Illinois is awash in Lorado Taft's work, with Alma Mater, soon to be returned to campus, the most famous.

Farmer City man builds engines from scratch

FARMER CITY — There are people who build model planes, trains and ships in a bottle, and there are those with slightly more extensive hobbies.

Jim Hammer of Farmer City builds engines.

To Hammer, the engines don't serve much of a purpose in terms of utility, but the process of engine construction is what makes the hobby worthwhile.

Area history, April 8, 2014

Today is Tuesday, April 8, 2014. News reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Top of the Morning, April 8, 2014

We asked N-G film critic Chuck Koplinski to weigh in on the late Mickey Rooney, including five of his best performances: