Top of the Morning, April 24, 2014

Irene Franzen didn't have much time to chat Wednesday morning about her Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon debut.

She had a hair appointment to get to in Rantoul.

"I go once a week," the 91-year-old said, "and I don't want to be late."

First members chosen for PBL Hall of Fame

PAXTON — The first induction class for the newly created Paxton-Buckley-Loda Hall of Fame features former Major League Baseball pitcher Scott Garrelts; flying-car creator Sam Schweighart; and Frank Drendel, who is currently non-executive chairman of the board of CommScope Holding Company Inc., a public company that develops infrastructure solutions for communications networks in more than 100 c

Reception for retiring Urbana parks director on Monday

URBANA — A public reception to recognize Vicki Mayes, retiring executive director of the Urbana Park District, will be from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday at the Anita Purves Nature Center, 1505 N. Broadway Ave., Urbana.

Mayes announced her retirement last September,  just months after she helped open the $9 million outdoor aquatics center at Crystal Lake Park.

Opening jitters

Chaz Ebert indicates nervousness about continuing her late husband's legacy

URBANA — Chaz Ebert seldom feels nervous.

But after leaving her home in Chicago on Tuesday to head to Champaign-Urbana, she felt so nervous she turned around and went home.

Ebertfest Notebook, Day 1: A rush to see 'Life Itself'

CHAMPAIGN — Michelle Bates and her son, Les, read Roger Ebert's memoir "Life Itself" and thought it was fabulous.

She hungers to help

Talking to Dawn Aubrey makes you hungry.

Her menu includes panini, fresh pastries, Korean rice and Vietnamese spring rolls — and this is residence hall fare.

Food is her mission — specifically, feeding students at the University of Illinois, but generally promoting community.

Ebertfest Q&A: Steve James on 'Life Itself'

Steve James, a Southern Illinois grad, is director of "Life Itself," the new documentary about Roger Ebert that will kick off the late critic's film festival tonight at the Virginia Theatre.

Why did you decide to do a documentary on Roger Ebert?

School of Metaphysics event begins on Friday

URBANA — All of us dream. Some of us remember our dreams; some don't.

But lots of people like to talk about their dreams. Now they have a chance to do that with ready listeners via the National Dream Hotline 2014.

The School of Metaphysics in Urbana, part of the Dream Hotline, will host its 26th annual National Dream Hotline from 6 p.m. Friday until midnight Sunday.

Girl Scouts honor five women

Tonight (Wednesday, April 23, 2014) at Champaign's Hilton Garden Inn, the Girl Scouts of Central Illinois will salute their five "Women of Distinction" honorees:

Education: Ruby Weathersby

Illinois Ancestors: Slavery issues and online resources

Researchers who are interested in African American information and records that pertain to slavery can find many helpful sites on the Internet. A good place to start is the article in the National Archives and Records Administration's (NARA) publication, Prologue, "Living With The Hydra The Documentation of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Federal Records" (Winter 2000, Vol. 32, No.