Area history, March 27, 2015

Today is Friday, March 27, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

In 1915: Voters in the city of Champaign will have the opportunity at next month's city election to decide whether to purchase $22,000 in firefighting apparatus, including a $10,000 ladder truck, a pumping engine, an ambulance and replacement hose.

What surprise awaits this year's Ebertfest?

CHAMPAIGN — A group of seemingly unrelated films — a Rudolph Valentino silent, Judd Apatow alum Jason Segel playing native son David Foster Wallace, a 3D movie by a French New Wave pioneer and a Robert DeNiro collaboration with Chazz Palminteri — might have amused Harold Ramis, to whom this year's Roger Ebert Film Festival is dedicated.

Top of the Morning, March 27, 2015

My weekend TV recommendations:


"Forgetting Sarah Marshall," 7 p.m., Bravo

The film's star, Jason Segel, is coming to Ebertfest. Here, he plays a sad sack who gets dumped by his actress girlfriend. Funny scenes, especially those with the usually annoying Russell Brand. Don't worry about Segel's character, who ends up with Mila Kunis.

Mahomet public works director leaving

MAHOMET — After four years at the helm of Mahomet's public works department, Gary LaForge is stepping down.

The public works director told the village board that his last day will be April 10. He's leaving to accept a leadership role at a private civil engineering firm in the Springfield area, he said.

Champaign mayor candidate Q&A: Don Gerard

Get to know ... Don Gerard

Age: 48

Home: 1403 W. Green St.

Family: divorced, two children, Will and Chloe, seniors at Champaign Central High School

Occupation: facilities manager for School of Integrative Biology, University of Illinois

Academic degrees: high school graduate, 31/2 years of college (University of Illinois, Parkland College)

Area history, March 26, 2015

Today is Thursday, March 26, 2015. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Prompting Theater actors wrap up first movie

CHAMPAIGN — The scene will be a royal birthday party, and the actors circled around director Brian Hagy begin offering suggestions on what to include.

They could sing "Happy Birthday." They could do something with Silly String. And how about making one character a royal guard?

New faces, same great tunes

Here's your chance to see arena rock in an intimate setting.

Foreigner plays at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at the Virginia Theatre, 203 W. Park Ave., C.

More information is at

Where are they now?

Achieving fame is sweet, but it has its dangers as well. What happens when you're no longer in Foreigner? Sometimes good things, sometimes bad. Only leader Mick Jones remains in the band coming to the Virginia Theatre on Sunday. Here's what happened to the rest:

Lou Gramm

Top of the Morning, March 26, 2015

With a new P.A. announcer on the way for UI men's basketball games next season (sports, B-3), I reached out to an old pro for advice. Jim Sheppard, 66, worked the mic at UI basketball and football games for 22 years, phrases like "That's a Three!" striking a chord with fans.

Still living in the area, he'd be interested in returning to his role. "They know my resume," he said.