Relay for Life of Champaign County surfing for fundraisers

CHAMPAIGN — There's no place to go surfing around here, except on the Web.

But you may be seeing surfboards at some local businesses for the next couple of months.

It's part of an American Cancer Society fundraiser for the upcoming Relay for Life of Champaign County, for which this year's theme is Surfing for a Cure.

Reluctant Townie: In defense of the man behind Shrimpgate

On Tuesday of last week, local website Smile Politely ran an amusing story about Champaign City Council member Michael La Due, which was relayed to them through an anonymous Craigslist posting.

Letter from Birdland: Big moon offers promise of springs to come

Good morning from Birdland! Last night, the spring moon bounced off the snow and lit up the sky like daylight in a dream. Sometimes a big moon can keep me awake, but this time it was really calling to me.

I was sleepy — yet wanted to wander out into the silvery fields and dance by the light of the moon just like a Buffalo Gal.

Girl Scouts to honor 5 adult Women of Distinction

For 22 years, Girl Scouts of Central Illinois has recognized outstanding women for their contributions to their communities and for being role models to young women.

At a Thursday banquet at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign, Ranija Turner will be honored as the Young Woman of Distinction.

Getting Personal: Holly Rushakoff

Getting Personal appears in Sunday's News-Gazette. This week, News-Gazette staff writer Paul Wood chats with musician, marketing professional and graphic artist Holly Rushakoff, 36, of Urbana.

Champaign teen has distinguished herself

CHAMPAIGN — With math and science being her favorite subjects, it's not surprising that Ranija Turner is considering a career in medicine.

The 17-year-old from Champaign has already spent more time in hospitals than most teens because her father has suffered from a debilitating heart condition for the last 10 years.

Remembering Ebert: A kid with talent, miles of it

There wasn't anything that Roger Ebert tried that he wasn't stunningly successful at. After years of valiant resistance, he succumbed to cancer Thursday. He leaves behind a staggering body of multidimensional work. And here is where it all began, when we were young reporters.


For The Philadelphia Inquirer

Ebert friends recall generous man with a gentle soul

In Frank Capra's "It's a Wonderful Life," Clarence the angel tells George Bailey that when a man "isn't around he leaves an awful hole."

If the wonderful life of film critic Roger Ebert is leaving behind a hole, it's quickly being filled with stories of friendship and love.

Sybil Mervis chosen for First Citizen award

DANVILLE — Vermilion County businesswoman, community volunteer and philanthropist Sybil Mervis was named the 2012 First Citizen by the Danville Chapter of AMBUCS, members announced Thursday.

A banquet honoring Mervis is being planned at Turtle Run Banquet Center in Danville. Details will be released at a later date.

Milestones in the life of Roger Ebert

June 18, 1942: Born at Mercy Hospital in Urbana, the only child of Walter and Annabel Ebert. His father was an electrician at the University of Illinois, and his mother was a bookkeeper for the Allied Finance Co. The Eberts lived at 410 E. Washington St., U.