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Top of the Morning, April 29, 2014

Most in the overflow crowd at Monday's Champaign Rotary Club luncheon didn't know exactly what was on the agenda. So imagine their surprise when Champaign Mayor Don Gerard showed up with a proclamation honoring the hundreds of volunteers who planted trees in tornado-ravaged Gifford earlier this month.

Memorial to police, firefighters to be dedicated

Editor's note: In the event of rain, the dedication ceremony will be held at the council chambers in the City Building, 102 N. Neil St., C.

CHAMPAIGN — Martha Hoffman Mariscal likes to sit in Champaign's West Side Park, particularly the northeast corner of the beautiful green space that separates downtown Champaign from some of the city's older, statelier neighborhoods.

'Hugely successful' Ebertfest comes to a close

CHAMPAIGN — Ebertfest 2014 couldn't have ended on a better note, emcee Chaz Ebert said Sunday afternoon after Henry Butler performed.

The pianist took the Virginia Theatre stage to play four songs in tribute to New Orleans and the city's late "piano prince" — James Booker, the subject of the last Ebertfest movie, the documentary "Bayou Maharajah."

Area history, April 28, 2014

Today is Monday, April 28, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago.

Top of the Morning, April 28, 2014: From the archives

I was here when the Beckmans gave the University of Illinois millions to build the Beckman Institute. I've watched all four corners of Neil and Main undergo total change in downtown Champaign. Seen a structure built from scratch to house the world's fastest (for a time) computer.

'Far-Flung Correspondents' made trip to Ebertfest

On April 1 Roger Ebert "Far-Flung Correspondent" Krishna Shenoi posted on YouTube a short video, claiming it was the opening scene that Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuaron had originally shot for his hit movie "Gravity."

The scene would "have radically changed the film. Too bad the brass at Warner Bros. rejected this version," Shenoi wrote.

Area history, April 27, 2014

Today is Sunday, April 27, 2014. Here are news reports from this date 100, 50 and 15 years ago:

Seventh annual fundraiser scheduled

May 3 event will include a silent auction, dinner

The East Central Illinois Refugee Mutual Assistance Center will hold its seventh annual fundraiser at 6 p.m. May 3.

The dinner will take place at the Round Barn Banquet Centre, 1900 Round Barn Road, C.

Tickets are $65 and are available at the Refugee Center, or call 344-8455 for reservations.

Business and professional briefs, April 27, 2014

New jobs

Kaluzny joins law firm. Anna Kaluzny has joined the Schum Law Office, Champaign, as an associate attorney.

She will concentrate her practice in the areas of personal injury and workers' compensation. She is fluent in Spanish and Russian.

Kaluzny received her law degree, cum laude, from the University of Illinois in 2010.

Environmental Almanac: Faith in Place leader brings good ideas to life

The coming weeks promise to be a whirlwind for Brian Sauder of Champaign. In early May, he will be licensed toward ordination in the Mennonite Church U.S.A., which means the church affirms his calling to minister on behalf of creation as a pastor.

Shortly thereafter, he will be awarded a master's in business administration from the University of Illinois College of Business.