Top of the Morning, Sept. 8, 2017

The tickets are long gone. At $100 each, it didn't take MIKE NAMOFF long to sell out tonight's MDA benefit at Wyndham Garden hotel in Urbana.

Baseball legends OZZIE SMITH and RYNE SANDBERG and former Bears quarterback JIM McMAHON headline the event, which starts at 6 p.m. Organizer Namoff promises other surprises.

Frank's Faves: Disaster movies

"Oops! ... I did it again." — Britney Spears

Never thought I'd find myself quoting the infamously eccentric and formerly melted-down pop star Britney Spears, but I think I understand — and identify with — at least this song in her repertoire a little better this week.

'Cause last week, I did it again, too.

Entertainment listings, Sept. 7-14, 2017


This weekend


What:Dancing, food, native crafts and jewelry, corn maze, children's activities, and a chance to visit the bison herd.

When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sept. 9 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 10.

Dawson strives to report news that makes a difference

BROOKLYN, N.Y. — Durrell Dawson and a few fellow young Rantoul friends had plans to start their own neighborhood newsletter when they were growing up.

It would include tales of their athletic exploits and many neighborhood goings-on. They even had some neighbors "signed up" to get copies of the free publication.

Part 46: They could've been journalists

With the UI celebrating birthday No. 150 this year, we caught up with hundreds of graduates who've gone on to big things. Every Tuesday throughout 2017, Editor JEFF D'ALESSIO will tell their tales. Today, in Part 46: When the road to journalism takes a detour.

Who lives here? Sept. 2, 2017

Each week on this page, The News-Gazette will show a screenshot of a home from a movie or television show and ask readers, "Who lives here?" Email your guess of a character who resides there to, and we'll give a winner a shout-out on next week's page. Be sure to include your full name and town of residence.


Champaign man learned extent of Texas relatives' plight from CNN

Know someone who has helped? Email us at

Having spent last weekend in Las Vegas for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, Champaign's Thomas Holmes wasn't fully aware of just how much devastation Hurricane Harvey left behind on its way through Houston.

#TheMJs, Sept. 1, 2017

On Fridays, staff writer Marcus Jackson (@MarcusJ_NG) provides a glance at the best Twitter has to offer.

Top of the Morning, Sept. 1, 2017

I spoke to the Champaign Lions Club on Wednesday at the Windsor of Savoy. It was a friendly group that had all sorts of questions about Lovie Smith's Illinois football team. Thanks to RICH SUCHOMSKI for the invite. I've been there several times and always enjoyed the experience.

Entertainment listings, Aug. 31-Sept. 7, 2017


This weekend


What: Presented by Hoopeston Jaycees. National Sweetheart Pageant, midway, beer tent, flea market, display area, car show, 5K, truck and tractor pull, demo derby, contests, entertainment including Jo Dee Messina with Forgotten Highway at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 2, and more.