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Illinoisans Normal Compare To Others

People in Illinois are fairly normal compared to other people across the nation. That's according to a recent "Travel and Leisure" poll, which lists the strangest people in America, according to city they live in. Not one Illinois town or city made the top twenty. But that doesn't mean Illinois is completely off the hook. Chicago comes in at number 17 when it comes to having the worst drivers. Voters cite rain and snow as contributors to the traffic stress. On a more positive note, the city ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to fine dining, and its bar scene comes in as the sixth best in the nation.

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Tenaska Passes Senate

Taylorville is one step closer to getting a clean-coal plant. The Senate barely approved the three-point-five-billion-dollar project yesterday. President John Cullerton says it will pump eight-billion dollars into the state's economy. It's expected to create about 25-hundred construction jobs plus an additional 450 permanent jobs. Opponents expressed concerns about air pollution and rate hikes. Cullerton says there are provisions in place to protect consumers. He says the rate hikes will be capped at two-percent plus all of the increases will have to be cleared by the Illinois Commerce Commission. The bill heads to the House but isn't likely to get a vote until next spring.

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Electronics Ban Coming To Landfills Jan. 1

A ban on disposing old computers and other electronics in the trash takes effect Jan. 1 in Illinois. Illinois residents will be required to take electronic devices to a registered recycler. The ban is part of a law that took effect in 2008 requiring manufacturers to start recycling programs for discarded and unwanted electric products. The new phase of the law applies to consumers. The goal is to keep metals that could threaten groundwater out of landfills and to reduce the need to mine new metals. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of registered collectors where consumers can take old electronics, including computers, monitors, electronic keyboards, scanners, fax machines. The list is available on the EPA's website.

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Former FBI Agent Sentenced in Missing Money Case

A former Peoria-based FBI agent who pleaded guilty to making and using a false document related to money that disappeared during a drug case has been sentenced to five months in prison. Following his prison term, Jerry W. Nau must serve five months of home confinement and was ordered Tuesday to pay back the missing money. In his plea agreement, the 44-year-old Nau didn't admit to taking $43,643 seized during the investigation of a drug ring headed by Adrian Robinson, who received a life sentence last year. Prosecutors contended that in July 2010, Nau created a false receipt showing the money had been placed into evidence. The receipt was signed by two people verifying the story. The money was never found and the signatures were later determined to be forged.

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House Kills Business Tax Plan

Only eight members of the state's House of Representatives voted to give tax breaks to Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. The Illinois Senate earlier today passed the plan, which would have handed a 100-million dollar tax break to the two companies. Both Sears and CME have threatened to leave the state if they don't get the breaks. The plan would've also ramped up the earned income tax credit for individuals from five-percent to seven-and-a-half-percent for 2012 and ten-percent for 2013. The failure doesn't mean the end of the deal. There's another version of the plan floating around the state House. The other version of the plan holds the earned income tax flat at seven-point-five-percent. The question comes down to which chamber is willing to compromise.

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After Hiking Taxes, Illinois Could Ease Them

Illinois is talking about tax relief, less than a year after a major tax increase.

Lawmakers are considering a $250 million package of tax breaks for prominent companies threatening to leave the state, including Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Other businesses and individual taxpayers would get a little relief, too.

Illinois raised income taxes in January to help fill a huge budget deficit. Individual rates went up two-thirds and corporate rates by nearly half. Since then, businesses have complained and other states have tried to lure them away.

Doug Whitley of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce says officials are trying to reassure businesses that the state is listening.

But some officials worry they're opening the door for more companies to threaten to leave if they don't get tax breaks.

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Lawmakers Approve Budget Changes To Keep Facilities Open

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS APPROVED CHANGES TO THE STATE BUDGET TUESDAY NIGHT…TO PREVENT FACILITY CLOSURES AND LAYOFFS.

THE CHANGES BASICALLY MOVE MONEY AROUND…KEEPING SEVEN FACILITIES THAT GOVERNOR QUINN HAD THREATENED TO CLOSE, OPEN FOR NOW. FUNDING WILL ALSO BE RESTORED FOR DRUG AND ALCOHOL TREATMENT PROGRAMS. THE MOVE WAS SUPPORTED BY REPRESENTATIVE KEN DUNKIN OF CHICAGO.

[audio:bud.mp3]Dunkin On The Changes[/audio]

THIS WILL KEEP THE FACILITIES OPEN THROUGH THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR ON JUNE 30TH…AND PREVENT NEARLY TWO THOUSAND LAYOFFS.

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Clinton Tax Levy Numbers Released; Slight Increase in Property Values

 

Clinton recently received this year's tax levy numbers.

The levy amount this year saw a slight increase, going up to just under $1.5-million. Treasurer for the City of Clinton, Clint Lichtenwalter says the increase is based on the Equalized Assessed Value(EAV), which will result in a slight increase in property taxes.

[audio:taxlevy1.mp3]Lichtenwalter On This Year's Numbers[/audio]

Each year assessors make their way throughout the city and assess each property's value. City Administrator for Clinton, Tim Followell points out, during uncertain economic times, such as the ones we are currently in, the values of property are more likely to fluctuate.

[audio:taxlevy2.mp3]Followell On Fluctuation Of Values[/audio]

While property values are increasing thanks in part to new homes being built, Followell adds EAV's are not only based on home values, but also business values. He points to a couple of local businesses who have made some extensive upgrades to their buildings over the past couple of years to help in this increase.

[audio:taxlevy3.mp3]Followell On Business Upgrades[/audio]

The tax levy goes to several places. Lichtenwalter says it goes to general funds, police and fire protection, also ESDA and some to the yard waste facility.

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Ambulance Referendum Headed To March Ballot; Big Decision For DeWitt County

The ambulance will now be on the March ballot for DeWitt County to put a levy in place to provide residents west of Route 48 in DeWitt County with an ambulance service.

The County Board approved the measure Monday evening at their regular monthly meeting. The DJWH has announced they will end the service on December 31 of 2012. President of the Hospital Board Randy Workman says the time line was put in place as a cost measure. He says with the ambulance service being a part of the hospitals expenses, because of Medicare and Medicaid payback methods, the hospital has been having to dip into their reserves to pay their bills.

[audio:hospitalambulance1.mp3]A Word From Workman[/audio]

Workman says while the date they have established does not represent a panic time for them to the point where they will close, but he says they are currently concerned with the state of their finances.

As reported yesterday on Regional Radio News, Logan County has faced similar challenges to what DeWitt County faces right now. Workman says to this point,  Logan County has been a big help in working with DeWitt County representatives in showing them the things they did when they were faced with the situation similar to this. Workman says both hospitals and service areas are strikingly similar, which makes modeling a potential DeWitt County solution after what Logan County did makes a lot of sense.

[audio:hospitalambulance2.mp3]A Word From Workman[/audio]

From the beginning, Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters has been very instrumental in the entire process of finding solutions for DeWitt County residents effected by these changes. Workman applauds her and her hard work and says her background on the Hospital Board certainly makes her well versed on the situation at hand.

[audio:hospitalambulance3.mp3]A Word From Workman[/audio]

Workman stresses for anyone with questions to get in contact with the right people. He says this will be a big decision for residents of the county, and it is important for the voters to understand what is happening.

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Clinton's Christmas Parade Tonight

Tonight is Clinton's "Light Up The Night" Christmas Parade.

Tonight's parade certainly figures to feature something for everyone. Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Marian Brisard says this years entries feature a number of groups from around the area. The parade will see several floats, bands, and groups walking all followed by Santa bringing up the rear.

[audio:christmasparade1.mp3]Brisard On The Parade[/audio]

Another group that has made a regular appearance at the parade for several years now is an antique tractor collector from the Mt. Pulaski area. Brisard notes each year their floats feature something special and she expects more of the same again this year.

[audio:christmasparade2.mp3]A Word From Brisard[/audio]

Local businessman Joe Wilson is this year's Grand Marshall. According to Brisard, he received very high praises from those who nominated him.

[audio:christmasparade3.mp3]Brisard On Wilson's Nomination[/audio]

The "Light Up the Night" Christmas Parade, themed Hometown Holiday, is tonight at 7:00 pm.  The parade route begins in the 500 block of East Main Street at DeWitt Manor, traveling West to Mr. Lincoln's Square and ends at the corner of Adams & Center Street near Calvert Funeral Home.  For more information on the Christmas Parade, please contact the Chamber office at 217-935-3364 or 866-4DeWitt.

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Cubs Have Serious Interest In Pujols; Greg Maddux Leaves Cubs To Join Rangers, Brother

The Chicago Cubs have reached out to Cardinals free-agent first baseman Albert Pujols.  The "Post-Dispatch" cites a source as saying the team has expressed serious interest in the three-time NL MVP.  The Cubs have also reportedly shown interest in Brewers free-agent first baseman Prince Fielder.  The Miami Marlins made an offer to Pujols earlier this month.

Greg Maddux is leaving the Chicago Cubs to join the Texas Rangers, reuniting him with his brother Mike.

The Rangers said Tuesday that Greg Maddux will become a special assistant to the general manager, the same role he held with the Cubs the last two seasons.

Mike Maddux has been the Rangers' pitching coach for the last three seasons. He interviewed to become manager of the Cubs before Dale Sveum was hired this month.

Greg Maddux, a 4-time Cy Young Award winner, will be an instructor at major and minor league spring training and will visit farm teams during the season.

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Jacksonville Jaguars Being Sold To Illinois Based Businessman

The Jacksonville Jaguars have reached an agreement to sell the small-market franchise to Illinois businessman Shahid Khan.

Majority owner Wayne Weaver made the announcement Tuesday, hours after he fired coach Jack Del Rio and gave general manager Gene Smith a 3-year contract extension. He said Khan will have 100% control of the team.

Weaver called Khan "a great American success story" and said the Pakistan-born entrepreneur plans to keep the team in Jacksonville.

Khan is the owner and CEO of the Flex-N-Gate Group based in Urbana, Ill. Khan had been a candidate to buy controlling interest in the St. Louis Rams last year.

The sale of the franchise and the firing of Del Rio are the city's most significant news since the team's inception in 1993.

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Illinois Tops Maryland In Big Ten/ACC Challenge

Sam Maniscalco scored 24 points, Brandon Paul had 17 and undefeated Illinois pulled away to a 71-62 victory over Maryland on Tuesday night in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge.

The Fighting Illini (7-0) trailed at halftime and led by only one point with 8 minutes left before Maniscalco knocked down a pair of 3-pointers in a 10-2 run that proved too difficult for the feisty Terrapins to overcome.

Terrell Stoglin scored 25 for Maryland (3-3) and James Padgett had 16. The Terrapins had won six straight in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and were riding a 13-game home winning streak against nonconference opponents.

But Maryland, playing its first season under coach Mark Turgeon, gave the Illini all they could handle before fading down the stretch.

Illinois trailed 41-37 before Paul scored on a drive and Maniscalco hit a 3-pointer to give the Illini their first lead since 2-0.

Big Ten/ACC Challenge Results:
#2 Ohio State Buckeyes 85, #4 Duke Blue Devils 63 (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
Virginia Cavaliers 70, #15 Michigan Wolverines 58 (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
Northwestern Wildcats 76, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 60
Purdue Boilermakers 76, Miami Hurricanes 65
Clemson Tigers 71, Iowa Hawkeyes 55

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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#3 Syracuse Orange 84, Eastern Michigan Eagles 48
#8 Baylor Bears 90, Prarie View A&M Panthers 54
Loyola Marymount Lions 75, #25 St. Louis Billikens 68

Big Ten/ACC Challenge Matchups Tonight:
  9:30 p.m. - #5 North Carolina Tar Heels host #7 Wisconsin Badgers  (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
7:15 pm - Penn State @ Boston College
7:15 pm - Indiana @ North Carolina State
7:30 pm - Florida State @ Michigan State
9:15 pm - Virginia Tech @ Minnesota
9:15 pm - Wake Forest @ Nebraska

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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  8:00 p.m. - #14 Kansas Jayhawks host Florida Atlantic Owls
  7:00 p.m. - #17 Pittsburgh Panthers at Duquesne Dukes
11:15 p.m. - #18 Gonzaga Bulldogs host Notre Dame Fighting Irish
10:00 p.m. - #20 UNLV Rebels at UC Santa Barbara Gauchos
10:30 p.m. - #22 Creighton Bluejays at San Diego State Aztecs

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-30

 

November 30, 2011

 

Jail Population: 47

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Larry Boughton, 41, Deland, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Boughton was given a notice to appear and was released.

 

Lisa Haines, 42, Weldon, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Haines posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 10:05 p.m. on Tuesday, November 29th, revealed that a car driven by Arthur Brighton, 86, Champaign was traveling north on Friends Creek Road and Adlai Sayers was traveling west on Ospur Road. Brighton Failed To Yield for Sayers causing them to collide. No injuries were reported and Brighton’s car was towed from the scene. Brighton was issued a citation for Failure To Yield. He posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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Illini Take On Terps; College Scoreboard

The Illinois Fighting Illini will look to remain unbeaten this evening when they square off against the Maryland Terrapins in College Park as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on ESPN.  The Illini won the Cancun Challenge last week and are coming off a 90-43 victory over Chicago State on Sunday to improve to a perfect 6-and-0 on the young season.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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#6 Louisville Cardinals 79, Long Beach State 49ers 66
#9 Florida Gators 96, Stetson Hatters 70
#11 Xavier Musketeers 82, #19 Vanderbilt Commodores 70 (OT)
#16 Marquette Golden Eagles 88, Jacksonville Dolphins 56
#21 Memphis Tigers 70, Jackson State Tigers 45
#23 California Golden Bears 73, McNeese State Cowboys 57

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Saints Smoke Giants On MNF

The Saints racked up 577 yards of offense en route to a 49-24 trouncing of the Giants on "Monday Night Football."  Drew Brees threw for 363 yards and four touchdowns for the NFC South-leading Saints, who have won three straight to improve to 8-and-3.  Brees also had a rushing score.  Jimmy Graham and Lance Moore each had a pair of touchdown grabs, while Mark Ingram rushed for 80 yards and a score in the one-sided affair.  Eli Manning passed for 406 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the reeling Giants, who have dropped three in-a-row to fall to 6-and-5.  Victor Cruz had nine catches for 157 yards and two touchdowns in the lopsided loss.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-29

 

November 29, 2011

Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Sarah Shanle, 19, Dawson, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Shanle posted her IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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Sages Drop Season Opener

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, the Monticello Sages dropped their season opener to Rantoul 70-58. Travis Britt led Rantoul with 29 points. For the Sages, Daly Obrien helped the team out with 14 points and Ryan Donahue with 12. Monticello falls to 0-1 and Rantoul is now 5-0.  Tune in Friday as the Sages take on Bismark-Henning!

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Blue Ridge Tops Clinton

In a game heard on WHOW, the DeWitt county rivalry was alive as the Clinton Maroons took on the Blue Ridge Knights on Tuesday (11/29) night. In a physical matchup between the teams the Knights were able to pull ahead before halftime and hold on to the lead with a final score of 59-42. The Clinton Maroons were led by senior Matt Chandler who had 8 points, Mitch Creager and Greg Osgood, also for the Maroons, each had 7 points in the game. The Blue Ridge Knights were led by Michael Plunk who had 21 points in the game.

Tune in to 92.3FM WHOW on Friday (12/2) night to hear the Clinton Maroons take on the Stags of Hartsburg-Emden. Tip off at 7pm in Hartsburg.

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Illinois To Let Civil-Union Couples File For Tax Returns

Couples with civil-union licenses in Illinois will soon be allowed to file joint income tax returns with the state.

Though same-sex couples will still have to file federal tax returns individually, the Illinois Department of Revenue says it will accept joint returns from same-sex couples starting in January.

The advocacy group Equality Illinois announced an agreement with the revenue department Monday night.

Illinois has a flat income tax of 5%, so a joint state return won't save couples money. But Equality Illinois CEO Bernard Cherkasov says the new policy is still a good step.

A revenue department spokeswoman says officials are still finalizing how the policy will work. The current plan is to have couples fill out a joint federal tax return for the state's purposes only.

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Businesses Maneuver To Get Tax Incentives

Critics of a tax package designed to keep Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange in Illinois comes at the expense of other employers.  Kim Clarke Maisch, with the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says lawmakers are essentially giving companies special opportunities to become more profitable while leaving others out. 

[audio:rddIncentive1.mp3]A Word From Maisch[/audio]

The deal would provide the CME with 85-million dollars a year in incentives.  Sears would get 15-million dollars per year over the next decade with an opportunity to an additional grab 150-million dollars.  Other changes will allow all businesses to write off losses of up to 100-thousand dollars a year from previous years.  It also increases the estate tax exemption and the earned income tax credits for lower and middle class taxpayers.

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Asian Carp Removal Creates Economic Boost

Big River Fish Corporation in Pearl, Illinois is shipping more than 30-million pounds of Asian Carp to China.  Brenda Middendorf, with Two Rivers Conservation and Development says the process is killing two birds with one stone. 

[audio:rddFish2.mp3]A Word From Middendorf[/audio]

Middendorf says it's a win-win situation when you can remove an invasive species from Illinois waters and stimulate the economy.  The company is building a new facility in Griggsville and hiring 60 new people.  Middendorf says that's good news for Pike County because it's on a poverty watch list.  They're accepting applications for administrative, clerical, and processing positions.  They'll start hiring after the first of the year.

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Quinn Says Deal Reached To Keep State Facilities Open

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's reached a deal to keep seven state facilities he'd planned to close open through the fiscal year.

Quinn's office announced the deal Monday. State budget director David Vaught tells The Associated Press that the estimated $200 million cost of keeping the seven centers open through the current fiscal year, which ends in June, will be covered by moving funds from other parts of the budget.

Vaught says Quinn's veto of $376 million from the $33.2 billion budget passed by the legislature this year made the deal possible.

Earlier this year, Quinn said the state needed to close seven centers, including a prison and centers for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill. The closures would have resulted in nearly 2,000 layoffs.

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Rep. Chapin Rose Officially Files For Senate

State Representative Chapin Rose officially filed to run for the Illinois State Senate in the newly drawn 51st Senate district yesterday.  Rose’s campaign filed over double the required number of signatures to get on the ballot with petitions circulated by volunteers throughout the district.

Rep. Rose will be attempting to move from the Illinois House of Representative to the Illinois Senate. Rose says the opportunity came about with the redistricting map put together by Illinois Democrats. According to Rep. Rose, the map combined his districts and Representative Bill Mitchell's Districts and forced them to decide who would do what.

[audio:62311roseforsenate1.mp3]Rep. Rose On Redistricting Situation[/audio]

Republican Tom Pliura of LeRoy is the only announced opponent to this point for Rose. He notes the district the two will be running in is a very strong Republican District, which should makes things interesting.

[audio:62311roseforsenate2.mp3]Rose On His Republic District[/audio]

While the redistricting map is vastly different from the last map, Rep. Rose says a good portion of his new district will overlap or touch his current district in some way.

[audio:62311roseforsenate3.mp3]Rose On His New District[/audio]

Aside from being a fiscal conservative, Rose is a social conservative who has been a strong supporter of pro-family issues and the 2nd Amendment.  Rose has sponsored and voted for “conceal and carry” in Illinois and is a past recipient of the Illinois-NRA’s Defender of Freedom award for helping kill a “gun-grab” bill proposed by former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.  As a former prosecutor, Rose was chosen to be the only member of the Illinois House of Representatives to help put on the House’s evidence in the impeachment trial of former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

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Blue Ridge Schools Continue To Goal Towards Smart Boards in Every Classroom

Like many school districts around the state, Blue Ridge Schools are seeking to keep the technology in their schools current.

Over the past several years, Blue Ridge has worked to incorporate the "Smart Boards" into their classrooms. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Susan Wilson says her teachers are very excited to incorporate the "Smart Boards" into their plans.

[audio:blueridgesmartboards1.mp3]Wilson On Districts Smart Board Push[/audio]

Six teachers in the Blue Ridge district have recently wrote up grants to receive funding for additional Smart Boards from the Blue Ridge Education Foundation(BREF). Wilson notes the cost over $32-hundred dollars and while BREF does not have the funding currently, they are actively fundraising to get the teachers those smart boards.

[audio:blueridgesmartboards2.mp3]Wilson On BREF[/audio]

The Thomas Frasier Clark Foundation awarded funds to provide two Smartboard/LCD Projectors to Schneider classrooms, and one for Blue Ridge High School. Wilson says the district greatly appreciates Clark Foundations ongoing commitment to the community and the Blue Ridge students.

[audio:blueridgesmartboard3.mp3]Wilson On New Smartboards[/audio]

Wilson says in her time in the district, the district is working to incorporate technology in their schools. She says the Smart Board goal is to have every classroom, and hopefully in the future to give each individual student the opportunity to have some sort of computing device to use with the curriculum.

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Ambulance Situation No Stranger To Another Area Hospital

The Dr. John Warner Hospital's announcement to end it's ambulance service is certainly going to bring a lot of changes for some DeWitt County residents.

However, Logan County just over a decade ago went through a situation very similar to this. While it was not exactly identical, DeWitt County may be able to take a lesson from how things were handled in Logan County. Steve Siltman is the CEO of the Logan County Paramedics Association, a non-for profit entity in the county that provides ambulance services to the residents of Logan County. Much like the DJWH, Siltman says the Lincoln Hospital for some time had some problems maintaining a balanced budget because of their ambulance services.

[audio:logancountyhospital1.mp3]A Word From Siltman[/audio]

One difference between DeWitt County's situation versus the Logan County situation is Logan County had a tax levy already in place. Siltman notes the levy money was given to the hospital to disperse to the ambulance funds. Many local leaders are currently working to find ways to get ambulance service to the western portion of DeWitt County. Siltman says while there is a small risk involved in starting up a non-for profit ambulance service, reimbursement factors are better for them.

[audio:logancountyhospital2.mp3]A Word From Siltman[/audio]

One advantage Siltman feels DeWitt County has right now is they have over a year to put this together. He says in Logan County at the time they only had six months to get everything together to present to the Logan County Board. Siltman recognizes DeWitt County has yet to put a tax levy in place for the ambulance service, he encourages residents to approve a tax levy to allow them the opportunity at a high quality ambulance service.

[audio:logancountyhospital3.mp3]A Word From Siltman[/audio]

As mentioned, several local officials, including Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters have been hard at work seeking alternatives to keep a high level ambulance service in Clinton and western DeWitt County. Several of those officials feel having a county tax levy and creating a non-profit organization would be the best option for the residents of the county.

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State Reaping Less From Lottery In New Fiscal Year

The state received less money from lottery sales in 3 of the first four months of the new fiscal year compared to a year ago.

The state's take from lottery sales was down in July, August and October compared to the same period in 2010. September sales were up.

A private management company, Northstar Lottery Group, took over operations July 1.

But Northstar and the lottery's finance director say the drop likely reflects expenses related to taking over operations, and the state's share of sales revenue should increase.

Jim Muschinske is revenue manager for the legislature's Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability. He calls the numbers "disconcerting" but says the commission has not yet done an analysis to determine why they're falling.

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Old Illinois Theater Has New Owners, New Future

An old eastern Illinois movie theater with an uncertain future has a new owner.

A group that owns an old theater in Streator has bought the 72-year-old Will Rogers Theatre in Charleston with plans to reopen it for movies and live performances.

Theater chain AMC Entertainment closed the Will Rogers late in 2010. A group of Charleston residents has looked since then for a buyer or someone to help preserve the Art Deco theater.

The buyers include real estate agents James and Katie Troccoli and Tim Burke. Burke is from Ottawa, Ill., but now lives in California.

They own and run the Majestic Theatre in Streator and say they're looking forward to renovating and reopening the Will Rogers.

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Eagles' Freedom Flight 'A Really Joyous Moment'

Hundreds of people recently gathered at Starved Rock State Park to witness a little miracle. Actually, two little miracles.

Two young bald eagles were released into the wild, more than five months after a storm blew them 85 feet to the ground from their nest in suburban Chicago.

At the time, rescuers built a new nest for them in hopes that their parents would come back and care for them. But that didn't happen.

Instead, Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation in the Chicago area kept the eagles and helped them learn to fly.

They were recently released on Plum Island on the Illinois River, where officials say dozens of eagles make their home in the winter months.

The bald eagle has made a remarkable comeback in many states, including Illinois, after once being in danger of extinction.

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Illini Fire Zook After 0-and-6 Finish; Zook Says Illini Just Few Wins Away From Success

Following a six-game losing streak to end the season, Ron Zook is no longer the head football coach at Illinois.  Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas made that decision on Sunday, one day after the Fighting Illini finished a 6-and-6 campaign after opening the season with six straight wins.  Thomas gave Zook some credit, saying the program is in better shape than when he took over seven years ago, but losses to Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin led to his demise.  During his tenure, Illinois went 34-and-51 with just two winning seasons, including a 9-and-4 record in 2007 that ended in a Rose Bowl appearance.  Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning was named interim head coach while the search for a new coach gets underway.

Hours after he was fired as football coach at Illinois Ron Zook is thanking the university and his players for what he called "seven special years."

Zook says he thinks the Illini aren't far from being a good program and that they just failed to finish a few winnable games.

He spoke Sunday at a packed news conference.

Illinois opened this season 6-0 then finished it with six straight losses, including a 27-7 defeat at Minnesota on Saturday.

Zook is 34-51 at Illinois. He took the 2007 team to the Rose Bowl and lost to USC. Last season's squad beat Baylor in the Texas Bowl.

The Illini could still go to a bowl game. It would be their first back-to-back bowl appearances since 1991 and 1992.

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Livestock Farmers Say Ethanol Eats Too Much Corn

Livestock farmers are demanding a change in the nation's ethanol policy, claiming current rules could lead to higher meat prices if corn growers have a bad year.

The amount of corn used by the ethanol industry and demand overseas has farmers worried if corn production drops sharply, feed costs could skyrocket, forcing them to reduce their herd size. That, they say, could result in smaller meat supplies and higher prices at grocery stores.

The ethanol industry says that's unlikely but farmers have the backing of food manufacturers, who also fear a federal mandate to increase ethanol production will protect that industry from any rationing amid a corn shortage.

A Virginia congressman has introduced a bill that would partially waive the ethanol goals when corn inventories are low.

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Illinois Hunters Harvest More Than 66-Thousand Deer First Weekend

Illinois hunters harvested more than 66,500 deer during the state's opening firearm season.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the preliminary total includes deer harvest from Friday through Sunday. It is about 1,500 fewer deer than were taken during the first weekend harvest in 2010. Pike County had the most deer taken with 1,917. Adams County came in second, followed in order by Fulton, JoDaviess and Jefferson counties.

Statewide, conservation police issued nearly 550 wildlife code citations and 630 written warning over the first weekend of deer hunting. More than 330,000 firearm deer hunting permits were issued for this year's season.

Hunters harvested nearly 99,000 deer during last year's entire 7-day season in 2010. This year's 7-day season ends Dec. 1 to 4.

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Bill Would Require Coaches To Report Abuse

Lawmakers are tightening the reins when it comes to reporting sexual abuse.  A bill has been introduced which will require university officials and athletic coaching teams to report  abuse and neglect if they see it or catch wind of it.  Representative Dwight Kay is leading the charge in Springfield.  The Edwardsville Republican was prompted to introduce the bill after the Penn State scandal broke.  Kay says this is not just a Republican interest.  Some of his Democratic colleagues have chosen to co-sponsor the bill.

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Clinton Board of Education Ready To Move Forward With Referendum Campaign

The Clinton Elementary School referendum campaign is about ready to move forward.

The school district has completed their community engagement process for the elementary building. Rod Wright with Unicom Arc, says the process the district has engaged in is about as open of a process he says he has seen.

[audio:schoolreferendum1.mp3]Wright On The Districts Open Process[/audio]

The next step for the Clinton Board of Education is to go to the public to approve bonding issues. Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools says this a good opportunity for the district to build without raising the taxes in the district.

[audio:schoolreferendum2.mp3]Dr. Holmes Discusses The Good Opportunity[/audio]

While it may seem like times are not good to be building a multi-million dollar school facility, Dr. Holmes points out, right now is a great time to build thanks to low interest rates and construction costs low due to companies seeking work. Dr. Holmes says a project like this will certainly benefits everyone.

[audio:schoolreferendum3.mp3]Dr. Holmes On The Benefits Of Building Now[/audio]

Dr. Holmes also points out, should the district simply upgrade their current nearly 90 year old facilities, it would cost almost half of the cost of the building project to bring those buildings up to date, those numbers according figures provided by the architecture firm the School Board has hired.

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Clinton's Trash Ordinance Receives Changes; Final Week of Leaf Clean Up in Clinton

The recent proposed ordinance regarding trash receptacles has drummed up some controversy.

The original ordinance proposed by streets and public improvements commissioner Nan Crang has come under fire. She says it was not her intention to offend anyone or cause anyone hardships.

[audio:trashcans1.mp3]A Word From Crang[/audio]

Both Crang and Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters have received feedback from residents of Clinton, and Crang has come up with an amended ordinance to better meet the concerns of Clinton residents. Crang's new proposal has eliminated hour limitations, which was one of the issues they received in their feedback.

[audio:trashcans2.mp3]Mayor Carolyn Peters On Changes To Ordinance[/audio]

The amended ordinance is on file for 3 more weeks. Residents can see the ordinance by stopping in at City Hall.

Crang also reminds residents this will be the last week City crews will be making their way along city streets for fall clean up work. Crang says this is to allow the Streets Department to get their equipment ready for snow removal.

[audio:trashcans3.mp3]Crang On Crews Final Week[/audio]

Crang reminds resident, Clinton's yard waste facility's extended hours end Saturday Dec. 3. At that time, hours will go back to their normal time, which will be Tuesday and Thursday from 3 to 5 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to noon, and 1 pm - 5pm.

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Angel Tree Program Back in DeWitt County

A 20 year Christmas tradition is gearing up for another productive year.

If you're looking for a way to get involved in a good cause this Holiday Season, look no further than the annual Angel Tree. According to Sue Calvert, the Dewitt County Angel Tree director, preparations have been going on since August. She explains that it's a program geared to providing help to needy families who can't afford gifts or necessities for their children this winter. Individuals can "adopt" families or children by providing these items for them by taking names from the Angel Tree.

[audio:angeltree1.mp3]Calvert On Program[/audio]

Calvert says that it's a two month process creating the master list for the Angel Tree starting in August. Families wanting assistance can pick up their wish list at Dewitt County's Community Action. There is also a resource specialist involved who helps to keep families anonymous and makes sure all the paperwork is in order.

[audio:angeltree2.mp3]A Word From Sue Calvert[/audio]

Those wishing to participate in Angel Tree by providing items can pick up wish list at various sites in the community such as the National Bank and various churches. Calvert says most wish lists include toys that can run various prices. There are also coats and other winter clothing that may also need to be provided. Calvert says younger kids will probably cost $100 worth of items while teenagers could be a bit more.

[audio:angeltree3.mp3]Calvert On Potential Costs Of Getting Involved[/audio]

For more information about assisting with Angel Tree including the process of adoption and tree locations you can contact Sue Calvert at suecalvert@gobbx.com  or 309-825-5822. Wish lists are due on December 5th.

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Raiders Top Bears; Rams Fall To Cardinals

>>Raiders Hold Off Cutler-Less Bears

(Oakland, CA)  --  Sebastian Janikowski nailed six field goals to lead the Raiders to a 25-20 win over the Bears.  Michael Bush's three-yard touchdown run with just under four minutes left in the fourth quarter proved to be the difference for the Raiders, who remain atop the AFC West at 7-and-4.  Carson Palmer finished 21-of-37 for 301 yards and an interception in the victory.  Caleb Hanie, who was making his first NFL start in place of an injured Jay Cutler, had 18 completions for 254 yards with a pair of TD's and three picks for Chicago.  Cutler had surgery earlier in the week to repair his broken right thumb and could return by the end of the regular season.  Johnny Knox had 145 yards via the air with a score and Kellen Davis also hauled in a TD toss for the Bears, who dip to 7-and-4 on the season.

>>Wells, Cards Run Over Rams

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Beanie Wells ran for 228 rushing yards and a touchdown on 27 carries to lift the Cardinals in a 23-20 victory over the Rams.  Sam Bradford had 17 completions for 203 yards with a touchdown toss to Brandon Lloyd for St. Louis in defeat.  Nick Miller returned a punt 88 yards for a score in the first quarter, while Josh Brown split the uprights twice for the Rams, who fall to 2-and-9.  The Rams will now head west for next Sunday's matchup with the division leading San Francisco 49ers.

NFL
-----
Carolina Panthers 27, Indianapolis Colts 19
Tennessee Titans 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 17
Houston Texans 20, Jacksonville Jaguars 13
Cincinnati Bengals 23, Cleveland Browns 20
Atlanta Falcons 24, Minnesota Vikings 14
New York Jets 28, Buffalo Bills 24
Washington Redskins 23, Seattle Seahawks 17
New England Patriots 38, Philadelphia Eagles 20
Denver Broncos 16, San Diego Chargers 13 (OT)
Pittsburgh Steelers 13, Kansas City Chiefs 9

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Illini Pound Chicago State; ISU Beats Bethune-Cookman

>> Illini Route Chicago State

Myke Henry scored 14 points and Illinois easily defeated Chicago State 90-43 on Sunday.

Illinois (6-0) jumped to a 13-3 lead, and a 17-4 run at the end of the first half pushed the Illini's advantage to 44-19 at the break.

Henry, a freshman forward, returned from an ankle injury and came off the bench on Sunday. After close wins against Richmond and Illinois State in which coach Bruce Weber had to rely on a small rotation of veteran players, the large leads throughout Sunday's game allowed Weber to dip deep into his bench.

Five Illini players finished in double figures, with the bench contributing 48 points.

Chicago State (0-6) was led by forward Jeremy Robinson's 14 points and six rebounds in its lowest scoring effort of the season.

>> ISU Beats Bethune-Cookman

Jackie Carmichael had 21 points and Illinois State defeated Bethune-Cookman 75-51 on Sunday.

Jon Ekey and Tyler Brown scored 14 points apiece for the Redbirds (4-2), and Nic Moore added 10 points. Illinois State shot 64% from the field in the game - a record for the home team at Redbird Arena - and was 59% (10 of 17) from 3-point range. Brown made all 4 of his shots from behind the arc.

Illinois State finished the first half on a 25-5 run for a 36-20 lead at the break.

Adrien Coleman led Bethune-Cookman (2-4) with 12 points. The Wildcats shot 40% from the field, and gathered only 18 rebounds compared to 31 for Illinois State.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
------
#13 Alabama Crimson Tide 72, VCU Rams 64
#16 Pittsburgh Panthers 81, Robert Morris Colonials 71
#21 Missouri Tigers 88, Binghamton Bearcats 59

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Special Clinton Maroons/Monticello Sages Girls Basketball Broadcast On WEZC Tonight

Monticello Sages and Clinton Maroons fans can tune in tonight on 95.9 FM WEZC and also on dewittdailynews.com for a special broadcast. The Clinton Lady Maroons play host to the Monticello Sages and WEZC will have the game live around 7:30 pm.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

CITATIONS

11/26/11

JESSICA F. DOUGLAS 21, CLINTON FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELT. BOND POSTED

 

11/27/11

BOBBIE D. CLINE 33, PEORIA SPEEDING 74 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ON 11/25/11 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED RICHARD C. COX 67, CLINTON FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED. COX WAS RELEASED ON A NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT.

 

ON 11/26/11 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED ERIN E. GRIBBINS 30, SPRINGFIELD FOR FAILURE TO SIGNAL AND DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED. GRIBBINS WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 11/26/11 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED ZACHARY C. WELCHEL 18, CLINTON ON 2 MCLEAN COUNTY WARRANTS. WELCHEL WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 11/27/11 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JANET E. KINDER 59, MAROA FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED. KINDER WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Thanksgiving Weekend Report

 

November 24, 2011

 

Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 3

 

 

November 25, 2011

 

Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

November 26, 2011

 

Jail Population: 46

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

November 27, 2011

 

Jail Population: 46

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

November 28, 2011

 

Jail Population: 46

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Megan Johnson, 22, Latham, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 45 mph zone). Johnson posted her IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Kelli Schott, 33, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (82 mph in a 65 mph zone). Schott posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Matthew Pickens, 23, Decatur was issued a citation for Speeding (81 mph in a 65 mph zone). Pickens posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Nathan Bowns, 36, Farmer City, was issued a citation for No Valid Driver’s License. Bowns was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Alan Williams, 54, Heyworth, was issued a citation for Speeding (78 mph in a 55 mph zone). Williams paid his bond and was released.

 

Douglas Vedra, 38, Bloomington was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Vedra paid his bond and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 9:22 p.m. on Wednesday, November 23rd, revealed that a car driven by Chad Atherton, 38, Carlock was driving on Illinois Route 10 hauling a trailer. He noticed, a ¼ mile East of Weldon Springs Road that a tire popped off of his trailer. A vehicle driven by Brett Seaman, 31, Weldon, ran over the tire that popped off of Atherton’s trailer. No injuries were reported and neither vehicle needed towed.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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HS BBALL: Monticello Girl's Basketball Hand Win Over To Clinton

The Monticello girl's basketball team opened up their first conference game tonight against the Clinton Maroons this evening. Both teams came in with a one win record.The Sages couldn't keep up with the Maroons throughout the first half, but gradually got momentum throughout the remainder of the game. The Sages handed the win over to the Maroons tonight with a final score of 58-37. The Sages were led by Ellse Pontious who had a total of 20 points in the game, followed by Sarah Foran who scored 8 points. The Maroons were led by Haley Toohill who had a total of 11 points, followed by: Haley Ginger with 8 points, Paiton Bieber with 8 points, and Jessica Scott with 9 points. Tune in again on Monday December 5th for more Sages action as they face off against Tuscola at 7 PM. Hear it all right here on 95.9, WEZC.

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Illini Head Football Coach Ron Zook Out

 width=University of Illinois head football coach Ron Zook was fired Sunday by athletic director Mike Thomas.Here's the statement posted by the University on fightingillini.com:

CHAMPAIGN, ILL - University of Illinois Director of Athletics Mike Thomas announced today that Ron Zookwill not be retained as head football coach, ending a seven-year run that saw the Illini qualify for three bowls, including the 2008 Rose Bowl.

"I assessed the entire program and felt that it was time for a change in leadership," Thomas said. "It is imperative that our program shows some consistency and competes for championships, and I think a change in coaches can help us get there sooner. I wasn't here seven years ago when Ron Zooktook over as coach, but it's clear the program is in better shape than what he inherited. I believe we need new leadership to take the program to the level to compete for championships on a consistent basis. This is an extremely competitive conference, and we are determined to go head-to-head with the very best."

Zook was named head coach at Illinois in December, 2004, and compiled a record of 34-51, including 18-38 in Big Ten play during his Illini stint. After starting the 2011 season with six-consecutive victories and earning a Top 20 ranking, the Illini suffered through a six-game losing streak to end the regular season. In 2007, Illinois surprised many with a 9-4 record, including a 6-2 mark in Big Ten play to finish in second place. The Fighting Illini posted a memorable 28-21 victory over top-ranked Ohio State at Columbus that season to propel them into a Rose Bowl invitation. Following the 2007 season, Zook was named the Liberty Mutual National Coach of the Year and Big Ten Coach of the Year.

Zook is one of only four coaches to win games at Michigan, Ohio State and Penn State, and produced three first-round NFL draft picks in the last four seasons. Illinois' 38-14 victory over Baylor at the 2010 Texas Bowl was Illinois' first bowl victory since 1999.

But, the three seasons of bowl eligibility were also interspersed with two wins in 2005 and 2006, five wins in 2008 and three in 2009. Zook finishes his Illinois tenure with a winning record over just Indiana among conference opponents.

Thomas indicated a national search would begin immediately and that he hoped to name a new coach as soon as possible.

"We will begin the process of finding a new coach as soon as possible," Thomas said. "Obviously, we have some hiring policies and regulations to follow, and some candidates may be involved with their own teams and bowl preparations, but I expect to move forward quickly."

Defensive coordinator Vic Koenning, who was head coach at Wyoming from 2000-02, will serve as interim coach through the expected bowl game appearance.

ZOOK'S HEAD COACHING RECORD

YEAR SCHOOL OVERALL CONF. CONF. FINISH BOWL FINAL POLLS2002 Florida 8-5 6-2 2nd (East) Outback NR/242003 Florida 8-5 6-2 T-1st (East) Outback 24/252004 Florida 7-4 4-4 T-3rd (East) Peach* NR/252005 Illinois 2-9 0-8 11th --- NR/NR2006 Illinois 2-10 1-7 T-10th --- NR/NR2007 Illinois 9-4 6-2 T-2nd Rose 20/182008 Illinois 5-7 3-5 T-6th --- NR/NR2009 Illinois 3-9 2-6 9th --- NR/NR2010 Illinois 7-6 4-4 T-4th Texas NR/NR2011 Illinois 6-6 2-6 5th (Leaders)TOTAL (10 YEARS) 57-65 34-46 - 5 BOWLS at Illinois (7 years) 34-51 18-38 - 2 Bowls

Polls listed as AP/Coaches *Led Gators to Peach Bowl berth

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Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Holiday gatherings mean good times with family and friends, but for many people with dietary concerns, these parties can play havoc with good eating intentions.

The wonderful foods associated with holiday meals can become a source of stress for some people on modified diets if they are trying to lose weight or watch their blood sugar or cholesterol levels. Sara Lopinski, registered dietitian at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, suggests developing a strategy to avoid overeating during the season.

[audio:siuholidaymeals1.mp3]Holiday Meals[/audio]

Lopinski advises people to choose healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and to avoid sauces, gravies and calorie-loaded drinks. She also suggests practicing portion control as a way to help prevent overeating.

[audio:siuholidaymeals2.mp3]Holiday Meals2[/audio]

Lopinski says there are no quick fixes to maintaining a diet during the holidays, but making healthy food choices can help you stay on track. She also advises getting plenty of exercise and focus on enjoying the social activities. If you have dietary concerns, you should see your primary care physician or a registered dietitian.

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Maroons Get A Win Against Calvary

As heard on 1520AM/92.3FM WHOW, the Clinton Maroons beat Calvary 58-25 in their Round Robin tournament.  Marshall Sprague led all scores with 13 points.  Jacob Rockhold helped the team out with a total of 11 points and saw double digits for the first time in the tournament.  Mitch Creager contributed to the score with 10 points.  Greg Osgood scored 6 points.  Kaleb Shepherd also helped the team out with 7 points and Matt Chandler with 4.  The Maroons showed a lot of good defense and pressure against Calvary.  They finished the tournament at 2-2.  Tune in Tuesday as the Maroons take on Blue Ridge!

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Black Friday Good For Retailers Big And Small


(Springfield, IL)  --  Not everyone is excited about Black Friday deals.  Kim Clarke Maisch, with the National Federation of Independent Businesses, says those who don't want to brave the crowds today may find Small Business Saturday more appealing.

[audio:rddBF2.mp3]Maish on Saturday[/audio]

This is the second year that small businesses have marketed the Saturday after Thanksgiving as a designated shopping day.  Many small businesses don't advertise for the busiest shopping weekend of the year.  Business officials say that doesn't hurt the small, local stores.  In fact, they say even the "little guy" will benefit on Black Friday because shoppers will invariably come into their stores while they're out. 

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Springfield Tourism Bureau Gets New Director

A familiar face will take over as executive director of the Springfield Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Mayor Mike Houston has named Fred Puglia to the job of promoting Illinois' capital city to visitors. He starts Monday, though the city council must approve his permanent appointment.

Puglia was the agency's first executive director and ran the LincolnFests in the early 1980s, created the city's Elvis impersonator competition and helped launch Springfield Air Rendezvous.

Puglia left city government to start an entertainment management and booking company, and created Decatur Celebration. He was that festival's producer for 25 years until stepping down last year.

He replaces Tim Farley, who's held the Springfield job since 2003. Mayor Houston fired Farley, saying he wanted to change direction.

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Iliinois to Crack Down on Disability Parking Abuse

Illinois officials will crack down on holiday shoppers who illegally park in spaces reserved for the disabled.

Secretary of State Jesse White says he's directed police in his office to begin patrols of retail center parking lots beginning Friday - the ceremonial first day of the holiday shopping season.

Police will focus on Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg along with shopping malls in Rockford, Springfield and Marion on Friday. Enforcement will continue in parking lots across the state through the holiday season.

White says his goal is not to ticket shoppers but to ensure spaces are available for those who need them.

He says his message is, "If you don't belong there, don't park there."

Such illegal parking carries a fine of as much as $350.

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2 Men get 45 Years for Bloomington Armed Robbery

A judge has sentenced two men to 45 years in prison for a 2008 armed robbery in which they broke into a home, held a couple at gunpoint and stole more than 20 handguns from their private collection.

 Clarence Thompkins and James Manuel were sentenced Wednesday. Both are 22 years old.

Barbara Hopper told the court that she feared she and her disabled husband would be killed when the men broke into their Bloomington home.

Police believe Thompkins knew about the guns because he worked for the company that moved the couple into the home five months earlier.

Prosecutors say several guns were recovered but others remain unaccounted for. They say the men also used 1 of the guns in a second break-in.

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Historic Logan County Bell to Toll Again

Logan County's historic courthouse bell will soon be tolling again after 40 years of silence.

The bell has been repaired and county and city of Lincoln officials will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday to celebrate its first tolling since the 1970s.

Around 1970, officials deemed the bell stand unsafe and decided it wouldn't toll again until it was fixed. That finally happened this year, thanks to a $16,000 grant from Landmarks Illinois, a historic preservation group.

The cast iron bell and clocks were installed when the courthouse was built in 1905.

Logan County Board member Jan Schumacher says the hourly chime "is going to be very special."

Following Monday's ceremony, the bell will ring once per hour, even overnight.

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NRCS Reminding Producers of Compliance Regulations

The fall field work season is in full swing, and one agency is reminding producers and landowners to keep in mind compliance issues.  Jared White has more...

[audio:112111NRCSComplianceWRAP.mp3]Word from White[/audio]

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Upgrade in Narrowbanding for Sherrif's Department


The Dewitt County Sherff's department will be receiving a needed upgrade in their communication systems.

The Sheriff's office recently recieved word that they will be the recipient for a grant to help upgrade their narrow band system. Dewitt County 911 manager Tony Harris says that this upgrade has been in the making for a long time and has recently come to light because of recent mandates and regulations from the FCC.

[audio:narrowband1THANKSGIVING.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

Th grant was awarded to the Dewitt County Emergency Management Agency, however, the equipment that will be purchased will service Dewitt County in their emergency preparedness. Harris says that many at the agency were wondering where the money needed would come from.

[audio:narrowband2THANKSGIVING.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

Harris says that this grant will benefit multiple agencies including the Sheriff's office, EMA and Fire Department. He's very appreciative of everyone's efforts and compliance in trying to obtain this grant and make necessary changes.

[audio:narrowband3THANKSGIVING.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

The grant will consist of $188 thousand dollars, just under half of their needed expenses in order to upgrade equipment that dates back to the 1980s. The upgrade needed to be in place by the end of 2012.

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Candle Light Tours Begin at CH Moore Homstead this Weekend

A couple annual events at the CH Moore Homestead willl begin this weekend.

The annual Candle Light Tours get underway tomorrow evening at the mansion. Resident Manager at the Homestead Larry Buss says each year the mansion has something new to offer to those who come tour the home.

[audio:tours1.mp3]Buss on Tours[/audio]

As always, this year's tours include entertainment. But something new for the tours this year will be an expanded number of opportunities to take advantage of the Candle Light Tours. Buss explains they are beginning those tours tonight and they will continue each Friday night until December 30th.

[audio:tours2.mp3]Buss on Tours[/audio]

An event make its second appearance at the Homestead this year will be Santa and the Sleigh Rides which start tomorrow afternoon. Buss notes there will not only be opportunities for kids to interact with Santa, but also for adults to see a very unique sleigh this year.

[audio:tours3.mp3]Buss on Sleigh Rides[/audio]

The Candle Light Tours will take place starting tonight at 5 pm and then December 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30. The Museum will stay open until 8pm on those Friday nights for the tours. For more information on any of these events you can visit the DeWitt County Museum's website at chmoorehomestead.org or you contact Larry Buss at 935-6006.

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Illinois, ND Both On The Court This Weekend

The Illinois Fighting Illini and Notre Dame Fighting Irish are both back on the hardwood this weekend.  The Illini host Chicago State in Champaign.  Illinois won the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday night with a 63-59 victory over Illinois State.  Meanwhile, the Irish return to South Bend on Sunday to host Bryant University.  ND has lost back-to-back games after winning its first four to start the season.

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Winless Colts Clash With Carolina

The Indianapolis Colts will take yet another crack at their first win of the season when they host the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. The leaders in the Andrew Luck sweepstakes went into last week's bye with a 17-3 loss to the Jaguars in Week 10. Indianapolis, which is 0-and-10 on the year, has been held to 10 points or less in every game since Week Six. Carolina coughed up a 27-14 halftime lead in a 49-35 road loss to the Lions last week. Cam Newton had four interceptions for the Panthers, who have dropped three straight to fall to 2-and-8. Carolina and Indy are meeting for the first time since 2007 and for only the second time since 2001.

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Cards Clash With Rams In St. Louis

The Arizona Cardinals head to the Gateway City on Sunday for an NFC West showdown with the St. Louis Rams at the Edwards Jones Dome. St. Louis is coming off a 24-7 loss to Seattle last Sunday to dip to 2-and-8. The Rams have alternated wins and losses in their last five contests with wins over New Orleans and Cleveland after losing six straight to start the season. Arizona quarterback Kevin Kolb [[ Kobb ]], who has missed the team's last three games with turf toe and foot injuries, is questionable for Sunday's game. If Kolb is unable to go, John Skelton will likely make his fourth straight start under center for the Redbirds. Arizona beat St. Louis in overtime, 19-13, at University of Phoenix Stadium in Week Nine.

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Cutler-Less Bears Battle Raiders In Oakland

The Chicago Bears continue a four-game stretch of AFC West opponents as they travel to Oakland on Sunday for a Week 12 tilt against the division-leading Raiders. The Bears will be playing in their first game without franchise quarterback Jay Cutler, who broke the thumb on his throwing hand in the team's Week 11 victory over San Diego. Cutler underwent surgery earlier this week and is expected to be out at least the rest of the regular season. Caleb Hanie will get his first NFL start. Chicago has won five games in-a-row to sit in a two-way tie with Detroit for second in the NFC North division at 7-and-3. Meanwhile, the Raiders are coming off a 27-21 win over Minnesota on Sunday to up their mark to 6-and-4 on the season. Chicago has won both head-to-head matchups since the 2001 season. The Bears beat the Raiders in Oakland, 17-6, in the team's last meeting during the 2007 season.

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Pack Stay Unbeaten With Thanksgiving Win Over Lions

Aaron Rodgers completed 22-of-32 passes for 307 yards with two touchdowns to lead the unbeaten Packers in a 27-15 Thanksgiving Day victory over the Lions. Greg Jennings and James Jones each hauled in a TD pass via the air and John Kuhn [[ KOON ]] added a one-yard rushing score for Green Bay, which improved to 11-and-0 for the first time in club history. The defending Super Bowl champion Packers have now won 17 games in-a-row. The Lions have lost a franchise-record eight straight games on Thanksgiving.

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Student Killed At NIU

A Northern Illinois University student is dead after a shooting at an off-campus party early this morning.  DeKalb Police says 22-year-old Steven Agee [[ ah-GHEE ]] the Second of Park Forest got into an argument with the alleged gunman at the party just after two o'clock this morning.  Authorities say the man pulled out a gun, shot Agee in the chest and ran away.  The suspect remains at large.  He is described as a black male about 20 years old with a dark complexion.  He stands between five-foot-eight and five-foot-eleven inches tall and was last seen wearing a dark jacket.  Agee was a senior at NIU.

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WEIC Charleston to Broadcast Casey-Westfield Championship Game

WEIC newstalk 1270 Radio in Charleston, and its on-line daily newspaper WEICdailynews.com, will broadcast the Casey-Westfield Class 2A State Football Championship game live on Friday, November 25th.

 The pre-game show on WEIC 1270 and streamed on-line on WEICdailynews.com, will begin at 12:30pm, and kickoff is at 1pm.

 Casey-Westfield will play Morrison for the Illinois High School Association Class 2A State Championship, at Memorial Stadium on the campus of the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

 Steve Morck and Wally Swenson will provide the call of the game.

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WEIC to Feature Charleston High School Newspaper Online

The Charleston High School PRESS, the school's weekly newspaper written by students of the CHS Journalism class under the direction of Mrs. Mel Wiseman, is now one of the featured pages available 24/7 on WEIC newstalk 1270's  on-line daily newspaper, WEICdailynews.com.

 The page is updated each Saturday.

 WEIC president and general manager Randal J. Miller said he was pleased to offer the CHS Journalism Class the opportunity to present its content and pictures, to the Charleston community via the World Wide Web.

 Those wishing to access the Charleston High School PRESS, can click on the “CHS Press” icon below the menu bar on WEICdailynews.com.

 WEICdailynews.com is part of the new ownership and format of WEIC Radio.  The Miller Media Group's Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., purchased WEIC on October 7th, and debuted its new newstalk format on October 19.

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Mayor Snyder finds ways to be Thankful

With the tough times that Illinois has endured the last few years, one of our local mayors has found many things to be thankful for.

Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, on this day of Thanksgiving, says there are several reasons to give thanks this Holiday Season in Central Illinois. He says that he's grateful to our local legislators. Our government takes a lot of criticism throughout the year, but Snyder thinks many of them have our best interest at heart. He's especially grateful for the legislators that have helped to keep Logan Correctional Center open in the last couple months.

[audio:snyder1.mp3]Snyder 1[/audio]

Snyder is also grateful for the generosity of the citizens of Logan County.  He mentions, specifically, the Guzzardo family.  The Guzzardo's own and operate a  popular Italian restaurant in downtown Lincoln. Snyder says that for the past 8 years, the family has organized home deliveries of Thanksgiving meals to those who are less fortunate in the community.

[audio:snyder2.mp3]Snyder 2[/audio]

Another area for the community to be thankful is for the people who put their time and effort into community events. Snyder mentions Lincoln's Art and Balloon Festival and Clinton's Apple and Pork as favorites. Lincoln is preparing for another yearly event this weekend. The annual Downtown Christmas Parade will be Friday night in Lincoln at 5:30 pm.  It should be a nicer evening than usual late November weather which Snyder says is also a plus.

[audio:snyder3.mp3]Snyder 3[/audio]

Snyder, lastly, is grateful for the small businesses that are the backbone of our economy in Central Illinois. He says that Saturday the 26th will be Small Business Saturday. People are encouraged to go and support small businesses after they have spent the previous day at the malls and larger stores.

[audio:snyder4.mp3]Snyder 4[/audio]

Through the ups and downs of our local economies, Mayor Snyder proves that here in Central Illinois, we all have many things to be thankful for.

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Turkey Fun Facts

Thanksgiving and turkey have become synonymous. But there's a lot more to our tasty friend than being the main attraction at our nation's only official feast day. Todd Gleason has much, much more...
 
[audio:GleasonTurkeyFacts.mp3]Todd Gleason[/audio]

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Illinois Wins Cancun Challenge

The Illinois Fighting Illini won the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday night.  Sam Maniscalco hit a clutch three-pointer late and finished with 14 points to lead the Illini in a 63-59 victory over Illinois State on Wednesday night in Cancun.  D.J. Richardson added 13 points and Brandon Paul had 12 for the Illini, who improved to 5-and-0 on the season.  The Illini return to the states on Sunday to host Chicago State in Champaign.  Meanwhile, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish return to South Bend on Sunday to host Bryant University.

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Sharks Shutout 'Hawks

Antti Niemi [[ nee-YEM-ee ]] turned aside all 34 shots he faced as the Sharks shutout the Blackhawks, 1-0.  Niemi, who backstopped the Blackhawks to a Stanley Cup title in 2010, notched the 14th shutout of his career.  Jason Demers scored the only goal of the game for San Jose, which has won four in-a-row.  Corey Crawford made 20 saves in net for Chicago, which has lost three straight.  Chicago plays at Anaheim tomorrow night and wraps up a six-game road swing on Saturday at Los Angeles.

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NBA Sides Reportedly Resume Labor Talks

NBA labor talks are apparently back on.  The "The New York Times" reports negotiations to end the lockout resumed quietly on Tuesday and continued yesterday.  According to the report, the goal is to end the 146-day labor impasse and for games to begin Christmas Day.  Lawyers are reportedly representing the two sides because of pending litigation.  The players have filed an antitrust lawsuit against the league for unfair labor practice after talks broke off last week.

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Buehrle Offer Arbitration; ChiSox Decline On Pierre

The Chicago White Sox have offered salary arbitration to free agent pitcher Mark Buehrle [[ BURR-lee ]] prior to Wednesday's deadline.  Buehrle, a Type B free agent, has been the Sox's Opening Day starter nine of the past 10 seasons and has spent his entire 12-year career in Chicago.  The owner of a no-hitter and a perfect game, Buehrle has compiled a 161-and-119 career record with a 3.83 earned-run average and a 1.28 walks/hits per inning pitched mark.  The 32-year-old lefty went 13-and-9 last year with a 3.59 ERA and pitched over 200 innings for the 11th consecutive year.

Juan Pierre, meanwhile, was not offered arbitration after his second year with the club.  Last season, the 34-year-old outfielder batted .279 with 80 runs scored and 27 stolen bases, his lowest total since becoming a full-time player in 2001.  The .296 career hitter has also played for the Rockies, Marlins, Cubs and Dodgers and owns 554 stolen bases, the most among active players.

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Bears Sign McCown After Missing Out On Orton

The Chicago Bears have added a quarterback to the roster, but it's not Kyle Orton.  The Bears announced they have signed Josh McCown as a backup to Caleb Hanie.  Hanie was thrust into the starting role when Jay Cutler suffered a broken thumb Sunday against the Chargers.  Cutler underwent surgery on Wednesday and will begin rehab in a couple of days.  The Bears are hopeful he could return near the tail end of the regular season.  Chicago had put in a waiver claim for veteran Kyle Orton, who was released by the Broncos on Tuesday, but he was picked up by the Chiefs instead.  McCown spent 2010 playing in the United Football League.  He's appeared in 47 NFL games, including 31 starts, with the Cardinals, Lions, Raiders and Panthers.  McCown signed with the 49ers in August, but was later released.

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Quincy Council Supports Conceal Carry

The Quincy City Council supports a conceal carry law in Illinois.  The council approved a resolution last night.  The resolution doesn't trump Illinois' ban on concealed firearms but it does send a message to state lawmakers that the community wants to see a reversal in the law.  Illinois is the only state in the nation that doesn't allow some form of conceal carry.  Quincy Alderman Mike Rein says that's a violation of people's second amendment right.

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Rezko Gets Ten-Year Sentence

 A former fundraiser and ally of former Governor Rod Blagojevich is going to spend seven more years behind bars.  A judge handed Tony Rezko a ten-and-a-half-year sentence yesterday.  Political Scientist Kent Redfield says crimes of corruption are not isolated events in Illinois.

     [audio:rddRedRez5.mp3]Word from Refield[/audio]

Redfield says Rezko's sentence sends a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated in the state.   Rezko is one of several convicted of schemes connected to the former governor.  He was found guilty in 2008 on 16 counts of bribery, money laundering and fraud.

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Assembly Hall Renovation Plans Move Forward

A committee of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees has recommended a $2.2 million contract to make initial designs for a major renovation of Assembly Hall.

The full board of trustees is scheduled to vote Dec. 2 on the proposed contract with the architectural and engineering firm AECOMM. More than a dozen firms submitted proposals for the privately funded project.

If the board approves the contract with AECOMM the Los Angeles-based firm will be tasked with drafting a master construction plan. That plan would include a total project cost.

Trustee Ed McMillan says Assembly Hall is a source of campus identity. He says fans and athletes will be proud of the renovation.

Assembly Hall opened in 1963. It can seat up to 17,200.

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DHS Says No Hacking involved in Water Pump

Federal authorities say reports that a water pump failure in Springfield was the result of hacking aren't true.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Chris Ortman says initial reports were based on raw and unconfirmed data. In a statement Tuesday, he says detailed analysis by DHS and the FBI found no evidence of a cyber intrusion or that there was any malicious activity.

Don Craven is a trustee for the Curran-Gardner Township Public Water District outside of Illinois' capital city. He has said the water pump burned out earlier this month and that the water district has multiple pumps. He says there was never a break in service to its 2,200 rural customers.

Federal officials say the analysis of the incident is ongoing and relevant information will be released when available.

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Jury Award 3 Million Dollars in Knee Replacement Case

A jury in central Illinois has awarded a woman around $3 million over what attorneys say was a botched knee replacement surgery.

A jury deliberated for nearly four hours Tuesday before ruling that Carla Barnwell should receive the money for medical bills and pain and suffering.

Attorneys say an orthopedic surgeon at Carle Clinic Association in Urbana performed a 2007 partial knee replacement surgery on Barnwell. However, they say a piece of metal was put in at a bad angle.

Barnwell claimed she couldn't straight her leg for weeks following the surgery and had two more surgeries to regain normal function.

Carle spokeswoman Jennifer Hendricks Kaufmann says she didn't agree with the decision.

She says the doctor no longer works at the association.

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GOP Legislators Propose Separating Cook County

Two Republican Illinois lawmakers say Chicago-style politics are dominating the state and they have a solution.

State Representatives Bill Mitchell of Forsyth and Adam Brown of Decatur have proposed separating Cook County from Illinois and creating a 51st state.

The representatives held a press conference Tuesday in Decatur to talk about their proposal.

Brown says Chicago is overshadowing the rest of the state. Mitchell says families in other parts of the state believe Chicago is "dictating its views."

They've proposed Cook County, which is the second most populous county in the U.S., to become one state and the other 101 counties in Illinois to become another.

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Higher Prices Don't Deter Thanksgiving Travelers

Whether on the highway or at home, Americans will pay more to celebrate Thanksgiving this year. But higher gas prices and costlier airfare are not stopping millions of people from traveling for the holiday.

About 42.5 million people are expected to drive, fly or ride trains to their Thanksgiving destinations, according to travel tracker AAA. That's the highest number since the start of the recession.

Ninety percent of them will drive, and it won't be cheap. Drivers will pay almost 20% more for gas, which has reached an average of $3.42 a gallon.

Many airfares are up 20% from last year. Rail travelers will pay 2 to 5% more on most one-way Amtrak tickets. And hotel rates are up slightly, too.

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Maroa Schools Shoot Down Early Charter School

The Early College Charter High School Richland Community College is looking to start up in partnership with high schools in their district is not going well.

The Maroa-Forsyth district is a part of the RCC district, and they have shot down being a part of the Charter School. Superintendent of Maroa Schools Mike Williams says right now, the way the school would be structured, Maroa cannot afford to lose the money that would be required to have students be a part of the school.

[audio:maroacharter1.mp3]Word from Williams[/audio]

Williams says the Charter School statistics they are giving are little misleading. He says while they are taking the per capita per student in the entire district, that is still a lot of money to take away from the district when they do have bills to pay.

[audio:maroacharter2.mp3]Word from Williams[/audio]

So far 5 of 11 schools in the Richland district have shot down the charter school proposal. With the state's financial situation not being very good and districts across the state scrapping to save and get the most from every dollar, Williams believes right now is not a good time for a charter school that is being funded the way they are proposing to fund it.

[audio:maroacharter3.mp3]Word from Williams[/audio]

Richland and Charter Pros will have the opportunity to appeal the decisions by the districts to the Charter School Commission should all 11 schools shoot down the proposal, and the school districts could then have to send students to the charter school, which will then force them at the same time to surrender the money for those students that attend from each district.

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Tax Levy Up in the Air for Clinton Schools

It is tax levy season for school districts around the area.

The current tax levy for the Clinton school district is in a state of some uncertainty right now. Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools explains that is because right now the district will soon be entering into negotiations with the Clinton Power Station regarding their property value, which will have an effect on their tax levy.

[audio:clintonlevy1.mp3]Word from Holmes[/audio]

Right now, the levy is based on an assessed value of $260-million dollars of the Power Plant. Dr. Holmes says that amount could change depending on how the negotiations and assessed values meet when they begin dealing with the Power Plant.


[audio:clintonlevy2.mp3]Word from Holmes[/audio]

The district will be required to hold a truth and taxation hearing this year. Dr. Holmes stresses that is because of the increase in the value of property, not because there will be an increase in the tax rate.


[audio:clintonlevy3.mp3]Word from Holmes[/audio]

The truth and taxation hearing for the public is December 20th at 6:15, which will be prior to their regular monthly meeting.

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Ambulance Service Options


With the Dr. John Warner Hospital recently announcing their plans to end providing ambulance service to residents west of Route 48 in DeWitt County, municipalities in that area are scrambling to come up with solutions.

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters has presented several entities over the past several weeks with options on where to turn for the service. Mayor Peters says with the Clinton City budget in the state it is in, they are in no shape prepared to provide the service, but either the city or county would have to end up having to find a way to fund it.

[audio:ambulance1.mp3]Word from Peters[/audio]

As reported yesterday on Regional Radio News, maybe the best option would be to have the County Board approve a county wide tax levy for the ambulance, which would generate more than enough money to continue the service.

Other options the mayor presented was the possibility of an ambulance district, however, there is no state provision for that possibility, so it ruled out.  An option remains for each municipality to incorporate their own levy of up to .25%. However, Mayor Peters says then each municipality must pass their own referendum for the levy.

[audio:ambulance2.mp3]Word from Peters[/audio]

The final option would be to have the Fire Protection Districts of Wapella, Kenney, Waynesville and Clinton's Board of Trustees agree to provide the service with a levy, but the levy max for this option would be .30%. Once again, the problem becomes each FPD must pass their own referendum, but it would leave out the city of Clinton and again the Power Plant.

[audio:ambulance3.mp3]Word from Peters[/audio]

The largest obstacle to overcome with the municipalities or FPD's financing their own service would be getting voters on board to approve the tax levy for the ambulance service.

All of the options are time sensitive as well, with referendums needing to be resolved to be put on the March 20th ballot by early January. If that deadline is not met, it could be 2014 before money would become available for an ambulance service because of taxing laws currently in place.

The DeWitt County Board will be discussing passing a resolution to put a referendum on the March ballot to finance the service. Mayor Peters encourages residents to contact their County Board representative and give them your input on the issue.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-23

November 23, 2011

 

Jail Population: 43

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 11:03 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22th, revealed that a car driven by Steve Koller, 49, Atlanta, was driving on County Highway 9 when he began to hydroplane on the wet pavement, causing him to slide sideways off the pavement to the left. He slid into the ditch , where it began to roll. It struck a power pole with the driver’s side and continued to roll over a sign post, and came to a rest on its passenger side in the ditch. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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Maroons Defeated By Mt. Pulaski

As heard on 95.9 WHOW, the Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers won against the Clinton Maroons 56-30.  Scott Clampin led the way for Mt. Pulaski with 17 points.  For the Maroons, Marshall Sprague was a big help to the team by scoring 15 points.  Jerrod Hurst also helped the team out with 5 points. Tune in Saturday as the Maroons take on Calvary!

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Police Beating Video Hits YouTube

A video that appears to show a Champaign police officer using excessive force has been posted anonymously on YouTube.  The police dash-cam shows an officer confronting a man, grabbing his arm, spraying him with mace and later placing his hands around the man's neck.  The arrest took place last June.  A previous investigation determined the officer acted within police standards but Champaign City officials say a new investigation is warranted.  There's no word on who is responsible for posting the video on the Internet.

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At Least 20 Illinois Legislators Not Running Again

The Illinois General Assembly will have at least 20 new members in 2013.

The figure totals more than two dozen when you include lawmakers who retired before the 2010 elections or resigned to run for other offices. 10 of the 59 Illinois Senate members are retiring, five Democrats and five Republicans. 10 of the 118 Illinois House members are retiring, seven Democrats and three Republicans.

Political experts say the turnover isn't surprising because it's typical to see retirements when districts are redrawn following the U.S. Census. House Minority Leader Tom Cross has the fewest number of retiring caucus members. He says that's because the caucus has many younger members.

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Autopsy Shows Elderly Decatur Man Stabbed, Beaten

Autopsy results show an elderly Decatur man found dead in home was violently assaulted.

84-year-old Charles Hood died from multiple stab wounds and blunt force trauma. Macon County Coroner Michael Day says a relative found Hood's body Saturday. The coroner says it appears Hood was involved in a struggle. Hood's death is the ninth homicide this year in Decatur.

Autopsy results show Hood was stabbed and cut on his head, neck, chest, abdomen and upper extremities.

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Nitrogen Application Update

Fall tillage and nitrogen application are at the forefront of producers' minds this time of year, however a recent study shows application of other nutrients should also likely be on that list.  Jared White has more...

[audio:112111SoilSamplesWrap.mp3]Jared White With The Story[/audio]

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DeWitt, Piatt County HRC Teaming Up For Prevention Grant

DeWitt County's Human Resource Center will be applying for a grant to help keep a couple of their programs funded and running.

A grant HRC has been applying for a non-competitive prevention program grant, that grant will now become competitive. Roger Larson, Executive Director at HRC says the new way the state is dividing up the grant could make things interesting for DeWitt County now that they have to compete for their funding.

[audio:hrcgrant1.mp3]Larson on The Grant[/audio]

The grant DeWitt/Piatt HRC are applying for would providing funding for a youth prevention and education program, and also funding for a communication campaign. Larson explains the youth prevention and education program would continue to keep HRC active in the various schools around DeWitt and Piatt Counties.

[audio:hrcgrant3.mp3]Larson On Their Programs[/audio]

Larson explains, because the prevention program grant requires organizations to be servicing at least 20-thousand people through the grant, DeWitt County sought out other organizations to partner with, and they came up with Piatt County's HRC program. Now DeWitt and Piatt County's are working together to write  the grant.

[audio:hrcgrant2.mp3]Larson On The Grant[/audio]

Larson says because the grant is so competitive, HRC is working to provide a high level service to DeWitt County at a low cost to the state. Receiving the grant would provide a big boost to DeWitt County's Human Resource Center after having so much funding cut recently with the state's budget woes.

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Clinton Ag Program Continues Success, Starting At Jr. High Level

The Clinton School District recently began offering agriculture classes to its Jr. High School students, and the program continues to take off.

The addition of those ag classes at the Jr. High level have gone over very well. Coleen Paullin, ag teacher for the Jr. High students explains her numbers are very good this quarter, and they continue to get better. Paullin says so far indications are good that the classes are going well.

[audio:clintonagupdate1.mp3]Paullin On Classes[/audio]

The students have not covered as much learning material as Paullin had hoped for by this time of the school year, but she feels that is a positive for the program. She says the students are engaging and asking questions, which is causing them to spend more time on particular areas of study.

[audio:clintonagupdate2.mp3]Paullin On Kids Learning[/audio]

Along being in a classroom setting learning, Paullin has had her students taking part in hands on activities. Making candles, crayons, butter and ice cream just a few of the many things they have been able to make.

[audio:clintonagupdate3.mp3]Paullin On Kids Hands On Learning[/audio]

The school district is excited about the direction not the only the direction the Jr. High School ag program is headed in, but the ag program as a whole. Paullin has plans for her students to become involved with the green house the high school students currently use.

The district felt promoting ag earlier would increase the numbers in the high school's ag program.

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Clinton Mayor Proposes County Provide Ambulance Service

The topic of the Dr. John Warner Hospital's ambulance service was the spotlight of attention for the Clinton City Council meeting Monday evening.

The Dr. John Warner Hospital recently announced it will no longer be providing ambulance services to western DeWitt County after December 31, 2012. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters gave a presentation on the various avenues that are possibilities to be pursued. The most appealing of those options would be a "County Non-Home Rule" option, or have the county provide the service via an increased tax levy. All of the options Mayor Peters presented involved an increased tax levy. Mayor Peters says an increase in the county levy would be more than enough with an increase of up to .25%, and even half of that, 12.5%, would work well as well.

[audio:ambulancelevy1.mp3]Mayor Peters On County Levy Increase[/audio]

An ambulance tax levy county wide would not effect the current levy structure already in place. Mayor Peters stresses the biggest increase that could be made to a tax levy is just the .25%. With the county being the one proposing the tax levy, they could then be the one to decide the provider, and bring in multiple providers if they so chose, but Mayor Peters says sometimes, situations with more than one provider can get messy.

[audio:ambulancelevy2.mp3]Mayor Peters On Multiple Providers[/audio]

Mayor Peters feels there are several positive aspects to having the county propose an increase tax levy, and then be the provider of the service. She feels having the cost spread across the county would be the best solution when discussing increasing taxes.

[audio:ambulancelevy3.mp3]Mayor Peters On Positives Of County Providing Service[/audio]

Tune into Regional Radio News over the next week as we outline the other options the Mayor presented, and also how these levies could effect tax payers throughout Clinton.

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NCAA Basketball Top 25 Scores/Schedule

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today"/ESPN Poll)
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#3 Ohio State Buckeyes 85, North Florida Ospreys 50
#6 Duke Blue Devils 77, Tennessee Volunteers 67 (Maui Invitational at Maui, HI)
#15 Michigan Wolverines 73, #8 Memphis Tigers 61 (Maui Invitational at Maui, HI)
#9 Florida Gators 78, Wright State Raiders 65
#14 Kansas Jayhawks 67, Georgetown Hoyas 63 (Maui Invitational at Maui, HI)
#17 Marquette Golden Eagles 59, Norfolk State Spartans 57 (Paradise Jam at St. Thomas, VI)
#18 California Golden Bears 70, Georgia Bulldogs 46 (CBE Classic at Kansas City, MO)
#21 Missouri Tigers 87, Notre Dame Fighting Irish 58 (CBE Classic at Kansas City, MO)
#22 Vanderbilt Commodore 64, Oregon State Beavers 62 (Legends Classic at East Rutherford, NJ)

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  ("USA Today"/ESPN Rankings)
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  7:30 p.m. - #1 North Carolina Tar Heels host Tennessee State Tigers
  7:00 p.m. - #7 Louisville Cardinals host Arkansas State Red Wolves
  7:30 p.m. - #10 Baylor Bears host South Carolina State Bulldogs
  8:00 p.m. - #11 Wisconsin Badgers host UMKC Kangaroos
  7:00 p.m. - #16 Pittsburgh Panthers host La Salle

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Tigers' Verlander Wins AL MVP Award

Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander was named the American League's Most Valuable Player Monday.  Verlander also captured the AL Cy Young Award last week and is the first pitcher to win both the Cy Young and MVP Awards in the same season since Oakland's Dennis Eckersley in 1992.  Verlander received 13-of-28 first place votes after going 24-and-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts.  The right-hander also threw a no-hitter as he helped lead Detroit to its first division title since 1987.  Boston Red Sox outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury finished second, followed by Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista, New York Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson and Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.  The National League MVP will be announced today. Three-time winner Albert Pujols [[ POO-holes ]] is in the running, but not a favorite.  The free-agent first baseman helped lead St. Louis to the NL Central title, batting .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBI.  The Dodgers' Matt Kemp is a strong favorite, along with the Brewers' tandem of Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun.

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Bears Cutler To Have Surgery; MNF

>>Bears QB Cutler To Have Surgery On Broken Thumb

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears will be without starting quarterback Jay Cutler for an extended time.  The veteran signal-caller suffered a broken thumb on his throwing hand during Sunday's win over the San Diego Chargers.  Head coach Lovie Smith said on Monday that Cutler will have surgery, but hopes to have him back before the end of the regular season.  Cutler did finish Sunday's game, throwing for 286 yards and two touchdowns against the Bolts.  The Bears have won five straight and are in the thick of the NFC Wild Card race at 7-and-3.  Caleb Hanie will start Sunday's game at Oakland.

>>Pats Pound Chiefs On 'MNF"

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Rob Gronkowski hauled in four passes for 96 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Patriots in a 34-3 rout over the Chiefs.  Tom Brady finished 15-of-27 for 234 yards with the two scores for New England, which has won back-to-back games on the heels of a two-game slide to improve to 7-and-3.  Julian Edelman added a 72-yard punt return to the house, and Shane Vereen scored his first NFL touchdown on a four-yard run in the Patriot victory.

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Spree Killer Sentenced To Life

A convicted spree killer is going to spend the rest of his life behind bars.  A judge sentenced spree killer Nicholas Sheley to life in prison without the possibility of parole.  On top of that he'll serve concurrent sentences of 30 years in prison for the Class-X felony of aggravated vehicular hjacking and another seven years for possession of a stolen vehicle.  Sheley was convicted of killing Ronald Randall and several others earlier this year.  Randall's friends and family released balloons into the air outside the Knox County Courthouse after the sentencing.  Sheley will go to trial in March for allegedly killing a Whiteside County man.

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Peoria Teen Dies After Beating At Vacant Home

A high school sophomore allegedly beaten by a homeowner after being caught inside a Peoria house has died.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says 16-year-old Jaquille Tidwell Johns was pronounced dead at 4:30 a.m. Saturday.

The teen's family had removed life support in the hopes that he could become an organ donor.

Authorities say Johns and a friend were inside the vacant house on Nov. 11 when the man who owns it saw movement inside and confronted them.

That man, 61-year-old Willie Mason, is charged with obstructing justice and is being held on $100,000 bond. More charges are possible.

Johns was a student at Manual High School.

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Part of Southern Illinois Park Damaged By Wildfire

Portions of Pere Marquette State Park in southwestern Illinois are closed to hunting and other activities after a wildfire damaged up to 500 acres.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says the easternmost section of the park is affected. The damaged area includes land that would've been open for the start of the state's firearm deer season this weekend.

The rest of the park is open.

DNR officials say the fire was first discovered Thursday. No injuries were reported, and there are no indications of structural damage.

Six regional fire departments worked to bring the fast-moving fire under control as it spread through rugged, wooded terrain in the park.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The park is located in Grafton, about 25 miles north of St. Louis.

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Feds Investigating Report of Illinois Water Pump Failure

Federal authorities say they're investigating the report of a water pump failure in Illinois' capital city.

Department of Homeland Security spokesman Peter Boogaard wouldn't comment on media reports that the failure was the result of hacking.

But he said in a statement Saturday that his agency and the FBI are gathering information about the failure and there's no data to indicate a public safety threat.

Homeland security officials have said in the past that they investigate every piece of intelligence that comes into the agency.

Don Craven, a trustee for the Curran-Gardner Township Public Water District outside of Springfield, Ill., says the water pump burned out earlier this month.

He says the water district has multiple pumps and there was never a break in service to its 2,200 rural customers.

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USDA Giving Rural Health Care Money in Delta Region

Six states in the Mississippi River Delta region are getting more than $6 million in rural health care grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, with more than half of it going to Mississippi.

Just under $3 million in rural development grants will pay for the first urgent care center in Mound Bayou, Miss., and almost $700,000 will create an electronic intensive care unit system between five hospitals in Mississippi's poorest rural counties, Secretary Tom Vilsack said Friday.

Three Louisisana projects are getting nearly $700,000 and two in Mississippi a total of almost $550,000. The other states have one project each, getting $385,000 in Alabama, $520,000 in Illinois and $233,000 in Kentucky.

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Blue Ridge School District To Consider Implementing Drug Testing

The Blue Ridge School District will be implementing random drug testing on its students.

The district has been given reports of students in the district using cannabis, both legal and illegal forms. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Susan Wilson says that is an alarming report for her and the school, and they began to notice behaviors in the students that were less than safe.

[audio:drugtest1.mp3]Wilson on the Reports[/audio]

Some other school districts around the area have implemented random drug testing programs. Gibson City has had a similar system in place for several years, and Wilson says they approached Gibson City to find out what their system looks like.

[audio:drugtest2.mp3]Wilson on Approaching GCMS[/audio]

Wilson explains they would put a system in place to where there would be random tests on a sample of students with a chain of command and how the test would be conducted. 

[audio:drugtest3.mp3]Wilson on Procedure of Testing[/audio]

Other school districts have also seen increased reports of students using both legal and illegal forms of synthetic drugs, and even instances of students gettign sent to the emergency room from effects of these drugs.

Wilson feels implementing a drug test would increase the chances of students who are tempted into using drugs to make better choices knowing they may be tested after using them.

More information on the drug testing policy will be available soon on Blue Ridge's website at blueridge18.org.

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Clinton Mayor To Present Research on DJWH Ambulance Service Options At City Council Meeting

The Clinton City Council convenes tonight for their final November meeting.

The Council tonight will approve the purchase of a new Chevy Impala from Baum Chevrolet Buick for the Police Department. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says the purchase of this vehicle comes as a part of a grant they received and will bring all their vehicles up to date within a year.

[audio:councilpreview1.mp3]Chief Reidy on Vehicle Purchase[/audio]

"Goosenecks Grill" restaurant, currently located at Weldon Springs will be relocating to downtown Clinton and are seeking to take advantage of the the City's Revolving Loan Fund. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says the Council will seek to approve their loan tonight as the loan will cover their start up costs associated with the relocation.

[audio:councilpreview2.mp3]Mayor Peters on Goosenecks Relocation[/audio]

Mayor Peters also has planned to make a presentation regarding the Dr. John Warner Hospital's ambulance situation. The Mayor says she has researched ways to keep the ambulance service in Clinton without the hospital being responsible for the cost, which is the reason the hospital has chose to end the service.

[audio:councilpreview3.mp3]Mayor Peters Previewing Her Presentation[/audio]

Other items on the agenda tonight include approving street lights to be put up for the Douglas Subdivision through Ameren and also approving entering into an agreement with Azavar Audit Solutions in regards to the City's cable agreement with MediaCom.

The Council meets this evening at 7 pm at City Hall in the Council Chambers.

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Clinton Board of Education Rejects Consideration For Traffic Study

A proposed traffic study for the new elementary school building by the City of Clinton to the Clinton Board of Education has been rejected.

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters and Commissioner Nan Crang approached the Board of Education recently, proposing the Board pursue a traffic study for their new elementary building, which will be near the Jr. High School and High School buildings. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes says the cost for the study would be almost six-thousand dollars, and feels it unnecessary to establish the fact traffic will be congested, something they are fully aware of currently.

[audio:trafficstudy1.mp3]Dr. Holmes on Cost of Study[/audio]

Board member Nancy Stokowski says as a resident of the community, she feels traffic congestion does not last long enough to justify spending six-thousand dollars. She feels at this time conducting a traffic study would be a waste of tax payers money.

[audio:trafficstudy2.mp3]Stokowski on Her Observations[/audio]

Dr. Holmes says he has considered several options to ease traffic flow and lessen congestion around the school buildings. He says the most appealing option is to start the high school day earlier, and end it earlier to alternate the start and end times of the schools and get the school that draws the most traffic through sooner.

[audio:trafficstudy3.mp3]Dr. Holmes on Alternative Options[/audio]

Because the Board decided to take no action on the proposal, no vote was needed. The new elementary building will add a new parking lot to the grounds, which may help in the flow of traffic as well.

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Bears; Packers Win, Bears' Cutler May Miss Rest of Season

>>Bears Bash Bolts In Windy City

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jay Cutler tossed two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Bears in a 31-20 win over the Chargers on Sunday at Soldier Field.  Cutler finished 18-of-31 with TD tosses to Kellen Davis and Johnny Knox to go along with an interception for Chicago, which has won five games in-a-row to improve to 7-and-3 on the season.  Knox totaled 97 yards via the air, while Marion Barber added a one-yard rushing score in the Bears win.  Philip Rivers went 21-of-31 with 280 yards and two TD's, but also added to his league-leading interception mark with two more for San Diego.  Vincent Jackson hauled in seven catches for 165 yards with a score for the Bolts, who have dropped five straight games to fall to 4-and-6.  The Bears head to Oakland to square off against the Raiders in Week 12.

>>Reports Say Cutler Could Miss Rest Of Regular Season

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler suffered a broken right thumb when he was blocked to the ground by San Diego Chargers linebacker Donald Butler after an interception.  There are multiple reports saying Cutler needs surgery and could miss the rest of the regular season.  The Bears are currently 7-and-3 and hold one of the two NFC Wild Card spots.

>>Pack Stay Perfect; Bury Bucs

(Green Bay, WI)  --  Aaron Rodgers threw for 299 yards with three touchdowns and an interception to lead the unbeaten Packers in a 35-26 victory over the Buccaneers.  Jordy Nelson hauled in six catches for 123 yards with a pair of scores for Green Bay, which improved to a perfect 10-and-0 on the season and 5-and-0 at Lambeau Field.  Tom Crabtree caught the other TD toss, while B.J. Raji and John Kuhn each added short-yardage rushing scores in the Packer win.

>>Hawks Stifle Rams

(St. Louis, MO)  --  St. Louis jumped out to a seven-point lead early, but it was all Seattle from there as the Seahawks dropped the Rams 24-7.  Sam Bradford, who was 20-for-40 for 181 yards, threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Lloyd in the first quarter.  Bradford also threw an interception and lost a fumble, and failed to lead the Rams to another score.  Marshawn Lynch carried the load for Seattle, running for 88 yards and score paired with Justin Forsett's 31 yards and a touchdown.  The loss dropped the Rams to 2-and-8 and up next they host the division-rival Arizona Cardinals.

NFL
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Detroit Lions 49, Carolina Panthers 35
Green Bay Packers 35, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 26
Dallas Cowboys 27, Washington Redskins 24 (OT)
Cleveland Browns 14, Jacksonville Jaguars 10
Baltimore Ravens 31, Cincinnati Bengals 24
Miami Dolphins 35, Buffalo Bills 8
Oakland Raiders 27, Minnesota Vikings 21
Seattle Seahawks 24, St. Louis Rams 7
San Francisco 49ers 23, Arizona Cardinals 7
Chicago Bears 31, San Diego Chargers 20
Atlanta Falcons 23, Tennessee Titans 17
Philadelphia Eagles 17, New York Giants 10

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Wisconsin Rallies To Beat Illinois

Montee Ball rushed for 224 yards and Wisconsin forced four turnovers in a 28-17 comeback win against Illinois on Saturday.

The slumping Illini jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the second quarter and carried a 17-7 advantage into halftime. But Ball had a 5-yard TD run after Wisconsin recovered a fumble, pulling the Badgers within three early in the third quarter.

The Badgers kept up the pressure, grabbing the lead for good on quarterback Russell Wilson's 1-yard TD run that made it 21-17. Wilson's team only had to go 44 yards for the go-ahead score after a 74-yard punt buried the Illini at their own 3.

Donovonn Young rushed for two TDs for Illinois. He finished with 43 yards on eight carries.

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Bradley; ISU Win

>> Bradley Beats North Dakota, Stays Unbeaten

Taylor Brown had 26 points and a career-high 14 rebounds Saturday night as Bradley remained unbeaten with a 78-69 victory over North Dakota.

Walt Lemon Jr. added 19 points, and Jordan Prosser had 15 points and nine rebounds for the Braves, who are off to a 3-0 start for the first time since 2002.

Troy Huff had 22 points and 12 rebounds for North Dakota (2-1). Patrick Mitchell added 15 points, and Aaron Anderson had 13.

The first half featured five ties and seven lead changes until Bradley closed the period on an 11-2 run to go on top 34-25. North Dakota rallied and twice took 1-point leads midway through the second half, but a 14-5 run by the Braves gave them a 69-59 lead with 2:07 left on Jake Eastman's jumper.

Bradley is now 12-0 all-time against the Fighting Sioux, although the teams hadn't met since January of 1969.

>> ISU Beats Lipscomb

Tyler Brown scored 19 points, leading five Illinois State players in double figures, and the Redbirds held on to beat Lipscomb 78-70 on Saturday night.

John Wilkins had 15 points, Anthony Cousin scored 13, and Jon Ekey and Johnny Hill each scored 11 for Illinois State (2-1). The Redbirds led 41-30 at halftime but the Bison (1-3) got within a point twice in the second half, the last at 61-60. Hill scored for Illinois State and Brown hit a 3-pointer with 5:30 to go. Lipscomb never came within four points after that.

Robert Boyd led all scorers with 21 points for Lipscomb. Zavion Williams scored 18 points and Malcolm Smith added 11 for the Bison.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
-----
#1 North Carolina Tar Heels 101, Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils 75
#2 Kentucky Wildcats 62, Old Dominion Monarchs 52 (Hall of Fame Tip-Off)
#4 Connecticut Huskies 87, Coppin State Eagles 70
#15 Alabama Crimson Tide 65, Purdue Boilermakers 56 (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
#19 Marquette Golden Eagles 96, Ole Miss Rebels 66 (Paradise Jam)
#24 Florida State Seminoles 80, South Alabama Jaguars 39

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Tony Stewart Wins Sprint Cup Series Championship

Tony Stewart has won the Sprint Cup Series championship.  Stewart captured the title after winning Sunday's Ford 400 at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  It is Stewart's third title in NASCAR's top series and first as driver of the number-14 car, previously winning in 2002 and 2005 under Joe Gibbs Racing with the number-20 car.  He beat out Carl Edwards and the number-99 car, who finished second in the race and the points.  Stewart and Edwards actually tied for the points championship, but Stewart won the tiebreaker by having more wins.  Stewart is the first owner-driver to win a Cup title since Alan Kulwicki in 1992.  With five wins, all coming in the Chase, Stewart won the title for the first time since '05, which is the last time Jimmie Johnson didn't win the Cup.

Stewart started the race 15th and was back and forth in the field, falling as low as 40th after enduring damage to his front grill.  He drove the 14-car to the front with 37 laps to go and held off a charge from Edwards, who led the most laps with 119.  Both the 14 and 99 cars weaved through lapped traffic in the final laps, with Edwards closing to within a second of Stewart, but Tony was able comeback to win the race and the title.  Martin Truex [[ TRUE-ex ]] Junior finished third followed by Matt Kenseth and Jeff Gordon.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

CITATIONS

11/19/11

KEVIN K. ABDULLAH 27, DECATUR SPEEDING 74 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED.

 

11/20/11

KEVIN D. HENSON 34, DECATUR SPEEDING 75 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ON 11/19/11 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED SCOTT R. MILLER 49,CLINTON FOR RESISTING/OBSTRUCTING A PEACE OFFICER, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL. MILLER WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

 

 

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Weekend Report

 

November 17, 2011

 

Jail Population: 44

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

November 18, 2011

 

Jail Population: 44

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

November 19, 2011

 

Jail Population: 45

Summons Served: 6

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

Clinton O’Bryant, 23, Lewistown, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). O’Bryant posted his IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Jacob Woodward, 31, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating With Expired Registration Plates Or Registration Sticker. Woodward posted his Bond Card as bond and was released.

 

James Barr, 20, Lane was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Driving While License Suspended. Barr poster his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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GBB Clinton vs Springfield Calvary

CLINTON                        41
SPRINGFIELD CALVARY    48

SCORING BY QUARTER:
CLINTON                       8    13   11    9
SPRINGFIELD CALVARY  16    5    12   15
GAME TOTALS:
CLINTON                       12-4-(5-12)-41
SPRINGFIELD CALVARY   13-3-(13-25)-48

CLINTON SCORING:
MEGAN TOOL          1-0-0-2
MADI BEVINS          2-1-0-7
HALEY GINGER        3-0-2-8
ALEX HUNT             1-0-0-2
MORGAN WITZKE    1-0-0-2
MORGAN HICKMAN  2-0-1-5
HALEY TOOHILL       1-3-0-11
JESSICA SCOTT      1-0-0-2
PAYTON BIEBER       0-0-2-2
SPRINGFIELD CALVARY SCORING:
MATTSSON          2-2-2-12
RICE                    1-0-0-2
STONER               1-0-3-5
SCHMITT              5-0-4-14
ANTENAN             3-0-2-8
HUFFMAN             1-1-2-7

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HS BBALL: Clinton Topples Tri-City In Season Opener

The Clinton Maroons Boys Basketball team opened up their season tonight against the Tri-City Tornadoes. Coming out into the first half of the game the boys played hard, but didn't have the defense to keep Tri-City from scoring. After the half, the Maroons came out and stepped up their defense putting pressur on the ball and working their way up and down the court. The final score of tonight's face off was 54-37 in favor of the Clinton Maroons. They were led by Marshall Sprauge who had a total of 14 points followed by Mitch Creager who had a total of 13 points. The Tornadoes were led by Colton Booth who had a total of 14 points throughout the game. Tune in again tomorrow night at 6 PM for more Maroons action as they face off against Tremont, right here on WHOW.

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Bankers Survey Shows Growth in Rural Midwest

The rural economy in 10 Midwest and Great Plains states appears to be on the upswing.

A survey of bankers released Thursday finds the farm economy growing at a "very healthy pace." The Rural Mainstreet Index jumped from 52.9 last month to 58.4 this month, the highest since June 2007. Anytime the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, is above 50, it suggests the economy will grow.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the results were helped by farmland price growth, which continues at a rapid pace. The farmland price index rose to 75.4 from October's 66.9 - the 22nd straight month the index has been above growth-neutral 50.

The survey covers Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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Illinois Board of Education Names New Member

Officials with the Illinois State Board of Education say they've named an assistant superintendent of English language learning and early childhood.

Reyna Hernandez is a former Waukegan Public Schools parent facilitator. She was also a research and policy associated who focused on immigrant and early childhood issues at the Latino Policy Forum in Chicago.

State Superintendent of Education Christopher Koch (KOOK) made the announcement Thursday. He says Hernandez will help move the agency forward as it builds an education reform strategy that helps the growing population of English language learners.

Hernandez holds a law degree and speaks English, Spanish and French fluently.

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Illinois One Of Few States Who Tax Very Poor

Illinois' poorest residents are faced with paying higher income taxes according to an annual report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.  Policy Analyst Phil Olis says the practice goes against traditional thinking.

[audio:rddPoverty1.mp3]A Word From Olis[/audio]

Olis says income taxes are a larger burden on the very poor.

[audio:rddPoverty2.mp3]A Word From Olis[/audio]

Olis's report on the impact of income taxes on low-income families says Illinois is one of the most aggressive taxing states.  Current state law requires families who are far below the poverty level to pay income tax, such as a family of four with an income of just under seventeen-thousand dollars.

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Illinois Congressional Map Receives Federal Hearing

A decision on whether state Democrats rigged legislative lines to remove Republicans from office could come soon.  John McGovern, Spokesman for the Committee for a Fair and Balanced Map, says he expects the map to be overturned.

[audio:rddMap11.mp3]A Word From McGovern[/audio]

McGovern adds the map is a politically motivated power grab by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

[audio:rddMap12.mp3]A Word From McGovern[/audio]

Opponents say the map's main problem is that it impedes on the civil rights of Latino voters who could have two Latino-controlled seats rather than one.  If the map is allowed to stand, Democrats are projected to pick up as many as five additional congressional seats in the next election.

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Man Admits To Making Bomb Threat To SIU Carbondale Campus

A Chicago man faces up 10 years in federal prison after admitting that he threatened to bomb Southern Illinois University's flagship Carbondale campus and kill 4,000 students and staff.

Twenty-3-year-old Maurice Wiggins pleaded guilty Thursday in Benton to a felony charge of making a bomb threat.

Authorities allege that Wiggins made the threat via the Internet on Aug. 29, sending a message from his cell phone to the 20,000-student university's crime-watch website.

Wiggins allegedly said he planned to bomb three dormitories and a student center.

Wiggins also faces up to $250,000 in fines when sentenced Feb. 27 in East St. Louis.

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Illini Player Pleads Not Guilty After Arrest

A University of Illinois football player has pleaded not guilty to charges after his arrest last weekend.

Kenny Knight appeared in court Thursday on charges of battery and resisting a police officer. He's accused of punching a man in the head during a fight Saturday night and then running when police spotted him.

Another football player, Jordan Frysinger, was also arrested. Knight and Frysinger are both freshmen wide receivers.

Illinois coach Ron Zook has suspended both players.

Police say Knight had blood coming out of his mouth when he was arrested. Knight was treated at an area hospital early Sunday before being taken to jail and eventually released.

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Mattoon Man Gets 42 Years in Prison For Sexual Assault

A judge in central Illinois has sentenced a Mattoon man to 42 years in prison for sexually assaulting a boy while babysitting him.

Judge James Glenn handed down the sentence Wednesday, saying he was struck by Robert Craig's lack of remorse. Glenn accused the 57-year-old defendant of making excuses and blaming others.

During his sentencing hearing, Craig denied assaulting the boy and asked for a new trial, claiming his defense attorney didn't use all of the evidence he had.

Craig was convicted of predatory criminal sexual assault of a child in September after jurors deliberated for about 30 minutes.

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Contractor in Illinois Shooting Dies

Authorities say a 60-year-old central Illinois man is expected to face upgraded murder charges after a shooting victim who had been hospitalized died.

David Bauer of Decatur was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of 46-year-old contractor Alan Goodwin. Goodwin had been in critical condition with bullets lodged in his left lung, liver and kidneys.

Goodwin died Wednesday at an Urbana hospital.

Goodwin was the owner of A-1 Construction Inc. Authorities allege Bauer was unhappy with work that Goodwin had been performing at his home and shot him last month.

Bauer is being held in the Macon County Jail on a $2 million bond.

The Macon County state's attorney's office says Bauer will likely be arraigned in court Friday on first-degree murder.

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New Food Bank in Clinton

Clinton residents have a new food bank to take advantage of.

The bank started last month and is ready to send out more food this week. This particualr food bank has some unique attributes.  They are targeting families who do not qualify for government assistance. This means families who have trouble making ends meet each week. Pastor Dan Melton says that, while they won't turn anyone away, their target is for those families affected by the struggling economy.

[audio:foodbank1.mp3]A Word From Pastor Melton[/audio]

Melton says the idea for the food bank was born from current events and the current trend of rising prices and frozen incomes.  The church saw that many individuals were struggling who did not fall under the government definition of impoverished. 

[audio:foodbank2.mp3]A Word From Pastor Melton[/audio]

The food is provided by the Peoria area food bank and is put in boxes by members of the church. They are packed according to family size and are tried to be packed with as much as possible.

[audio:foodbank3.mp3]A Word From Pastor Melton[/audio]

The next dispersal will be at 118 South Monroe from 2-4pm on November 19th. A form will need to be filled out and the recipients be will given their package of food. Someone will be provided to help carry the box to your vehicle if needed.

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Firearm Hunting Season Opens Today For Weekend in Illinois

This weekend kicks off the firearms hunting season in Illinois.

As hunters head out for what is most likely the busiest of the hunting seasons, there are several things for hunters to be aware of. Officer Ray Wichus with the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police reminds hunters to always abide by the laws with their guns. He also reminds not just hunters, who are required to wear bright colored clothing when hunting, but also those out in rural areas to wear bright colored clothing as a safety precaution, even if they do not believe hunters are out in the area.

[audio:1hunt1.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

This is may be the busiest weekend for DNR CPO's. Officer Wichus says his officers will be out in full force this weekend making sure hunters are complying with the laws. He says most hunters understand and abide by the laws, but with thousands of hunters out there, he understands not everyone will be obeying the rules.

[audio:1hunt2.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

Wichus reminds hunters it is their responsibility to know where they are in relation to private property. Property markings currently are well marked, making it fairly obvious to hunters when they are or are not on private property, which is one area focus for DNR Officers this weekend.

[audio:1hunt3.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

Wichus says his officers will also be focusing on gun safety. During routine checks, officers will be making sure guns are not loaded and put away properly. He adds they will be focusing on hunters shining on the deer after dark.  The legal hunting hours for the firearm deer season are one-half hour before sunrise to one-half hour after sunset. The seven-day firearm hunt will conclude December 1-4.

Hunters in Illinois harvested 98,944 deer during the seven-day firearm deer hunting season in 2010. So far this season, more than 327,000 permits have been issued.

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Clinton Schools Active For American Education Week

American Education Week is wrapping up for the week.

This week was designed to celebrate public education and honor individuals who make a difference every day in the lives of students. The schools in Clinton have all been participated this week. Each day the schools celebrated some aspect of education. Blake Carr, a junior high school student, says this week inlcuded alumni and spirit days.

[audio:educationweek1.mp3]Blake Carr on this Week's Activities[/audio]

According to Nate Ennis, Student Council President at the High School, a canned food drive also took place during the week.  He adds the week is meant to shed light on the men and women who make public education possible.

[audio:educationweek2.mp3]Ennis on Folks in Education[/audio]

Gary Gullone, the principal of Lincoln School, says this week is also a great way to honor substitue teachers, bus drivers, custodians and lunch room staff because they allow the everyday problems to be ironed out in an effcient way.

[audio:educationweek3.mp3]Gullone With A Word on His Appreciation For Educators[/audio]

Ennis also echoes Gullone's thoughts. He feels this week is to include everybody, including those staff members who don't ususally receive credit for thier contribution to our schools.

[audio:educationweek4.mp3]Ennis On Opportunity This Week[/audio]

Gullone thanks the parents of the students in the district. Without their support, students would not receive the education that they do.

American Education Week concludes today with Maroon and Gold day, which illustrates school spirit.

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Chase Season-Finale Set For Sunday At Homestead

A Sprint Cup Champion will be crowned this weekend.  The Chase ends on Sunday at Homestead-Miami Raceway for the Ford 400.  Carl Edwards holds a three-point lead over Tony Stewart heading into the season-finale.  They are the only two drivers who remain in championship contention.  The three-point lead marks the slimmest margin between the top-two drivers going into the final race in the Chase for the Sprint Cup since NASCAR began its playoff format for its premier series in 2004.  If Edwards wins at Homestead, he will be guaranteed of his first Sprint Cup championship.  Stewart is attempting to win his third series championship.

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Cubs Name Manager; Baseball Notes

>>Cubs Name Dale Sveum New Manager

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs have a new manager.  The Cubs offered the position to Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum [[ SWAYM ]] on Thursday and he accepted.  A press conference is scheduled for this morning to introduce him.  Sveum originally interviewed with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer for the job on November 7th and had a second interview on Tuesday evening.  Sveum's only previous managerial experience was in 2008 when he took over the Brewers job from Ned Yost, who was fired with 12 games remaining in the season.  Sveum's team went 7-and-5, gaining the Brewers' first playoff berth since 1982.  Epstein and Hoyer's history with Sveum dates back to 2004, when he was the Red Sox's third base coach for two seasons before leaving to become the Brewers' bench coach.

>>MLB To Add Two More Wild Card Teams

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Major League Baseball is set to add two more Wild Card teams to its playoff format, an expansion that could occur as soon as next season.  The expansion will be fairly simple.  The American and National League will each get an additional wild card team.  A one-game playoff will begin the postseason.  The playoffs will then follow their current three-round format, Division Series, League Championship Series, and World Series.  Commissioner Bug Selig said Thursday that MLB would like to have the expansion in place for next season.  With the addition of the two wild card spots, 10 out of the 30 major league teams will make the playoffs.

>>Report: MLB Labor Deal Done

(Undated)  --  FOX Sports reports a labor deal has been reached in Major League Baseball.  According to the report, the deal is for five years, meaning their will be 21 straight years of labor peace in the sport.  An official announcement will reportedly be made on Monday.  The latest report is just one of many developments in Major League Baseball on Thursday.  In addition, Major League Baseball approved the sale of the Houston Astros.  The longtime National League franchise will move to the American League West for the 2013 season.  The move will give each league 15 teams apiece.

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Bears, Rams Notes

NFL
------
Denver Broncos 17, New York Jets 13

>>Rams Host 'Hawks

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The battle for second place in the NFC West touches down in St. Louis on Sunday, as the Rams host the Seahawks.  The Rams held off the Browns, 13-12, last Sunday, as Cleveland's 22-yard field goal attempt in the closing moments went array.  Steven Jackson rushed for 128 yards, the third-straight outing of over 100 yards on the ground for the Rams' talented workhorse.  Seattle has won 11 of the last 12 meetings between the teams, including last year's regular season finale that gave the Seahawks the division title.

>>Bears Battle Bolts In Windy City

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears invade the AFC West as they welcome in the San Diego Chargers to Soldier Field on Sunday.  The Bears have won four games in-a-row and are coming off a 37-13 rout over Detroit on Sunday to pull into a two-way tie with the Lions for second place in the NFC North division at 6-and-3.  Chicago forced six total turnovers, returned two interceptions for scores and added a special teams TD on an 82-yard punt return to the house by Devin Hester in the Week 10 victory.  The Bears play the rest of the AFC West in Oakland, Kansas City and Denver Week's 12 through 14, respectively.

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Illini BBall Holds Off Lipscomb; Football Hosts Final Home Game vs. Wisconsin

>> Illini Hold Off Lipscomb

D.J. Richardson scored 17 points, and Illinois used a 14-0 second-half run to put away Lipscomb 79-64 Thursday in the second round of the Cancun Challenge.

Illinois (3-0) survived the first half mostly without their 7-foot-1-inch big man, Meyers Leonard. The sophomore sat after picking up his second foul less than two minutes into the game and didn't return until the second half.

Illinois struggled without him. Lipscomb (1-2) tied the game 19-19 on a Zavion Williams jumper midway through the second half and trailed 33-26 at halftime.

With Leonard back, Illinois put together its run. Baskets by Brandon Paul and Nnanna Egwu finished it off and made the score 50-33 with 12:13 left.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
------
#4 Connecticut Huskies 80, Main Black Bears 60
#8 Florida Gators 91, North Florida Ospreys 55
#15 Alabama Crimson Tide 62, Maryland Terrapins 42 (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
#16 Arizona Wildcats 81, St. John's Red Storm 72 (2K Sports Classic)
#17 Michigan Wolverines 59, Western Illinois Leathernecks 55
Mississippi State Bulldogs 69, #18 Texas A&M Aggies 60  (2K Sports Classic)
#25 Missouri Tigers 83, Niagara Purple Eagles 52 (CBE Classic)

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
------
  9:00 p.m. - #3 Ohio State Buckeyes host Jackson State Tigers
  6:00 p.m. - #6 Duke Blue Devils host Davidson Wildcats
  7:00 p.m. - #14 Xavier Musketeers host Miami (OH) RedHawks
  9:00 p.m. - #15 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Wichita State Shockers (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
  6:30 p.m. - #16 Arizona Wildcats vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs (2K Sports Classic)
  4:30 p.m. - #18 Texas A&M Aggies vs St. John's Red Storm (2K Sports Classic)
  8:30 p.m. - #19 Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Winthrop Eagles (Paradise Jam at U.S. Virgin Islands)

>>Illini Close Out Home Schedule

(Champaign, IL)  --  Illinois takes the field at Memorial Stadium for the final time this year on Saturday.  The Illini host number-17 Wisconsin.  Illinois has lost four straight after opening the season 6-and-0.  The Fighting Illini end the year on the road against Minnesota.

Sam Maniscalco added 15 for Illinois.

NCAA Top-25 Football  (BCS Standings)
------
#8 Virginia Tech Hokies 24, North Carolina Tar Heels 21
UAB Blazers 34, #20 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 31

NCAA Top-25 Football  (BCS Standings)
------
  8:00 p.m. - #2 Oklahoma State Cowboys at Iowa State Cyclones

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Report for 11-18

 

November 18, 2011

 

Jail Population: 45

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Zachariah Starkey, 19, Wapella, was issued a citation for Speeding (73 mph in a 55 mph zone). Starkey posted his IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Karen Hernandez, 36, Normal, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Hernandez posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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Retired Judge Named McLean County Prosecutor

Retired Judge Ron Dozier has been picked to serve as McLean County's top prosecutor.

The county board voted 13-6 Tuesday to name Dozier interim McLean County state's attorney.

Dozier was selected from a field of 5 applicants that included First Assistant State's Attorney Jane Foster and former prosecutor Mark Messman.

Dozier is taking over for Bill Yoder, who stepped down to become an associate judge for the 11th Judicial Circuit.

A permanent replacement will be elected next year.

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Comedian Says Public Employees Milk System

A Midwest farmer turned comedian turned politician is weighing in on Illinois' massive budget deficit.  Hillsboro Mayor-Elect Drew Hastings says part of the problem is that public employees see themselves as heroes, not just citizens.

[audio:rddUnsafe1.mp3]Word from Hastings[/audio]

Hastings says he knows he'll get a lot of heat for saying that but he claims it's everyone's job to protect the community.  He says public employees demand high pensions and get perks that other citizens don't get.  Hastings' comments come as Illinois lawmakers are faced with a proposal to freeze union pay raises until the state is out of debt.  They could deal with the issue as early as November 29th when they're back in session.   Hastings will make an appearance on "Jay Leno" tonight to lay out his perspective on American politics. 

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Gunman at IL High School Surrenders

An armed standoff at a north central Illinois high school has ended without any injuries.

Police say an 18-year-old man carrying a shotgun entered Princeton High School Wednesday afternoon. The gunman positioned himself against a wall inside. Police say he was "highly distraught and emotional."

As officials evacuated the school, police and administrators tried to negotiate with the gunman. He eventually surrendered and was taken to an area hospital.

Princeton police say he was not a student. He's been transported to an area hospital for evaluation.

It's not yet clear why the gunman entered the school.

Police say charges are pending. An investigation is ongoing.

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Quinn Optimistic on Budget Deal

 Gov. Pat Quinn says he's "very optimistic" a budget deal can be worked out to keep seven state facilities he'd planned to close open through the fiscal year.

Quinn told reporters Wednesday in Chicago that he hopes lawmakers can get it passed when they return to Springfield on Nov. 29.

He says there have been good budget negotiations with Democratic and Republican legislative leaders.

Earlier this year, Quinn said nearly 2,000 workers had to be laid off and seven state-run centers closed because the state didn't have the money to operate them. A bipartisan commission of lawmakers rejected closing the facilities that include a prison and centers for the developmentally disabled and mentally ill.

Quinn says changes need to be made in how the developmentally disabled are care for.

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Attorney General Warns Senior Citizens About Scams

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says senior citizens should be on the lookout for con artists who target older people.

She warns that consumer scams increase during tough economic times and may involve debt settlement traps, fake check cashing scams, risky reverse mortgages and health care fraud.

She says it's difficult to undo the damage once people have sent money or given out personal financial information.

Madigan has been speaking to seniors as part of her Silver Beat program.

It helps train seniors to become experts at stopping scams.

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Clinton Power Station Going Beyond Traditional Power Manufacturing

The Clinton Power Station is continuing its production of a special material.

A couple of years ago, the station entered into an agreement with GE Hitachi to create a radio isotope called "cobalt 60" which is used in medicine to help treat cancer, amongst other things. Communications Manager at the Power Station Bill Harris explains during their current refueling process they are going through, they will be removing the manufactured "cobalt 60" to send to GE Hitachi for testing.

[audio:radioisotopes1.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

The "cobalt 60" project has been going on for a couple of years now, but just this year, Harris explains the Power Station has entered into another agreement with GE Hitachi to make a different unique radio isotope who's bi product helps doctors do medical imaging.

[audio:radioisotopes2.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

Harris notes the power plant has now gone beyond just creating electricity, they are moving up to become one of very few places that can create unique things to help the medical communities of the US.

[audio:radioisotopes3.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

Harris notes the power station is one of only several stations to be manufacturing "cobalt 60" at this time. He says its a great opportunity for them to be a part of projects like these.

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Numbers Down But Another Successful Haunted House in Clinton

The totals are in for this season's haunted house.

Each year the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce brings thousands to the Clinton Community for their Terror on Washington Street Haunted House, and while this was not a record breaking year for the Terror on Washington Street, Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber Marian Brisard says she is very pleased with the turn out they had this year, which sent almost 5-thousand people through the house this year.

[audio:hauntedrecap1.mp3]Brisard on turnout[/audio]

Brisard thanks the many volunteers that gave of their time once again this year to make the haunted house a success. She notes this year several outside groups came to Clinton to be a part of the Terror on Washington Street.

[audio:hauntedrecap2.mp3]Brisard on groups[/audio]

People from all over made their way to Washington Street for the four weekend event. Brisard admits many of them most likely were from the various colleges around the area, it is still a good turn out to average over one thousand admissions a weekend.

[audio:hauntedrecap3.mp3]Brisard on average[/audio]

The Terror on Washington Street took place each weekend of October leading up to Halloween. Brisard says the Haunted House was once again received very well by those who came. She says each year they try to do something different to make things more frightening for their visitors.

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Faith in Action's Binga Event This Evening

One local organization is putting the fun in fundraiser this evening.

DeWitt County's Faith in Action is hosting a Thanksgiving Binga.  The event is one of several fund raisers throughout the year for Faith in Action, and Larry Buss, with the organization explains several years ago, a grant Faith in Action had ran out, and they have been trying to come up with different ways to raise funds for their programs and services.

[audio:binga1.mp3]Word from Buss[/audio]

Back by popular demand will be the vegetable soup. Buss says that has been a big hit at their previous binga events, and it returns for this special Thanksgiving event, followed by games of binga.

[audio:binga2.mp3]Word from Buss[/audio]

Like most organizations, fundraisers go to support the programs, staff and costs associate with the organization and Faith in Action is no exception. Buss says one unique thing about the organization is they do not have a lot costs to keep themselves going, so they can run on a smaller budget.

[audio:binga3.mp3]Word from Buss[/audio]

Things get started this evening at 5 pm at St. John's Hall at 514 North Monroe Street in Clinton.  Games begin at 6:30, again with a vegetable soup dinner being served prior to the games.

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Scoreboards for 11-17-11

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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Long Beach State 49ers 86, #9 Pittsburgh Panthers 76
#13 Wisconsin Badgers 68, Colgate Raiders 41
#24 Florida State Seminoles 79, Stetson Hatters 66

NCAA Top-25 Football  (BCS Standings)
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  8:00 p.m. - #8 Virginia Tech Hokies host North Carolina Tar Heels
  8:00 p.m. - #20 Southern Miss Golden Eagles at UAB Blazers

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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  7:00 p.m. - #4 Connecticut Huskies host Main Black Bears
  8:00 p.m. - #8 Florida Gators host North Florida Ospreys
  5:00 p.m. - #15 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Maryland Terrapins  (Puerto Rico Tip-Off)
  9:30 p.m. - #16 Arizona Wildcats vs. St. John's Red Storm  (2K Sports Classic)
  8:30 p.m. - #17 Michigan Wolverines host Western Illinois Leathernecks
  7:00 p.m. - #18 Texas A&M Aggies vs. Mississippi State Bulldogs  (2K Sports Classic)
  8:00 p.m. - #25 Missouri Tigers host Niagara Purple Eagles (CBE Classic)

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Jets, Broncos Battle In Thursday Night Affair

The Denver Broncos welcome in the New York Jets to the Mile High City for a Thursday night affair at Sports Authority Field.  The Broncos have won three of their last four games since making the switch to quarterback Tim Tebow [[ TEE-boh ]].  Denver has won back-to-back road games against divisional opponents to improve to 4-and-5 and get back in the AFC West race.  The Broncos beat the Chiefs, 17-10, in Kansas City this past Sunday despite Tebow completing just 2-of-8 passes.  Denver rushed 55 times for 244 yards in the win.  It's the second straight primetime matchup for the Jets, who lost 37-16 at home to the Patriots on "Sunday Night Football."  It snapped a three-game winning streak for New York, which is tied with Buffalo for second in the AFC East at 5-and-4.  The Jets came away with a 24-20 victory over the Broncos last season in Denver.

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Bears' Hester Wins Another Weekly Honor

Chicago Bears punt returner Devin Hester was named the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week on Wednesday.  Hester had an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Bears' 37-13 victory against Detroit, and finished with 122 yards on three punt returns.  Hester, who is tied with Hall of Famer Deion Sanders for most combined return touchdowns in NFL history with 19, picked up his 12th career special teams player of the week award.  In related team news, the Bears signed safety Winston Venable and placed Anthony Walters on injured reserve Wednesday.

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Francona Says He Won't Manage In 2012

Don't look for Terry Francona to be in a major league dugout next season.  The former Boston Red Sox skipper told Comcast SportsNet New England on Wednesday that he is not going to try to manage next season, for his benefit.  Francona had interviewed to replace the retired Tony La Russa as manager of the St. Louis Cardinals, but they hired Mike Matheny [[ mah-THEE-nee ]] this week instead.  Francona added that he's talked to former Red Sox general manager and current Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein several times about their vacant managerial position, but he doesn't think that's the right fit.  Francona and Boston parted ways last month after the team's September collapse.

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Cardinals Meet With Pujols' Agent

Cardinals brass has been talking with the agent for Albert Pujols at this week's General Managers Meetings in Milwaukee.  According to the "Post-Dispatch," the Cardinals met with Pujols' agent on Tuesday and are believed to have modified last January's contract offer of about $200-million over nine years for the three-time NL MVP.  Pujols met with the Miami Marlins last week.

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Clinton Girls Basketball vs Williamsville

CLINTON           43
WILLIAMSVILLE  53

SCORING BY QUARTER:
CLINTON            10  10  8   15
WILLIAMSVILLE  13  16  11  13
GAME TOTALS:
CLINTON            12-5-4-43
WILLIAMSVILLE   13-3-18-53

CLINTON SCORING:
MEGAN TOOL          1-0-0-2
MADI BEVINS          1-0-0-2
HALEY GINGER        3-3-0-15
MORGAN HICKMAN  5-0-0-10
AMBER MILLER        0-1-0-3
HALEY TOOHILL       2-0-2-6
JESSICA SCOTT      0-1-2-5
WILLIAMSVILLE SCORING:
EASTON          2-1-5-12
STOECKER       1-0-0-2
PETERMAN       0-0-3-3
MCEVOY          3-2-4-16
FRENCH           1-0-2-4
SPENN             4-0-3-11
BUTTERFIELD   0-0-1-1
CAPRANICA      2-0-0-4

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Springfield Attorney Looks for Identity

 A Springfield attorney says a new law gets her one step closer to finding her true identity.   Nancy Cox was adopted as a child but now she can get her hands on a copy of her original birth certificate.

[audio:rddBirthCert1.mp3]Word from Cox[/audio]

Cox says she just wants the facts about who she is.  She says she’s not necessarily interested in reaching out to her biological family.  Cox says she has a biological aunt and uncle in Springfield so even though she didn’t know them, they watched her grow-up. 

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Daily Show Segment puts IL Teacher in Trouble

An Illinois high school teacher has been suspended because he had his students watch parts of "The Daily Show."

Eureka High School teacher Rhett Felix showed three segments of the satirical news show to students in his government and law class. Parents complained the segments had obscenities and sexual content.

Felix was suspended Tuesday with pay. He will be reassigned when he returns to school Nov. 28.

"The Daily Show" segments included discussion of sexual misconduct allegations against Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. One segment had a joke about another Republican candidate, former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum.

One student also complained that Felix regularly criticized conservative candidates and praised liberals.

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Lt. Governor Asks for More EMS Training

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is asking a state task force to recommend more online training for emergency medical service providers in rural areas.

Simon testified Tuesday in Galesburg before a state EMS task force. She says paramedics and others called on to rescue people in emergencies often have to pay for their own training, including lost wages and overnight travel.

She says many providers in rural areas are "finding themselves on life support" financially.

The task force is comprised of representatives in the Illinois House who are holding public hearings across the state. The group will make recommendations about its findings by the end of the year.

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Capital Litigation Fund Expiration May Hurt Small Counties

The state's general revenue fund is set to get a 12-million-dollar boost.  The money had previously been set aside each year to fund death penalty cases but now that it?s been abolished, there's no need to pay the fund.  Forsyth Representative Bill Mitchell says he'd like to see the money go toward trying first degree murder cases, particularly in small, rural counties. 

[audio:rddMurder1.mp3]Mitchell discusses money[/audio]

The Capital Litigation Fund is set to expire at the end of this year.  Mitchell says he plans to introduce legislation that would create a first-degree murder fund in its place.

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Anti-Bullying Law Not Enough

There's an anti-bullying law on the books in Illinois but even that couldn't stop students from harassing ten-year-old Ashlynn Conner.  The fifth grader took her own life on Friday.  Illinois attorney Matthew David Keenan says the law doesn't outline specific bullying parameters.

              [audio:rddBully1.mp3]Keenan discusses Law[/audio]

Keenan says schools are not always fair when it comes to punishing students who bully.  Nonetheless, he says this could turn into a nightmare for the school district with major lawsuits potentially coming down the pipe.  Keenan says he's not tossing blame on the Georgetown Ridge Farm School District, but he says things like Conner's death should never happen.  The school district did not return phone calls.

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IL Get $5 Million Grant for Hybrid Buses

Downstate transit agencies are getting new hybrid buses thanks to a $5 million federal grant.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the grant to buy up to 10 buses that are expected to be delivered in 2013. They'll go to the transit districts that serve Champaign-Urbana, Kankakee, Peoria, Galesburg and Rock Island.

The money comes from the Federal Transit Administration's Clean Fuels Grant Program. The new buses will run on motor fuel and electricity. They'll replace older ones that used gasoline and diesel.

The buses will be equipped with some of the latest technology, including automated systems so the engines won't idle and that will cut down on exhaust.

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Clinton Board of Education Rejects Charter School Offer

The Clinton Board of Education faced a tough decision regarding the Early Charter College High School through Richland Community College.

The charter school was a topic originally proposed in September, and the Board of Education was briefed on the subject at last months regular Board of Education meeting. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the charter school will give Clinton students the opportunity to take high school level courses their first two years on Richland's campus, with the final two years courses being duel-credit courses.

[audio:earlycharter1.mp3]Word from Holmes[/audio]

The charter school will require the Clinton School district to pay 100% of per capita tuition per student. Dr. Holmes explains Clinton will be allowed 10 students per year, and in the future up to 40 students according to the school's guidelines.

[audio:earlycharter2.mp3]Word from Holmes[/audio]

President of the Board of Education Buck Carter composed a resolution to reject the offer from Early College Charter High School for the Clinton School District for many reasons, one being it does not outline sufficient goals to be achieved by the students, as ready by Board Member Nancy Stokowski.

[audio:earlycharter3.mp3]Word from Holmes[/audio]

Prior to the Board of Education's regular meeting was a public meeting to discuss the Early College Charter High School, at which representatives from Richland Community College were present to answer questions from the public.

The Board voted unanimously to reject the proposal.

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Miller Park Zoo Begins Master Plan

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington is beginning the early stages of something they have been looking forward to for some time.

The Zoo embarking on the beginning of their master plan, which is an outline for the next 15-20 years of the zoo. Superintendent at the zoo, Jay Tetzloff says they have brought in a couple of outside firms to help them outline their future growth, and that process begins this week.

[audio:zooplan1.mp3]Word from Tetzloff[/audio]

The beginning stages of the plan sees the consultants the zoo has hired making their way to the community to find out what kind of support the zoo has in the community, and if there would be support moving forward. Tetzloff says its a very preliminary part of the plan, but rallying support from the businesses in the community to show them the support they have is a big part of the future.

[audio:zooplan2.mp3]Word from Tetzloff[/audio]

The meetings begin today and go through tomorrow. Tetzloff says upon the completion of the consultants making their way into the community, the next step will most likely be ways the zoo wants to grow, he feels bringing in more revenue and becoming less reliant on tax dollars is a big goal of his.

[audio:zooplan3.mp3]Word from Tetzloff[/audio]

The master plan process for the zoo is a six to eight month process. Tetzloff is excited to see where things go for the zoo, especially after a great year the zoo has had.

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Bridge at CH Moore Collapses

The covered bridge at the CH Moore Homestead has toppled over.

 width=Sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning, the windy conditions central Illinois saw brought the iconic bridge at the Homestead grounds down. Larry Buss, resident manager at the CH Moore Home says while the wooden bridge is old and aged, it certainly has never been deemed unstable.

[audio:bridgecollapse1.mp3]Buss discusses Age of Bridge[/audio]

Board Members for the DeWitt County Museum have begun discussing what to do going forward. According to Buss, the base of the bridge is still together with iron going through it, and could certainly be used in the future. He says discussions have been in the works to expand the bridge.

[audio:bridgecollapse2.mp3]Buss discusses future[/audio]

Buss is thankful the collapse happened during a time when no one was around to be hurt. A decision on the future of the bridge should come shortly.

Image Courtesy of EMC Photography.

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Illini Notes


>> Big Ten Division Races Unsettled

Nothing is settled in the Big Ten with two weeks left in the regular season.

Michigan State leads the Legends Division and Penn State tops the Leaders Division. They will meet in Indianapolis for the conference title if they win out.

The conference has been unpredictable all season. Wisconsin looked like a national title contender and was the Leaders Division favorite before losing to Michigan State and Ohio State. Penn State coach Joe Paterno is out, and now the Nittany Lions will have to hold off Wisconsin. Ohio State was positioned to make a move in the Leaders Division before losing at Purdue.

Nebraska controlled the Legends Division after beating Michigan State handily, but the Cornhuskers lost to Northwestern the next week and now need help to get to Indy.

>>Zook ends Press conference over Job Question

Illinois coach Ron Zook isn't interested in talking about job security.

Zook told reporters Tuesday that he would end his weekly news conference if anyone asked about his job following four straight losses and a weekend of off-field trouble for his players. He kept his promise, walking out after he was asked if had talked to his players about handling questions about his future.

The seventh-year Illini coach started the season with six wins, but has now watched his team lose four in a row.

Over the weekend, starting linebacker Trulon Henry was shot in the hand at a party where two other people were shot. In another incident, two other reserve players were arrested following a fight on campus. Zook suspended them.

>> 2 IL State Players Suspended

Illinois State basketball coach Tim Jankovich says 2 of his players have been suspended indefinitely due to a violation of team rules.

Jankovich suspended Tyler Brown and Darious Clark on Monday.

The 21-year-old players were in McLean County court earlier Monday to face misdemeanor battery charges related to an alleged incident early Sunday in which a man says he was struck in the face while in downtown Bloomington. A judge scheduled a Dec. 23 hearing on the charges.

ISU doesn't play again until Thursday when the Redbirds host Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Illinois State lost its season opener Saturday at Fresno State, 55-47. Brown started that game and went scoreless in 15 minutes of action; Clark scored three points off the bench.

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MLB On Verge of New Labor Deal

It appears that baseball negotiators are on the verge of completing a ground-breaking new labor deal.  According to ESPN, sources say a deal that will drastically change the landscape of the sport could be reached as soon as this week.  Negotiations are on hold due to the MLB's quarterly owners meetings, but are expected to start back up tomorrow.  Main pieces of the new deal include realignment of the sport into two 15-team leagues, adding a second wild card team in each league, spreading out Interleague play throughout the entire regular season and making significant changes to the draft and free agency.  A deal would cement two decades of continuous labor peace for the first time since the formation of the MLB Players Association in the 1960's.

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NBA Cancels Games Through December 15th

With the league's labor situation headed for a courtroom battle, the NBA is cancelling more regular season games.  According to a Yahoo! Sports Twitter post, the league has cancelled games through December 15th.  November games had previously been cancelled in two separate two-week blocks.  The Players Association rejected the league's latest labor offer on Monday and announced its intention to disband as a union in order to pursue antitrust litigation against the NBA.

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Today's Scoreboard

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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#2 Kentucky Wildcats 75, #11 Kansas Jayhawks 65 (Champions Classic)
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes 81, #8 Florida Gators 74
#5 Syracuse Orange 98, Albany Great Danes 74
#6 Duke Blue Devils 74, Michigan State Spartans 69 (Champions Classic)
#10 Memphis Tigers 97, Belmont Bruins 81 (Maui Invitational)
#12 Baylor Bears 77, San Diego State Aztecs 67
#14 Xavier Musketeers 86, IPFW Mastodons 63
#20 (tie) Cincinnati Bearcats 73, Jacksonville State Gamecocks 59
#20 (tie) Vanderbilt Commodores 80, Bucknell Bison 68 (Legends Classic)
#22 California Golden Bears 72, Austin Peay Governors 55 (CBE Classic)

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-16

November 16, 2011

 

Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 11:49 a.m. on Monday, November 15th, revealed that a car driven by Melissa Kirby, 44, Farmer City, was driving on IL Route 54 veered off the roadway to the right and over corrected, turning left and then right. When the driver made the turn right, the car left the roadway on the right. It struck the ditch on the driver’s side rear bumper. This caused the car to roll over onto the roof. It came to rest on the passenger side in the ditch. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

 

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Illinois Plans Drill To Prepare for Earthquake

Officials are working to make sure they'll be ready if a major earthquake hits southern Illinois.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is coordinating a 3-day training exercise that starts Tuesday. It involves more than 100 state and local agencies.

Director Jonathon Monken says Illinois has plenty of experience dealing with things like tornadoes and blizzards, but not the unique challenges of a catastrophic earthquake.

Parts of Illinois are located in the New Madrid seismic zone and could be severely damaged in an earthquake.

The drill was supposed to take place in May, but it was postponed because of a different southern Illinois disaster - extensive flooding.

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John Deere Building Lifesize Combine Out of Canned Food

John Deere & Co. makes a lot of its profits crafting farm combines, but the Illinois-based manufacturer doesn't figure crafting a life-sized one out of food is too uncanny.

Hoping to boost awareness of the role farmers and ranchers play in feeding the world, the Moline-based company's workers and retirees are using more than 300,000 cans of food in building a sculpture of a new S-Series combine.

When completed later this week, the sculpture is to measure 60 feet wide, 80 feet long and 16 feet tall and weigh nearly 170 tons. Deere hopes it breaks a world record.

It's being done at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline and will be displayed through mid-December.

Deere then will donate the food to the Moline's River Bend Foodbank.

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Deer Hunters See Good Start

Bow and arrow hunters are seeing good results in the fields.  Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says hot weather slowed them down for a bit but they picked back up as soon as the weather broke.

[audio:rddHunt2.mp3]A Word From Schweizer[/audio]

Licensed hunters can take their guns out to the field to hunt for deer starting this weekend.  Schweizer adds there are a few things hunters should keep in mind.

[audio:rddHunt1.mp3]A Word From Schweizer[/audio]

Schweizer says firearm deer hunters should have a great harvest.  This weekend is the first for firearm hunters this season.  The second and final weekend is December 1st through the 4th.   Last year, just under 99-thousand deer were harvested during the two firearm weekends in Illinois.

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Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS FARMERS ARE JUST ABOUT DONE HARVESTING THEIR CROPS.

CORN HARVEST IS WINDING DOWN…WITH 97 PERCENT NOW COMPLETE SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

[audio:crop1.mp3]Schwab With This Week's Report[/audio]

CORN HARVEST IS NOW 97 PERCENT COMPLETE…UP THREE PERCENTAGE POINTS FROM LAST WEEK. SOYBEANS ARE NEARLY ALL OUT OF THE GROUND AS WELL SAYS SCHWAB.

[audio:crop2.mp3]Schwab With This Week's Update[/audio]

76 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN HARVESTED…AND NEARLY ALL OF WINTER WHEAT HAS BEEN SEEDED, WITH 87 PERCENT NOW EMERGED. TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO A STATEWIDE AVERAGE OF FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT…19 PERCENT SHORT…73 PERCENT ADEQUATE…AND FOUR PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Quinn Restructures Closure Plan

 Governor Quinn has restructured his plan to shut down seven state facilities.  He says his new "rebalancing initiative" will provide improved mental health care across the state. 

[audio:rddMenHealth1.mp3]Quinn On "Rebalancing Initiative"[/audio]

Quinn says he'll take up to three years to close four developmentally disabled facilities and two psychiatric hospitals.  He says about 600 of the residents who receive care in these facilities will be transferred to smaller, more community based settings.  The idea is to abort his original proposal to close seven state facilities by the end of this year.

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Lincoln, Logan County Breathing Sigh of Relief After CoGFA Ruling

A bipartisan panel of Illinois legislators rejected Gov. Pat Quinn's plans to close prisons and health centers in an advisory vote.

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability(CoGFA) voted overwhelmingly Thursday against closing 7 state facilities, including the Logan Correction Center in Lincoln. While the vote of CoGFA is not legally binding, Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder says a facility has never closed down that the committee has recommended remain open. He feels that is a good sign for Lincoln, Logan County, and most importantly the employees of the Correctional Center.

[audio:cogfaruling1.mp3]A Word From Mayor Snyder[/audio]

State Senator Bill Brady says even Gov. Quinn's staff has said from the beginning they didn't want the facility to be closed. He says while it does effect the lives of those who work at the various facilities, it is bothersome he is playing games with their livelihood and even safety.

[audio:cogfaruling2.mp3]Senator Brady on Gov. Quinn's Plans[/audio]

Mayor Snyder says while there is a nice sense of relief from everyone around Logan County, they are not going to celebrate prematurely, as there is a lot of work still yet to do before the facility will undoubtedly stay open. He says he is encouraged that budget discussions in Springfield are going well.

[audio:cogfaruling3.mp3]A Word From Mayor Snyder[/audio]

CoGFA scoffed at the idea of moving Logan prisoners to gymnasiums and infirmaries in other, overcrowded prisons. Quinn is revising the plans but needs more money to keep the centers open this year.

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Electronics Ban Coming To Clinton Landfill

Clinton residents need to be aware of some changes regarding disposal of electronics at the Clinton Landfill.

Changes will soon be enforced prohibiting certain electronic items from the Clinton Landfill's facility. While larger items obviously are not allowed, the ban will now prohibit some smaller electronic items from being disposed of at the site. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains there is a long list of what is not allowed in the garbage any longer.

[audio:electronicban1.mp3]Mayor Peters With Items On Ban[/audio]

While that may seem like a problem, a recent program at DeWitt County's Human Resource Center should make things much easier on residents. HRC East on Route 10 has been accepting electronic items to be recycled, according to Mayor Peters.

[audio:electronicban2.mp3]Mayor Peters On HRC East's Program[/audio]

The ban does not go into effect until January 1, of 2012, but Mayor Peters encourages residents to begin taking advantage of the recycling program at HRC East.

For the list of items on the ban you contact City Hall at 935-9438, or for more information on the recycling program at HRC, you can call 935-2218.

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New Leaf Vac Not In Place For Clinton's Street Department

Leaf clean up for the city of Clinton may be going a little slower than earlier anticipated.

A tool that was going to help the street department keep up with the fall clean up schedule this year has not arrived, forcing the city to continue in its usual course of action for fall leaf clean up. Steve Lobb, Public Works Director for the City of Clinton explains the City purchased a very nice leaf vac system in August, however, it has not arrived.

[audio:vacdefault1.mp3]Steve Lobb With The Situation[/audio]

With the City defaulting on their deal with Giant Vac, the company they purchased the original vac system from, they will now turn to another company they received a bid from in August, Old Dominion. Lobb points out, there is a 90-day waiting period for the system from them, so they will not receive it before the fall clean up season is over.

[audio:vacdefault2.mp3]A Word From Steve Lobb[/audio]

Since the streets department has been working with the two current machines they have, Lobb says not much changes for them this fall season. He says the biggest disappointed is in their disappointment they cannot provide a better service to the residents of the Clinton community.

[audio:vacdefault3.mp3]A Word From Steve Lobb[/audio]

Old Dominions bid from the summer did not change. Lobb says had it changed they may have had to restart the bidding process over, and make getting a system in place longer. Lobb is hopeful to have a system for spring clean up, but for sure next falls leaf clean up season.

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Joe Paterno's Name Removed From Big Ten Championship Trophy

The name Joe Paterno is no longer on the new Big Ten championship trophy.  Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany says the Penn State child sex abuse scandal prompted the decision to remove the longtime head football coach's name.  Paterno was fired by Penn State last week after his former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky was charged with sexually molesting several young boys.  Delany said the focus needs to be on the teams that will compete in the inaugural Big Ten championship game on December 3rd in Indianapolis.

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JJ's Five-Year Reign Comes To An End

Jimmie Johnson's five-year dynasty in the Sprint Cup Series officially came to an end on Sunday at Phoenix International Raceway.  After finishing 14th in the Kobalt Tools 500, his bid for a sixth straight series championship was over.  Now mathematically eliminated, Johnson is 68 points behind heading into next Sunday's season-finale at Homestead, Florida.  Kasey Kahne won over the weekend, but it's a two-horse race heading into the Chase finale.  Just three points separate Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart.  They are the only two drivers who remain in championship contention.

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Union To Pursue Antitrust Suit Against NBA

The NBA labor issue appears headed for the courts.  The Players Association has rejected the NBA's latest proposal and intends to file an antitrust lawsuit against the league.  Union Chief Billy Hunter announced that negotiations have completely broken off and that the union will disband in order to pursue legal action for unfair labor practice.  The NBA presented a new labor offer on Thursday and the union examined it over the weekend before presenting it to player reps on Monday.  NBA commissioner David Stern said if the deal was rejected, future proposals from the league would be less favorable for the union.  Had the players accepted the deal, a 72-game season would have begun December 15th.  Now, further cancellation of regular season games is expected.

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Unbeaten Packers Rout Vikings

Aaron Rodgers threw for 250 yards and four touchdowns as the Packers remained undefeated with a 45-7 rout of the Vikings on "Monday Night Football."  Randall Cobb returned a punt 80 yards for a score just over a minute into the game for the 9-and-0 Packers, who are off to their best start since opening the 1962 season with 10 straight wins.  Jordy Nelson had five grabs for 63 yards and two touchdowns in the one-sided affair.  Christian Ponder was just 16-of-34 for 190 yards and an interception for Minnesota, which dropped to 2-and-7.  Adrian Peterson rushed for 51 yards and a touchdown in the lopsided loss.

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Illini Slam SIU-Edwardsville, NCAA Notes

D.J. Richardson scored 20 points and Tyler Griffey and Meyers Leonard had career nights in the paint to lead Illinois to a 66-46 victory over Southern Illinois-Edwardsville on Monday night.

The Illini (2-0) totaled 48 rebounds, better than in any game last season, with Griffey and Leonard setting career highs with 11 each.

The Cougars (2-1), led by 13 points from Mark Yelovich and 12 from Corey Wickware, fell to 0-11 all time against Big Ten opponents. They suffered their first defeat of the season after winning their first two regular-season games and two exhibitions.

The game was the first of the Cancun Challenge, which includes eight Division I teams. Eight games are being played in the U.S. and then eight in Cancun, Mexico.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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#4 Connecticut Huskies 78, Wagner Seahawks 66
#5 Syracuse Orange 92 Manhattan Jaspers 56 (NIT Season Tip-Off)
#15 Alabama Crimson Tide 74, Oakland Grizzlies 57
#17 Michigan Wolverines 64, Towson Tigers 47 (Maui Invitational)
#19 Marquette Golden Eagles 99, Norfolk State Spartans 68
#23 Gonzaga Bulldogs 89, Washington State Cougars 81
#24 Florida State Seminoles 73, Central Florida Knights 50
#25 Missouri Tigers 81, Mercer Bears 63

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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  9:00 p.m. - #2 Kentucky Wildcats vs. #11 Kansas Jayhawks  (Champions Classic)
  8:00 p.m. - #3 Ohio State Buckeyes host #8 Florida Gators
  7:00 p.m. - #6 Duke Blue Devils vs. Michigan State Spartans  (Champions Classic)
12:00 p.m. - #10 Memphis Tigers host Belmont Bruins  (Maui Invitational)
  2:00 p.m. - #12 Baylor Bears host San Diego State Aztecs
  7:00 p.m. - #14 Xavier Musketeers host IPFW Mastodons
  7:00 p.m. - #20 (tie) Cincinnati Bearcats host Jacksonville State Gamecocks
  8:00 p.m. - #20 (tie) Vanderbilt Commodores host Bucknell Bison  (Legends Classic)
10:00 p.m. - #22 California Golden Bears host Austin Peay Governors  (CBE Classic)

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Clinton Police Report for 11-15

CITATIONS

11/13/11

DASHUN B. SINGLETON 19, BLOOMINGTON SPEEDING 75 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

11/14/11

ERICA L. MATTERA 21, AURORA SPEEDING 73 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

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Clinton vs. Mt. Zion Girls Basketball

> MT ZION  55
> CLINTON  44
>
> SCORING BY QUARTER:
> MT ZION     17     8     12     18
> CLINTON     8      11    13     11
>
> GAME TOTALS:
> CLINTON    14-3-6-44
> MT ZION    14-6-9-55
>
> CLINTON SCORING:
> MADI BEVINS         2-1-0-7
> HALEY GINGER       1-2-0-8
> ALEX HUNT            1-0-1-3
> MORGAN WITZKE   1-0-0-2
> MORGAN HICKMAN 3-0-0-6
> AMBER MILLER       0-0-2-2
> HALEY TOOHILL      4-0-3-11
> PAYTON BIEBER      2-0-0-4
> MT ZION SCORING:
> BROWN          0-1-0-3
> MARQUARDT  1-1-0-5
> WEAVER        3-1-1-10
> SMITH           0-0-2-2
> STECK           4-2-3-17
> BARRETT       5-0-3-13
> HUGGINS        1-1-0-5

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Illinois Police Say 72 Pounds of Pot Seized During Traffic Stop

California man is jailed in southwestern Illinois after being accused of possessing more than 70 pounds of marijuana found in a car he was driving.

Illinois State Police arrested 27-year-old Thomas Debakker Jr. of Aptos, Calif., after he was pulled over Thursday for allegedly speeding on Interstate 70 near Highland.

Police say a police dog later alerted authorities to the scent of marijuana coming from the car, and the drugs were found in three duffle bags in the truck.

Debakker is charged with trafficking marijuana.

He remained jailed Sunday in Madison County on $200,000 bond.

Debakker does not have a listed home telephone number. Online court records do not show whether he has an attorney.

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Illinois Seeks Owners of Lost War Medals

Illinois officials hope to return nearly 200 forgotten war medals and other military artifacts to their rightful owners.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced the project - called Operation Reunite - on Friday, Veterans Day.

Former Illinois State Rep. Ron Stephens, a Highland Republican and a Bronze Star and Purple Heart recipient, is the project's honorary chairman.

The treasurer's office takes care of the military artifacts, storing them in a vault beneath the Capitol.

Many items ended up there because they were stored in a family safety deposit box and forgotten. Banks eventually turn over the contents of neglected safety deposit boxes to the treasurer's office.

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Returning Veterans Face Tough Job Market

Veterans like former Marine Corps member Orlando Ocasio are struggling to find jobs after coming home from overseas.

The Purple Heart recipient with two toddler sons lost his factory job two years ago, joining the ranks of the 240,000 unemployed veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Supporting his family has been a struggle, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder since being wounded.

For veterans in the U.S., the unemployment rate is much higher than the national average. And the situation is expected to worsen after thousands of service members return from Afghanistan and Iraq by year's end.

A measure approved Thursday by the Senate is aimed at helping, by providing special tax incentives to companies that hire unemployed veterans. The House is expected to approve it next week.

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Returning Veterans Face Tough Job Market

Veterans like former Marine Corps member Orlando Ocasio are struggling to find jobs after coming home from overseas.

The Purple Heart recipient with two toddler sons lost his factory job two years ago, joining the ranks of the 240,000 unemployed veterans from the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts. Supporting his family has been a struggle, and he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder since being wounded.

For veterans in the U.S., the unemployment rate is much higher than the national average. And the situation is expected to worsen after thousands of service members return from Afghanistan and Iraq by year's end.

A measure approved Thursday by the Senate is aimed at helping, by providing special tax incentives to companies that hire unemployed veterans. The House is expected to approve it next week.

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Cray Replaces IBM on University of Illinois Supercomputer

The University of Illinois says Seattle-based company Cray Inc. will replace IBM as the builder of the Blue Waters supercomputer.

The university says Cray plans to complete the $300 million project next year.

IBM dropped out of the project in August citing cost and technical concerns.

That left the university and the project's primary financier, the National Science Foundation, in a lurch.

When announced in 2007 Blue Waters was to have been the world's fastest computer. A Japanese supercomputer now holds that title.

Blue Waters will run at sustained speeds of a thousand trillion operations a second, a measure known as a petaflop. Planners say that will make it possible to do massive projects such as research on how tornados form.

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Cullerton Says Veto Session Shows Great Progress

State Senate President John Cullerton says the veto session was a success, despite the fact that there are several hot button issues still on the table. 

[audio:rddSuxess.mp3]Cullerton on Veto Session[/audio]

Giving tax breaks to major corporations is just one of the issues left on the table.  Pension reform and gaming are others.  Lawmakers are still trying to work out an agreement on gaming.  They're also working out budget issues to avert a massive layoff plan.  Lawmakers did however send Governor Pat Quinn bills that will pay the state's regional superintendents and restructure more than two-billion-dollars worth of unemployment insurance debt owed to the federal government.  They'll be back in Springfield November 29th.

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AirTran To End Service At Central Illinois Airport

AirTran Airways has announced it will end operations at Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington in June.

The company announced the change Friday. AirTran is owned by Southwest Airlines Co.

AirTran employees also learned the carrier will pull out of Knoxville's McGhee Tyson Airport, Miami International, Charleston's Yeager Airport in West Virginia and Dulles International.

The airline said in a statement it can no longer support service to the five markets because of the challenging economic environment and sustained high fuel prices.

AirTran says passengers with reservations or hoping to make reservations before June 3 don't need to alter their plans.

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USDA Says 'Locally Grown' Food $4.8-Billion Business

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture report says sales of "local foods" are worth billions of dollars to the nation's economy.

The report found that locally produced foods sold directly to consumers at farmers markets and the like or through intermediaries such as grocers amounted to $4.8 billion in 2008. That's a number several times greater than earlier estimates.

And the Agriculture Department predicts that locally grown foods will generate $7 billion in sales this year.

The report also found that direct sales to consumers almost doubled in the past two decades, from about $650 million, adjusted for inflation, in the early 1990s to about $1.2 billion these days.

The bigger number comes when indirect sales, such as to retailers and restaurants, are added in.

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Logan County Man Pleads Guilty To Attempted First Degree Murder and Robbery

On November 10, 2011, Jeremy Yates pleaded guilty to Count I - Attempt (First Degree Murder), a class X felony, and Count II - Robbery, a class 2 felony, in Logan County.

Logan County Deputies responded to the Korn Krib in Latham, Illinois during the early morning hours of January 5, 2011 and discovered Melissa Marler, an employee, severely injured and unresponsive.

 An investigation by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department obtained statements from witnesses placing Jeremy Yates in the Korn Krib just prior to closing.   Further investigation by the Logan County Sheriff’s Department gathered physical evidence from the Korn Krib and the apartment building where Jeremy Yates lived at the time. “I want to commend the Logan County Sheriff’s Department for conducting such a thorough investigation.  Their investigation revealed a significant amount of physical evidence linking Jeremy Yates to this crime,” stated Jonathan Wright, First Assistant with the Logan County State’s Attorneys’ Office.

 The sentencing hearing is scheduled for January 10, 2012.  Jeremy Yates remains in custody with bond set at $1-million.

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American Education Week Being Recognized in Clinton Schools

This week is American Education Week.

Last Monday evening, Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters made issued a Proclamation that this week will be Education Week in Clinton. Kay Wertz is the President of the Clinton Education Association, she says this year, as a part of education week, they will be honoring substitute teachers.

[audio:educationweek1.mp3]A Word From Wertz[/audio]

Being a former substitute teacher herself, Mayor Peters was pleased to hear they would be recognizing substitute teachers in a special way.

[audio:educationweek2.mp3]A Word From Mayor Peters[/audio]

The Proclamation the Mayor read Monday not only gave special thanks to full time educators and substitutes, but also to the support staff of the school system.

[audio:educationweek2.mp3]The Proclamation From Mayor Peters[/audio]

American Education Week is officially Nov. 13 through the 19th and is a nationally recognized week.

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Exelon Making Impact In Community

One of DeWitt County's largest employers continue to make a difference to local schools and civic organizations.

Throughout the year Clinton's Nuclear Power Station donates money into the community to various organizations in various ways. Last year employees donated $64-thousand to local communities and civic organizations, activities and events through the third quarter alone of 2011. Bill Harris, Communications Manager at Exelon, says his job is to reach out to the community to find where money needs to go and applauds Exelon for their efforts in reaching out to the community.

[audio:exelondonations1.mp3]A Word From Harris[/audio]

Last year the station pledged more than $84-thousand to United Way through the company's payroll deduction program with an addition $21-thousand going to the Peace Meal program at the DeWitt County Friendship Center. Harris notes the company's involvement with United Way and praises the employees of the power plant who continually step up to help those in the community, no matter how good or bad times may be.

[audio:exelondonations2.mp3]A Word From Harris[/audio]

Chad Clevenger is the director of Community Impact at the United of Decatur and Mid-Illinois, he is very thankful for the continued support Exelon has shown to the United Way. He says each year Community Action can count on Exelon and their employees doing something special.

[audio:exelondonations3.mp3]A Word From Clevenger[/audio]

Clinton Power Station has also served as a corporate sponsor for the City's concert series, Apple and Pork Festival and Celebrate Clinton's summer event.

The station also sponsors the Boy Scout Merit Badge Fair, which is an event held at the plant and assists over 300 scouts secured valuable merit badges.

Area organizations interested in the station's 2012 contribution program can submit a request through Exolon's website at www.exeloncorp.com/community.

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Caterpillar Expansion To Create 300 New Illinois Jobs

Caterpillar Inc. says it will spent $640 million to upgrade plants in East Peoria and Decatur, creating 300 new jobs.

A company spokesman says Caterpillar will make more tractors in East Peoria and more trucks in Decatur.

Friday's announcement comes two months after Caterpillar said it would spend $200 million to modernize part of its East Peoria plant.

The company also said Friday that it would seek to buy a Chinese maker of mining machinery for as much as $886 million. That deal needs the approval of China's Ministry of Commerce and other regulators.

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Bears, Rams Win

>>Bears Level Lions In Crucial NFC North Showdown

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Bears defense was dominant, forcing six turnovers and Devin Hester added an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown en route to a 37-13 victory over the Lions in a crucial NFC North tilt on Sunday at Soldier Field.  Major Wright and Charles Tillman both had interceptions returned for scores for Chicago, which pulled into a two-way tie for second with Detroit in the division at 6-and-3.  Matt Forte rumbled for 64 yards on 18 carries with a TD, while Robbie Gould split the uprights three times in the Bears fourth straight win.  The Bears host the San Diego Chargers in Week 11.

>>Rams Sneak By Browns

(Cleveland, OH)  --  Josh Brown's 34-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter proved to be the deciding factor as the Rams defeated the Browns, 13-12.  Sam Bradford threw for 155 yards, a TD, and an interception for the Rams , who improved to 2-and-7.  Stephen Jackson rolled for 128 yards on 27 carries, while Brandon Lloyd made the touchdown grab.  St. Louis begins a two-game homestand next Sunday as they welcome in the Seattle Seahawks to the Edward Jones Dome.

NFL
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Miami Dolphins 20, Washington Redskins 9
Dallas Cowboys 44, Buffalo Bills 7
Denver Broncos 17, Kansas City Chiefs 10
Arizona Cardinals 21, Philadelphia Eagles 17
Tennessee Titans 30, Carolina Panthers 3
Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Cincinnati Bengals 17
Houston Texans 37, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 9
New Orleans Saints 26, Atlanta Falcons 23 OT
Jacksonville Jaguars 17, Indianapolis Colts 3
Seattle Seahawks 22, Baltimore Ravens 17
San Francisco 49ers 27, New York Giants 20 
New England Patriots 37, New York Jets 16

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Illini B-Ball Wins Opener; Illini Football Fall To Michigan; LB Injured in Off Campus Shooting

>>Illini Fall To Michigan

(Champaign, IL)  --  Fitzgerald Toussaint had a career day on the ground, rushing for 192 yards and a touchdown as Michigan topped Illinois, 31-14 from Memorial Stadium on Saturday.  Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 170 yards and an interception on 16-of-31 passing and ran for a touchdown for Illinois, which dropped to 6-and-4 overall and 2-and-4 in Big Ten action.  Jason Ford rushed for 26 yards and a score on 11 carries and A.J. Jenkins hauled in eight passes for 103 yards in defeat.

>> Illini LB Out For Regular Seaosn With Wounded Hand

Illinois linebacker Trulon Henry will miss the rest of the regular season after he was shot in the hand during a large house party near campus.

Illini coach Ron Zook says Henry had surgery Sunday. Urbana police say two others were wounded during the gunfire that happened before 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Zook says a handful of Illinois players - largely underclassmen - were at the party but were not injured. Zook says Henry only came to the party to clear out the other players when the gathering turned chaotic.

Henry is a 2-year starter for the Illini (6-4, 2-4 Big Ten), who have lost four straight games. He is ninth on the team in tackles and has two interceptions.

Zook says Henry's availability for a bowl game is unclear.

>>Illinois Dominate In Hoops Opener

(Champaign, IL)  --  Myers Leonard led Illinois with 15 points and six blocked shots as the Illini took their season opener against Loyola of Chicago, 67-49, on Friday.  Leonard also nailed his first career three-pointer in the win.  Assembly Hall will be rocking again tonight as the Illini play host to SIU-Edwardsville.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
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#1 North Carolina Tar Heels 91, UNC-Asheville Bulldogs 75
Cleveland State Vikings 71, #7 Vanderbilt Commodores 58
#8 Louisville Cardinals 68, Lamar Cardinals 48
#11 Pittsburgh Panthers 86, Rider Broncs 78
#12 Baylor Bears 92, Jackson State Tigers 59
#16 Arizona Wildcats 73, Ball State Cardinals 63
#19 Texas A&M Aggies 83, Southern University Jaguars 58
#22 Cincinnati Bearcats 65, Alabama State Hornets 40
#24 California Golden Bears 81, George Washington Colonials 54

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SIU Tops Eastern in Coach Spoo's Final Game

>> Southern Illinios Tops Eastern Illinois 45-28 In Spoo Finale

Jewel Hampton and Kory Faulkner rushed for two touchdowns apiece, and Southern Illinois spoiled the final game of Eastern Illinois coach Bob Spoo's career with a 45-28 win Saturday.

Hampton rushed for 110 yards. Faulkner added 234 yards passing and a touchdown to MyCole Pruitt for the Salukis (3-7), who snapped a 6-game losing streak. Shariff Harris also scored on the ground, and Jackson MacLachlan kicked a 40-yard field goal.

Eastern Illinois (2-9) got three second-quarter rushing touchdowns from Jake Walker but couldn't pull out a win for Spoo, who's retiring after 25 seasons at EIU. The Panthers led 28-21 at halftime, but were shut out in the second half.

The Panthers' Jimmy Garoppolo was 22 for 34 for 276 yards, three interceptions and a 28-yard TD to Chris Wright, who led all receivers with 120 yards.

Southern Illinois finishes its season Nov. 19 at Indiana State.

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Bradley Wins Basketball Opener in Coach's Debut

>> Bradley Beats UMKC 68-58 In Ford's Coaching Debut

Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 21 points and Taylor Brown added 20 as Bradley made Geno Ford's debut as coach successful with a 68-58 victory over UMKC on Sunday.

Jordan Prosser and Jake Eastman added 12 points each for the Braves. Prosser had 17 rebounds.

Trinity Hall had 14 points, Kirk Korver 12 and Dustin Dibble seven points and 11 rebounds for the Kangaroos (0-2).

Bradley ended the game on an 11-2 run over the last 2:38. Baskets by Brown and Eastman made the score 61-56 with 1:37 to play, and the Braves cemented the victory by making seven free throws, four by Simms-Edwards.

Ford came to Bradley after winning back-to-back Mid-American Conference titles at Kent State.

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Cards Name Mike Matheny Manager

>>Cards Name Matheny Manager

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals announced Sunday that Mike Matheny will be their new manager.  Matheny will be introduced at a press conference at noon Eastern today.  The 41-year-old Matheny  takes over for Tony La Russa, who retired after the Cards won the World Series.  Matheny played in the majors from 1994-2006 with the Milwaukee Brewers, Toronto Blue Jays, Cardinals and San Francisco Giants.  The catcher won Gold Glove Awards in 2003 and 2004.

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Kahne Wins, Edwards And Stewart Follow

>>Kahne Wins, Edwards And Stewart Follow

(Avondale, AZ)  --  Kasey Kahne snapped a two-year winless streak by taking the Kobalt Tools 500, while Carl Edwards and Tony Stewart maintained their very tight points battle for the Sprint Cup Series championship at Phoenix International Raceway.  Edwards' second-place finish coupled with a third-place run for Stewart allowed Edwards to keep his three-point lead over Stewart heading into next weekend's season-finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway.  Kahne beat Edwards to the finish line by 0.8 seconds for his 12th career Sprint Cup win.  Jeff Burton and Stewart's teammate, Ryan Newman, completed the top-five.  Edwards and Stewart are the only drivers who remain mathematically eligible for the series championship.  Jimmie Johnson's bid for a sixth straight title officially ended with his 14th-place finish.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Weekend Report

 

November 11, 2011

 

Jail Population: 48

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

November 12, 2011

 

Jail Population: 47

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

November 13, 2011

 

Jail Population: 48

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 3

 

November 14, 2011

 

Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Kevin Bugusky, 24, Peotone, was issued citations for Speeding (83 mph in a 65 mph zone) and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Bugusky posted his IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Linda Doornbos, 58, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Doornbos posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Pamela Holmes, 59, Clinton was issued a citation for Speeding (63 mph in a 45 mph zone). Holmes poster her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Charles Flurer, 43, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Speeding (80 mph in a 65 mph zone). Flurer promised to comply and was released.

 

Ashok Koduru, 44, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 55 mph zone). Koduru paid his bond and was released.

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 6:50 a.m. on Saturday, November 12th, revealed that a car driven by Daniel Stewart, 20, Rochelle was driving on US Highway 51 hit a guardrail, crossed over both lanes of travel and collided with a west concrete barrier. He recrossed both lanes of travel and again striking the east guardrail. Daniel crossed over both lanes of travel. The vehicle came to a stop facing north and resting against the west concrete barrier. Daniel was issued citations for Failure To Reduce Speed/Accident, Improper Lane Usage. Daniel posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Michael White, 50, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Speeding (87 mph in a 65 mph zone). White posted his IL Drivers License and was released.

 

Manoj Anne, 26, Naugatuck, Ct., was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Anne promised to comply and was released.

 

Sangram Kodavatikanti, 38, Stonington, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Kodavatikanti posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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Christmas Parade Entries Needed By End of Day Today

If you are interested have an entry in this years Christmas Parade in Clinton, today is the last day to get those in.

The deadline for the entries has been extended, and organizers are hoping the extension will allow extra time for those interested to register. Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard stresses there is no fee to register, but those wanting to register need to do so by the end of the day today.

[audio:christmasparade1.mp3]Brisard On Entry Deadline/audio]

The annual "Light Up The Night" Christmas parade is always the Wednesday after Thanksgiving, and Brisard says it's always a good time, and a good, fun way to kick off the Christmas season.

[audio:christmasparade2.mp3]A Word From Brisard[/audio]

No Christmas parade would be complete without fire trucks, police cars, floats and of course marching bands playing Christmas music. Brisard says the bands playing as the march down the street is one of her favorite parts of the parade. She notes other entries include political candidates promoting themselves with the election nearing.

[audio:christmasparade3.mp3]Brisard on Parade[/audio]

Entries are due by the end of the day today for the annual "Light Up The Night" Clinton Christmas parade, which is Wednesday November 30 at 7 pm this year. Families, groups, organizations, businesses, school clubs, farm implements, marching bands, and floats are all welcome to the parade, and this year's theme is "Hometown Holiday".

To make an entry or ask questions about the parade, you can contact the Clinton Chamber of Commerce and 935-3364.

can contact the Clinton Chamber of Commerce at 935-3364.

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Cellini Juror A Convicted Felon

(Chicago, IL)  --  One of the jurors that helped convict Springfield political insider Bill Cellini is a convicted felon.  "The Chicago Tribune" reports a woman with the same name, age, and address as one of the jurors pleaded guilty to crack-cocaine possession in 2000.  She was also found guilty for driving without a license and under the influence of alcohol in 2008.  Defense attorneys say that information was not shared with them when they selected the juror.  They want to use the information to get the guilty verdict thrown out.  But the U.S. Attorney's office released a statement saying a felony charge does not automatically disqualify someone from jury service.  Cellini was convicted on November 1st for extortion tied to former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

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McHenry County Reports Outbreak Of Whooping Cough

Health officials in McHenry County say a whooping cough outbreak has extended beyond schools and into the general public.

The outbreak now includes 79 cases in 12 towns. Health officials say most cases are in children ages 11 to 19.

Whooping cough is also called pertussis. Symptoms - including a cough with a distinctive whooping sound - can linger for months. It's highly infectious, spread by coughing and sneezing. At high risk are infants and young children who may not be fully vaccinated and the elderly.

The McHenry County Department of Health has scheduled a walk-in vaccination clinic for Wednesday at the department's Crystal Lake office.

The county's last big outbreak of whooping cough was in 2004 when there were 191 confirmed cases.

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Gaming Sponsor Wants Quinn's Support

(Springfield, IL)  --  The gambling expansion bill still hasn't passed the general assembly, despite the fact that the second week of veto session is now over.  Senate sponsor Terry Link says support from Governor Quinn could be the thing that pushes the bill through the legislature.

[audio:rddTerry2.mp3]TerryLink[/audio]

Terry Link says he's willing to sit down with the governor to work out any issues that he may still have.  Link says he's never wanted a contentious battle with Quinn, he just wants to create jobs and generate more money for the state.  The scaled back version of the bill does satisfy some of Quinn's suggestions, including fewer gaming positions in casinos and more oversight.  Quinn wanted slots at race tracks removed completely from the bill.  The new package simply reduced slots at race tracks.

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State Extends Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine

(Springfield, IL)  --  The state is expanding the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine, moving the line further south.  Department of Agriculture officials say they spotted a fourth infestation in Effingham County while traveling to Marion County to investigate the discovery there.  This is the eighth and largest addition to the original EAB quarantine enacted after the beetle was discovered in Illinois in 2006.   Counties that are now quarantined include Cumberland, Clark, Coles, Edgar, Douglas, DeWitt, Marion, Moultrie, Piatt, Macon, Shelby,Stark and Fayette.  Portions of Bureau and Marshall Counties not previously included in the quarantine also were added.  More details are available online at www.IllinoisEAB.com.

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Attorney General Increases Fight Against Synthetic Drugs

State officials are arming themselves with the tools to double their efforts in the fight on synthetic drugs.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan called an emergency summit in Springfield today to address the rising number of young people using synthetic marijuana and what she calls "convenience store cocaine." 

[audio:rddBad1.mp3]A Word From Madigan[/audio]

Madigan adds the drugs are causing very dangerous side effects.

[audio:rddBad2.mp3]A Word From Madigan[/audio]

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency has also joined the fight.  They've put a ban on several of the chemicals used to make the synthetic drugs, which will take effect in Illinois on January 1st.  Madigan says one of her goals is to educate parents and law enforcement agencies so they can recognize signs of people who've used the drugs and give them the tools to help take the drugs off the street.

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Illinois Lawmakers OK Deal On Unemployment Insurance

Legislation approved Thursday is supposed to save hundreds of millions of dollars for Illinois businesses and government.

The bill involves unemployment insurance. Right now, Illinois is paying out so much in unemployment benefits that it has to borrow money from the federal government. That means paying interest, and it triggers higher rates for Illinois businesses.

So officials plan to borrow money at low rates and use that to pay the federal government. They say that will save Illinois about $240 million over the next few years.

It should also save businesses about $400 million and let many pay lower rates to the unemployment system.

Gov. Pat Quinn backs the legislation. The Illinois Retail Merchants Association says it will help businesses grow.

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Illinois Woman Falls To Death Down Elevator Shaft

Authorities in central Illinois say a 47-year-old woman has died after falling down an elevator shaft.

The Bryant woman fell down the elevator shaft at the Canton business where she worked. The woman hasn't been identified. But the Fulton County coroner's office says she was pronounced dead on Wednesday afternoon at the Black Crow Candle Company.

Coroner's officials say the woman entered a back service entrance on the building's main level. They say she raised the elevator's safety gate and stepped into the shaft, falling nine feet to the basement. The elevator car was on the building's third floor. An autopsy is scheduled.

Canton is about 30 miles southwest of Peoria.

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Veto Session Wrap Up

Lawmakers have wrapped up the second week of veto session but they've left many issues on the table.  They didn't pass a measure to add more gambling across the state.  The measure came up for a vote in the House yesterday but fell two votes shy of the 60 it needed to pass.  Big businesses in the state are also left hanging in the balance.  A proposal to provide corporate tax breaks to keep businesses from leaving Illinois didn't even come up for a vote.  Chairman of Chicago's CME Group is one of several companies that's threatened to leave if lawmakers don't make adjustments to the tax code.  And more than 19-hundred state workers are left without answers since lawmakers didn't address the Governor's plan to lay the workers off if he doesn't get more money.  Today was supposed to be the last day in this year's veto session but both the House and Senate will reconvene on November 29th.  Senate President John Cullerton says he's confident that all of the measures will be worked out and addressed at that time.

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Illinois Senate Votes To Block Pensions For 'Teachers'

The Illinois Senate voted to revoke the pensions of 2 union lobbyists who qualified for teachers' retirement benefits by spending a single day in the classroom.

That means both the Senate and House have voted to block the pensions. But they each passed a different piece of legislation, so nothing has been sent to the governor's desk yet.

Getting a bill to the governor would require further action when lawmakers return to the Capitol later this month.

The two lobbyists worked for the Illinois Federation of Teachers. They each worked a day as substitutes so they could get pensions from the Teachers' Retirement System.

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Counties Added To Tree-Killing Beetle Quarantine

State officials say they're adding more Illinois counties to an emerald ash borer quarantine.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the expansion was needed because the tree-killing beetle was found in new counties. Officials announced Thursday that 14 new counties and parts of 2 others were added to the quarantine. The total number affected is 39.

The emerald ash borer is a small metallic-green beetle native to Asia. Agriculture authorities say its larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. But the insect doesn't pose any direct risk to public health.

The goal of a quarantine is to prevent the spread of the beetle, prohibits the removal ash trees, non-coniferous firewood and items made from ash tree wood, among other things.

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Illinois Lawmakers Reject Quinn Closure Plan

A bipartisan panel of Illinois legislators has rejected more of Gov. Pat Quinn's plans to close prisons and health centers in an advisory vote.

The Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability voted overwhelmingly Thursday against closing the Jacksonville Developmental Center, the Tinley Park Mental Health Center and the Logan Correction Center in Lincoln.

Executive Director Dan Long says commissioners weren't convinced the Jacksonville facility could close as quickly as Quinn proposes.

Long adds that members say Tinley Park provides needed services in suburban Chicago to 1,900 people a year and they scoffed at the idea of moving Logan prisoners to gymnasiums and infirmaries in other, overcrowded prisons.

The commission previously rejected four closures.

Quinn is revising the plans but needs more money to keep the centers open this year.

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Veterans Social Security Information

With Veteran's Day approaching, we pause to honor the sacrifices of our military.

Our country is also trying to make sure our veterans are properly taken care of. Jack Meyers is the Public Affairs Specialist for Social Security, he says many veterans are now eligible to receive social security. He adds many of the Vietnam era vets are now of the age to receive benefits. Since 1957, social security has covered active duty in the military as it would any other profession.

[audio:veterans1.mp3]A Word From Meyers[/audio]

Myers says since 1988, they began including inactive duties, such as weekend drills. He also says there could be added earnings for those who have served who have their DD 214s. This is good news for veterans who are becoming senior citizens.

[audio:veterans2.mp3]A Word From Meyers[/audio]

Myers says his office will discuss these issues up front with someone when they apply for social security and they will do anything they can to assist.

[audio:veterans3.mp3]A Word From Meyers[/audio]

For more information on social security, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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YMCA Hosting Open House

The YMCA is opening their doors to reveal their new look.

There will be an open ouse to show off the newly renovated areas of the facility.  Jann Martin, executive director of the Y, says that there will be many special events happening the day of the open house such as a special dinner, demonstations and waving of the joiner fee. 

[audio:openhouse1.mp3]A Word From Martin[/audio]

Among the new additions is a brand new room downstairs that the public will have access too .Martin says that the Y could become even more of a center for the community through these changes. Changes in the carpeting and floors will allow different groups to benefit from the new facilities like never before.  

[audio:openhouse2.mp3]A Word From Martin[/audio]

The renovations that will be seen at the open house are the results of hard work and community generosity. Martin says the estimated $175-thousand renovations would not be be possible without the support from the community.

[audio:openhouse3.mp3]A Word From Martin[/audio]

The Open House will take place on Sunday November 13th from 4-7pm.  For more information you can call the YMCA at 935-8307.

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World War II Exhibit Opens This Weekend At Warner Public Library

The Warner Public Library is making the past come alive for the children of Clinton.

The Library has created exhibits about Dewitt county during the Great Depression.  They are committed to telling the personal stories of the people who lived through the events of this era.  According to librarian Bobbi Perrymen, interviews have been conducted with several men from Dewitt county so that the memories of the past can be preserved for future generations. 

[audio:worldwarII1.mp3]A Word From Perryman[/audio]

There have been about 6 to 7 interviews made and they will be incorporated into posters and used to tell thier own unique perspective on the events they lived through.

Janet Ward, technical services supervisor at the library, and Perrymen said that it was amazing to hear the recollections from the participants.

[audio:worldwarII2.mp3]Perryman and Ward on Recollections[/audio]

Perrymen says the idea for this exhibit was born when an archivist found some rare artifacts from the era to be put on the display. The anniversary of World War II is also coming soon which inspired Perrymen and Ward also.

[audio:worldwarII3.mp3]A Word From Perryman[/audio]

The exhibit will be open whenever the library is open, but the grand opening will be this Saturday at 2pm. For information on the exhibit or other programs you can call  935-5174 or go to the library in person at 310 North Qunicy Street.

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Chase Shifts To Phoenix

 With just two races remaining to determine a Sprint Cup Series champion, the Chase shifts to the Phoenix International Raceway for Sunday's Kobalt Tools 500.  Tony Stewart won his fourth race of the Chase last Sunday at the AAA Texas 500.  Despite the win, Stewart still trails points-leader Carl Edwards by three points.  Five-time defending Cup champ Jimmie Johnson sits 55 points back in sixth place.  This year's fall race at Phoenix should be a very interesting one.  The flat one-mile track has been repaved and reconfigured since the series' most recent visit in February.

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Pujols To Meet With Marlins

Cardinals free agent first baseman Albert Pujols is scheduled to head to South Beach some time in the next couple days, according to MLB.com.  The three-time National League MVP batted .299 with 37 homers and 99 RBI for the World Series champions this season.  The 31-year-old has spent his entire 11-year career with the Cards.  On Wednesday, the Marlins brought in free agent and former Met shortstop Jose Reyes.

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NFL Notes

NFL THURSDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL
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Oakland Raiders 24, San Diego Chargers 17

>>Lions Head To Windy City For Crucial NFC North Tilt With Bears

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Detroit Lions head to Soldier Field on Sunday for a crucial NFC North tilt against the Chicago Bears.  The Bears have won three straight to sit just one game back of the Lions at 5-and-3.  Chicago went into the City of Brotherly Love for "Monday Night Football" in Week Nine and came away with an important 30-24 win over the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Bears now hold a tiebreaker over the Falcons, Buccaneers and Eagles in the NFC playoff picture.  The Lions are coming off their bye.  In Week Eight, Detroit snapped a two-game slide with a dominant 45-10 victory over the Denver Broncos to improve to 6-and-2.  Detroit beat Chicago 24-13 in Week Five at Ford Field.

>>Rams Look for Win Number Two

(Cleveland, OH)  --  The St. Louis Rams head to the shores of Lake Erie to go up against the Cleveland Browns Sunday at Cleveland Browns Stadium.  The Rams saw the return of quarterback Sam Bradford last week after he missed the previous two games with a high-ankle sprain.  Coming off the first win of the season the week before against New Orleans, St. Louis lost 19-13 in overtime at Arizona when rookie Patrick Peterson returned a punt 99 yards for the winning score.  That dropped the Rams to an NFC-worst 1-and-7.  The Browns have dropped back-to-back road games to fall to 3-and-5.

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Illini Notes

>> Illini Open Basketball Season At Home vs. Loyala

Illinois will start finding out whether its young roster is ready to compete when it opens basketball season at home against Loyola.

The Illini and Ramblers tip off Friday night at 8 p.m.

Illinois is coming off a 20-14 season that ended two games into the NCAA Tournament. But the Illini lost 4 of their starters to graduation and a fifth player, promising freshman Jeremy Richmond, left the team for the NBA draft. He wasn't drafted and now awaits trial after pleading not guilty to battery charges.

The Illini roster includes six freshmen.

Friday will be the Loyola debut for new Ramblers coach Porter Moser.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
------
  7:00 p.m. - #1 North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Michigan State Spartans  (Carrier Classic in San Diego)
  7:00 p.m. - #2 Kentucky Wildcats host Marist Red Foxes
  9:00 p.m. - #3 Ohio State Buckeyes host Wright State Raiders
  7:00 p.m. - #4 Connecticut Huskies host Columbia Lions
  9:00 p.m. - #6 Duke Blue Devils vs. Belmont Bruins  (Maui Invitational in Hawaii)
10:00 p.m. - #7 Vanderbilt Commodores host Oregon Ducks
  7:00 p.m. - #8 Louisville Cardinals host Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks
  7:00 p.m. - #10 Florida Gators host Jackson State Tigers
  7:00 p.m. - #11 Pittsburgh Panthers host Albany Great Danes
10:00 p.m. - #12 Baylor Bears host Texas Southern Tigers
  8:00 p.m. - #13 Kansas Jayhawks host Towson Tigers  (Maui Invitational in Hawaii)
  7:00 p.m. - #15 Xavier Musketeers host Morgan State Bears
  8:00 p.m. - #17 Alabama Crimson Tide host North Florida Ospreys
  7:00 p.m. - #18 Michigan Wolverines host Ferris State Bulldogs
10:30 p.m. - #20 UCLA Bruins host Loyola Marymount Lions
  9:00 p.m. - #21 Marquette Golden Eagles host Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers
11:05 p.m. - #23 Gonzaga Bulldogs host Eastern Washington Eagles
10:30 p.m. - #24 California Golden Bears host UC Irvine Anteaters
  8:00 p.m. - #25 Missouri Tigers host Southeast Missouri State Redhawks

>>Illini Host #24 Michigan Saturday

(Champaign, IL)  --  The Illinois Fighting Illini are back on the gridiron this weekend as they host 24th-ranked Michigan on Saturday in Champaign.  The Illini were off last weekend.  Illinois has dropped three straight games after winning its first six to sit at 6-and-3 overall and 2-and-3 in Big Ten play.  They are coming off a 10-7 setback to Penn State last weekend.  Illinois fell to Michigan in a triple-overtime thriller, 67-65, last year in Ann Arbor.

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IHSA Football Quarters Preview

This weekend is the quarter finals games for the IHSA football playoffs.

Area match ups this week...

In Class 1A:
#12 Arcola (8-3) at #8 Tuscola (9-2)Sat, 5:00 pm

In Class 2A:
#9 Casey (C.-Westfield) (10-1) at #5 Williamsville (11-0) Sat. 2:00 pm
#3 Marshall (11-0) at #2 Maroa (M.-Forsyth) (11-0) Sat. 1:30 pm

In Class 3A:
#6 Macomb (8-3) at #1 Tolono (Unity) (10-1) Sat. 1:30 pm

In Class 4A:
#6 Kankakee (McNamara) (9-2) at #5 Rochester (9-2) Sat. 4:00 pm
#2 Charleston (10-1) at #4 Mt. Zion (9-2) Sat. 1:00 pm

In Class 5A:
#1 Springfield (Sacred Heart-Griffin) (11-0) at #2 Chatham-Glenwood (10-1)Sat. 1:00 pm
#4 Joliet (Catholic Academy) (9-2) at #2 Washington (10-1) Sat. 1:00 pm

In Class 6A:
#5 Peoria (Richwoods) (8-3) at #3 Danville (10-1) Sat. 2:00 pm

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IL House Sets Extra Session Day

Illinois lawmakers will have to work for their Thanksgiving turkey this year.

The Illinois House told members they should plan to be back at work at the Illinois Capitol on Nov. 21, the Monday before Thanksgiving. The Illinois Senate says it's polling members about their availability for another work day.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says the extra session day is needed so lawmakers can deal with a tax incentive package that started out as a way to give relief to Chicago's major financial exchanges because they have threatened to leave Illinois. Since then, proposals for the package have grown to include offering relief to other businesses and low-income workers.

Lawmakers are expected to wrap up their second week of the fall session on Wednesday after three days in Springfield.

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Unemployment Offices Closed for Veterans Day

The offices of the Illinois Department of Employment Security will be closed Friday in observance of Veterans Day. Offices will reopen on Monday at 8:30 a.m.

People will still be able to file for unemployment benefits Friday on the agency's website.

In addition to filing for first-time benefits, people will be able to certify for benefits and switch the method of payment to direct deposit.

But the agency warns that some benefit payments could be delayed because Friday is a bank holiday.

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Veto Session Wraps Up Second Week

Illinois lawmakers are wrapping up their second week of their fall session with major issues left to resolve or resurrect.

Thursday is the last day of their 3-day session, but there still isn't a deal on a tax relief package for Chicago's major financial exchanges that threatened to leave Illinois. Lawmakers also may try to revive gambling expansion after a new measure failed Wednesday night in the Illinois House.

The gambling measure would have added five new casinos, including one in Chicago. The sponsor, Democratic Rep. Lou Lang of Skokie, says he'll see if he has enough votes to bring it back for another vote.

The House scheduled a session day for Nov. 21 so lawmakers can consider the tax package. The Senate was polling members about their availability.

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House Approves Measure To Pay School Superintendents

A check could soon be in the mail for the state's regional superintendents of education.  They've been working for free since July 1st but yesterday state representatives approved a measure to pay them out of local property tax funds.  Sangamon County Assistant Regional Superintendent Shannon Fehrholz [[ Fair-holtz ]] calls it a bit of relief.

          [audio:rddROEPay1.mp3]Word from Fehrholz[/audio]

State Representative Frank Mautino says Illinois should be ashamed for treating elected officials this way.

 [audio:rddROEPay2.mp3]Word from Mautino[/audio]

State Representative Roger Eddy, who's also a school superintendent, says this is just a temporary fix to an unnecessary problem.

 [audio:rddROEPay3.mp3]Word from Eddy[/audio]


If the Senate approves the measure, the superintendents will receive back pay plus a guaranteed paycheck until June 30th.  A task force will also be developed to analyze the regional offices of education and find a way to streamline the superintendents' duties if necessary.

 

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Gaming Shut Down

Lawmakers shot down a plan to expand gambling in the state but Rockford Representative Charles Jefferson says more gambling would've revitalized the struggling economy.

        [audio:rddGameFail3.mp3]Word from Jefferson[/audio]

The gaming proposal failed by two votes yesterday, which is one of Governor Quinn's few victories during this veto session.  Quinn has been concern about gambling getting out of control in the state.  He says the original proposal had too many gaming positions and not enough oversight.  Those are provisions that lawmakers changed in a revised proposal but it wasn't enough to convince state reps.  Sponsor Lou Lang says he will bring the issue up for another vote sometime before veto session ends.

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Back Seed Supply Certain They Can Meet Next Year's Demands

This summer's tough growing conditions have caused some concerns in relation to the supply of seed available next spring, however at least one company is certain they will be able to meet demand.  Jared White has more...

[audio:11711BeckSeedSupplyWRAP.mp3]White on seed supply[/audio]

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DJWH Construction Updates

The Dr. John Warner Hospital has a couple of ongoing projects on its campus.

The hospital is updating it's sprinkler system as part of a federal mandate. CEO of the city owned hospital, Earl Sheehy explains that project is making surprisingly good progress. He notes the project has recently gone from the 2nd floor to the ground floor.

[audio:sprinklerupdate1.mp3]Word from Sheehy[/audio]

Sheehy explains the project is right in the middle of a lot of things at the hospital. And the work has been quite messy. The project has forced crews to cut through walls and ceilings, which will require replacing the ceiling in some rooms.

[audio:sprinklerupdate2.mp3]Word from Sheehy[/audio]

If you have driven by the hospital recently or tried to make your way into the hospital's main entrance, you probably noticed it is torn up and not accessible. Sheehy says right now they are working to replace the concrete at the base of the entrance.

[audio:sprinklerupdate3.mp3]Word from Sheehy[/audio]

The main entrance work is only expected to take 2-3 weeks, and again, Sheehy encourages those coming to the hospital to use the emergency entrance.

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Dewitt County Mass Notification System in the Works

A technology the City of Clinton has been using will soon be available to all of DeWitt County.

A mass notification system in place for residents of Clinton, which sends alerts to residents in cases of emergencies, will soon be available to residents all over DeWitt County. DeWitt County's 9-1-1 manager Tony Harris says the County is working on putting this system in place, it has been in the works for almost a year, and the system is the same system the City of Clinton is using.

[audio:dewittnotification1.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

Harris notes all home telephones will be notified, but he says once the system is available, residents will then have the options to add cell phone numbers, and can receive text messages. Another option will be email.

[audio:dewittnotification2.mp3]Harris on email[/audio]

Harris says funding for the first year of the system has been funded by Exelon. He believes even if Exelon cannot fund it in the future, the system will be around for a while, as it makes the jobs of emergency agencies much easier.

[audio:dewittnotification3.mp3]Word from Harris[/audio]

Harris hopes the notification system will be up and running by January 1 of 2012. He says things have been slow getting off the ground because of funding, but now that they have secured the funding from Exelon, they can move forward with the finishing touches. There will be several ways to access information on the system once it is place.

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Police Department Welcomes Lasko

 width=The Clinton Police Department has a new member of their team.

The Department recently acquired a new dog for their K-9 department. Lasko is a 3-year old male, Belgium Malinois. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy explains Lasko will be a full service dog for the department.

[audio:policedog1.mp3]Word from Reidy[/audio]

According to Chief Reidy, training Lasko should not take as long as other dogs. He says the obedience portion of the training has already been taken care of, they just now need to train him to be a police dog.

[audio:policedog2.mp3]Reidy on training[/audio]

The Police Department has had some issues with the previous dogs they have received. Chief Reidy believes Lasko has the potential to be a good police dog for the department.

[audio:policedog3.mp3]Reidy discusses Lasko's potential[/audio]

Lasko's handler will be Officer James McClure. Chief Reidy notes the K-9 car Officer McClure will have has several special features, including if the dog is in the car and the temperature inside the car gets about 85 degrees, the windows will automatically roll down for it.

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Illini Sign Point Guard

The University of Illinois has added a player at what might be its weakest spot with its lone scholarship available for next school year.

Coach Bruce Weber says 6-2 point guard Michael Orris from Crete-Monee in suburban Chicago committed to the Illini on national signing day Wednesday.

Orris is a 180-pound senior who averaged 10.2 points, 6.2 assists and 3.0 rebounds his junior year.

Weber calls Orris a winner and a tough, cerebral player. He notes Orris led Crete-Monee to something the school had never had before, a sectional championship.

Orris will join a young roster. Illinois will start its season Friday against Loyola with six freshmen.

They include point guard Tracy Abrams who Weber says is progressing surprisingly fast.

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Joe Paterno Out As Penn State Football Coach

Joe Paterno is out as head football coach at Penn State, effective immediately.  The Penn State Board of Trustees decided that effective immediately Paterno is no longer the coach and university president Graham Spanier is out as well, also effective immediately.  The 84-year-old Paterno had planned to retire at the end of the season, but instead he will be replaced right away in the middle of the child sex-abuse scandal surrounding former defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky.  Penn State plays its final home game of the season Saturday against Nebraska.  Assistant coach Tom Bradley will take over as interim head coach.

Paterno had been head coach at Penn State since 1966 and is the all-time Division One leader in victories with 409.  He has a record 37 bowl game appearances, including a record 24 wins.  Paterno was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006.  Sandusky is accused of preying on at least eight young boys from the late 1990s until 2009.  Authorities say Paterno fulfilled his obligation to report what he knew about an instance of alleged abuse in 2002.  However, Athletic Director Timothy Curley and Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Gary Schultz stand accused of perjury and failing to report Sandusky to police.  Curley and Schultz both have resigned their positions.

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Raiders, Chargers Clash On "Thursday Night Football"; Rams, Colts Notes

AFC West rivals each desperate for a win will clash when the Chargers host the Oakland Raiders on "Thursday Night Football" in San Diego.  The Raiders surrendered a combined 280 rushing yards to Tim Tebow and Willis McGahee in a 38-24 home loss to the Broncos this past Sunday.  Carson Palmer has thrown six interceptions in his first two games with the Raiders, both losses.  The Chargers dropped a 45-38 home shootout to the unbeaten Packers Sunday.  Philip Rivers threw four TD passes but was also picked three times, including two returned for scores.  San Diego has lost three straight, leaving the Bolts, Raiders and Chiefs tied atop the division at 4-and-4.  The Raiders won both meetings with the Chargers last year.

>>Rams Activate Mark Clayton

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams have activated Mark Clayton.  To make room for the wide receiver, quarterback Tom Brandstater was released.  Yesterday was the final day to decide if Clayton was to be activated or placed on the injured reserve list.  

Colts' Clark Out Sunday

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Indianapolis Colts tight end Dallas Clark will sit out Sunday's game against the Jacksonville Jaguars with a leg injury.  Clark exited last Sunday's 31-7 loss to the Atlanta Falcons in the second quarter and was wearing a walking boot on the sideline.  Brody Eldridge, another tight end, left Sunday's game with a hand injury in the first quarter and is also ruled out of the game.  The 32-year-old Clark has 28 receptions for 287 yards and two touchdowns in nine games played this season, while Eldridge has six catches for 33 yards.  In other injury news, running back Joseph Addai [[ uh-DIE ]] was a limited participant in practice with a hamstring injury.  Addai has not appeared in a game since Indianapolis' Week Seven, 62-7, blowout loss to the New Orleans Saints.

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Cardinals Wrap Up Wednesday Interviews

The St. Louis Cardinals interviewed Cubs Hall of Fame second baseman Ryne Sandberg and longtime third base coach Jose Oquendo for their open managerial position on Wednesday.  Both interviews took place in St. Louis.  The Cards have interviewed a total of six candidates as possible replacements for Tony La Russa, who retired after winning the World Series last month.  On Tuesday, St. Louis interviewed former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona in Cincinnati, where Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. lives.  Joe McEwing, Mike Matheny and Chris Maloney interviewed for the job last week.

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Stern: Nothing Decided Yet

NBA commissioner David Stern says labor negotiations with the union will continue today.  Stern spoke to the media very early this morning in New York after a lengthy negotiation session.  Stern said nothing was decided at the end of the talks and discussions will resume today.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-10

 

November 10, 2011

 

Jail Population: 48

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Steven Stricklan Jr, 40, Downs, was issued a citation for Speeding (83 mph in a 55 mph zone). Stricklan posted his IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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IL Home Forclosures Rise in October

Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 9.7% in October compared to the previous month.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 12,522 foreclosure filings last month. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

The filings represent one in every 423 housing units in the state. That rate is 26.2% lower than in October of last year and seventh-highest nationally.

RealtyTrac says the increase in many states likely is due to lenders resolving paperwork processing problems that had delayed many foreclosures. But it says new state court rulings and laws create uncertainty that threatens to delay a real estate recovery.

Nevada continued to have the nation's highest foreclosure rate.

Other states with foreclosure rates higher than Illinois are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Michigan.

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SIU Still Negoitating with Striking Faculty

Classes are ongoing with temporary instructors but reports from the Southern Illinois University campus in Carbondale are that few students are in attendance.  That'as because the faculty strike continues.  Dr. Dave Johnson, a Faculty Association representative, says the negotiations appear to be improving.

[audio:rddSIU1.mp3]Johnson discusses negotiations[/audio]

The university's faculty has been on strike since Wednesday of last week.  They haven't been able to reach a labor agreement with the school administrators for at least 16-months. A federal mediator has now entered into the negotiations, but it's unclear when an agreement will reached.

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Deer Poachers Charge Filed in Decatur

Eight men are facing charges in two separate investigations into deer poaching in northern Illinois.

Prosecutors in Grundy County have charged three men with killing a 36-point buck with antlers valued at $35,000.

Grundy County State's Attorney Jonathan Bates says buck was killed on private property near Morris, about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. Prosecutors say the buck was 1 of 24 deer taken in Illinois and Canada by the men, who didn't have permission or valid deer permits.

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Natural Resources has charged five men from Illinois and Michigan with poaching for unlawfully hunting 31 whitetail deer.

The largest deer in that case was killed in Cook County and was a buck with a $25,000 antler set.

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National Test Scheduled for Wednesday

A NATIONAL TEST OF THE COUNTRY’S EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM IS SCHEDULED FOR WEDNESDAY. (two stories, same lead).

IT WILL BE A TEST…ONLY A TEST WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON SAYS ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON.

[audio:emergency.mp3]Word from Thompson[/audio]

THIS IS THE FIRST NATIONWIDE TEST OF THE EMERGENCY ALERT SYSTEM. THE IDEA IS THAT IT COULD BE USED FOR THE PRESIDENT TO ADDRESS THE AMERICAN PUBLIC IF THERE WERE AN EXTREME…NATIONAL EMERGENCY.

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U of I Students Consider Smoke-Free Campus

Students at the University of Illinois can participate in a non-binding vote this week on whether they'd like to see smoking banned on the Urbana-Champaign campus.

Students can vote online this week.

Student Trustee Hannah Ehrenberg put the issue on an online student ballot by gathering more than 3,000 signatures.

Smoking is currently banned in buildings on campus but allowed in outdoor common areas.

Ehrenberg says most of the students she's spoken to support tighter restrictions.

If students vote in favor of the ban, committees representing students and faculty members would work out details of a proposal.

University spokeswoman Robin Kaler said the campus would likely consider the issue if students vote in favor of banning smoking.

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ADM Donates 67 Tons of Food to Feed Hungry

Archer Daniels Midland is reporting that its employees donated more than 67 tons of food to soup kitchens and pantries in celebration of World Food Day.

Officials say the Decatur, Ill.-based company's workers volunteered to donate food in communities around the world.

World Food Day is commemorated Oct. 16 - the day in 1945 that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations was established.

The effort was coordinated by ADM Cares. It funded the creation last year of an institute at the University of Illinois that helps small farmers in developing nations preserve grain and seeds that could be lost to pests, disease, mishandling and other factors

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Decatur Woman Sentences in Stray Bullet Shooting

A 22-year-old Decatur woman has been sentenced to three and a half years in prison for accidentally shooting a man to death when a stray bullet fired from her back yard struck him in his nearby apartment.

Mattisha Houston apologized to Joseph Wells' family before she was sentenced Monday for killing him in July. Houston pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month. Houston has two young children.

Wells was watching television in his apartment when the bullet flew through a window and struck him in the head.

Authorities say Houston fired her husband's gun at a tree in their back yard during a night of drinking.

The husband, Quincy Houston, has pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and is awaiting trial.

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4-H Academy This Week

An annual 4-H event is taking place this week.

The Annual Jr. Leadership Academy is this week. 4th and 5th grade students are meeting after school each day this week in Clinton working on leadership skills and team building skills. Sherry Fulton, the 4-H Youth Development Educator with DeWitt, Piatt, and Macon County University of Illinois Extension Offices explains getting students involved early and learning these skills will definitely help them as they continue to grow up.

[audio:4hacademy1.mp3]Word from Fulton[/audio]

As a result of working in Piatt County, Fulton will now be working with the students of Monticello. She says they have a similar event happening this week over there as well.

[audio:4hacademy2.mp3]Word from Fulton[/audio]

Fulton says the students make things easy for her by getting involved right away without hesitation. She says the students getting involved and taking charge has a lot to do with them wanting to be there and be a part of the program.

[audio:4hacademy3.mp3]Word from Fulton[/audio]

Fulton says it is interesting to watch the kids work during program. She says many times she has to have kids rotate on who is the group leader for a given activity.

The academy goes for the next three weeks after school at Clinton's Webster School.

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Exelon Power Plant Going Through Maintenence

An every other year operation that takes place at the Clinton Power Plant that was originally scheduled for 2012 has now been moved.

Every other year, the Clinton Power Plant does a refuel outage. Bill Harris is the Communications Manager at Exelon, he explains during a refuel outage many things take place, including inspections and maintenance on equipment that Harris says is normally not accessible.

[audio:refueloutage1.mp3]Harris discusses Outage[/audio]

According to Harris, this inspection provides a nice boost to the local economy as the number of people at the Power Plant will be close to a couple thousand. He says each person is needed to help support the process.

[audio:refueloutage2.mp3]Harris discusses Outage[/audio]

Harris says once everything is complete, the Power Plant works hard to work at maximum efficiency to make sure procedures such as the one taking place now, does happen every two years.

[audio:refueloutage3.mp3]Harris discusses Outage[/audio]

According to Harris, once the fuel has been used, it is stored and managed at the Clinton Power Plant.

Harris says you may notice many new faces around Clinton already due to the refueling going on already.

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Clinton Considers Trash Ordinance

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters is seeking the thoughts of the residents of Clinton regarding a new ordinance the City Council is considering.

At Monday evenings Clinton City Council meeting, Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Nan Crang proposed to the Council a new ordinance involving the placement of trash receptacles. She feels placing them on the terrace is sloppy and something needs to be done to change it.

[audio:trashcans1.mp3]Word from Peters[/audio]

There are two parts to the proposed ordinance. Mayor of the City of Clinton, Carolyn Peters explains the first involves when those cans can be placed out front, and also when they need to be taken in.

[audio:trashcans2.mp3]Word from Peters[/audio]

The second portion of the ordinance involves where the trash cans can be placed in relation to the front of a resident's house. Mayor Peters has taken notice that this may cause some residents some difficulty because of the way their homes were built.

[audio:trashcans3.mp3]Peters on ordinances[/audio]

Mayor Peters says it is these two issues she is asking for feedback regarding. She wants to know if the public feels it is a proper ordinance. She feels the idea behind the ordinance is to eliminate the problem of residents leaving their trash receptacles out longer than necessary.

[audio:trashcans4.mp3]Peters on Issues[/audio]

Mayor Peters encourages residents to contact herself and Commissioner Crang to express their opinions on the matter. You can contact them through Clinton City Hall at 935-9438.

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Union Says No To NBA Labor Deal

Don't look for the Chicago Bulls to be on the court anytime soon.  NBA union president Derek Fisher said yesterday that the players will not accept the league's current labor proposal.  He added he doesn't see how a deal will get done before today's deadline set by commissioner David Stern.  Union chief Billy Hunter says he expects games to now be canceled through Christmas.

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Bears Give Garza Extension

The Chicago Bears and veteran offensive lineman Matt Garza agreed to a two-year contract extension on Tuesday.  The deal is reportedly worth $6.55-million with $2.6-million guaranteed.  Garza was in the final year of a six-year deal he inked in 2006.  The 32-year-old Garza, who is an 11 year veteran and team captain with the Bears, started 85 games at guard before moving to center this season when Chicago failed to come to terms with Olin Kreutz.

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Former Celtic HOF'er Ed Macauley Dies

Former St. Louis University Billiken and Boston Celtic center Ed Macauley has died.  "Easy Ed" as he was affectionately known, led the Billikens to the 1948 NIT Championship and was the MVP.  Macauley went on to play for the Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks in the NBA, leading the Hawks to the title in the 1958-59 season.  In 1960, Macauley was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame and has also been named one of the NBA's Top 100 Players of All-Time.  He was also traded by the Celtics, who retired his number-22, to St. Louis in a deal that sent Bill Russell to Boston.  Ed Macauley was 83-years-old.

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Mike Maddux Interviewing With Cubs Today; Cardinals Interview Francona

The Cardinals have interviewed former Red Sox skipper Terry Francona for their vacant managerial position.  The "Post-Dispatch" reports the session took place in Cincinnati, where Cardinals chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. lives.  Joe McEwing, Mike Matheny and Chris Maloney interviewed for the job last week.  The Cards are expected to interview Jose Oquendo and Ryne Sandberg today.

The Chicago Cubs are set to interview Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux for their vacant managerial position today.  Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein [[ EPP-steen ]] and general manager Jed Hoyer are expected to meet with Maddux at Wrigley Field.  Maddux will be the third candidate to be interviewed by the Northsiders.  Milwaukee hitting coach Dale Sveum [[ SWAYM ]] and Philadelphia bench coach Pete Mackanin have also gone through a formal interview process with the Cubs.  The 50-year-old Maddux, who is the older brother of Cubs pitching great Greg Maddux, has spent the past three seasons with the Rangers.

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Slow Starts Doom Illini to 3-game Skid

Illinois is like a lot of teams that script their first 10 or 12 plays each week. The well-rehearsed opening has gone all wrong during a 3-game losing skid.

Coach Ron Zook says those problems are in part to blame for Illinois (6-3 Big Ten, 2-3) scoring just nine points a game over that stretch. The Illini haven't scored a first-half point is losses to Ohio State, Purdue and Penn State.

Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase (SHEEL'-hows) says better execution in those early drives would no doubt make the Illini more explosive.

No. 22 Michigan is next on the schedule. Illinois lost to the Wolverines in a 67-65 shootout last fall.

Zook says tailback Jason Ford will see a lot of the ball after rushing for 100 yards against Penn State.

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Big Breaks Coming For Illinois Businesses

Big tax breaks are likely coming down the pipe for businesses in Illinois.  Lawmakers are expected to vote on a rewrite of the state's tax code this week.  Mark Denzler with the Illinois Manufacturers Association says the tax relief is critical when it comes to keeping businesses in the state.

[audio:rddDenz1.mp3]A Word From Denzler[/audio]

Denzler with the Illinois Manufacturers Association says the tax breaks are nothing in comparison to what the state will lose if the businesses leave the state.

[audio:rddDenz2.mp3]A Word From Denzler[/audio]

Several big companies threatened to leave Illinois after a spike in corporate income taxes took effect earlier this year, including Sears and the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.  The new plan would allow companies to write off 100 percent of the cost of equipment, as well as increase the estate tax deduction and extend the research and development tax credit.  It will also include an increase in earned income tax credit for individuals.

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Quinn Says Budget Overrides A Bad Idea

Governor Quinn cut more than 360-million dollars from the state's budget this year but lawmakers are looking to override some of those budget vetoes this week.  Governor Quinn says that's not a good idea.

[audio:rddBujVeto1.mp3]Quinn on Budget Overrides[/audio]

Lawmakers are back in Springfield this week to finish up work in veto session this week.  They'll deal with several issues including gaming, finding a way to avert a layoff plan for 19-hundred state workers and paying the state's 44 regional superintendents who haven't been paid since July 1st.

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Central Illinois Town Gets First Police Dog

A German shepherd named Kiya is the first police dog in the central Illinois city of Delavan.

The 2 1/2-year-old female dog is partnered with Delavan Police Department Assistant Chief Jerry Littlefield. The city council approved the K-9 program for its police department last week.

The nearby Armington Police Department sponsored the dog's training. Private organizations and other police departments are covering other costs, like continued training and food. Littlefield already is a trained dog handler. Among the upside of having Kiya is that she can help the department locate lost children.

Delavan Mayor Elizabeth Skinner says the program also shows the city is committed to combating drug use.

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Illinois Wesleyan To Build $16 Million Classroom Building

Construction of a nearly $16 million classroom building at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington is set to begin soon.

University officials say the building will be completed by next fall. The 48,700 square-foot facility will stand on the site of the former Sheean Library. The library teardown was completed over the summer.

President Dick Wilson says the university is indebted to donors, including alumni and McLean County residents.

The classroom building is the second major building project this year for the school. Construction on a new $2 million entry, and interior renovation of areas within the Joyce Eichhorn Ames School of Art is near completion.

A $125 million fundraising campaign, announced in May 2009, is scheduled to conclude in 2014. Donations have reached more than $94 million so far.

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Big Issues Remain Unresolved As Lawmakers Reconvene For Fall Veto Session

As legislators head back to Springfield this week, several issues remain unresolved.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Michael Madigan announced yesterday he is going to file a motion to override several vetoes Governor Pat Quinn instated, such as the payments of the Regional Superintendents and also the transportation funds. Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose cautions that Madigan may try to work with the Governor to come to a deal everyone involved can be content with.

[audio:vetosession1.mp3]AWord From Rep. Rose[/audio]

Another unresolved issue legislators must deal with is the promised pay raises to AFSCME members, the state's union employees. Rep. Rose applauds Speaker Madigan for restricting the Governor in his ability to allow these pay raises.

[audio:vetosession2.mp3]AWord From Rep. Rose[/audio]

While Illinois faces a long list of past due debts, Rose stresses the cuts the Governor made will not go to pay those debts off, but rather to somewhere else. He feels it would be unnecessary for the governor to undo all the work lawmakers put in to make sure bills began getting paid.

[audio:vetosession3.mp3]AWord From Rep. Rose[/audio]

Rose is confident Regional Superintendent's pay and school's transportation funds can be reinstated as legislators reconvene this week in Springfield.

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DeWitt County Friendship Center Has New Excercise Program

Senior Citizens wishing to keep in shape now have an opportunity to do so.

The Dewitt County Friendship Center has jumpstarted a new senior excercise on called "Strong for Life". It is designed for individuals 55 and over. The focus of this class is to help stengthen muscle mass which is a large indicator of good health. According to Exectutive Director Sissy Leggett, this class will be a challenge but not overly strenuous for the participants.

[audio:seniorexcercise1.mp3]Leggett on the New Program[/audio]

One of the biggest advantages of this program is the fact that it costs nothing. Leggett also wants to make sure to point out that it's not just for women. Men are encouraged to attend as well.

[audio:seniorexcercise2.mp3]A Word From Leggett[/audio]

Leggett says that they have had several respond but they could always take more. She says any senior could come and join, even those who use canes and walkers.  She also says thatactivity and movement is crucial to staying active in your older years.

[audio:seniorexcercise3.mp3]Leggett On The Benefits[/audio]

The class is on Wednesday afternoons at 2pm. For more information about details for the class you can call Sissy Leggett at 935-9411.

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Clinton's Fall Clean Up Update

If you still have some fall yard work that needs to be done, there is still plenty of time to do so.

The City of Clinton's fall clean up crews are out in full swing right now. Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements for the City of Clinton, Nan Crang says so far crews have been very busy, and with many trees yet to shed their leaves for the fall season, they are sure to continue to be busy through the month of November.

[audio:fallcleanup1.mp3]A Word From Crang[/audio]

Crang encourages those who are able to continue to take advantage of the yard waste facility. She says it speeds up the process for the City's Street department clean up.

[audio:fallcleanup2.mp3]A Word From Crang[/audio]

With the residents that chose to leave their brush out by the street, the time of year leaves a questionable situation as to where exactly to leave that brush. Steve Lobb says with the weather conditions the way they are, he says leaving the brush too far up on residents property creates more work for the street department, making the amount of time they spend in a particular portion of the city longer. He says while leaving brush close to the street may cause some minor flooding, that may be the best case scenario for his crews.

[audio:fallcleanup1.mp3]A Word From Lobb[/audio]

Crang also reminds residents the yard waste facility's hours are Monday through Friday, 3-5 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to 12 pm, 1 pm - 5 pm. and are good until December 3rd. After December 3rd, Crang says the hours then become Tuesday and Thursday 3-5 pm, and Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, and 1 to 5 pm.

Below is a map of the 5 zones of Clinton's clean up areas. Crang says the City can usually get to one zone per week.

 width=

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NASCAR Issues Fine, Probation For Kyle Busch

NASCAR has fined Kyle Busch $50-thousand and placed him on probation for the remainder of the calendar year.  The penalties are for intentionally wrecking Ron Hornaday Jr. in last Friday's Camping World Truck Series race at Texas Motor Speedway.  The sanctioning body took initial action against Busch on Saturday by suspending him from the Nationwide and Sprint Cup Series races at Texas.  NASCAR says Busch will be suspended indefinitely if there is another incident.  Busch will be allowed to race in this Sunday's Sprint Cup race at Phoenix International Raceway.

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Northsiders Interview Brewers' Sveum

The Chicago Cubs search for a new manager continued on Monday as the team interviewed Milwaukee Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum [[ SWAYM ]].  Sveum, who turns 48 at the end of the month, met with Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer.  Chicago interviewed Philadelphia Phillies bench coach Pete Mackanin over the weekend and also has plans to meet with Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux.  The new Cubs brass fired last year's manager Mike Quade last week.

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Bears Edge Eagles On Monday Night Football

Jay Cutler's five-yard touchdown toss to Earl Bennett early in the fourth quarter turned out to be the difference as the Bears edged the Eagles, 30-24, on "Monday Night Football."  Cutler finished 18-of-32 for 208 yards with two touchdowns for Chicago, which has won three games in-a-row to up its mark to 5-and-3 on the season.  Matt Forte  rumbled for 133 yards on 24 carries but also had a pair of fumbles, one of which was returned 22 yards to the house by Brian Rolle.  Marion Barber found the endzone via the ground and Robbie Gould split the uprights three times in the Bears win.  The Bears host the Detroit Lions in Week 10 at Soldier Field.  Detroit beat Chicago, 24-13, in Week Five on "Monday Night Football."

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CHS Grad Colin Duling's Success Helps IC To Successful Season; Postseason Bid

A Clinton High School Alumni has helped lead his current college squad to it's best season in school history.

The 2011 Illinois College football team etched its name into the record books on Saturday, beating Beloit College 48-27 in its regular-season finale to finish the year with a school-record nine wins.
 
Illinois College Head Coach Garrett Campbell says it's a credit to the entire campus community because everybody played a role in this season's success. He adds he is happy for all of his players, especially the seniors.

Illinois College went 9-1 overall, 8-1 in the Midwest Conference, solidifying a second-place finish in the MWC with the win. The Blueboys will be seeking the Conference's first-ever at-large bid to the Division III football playoffs when the playoff pairings are announced on NCAA.com at 5 p.m. on Sunday, November 13. The Blueboys will be seeking one of six available at-large bids.
 
The 2011 Illinois College football team will go down as one of the best – if not the best – team in school history. The Blueboys have never won nine games in a season, and its only undefeated seasons came in 1891 (6-0), 1892 (1-0) and 1915 (7-0) when the team played a much lighter schedule.

 width=Colin Duling, a Junior from Clinton is the team's second leading receiver with 40 pass receptions, 650 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns receiving.

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Feds Bust Phony Document Manufactering Operation

The suspected Los Angeles ringleader of phony document manufacturers has been indicted with more than a dozen others for producing bogus Social Security cards, driver's licenses and immigration cards for distribution nationwide.

Federal grand jury indictments unsealed Thursday allege 45-year-old Alejandro Morales Serrano is behind several false document manufacturing networks in the MacArthur Park area of Los Angeles and elsewhere.

The indictments say Serrano's operation manufactures raw materials that are then used to manufacture false documents on a large scale from California to Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Illinois, and Michigan.

The Los Angeles FBI office says in a news release that more than 300 federal and local law enforcement officers on Thursday executed dozens of arrest and search warrants in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, Northern California, Illinois and Texas.

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Construction to Begin Today on Princeton Water Plant

Construction is set to start today on a new water treatment plant in the north-central Illinois city of Princeton.

The new 4 million-gallon-per-day plant should be finished by fall of 2013. The city's existing plant was built in 1930 with updates in 1964 and 1999. The project will cost $23.5 million. The city has taken on debt and passed rate increases to pay for the plant.

Supporters of the new plant say it's needed to support future growth in Princeton. Water superintendent Mike Eggers says the plan should last Princeton between 40 and 70 years.

Eggers calls the project "probably 1 of the largest, if not the largest, public works projects the city's ever done."

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Illinois Wildlife Center Prepares to Release 2 Eaglets

A northern Illinois wildlife rehabilitation center is preparing to release two baby eagles into the wild after the pair survived an 85-foot fall from their nest.

The Flint Creek Wildlife Rehabilitation Center will hold a ceremony for the male birds at Starved Rock State Park in Utica. They will be released on the ground as viewers watch nearby.

The nine-pound eaglets have lived in a flight chamber near a surrogate eagle at the center's Barrington facility since June after a storm knocked them out of their nest. Volunteers built a new nest but the eaglets' parents had stopped feeding them.

The center is accepting donations to help with the $20,000 cost of helping the birds.

The release is scheduled for Nov. 12.

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75 Illinois Soldiers Welcomed Home From Iraq

Friends and family members cheered as they welcomed home about 75 members of the Illinois National Guard from Iraq.

The soldiers were celebrated Friday morning with a ceremony at the Peoria International Airport. Members of the 709th Area Support Medical Company completed more than 250 missions during their time in Iraq. They provided care for more than 14,000 people.

Several groups were there for the homecoming, including the Red Cross, USO and the American Legion.

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Weather Was Dry in Illinois During October

Precipitation across Illinois was more than an inch below average in October.

Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says average precipitation for October in Illinois was 1.79 inches, 1.12 below average. That means it was the 21st driest October on record in the state.

Colchester, near Macomb, was the driest spot in Illinois during October with .22 inches. The southern Chicago suburb of Lansing was the wettest, with 5.22 inches. Rainfall was largely below an inch in western Illinois.

The average temperature in Illinois during October was 55.1 degrees, .5 degrees above average. It was warmest at 92 degrees in Bentley and coolest in Mount Carroll, where it was 23 degrees.

The Illinois State Water Survey is located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

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Weekly Weather Report

We saw some rain overnight last night, Todd Gleason says we can see some cooler temperatures this week with chances of rain throughout the week.

[audio:wx.mp3]Todd Gleason With The Report[/audio]

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Maroa-Forsyth Schools Planning For New Elementary Building

Last week, Regional Radio News outlined a new 10-year, 4 phase facility plan for the Maroa-Forsyth School district.

With the first 3 phases being upgrades to the high school and grade school. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth schools Mike Williams says the final phase is to build a new elementary building for the district. He says the high school is scheduled to be paid off, and he says the Board of Education would like to approach tax payers to keep the tax rate the same to build the facility.

[audio:newmaroaschool1.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

In 2006, the district embarked on a facility plan that included some minor upgrades to their current elementary building to allow hold it over for approximately another 10 years. He says while the current building has served the district well, they would like to build a new elementary school.

[audio:newmaroaschool2.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

Williams says the district is very fortunate to be in the situation they are in to be able to look to the future and make the upgrades they plan on making. He says the district has tremendous support from the Board of Education, staff members and also those in the community.

[audio:newmaroaschool3.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

According to Williams, upon the completion of the 10-year facility plan, each of the buildings in the district will be under 25-years old, which has been a goal for the Maroa-Forsyth Board of Education.

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DeWitt County's Emergency Exercise Successful

Last Wednesday, Emergency crews across DeWitt County and the surrounding areas took part in an exercise to test emergency response plans for the area surrounding the Clinton Nuclear Power Station.

The US Department of Homeland Security along with several other agencies, worked in evaluating the offsite portion of the exercise. Those departments evaluate based on mobility, direction and control, communications, equipment, decisions and implementation, traffic and access control, and notifications. Dwaine Warren with the US Department of Homeland Security Region 5 explains, with the effected counties, DeWitt, Piatt, McLean, and Macon, DeWitt County has the largest area of impact. He says of the areas of criteria they chose to try to meet, they met all of them.

[audio:emergencyresults1.mp3]A Word From Warren[/audio]

Bob Jickling with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, helped in the evaluation of the on-site portion of the test. He says his team concluded there were no areas of concern from them.

[audio:emergencyresults2.mp3]A Word From Jickling[/audio]

Jickling explains the simulated emergency crews participated in was the second lowest level of emergency.

[audio:emergencyresults3.mp3]A Word From Jickling[/audio]

DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tillie congratulates DeWitt County's EMA Coordinator Teresa Barnett-Hall for her crews success in the exercise. Tillie says she is proud of their professionalism and is confident in their ability to protect the public in the state of emergencies, especially those involving the Clinton Power Plant.

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Clinton Student Council Hosting Food Drive All This Week

Clinton High School's Student Council will be putting on a canned food drive all next week.

Student's will be collecting canned food donations, and also cash donations before school and at lunch all next week. Nicole Davis, a Student Council leader at the high school explains the donations are going to support Community Action. She hopes giving students the option for canned food donations or cash donations will increase the support they receive.

[audio:studentfooddrive1.mp3]A Word From Davis[/audio]

Davis felt the kids were looking for ways to make in impact in the community. She says in their role as Student Council members, they are held to a higher standard and should be taking a more active role to help the community.

[audio:studentfooddrive2.mp3]A Word From Davis[/audio]

Each class will have a little extra incentive when donating to the food drive. Davis says the class that raises the most money will receive a donation to their classes funds. Also, each class member will receive passes to athletic events around the high school.

[audio:studentfooddrive3.mp3]A Word From Davis[/audio]

Again, student council members will be collecting both cash and canned donations all week before school and during their lunch periods, and all the donations will go to support Community Action.

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Rams Lose In OT; Bears on MNF; Sunday's Scores

>>Peterson Runs Cardinals Past Rams In OT

(Glendale, AZ)  --  Patrick Peterson's electrifying 99-yard punt return for a touchdown gave the Cardinals a 19-13 overtime victory over the Rams.  The Cards blocked a Josh Brown field goal attempt as time expired to send the game to OT and moments earlier had scored the first touchdown of the contest when Larry Fitzgerald caught a 13-yard strike from John Skelton.  Skelton finished the day with 222 yards on 20-of-35 passing, while Jay Feely kicked a pair of field goals as Arizona upped its mark to 2-and-6.  Despite having the potential game-winner blocked, Brown connected on three field goals and the St. Louis defense provided two safeties in the loss.  Steven Jackson rumbled for 130 yards on 29 carries, while Sam Bradford returned from a high ankle sprain to throw for 255 yards and an interception as the Rams fell to 1-and-7.

>>Bears Battle Eagles On "Monday Night Football"

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  The Chicago Bears head to The City of Brotherly Love to battle the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field on "Monday Night Football."  The Eagles have won back-to-back games on the heels of a four-game slide to sit at 3-and-4 on the season.  Philadelphia leaned on running back LeSean McCoy, who rumbled for 185 yards on 30 carries with two touchdowns in a 34-7 victory over NFC East rival Dallas in Week Eight.  Chicago is coming off its bye.  The Bears topped Tampa Bay, 24-18, in Week Seven at Wembley Stadium in London to up their mark to 4-and-3.  Matt Forte continued his impressive campaign with 145 yards and a score via the ground on 25 carries as the "Monsters of the Midway" won for the third time in four games.  Chicago beat Philly, 31-26, last season at Soldier Field.

NFL
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Dallas Cowboys 23, Seattle Seahawks 13
Miami Dolphins 31, Kansas City Chiefs 3
New Orleans Saints 27, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 16
San Francisco 49ers 19, Washington Redskins 11
Houston Texans 30, Cleveland Browns 12
New York Jets 27, Buffalo Bills 11
Atlanta Falcons 31, Indianapolis Colts 7
Denver Broncos 38, Oakland Raiders 24
Cincinnati Bengals 24, Tennessee Titans 17
Green Bay Packers 45, San Diego Chargers 38
Arizona Cardinals 19, St. Louis Rams 13 (OT)
New York Giants 24, New England Patriots 20
Baltimore Ravens 23, Pittsburgh Steelers 20

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ISU Tops Western Illinois

>> Illinois State Runs Past Western Illinois 31-7

Matt Brown ran for a 50-yard touchdown and added a touchdown pass Saturday to lead Illinois State to a 31-7 victory over Western Illinois.

The Redbirds (7-3, 5-2 Missouri Valley) rolled up 273 rushing yards, averaging just under 6 yards for 46 carries. Cliffton Gordon gained 78 yards and scored on a 2-yard run, and Darrelynn Dunn ran for a 20-yard score for Illinois State, which has won five in a row. Brown's touchdown pass was a 30-yarder to Donovan Harden.

Nikko Watson scored Western Illinois' only touchdown on a 1-yard run. He led the Leathernecks (2-7, 1-5) with 60 rushing yards.


(SATURDAY) NCAA Top-25 Football  (BCS Standings)
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#1 LSU Tigers 9, #2 Alabama Crimson Tide 6 (OT)
#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys 52, #14 Kansas State Wildcats 45
#4 Stanford Cardinal 38, Oregon State Beavers 13
#5 Boise State Broncos 48, UNLV Rebels 21
#6 Oklahoma Sooners 41, Texas A&M Aggies 25
#7 Arkansas Razorbacks 44, #9 South Carolina Gamecocks 28
#8 Oregon Ducks 34, Washington Huskies 17
Northwestern Wildcats 28, #10 Nebraska Cornhuskers 25
#13 Houston Cougars 56, UAB Blazers 13
Iowa Hawkeyes 24, #15 Michigan Wolverines 16
#17 Michigan State Spartans 31, Minnesota Golden Gophers 24
#18 Georgia Bulldogs 63, New Mexico State Aggies 16
UCLA Bruins 29, #19 Arizona State Sun Devils 28
#20 Wisconsin Badgers 62, Purdue Boilermakers 17
#21 Texas Longhorns 52, Texas Tech Red Raiders 20
Louisville Cardinals 38, #24 West Virginia Mountaineers 35
#25 Southern Miss Golden Eagles 48, East Carolina Pirates 28

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Tony Stewart Continues Chase Charge

Tony Stewart won his fourth race of the Chase, holding off points-leader Carl Edwards to take the AAA Texas 500 at Texas Motor Speedway on Sunday.  Despite his fourth victory in eight races, Stewart and his number-14 car still trail Edwards by three points in the points.  Kasey Kahne [[ Kane ]], Matt Kenseth and Greg Biffle rounded out the top-five.  Kenseth's finish pulls him into fourth-place in points, 38 points shy of Edwards, while Kevin Harvick held on to the third spot with a 13th-place finish.  Harvick remains 33 points back of the front-charging combo of Edwards and Stewart with two weeks remaining in the season.  Five-time defending Cup champ Jimmie Johnson made up no ground with a 14th-place finish and remains 55 points out in sixth place.  The series heads to Phoenix International Raceway next week before closing the season at Homestead-Miami Speedway on November 20th.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

November 5, 2011

Jail Population: 52

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

November 6, 2011

Jail Population: 51

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1

November 7, 2011

 

Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

Brant Grof, 46, Beason, was issued a citation for Speeding (90 mph in a 55 mph zone). Grof posted his IL. Drivers license as bond and was released.

Travis Shepard, 28, Decatur was issued a citation for No Valid Registration. Shepard posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

Michelle Pruser, 47, Clinton was issued a citation for Speeding (64 mph in a 45 mph zone). Martinez was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Ralph Hammann, 60, Champaign, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Hammann posted his IL Drivers License and was released.

Patricia Rich, 57, McLean, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Rich posted her IL Drivers License and was released.

Brittny Lindsey, 21, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (82 mph in a 65 mph zone). Lindsey posted her IL Drivers License and was released.

Robert Toliver, 28, Armington, was issued a citation for Speeding (80 mph in a 65 mph zone). Toliver posted his IL Drivers License and was released.

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

 

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Unity Beats Monticello

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, Tolono Unity won 27-14 against the Monticello Sages in their playoff game Saturday.  For the Sages, Parker Trice ran 4 times for 9 yards and had 117 yards on the ground and 2 returns for a touchdown.  Jacob Williams had a 60 yard touchdown pass.  Scott Huisinga also contributed a score.  The Sages finished their season 7-4. 

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Dozens of Faculty Picketing at SIU Carbondale

A labor dispute involving tenured educators and those on the tenure track is playing out at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.

Members of the Faculty Association union are carrying picket signs outside the 20,000-student campus' main entrances, and about a half dozen of them are demonstrating outside the building housing the chancellor's office.

That union took to picketing Thursday after failing to reach a contract deal.

University spokesman Rod Sievers (SEE'-verz) says administrators believe they can fill the classroom voids and that students should see what he calls minimal impact.

Not everyone in the Faculty Association is taking part. A splinter group unhappy with the union's bargaining says it owes students to stay on the job instead of joining what it called "the noisy minority."

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ISU Coach Says Stadium Plans Will Help Recruiting

Illinois State football coach Brock Spack says the school's plans to renovate Hancock Stadium are starting to pay off on the recruiting trail.

Spack said Wednesday that the stadium and its shortcomings have been an obstacle in recruiting players. He says the Redbirds have a great campus and other facilities, such as the weight room. Now he says the stadium will be a help rather than a hindrance.

Illinois State plans to start the $20 million renovation in the spring. The renovation will expand seating from 9,500 to about 14,000. The project should be done for the 2013 football season.

The Redbirds' success on the field may be helping, too. ISU is 6-3 and ranked No. 24 in the Football Championship Subdivision.

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Cubs, Cards Manager Updates

>>Cardinals Begin Managerial Interviews

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals have begun managerial interviews as they look to replace the retired Tony La Russa.  The "Post-Dispatch" reports the Cards have spoken with both Triple-A Memphis manager Chris Maloney and White Sox coach Joe McEwing about the vacancy.  McEwing, a former Cardinals player, was just recently named third base coach on new manager Robin Ventura's staff.

>>Mike Maddux To Interview For Cubs Job

(Arlington, TX)  --  The Chicago Cubs are going to interview Texas Rangers pitching coach Mike Maddux for their managerial opening.  Rangers GM Jon Daniels says the Cubs asked for and were granted permission on Thursday.  Maddux has been Rangers pitching coach the last three years.

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Rams Notes

>>Bradford Does Drills, Feeley Likely To Start

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Quarterback Sam Bradford took part in some drills Thursday, but remains doubtful for Sunday's game at Arizona.  Backup A.J. Feeley took reps with the first team and is in line to make his third straight start against the Cardinals.  Head coach Steve Spagnuolo said Bradford still isn't quite there yet, but will further evaluate today. 


>>Rams Roll Into Desert For NFC West Tussle With Cards

(Glendale, AZ)  --  A pair of 1-and-6 NFC West foes will meet in the desert when the Arizona Cardinals host the St. Louis Rams Sunday.  The Cards are coming off a heartbreaking 30-27 loss at Baltimore last weekend.  Arizona, which jumped out to a 24-6 lead at the break, was outscored 24-3 in the second half en route to its sixth straight loss.  Cards quarterback Kevin Kolb [[ Cobb ]] sustained a turf toe injury and John Skelton will start if he is unable to go this week. 

St. Louis finally got into the win column with a stunning 31-21 home victory over New Orleans in Week Eight.  Steven Jackson rumbled for a season-high 159 yards on 25 carries with two scores in the win.  Rams quarterback Sam Bradford has missed the last two games with an ankle injury and he is questionable for Sunday.  The teams split a pair of meetings last season, with each squad winning on the road.

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High School Football Week 2 Playoffs Preview

Round 2 of IHSA Football playoff action is slated for tonight and tomorrow around the area.

The Okaw Valley Conference saw a lot of success in week 1, with just 2 of 8 teams being eliminated between the Little Okaw, Okaw Valley Black and Okaw Valley Blue.

With surprises playing out all weekend throughout the playoffs, 2 of the biggest surprises may have come from Okaw teams last weekend. The first was 16-seeded Central A & M going to #1 Salt Fork and pulling off the upset 14-13. A & M now gets to host a home game against Tuscola, who renewed a rivalry with former Little Okaw rival Cerro Gordo, winning 42-0. The other surprise came as Decatur St. Teresa was dominated for the second straight week, losing this time to Macomb, 40-14.

Another old rivalry was renewed this past weekend, as Monticello traveled to St. Jospeh to take on St. Joe-Ogden. Both teams finished the regular season at 6-3. The final score of 42-14 was not a good indicator of how close of a ball game this was, in fact, going into the half, Monticello only held a 14-7 lead, and after an early 4th qaurter TD run by St. Joe tailback Chase Patton cut the Sages lead to 21-14, the Sages then went off for 3 unanswered scores to close the game out, and advance on to the 2nd round and take on another Okaw team, Tolono-Unity.

The Sages were dominated in the regular season by Unity falling 41-0, and lost in the first round of playoff action last year at Unity. However, in an overtime game during the regular season last season, the Sages took the state ranked Rockets to overtime, but a fumble at the goal line to tie the game ended the Sages upset bid. Monticello and Unity get underway tomorrow afternoon at 1:30 pm. You can hear that game on 95.9 FM WEZC, and also streamed online at dewittdailynews.com, with pre-game at 1pm.

Other playoff action this weekend...

In Class 1A:
#8 Tuscola (8-2) at #16 Central A & M (6-4)  Sat. 1:30 pm
#4 Pawnee (9-1) at #12 Arcola (7-3) Sat. 1:30 pm

In Class 2A:
#7 Auburn (9-1) at #2 Maroa.-Forsyth (10-0)  Sat. 1:00 pm
#1 Dee-Mack (10-0) at #5 Stark County (8-2) Sat. 1:00 pm

In Class 4A:
#4 Mt. Zion (8-2) at #1 Breese Mater Dei (9-1) Sat. 1:30 pm

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Quinn Says It's Christian to Give Award at Event

The state's Catholic bishops say Gov. Pat Quinn is missing the point when he defends his decision to present an award at an abortion-rights function.

Quinn is Catholic and in a statement Thursday, the Catholic Conference of Illinois said a Catholic's participation in an event hosted by a group dedicated to electing pro-choice candidates is "irreconcilable with any honest profession of the Catholic faith."

Earlier Thursday, Quinn said taking part is "a proper, Christian thing to do." Quinn will recognize Jennie Goodman Nov. 17 at the pro-choice Personal PAC luncheon. Goodman was a rape victim and is active in speaking out for other victims.

Goodman also appeared in a campaign ad last fall criticizing Quinn's opponent for wanting to outlaw abortions with no exceptions for victims of rape or incest.

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Auditor says IL Should Evaluate Vehice Use

An audit says Illinois officials should better manage the state-owned vehicle fleet.

Auditor General William Holland said in a report released Thursday that many of the state's automobiles aren't driven enough to justify having them. The auditor also says two in five vehicles that were personally assigned racked up a lot of commuting miles.

The General Assembly asked Holland to review the state's 16,600-vehicle fleet, which costs $129 million a year.

Holland said one-quarter of the 100 vehicles auditors studied were not driven the 7,000 miles considered the minimum necessary to justify a car.

There are 5,100 vehicles assigned to employees who take them home because they use them so much. But Holland said commutes topped 30% of total mileage on nearly half of them.

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Utilities Give Big to Legislators

 A consumer watchdog group says Commonwealth Edison and other backers of newly passed rate-hike legislation contributed more to legislators than did opponents.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says an analysis shows utility companies contributed more than $867,000 this year, compared to about $185,000 by groups that lost the fight over the rate-hike legislation.

The group's executive director, Brian Gladstein, says the finding raises the question; "where did money influence public policy?" He said public policy should be about what's best for the state, not who contributes the most to politicians.

Gladstein's organization found legislators who voted for the rate hike raked in more than $7,616 apiece on average. Those who voted against the bill got $1,420 on average from groups opposed to the utility legislation.

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Teenagers Charged After Bringing Gun To School

 Two Springfield teenagers are being charged as adults for bringing a gun to school last month.  Deontay Ettress and Traylee Price allegedly had possession of the gun inside Springfield's Lanphier High School.  They're both charged with unlawful use of a weapon and are being held on 100-thousand dollar bond each.

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Peoria Man's Body Found in IL River

Divers have found the body of a Peoria man who disappeared while trying to retrieve a drifting boat from the Illinois River.

Woodford County Coroner Tim Ruestman says that divers recovered the body of 52-year-old Bruce Lytle on Wednesday afternoon from the river near Spring Bay, about 20 yards from where he was last seen. Spring Bay is about 12 miles north of Peoria.

Authorities say Lytle and some friends pulled their boat ashore Tuesday afternoon and got out to walk when the boat drifted away. Lytle jumped in to the 52-degree water to try to get the boat and disappeared.

Ruestman says Lytle's body showed no signs of trauma. An autopsy is planned.

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Soda Tax Not Likely To Be Taken Up This Year

A plan to add an additional penny per ounce to the sales tax on soda pop isn't likely to pass this year.  Elissa Bassler, CEO of the Illinois Public Health Institute, says the tax is needed not just to increase state revenues but to stave off Illinois' obesity epidemic.

      [audio:rddSodaTax1.mp3]Bassler discusses tax[/audio]

A report by the University of Illinois found a one-cent per ounce tax would reduce the number of obese Illinoisans by 185-thousand.  It would also add 606 million dollars a year to the state's bank account. Beverage industry officials have been critical of the idea and say it would cause a decrease in sales,  which would put people out of work.

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Peoria Settles Lawsuit for $450K

A Peoria school district has settled a federal racial discrimination lawsuit for $450,000.

The 2009 lawsuit filed by seven white employees accused District 150 a hostile work environment and retaliation for complaining. The school board passed the settlement agreement at an October meeting. But the employees' attorney says her clients haven't signed it yet.

The district and the plaintiffs have until Nov. 21 to finish the matter.

District attorney Stan Eisehammer says the school board settled the case because it was more economical than continuing litigation. Eisehammer says the district doesn't admit liability or wrongdoing.

So far this school year the district has paid $1.2 million to plaintiffs in three separate lawsuits.

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Illinois Mother Sentenced in Baby Son's Death

An 18-year-old central Illinois woman has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for beating her 5-month-old son to death.

Savannah Pickett of Decatur pleaded guilty to murder and was sentenced Thursday for killing Amarrius Rice in September 2010. Circuit Judge Lisa Holder White told her that if she had been tried and convicted the sentence could have been up to 60 years.

The judge read from court records that indicated Pickett slammed the baby to the floor, shook and punched him.

Some of Pickett's relatives cried as the details were read.

Pickett could get out of jail in 2030 with credit for time served.

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Maroa-Forsyth School District Planning For Addition To Grade School

As previously reported on Regional Radio News, the Maroa-Forsyth Scool District is beginning the process of embarking on a 10-year, 4 phase plan.

Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools explains this new 10-year plan is on the heels of a 5-year plan that began in 2006 that saw it's goals met.

[audio:maroaplans1.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

Phase one of the plan will include some upgrades around the high school campus, including the building of a greenhouse, and also an 8-lane track and artificial turf to the high school football field, the start time for the project will be dependent on the success of the Maroa-Forsyth football team in the IHSA playoffs.

Phase two will see an addition of 8 classrooms to the high school due to rising enrollment numbers. The second phase is set for the next 3-5 years.

According to Williams, much like the high school, the plan for their grade school is to add another 8 classrooms.

[audio:maroaplans4.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

Williams explains the additions at the grade school will allow them one addition section for grades K thru 5. He says the 2 remaining classrooms will be used for whatever the district has a need for at that time.

[audio:maroaplans5.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

Williams says according to enrollment and past growth, the 3rd phase is about six to nine years off for the district.

Tune into Regional Radio News on Monday for the districts plans for the final phase of their four phase plan.

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November Busy Month For Hunters

A October has turned to November, the hunting enthusiasts will certainly be keeping busy in the coming weeks.

For Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police officers, November is a busy time for them with the various seasons going on right now. DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus says right now is a good time to be a hunter with all the animals in season.

[audio:hunting1.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

This time of the season, DNR CPO's get tied up with hunting without permission complaints. Officer Wichus believes a good hunting spot is hard to come by, and he says treat the landowners of that spot very well.

[audio:hunting2.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

Wichus sends a friend reminder to hunters to make sure when hunting on public property, to stay on the public property and watch for private property notices and markings.

[audio:hunting3.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

DNR Officers have to get a complaint in order to make an arrest or issue a citation. However, officer Wichus stresses the owner of the land must the one to make a complaint that someone is hunting without permission. He says unless it is the land owner, an officer cannot write a citation or make an arrest.

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Warner Public Library Offering Home Delivery

The Warner Public Library can now come right to your door.

The Library has now started a home delivery service to individuals who are unable to leave their homes for one reason or another.  The service is free and the person must live within the library district as well as having a good standing account with the library.  According to Janet Ward, technical services supervisor, any item ranging from book and magazines to dvds can be delivered every 2 weeks.  

[audio:library1.mp3]A Word From Ward[/audio]

According to Ward, there are close to 15 people that she delivers to regularly. She also visits the nursing home.  There may also be some additional visits made to those who can't get out during the winter.

[audio:library2.mp3]A Word From Ward[/audio]

Librarian, Bobbi Perryman, says that anyone living within the Clinton community as well as Wapella and Tunbridge Township are eligible to have delivieries made to them at no charge.

[audio:library3.mp3]A Word From Ward[/audio]

For more  information about this program or other happenings at the library, you can call 935-5174 or visit their website at www.vwarner.org.

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Clout, Corruption in Illinois To Take Different Form

The conviction of a man once known as Illinois' King of Clout raises inevitable questions about whether it will herald an era of clean government. The inevitable answer is that it probably won't.

But William Cellini's conviction in the last scheduled trial stemming from investigations of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich may mark the end of his breed of powerbroker.

Political observer Paul Green says he can't think of anyone with the pull Cellini boasted. And he calls Cellini "a man of a bygone era."

Pressed to think of anyone today whose behind-the-scene influence compares to Cellini's in his heyday, none of several political observers asked Wednesday could think of 1.

But political scientist Dick Simpson says if the political culture doesn't change in Illinois, "the system will produce another Cellini."

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Layoff Plan Moving Forward

Governor Quinn’s plan to shut down seven state facilities is moving forward, despite a legislative commission’s recommendation to keep them open.  Some lawmakers say the plan can be averted if they re-appropriate a portion of the money Governor Quinn vetoed from the budget but others say they haven’t seen an official proposal.  The closures would put more than 19-hundred people out of work.  The AFSCME union which represents the workers has filed a lawsuit and will be in court over the issue next week.  They say Quinn’s proposal violates the contract he signed with the union, where he agreed not to shut down any state facilities or lay off any employees.

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Superintendents Still Working Without Pay

Illinois’ regional superintendents are still working without pay.  Bob Daibers with the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendent of Schools says state representatives will likely vote on a funding measure on Tuesday but right now, they’re still coming up short.

[audio:rddVote1.mp3]A Word From Daibers[/audio]

Daiber adds the community will suffer if their pay isn’t reinstated.

[audio:rddVote2.mp3]A Word From Daibers[/audio]

Four of the superintendents have resigned because of the lack of pay.  Daiber says if lawmakers fail to pass a bill that authorizes their salaries be reinstated, more resignations could be possible.  The officials cannot strike because they are elected officials but they can recess and stop work.

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Peoria Sees Baby Boom 9 Months After Blizzard

Some hospitals in the Peoria area are reporting a baby boom nine months after a record blizzard hit Illinois.

There were 60 births in at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center last week, compared with an average of 25. That's a 140% increase. Pekin Hospital also saw three times the usual number of newborns during on Oct. 21. The hospital had a 37% increase in babies born in October.

A blizzard blanketed central Illinois with 15 inches of snow on Feb. 1.

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Weekly Crop Report

Weather conditions last week were ideal for farmers still left with harvesting to be completed.

Temperatures last week were slightly below normal, but it did not slow farmers from finishing their harvests. Illinois State Crop Statistician Brad Schwab reports harvest for 2011 is nearing completion, but is still slightly behind from last year.

[audio:cropreport1.mp3]Brad Schwab With This Week's Report[/audio]

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Rep. Mitchell Supports Smart Grid System

The smart grid system has been major topic of discussion at this fall's veto session.

Governor Pat Quinn has fought the smart grid system because of the cost to consumers, however, State Representative Bill Mitchell feels there is a lot of bad information on the cost to consumers. Many in the public are under the impression that the measure would increase their electric bill by almost $300 a year. Mitchell explains it will cost $3.40 a year.

[audio:mitchellelectric1.mp3]A Word From Rep. Mitchell[/audio]

Mitchell feels the Smart Grid is very much needed, as Illinois is currently dealing with almost 100 year old technology. Another advantage he points out is consumers will be able to monitor their usage, which will then save them money.

[audio:mitchellelectric2.mp3]A Word From Rep. Mitchell[/audio]

Some other aspects of the bill that Mitchell feels have not been exposed are some guidelines Ameren will have to meet. He says if Ameren does not meet these guidelines they will then be penalized.

[audio:mitchellelectric3.mp3]A Word From Rep. Mitchell[/audio]

Both the House and Senate voted to override the governor last Wednesday. They rejected Quinn's argument that the legislation guarantees unfair profits to power companies and seriously weakens the oversight power of state regulators.

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Blue Ridge District's Mansfield Facility Update Making Large Strides Forward

The Blue Ridge school district's Mansfield facility project has really picked up steam is moving forward.

The Board of Education recently hosted a couple of events that saw very good community support. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson explains almost 50 community members showed up to participate in the 'Visioning Team' meetings, which provided input on the initial design of the addition to Blue Ridge Jr. High, which will replace Mansfield Elementary. Wilson notes almost half of the close to 50 community members then took part in the 'Planning Team', which provided further help to refine initial plans and put together an initial design that went before the B.R. Board of Education in October.

[audio:mansfieldprogress1.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

The next step will be to move into the 'Schematic Phase', at which point a small Core Team, which will be made up of 2 Board of Education members, the architects and the construction manager. Wilson notes the 'Planning Team' will also be involved for consultation as well.

[audio:mansfieldprogress2.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

Wilson notes she was not too sure how the community engagement process would turn out. But she says the more the process played itself out, she could see it working and was excited with the way things were turning out.

[audio:mansfieldprogress3.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

The goal for the district is to have ground breaking in June of 2012 and to move in, in August of 2013. Wilson notes it is a tight timeline but the hope is to take advantage of the low interest rates and excellent bidding environment in the construction industry to get the most from their money.

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Maroa Planning For High School Addition as Part of 10-Year Facilities Update

The Maroa-Forsyth school district recently announced a 10-year facility plan for the districts campuses.

The District in 2006 began a 5-year facility plan, and those plans have now become a reality. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools Mike Williams explains the previous plan focused on renovations to the grade school, to the high school football fields athletic facility, and completing the grade school in Forsyth.

[audio:maroaplans1.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

With phase one of the project set to get underway very soon, phase two of the process will see an addition put on to the high school. Williams explains the districts enrollment numbers show the district will outgrow the high school.

[audio:maroaplans2.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

Williams notes the addition is tentatively set for 3-5 years, and will be on the north end of the high school. The plan for the district is to put in an additional 8 classrooms, at which point will help them increase maximum capacity and keep the school current for their growing enrollment numbers.

[audio:maroaplans3.mp3]A Word From Williams[/audio]

Williams says the district is excited about the future of the district with the many changes they will see in the next several years. He says being diligent with the money the district has is a priority, and he feels the plan they have in store for their facilities is an extension of that.

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Illinois Suspends Guard Head

Illinois has suspended sophomore guard Crandall Head for four games over an unspecified violation of team rules.

Head sat out Tuesday's exhibition win over Wayne State and will miss Monday's exhibition against Quincy. He'll also miss the first two regular season games against Loyola on Nov. 11 and Nov. 14 against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville.

Illinois Coach Bruce Weber said the suspension wasn't over one particular incident.

Head played in 17 games as a freshman, mostly off the bench. The Matteson native is the younger brother of former Illini star Luther Head.

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Baseball Notes

>>Cards Ask To Speak To Sandberg

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals are interested in a Cubs Hall of Famer to possibly fill the shoes of Tony La Russa.  FOXSports.com reports the Redbirds have asked for and received permission to talk to former Cubs shortstop and current Phillies minor league manager Ryne Sandberg about their vacant managerial position.  The 52-year-old Sandberg managed at Triple-A Lehigh Valley this year.

>>Quade Out As Cubs Manager

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs will have a new manager next season.  The team announced on Wednesday that Mike Quade will not return as skipper in 2012.  New Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein and general manager Jed Hoyer last met with Quade last week and said at Hoyer's Tuesday introductory press conference that they needed time to process the meeting.  Quade beat out Ryan Sandberg for the job this season after replacing the retired Lou Piniella in August 2010.  Quade was 95-and-104 during his tenure, including 71-and-91 in 2011.

>>A-Ram Wins Silver Slugger Award

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez is a 2011 Silver Slugger Award winner.  Ramirez, who posted his sixth season with at least 30 doubles and 25 home runs, captured his first career Silver Slugger Award as the National League's top hitting third baseman.  The 33-year-old A-Ram is a free agent after nine seasons with the Cubs.  He batted .306 this past season.

>>MLB's Free Agent Frenzy Officially Begins

(Undated)  --  Major League Baseball's free agent market is officially open for business.  The window for teams to negotiate exclusively with their own free agents expired at 12:01 a.m. Eastern, allowing eligible players to sign with any club.  Among the big names certain to attract attention this offseason are St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder, New York Mets shortstop Jose Reyes and Texas Rangers pitcher C.J. Wilson.

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Chase Shifts To Texas

The Chase for the Sprint Cup Series Championship shifts to the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth this weekend for Sunday's AAA Texas 500.  With seven races down and three to go in this year's Chase for the Sprint Cup, it's looking like it will be a two-man battle for the championship in NASCAR's premier series.  Tony Stewart's win coupled with a ninth-place finish for Carl Edwards last Sunday at Martinsville Speedway allowed Stewart to trim Edwards' points lead to just eight.  None of the 12 drivers in the Chase field have been mathematically eliminated from the championship yet.  Heading into Texas, 89 points separate Edwards from 12th-place Ryan Newman.  Jimmie Johnson is now 43 points behind Edwards, as his hopes of a record-extending sixth straight series championship are fading away.

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WEIC To Broadcast Remaining Casey-Westfield Football Games

WEIC newstalk 1270 Radio in Charleston will broadcast the remaining Casey-Westfield football playoff games, starting this Saturday when Carlyle travels to Casey-Westfield for a 1pm kickoff.

 WEIC will also stream the remaining Casey-Westfield playoff games live on its on-line daily newspaper, Eidailynews.com, where the game will also be archived.

 WEIC is under new ownership as of October 7.  The Miller Media Group's Kaskaskia Broadcasting, Inc., took possession, then took the station off the air to re-tool.  WEIC came back on the air October 19 as “newstalk 1270”, and the station's local programming is also streamed live on its on-line daily newspaper, Eidailynews.com.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-3

 

November 3, 2011

 

Jail Population: 51

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

 

Laura Mulligan, 31, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Mulligan posted her IL Drivers License and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

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Governor Quinn May Need To Be Pals With Lawmakers

Governor Quinn says he's not interested in being pals with members of the general assembly but David Yepsen, with the Paul Simon Public Institute, says it wouldn't hurt him to build relationships with lawmakers. 

[audio:rddPal1.mp3]A Word From Yepsen[/audio]

Yepsen adds it isn't healthy for the governor and the legislature to be at odds.

[audio:rddPal2.mp3]A Word From Yepsen[/audio]

Yepsen says if the general assembly and lawmakers start working together to solve problems, everybody's approval rating will go up.  A recent poll shows only 35-percent of voters approve of the job Quinn is doing.

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Gas Prices Continue To Rise And Fall

Gas prices continue to rise and fall and according to Patrick DeHaan with GasBuddy.com, drivers can expect to see much of the same for at least a few months. 

[audio:rddVolatile1.mp3]A Word From DeHaan[/audio]

DeHaan says the economy will be the primary driver on how gas prices will move.  That means the holiday season won't have much of an impact on gas prices.

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USDA Delcares 44 Counties Disaster Areas

Summer's drought and excessive heat have led the U.S. Department of Agriculture to declare 44 Illinois counties natural disaster areas.

Farmers and ranchers in another 33 counties also qualify for assistance because they are contiguous to the affected areas.

The declaration means farmers and ranchers can qualify for low-interest emergency loans to help cover part of their actual losses. Farmers in eligible counties have eight months from Oct. 31 to apply.

Other assistance programs also are available.

Local counties included in the 44 counties are:  Macon, Champaign, Christian, McLean and Piatt.

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DeWitt County More Reliant on Social Security Than Rest of Country Pt 2

As reported yesterday, recent data shows De Witt County is more dependent on Social Security payments than is the rest of the country.

Research conducted by Dr. Roberto Gallardo a research associate with the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University, his research indicates in De Witt County, over 3,300 people receive some form of Social Security payment according to the Social Security Administration and the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Social Security beneficiaries represent 21 percent of the total county population. The Daily Yonder is an online publication covering rural America, and is published by the Center for Rural Strategies. Tim Marema, Associate Editor of the publication, explains research was done not to exploit these numbers but rather to inform people of a topic with a lot of attention, and in turn help people make better policies regarding Social Security.

[audio:socialsecurityresearch4.mp3]A Word From Marema[/audio]

A lot of the rural and small town reliance on Social Security benefits are due largely to the large urban centers, but a majority of the midwest is mostly rural areas. Marema points out, more urban areas tend to rely less on Social Security, while rural areas tend to rely more on it.

[audio:socialsecurityresearch5.mp3]A Word From Marema[/audio]

Marema points out, the reliance on Social Security in small towns and rural areas tend to be because of two things. First, the average age in rural areas tends to be higher. And second, the average income tends to be lower in rural areas than in urban areas.

[audio:socialsecurityresearch6.mp3]A Word From Marema[/audio]

Total Social Security payments in De Witt County amounted to $2,828 per person in 2009. The national average was $2,199 per person, and in Illinois it was $2,108.

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Monticello School District Makes AYP

The Monticello school district recently received some positive news.

The Monticello school district made Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP, this year. Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman explains there are 18 different categories considered for AYP. He says despite the high school did not making AYP, but only 8 of the high schools in Illinois made it this year.

[audio:monticelloayp1.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]

The AYP is based off of standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act, which raises the standards each year. Dr. Zimmerman speculates changes could be on the way, as the standards have become to much too keep up with, and he feels it makes the state look bad with so many schools not meeting AYP.

[audio:monticelloayp2.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman indicates in the past the school has focused on reading at the elementary level. He says their goal has become a 100% reading rate by the time students graduate from 3rd grade.

[audio:monticelloayp43.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]

After not making the grade last year, the district is pleased with this years results and appreciate the hard work of their teachers and staff.

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DeWitt County Emergency Crews To Take Part in Emergency Exercise

If you see emergency crews scattered throughout DeWitt County today, there is nothing to be alarmed about.

Emergency crews today will be taking part in an every other year exercise that prepares emergency crews for a nuclear emergency at the Clinton Power Plant. DeWitt County Sheriff Shofner explains, his deputies along with several other agencies have been preparing for this for quite a while, and today everything they have learned gets put to the test.

[audio:emergencytest1.mp3]A Word From The Sheriff[/audio]

According to Sheriff Shofner, residents are likely to see vehicles they normally wouldn't see. Several state agencies could be called in as a part of this drill. Along with state agencies all the local authorities, fire departments, Clinton Police, and Sheriff's Deputies will be involved as well.

[audio:emergencytest2.mp3]A Word From Sheriff Shofner[/audio]

Authorities will not know the time or what the test will be. Shofner says the only certainty with the drill is the day, he says everything else is up in the air.

[audio:emergencytest3.mp3]A Word From The Sheriff[/audio]

Sheriff Shofner says in today's age, dealing with emergency with the power plant has changed dramatically from not so long ago. He says with the possibility of terror attacks, there are many more things to be aware of.

[audio:emergencytest4.mp3]A Word From Sheriff Shofner[/audio]

The drill will be at some point today, and again, authorities do not know when or what type of emergency they will be dealing with, but they ask that residents not be alarmed should they see several emergency vehicles out and about today.

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NBA Remains On Hold On What Would've Been Opening Night

The NBA season remains on hold with owners and players still at an impasse in labor negotiations.  Last night was to mark the start of the regular season with a trio of games, including the Dallas Mavericks raising their championship banner at home against the Chicago Bulls.  The first month of the season has been cancelled as the league and union have been unable to negotiate a new collective bargaining agreement.  Labor talks broke off last week with the sides arguing over the split of basketball-related income.  No new labor talks have been scheduled at this point.

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Cubs Introduce New GM; Buehrle Wins Gold Glove


>>Hoyer Introduced As New Cubs GM

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs introduced Jed Hoyer as their new executive vice president and general manager on Tuesday, filling a key front office vacancy.  Hoyer becomes the 15th general manager in club history and succeeds interim GM Randy Bush, who took over for Jim Hendry in July.  He takes over a Cubs team which stumbled to a 71-and-91 record in 2011, on the heels of a 75-and-87 finish in 2010.  Chicago made back-to-back playoff appearances in 2007 and 2008, then went 83-and-79 in 2009.  Hoyer, along with Jason McLeod, who was named senior vice president of scouting and player development, both came over from the San Diego Padres.  The 37-year-old Hoyer spent the last two seasons as San Diego's GM, following eight seasons with the Boston Red Sox, where he worked with Cubs new president of baseball operations Theo Epstein.

>>White Sox' Buehrle Wins Gold Glove

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago White Sox pitcher Mark Buehrle is a 2011 Gold Glove winner.  Buehrle claimed his third straight Gold Glove on Tuesday night as the American League's top fielding pitcher.  The 32-year-old Buehrle is the first pitcher in White Sox history to win three straight Gold Gloves.  He is also the first member of the Southsiders to achieve the Gold Glove hat trick since new manager Robin Ventura did so at third base from 1991-to-1993.

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Cards Notes

>>Cards' Molina Wins Gold Glove

(St. Louis, MO)  --  St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is a 2011 Gold Glove winner.  Molina took home his fourth straight Gold Glove and has become the standard behind the plate.  Molina and his Cardinals just recent completed a magical run en route to their 11th World Series title and first since 2006.

>>Mozeliak Hope To Find New Manager By Turkey Day

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals' search for a new manager to replace the retired Tony La Russa is a top priority.  GM John Mozeliak [[ mo-ZAY-lack ]] says he'd like to have a new skipper in place before Thanksgiving.  In-house candidates Jose Oquendo, Mark McGwire and Joe Pettini are expected to be considered along with established former managers like Terry Francona and Jim Riggleman.

>>Last Day For Pujols Exclusivity

(St. Louis, MO)  --  While the Cardinals look for a new manager, fans are also anxious about the future of free-agent slugger Albert Pujols .  This is the last day the Cards have exclusive negotiating rights with the three-time NL MVP before he hits the open market.  The team exercised its one-year option on Pujols for 2011 when the two sides failed to agree to an extension last offseason.

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Illini Hope Bye Can Help Break Losing Streak

Illinois' bye comes at a perfect time this year.

The Illini (6-3, 2-3 Big Ten) have lost three in a row, unraveling much of the good that came with a perfect start. They fell out of the Top 25 and out of the lead in the Big Ten's Leaders Division.

Coach Ron Zook said Tuesday his team will take a few days off, then work on fundamentals when the players return later this week.

Illinois has a Big Ten-worst 19 turnovers. Four came in Saturday's 10-7 loss at Penn State.

The Illini also are committing too many penalties. One cost the team a second-quarter touchdown in the loss to the Nittany Lions.

The schedule doesn't get any easier from here. Next up is No. 13 Michigan on Nov. 12.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-2

 

November 2, 2011

 

Jail Population: 53

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

John Harmon, 23, Atlanta, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Harmon was given a notice to appear and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

 

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Clinton Police Report for 11-2

 

ON 11/1/11 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED DUSTY L. COONE 35, CLINTON FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED. COONE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW

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Low Income Families May Qualify For Heating Assistance

Low income families that need help with home heating expenses can apply for the LIHEAP program starting tomorrow.  Marcelyn Love with the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity explains which homes are eligible.

[audio:rddLove1.mp3]A Word From Love[/audio]

LIHEAP clients will have the option of choosing between the traditional Direct Vendor Payment plan or the new Percentage of Income Payment Plan (PIPP). The PIPP is available to clients who are customers of Ameren Illinois, ComEd, Nicor Gas and Peoples Gas. Under PIPP, the eligible client will pay a percentage of their income, receive a monthly benefit towards their utility bill, and receive a reduction in overdue payments for every on-time payment they make.  The traditional DVP plan is a one-time payment.  For more details go to LiheapIllinois.com.

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Campaign Finance Loophole Allows Unlimited Transfers Between PAC's

High-profile political action committees are accused of taking advantage of a loophole in campaign finance law that allows unlimited donations from federal to state PAC's.  David Morrison, with the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform, says the PAC's making the transfers are using a different reading of the law than anyone else.

[audio:rddLoop1.mp3]A Word From Morrison[/audio]

Lawmakers say the intent of the law was to allow unlimited donations from national political parties to state political parties not from other PAC's. Exelon and ComEd are said to have taken advantage of the law by transferring 189-thousand dollars over the past year.  And more recently, the national Realtors PAC funneled a 753-thousand dollar donation to the Illinois Association of Realtors.

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Quinn Says It's Not His Job To Be 'Pals' With Lawmakers

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, reacting to published reports state legislators don't consider him much of a leader, says it's not his job to be "pals" with lawmakers.

Quinn's comments Monday come days after state legislators rejected his veto of a bill allowing utilities to raise rate to finance creation of a "smart grid" electricity network.

In a speech to the Leadership Greater Chicago Luncheon, Quinn said he won't be a "go-along, get-along" leader, adding he is proud he vetoed the bill backed by Commonwealth Edison.

Quinn also defended his position on gambling expansion. He is threatening a veto if lawmakers refuse to remove a provision allowing slot machines at horse race tracks.

The governor also spoke about the 'Occupy Wall Street" movement, saying participants need to organize for a cause.

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Illinois State Police To Open Firing Ranges To Public

The Illinois State Police will open firing ranges to the public in five locations around the state.

State police ranges in Joliet, Pawnee, LaSalle, Macomb and Pittsfield will be open Nov. 12 as part of the state's "Open Range" program. State gun experts will be on hand to provide instruction and answer questions about firearms. The ranges will be open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The program is free, but participants are asked to make reservations.

All participants must have a valid Firearm Owner's Identification card and bring their unloaded firearm in a case.

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Amtrak Says It Has No Beef With Cow-Powered Train

Amtrak officials say they had no beef with using cattle-based biodiesel to power its Heartland Flyer train.

The railroad last year launched a yearlong experiment to see whether fuel made from beef tallow could be mixed with diesel oil and effectively power a 3,200-horsepower engine. It said Monday that it could. An evaluation found that the fuel blend met industry standards, engine wear was limited and emissions were below federal limits for the type of engine using it.

The results were presented last week at a railroad environmental conference at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Amtrak used a $274,000 federal grant and worked with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation. The train runs daily between Oklahoma City and Fort Worth, Texas.

Tallow is often used in soap or animal feed.

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Basketball Coach Plans To Coach Through Cancer

Mia (MY'-uh) Smith lost her hair to chemotherapy, but the Illinois Wesleyan women's basketball coach doesn't intend to give up the basketball season.

Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer in June and has since undergone chemotherapy treatment. Still ahead are dozens of radiation treatments.

But the 14-year coach plans to lead her team through the season that starts Nov. 18. Illinois Wesleyan is a Division III school in Bloomington.

Smith says her players have proven to be strong medicine. She says she's rejuvenated when she sees them in practice.

Senior Olivia Lett says she can tell her coach is sometimes more fatigued than usual. But Lett says Smith is in practice every day and ready to work.

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Farmers Preparing For Fal Nitrogen Application

Harvest is wrapping up across central Illinois, and producers are keeping an eye on soil temperatures in preparation for fall nitrogen application.  Jared White has more...

[audio:103111FallNitrogenWRAP.mp3]Jared White With The Story[/audio]

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DNR Officers Investigating Poaching Case in DeWitt County

The Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police are currently investigating a couple of poaching cases, one of which occurred in DeWitt County.

DNR Officer Ray Wichus says officers currently have a couple of suspects they are almost certain poached a deer near Clinton Lake. Officer Wichus would not say exactly how the dear was poached, but DNR Officers are currently seeking information.

[audio:poaching2.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

Officer Wichus explains poaching is anything that is taken illegal such as hunting out of season or at night, and says depending on the severity of the crime, the penalty could be quite severe.

[audio:poaching1.mp3]A Word From Officer Wichus[/audio]

Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to call the Department of Natural Resources office at 935-6860.

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DeWitt County More Reliant on Social Security Than Rest of Country

Data shows De Witt County is more dependent on Social Security payments than is the rest of the country.

Research conducted by Dr. Roberto Gallardo, who is a research associate with the Southern Rural Development Center at Mississippi State University, his research shows nationally, 5.5 percent of total personal income in 2009 came from Social Security payments. In Illinois, 5.0 percent of all income comes from these payments. Tim Marema, the Associate Editor of the Daily Yonder, an online publication covering rural America, published by the Center for Rural Strategies, explains research was done to show the impact of social security in rural areas in America.

[audio:socialsecurityresearch1.mp3]A Word From Marema[/audio]

More than one in five Americans living in small cities and rural counties received some kind of Social Security check in 2009. Marema says Social Security payments are particularly importan to rural counties and small cities because the money is largely spent in the community.

[audio:socialsecurityresearch21.mp3]A Word From Marema[/audio]

Social Security payments go to those over the age of 62 who have filed for benefits, to survivors of insured workers and to those with disabilities. The program is mainly funded by payroll taxes. Marema explains in De Witt County, 71.4 percent of recipients were retirees in 2009, 11.8 percent were survivors and 16.7 percent were disabled.

[audio:socialsecurityresearch3.mp3]A Word From Marema[/audio]

Social Security payments in De Witt County have been changing as a proportion of total income. These payments amounted to 5.1 percent of total income in 1970, 6.1 percent in 1980, 7.7 percent in 1990, 6.9 percent in 2000 and 7.7 percent in 2009.

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LaRussa Retires; Pujols Effect?

>>La Russa Calls It Quits

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Just days after the winning the World Series, the Cardinals are now looking for a new manager.  Tony La Russa has decided to go out on top, announcing his retirement yesterday after 16 seasons in the Redbirds dugout.  The 67-year-old said it just feels like the right time to step away and do something else.  La Russa is the third winningest manager in major league history.

>>La Russa's Retirement Could Impact Pujols

(St. Louis, MO)  --  With skipper Tony La Russa riding off into the sunset, many Cardinals fans are wondering how that might impact Albert Pujols' decision to return to St. Louis.  The three-time NL MVP was among 148 major leaguers to declare for free agency on Sunday.  La Russa is the only big league manager he's ever had.  Pujols is the marquee name on this year's free agent list.

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Chiefs Top Bolts on MNF; Bears & Rams Notes

>>Chiefs Clip Chargers In OT

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Ryan Succop drilled a 30-yard field goal with just over five minutes left in overtime to lift the Chiefs a 23-20 win over the Chargers on "Monday Night Football."  The game went to OT after Philip Rivers fumbled a snap with the Chargers in field goal range with less than a minute to play.  Matt Cassel passed for 261 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions for the Chiefs, who have won four straight to improve to 4-and-3.  Jonathan Baldwin had a touchdown grab and Jackie Battle added a rushing score in the win.  Rivers threw for 369 yards and two interceptions for the Bolts, who have dropped two straight to fall to 4-and-3.  Nick Novak booted four field goals in the loss.  The Chiefs, Chargers and Raiders are all tied for first place in the AFC West.

>>Bears-Lions Start Time Moved For Week 10

(New York, NY)  --  The Week 10 game on November 13th between the Detroit Lions and the Chicago Bears has been moved to 3:15, the league announced Monday.  The NFC North battle was originally scheduled to take place at noon.  The NFL uses flex scheduling on Sundays in Weeks 10 through 15 and also Week 17.  The 6-and-2 Lions and Bears, who are 4-and-3, currently sit in second and third place, respectively, in the NFC North behind Green Bay.

>>Bradford Out Of Boot, But Practice Still Uncertain

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Rams quarterback Sam Bradford was out of his protective walking boot Monday.  Still recovering from a high ankle sprain, did some strengthening exercises yesterday, but head coach Steve Spagnuolo says he's not sure if Bradford will practice tomorrow.  Bradford has missed the last two games after getting hurt at Green Bay in Week Six.  A.J. Feeley has started the last two games.

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NCAA D-I Board Of Directors Approves Reform Package

Major changes to scholarships and recruiting are coming in college athletics.  The NCAA Division One Board of Directors has approved a reform package that allows schools to offer more money and multiple years to scholarship offers but also toughens academic recruiting standards.  Conferences will now vote on whether to add two-thousand-dollars in spending money to cover full cost of attendance, rather than just tuition, room and board and books.  Schools can also decide individually to offer scholarships on a multi-year basis or stick with the current yearly format.

Eligibility requirements for incoming freshmen and junior college transfers has also been increased from a 2.0 grade-point-average in core classes to 2.3.  A new Academic Progress Rate cut line will also be phased in over four years starting in the 2012-13 academic year.  The cut line will start at 900 and increase to 930.  Schools that fall short of that mark will be ineligible for postseason play.

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Clinton Schools Strategic Plan Update Meeting Tonight

The Clinton Board of Education will be holding a special meeting this evening outlining the yearly goals for the district.

Over the past six years, Clinton Board of Education has taken community input to updating the districts strategic plan, and this year is no different. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes has been pleased with the amount of community input in the past and hopes for the sam tonight.

[audio:strategicplan1.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]

There are 5 main focuses the Board has in relation to the Strategic Plan. Dr. Holmes stresses the five focus areas are not the only areas that can be focused on. He says in the past, technology has been an area of need, so they incorporated it into the student achievement portion of the focuses.

[audio:strategicplan2.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]

Dr. Holmes feels the most important part of the plan is the student achievement portion of it. He says the community input in the past has been very valuable to the Board in deciding where the district is heading.

[audio:strategicplan3.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]

One of the first goals for the district was a new elementary facility. Dr. Holmes explains the goal was for 2012 to have mechanisms in place to take to the voters, and the district is right on target for that, as the referendum campaign is set to get underway for vote in the spring.

The Strategic Meeting is tonight at 6 until 8:30 in the Clinton Jr. High School Library.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 11-1

 

November 1, 2011

 

Jail Population: 52

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Jacob Stephenson, 18, Clinton, was issued citations for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone) and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Stephenson posted his IL Drivers License and was released.

 

 

ALL SUSPECTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL FOUND GUILTY IN A COURT OF LAW.

 

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