LEAF PICKUP: TODAY, CITY CREWS WILL START WHERE THEY LEFT OFF IN ZONE 4 YESTERDAY AND MOVE IN TO ZONE 5.          
Local News

Illinois Boy Scouts March Trail Lincoln Took

More than 1,000 Boy Scouts have retraced the steps a young Abraham Lincoln took when he walked from New Salem to Springfield to practice law.

Scouts collected trash along the way Saturday, as they trekked the 20-mile scenic route from New Salem State Park to Stuart Park in the state capital.

The annual event was held together with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency.

The state agency's interim director, John Kim, says the scouts honored Lincoln by helping clean up the historic trail.

The agency also presented hikers with a special patch when they finished the walk.

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Illinois Governor Names 'Jay Leno Day'

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is giving late-night comedian Jay Leno his own day.

Quinn proclaimed Sunday as "Jay Leno Day" in honor of the comedian's work with an Illinois-based empowerment group dedicated to helping children and families.

Omni Youth Services of Buffalo Grove provides counseling, mentoring and substance abuse treatment for at-risk youth and their families.

Leno, who is the host of NBC's The Tonight Show, serves as 1 of the empowerment group's partners.

The late-night entertainer appeared in Chicago on Saturday for a special performance to commemorate the organization's 40th anniversary.

Quinn's proclamation calls Leno "an extraordinary comedian, celebrated actor, philanthropist, author and husband" and thanks him for his partnership with Omni Youth Services.

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State Lawmaker Accused of Bribery Due In Court

A state lawmaker accused of bribery is due in federal court.

The arraignment of state Rep. Derrick Smith is scheduled for Monday before U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman.

The Chicago Democrat has been charged with accepting a bribe in exchange for using his influence to obtain a state grant for a daycare center. Smith was arrested March 13, days before Illinois' primary election where he won the Democratic nomination despite his arrest.

Several state leaders have called for Smith to step down.

Smith's attorney, Victor Henderson, says his client is innocent and he has no intentions of leaving office.

A special legislative committee is reviewing whether Smith should be removed from office. Chairwoman Elaine Nekritz says Smith will be asked to testify under oath as soon as this week.

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Man Convicted In Death of Illinois Group Home Resident

A former employee at a group home in central Illinois has been convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a developmentally disabled resident.

In court Friday, Keyun Newble admitted pushing the man but said he intervened to stop a co-worker and co-defendant from beating him even more severely.

A jury found him guilty. Newble is scheduled to be sentenced July 6 and faces up to 14 years in prison.

He worked at a network of group homes run by the non-profit Graywood Foundation that have since closed.

Prosecutors alleged the victim, Paul McCann, died in January 2011 after a beating by Newble and his co-defendant. McCann's ribs were broken in 13 places and he later died when his lungs filled with fluid.

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Fire Guts Lumberyard In Galesburg

A lumberyard at a Galesburg hardware store has been destroyed by fire.

Galesburg fire inspector Mike Whitson says piles of lumber and roofing materials complicated efforts to put out Saturday's blaze at People's Do It Center.

Crews worked for about 10 hours to extinguish the fire.

A cause of the fire has not yet been determined.

The business opened in 1902. Owner Steve Harkinson says he's not yet sure whether the hardware store will be open Monday because the power has been turned off.

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Fund Paid $55-Thousand For Defense In Beason Killings

Records show a fund used for expenses in capital murder cases paid more than $500,000 for two brothers accused of killing five family members in their central Illinois home.

The records of a Freedom of Information Act request showed the amount. The records show the state paid more than $250,000 each in the cases of Chris Harris and Jason Harris.

The brothers are accused of using a tire iron to kill Ruth and Rick Gee and 3 of the couple's children in the town of Beason in 2009. They're also charged with attempted murder for an attack on the Gees' then 3-year-old daughter, who survived.

Funding for the case moved from the Capital Litigation Trust Fund to Logan County when Illinois abolished the death penalty.

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Blue Ridge Schools Budget, Staffing Stable For FY13

The Blue Ridge School District's budget looks positive for Fiscal Year 2013.

Despite declines in the state's general revenue, the Blue Ridge budget for FY13 should shape up nicely. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson says this is in large part to farm values rising. She says they should be very close to a balanced budget.

[audio:43012blueridgebudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson says the district is fortunate to have the quality farm land in their district. She says if they were a primarily residential district they would be dipping into their reserves and in turn the budget outlook would not be as positive.

[audio:43012blueridgebudget2.mp3] [/audio]

The district is looking at reducing just one class in the district. Wilson explains currently their kindergarten class is small enough they can reduce a section there, but she notes, there is a possibility they may need to add the section back if they get enough new students. All in all, Wilson says like the budget, staffing is going to be stable.

[audio:43012blueridgebudget3.mp3] [/audio]

The district has one teaching retirement to fill this year, but Wilson says next year will be a big year, as across the district, nine teachers are slated to retire.

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Clinton's Peace Park Hopeful For Spring, Summer Finish

The Roque Court/Peace Project is in the final stages towards completion.

With just a few things left to complete, the Clinton High School Class of 73 is hopeful the project will be complete this spring or summer. Cris Rogers with the Class of 73 explains they have just a few things to do yet to a project that has taken longer than expected thanks to an always unpredictable Mother Nature.

[audio:43012peacepark1.mp3] [/audio]

Rogers believes the Class of 73 may have underestimated the amount of time needed to complete the project. He says the went into the endeavor feeling as though the park could be up and restored in about a year. Rogers says there were a lot of things that came about they were not expecting.

[audio:43012peacepark2.mp3] [/audio]

The Roque Court is still in the process of being put together. Rogers says maintenance on it is still in the works. As for maintenance to the park, Rogers explains the Class of 73 has agreed one year of maintenance with the city.

[audio:43012peacepark3.mp3] [/audio]

Rogers says the support from the community for park has been overwhelming and the park would not be where it is without that community support. He estimates they are $25-hundred to $4-thousand away from having everything they need.

The park is still in need of nice benches, a flagpole and garbage cans.

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DJWH Board of Directors Receives Three Resignations

The Dr. John Warner Hospital Board has received notice of three of their Board members resignations.

Julie North, Dr. Harold Weinberg, and BA Nelson have recently informed fellow Board members of their resignations. President of the DJWH Board of Directors, Randy Workman explains only Julie North's resignation is going to be immediate. He cites personal reasons as North's reason for resigning effective immediately.

[audio:42612boardresignations1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Harold Weinberg has had his term on the Board pass, but Workman explains, a Board member can continue on until a replacement has been found. Workman says Dr. Weinberg cited his hearing issues as his reason to step away and adds a replacement for him is in the works.

[audio:42612boardresignations2.mp3] [/audio]

Workman says BA Nelson decided she did not want her appointment renewed, as she felt it was time for her to step away.

Workman explains the appointments to the Board positions will be the responsibility of Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters. While the decisions will be hers, Workman says they communicate often and he feels because Mayor Peters is very involved, it makes her very aware of the needs the Board has.

[audio:42612boardresignations3.mp3] [/audio]

None of the resignations were controversial and Workman and Mayor Peters are working to find replacements for Nelson and North.

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NIU QB Dubbed Mr. Irrelevant

Chandler Harnish is this year's Mr. Irrelevant.  The Indianapolis Colts took the Northern Illinois quarterback with the 253rd and final choice in the NFL Draft on Saturday.  He is the first quarterback since 1997 to be selected with the last pick in the draft.  The Indiana native tossed for just over 32-hundred yards and 28 touchdowns with six interceptions last year with the Huskies.

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Kyle Busch Wins Fourth Straight Spring Race At Richmond

 Kyle Busch continued his dominance in the spring at Richmond International Speedway on Saturday night by winning the Capital City 400.  Busch beat Tony Stewart off the pits after a late-race caution to take over first.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. finished second in the race, passing Stewart on the final restart with nine laps to go.  Stewart settled for third place followed by Denny Hamlin and Kasey Kahne.  Busch picked up his 24th career Sprint Cup victory and his first since August of 2011 at Michigan.

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Bears, Rams Draft Recap

>>Bears' NFL Draft Recap

(New York, NY)  --  The NFL Draft is over.  The Chicago Bears selected Boise State linebacker Shea McClellin with the 19th overall pick.  The Bears traded up in the second round to select South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey with the 45th overall pick.  Other Chicago pick's included Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin in the third, Temple tight end Evan Rodriguez in the fourth, Nevada cornerback Isaiah Frey in the sixth and TCU corner Greg McCoy in the seventh.

>>Rams Close Out Draft By Bolstering Skill Positions

(New York, NY)  --  The Rams closed out the NFL Draft this weekend in New York.  St. Louis used three second-round selections on Friday to pick wide receiver Brian Quick, cornerback Janoris Jenkins and running back Isaiah Pead.  After picking cornerback Trumaine Johnson in the third round, the Rams used a fourth-round choice on wide out Chris Givens.  Offensive tackle Rokevious Watkins was the fifth-round selection and St. Louis took Missouri Western kicker Greg Zuerlein in the sixth round.  The Rams closed things out in the seventh round by taking linebacker Aaron Brown and running back Daryl Richardson.

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NBA Playoff Scores

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Blues Look To Get Back On Track Against Kings

The Blues will look to bounce back this evening against the Sharks in Game Two of their Western Conference Semifinal.  St. Louis suffered a 3-1 setback on Saturday night in the series-opener, snapping its four-game playoff winning streak.  Following tonight's game, the series shifts to Los Angeles for Game Three on Thursday and Game Four on Sunday.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
Philadelphia Flyers 4, New Jersey Devils 3 (OT)
(Flyers lead best-of-seven Eastern semifinal, 1-0)

Phoenix Coyotes 5, Nashville Predators 3
(Coyotes lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 2-0)

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Cubs, Sox Win; Cards Fall

>>Garza, Cubs Cruise Over Phillies

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  Starlin Castro drove in two runs and Matt Garza was nearly flawless on the mound over seven innings as the Cubs beat the Phillies, 5-1.  Garza gave up a single to the first batter he faced and didn't allow another base runner until issuing a one-out walk in the seventh.  The right-hander recorded 10 strikeouts, including the 800th of his career, to improve to 2-and-1 on the season.  Joe Mather had a solo shot for the Northsiders, who have taken two-of-three in the four-game set.  Ty Wigginton's bases-loaded walk in the ninth accounted for Philadelphia's only run.  Kyle Kendrick gave up three runs, two earned, through six innings of duty to absorb the loss for the Phillies, who have dropped five of their last eight games.

>>White Sox Wash Red Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Adam Dunn blasted a two-run home run as the White Sox dropped the Red Sox, 4-1.  Gavin Floyd took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and finished allowing one run over six-and-two-thirds frames with nine strikeouts for the win.  Matt Thornton notched his first save of the season for Chicago, which salvaged the final game of the four-game series.  Cody Ross knocked in the lone run for Boston, which failed to win its seventh straight game.  Josh Beckett took the loss, yielding three runs in six-and-two-thirds innings with eight strikeouts.

>>Brewers Clip Cardinals

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Jonathan Lucroy drove in two runs as the Brewers downed the Cardinals, 3-2.  Aramis Ramirez added a run scored and knocked in for Milwaukee, which snapped a three-game slide.  Zack Greinke gave up one run over six innings for the win.  John Axford recorded his fifth save of the year.  Jaime Garcia allowed three runs in seven frames for the loss.  Rafael Furcal finished with a pair of hits and a run driven in for St. Louis, which saw a three-game win streak come to an end.

MLB NL
------
Cincinnati Reds 6, Houston Astros 5
Arizona Diamondbacks 8, Miami Marlins 4
Chicago Cubs 5, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Atlanta Braves 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Milwaukee Brewers 3, St. Louis Cardinals 2
New York Mets 6, Colorado Rockies 5 (11 inn)
San Francisco Giants 4, San Diego Padres 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 2, Washington Nationals 0

MLB AL
------
Cleveland Indians 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0
New York Yankees 6, Detroit Tigers 2
Toronto Blue Jays 7, Seattle Mariners 2
Baltimore Orioles 5, Oakland Athletics 2
Chicago White Sox 4, Boston Red Sox 1
Minnesota Twins 7, Kansas City Royals 4
Tampa Bay Rays 5, Texas Rangers 2

>>Crain Lands On DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox have placed right-handed reliever Jesse Crain on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left oblique.  The 30-year-old Crain, who hasn't registered a decision while posting a 2.57 ERA over seven innings in six appearances this season, had successfully recovered from a strained right oblique during spring training.  His most recent oblique injury came during a routine workout.  Right-handed pitcher Dylan Axelrod was recalled from Triple-A Charlotte to take his place in the bullpen.

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Weekly Weather Report

Last week we saw cooler temperatures around the area. State Climotologist Jim Angel says there are chances of plenty of rain for this week as we wind down April and head into May.

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

April 28, 2012

 

Jail Population: 70

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

April 29, 2012

 

Jail Population: 69

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

April 30, 2012

 

Jail Population: 68

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

Michael Christofanelli, 19, Springfield, was issued a citation for Speeding (78 mph in a 55 mph zone). Christofanelli posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Brianna Coopman, 23, Bettendorf, IA, was issued a citation for Speeding (82 mph in a 65 mph zone). Coopman promised to comply and was released.

 

Randall Owen, 48, Leroy, was issued citations for Driving While License Suspended and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Owen was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

 

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

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Proposed Park Fees Would Help Local Parks

A recent House bill to allow the Department of Natural Resources to charge admission fees to state parks has passed and moves on to the Senate.

Site Superintendent of Weldon Springs and Clinton Lake, Tom Jackson explains Illinois is currently one of only seven states that does not currently charge for access to it's state parks and recreation areas. He notes, if the bill passes and is signed by the governor, would put Illinois more in line with neighboring states.

[audio:5112dnrcharge1.mp3] [/audio]

Like so many areas of the State budget, DNR has seen their budget reduced each of the past ten years and Jackson notes the need for a revenue source is there. He feels this is a great opportunity for residents to support their parks.

[audio:5112dnrcharge2.mp3] [/audio]

Jackson explains Clinton Lake and Weldon Spring have done about all they can to not let the public feel the effects of the cuts they've had but he says it has become unsustainable as much of their equipment has become outdated and repair needs to infrastructure.

[audio:5112dnrcharge3.mp3] [/audio]

Between daily or yearly passes to the various parks around the state, it is project DNR could gain approximately $8-million dollars. Jackson says that doesn't completely fix their budget issues, but it is a good starting point.

The bill is currently in the Senate awaiting a vote there.

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Local Farmer Calls On Fellow Farmers To Help 'Feeding America'

The son of well-known billionaire investor Warren Buffett is an Illinois farmer and wants other farmers to join him in a new campaign to fight hunger in rural America.
 
Howard Buffett is working with the Feeding America charitable organization and with agribusiness giant Archer Daniel Midland on what Buffett calls the Invest an Acre initiative. ADM will send postcards to 80-thousand farmers who do business with their grain elevators - asking them to donate the profits from an acre of cropland to the charity - which in turn will use it to support food banks in rural communities. Buffett says the income level at which federal assistance cuts off leaves many families still in need.
 
[audio:buffet1.mp3] [/audio]
    
    Buffett's famous father has been in the news - with the Obama administration using the Buffett tax to argue that the wealthy should not pay taxes at a lower tax rate than their secretaries. Buffett hopes the Buffett Tax Rule doesn’t hurt him or his campaign.
 
[audio:buffet1.mp3] [/audio]
    
He says it's not about any one person or his last name - it's about the generosity of the thousands of farmers he hopes will participate.

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Students First Day Of School Could Be Full Day

The Illinois House of Representatives Thursday approved legislation that will prevent schools from bringing students to school for an hour on the 1st and last day of the school year and having them count as full days.

Under current Illinois law, schools on first and last days of the year tend to ignore the standard rule that students must have at least five hours of class time to call it a school day, for purposes of state aid to the schools.

According to the measure’s sponsor, State Representative Dave Winters of Shirland, the bill requires students to be in class for at least 5 hours on the 1st and last day of the school year if those days are to be counted as full days.

[audio:42612WintersSB2850A.MP3] [/audio]

Rep. Winters says that parents have been frustrated for years with the old tradition of bussing kids to school and then almost immediately returning them home.

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Friday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
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Chicago Cubs 5, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Houston Astros 6, Cincinnati Reds 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Miami Marlins 0
Atlanta Braves 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
St. Louis Cardinals 13, Milwaukee Brewers 1
Colorado Rockies 18, New York Mets 9
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Washington Nationals 2
San Diego Padres 5, San Francisco Giants 3

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2
New York Yankees 7, Detroit Tigers 6
Oakland Athletics 5, Baltimore Orioles 2
Seattle Mariners 9, Toronto Blue Jays 5 (10 inn)
Tampa Bay Rays 8, Texas Rangers 4
Boston Red Sox 10, Chicago White Sox 3
Kansas City Royals 7, Minnesota Twins 6

NBA Playoffs
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No Games Scheduled

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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Phoenix Coyotes 4, Nashville Predators 3 (OT)
(Coyotes lead best-of-seven Western semifinals, 1-0)

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Yankee Legend Moose Skowron Dies

Former Yankee great Bill Moose Skowron [[ SKOW-run ]] is dead.  The slugger passed away at his Chicago home after a bout with lung cancer.  He's known around New York as the Third M with the famed M&M Boys Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris.  All three were part of the Yankee dynasty of the 60's that won four World Series championships and seven league pennants.  Skowrin was 81 years old.

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Bears Pick Up Hardin

The Chicago Bears have drafted Oregon State safety Brandon Hardin with the 79th pick overall in the third round of the NFL draft.

Hardin is taller and heavier than all the other Bears secondary players at 6-foot-2, 222 pounds. He has played cornerback in addition to safety.

Hardin missed the 2011 season due to a broken shoulder. He made seven career interceptions in his first three seasons.

The Bears opened the draft Thursday by picking defensive end Shea McClellin of Boise State with the 19th overall selection. They picked South Carolina wide receiver Alshon Jeffery in the second round earlier Friday.

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Cardinals Bash Brew Crew

St. Louis used an eight-run third inning to pummel the Brewers, 13-1.  Jon Jay and Skip Schumaker each finished with three RBI while Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter chipped in with two each.  Not to be overshadowed by the offense, Jake Westbrook delivered a seven-run performance in which he allowed just one run while striking out five.  The Cardinals have won two straight.  Yovani Gallardo allowed eight runs in two innings to suffer his second loss of the season for Milwaukee.  The Brewers have lost two straight and three-of-five.

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Cubs Crush Phillies

Paul Maholm [[ muh-HA-lum ]] tossed six-and-a-third frames of one-run ball to help the Cubs cruise by the Phillies, 5-1.  Tony Campana scored twice for Chicago, which has won three-of-four.  Rafael Dolis notched his first save of the year, throwing the final two frames for the Cubs.  Roy Halladay took the loss after giving up three runs in seven innings.  Ty Wigginton blasted a solo home run for Philadelphia, which saw a two-game win streak come to an end.

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Senate Approves Bill To Provide Economic Boost Through Enterprise Zones

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association Friday applauded the state Senate for its overwhelming approval of legislation ensuring the long-term viability and prosperity of enterprise zones, a key economic engine for Illinois.

The Senate's vote today, 55-0 for Senate Bill 3688, signaled the strong support for enterprise zones that the IMA and many other supporters hope will carry over into the bill being approved by the House and governor this spring. Senate approval of the bill comes after weeks of hearings around the state where enterprise zones' value were studied.

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association, the leading advocate for extending zones statewide, points to more than 900,000 jobs and nearly $50 billion coming from these zones since their creation 30 years ago. Last year alone, enterprise zones saw more than 24,000 jobs created and retained and $2.5 billion in investments. The IMA is pushing for passage of Senate Bill 3688 to extend the length of the zones by 25 years, allow for targeted expansions of 10 new zones over the next decade and call for increased transparency and accountability for these zones.

Mark Denzler, vice president and chief operating officer for the Illinois Manufacturers' Association, says they have contended for many years that Illinois has one of the best economic tools in enterprise zones, and they feel the Senate vote shows legislators agree.

With a few of the nearly 100 enterprise zones around the state set to expire starting next year, senators explained they felt they needed to act now to send the message that these zones should be here and supported by our state for the long term.

Sen. Mike Frerichs, a Champaign Democrat and co-chair of the Special Senate Committee on Enterprise Zone Extensions that met throughout the spring says the committee conducted a thorough review of these zones and found impressive support around the state for keeping them in place and improving them. He feels the legislation does just that, and hopes the House of Representatives will agree.

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Local Soldiers Part Of Ag Business Development Team

The Illinois National Guard Agribusiness Development Team deployed in Afghanistan returned home April 20th. The ADT mobilized in April of 2011 to establish a strong, growing and sustainable agriculture industry in the country. The soldiers from across Illinois were chosen for their background in agriculture. Colonel Fred Allen - a farmer from Delavan, Illinois - served as Commander of the team.
 
[audio:ilagguard1.mp3] [/audio]
 
The team often worked with the Afghanistan equivalent of county extension agents. One of their accomplishments was improving irrigation for more than 10-thousand acres of land. Allen says they had daily interaction with Afghan farmers who make the most out of a small amount of land.
 
[audio:ilagguard2.mp3] [/audio]
    
According to Allen - one thing he takes away from his time overseas is the universal language of farming.
 
[audio:ilagguard3.mp3] [/audio]
 
Allen was fortunate that his dad and brothers were able to take care of his farm and cattle herd as he was serving the country. Allen was gone for all of the 2011 growing season - and as he returns home - Allen says it won’t be long until he climbs into the tractor and gets to work.
 
The ADT trained nearly three-thousand farmers through Agriculture Extension Agents and assisted the forestry projects - planting more than 60-thousand trees. Thirteen soldiers received a Bronze Star, one received a Purple Heart and 45 were recognized with Army Commendation Medals

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Naional Center For Public Policy Research Reacts To DOT's Cell Phone Proposal

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced Thursday the Department of Transportation (DOT) is pushing for Congress to ban all cell phone usage while driving. Previously the federal authorities, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), had recommended that such bans were appropriate by only state and local governments.

Horace Cooper, adjunct fellow with the National Center calls the proposal "absurd" and Washington is "out of sync" with America. He feels the DOT's measure is premature and the solution should include voluntary and rely on education and technology.

He adds driving while talking on a cell phone is one of several distractions when getting behind the wheel of a vehicle and "pretending" it will be safer because drivers could no longer use their phones is "absurd".

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Rep. Sommer Discusses Important Session Issues


Many of the long-timers in Springfield continue to say that this is probably the most important legislative session in decades. With the state being in dire straits when it comes to its financial condition, over the next few weeks Illinois government leaders must come up with ways of passing a budget, along with cutting pension and healthcare costs…and it all must be done by the end of May. 

State Representative Keith Sommer (R-Morton) said that two of the largest issues to deal with are pension reform and Medicaid.

[audio:42612SommerGeneral.MP3] [/audio]

As far as the pensions are concerned, Sommer said Governor Quinn last week outlined his pension reform proposal but  unfortunately, we still haven’t seen details and there are many questions that remain unanswered.  When it comes to the $1 a pack tax increase on cigarettes to support Medicaid is concerned, Sommer said he opposes passing any more tax increases to avoid having to reduce our spending.

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Free Recycling Program Approved By Committee

An Illinois House Committee this week approved legislation that will establish an industry driven, statewide recycling program that would be provided by bag manufacturers throughout the State of Illinois. 

The program would be the first of its kind in the country. The bill, sponsored by state Rep. Michael Tryon of Crystal Lake, requires plastic bag and wrapper manufacturers to establish collection sites within 10 miles of Illinois residents in 90 percent of counties by 2014. Tryon hopes the bill can be agreed upon for a free program for tax payers.

[audio:42612TryonSB34421.MP3] [/audio]

Rep. Tryon says it took three years to put together. He would like to see the program run similarly to that of electronic recycling programs, which most are run independent of the government.

[audio:42612TryonSB34422.MP3] [/audio]

Rep. Tryon explains they are trying to work out how the program will run in communities with local recycling programs already in place. He feels it can be worked out and looks forward to getting the program up and running.

[audio:42612TryonSB34423.MP3] [/audio]

The program that will also evaluate plastic bag and wrapper recycling rates, would expire in 4 years unless it is renewed by the General Assembly.

The bill, which was approved by the House Environmental Health Committee, will now go before the full House for their consideration.

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Red Sox Defeat White Sox

Darnell McDonald hit a tiebreaking three-run double and homered to help the Boston Red Sox rally to beat the Chicago White Sox 10-3 on Friday night.

David Ortiz hit a two-run shot for the Red Sox, who are 5-0 since blowing a 9-0 lead against the New York Yankees Saturday for their fifth straight loss.

After Paul Konerko's home run in the fifth gave the White Sox a 3-2 lead, the Red Sox responded with a five-run sixth inning, highlighted by McDonald's bases-clearing double.

Boston starter Daniel Bard (2-2) took advantage of the run support and threw seven strong innings.

White Sox starter John Danks (2-3) struggled in his fifth start of the season. He allowed seven runs on six hits in 5 2-3 innings. Chicago has lost four straight.

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Illinois Legislation Regulating 'Fracking' Advances

Illinois legislation is advancing that would regulate decades-old but debated technology used to reach previously inaccessible natural gas reserves deep underground.

The state Senate on Thursday unanimously sent to the House a bill addressing hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. That technology involves using mixtures of water, sand and chemicals to free below-ground energy reserves.

The Senate bill comes as energy companies are pushing to prospect possible drilling sites using fracking in southern Illinois.

The legislation would allow the state's Department of Natural Resources to regulate fracking. It also would require energy companies to publicly disclose the chemical composition of the fluids used and test the integrity of the cement and steel well casings meant to protect groundwater during drilling.

Environmentalists are guarded about the technology because of possible pollution.

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Law Enforcement Groups Support Pre-School Funding

Preschool funding in Illinois has been cut by more than 55-million dollars over the last several years and now law enforcement leaders are calling on lawmakers to stop the bleeding.  Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons says early learning programs make a huge impact in kids' lives.

[audio:rddPreschool1.mp3] [/audio]

Nearly 18-thousand Illinois kids have been cut from preschool programs.  Calhoun County has seen the worst impact with all of its state funded preschools eliminated.  Effingham County has seen a 97-percent elimination and Massac County has seen an 89-percent cut.  A new report called "Penny Wise and Pound Foolish,"  indicates the cuts will cost taxpayers far more than it will save, estimating future lifetime costs of 200-million dollars for each group of at-risk children denied access to preschool.  The law enforcement officers are asking legislators to expand preschool funding and curb future criminal behavior.

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Committee Wants To Hear From Smith

A special investigative committee wants Representative Derrick Smith to testify under oath about bribery charges brought against him.  They're sending a letter to Smith and his attorneys, but Committee Chair Representative Elaine Nekritz says he's is not obligated to testify.

[audio:rddFifthAmend1.mp3] [/audio]

The committee had hoped to get details of the charges from U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald.  But Fitzgerald says sharing the information could compromise his own investigation and case against Smith.  The Chicago Representative was arrested on March 13th and accused of accepting a seven thousand dollar bribe to help a daycare secure a state grant.  The committee is considering whether to sanction or recommend Smith for expulsion over his alleged behavior.

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Workers' Compensation Program Needs Overhaul

Illinois' Workers' Compensation Program has numerous shortcomings and isn't designed to protect the state's best interests.  That's according to a state audit done by Auditor General Bill Holland.  The report urges lawmakers to change the program for state employees because of the extensive problems.  It also indicates state workers filed more than 26-thousand claims between 2007 and 2010.  More than half were from the state Departments of Human Services and Corrections.  Employees at Chester Mental Health Center filed the most claims, topping eleven-hundred while those at Menard Correctional Center filed about 870.  The state paid out more than 295-million dollars during that time frame.  Sprains and contusions accounted for three-quarters of all injuries.

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Illinois Economy To Take Hit With Medicaid Cuts

Illinois' economy will take a big hit if Governor Quinn and lawmakers go forward with plans to cut two-point-seven-billion dollars from the Medicaid system.  That's a according to the Ralph Martire [[Mar-teeri]], with the Responsible Budget Coalition, who says tens of thousands will be put out of work.

[audio:rddJobLoss1.mp3] [/audio]

Drastic cuts to the state's Medicaid program could ultimately hit you in the wallet. Martire adds when the state backs away from providing the services, homeowners will end up paying the price.

[audio:rddPropTaxUp1.mp3] [/audio]

The Coalition says lawmakers should look for ways to boost revenues to help pay for the system.  They support Quinn's proposal to add a one dollar tax on cigarettes.  Illinois lawmakers are looking for ways to reform the Medicaid system and reign in the cost of the program.  Quinn says lawmakers must reach a deal by May 31st, otherwise he'll call them back for special session during the summer.

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Illinois Man Convicted Of Laundering Gambling Money

A 65-year-old eastern Illinois man has been found guilty of laundering more than $6 million from an illegal gambling operation and structuring bank deposits to avoid detection.

The U.S. Department of Justice says Jimmy LaCost of Kankakee was convicted Wednesday in Urbana of 55 criminal counts. His sentencing hasn't been set.

LaCost was convicted of laundering $6.4 million from his gambling operation between 2005 and 2009 and depositing the money at a local bank in amounts less than $10,000. Banks are required to report any deposit of $10,000 or more to the IRS.

LaCost and his son, 42-year-old Michael W. LaCost of Kankakee, pleaded guilty in February to providing gaming machines used for illegal gambling in businesses across central Illinois.

Both are waiting to be sentenced for those crimes.

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Drivers Force Gas Prices Down

Drivers in New Lenox force gas stations to lower their prices.  They forged a boycott after Mayor Tim Baldermann called on them to take action.  He asked residents not to purchase gas in their hometown because it was rising out of control.  Plus, drivers could get it cheaper just down the road in Mokena and Frankfort.  Balderman says he had no idea the people would be so supportive so soon but within 48 hours gas prices had dropped by more than a dime.  The local BP dropped prices from four-17 to four dollars and six cents a gallon.  Other gas stations followed suit.  The boycott proves that people are still the driving force in the economy.  And, if prices rise too high again, Baldermann urges residents to boycott again.

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Rep. Johnson Says Former Staffer Shouldn't Replace Him

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson says a former chief of staff shouldn't replace him on the November ballot after some questioned whether Johnson's planned retirement was engineered to benefit him.

Jerry Clarke is among a number of Republicans who say they would like to replace Johnson. The longtime congressman announced last month he will end his re-election campaign and retire.

Johnson said in a statement Thursday that none of his former staff members should be considered.

Spokesman Phil Bloomer said that includes Clarke. Bloomer said Johnson issued the statement because of suggestions made by some Republicans that Johnson withdrew after winning the primary to benefit Clarke. His decision means GOP county chairmen rather than voters are choosing who will run in November.

Clarke did not return a telephone call seeking comment.

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Caterpillar Profit Up, But Shares Down

Peoria-based Caterpillar is looking at a 29-percent first-quarter net income increase to nearly one-point-six-billion dollars.  However, it's stock dropped nearly five-percent yesterday after the heavy-equipment manufacturer posted results that indicate sales in China and Brazil dropped below expectations.  Chairman and chief executive Doug Oberhelman says Washington is key right now.

[audio:CaterpillarOberhelman.mp3] [/audio]

Oberhelman says that, in the near term, the company plans to boost sales in other parts of the world.

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Bt Corn Could Be Leading To Pest Management Issues

These days it's hard to find a cornfield that isn't growing some type of Bt Corn, and some think that's leading to issues in pest management.  Jared White has more...

[audio:42312GrayOnBTCornUseWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton PD Hosting 'Take Back Initiative' Saturday Morning

Before you head out for your Saturday morning activities, the Clinton Police Department is asking residents to find any unused prescription medications or other drugs in their homes to bring by the department Saturday morning.

The Clinton Police Department is hosting their annual "Take Back Initiative" Saturday. It gives anyone with unused prescription medications or any other household drugs not in use to dispose of it in a safe way. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy explains the implementation of this program several years ago was because the department would see one or two deaths a year from young people overdosing on leftover prescription medications or unused drugs in a medicine cabinet.

[audio:42712takeback1.mp3] [/audio]

The "Take Back Initiative", which is sponsored by the Clinton Police department in conjunction with the Drug Enforcement Administartion, will hold a collection Saturday at Clinton City Hall. Chief Reidy explains this year, officers will be out on the curbs collecting the drugs. He adds this program is open for any resident in any location.

[audio:42712takeback2.mp3] [/audio]

The program is not just a one day event. Chief Reidy explains the Police Department has a container that anyone can come in and drop off any unwanted drugs, not just April 28th. He says it is better to have unused drugs in the hands of the proper authorities rather than having them in cabinets exposed to the wrong hands.

[audio:42712takeback3.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy believes this is the safest option available for disposing of unwanted drugs. He says any other methods of disposal can lead to harmful chemicals that are not generally treated for, back into the eco-system. He feels handing them over to the DEA ensures the drugs are disposed of properly.

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NASCAR Sprint Cup Series In Richmond

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is at the Richmond International Raceway this weekend for Saturday's Richmond 400.  Last year, Kyle Busch equaled the great Richard Petty with his third win in a row at the Richmond spring race.  This year, he's shooting to join Jeff Gordon and Darrell Waltrip as the only drivers to win the same Sprint Cup race four straight seasons.  The Sprint Cup Series returns to the short track for the third and final time this spring.

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Bears, Rams Draft Notes

>>Bears Take McClellin In First Round Of NFL Draft

(New York, NY)  --  The three-day NFL Draft began with the first round last night at Radio City Music Hall.  The Chicago Bears selected Boise State linebacker Shea McClellin with the 19th overall pick.  The Bears wanted to add a pass rusher to compliment Julius Peppers.  The 6-foot-3, 260-pound McClellin can rush the passer or drop back and play outside linebacker.

>>Rams Trade Down Again

(New York, NY)  --  The Rams traded down for a second time in the first round of the NFL Draft.  After dealing the second-overall pick to the Washington Redskins in March, the Rams then sent the sixth-overall pick to Dallas last night for the 14th-overall selection and the Cowboys' second-round pick. After making the deal with Dallas, the Rams used the selection to draft LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers.  At 6-foot-5, 322-pounds, Brockers is a physical specimen with great strength.  He's considered a better run stopper than pass rusher.

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Bulls Blast Cavs

John Lucas scored 25 points off the bench as the Bulls blasted the Cavaliers, 107-75.  Joakim Noah collected 13 points and 12 rebounds for Chicago.  Derrick Rose did not play.  The top-seeded Bulls will face the 76ers in the opening round of the East playoffs.  Tristan Thompson ended with 13 points and 12 board for the Cavs, who end the year with a record of 21-and-45.  Antawn Jamison and Luke Harangody netted 12 points apiece in the loss.

NBA
------
Toronto Raptors 98, New Jersey Nets 67
Atlanta Hawks 106, Dallas Mavericks 89
Denver Nuggets 131, Minnesota Timberwolves 102
Boston Celtics 87, Milwaukee Bucks 74
New York Knicks 104, Charlotte Bobcats 84
Detroit Pistons 108, Philadelphia 76ers 86
Utah Jazz 96, Portland Trail Blazers 94
Houston Rockets 84, New Orleans Hornets 77
Washington Wizards 104, Miami Heat 70
Memphis Grizzlies 88, Orlando Magic 76
Sacramento Kings 113, Los Angeles Lakers 96
San Antonio Spurs 107, Golden State Warriors 101

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Red Sox Rough Up Humber, White Sox

 Kevin Youkilis belted a grand slam as the Red Sox roughed up Phil Humber in and the White Sox, 10-3.  Jarrod Saltalamacchia smacked a pair of homers and drove in three for the BoSox, who have reeled off four straight wins.  Felix Doubront lasted six innings to get his first victory. Junichi Tazawa notched a three-inning save.  Humber allowed nine runs and eight hits to take the loss in his first start since tossing a perfect game.  Dayan Viciedo hit a solo homer for the White Sox in their third straight loss.

MLB NL
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San Francisco Giants 6, Cincinnati Reds 5
New York Mets 3, Miami Marlins 2
San Diego Padres 2, Washington Nationals 1

MLB AL
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Kansas City Royals 4, Cleveland Indians 2
Seattle Mariners 5, Detroit Tigers 4
Tampa Bay Rays 4, LA Angels of Anaheim 3
Baltimore Orioles 5, Toronto Blue Jays 2

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Texans Take Illini's Mercilus at 23, Jenkins Goes 30 To San Francisco

The Houston Texans have selected Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus with the 26th overall pick in the NFL draft.

The 6-foot-3, 261-pound Mercilus is an early-entry junior who only started for one season in college. He led the nation in sacks (16) and forced fumbles (8). He earned All-Big Ten honors and won the 2011 Ted Hendricks award.

The Texans finished 10-6 last season and won their first AFC South title to earn the franchise's first playoff berth.

Houston took some key losses in free agency, with career sacks leader Mario Williams, right tackle Eric Winston and right guard Mike Brisiel signing with other teams. The Texans cut Winston and traded All-Pro linebacker DeMeco Ryans to Philadelphia.

The San Francisco 49ers have taken another step to boost their receiving corps, selecting Illinois wideout A.J. Jenkins with the 30th pick in the NFL draft.

Jenkins will join a unit that already features Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and Michael Crabtree on the reigning NFC West champion 49ers, who lost in overtime of the NFC title game to the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants.

Jenkins had 90 catches last season for 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns.

San Francisco has all 11 defensive starters back. This became a drastically different draft for GM Trent Baalke, whose selections the past two years became immediate impact players - offensive linemen Anthony Davis and Mike Iupati and then linebacker Aldon Smith, who had 14 sacks last season as a rookie.

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Jordan's Bobcats Could Be Worst Team Ever

Michael Jordan has long been synonymous with greatness. By Thursday night that number could have a completely different meaning for him.

His Charlotte Bobcats face their 23rd consecutive loss and would finish the season with the worst winning percentage in NBA history (.106) if they don't beat the New York Knicks on the final night of the shrunken season. And that would mean the man recognized globally as the greatest basketball player ever would be the not-so-proud owner of the worst NBA team ever.

A spectacular resume that includes six NBA championships and five league MVP awards would also include one very forgettable season.

It's been 39 years since an NBA team finished with a worse winning percentage than the Bobcats. The 1972-73 Philadelphia 76ers finished 9-73 (.110).

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ISU Head Coach Tim Jankovich Leaves For SMU

SMU has hired Illinois State basketball coach Tim Jankovich to be its head coach-in-waiting under Larry Brown.

Brown announced the hiring of Jankovich as associate head coach in a statement Thursday.

The 71-year-old Brown took over the SMU program Monday.

Illinois State went 105-64 with four NIT appearances over the past five seasons under Jankovich. Previously, he spent five years as an assistant to Bill Self in Self's one year as head coach at Illinois and four at Kansas.

Jankovich's first job as a head coach was at North Texas in 1993-97, where he led the Mean Green from a 5-21 record the season before his arrival to a 14-15 mark in his 1993-94 maiden season.

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Sages Double Up Urbana

The Monticello Sages traveled to Urbana Thursday afternoon and knocked off Urbana High School. The Sages used a four-run second inning to back Jacob Williams, who only threw two scoreless innings, striking out four. In his only official plate appearance, Williams recorded a double, the only extra base hit of the day for the Sages. Nick Stokowski had a pair of hits and Tyler Taylor, Austin McCall, and Daniel Caldwell each recorded RBI hits.

The Sages improve to 15-5 overall and play their second non-conference contest this week as they host Tri-Valley this afternoon.

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Lady Maroons Defeat Sullivan For Third straight Win

The Lady Maroons defeated Sullivan in Okaw Valley conference action 5 - 1  Thursday afternoon to win their third game in as many days.  After a slow start the Lady Maroons scored 4 runs in the top of the fourth inning and added a fifth run in the fifth. Bailey Walker picked up the win.

Offensively the Lady Maroons Emily Kroeger was 2 for 4, and Bailey Walker 2 for 3. Haley Ginger, Jessie Shride and Haley Toohill all added single.  Morgan Hickman added a triple.

The Lady Maroons are scheduled to travel to Springfield on Saturday morning to face Springfield Calvary at 10:00 A.M.

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Maroons Fall To St. T

Decatur St. Teresa took advantage of seven Clinton Maroons errors to propel them to an 11-4 Okaw Valley Conference victory Thursday at Clinton High School in what was a make up game from a Wednesday rain out.

Marshall Sprague went the distance on the mound for the Maroons surrendering all 11 runs, however only five were earned runs He struck out two and walked four. Sprague is now 3-3 on the season.

Sprague led the Maroons offensively with a 2-3 day including a triple and an RBI. Steven Evans was 1-2 with an RBI double and Josh Merrick added a double as well.

Clinton is 12-10 overall and 3-4 in Okaw play.

Decatur St. Teresa is now 20-3 overall and 6-1 in the Okaw Valley.

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Local Unemployment Figures

County by county March unemployment figures were released Thursday.

DeWitt County saw it's unemployment figures drop by a whole percentage point from 9.1% to 8.1%.

Piatt County's unemployment dropped by a percent and-a-half from 9.6% to 8.1%.

McLean County recorded one of the area's lowest unemployment rates in March at 6.7%, that is down almost a whole percentage from February.

Woodford County recorded central Illinois' lowest rate at 6.6%.

Macon County continues to to see a double-digit unemployment rate at 10.1%,though it is down from 10.9% from February.

Logan County was just under 8-percent at 7.9, down from 9.1% in February.

Champaign County went from 8.4% unemployment in February to 7.5% in March.

A little farther south, Moultrie County saw their unemployment drop a whole percent, taking them to 6.9%.

The highest unemployment rate in Illinois was in Calhoun County, where they registered 11.9%. However, they saw the largest drop in unemployment from February to March at 3.4%.

The lowest unemployment rate is in Brown County, where they dropped to under 5-percent at 4.6% unemployed.

Good news for Illinois in the month of March, there were no gains in any County in the state. The state's unemployment rate for March was 9% and the national average is 8.4%.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-27

April 27, 2012

 

Jail Population: 70

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Jeffrey Sayre, 48, Carpentersville, was issued a citation for Speeding (78 mph in a 55 mph zone). Sayre posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

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

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Advocacy Groups Blast Quinn On Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Members of the Responsible Budget Coalition say Governor Quinn's plan to cut two-point-seven-billion dollars from Medicaid is immoral and irresponsible.  William McNairy says slashing the program will leave millions without healthcare, which will cost more in the long run.

[audio:rddMcNairy1.mp3] [/audio]

Ralph Martire [[ Mar-teeri ]] says contrary to public opinion, the Medicaid system is supplementing the state budget.

[audio:rddNoCuts1.mp3] [/audio]

Lore Baker says cutting Medicaid could put more than 10-thousand people on the streets.

[audio:rddNoCuts2.mp3] [/audio]

Members of the Coalition say lawmakers should reject the plan and find ways to increase revenues instead.  For example, the group supports Quinn's proposal to raise the cigarette tax, calling it a step in the right direction because it will bring about 675-million dollars.

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Charity Awards Grants For Cancer Researchers

Northwestern University will receive a grant for a summer childhood cancer research project.

The St. Baldrick's Foundation announced $85,000 in awards for the summer fellow grants. The grants will go to support young researchers at Northwestern and 16 other institutions in the country.

Kathleen Ruddy is the executive director of the foundation. Ruddy says exposing medical students to childhood cancer research early is necessary to encourage them to specialize in the field.

Only 4% of all federal cancer research funding is dedicated to childhood cancer research. Foundation awards allow students who might be interested in studying pediatric oncology in medical school to explore the field of childhood cancer research in their summer term.

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Madigan Says Illinois GOP Will Block Cigarette Tax Hike

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan supports a cigarette tax increase to shore up Medicaid but is predicting Republicans will block the idea.

The Chicago Democrat also said Wednesday that Gov. Pat Quinn's plan to cut pension costs is a good start.

Quinn proposes raising cigarette taxes by $1 a pack. That would raise about $670 million to help close a $2.7 billion Medicaid shortfall. But Republicans want more spending cuts.

Madigan is unsure what health care reductions will be acceptable to House Democrats.

Quinn also wants dramatic changes to ease pensions' impact on the budget. They include raising the retirement age and requiring bigger worker contributions.

Madigan says Quinn's plan has good ideas that will be challenged by outside groups.

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Senate Passes Mary's Law

STATE LAWMAKERS CONTINUE THEIR WORK ON A NEW CRIME VICTIMS BILL OF RIGHTS.

CRIME VICTIMS IN ILLINOIS CURRENTLY DO HAVE CERTAIN RIGHTS UNDER THE STATE CONSTITUTION…BUT THEY ARE NOT REALLY ENFORCEABLE. SENATOR MAGGIE CROTTY OF OAK FOREST SAYS THIS LEAVES VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES FEELING BETRAYED AND VIOLATED ALL OVER AGAIN.

[audio:marsyslaw1.mp3] [/audio]

MARSY’S LAW CREATES A NEW SET RULES FOR HOW CRIME VICTIMS SHOULD BE TREATED…AND WHAT RIGHTS THEY HAVE IN THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM SAYS SENATOR HEATHER STEANS (stains) OF CHICAGO.

[audio:marsyslaw2.mp3] [/audio]

THE HOUSE AND SENATE ARE DOING SOME FINE TUNING TO THIS CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT. ONCE THEY APPROVE IT…VOTERS WILL BE ASKED FOR THE FINAL SAY IN THE NOVEMBER ELECTION.

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Lawmakers Honor Pekin Soldier Killed At War

State lawmakers hold a moment of silence for a Pekin soldier, Sergeant Dean Shaffer, who was killed in Afghanistan last week.  Senator Dave Koehler says anyone who sacrifices his or her life for their country, deserves to be recognized.  

[audio:rddSoldier1.mp3] [/audio]

Shaffer was one of four Army airmen killed in Afghanistan when their chopper crashed last week.  He was a 2007 graduate of Pekin Community High School.  It's the second active duty serviceman killed in service from the Pekin area within six months.  Jordan Best was killed in Afghanistan last October.

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Judge Rules Against Illinois Tax Law

A Cook County judge has ruled against a state law that requires Internet companies to collect sales taxes on all transactions with Illinois customers.

Judge Robert Lopez Cepero ruled Wednesday that the law isn't enforceable because there is a federal Internet tax moratorium through 2014. Cepero also found that just because a company has an affiliate in Illinois doesn't mean it has enough of a presence for tax purposes.

The 2011 law caused affiliates of websites like Amazon.com to relocate out of Illinois.

The Los Angeles-based trade group Performance Marketing Association brought the lawsuit. The group called the ruling a victory. The Illinois Department of Revenue said it respectfully disagrees with the judge's ruling and is reviewing appeal options.

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Peterson Insurance Named To 'Inner Circle Club'

Jay Peterson, owner of Peterson Insurance Services in Clinton, has achieved membership in Pekin Life Insurance Company's exclusive "Inner Circle Club."  

Pekin made the announcement this week.

Membership is awarded for outstanding sales and service of life insurance.

This is the 3rd consecutive year that Peterson Insurance has been given this award by Pekin Insurance.

Peterson Insurance is located at 117 West Main in Clinton.

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Specialty Growers Dealing With Wild Spring

You've undoubtedly noticed corn farmers across Illinois getting a jump start on the growing season due to the abnormally warm weather, but central Illinois specialty growers are also taking advantage of the early start to the season...despite some early setbacks.  Jared White has more...

[audio:42312ILSpecialtyGrowersDealWithWildSpringWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton Schools Outline Summer Projects

The Clinton School districts summer maintenance projects for this summer have been identified.

Several of the outlined high school upgrades will be getting underway this summer, but the summer maintenance projects will be separate endeavors for the district. Superintendent of the Clinton School District, Dr. Jeff Holmes outlines a couple of projects to take place at the high school' football field. Dr. Holmes says one of those is going to be, in essence, a safer light switch for the football field lights and scoreboard.

[audio:42612summerschool1.mp3] [/audio]

The visitors bleachers will be getting some work done on them to make them safer. Dr. Holmes explains every other year, the district has their bleachers inspected for safety issues, and some issues have been noted needing fixing. Dr. Holmes feels it would be better to spend money now to get those issues addressed than have a more expensive liability in the future.

[audio:42612summerschool2.mp3] [/audio]

Even though the school district will be vacating and tearing down Washington and Webster schools, Dr. Holmes says the district will be doing smaller projects to maintain the buildings until students and faculty are out. At Douglass, a ramp for the handicapped students will be put in and courtesy of grant money, the junior high school will receive more energy efficient lights.

[audio:42612summerschool3.mp3] [/audio]

Another potential maintenance item that could be determined later relates to the air handling units above the high school gym. The Board of Education would like to receive bids to find out what removing those units, which currently has one out of service and is costing the district money to run, and then putting in air conditioning in the gym. An original bid of $95-thousand came in to have those units fixed.

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NFL Draft Tonight

College football's best players begin to realize their pro dreams tonight with the start of the NFL Draft.  The three-day event begins with the first round at Radio City Music Hall.  The Indianapolis Colts have already announced they will take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick.

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Bulls Down Pacers

Kyle Korver netted 20 points as the Bulls downed the Packers, 92-87.  Carlos Boozer had 16 points and seven rebounds for Chicago, which has already locked up the top-seed in the East.  Joakim Noah added 14 points and 14 boards, while Derrick Rose had 10 points and seven assists in the win.  Lance Stephenson scored a career-high 22 points for Indiana in its season-finale.  The Pacers are locked in to the third-seed in the East.

NBA
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Chicago Bulls 92, Indiana Pacers 87
Washington Wizards 96, Cleveland Cavaliers 85
Orlando Magic 102, Charlotte Bobcats 95
Denver Nuggets 106, Oklahoma City Thunder 101
New York Knicks 99, Los Angeles Clippers 93
Philadelphia 76ers 90, Milwaukee Bucks 85
San Antonio Spurs 110, Phoenix Suns 106

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Cards Win; Sox Lose; Konerko Clubs Career HR 400

>>Freese Powers Cards Past Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  David Freese hit a two-run homer and knocked in three as the Cardinals claimed a 5-1 win over the Cubs.  Carlos Beltran's RBI double snapped a 1-1 tie in the sixth and Freese followed with his fourth home run of the season for St. Louis.  Matt Carpenter also singled in a run for the Cards, who salvaged the finale of the three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Lance Lynn pitched eight innings of one-run ball to improve to 4-and-0.  Chris Volstad allowed four runs in six frames to fall to 0-and-3 for Chicago.  Bryan LaHair hit a solo homer to tie the game at one for the Cubs in the fourth.

MLB NL
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Colorado Rockies 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Houston Astros 7, Milwaukee Brewers 5
Philadelphia Phillies 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Colorado Rockies 1
Washington Nationals 7, San Diego Padres 2
Cincinnati Reds 4, San Francisco Giants 2
New York Mets 5, Miami Marlins 1
Atlanta Braves 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

>>A's Edge ChiSox In 14th

(Oakland, CA)  --  Yoenis Cespedes clubbed a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the 14th inning and Kila Ka'aihue [[ KEE-luh  kuh-eye-HOO-ay ]] plated the game-winner on a bloop single in the same frame as the Athletics edged the White Sox, 5-4.  Cespedes went 3-for-5 with three RBI in the victory.  Jim Miller recorded the final out in the top of the 14th to pick up the win for the A's, who have won three of their last four games.  Paul Konerko tied the game in the ninth inning for Chicago with a solo home run.  Alex Rios finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and a run scored, while Alexei Ramirez added a two-run double for the White Sox, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.  Hector Santiago was saddled with the loss.

MLB AL
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Oakland Athletics 5, Chicago White Sox 4 (14 inn)
Kansas City Royals 8, Cleveland Indians 2
Seattle Mariners 9, Detroit Tigers 1
Baltimore Orioles 3, Toronto Blue Jays 0
Tampa Bay Rays 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2
Texas Rangers 7, New York Yankees 3
Boston Red Sox 7, Minnesota Twins 6

>>Chicago's Konerko Hits 400th Homer

(Oakland, CA)  --  Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko clubbed his 400th career home run on Wednesday.  The 36-year-old hit the milestone dinger off Grant Balfour in the ninth inning of Chicago's game against the A's in Oakland.  The homer tied the game, but the ChiSox went on to suffer a 14-inning, 5-4 loss.  Konerko passed Andres Galarraga for 48th on the all-time home run list.

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Lady Maroons Win at Meridian

Clinton Lady Maroons defeated Meridian 11-1 in six innings in Macon on Wednesday night.  The Lady Maroons offense came to life scoring 11 runs on 15 hits which included 4 triples and a home run.  Offensively Morgan Hickman broke out of a hitting slump going 2 for 4 with a triple and home run.  Emily Kroeger, Megan Tool, and Regan Pinkerton also tripled and Bailey Walker added a double. Several other players added singles in a game which saw every Lady Maroon batter get at least one hit.

Bailey Walker picked up the win.

The Lady Maroons travel to Sullivan on Thursday to take on the Lady Redskins in another Okaw Valley Confernce game.  Game time is scheduled for 4:30.

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Fishing Kicking Off Early In 2012

Thanks to a mild winter, fishing season has taken off a little earlier this year. The Department of Natural Resources reminds out at the lakes around the area to keep the state's regulations in mind.

DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus says there are size limits to the fish you can keep, and also the amount of fish you can keep. Crappie, bass and walleye all have weight limits and amounts you can keep. Wichus says these regulations are in place to keep the numbers of fish stocked level.

[audio:42712fishregulation1.mp3] [/audio]

DNR Officers stress to have those fishing licenses current and along side as you are fishing. Wichus says officers will likely ask to see your license to make sure it's current. They may search to make sure you are not hiding any fish and you are within regulations.

[audio:42712fishregulation2.mp3] [/audio]

A popular way to fish that DNR Officers are seeing become increasingly popular is an Alabama Rig. An Alabama Rig makes bass fishing more effective. Wichus says those have recently been ruled illegal at state parks where regulation is two poll and line limit.

[audio:42712fishregulation3.mp3] [/audio]

Breaking any of these regulations are considered a petty offenses and Wichus explains it is a maximum $150 citation.

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Liberal Groups Lash Gov. Quinn On Medicaid

A national liberal advocacy group is criticizing Illinois' Democratic governor's proposed solution to the state's Medicaid crisis.

Families USA is issuing a new report Wednesday that estimates job losses of more than 25,000 if Illinois cuts Medicaid spending by $2.7 billion.

That's a reaction to Gov. Pat Quinn's call for the Legislature to stop pushing unpaid Medicaid bills into future years. Quinn last week proposed cutting Medicaid projected spending by $2 billion and raising cigarette taxes to close the rest of the Medicaid budget gap.

The Illinois-based Campaign for Better Health Care joined Families USA in issuing the report. Both groups work for affordable health care for all Americans and are traditional allies of Democrats.

The report indicates the level of conflict ahead as state lawmakers deal with Medicaid.

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Bishop Meant No Harm In Obama, Hitler Comparison

Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling says Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky meant no harm when he recently compared some of President Obama's policies to those of Joseph Stalin and Adolph Hitler.  Jenky was referring to Obama's plan to make religious employers cover the costs of birth control, but Schilling says the bishop was simply referring to Obama's socialistic tendencies.

[audio:rddJenky1.mp3] [/audio]

Schilling admits the Bishop could have chosen his words more carefully.

[audio:rddJenky2.mp3] [/audio]

Schilling says Obama's birth control plan is the perfect example of government shredding the Constitution.  He says the American people will sit back and let politicians force policies on people.  He says he'll be one of the first to keep them in check.

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Kirk Recovery Going Well

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk is doing very well after suffering a stroke in January.  Doctors at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago say he's mentally sharp, walking up stairs and even exercising.  Institute Director Richard Harvey says the Senator is fully engaged in all aspects of his rehabilitation program.  While Kirk is showing excellent signs of improvement, he's still not functioning at the same level he was before he had the stroke.  Doctors are working with him to improve his walk speeds and they're confident he will make a full recovery.

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Children Will Suffer Without Pension, Medicaid Reform

Governor Quinn says making changes to the pension and Medicaid systems is no easy task but if it's not done, children will pay the price.

[audio:QuinnKids1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn wants to up the retirement age to 67 as well as increase employee contributions by three percent for pensions.  He's also proposed a one dollar tax increase on cigarettes.  Lawmakers have six weeks to draw up the reform plans and get them through both houses of the legislature.  On top of that, they must determine how to divvy up revenues among each of the state's agencies and programs.  They're scheduled to adjourn for summer break on May 31st but Quinn says he'll call them back during the summer months if they don't reach a deal on pension and Medicaid.

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Illinois Registry of Convicted Murderers Tops 500

An Illinois state registry for first-degree murder convicts has topped 500 people.

528 convicts who have completed their sentences and been released are on the registry, which was created by a new law that went into effect in January.

The database is similar to the sex offender registry. It includes names, addresses, employment places, schools attended and photos for offenders for up to 10 years after their release from prison.

The legislation was called "Andrea's Law" after Andrea Will, an Eastern Illinois University student killed in 1998 by her former boyfriend, who was released from prison in 2010.

Her mother, Patricia Rosenberg, said the website would allow people to know whether a convicted murderer is living nearby.

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Illinois Ranks Low On Peace Scale

Illinois is one of the least peaceful states to live in.  That's according to a recent study conducted by the United States Peace Index, which ranks the state 35 out of 50.  The ranking is based on a set of five indicators, including homicide rates, violent crimes, percentage of the population in jail, number of police officers, and availability of small arms per 100-thousand people.  All of Illinois' border states ranked higher on the peace scale, except Missouri, which comes in at number 42.  The good news is overall peace in the U.S. has improved by eight percent from 1995 to 2009.  This improvement was driven by a substantial decrease in homicide and violent crime rates.

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Sex Charges Dropped Against Peoria Councilman

Prosecutors in Peoria County have dropped prostitution-related charges against a Peoria city councilman.

Prosecutors dropped charges Tuesday against Dan Irving, saying they couldn't locate a witness needed to testify. Irving had pleaded not guilty to charges he patronized a prostitute. That charge is now dropped.

Irving was accused of paying for sex with an 18-year-old Iowa woman he met through a website.

He was initially charged with three felony counts of patronizing a prostitute but 2 of the counts were later dropped.

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Rep. Mitchell Re-Introduces Grounding State's Airfleet

Earlier this year State Representative Bill Mitchell said Illinois has the largest air fleet of the 50 states and called for them to be grounded until the eight billion dollar deficit has been paid off. Mitchell says the fleet costs $3-thousand per hour of use and is worth almost $22-million.  

[audio:42512grounded1.mp3] [/audio]

Wednesday as the Public Safety Appropriations committee met to discuss and hear requests for the FY13 budget, Mitchell once again questioned officials on the need for the fleet at a time when the state is facing such financial difficulties.

[audio:42512grounded2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Mitchell, the state pays for daily air shuttles between Chicago and Springfield; back and forth in the morning and the evening. He cites other states,  larger than Illinois who do not provide daily shuttles via aircraft for their legislators, such as Texas and California.

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Piatt County SWCD Collecting Electronic Items To Recycle

Piatt County is hosting their second spring electronic recycling event today.

The Piatt County Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting an electronic recycling event today from 8 am to 4 pm at their Piatt County Office. Jonathon Manuel, Resource Conservationist at the Piatt County Soil Water Conservation District, explains the trailer takes any items from televisions to window air conditioners to batteries.

[audio:42512ecycling1.mp3] [/audio]

Manuel explains the collections started out as a way to assist Piatt County and farmers who would find items thrown in their ditches or dirt paths in the country. He feels this has significantly reduced the amount of dumped electronics throughout the county roads.

[audio:42512ecycling2.mp3] [/audio]

With new statewide landfill regulations requiring landfills to deny, electronic items are no longer allowed in the state's landfills, and electronic recycling programs are becoming increasingly popular. Manuel hopes the state regulation and increases in electronic recycling programs help the landfills last longer.

[audio:42512ecycling3.mp3] [/audio]

The electronic recycling program is today and runs from 8 am to 4 pm at the Monticello USDA Parking Lot on the east side at 1201 A Bear Lane.

The program is free of charge but good will donations will be accepted to help cover the cost of gas for the trailers.

Items accepted include: batteries, cameras, televisions, computers, fax machines, power strips and other cables.

Items NOT accepted include: refrigerators, freezers, washers, dryers, dishwashers and hot water heaters.

To learn more or find out if an item is acceptable or not you can contact Jonathon Manuel at 217-762-2146 Ext. 3.

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JJ Named Forbes' Most Influential Athlete

For the second year in a row, NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Jimmie Johnson topped Forbes' list of "America's Most Influential Athletes."  Johnson, who won the series championship consecutively from 2006-10, outranked NFL quarterbacks Eli and Peyton Manning, as well as Tim Tebow on this year's list.  Johnson drives the number-48 Chevrolet for Hendrick Motorsports, with Lowe's Home Improvement as the team's primary sponsor.  While Johnson remained atop the list, his Hendrick teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who is NASCAR's most popular driver, dropped from third to seventh.  Jeff Gordon, also from Hendrick, fell off the list this year.

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Rams Draft News

>>Rams' Jackson Reportedly Unhappy With Contract

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams may look harder at Alabama running back Trent Richardson during tomorrow's draft with a report Steven Jackson is unhappy.  According to NFL Network, Jackson doesn't like his contract and wants a new deal.  The Rams told the "Post-Dispatch" it's news to them.

>>Rams Ready For Draft

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams have one more day to finalize their draft board.  The three-day NFL Draft kicks off tomorrow night at Radio City Music Hall in New York.  After trading down from second, the Rams will pick sixth.  They also have the first pick of the second round and the 39th overall pick.

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Bulls Lock Up East's Top Seed

The Chicago Bulls will be the top-seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs for the second straight year.  The Bulls clinched the top spot when the Miami Heat suffered a 78-66 loss to the Celtics in Boston Tuesday night.  Miami's "Big Three" of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh did not play in the loss.  At 48-and-16, the Bulls are tied with the San Antonio Spurs for the best overall record in the NBA.  Each team will play Wednesday and Thursday night.

NBA
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Atlanta Hawks 109, Los Angeles Clippers 102
Oklahoma City Thunder 118, Sacramento Kings 110
Boston Celtics 78, Miami Heat 66
New Orleans Hornets 83, Golden State Warriors 81
Utah Jazz 100, Phoenix Suns 88

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Cubs Walk Off On Cards; A's Top Sox

>>Cubs Walk Off On Cards

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alfonso Soriano hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 3-2 win over the Cardinals.  Bryan LaHair clubbed a game-tying solo home run in the bottom of the ninth for Chicago, which has won three of its last four on the heels of a six-game slide.  James Russell tossed a perfect frame in relief to register the victory.  Matt Holliday's two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning accounted for the Cardinals' lone runs in defeat.  Fernando Salas was saddled with the loss for St. Louis, which has dropped four-of-six.

MLB NL
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Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Colorado Rockies 4
Cincinnati Reds 9, San Francisco Giants 2
New York Mets 2, Miami Marlins 1
Milwaukee Brewers 9, Houston Astros 6
Philadelphia Phillies 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 5
Washington Nationals 3, San Diego Padres 1
Atlanta Braves 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 3

>>A's Push Late Runs Across To Top ChiSox

(Oakland, CA)  --  Kurt Suzuki hit a pinch-hit RBI double in the eighth to lift the Athletics to a 2-0 win over the White Sox.  Eric Sogard followed Suzuki's knock with a run-scoring single.  Tommy Milone went eight frames and allowed just three hits while striking out five to pick up the win.  Grant Balfour closed the door in the ninth for his fifth save as Oakland won for the second time in three games.  Gavin Floyd suffered the tough-luck loss for Chicago, allowing a single run over seven-and-a-third innings of work.  Floyd struck out six and gave up just two hits for the White Sox, who saw their four-game winning streak end.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 4, Kansas City Royals 3
Seattle Mariners 7, Detroit Tigers 4
Baltimore Orioles 2, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Tampa Bay Rays 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Texas Rangers 2, New York Yankees 0
Boston Red Sox 11, Minnesota Twins 2
Oakland Athletics 2, Chicago White Sox 0

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Lady Maroons Down Tolono

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated Tolono Unity 6-1 at home on Tuesday.  Tolono's lone run came in the second inning when a batter was walked, stole second and third base and scored on an errant pick off attempt as she was leading off third base.

The Lady Maroons would score all the runs they would need in the bottom half of the second when they sent nine batters to the plate and scored 4 runs.

Offensively the Lady Maroons were led by Haley Ginger who went 2 for 4 with 2 doubles.Emily Kroeger, Haley Toohill, and Hanna Long also went 2 for 4 and Megan Tool was 3 for 3.

Bailey Walker picked up the win pitching her third no hitter in a week, stiking out 11 and allowing no hits.

The Lady Maroons will be in action again Wednesday as they travel to Macon for a make up game with Meridian.

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Maroons Pound Urbana

Colten Reeves went the distance on the mound and the Clinton Maroons pounded Urbana Tuesday afternoon 11-2. Reeves walked one, struck out four and gave up only three hits and one earned run to earn the victory.

Nate Ennis scored three times for the Maroons. Logan Woolridge and Marshall Sprague recorded a pair of hits apiece. Ennis and Reeves each recorded a pair of RBIs.

The Maroons improve to 13-9 overall. They play host to Decatur St. Teresa this afternoon. You can hear that game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-25

April 25, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Randall Rueger, 41, Clinton, was issued a citation for Disobey Stop Sign. Rueger 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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Blue Ridge District Finalizing Mansfield Facility Plans; Schedules Groundbreaking

Now that the Blue Ridge school district voters have approved the school districts plans to move forward with an addition to their Mansfield facilities plans, the Blue Ridge Board of Education is preparing for the next step in that process.

Last week at the their regular monthly meeting, they approved the bid packages to be advertised. Superintendent of the Blue Ridge district, Susan Wilson believes the time line should shape up to have the bids awarded at a meeting in May and to break ground then in June.

[audio:42612mansfieldupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

About a decade ago, a project of this sort may have seemed somewhat impossible because of financially troubled times in the Blue Ridge district. But Wilson applauds the hard work of previous  boards and the current BOE for working to save money and put money aside for this project specifically. She believes the reality of this project is the culmination of years of hard work and preparation.

[audio:42612mansfieldupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

With the prospects of having a renovated facility within the next 16 to 18 months, Wilson feels like the Blue Ridge school district could be a very appealing home to someone new to the central Illinois area, or someone relocating to Bloomington or Champaign, as Mansfield may serve as a convenient middle ground.

[audio:42612mansfieldupdate3.mp3] [/audio]

The school district announced just this morning a ground breaking ceremony will be held May 14 on the new addition.

Wilson feels very positively about several things happening in the Farmer City and Blue Ridge area and sees the school districts contributions with a new addition to one of their buildings as a big positive as well.

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Monticello Defeats Sullivan in Extras

The Monticello Sages defeated the Sullivan Redskins by a score of 3-2 in eight innings at Monticello High School. The Sages struggled to put runs on the board all afternoon but rallied in the bottom of the 7th to tie the game and then won it on a Nick Stokowski bases loaded hit-by-the-pitch to bring in the winning run. Stokowski went 2-3 with two RBIs, the game tying and winning RBI's, and picked up the win on the mound. He went eight innings, striking out 12, giving up two runs on seven hits with no walks. Andy Brown went seven innings for the Redskins, striking out eight, giving up two runs, one earned, on five hits with two walks. The Sages move to 14-5 and 5-2 in the Okaw Valley. The Redskins drop to 15-7 and 5-2 the OVC. The Sages travel to Urbana this afternoon.

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Schock: Illinois Has Epic Problems

Illinois is on the heels of "Epic Week", according to Governor Pat Quinn who unveiled his plan to overhaul the state's pension and Medicaid systems last week.  Congressman Aaron Schock says Illinois is in epic trouble because of years of poor judgment.  

[audio:rddSchockEpic1.mp3] [/audio]

Schock encourages Quinn for taking steps to fix the problems but says it's going to take much more to get the state on track.

[audio:rddSchockEpic2.mp3] [/audio]

Schock says the state's poor fiscal situation can't be blamed on the downturn of the economy or the income tax just dipping for a year.  He says the problems have been caused many years of mismanagement.

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Astronaut Encourages Illinois Students

One of NASA's own is giving back to Central Illinois youth.  Scott Altman has spent about 52 days in orbit on Space Shuttles Columbia and Atlantis.  He says he just wants kids to see what's out there.

[audio:rddAstro1.mp3] [/audio]

He encouraged the teenagers to follow their dreams.

[audio:rddAstro2.mp3] [/audio]

He says kids may not always end up where they think they will.

[audio:rddAstro3.mp3] [/audio]

He had a pretty big impact on Athens High School Senior Lucas Brown, who's headed to the Air Force Academy.

[audio:rddAstro3.mp3] [/audio]

Altman was one of the featured speakers at a Youth Leadership Summit in Springfield, hosted by Congressman Aaron Schock. Seven hundred high school juniors and seniors attended the summit.   Schock says it's rewarding to put successful people in front of students so they can open up their minds to great possibilities.

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Illinois May Let Schools Charge For Bus Service

School buses might be the next victim of the Illinois budget crisis.

Education officials are considering a proposal to let schools stop offering free bus service. They could either get rid of the buses or charge for carrying students each day.

The change would be part of a new system for distributing state money for student transportation. The State Board of Education could introduce legislation this week.

The Illinois Association of School Boards says transportation spending has been slashed 42% since 2010.

That has left school district struggling to pay for bus service. Officials warn that more cuts will increase the pressure to divert money from education and spend it on simply getting students to school.

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN PLANTING CONTINUES WAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE IN ILLINOIS.

CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS EVEN WITH SPOTTY RAIN SHOWERS…FARMERS MADE RECORD BREAKING PROGRESS IN THE FIELDS.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

SCHWAB NOTES OTHER CROP PLANTING ISN’T MOVING AS QUICKLY…

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

AVERAGE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IN ILLINOIS IS RATED AT THREE PERCENT VERY SHORT…25 PERCENT SHORT…61 PERCENT ADEQUATE…AND 11 PERCENT SURPLUS.

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Severe Weather Week In Illinois

THIS IS SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS WEEK IN ILLINOIS AND ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

WE’VE ALREADY HAD MAJOR TORNADO DAMAGE IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS EARLIER THIS YEAR…THAT LEFT SEVEN PEOPLE DEAD. STATE EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON SAYS THE HARRISBURG TRAGEDY UNDERSCORED JUST HOW IMPORTANT IT IS TO HAVE A WEATHER RADIO.

[audio:severewx1.mp3] [/audio]

THOMPSON ADDS THE GOAL OF THE CAMPAIGN THIS YEAR IS TO ENCOURAGE EVERYONE TO TAKE AN ACTIVE ROLE IN MAKING SURE THEY ARE READY FOR ANY SEVERE WEATHER. YOU CAN PLEDGE ON THE WEBSITE: READY DOT GOV TO GET PREPARED.

[audio:severewx2.mp3] [/audio]

TO MAKE YOUR PLEDGE, VISIT READY DOT GOV FOR MORE INFORMATION.

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Never Too Soon To Think About Retirement

April is National Financial Literacy month.

Social Security has a few things for those ready to start saving for retirement and even those who may think they are not ready to start preparing for retirement. Jack Meyers, Public Affairs Specialist with Social Security says it is never too soon to start financially preparing for retirement. He points out Social Security is not meant to be one's only means of support during your retirement years.

[audio:42412retirement1.mp3] [/audio]

It is recommended to save an estimated 80% of pre-retirement income levels to maintain your lifestyle during retirement. Meyers says it is also a good rule of thumb to estimated 30-40% of your income will be what you receive from Social Security from during retirement, if you work until the full retirement age.

[audio:42412retirement2.mp3] [/audio]

Meyers recommends a couple of websites to help those preparing for retirement, at whatever stage of life they may be. Choosetosave.org/ballparkestimator. Meyers says the website will take various figures you have to turn them into numbers that you can relate to.

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Alternative Education Program Doing Good Things In Community

The Alternative Education program in the Clinton School district has seen the successful implementation of something new to the program.

Katy Arnold starting later second semester last year worked with the Clinton Board of Education to get the students that are a part of the Alternative Education program to be a part of the community in a positive manner. Students help younger kids at Lincoln School and also helping out at Encore Thrift Store. Arnold and Kate Melia spearheaded the endeavor with the students, and Arnold explains they tried to gear volunteering towards those students who did not have jobs.

[audio:42412altedvolunteer1.mp3] [/audio]

To this point the program has had a very positive influence on the students. According to Arnold, she hears most often from the students is they did not realize the impact they could have on those younger students, who really look up to them.

[audio:42412altedvolunteer2.mp3] [/audio]

Superintendent of the Clinton School District, Dr. Jeff Holmes calls the program a blessing to the students of the younger grades. He has seen first hand the good things happening with the students that are a part of the Alternative Education program.

[audio:42412altedvolunteer3.mp3] [/audio]

The students have worked with Lincoln and Webster Elementary schools in Clinton along with Habitat For Humanity, Friends of the Warner Library and Liberty Village.

As of mid-April, the students had put over 750 hours of community service into the program.

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Blackhawks Eliminated; Blues Prepare For LA

>>Coyotes Advance To Second Round, Bounce Blackhawks

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Coyotes earned a 4-0 win over the Blackhawks to win their first playoff series since the team relocated to Phoenix in 1996.  Mike Smith turned back 39 shots to power the 'Yotes into the second round, where they will face the Nashville Predators.  Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Kyle Chipchura and Gilbert Brule [[ zjil-BARE  broo-LAY ]] each had a goal and assist in the win.  Antoine Vermette also scored for Phoenix in the victory.  Chicago's Corey Crawford made 16 saves in goal for the 'Hawks, who lost the series four-games-to-two.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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New York Rangers 3, Ottawa Senators 2
(Best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal tied, 3-3)

>>Blues Gear Up For Kings

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Blues will square off against the Los Angeles Kings in the Western Conference semifinals.  The Blues beat the San Jose Sharks in Game Five on Sunday to advance to the second round for the first time since 2002.  Meanwhile, the Kings eliminated the Presidents' Trophy winning Vancouver Canucks Sunday night in five games.  The schedule is still to be determined, but the 'Note will host the first two games as the higher seed.

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Spurs Lock Up Top Spot In West; Bulls Looking To Lock Up East

The San Antonio Spurs locked up the top seed in the Western Conference playoffs with a 124-89 trouncing of the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night.  At 48-and-16, the Spurs are tied with the Chicago Bulls for the best overall record in the NBA.  Each team closes the regular season with games on Wednesday and Thursday.  The Spurs will meet either the Utah Jazz or the Phoenix Suns in the opening round of the playoffs.  The Jazz, who are a game ahead of Phoenix for the final playoff spot in the West, will host the Suns Tuesday night.

NBA
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Indiana Pacers 103, Detroit Pistons 97
Washington Wizards 101, Charlotte Bobcats 73
Philadelphia 76ers 105, New Jersey Nets 87
Memphis Grizzlies 109, Cleveland Cavaliers 101
Milwaukee Bucks 92, Toronto Raptors 86
San Antonio Spurs 124, Portland Trail Blazers 89

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Cubs Walk Off On Cards; Peavy Shuts Out A's; Humber Player of Week

>>Cubs Walk-Off On Cardinals

(Chicago, IL)  --  Joe Mather went 2-for-3 and hit the game-winning, two-run single in the ninth to send the Cubs to a 3-2 win over the Cardinals.  Alfonso Soriano had a sacrifice fly while Rafael Dolis picked up the win out of the bullpen.  Matt Garza went seven innings and allowed two runs in the start for Chicago, which has won two-of-three following a six-game slide.  Jason Motte suffered his first loss and first blown save, allowing both runs in the ninth while recording two outs.  Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina each drove in a run for St. Louis, which has lost three-of-five.  Jaime Garcia earned a no-decision after allowing one run over seven-and-two-thirds innings of work.

MLB NL
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Colorado Rockies at Pittsburgh Pirates, (PPD/RAIN)
San Francisco Giants 6, New York Mets 1 (Gm.1)
San Francisco Giants 7, New York Mets 2 (Gm.2)
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Houston Astros 5
Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Philadelphia Phillies 5
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Atlanta Braves 2

>>Peavy, White Sox Shut Down A's

(Oakland, CA)  --  Jake Peavy tossed a complete-game three-hitter as the White Sox blanked the Athletics, 4-0.  Peavy struck out five to improve to 3-and-0 on the season.  Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko clubbed back-to-back homers in the fourth inning, while Gordon Beckham and A.J. Pierzynski each drove in a run in the ninth for insurance.  Alex Rios went 3-for-5 for Chicago, which has won four straight after dropping four-of-five.  Bartolo Colon gave up two runs over seven innings to suffer the tough-luck loss.  Yoenis Cespedes managed a double off Peavy for Oakland, which has dropped three-of-four.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 7, Texas Rangers 4
Boston Red Sox 6, Minnesota Twins 5
Toronto Blue Jays 4, Kansas City Royals 1

>>Humber Named AL Player Of The Week

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago White Sox pitcher Philip Humber has been named the American League Player of the Week.  Humber tossed the 21st perfect game in MLB history on Saturday, striking out nine while needing just 96 pitches to accomplish the feat.  It was the first complete game and shutout of his career.  It was the 18th no-hitter recorded by the White Sox, but just the third perfect game.  Humber joins Mark Buehrle and Charlie Robertson as White Sox pitchers who have thrown perfect games.  In his other start during last week, Humber received a no decision while allowing one run on six hits with three walks through five-and-a-third frames.

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Williams No-Hits Maroa

Jacob Williams threw a no hitter Monday afternoon as the Sages downed Maroa-Forsyth 8-0 in an Okaw Valley matchup.

Williams struck out 18 of the 21 outs he recorded.

Nick Stokowski had a three hit day, coming a home run short of the cycle. Ryan Bundy and Williams added doubles for the Sages. Bundy, Williams and Stokowski each recorded a pair of RBIs and Austin McCall recorded an RBI as well.

The Sages are now 13-5 overall and  4-2 in OVC play.

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Maroons Shut Out By Shelbyville

Eli Miller threw five no-hit innings and Jake Keown finished off the final two innings allowing just one Maroon hit as Shelbyville shut out the Maroons 6-0 Monday afternoon in an Okaw Valley Conference matchup.

Miller walked five and struck out 13 as he picked up the "W" on the mound.

Josh Merrick went the distance for the Maroons walking seven, giving up five hits, six earned runs and struck out seven.

Marshall Sprague had the only Maroons hit on the afternoon.

Luke Hatfield went yard with a 3-run HR in the third for Shelbyville.

The Maroons are 12-9 overall and 3-3 in the Okaw Valley Conference.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-24

 

April 24, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 05:54 a.m. on Friday, April 20, revealed that a vehicle driven by Michelle Thrasher, 21, Clinton, was traveling east on State Highway 10 near Fitzgerald Road when the vehicle left the roadway on the right and began spinning and hit guardrail on right. There was major damage to the vehicle on front and driver’s side to rear bumper. Thrasher was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Failure To Reduce Speed. Thrasher posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Dartanyon Fisette Jr, 29, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Fisette 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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Amended Parking Ordinance Proposed For Downtown Clinton

A recent ordinance to remove all parking enforcement on the downtown Clinton square failed, and Clinton city officials continued to work towards an agreeable ordinance.

The past several months, downtown parking concerns have been brought to the Clinton City Council, and after one failed proposed ordinance, City officials believe that have found something everyone may be able to agree on. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains the changes start on the square. The outside part of the square will have a 2-hour limit.

[audio:42512parking1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Mayor Peters, the inside of the square will become a 4-hour limit. She feels that will be a good change for those that will be spending a significant amount of time downtown.

[audio:42512parking2.mp3] [/audio] 

There will be some things remaining the same. 15-minute spaces will remain in some parts of the square, and there will be some that will be covered up. Mayor Peters also notes there will be a few changes to overnight parking on the square.

[audio:42512parking3.mp3] [/audio]

Parking meter heads will be changed around the square. Some areas outside the square will become 9-hour parking meters and some will be changed to two hour limits.

The ordinance, if approved, will go into effect May 20 and will expire on August 1 of 2012, unless it is continued. The City will revisit the issue prior to continuing the ordinance.

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Ottawa Woman Wants To Challenge Congressman Kinzinger

An Ottawa woman wants to square off against Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the November election.  Wanda Rohl says she's a progressive Democrat who'll represent the values of the 16th district, something she says Kinzinger fails to do.

[audio:rddRohl1.mp3] [/audio]

Rohl says she still needs to raise money for her bid to unseat Kinzinger.

[audio:rddRohl2.mp3] [/audio]

Rohl is a social worker who says she's pro-labor, pro-woman, and against discrimination against the poor.  About 45 people who met in Dekalb Saturday chose her to run against Kinzinger, who's set to run uncontested in the upcoming election.  The Democratic Party hasn't chosen Rohl as a candidate.  She's asking the 14 Democratic Party chairs in the district to rally behind her and put her name on the November ballot.

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U of I Trustees Paying Bill For Dustup Over President

The conflict at the University of Illinois that eventually led to the resignation of Michael Hogan from the presidency had a monetary cost that could reach $250,000.

The crisis at the university began in December when unsigned emails were sent to members of the senate faculty about a report that was critical of some of the president's proposals. The emails were traced to a computer used by Hogan's chief of staff, Lisa Troyer, who resigned.

After faculty members began publicly criticizing Hogan's leadership style, the university began incurring legal and consulting costs, including those resulting from two meetings Hogan had in March with an executive coach.

University spokesman Thomas Hardy says it's "not unreasonable to expect organizations to need extra help during such times."

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Mild Winter Means More Ticks In Illinois

Illinois health officials are warning people to watch out for deer ticks, which are thriving because of the mild winter and early spring weather.

Most of the pests, also known as blacklegged ticks, normally die off during Illinois' cold winter.

Linn Haramis, an entomologist with the Illinois Department of Public Health, says that didn't happen this year.

She notes that the warmer weather has drawn more people and their pets outside, increasing their exposure to ticks.

Some ticks can transmit Lyme disease by biting humans and their pets. It's treatable within a few weeks of infection. But beyond that, the diseases may damage the joints, heart and nervous system.

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Illinois Unions Call Quinn's Pension Plan Unconstitutional

Gov. Pat Quinn's pension proposal is getting a firm "no" from major Illinois unions.

The "We Are One Illinois" labor coalition calls his proposal unconstitutional and unfair to workers.

The group said Friday that Quinn has made it much harder to work out a solution that public-employee unions can support.

Illinois has the worst-funded pension systems in the country. The amount that state government must contribute jumps sharply each year, leaving less money for other needs.

Quinn wants to fix the problem by raising the retirement age for workers and making them contribute more to their pension funds. He also wants schools and universities to help pay pension costs.

The unions say this would violate the Illinois Constitution's ban on reducing retirement benefits.

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Illinois Mulling State Park Fees

Lawmakers in Springfield are mulling a proposal to charge admission fees to the state's several hundred recreational properties.

Illinois is among only seven states that don't charge state-park admissions. Supporters say the money would help close a $750 million backlog in park maintenance and repairs from years of shrinking budgets.

The measure would allow state officials to charge visitors an annual or daily fee to enter state parks. Annual admission fees would be no more than $25 and daily passes around $5 to $8.

The House approved the measure by 81-29 in March. It's moving through the Senate now.

Marc Miller is the director of the state Department of Natural Resources. He says finding sustainable revenue sources is important for the health and safety of the parks and visitors.

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Targeting ER Medicaid Costs Tricky For State

Every day, Illinois Medicaid patients visit hospital emergency rooms with minor ailments such as sore throats, back pain and stomachaches.

Last year, Illinois spent more than $72 million on ER care that could have been delivered in clinics. Illinois figures show about half the Medicaid ER visits last year were for minor problems - not true emergencies.

Lawmakers looking for ways to reduce waste are targeting Illinois Medicaid. But attacking the emergency room problem in the wrong way could drive up costs.

Surprisingly, an ER visit for a minor health problem can cost Illinois less than a trip to a clinic. That's because Medicaid pays reduced fees for nonemergency care in emergency rooms, from $40 to $100. And Medicaid pays more than that per visit to many health clinics.

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Monticello Grad Finishing Internship With DNR CPOs

A Monticello High School alum is finishing an internship with the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police.

Matt Hunt is a current student at Illinois State University who will be receiving a criminal justice degree in May. Hunt explains this is his second internship he is participating in. His first was with the Champaign Police Department, and according to Hunt, they are "two different worlds".

[audio:dnrhunt1.mp3] [/audio]

Hunt says one thing he didn't realize when he had started was the amount of policing power they had. He feels they use it a little more than the general public realizes.

[audio:dnrhunt2.mp3] [/audio]

Hunt adds you hear a lot about the cases larger police forces take, but he says DNR Officers take a lot of interesting cases that the public a lot of times may not be aware of.

[audio:dnrhunt3.mp3] [/audio]

Hunt says his father is a police officer and he knew growing knowing he wanted to be in the criminal justice system.

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Lincoln Eyeing Balanced FY12 Budget; Hopeful For Same For FY13

The City of Lincoln is looking at having a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2012 and is hopeful FY13 can be the same.

Like most communities deal with, unexpected costs arose this year for in Lincoln, but Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder says, despite those, FY12 is looking like it could be a balanced budget. Mayor Snyder credits his department heads throughout the city for keeping expenses low. He adds revenues from the state have been flat the past few years, forcing the city to keep spending in check.

[audio:lincolnbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Each year the Lincoln City Council gets together and holds budgeting work shops. Mayor Snyder says those meetings set goals then the Council works with projected revenues and comes up with what will work for each department.

[audio:lincolnbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Lincoln faces some challenges with their Fire and Police Pension Funds. Mayor Snyder explains the City is almost at a point where they more people drawing from the pension system than paying into it. He adds while the city is not in a position where they potentially could not fund the pensions, but their unfunded levels have crept up a little.

[audio:lincolnbudget3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Snyder is hopeful the City of Lincoln's FY13 budget is going to be balanced. He says as of right now things are looking positive for that but it all comes down to how it looks on April 30 of 2013.

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Liberty Village To Add New Specialized Fitness Center

Liberty Village of Clinton recently held a ground breaking ceremony for an addition coming soon.

 width=A.J.'s Fitness Center will be a state of the art rehabilitation and fitness center for older citizens. Cindy Scharp, Regional Director of Liberty Village explains A.J.'s Fitness will be an in-patient and out-patient facility.

[audio:ajfitness1.mp3] [/audio]

The 3-thousand square foot facility will feature strength training equipment and aerobic equipment. Marilyn Holt, a physical therapist with Liberty Village, she explains the equipment has been chosen based off what is needed most by older adults.

[audio:ajsfitness2.mp3] [/audio]

Executive Director at the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard calls Liberty Village a great asset to the community and looks forward to the good things to come from A.J.'s Fitness.

[audio:ajfitness3.mp3] [/audio]

A ground breaking ceremony was held Friday at Liberty Village. Administrators feel this is going to greatly improve the quality of service provided for the 'Bounce Back' program at Liberty Village.

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Hamlin Holds Off Truex For Kansas Win

Denny Hamlin claimed his second Sprint Cup Series win of the season by taking Sunday's STP 400 at Kansas Speedway.  Martin Truex Jr. dominated the race by leading 173 of 267 laps, but Hamlin grabbed the top position with 31 laps remaining and took the checkered flag by 0.7 seconds.  Truex was trying to end his 174-race winless streak.  Hamlin's first win this season came in March at Phoenix.  He joins three-time and defending series champion Tony Stewart as the only repeat winners at this point of the season.  Jimmie Johnson finished third, followed by Matt Kenseth and current points leader Greg Biffle.

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Bulls Off Until Wednesday

The Chicago Bulls are off until Wednesday when they square off against the Indiana Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  The Bulls are coming off a 93-83 win over Dallas on Saturday to improve to 48-and-16 on the season.  Chicago wraps up its regular season slate on Thursday back at the United Center to host Cleveland.

NBA
------
New York Knicks 113, Atlanta Hawks 112
Los Angeles Lakers 114, Oklahoma City Thunder 106 (2OT)
Miami Heat 97, Houston Rockets 88
Sacramento Kings 114, Charlotte Bobcats 88
Detroit Pistons 76, Toronto Raptors 73
San Antonio Spurs 114, Cleveland Cavaliers 98
Golden State Warriors 93, Minnesota Timberwolves 88
Denver Nuggets 101, Orlando Magic 74
Los Angeles Clippers 107, New Orleans Hornets 98

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Cubs Deal Byrd; Put Dempster On DL

>>Cubs Ship Byrd To Boston

(Boston, MA)  --  The Chicago Cubs have traded outfielder Marlon Byrd to the Boston Red Sox.  The Cubs will receive right-handed pitcher Michael Bowden and a player to be named later.  Byrd is making $6.5-million this year in the final season of a three-year, $15-million deal.  The BoSox have outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford on the disabled list.  The 34-year-old Byrd is a career .278 hitter with 81 home runs and 438 RBI over 11 seasons.

>>Dempster Lands On DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs placed pitcher Ryan Dempster on the 15-day disabled Saturday with a strained right quad.  The move is retroactive to April 18th.  Dempster has yet to earn a win this season despite a 1.33 earned run average in three starts.  The right-hander has recorded 23 strikeouts in 20-and-a-third innings.

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Sox; Cards Win; Cubs Fall

>>ChiSox Best Mariners

(Seattle, WA)  --  Alex Rios scored once and drove in three runs as the White Sox defeated the Mariners, 7-4.  Kosuke Fukudome knocked in a pair of runs, while A.J. Pierzynski scored twice for Chicago, which improved to 6-and-2 on the road.  John Danks gave up four runs in six innings for the win.  Hector Santiago struck out two in the ninth for his fourth save.  Ichiro Suzuki finished with two hits and a run scored for Seattle, which dipped to 7-and-10 on the season.  Kevin Millwood suffered the loss after giving up five runs in five-and-a-third frames.

MLB AL
------
Texas Rangers 3, Detroit Tigers 2 (11 inn)
Tampa Bay Rays 6, Minnesota Twins 2
Toronto Blue Jays 5, Kansas City Royals 3
Baltimore Orioles 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2 (10 inn)
Oakland Athletics 5, Cleveland Indians 1
New York Yankees at Boston Red Sox, (PPD)

>>Lohse, Cards Bury Bucs

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Kyle Lohse tossed seven superb innings as the St. Louis Cardinals topped the Pittsburgh Pirates, 5-1.  Lohse gave up just one run on six hits without walking a batter while striking out five to improve to a perfect 3-and-0 on the season for the Cardinals, who took two-of-three games in the series.  David Freese had a two-run single, Rafael Furcal went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and Matt Holliday also knocked in a run for St. Louis.  The Cards take on the Cubs in Chicago this evening.  Jaime Garcia gets the start for the Redbirds opposite Matt Garza.

>>Reds Nip Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Johnny Cueto tossed six-and-a-third innings of two-run ball as the Reds clipped the Cubs, 4-3.  Cueto improved to 2-and-0 on the season, while former Cub Sean Marshall registered his third save.  Joey Votto and Drew Stubbs each scored and drove in a run for Cincinnati, which has won three of its last four.  Starlin Castro touched home twice for Chicago, which has lost seven-of-eight.  Rodrigo Lopez suffered the setback out of the bullpen.

MLB NL
------
San Francisco Giants at New York Mets, (PPD)
Miami Marlins at Washington Nationals, (PPD)
Houston Astros 12, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Colorado Rockies 4, Milwaukee Brewers 1
San Diego Padres 6, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Atlanta Braves 4

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Maroons Pound Mt. Pulaski

The Clinton Maroons pounted the Mt. Pulaski Hilltoppers Saturday, 17-3, in a non-conference game at Clinton High School. Colton Reeves picked up the win for the Maroons going three innings, giving up three runs, two earned, walking zero and striking out three. Marshall Sprague and Anthony Merrick each had three hits and three RBIs. Greg Osgood and Zach Pat each recorded two hits including a triple. Osgood finished with two RBIs and Pate with four.

Clinton is 12-8 overall and 3-2 in the Okaw Valley Conference.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITATION 4/22/12

STEPHEN S. SCHENKEL 25, MACKINAW SPEEDING 80 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ON 4/21/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED STEPHEN M. CROLEY 20, LAKELAND, FL FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR AND AMBER N. MATOS 19, DECATUR FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR, ESCAPE FROM PEACE OFFICER, AND 3 MACON COUNTY WARRANTS. BOTH SUBJECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

April 21, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 10

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

April 22, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

April 23, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 10:03 a.m. on Saturday, April 21, revealed that a vehicle driven by Michael Gustafson, 41, Lacon, was traveling south on US Highway 51 at the intersection of Burns Hill Road. Brian Mileham, 37, Lawndale, was also traveling south on US Highway 51 near the same intersection in the passing lane, approaching traffic light. Gustafson was stopped at the traffic light and steered left into the passing lane to make a left hand turn when his vehicle struck the passenger side rear end of Mileham’s vehicle. Both vehicles sustained major damage and had to be towed from the scene. No injuries were reported. Gustafson was issued a citation for Improper Lane Usage. He posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released. Mileham was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. He was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Michelle Thrasher, 21, Clinton, was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Failure To Reduce Speed. Thrasher posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Janice McCumsey, 61, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). McCumsey posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Roy Kavuri, 28, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (73 mph in a 55 mph zone). Kavuri 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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Sunday Outage Leaves Over 950 Residents Without Power

A tractor accident accident in DeWitt County Sunday afternoon left over 950 Ameren customers without power.

A tractor pulling a planter in the Clinton area, hit a wire which broke a cross arm. According Leigh Morris, Senior Communications Executive with Ameren, the outage was reported at approximately 2:15 pm and lasted two hours. Permanent repairs were needed, but power was able to be restored prior to the completion of those repairs.

DeWitt County authorities were unable to report the location of the accident.

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DeWitt County Awaiting Ruling On Delegated Authority At Clinton Landfill

The DeWitt County Board over the past several months has been looking for an outside source to come in for inspections at the Clinton Landfill.

One option the Board has considered pursuing is having the local Health Department become a part of what is called a Delegated Authority Agreement  to do those inspections. Administrator at the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department, Dave Remmert, explains many times the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (I-EPA) will delegate the authority of some of their responsibilities to local organizations.

[audio:42412epahealthdept1.mp3] [/audio]

The County Board has been in contact with the Health Department about becoming that Delegated Authority through the EPA. Recently, Remmert spoke before the County Board's Land Use Committee. Remmert explains there are a few things that must come about before they are allowed to begin testing at the landfill. He says there is preliminary interest at the Health Department's level of becoming that Delegated Authority on behalf of the County Board.

[audio:42412epahealthdept2.mp3] [/audio]

Remmert says they would have the ability to go in and inspect on a random basis. He also notes the Delegated Authority is much broader than just the landfill.

[audio:42412epahealthdept3.mp3] [/audio]

It is likely the DeWitt County Board would be responsible for payment of the program through the host agreement with the landfill. The County's awaiting the Illinois EPA ruling as to who can receive the Delegated Authority. It's understood by Land Use Chair, Terry Ferguson, that only the County can receive the authority, however, Clinton WATCH group wants the DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department to have it.

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FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 9, Chicago Cubs 4
St. Louis Cardinals 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Washington Nationals 2, Miami Marlins 0
San Francisco Giants 4, New York Mets 3 (10th inn)
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Houston Astros 1
Colorado Rockies 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Atlanta Braves 9, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Philadelphia Phillies 4, San Diego Padres 1

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 6, Boston Red Sox 2
Texas Rangers at Detroit Tigers (PPD)
Minnesota Twins 5, Tampa Bay Rays 4
Toronto Blue Jays 4, Kansas City Royals 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Baltimore Orioles 3
Cleveland Indians 4, Oakland Athletics 3
Chicago White Sox 7, Seattle Mariners 3

NBA
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Atlanta Hawks 97, Boston Celtics 92
Memphis Grizzlies 85, Charlotte Bobcats 80
Cleveland Cavaliers 98, New York Knicks 90
Dallas Mavericks 104, Golden State Warriors 94
San Antonio Spurs 121, Los Angeles Lakers 97
Oklahoma City Thunder 103, Sacramento Kings 92

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
Pittsburgh Penguins 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2
(Flyers lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 3-2)

Nashville Predators 2, Detroit Red Wings 1
(Predators win best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 4-1)

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Dunn Leads White Sox Past M's

  Adam Dunn went 3-for-4 with a pair of home runs as the White Sox thrashed the Mariners, 7-3.  Dunn connected on a three-run shot and a solo bomb to finish with five RBI for Chicago, which won for just the second time in six games.  Chris Sale went six-and-a-third innings and allowed three runs while fanning 11 Mariners to pick up the win.  Ichiro Suzuki went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI while Jesus Montero clubbed a solo round-tripper.  Hector Noesi lasted just one-and-one-third innings and allowed six runs to take the loss.  Seattle has dropped three of its last four contests.

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Former AL MVP Canseco Signs With Independent League Team

Jose Canseco is back in baseball.  The former American League MVP has signed with the Independent League Worcester Tornadoes.  The team is part of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball and has no connection to Major League Baseball.  The 47-year-old last played in the majors with the Chicago White Sox in 2001.  Canseco became one of the central figures in baseball's steroids scandal, releasing a book that named numerous alleged offenders.

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Cardinals Buck Pirates

Lance Lynn went seven innings and allowed one run as the Cardinals picked up a 4-1 win over the Pirates.  Lynn moved to 3-and-0 on the season and Jason Motte [[ mot ]] pitched the ninth to pick up his third save.  Carlos Beltran was 2-for-4 with an RBI and Yadier [[ YAH-dee-air ]] Molina added a run-scoring double.  Daniel Descalso hit a solo homer and Rafael Furcal plated a run with a double in the ninth to provide insurance for St. Louis, which has won five of its last six.  Alex Presley led things off for Pittsburgh with an inside-the-park home run, accounting for the only run for the Pirates.  Charlie Morton gave up two runs, one earned, over five frames to suffer the loss.

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Reds Beat Cubs For 10,000th Franchise Win

The Reds batted around in a four-run first inning and cruised to a 9-4 win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  Drew Stubbs went 3-for-5 with three RBI as Cincinnati posted the 10-thousandth win in franchise history.  The Cubs, Giants, Dodgers, Braves and Cardinals are the only other teams to reach that plateau.  Homer Bailey allowed four runs, but just one earned in seven innings for the win.  Chris Volstad gave up six runs in five frames to take the loss.  Bryan LaHair had two hits and an RBI for the Cubs, who have dropped six straight to fall to 3-and-11 on the season.

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Lean Beef - Not As Bad As Made Out To Be

Many consumers only recently learned about lean finely textured beef thru media reports of "pink slime"- but Courtney Moon knows all about it first-hand. Last year - the University of Arkansas Animal Science Student saw what Tyson calls Lean Beef Trim processed at a Texas plant. Then Moon analyzed it.
 
[audio:LBT1.mp3][/audio]
    
    The product has been under fire because of how it's produced. It's scraped from carcasses, heated and centrifuged and then disinfected with ammonium hydroxide. However - the industry insists it's safe and wholesome. Moon looked at characteristics like oxidation, tenderness, color variation, cooking loss and pH.
 
[audio:LBT2.mp3][/audio]
    
    Moon's instructor - Janeal Yancey - says the product has been treated unfairly and misrepresented in the media.
 
[audio:LBT3.mp3][/audio]
 
Yancey says Lean Beef Trim is nutritionally the same as conventionally produced ground beef - and is probably safer.  As a side note - a livestock market specialist at Kansas State University says the controversy over the product probably drove live weight cattle prices three to five-cents a pound lower in March due to the reduced demand for lean trim. The market has been rebounding over the last couple of weeks.

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Group Wants IRS To Investigate Peoria Diocese

The Americans United for Separation of Church and State say an Illinois Catholic bishop may have put the church's tax-exempt status in jeopardy.

During a Sunday homily Peoria Bishop Daniel Jenky compared President Barack Obama's health care policies to actions taken by Adolf Hitler. Americans United for Separation of Church and State officials say the Internal Revenue Service should investigate the diocese for "illegal electioneering." They say that's because the bishop made his comparison "as part of an election-year appeal."

According to the group, the bishop's comments amount to an "order to vote against Obama."

Churches are allowed to engage in a wide range of political activities and the IRS rarely revokes a church's tax-exempt status.

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Immunizing Young Kids Helps Prevent Major Diseases

Immunizations are one of the most important ways parents can protect their children against serious diseases.

Infants and children are particularly vulnerable to infectious diseases, so it is critical they be protected through immunization. Vaccines have been one of the most important breakthroughs in medicine, says Dr. Craig Batterman, assistant professor of pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He explains the first vaccines given to infants.

[audio:siuimmunize1.mp3][/audio]

Some of the other diseases that children are vaccinated for include diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, meningitis, pneumonia, polio, chicken pox, mumps and measles. Dr. Batterman says that vaccines given to infants are very safe.

[audio:siuimmunize2.mp3][/audio]

If parents have questions about vaccines, they should talk to their child’s pediatrician or family physician, who can explain why infant vaccinations are so important. More information is available on-line from the American Academy of Pediatrics at www.aap.org.

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Rep. Rose Proposes Legislation Helping First Time Meth Offenders

In 2005, the Illinois General Assembly passed into law the Methamphetamine Control and Community Protection Act. The Act was designed to combat the rising tide of meth use and
distribution, particularly in rural regions of Illinois.  According to the sponsor of that legislation, State Representative Chapin Rose, provisions of the Act unintentionally excluded
low-level and first time meth possession offenders from receiving treatment from TASC, Treatment Alternatives for Safe Communities, which  is a more rigorous sentencing option employed by Illinois courts to ensure that offenders rehabilitate and prove to the Court that they remain drug free.

Representative Rose is sponsoring legislation that will fix that problem. He says the legislation does not affect 2nd offenders but only those charged with a first meth offense.

[audio:41912RoseSB3423.MP3][/audio]

The bill has been approved in House committee and now heads to the full House for their consideration.  

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Asbestos Removal Set At Closed Illinois School

The first phase of asbestos removal is set to start May 1 at a central Illinois junior high school that was forced to close for the rest of the school year.

Renovations are projected to cost $3.2 million at Chiddix Junior High School. The school closed in late February for the school year after Illinois Department of Public Health recommended sealing ten classrooms and extensive air tests. The renovations will include new ceilings, carpeting, lighting and furniture. It also includes asbestos removal work.

All work is scheduled to be finished by the time school starts in the fall. Asbestos removal should be finished by June 4.

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Survey: Higher Fuel Prices Slowing Rural Growth

Higher fuel prices may be applying brakes to the economy in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states.

A monthly survey index of rural bankers dropped to 57.1 in April from 59.8 in March. Organizers of the Rural Mainstreet Index survey say any score above 50 suggests the economy will grow.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says there are signs that the higher energy and fuel prices are slowing growth in agriculture-dependent areas. And he says slower global growth has harmed some rural areas that are dependent on agricultural sales.

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

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Proposal Introduced To Change FEMA Aid Process

Illinois' two U.S. Senators are proposing a Fairness in Federal Disaster Declarations Act.  The measure is designed to help small communities in big states qualify for federal assistance after natural disaster.  It would require the Federal Emergency Management Agency to take local economic factors into consideration when deciding whether or not to provide aid.  The proposal comes on the heels of a federal rejection to help with recovery funding in Harrisburg.  

A Leap Day tornado ripped through the town but calculated damages fell shy of what's required to receive federal assistance.  Governor Quinn is saluting Senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk for introducing the Act.  He says Illinoisans have seen firsthand how a community can lose out on critical aid simply because they're part of a populous state. Quinn says the proposal will ensure that FEMA considers the economic impact of the specific area hit, plus its people and its businesses.

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Indiana Governor Stops In Urbana

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels says keeping taxes down is the best way to create a business friendly climate.  He highlighted a few differences between his state and the Land of Lincoln.

[audio:rddIndy1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Daniels offered his words of advice to a crowd of Illinois Republicans.

[audio:rddIndy3.mp3] [/audio]

Protestors greeted the Governor as he arrived in Urbana yesterday because he recently made Indiana a Right to Work state.  Daniels says he wanted to address the crowd and ease their worries.

[audio:rddIndy4.mp3] [/audio]

Daniels spoke to a crowd of about 450 in Urbana yesterday.  He was the featured guest at the Champaign County Republican Party's Lincoln Day event.

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Illinois Comptroller Breaks Hip

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is recovering at a Springfield hospital after fracturing her hip.

Topinka spokesman Brad Hahn says Topinka fell Wednesday as she was getting onto an elevator at a Springfield hotel. She had just given an address to the Illinois Public Health Association.

He says Topinka suffered a small fracture in her left hip and underwent a minor surgery at Memorial Medical Center later Wednesday. She remains at the hospital, but is walking around and recovering well.

Last year Topinka underwent knee replacement surgery. She has used a cane in the past and had an infection two years ago that caused knee problems.

Topinka was elected comptroller in 2010. The Republican is a former state lawmaker and state treasurer.

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Illinois GOP Leader Rejects Quinn's Tax Proposal

The top Republican in the Illinois House says he won't go along with Gov. Pat Quinn's call for higher cigarette taxes to help the state's struggling Medicaid program.

Minority Leader Tom Cross says House Republicans oppose "any tax increase to solve our Medicaid crisis."

Cross noted that the Democratic governor said in his budget address that the state needs to reduce Medicaid expenditures and didn't mention a tax increase. Cross said he'll hold Quinn to his word.

Quinn on Thursday offered a plan for closing a $2.7 billion hole in Medicaid, which provides health care for the poor. His proposal includes removing 215,000 from the program, cutting many services, reducing payments to providers and raising cigarette taxes by $1 a pack.

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Governor Proposes Dollar Increase On Cigarettes

THE GOVERNOR’S PLAN FOR REVAMPING THE STATE’S MEDICAID SYSTEM INCLUDES RAISING THE STATE TAX ON CIGARETTES.

THE CURRENT TAX ON A PACK OF SMOKES IS 98 CENTS...BUT GOVERNOR QUINN WANTS TO RAISE THAT BY ONE DOLLAR. HE SAYS THIS WILL BENEFIT THE STATE IN SEVERAL WAYS.

[audio:smokes1.mp3] [/audio]

THE IDEA IS TO RAISE MONEY…AND LOWER TOBACCO RELATED MEDICAID EXPENSES.

[audio:smokes2.mp3] [/audio]

IT’S ESTIMATED THE TAX INCREASE WOULD GENERATE ABOUT 337 MILLION DOLLARS…AND MAKE ILLINOIS ELIGIBLE FOR ABOUT THE SAME AMOUNT IN FEDERAL MONEY. THE TAX INCREASE WILL HAVE TO BE APPROVED BY THE LEGISLATURE.

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Illinois Gains Jobs In March

THE STATE ENJOYED JOB GAINS AND A DROP IN THE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE LAST MONTH.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON GREG RIVARA SAYS THE STATE JOBLESS RATE CAME IN AT EIGHT POINT EIGHT PERCENT FOR MARCH…DOWN FROM NINE POINT ONE IN FEBRUARY. RIVERA ADDS IT'S A CONTINUED SIGN OF RECOVERY.

[audio:ides.mp3] [/audio]

THE MOST JOB GROWTH IN MARCH WAS SEEN IN THE PROFESSIONAL AND BUSINESS SERVICES SECTOR…MANUFACTURING…AND IN THE LEISURE AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY.

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Miller Park Zoo Joining 'Largest Conservation Party Around World'

Schools and organizations around the country this week have been recognizing Earth Week.

Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has a special event this Saturday. "Party for the Planet" is designed to promote Earth Week. Superintendent of the Miller Park Zoo, Jay Tetzloff, has a lot in store for those that make their way out this weekend. The zoo will have an electric car on hand from O'Brien Mitsubishi and of course there will be discussions on recycling and conservation.

[audio:zooearth1.mp3] [/audio]

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is promoting Earth Week activities around the world this weekend. Tetzloff says zoos all over the state, country and world have been hosting parties this week, and will be hosting parties this weekend.

[audio:zooearth2.mp3] [/audio]

With many years experience in working with zoos and helping preserve endangered species around the world, Tetzloff says he has seen firsthand the way irresponsibly treating nature can harm animals, and their natural habitats.

[audio:zooearth3.mp3] [/audio]

Zoos around the world are involved in programs to help restore endangered species numbers and then to return them to their natural homes. Tetzloff feels Earth Week is a good opportunity to promote those programs and the animals they have from them.

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Ambulance Advisory Committee Formed

The DeWitt County Board took another step forward Thursday night in its pursuit of developing a new county wide ambulance service.

By a 10 to 1 vote, the Board approved the formation of an Ambulance Advisory Committee.  Board Chair Melonie Tilley explains the purpose of the committee will be to bring forward a plan for the new ambulance service.

[audio:ambulancecomm1.mp3] [/audio]

Over an hour of the Board's regular monthly meeting was devoted to the formation of the new committee, which followed a special work session on the topic held last week.  Much of the debate centered on the makeup of the committee.  Tilley notes the committee could have been made up of County Board members, or representatives from the public.  It was decided that public representation would be the best course of action.

[audio:ambulancecomm2.mp3] [/audio]

What was originally proposed as a five member committee eventually morphed into a nine member committee.  The expansion occurred primarily due to concerns voiced by Board member Dana Evans over all parts of the county receiving fair representation.

[audio:ambulancecomm3.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley says the new nine member committee will be composed of representations from the five fire departments included in the new ambulance service area, as well as DeWitt County CenCom & E-M-A, and two at large members.  There will also be a County Board member appointed as a non-voting member of the committee.

[audio:ambulancecomm4.mp3] [/audio]

The County Board also voted 11 to 0 to pay the members of the Ambulance Advisory Committee 20-dollars per meeting plus mileage.  No one was officially appointed to the committee.  That's expected to take place at a special meeting of the DeWitt County Board that has been set for 7pm on May 3rd.

The DeWitt County Board has until the end of the year to adopt a plan for ambulance service for much of the county as the Dr. John Warner Hospital has announced it's ending the current service at that time.  Voters overwhelmingly approved a tax referendum in March to fund the new service.

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'Hawks Fall In OT; Blues Take Commanding 3-1 Lead

>>Coyotes Beat 'Hawks In OT In Game Four

(Chicago, IL)  --  Mikkel Boedker scored in overtime for the second straight game to give the Coyotes a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in Game Four of their West quarterfinal series.  Boedker scored on a breakaway 2:15 into OT.  Shane Doan and Taylor Pyatt scored in the third period for Phoenix, which is a victory away from winning a playoff series for the first time since moving to the desert in 1996.  Mike Smith stopped 30 shots in the victory.  Brendan Morrison and Michael Frolik lit the lamp in the third for Chicago.  Corey Crawford made only 16 saves in the loss.  Every game in the series has gone to overtime.  Phoenix hosts Game Five Saturday.

>>Blues Edge Sharks To Take 3-1 Lead

(San Jose, CA)  --  Brian Elliott stopped 24 of the 25 shots he faced as the Blues edged the Sharks, 2-1, in Game Four of their West quarterfinal series.  Andy McDonald and B.J. Crombeen had the goals for St. Louis, which now holds a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.  Patrik Berglund and David Perron had two assists apiece in the victory.  Joe Thornton scored San Jose's only goal with 1:07 left in the third.  Antti Niemi gave up both goals on 24 shots for the Sharks in the loss.  The Blues will host Game Five Saturday night.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
New Jersey Devils 4, Florida Panthers 0
(Best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal tied, 2-2)

Washington Capitals 2, Boston Bruins 1
(Best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal tied, 2-2)

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Colts Reportedly Tell Luck He'll Go Number-One

Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck is going to be the number-one pick in next week's NFL Draft.  ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Colts have informed Luck they will take him with the first selection next Thursday.  Indianapolis General Manager Ryan Grigson said Wednesday that the team has made up its mind, but would not reveal the decision until draft night.  The Washington Redskins are expected to take Baylor quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin the Third with the number-two pick.

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Sprint Cup Series In Kansas City

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series makes its way to the Kansas Speedway this weekend for Sunday's STP 400.  Greg Biffle won last week in Texas to take a 19-point lead over Matt Kenseth and Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the Cup standings.  Martin Truex Jr. and Kevin Harvick round out the top-five.  Brad Keselowski won last year's inaugural spring race at Kansas.

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Miami Knocks Off Chicago

LeBron James had 27 points, 11 rebounds and six assists to lead the Heat to an 83-72 win over the Bulls.  Dwyane Wade added 18 points for the Heat, who are now a game-and-a-half behind the Bulls for the top spot in the East.  Chris Bosh did not play for Miami.  John Lucas netted 16 points off the bench for the Bulls, who scored only 11 points in the fourth quarter.  Derrick Rose missed the game with a foot injury.  Rose has missed 16 of the last 19 games.

NBA
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Indiana Pacers 118, Milwaukee Bucks 109
Minnesota Timberwolves 91, Detroit Pistons 80
New Orleans Hornets 105, Houston Rockets 99 (OT)
Phoenix Suns 93, Los Angeles Clippers 90

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Cubs, Cards, Sox Lose

>>Marlins Complete Sweep Of Cubs

(Miami, FL)  --  Greg Dobbs' two-run double keyed a three-run third inning and the Marlins held on to beat the Cubs, 5-3.  Dobbs' hit gave Miami a 4-3 lead and starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco added an RBI single.  Logan Morrison went 2-for-3 with an RBI as the Fish swept the three-game set at Marlins Park.  Nolaso pitched five-and-a-third innings of three-run ball for the win.  Heath Bell fanned two in the ninth for his second save.  Jeff Samardzija gave up all five runs in less than four frames to take the loss.  Darwin Barney tripled in three runs for Chicago, which has dropped five straight.

>>Reds Double Up Redbirds

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Brandon Phillips, Ryan Ludwick and Drew Stubbs all homered to power the Reds to a 6-3 win over the Cardinals.  Bronson Arroyo and Sean Marshall combined on a six-hitter as Cincinnati salvaged the finale of the three-game set at Busch Stadium.  Arroyo allowed five hits and three runs in eight frames for his first win.  Marshall gave up one hit, but fanned the side in the ninth for his second save.  Adam Wainwright allowed four runs in five innings to drop to 0-and-3 on the season for St. Louis.  Matt Holliday hit a three-run homer in the sixth to supply the Cardinals' offense.

MLB NL
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Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Houston Astros 11, Washington Nationals 4
Atlanta Braves 10, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
Philadelphia Phillies 2, San Diego Padres 0

>>O's Roll In Rubber Match With ChiSox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Adam Jones hit a two-run homer and drove in three as the Orioles downed the White Sox 5-3 in the finale of a four-game series.  Jason Hammel tied a career-high with 10 strikeouts and gave up just two runs over six innings to pick up the win.  Jim Johnson struck out Alex Rios with two down and the bases loaded in the ninth for his sixth save.  Rios, Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez each knocked in a run for the White Sox, who struck out 16 times and have dropped four of their last five games.  Gavin Floyd was saddled with the loss, allowing five runs through six innings of duty.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 7, Minnesota Twins 6
Tampa Bay Rays 9, Toronto Blue Jays 4
Texas Rangers 10, Detroit Tigers 3
Oakland Athletics 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
Cleveland Indians 2, Seattle Mariners 1

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-20

 

April 20, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Kenneth Scheid, 45, Lincoln, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Procurement of Drug Methamphetamine Precursors, Unlawful Methamphetamine Conspiracy and Failure to Appear. Scheid, being un-able to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Dwight Stewart, 18, Lincoln, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Stewart, being un-able to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

 

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

 

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Spring Clean Up At Weldon Springs Saturday

Looking for a service project?  Ready to shake off winter cobwebs and get outside?  Join the folks at Weldon Springs as they bring back an old tradition and spring clean Weldon Springs this (TODAY) Saturday, April 21 from 9 AM to 11 AM.  We’ll meet at Chautauqua (shi - taw - kwa) Picnic Area on the north side of the park..  They'll supply the garbage bags, litter and appreciation for volunteers. All you have to do is supply able-bodies and enthusiastic volunteers.  Afterwards will be a hot dog lunch.

For more information, please call the park office at 217-935-2644.

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May To Be 'Older Americans Month' In DeWitt County

The month of May will be recognized as 'Older Americans Month' in DeWitt County.

Members of the DeWitt County's RSVP program were recognized at Thursday's meeting for the work they do throughout the County and Melonie Tilley read a proclomation making the month of May Older Americans Month in DeWitt County.

[audio:olderamericans1.mp3] [/audio]

As roll was being called to approve the proclomation, there was a humerous moment among the older members of the DeWitt County Board.

[audio:olderamericans2.mp3] [/audio]

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Attorney General Madigan Says $20-Million To Assist Homeowners, Renters

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says the $20 million the state received from a national foreclosure settlement will be used to help homeowners and renters affected by the foreclosure crisis.

She says the money will be given to legal assistance programs that in turn will provide access to the justice system for homeowners and renters.

Madigan says helping families stay in their homes will "create a domino effect" for the state's economy.

Attorneys general from Illinois and other states reached a $25 billion national settlement in February with the nation's five largest bank mortgage servicers - Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank, formerly GMAC.

The settlement stemmed from a lawsuit over allegations of fraudulent practices by the lenders.

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Harrisburg Mayor Pro Tem: We Need Extra Cash

Recovery efforts in Harrisburg, Illinois are coming along just fine, says Mayor Pro Tem, Ron Crank.  But, he says there are issues concerning renters and mobile home owners.

[audio:rddRent1.mp3] [/audio]

Crank says they're still looking for ways to help those who don't qualify for assistance.  He says volunteer efforts are still strong but more than anything, they need cash donations to help the displaced people.  Those who'd like to donate can do so online at TheCityofHarrisburgIL.com and click on the "Tornado" link.

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Convicted Murder Appeals To Illinois Supreme Court

Lawyers for a man convicted of murder in a 1991 central Illinois killing want the Illinois Supreme Court to take his case.

Attorneys for Jamie Snow argue an appellate court wrongly rejected his request for a new hearing and ballistics testing. Snow is serving a life sentence in a Joliet prison. He was convicted in 1991 in the death of gas station attendant Billy Little. His attorneys claim there are affidavits from several witnesses who have recanted or changed their testimony.

Snow's attorneys are with the Exoneration Project. They filed an appeal with the Illinois Supreme Court on April 9. Prosecutors have until April 23 to file a response. Then the Illinois Supreme Court would take the request under review.

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Medicaid Group Can't Agree On Cuts

A bipartisan group tasked with finding ways to cut $2.7 billion from Illinois' Medicaid budget hasn't accomplished its mission.

Gov. Pat Quinn's deadline required the committee to come up with a plan this week, but members couldn't agree on a proposal. They've offered 56 ideas equaling about $1.4 billion in cuts.

The committee worked for months to reform the health insurance program for nearly three million poor and disabled Illinois residents. They disagreed on potential ideas including rate cuts to providers and a potential $1-a-pack cigarette tax increase.

Quinn delivers his own plan today. He says legislators must be prepared to pass Medicaid reforms this year.

Democratic Sen. Heather Steans says the group will continue working. They've agreed on cutting Illinois Cares Rx, which helps senior citizens pay for prescriptions.

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Indiana Governor To Speak In Champaign Today

Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is scheduled to speak at the Champaign County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day Dinner.

Daniels is set to give remarks Thursday evening in Champaign. Daniels is serving his second term as Indiana governor. He previously was director of the federal office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.

Union supporters plan a rally in Champaign on Thursday afternoon outside Assembly Hall to protest Daniels' visit.

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Illinois Soybean Association Cuba Trip Recap

A group of Illinois soybean farmers recently took their message to the island nation of Cuba.  Jared White has more...

[audio:41612ISACubaTripWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Mid-Illinois Red Cross To Honor 'Heartand Heroes'

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross will be hosting their annual Heartland Heroes recognition ceremony tomorrow night in Decatur.

 The 4th annual Heartland Heroes event is an opportunity to recognize people making a difference throughout the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross's service areas of  DeWitt, Macon, Moultry, Piatt, and Shelby Counties. Executive Director Carl Baker says the night starts out with a wine tasting put on by the Niemerg Family Winery. Then a catered meal and the awards ceremony caps off the event.

[audio:heartlandheros1.mp3] [/audio]

Debi Meeds is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Southern Missouri Region, covering 40 counties in southern Missouri. She will be the keynote speaker at the event and has served in many positions throughout her 20 years as a Red Cross employee and has responded to many disasters. May 22, last year, she was on-scene and opened the Red Cross shelter in Joplin just hours after the devastating tornado passed. Meeds calls hero awards her favorite type of event and is honored to be the keynote speaker of the event.

[audio:heartlandheros2.mp3] [/audio]

Meeds recalls the night of the Joplin tornadoes. She says volunteers were unable to get to the scene of the devastation. She credits those who stepped up to help to keep from focusing on the devastation.

[audio:heartlandheros3.mp3] [/audio]

The event is tomorrow night at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel from 5:30 p.m. – 9 p.m. Tickets for the event are $50 each and include wine and a plated dinner. Tables of eight can be purchased for $350.  For more information on the event or to purchase tickets call 217.428.7758.

Awards include:

Young Courage Award – Larrissa and Hannah Steffen of Moweaqua who saved their mother and potential by-standers when they brought their mother’s vehicle to a stop when she became unresponsive behind the wheel.  

Young Courage Award – Mason Rickman of Mt Zion who dialed 911 after his mother became unresponsive.  

Citizenship Award – Bethany Mrosko of Decatur who coordinated a mobile pack event for Feed My Starving Children.  

Citizenship Award – Don Niehart of Effingham who organized  the Central Illinois Honor Flight.  

Valor Award – Christine Matlock of Shelbyville who  stayed with a trapped teenager in a SUV rollover.  

Everyday Hero Award – Colton Beams, Cody Weaver, Donald DJ Hart, Bill Fornshell of Decatur and Atwood who saved a family from a burning house.  

Senior Award – Betty Gaumer of Decatur who founded and still organizes Operation Enduring Support.

In Memoriam Award – Caleb Witty of Decatur who lost his life protecting his sister.

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Blackhawks, Blues Notes

>>Blackhawks' Hossa Out For Game Four

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Blackhawks forward Marian Hossais being ruled out for tonight's Game Four against the Phoenix Coyotes.  Hossa left the ice on a stretcher after taking a hard shoulder hit from Coyotes forward Raffi Torres in the first period of Tuesday's Game Three.  Hossa was taken to the hospital, but has since been released.  Torres did not receive a penalty for the hit, but has been suspended indefinitely by the NHL pending a hearing tomorrow.  The Coyotes lead the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series two-games-to-one.

>>Blues Look To Extend 2-1 Advantage

(San Jose, CA)  --  The Blues will be looking to extend their 2-1 lead over San Jose as their NHL playoff series continues tonight.  St. Louis took Game Three of the best-of-seven matchup, 4-3, on Monday.  Jaroslav Halak is not expected to be on the ice due to an ankle injury he suffered in Game Two.  The series moves back to St. Louis for Game Five on Saturday.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
Ottawa Senators 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT)
(Best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal tied, 2-2)

Pittsburgh Penguins 10, Philadelphia Flyers 3
(Flyers lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 3-1)

Vancouver Canucks 3, Los Angeles Kings 1
(Kings lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 3-1)

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Bulls Blow Out Bobcats

Rip Hamilton led the way with 22 points as the shorthanded Bulls blew out the Bobcats, 100-68.  Derrick Rose and Luol Deng both missed the game with injuries.  Joakim Noah and John Lucas had 12 points apiece for Chicago, which is two-and-a-half games ahead of the Heat for the top spot in the East.  The teams will meet in Miami Thursday night.  Kemba Walker scored 16 points for the Bobcats.  Charlotte fell to 7-and-54 with its 18th straight loss.

NBA
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Chicago Bulls 100, Charlotte Bobcats 68
Washington Wizards 121, Milwaukee Bucks 112
Philadelphia 76ers 103, Cleveland Cavaliers 87
Atlanta Hawks 116, Detroit Pistons 84
New York Knicks 104, New Jersey Nets 95
Miami Heat 96, Toronto Raptors 72
Memphis Grizzlies 103, New Orleans Hornets 91
Boston Celtics 102, Orlando Magic 98
Dallas Mavericks 117, Houston Rockets 110
Los Angeles Clippers 104, Denver Nuggets 98
San Antonio Spurs 127, Sacramento Kings 102
Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Phoenix Suns 97
Utah Jazz 112, Portland Trail Blazers 91
Los Angeles Lakers 99, Golden State Warriors 87

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Sox, Cards Win; Cubs Routed

>>White Sox Smash O's

(Chicago, IL)  --  A.J. Pierzynski belted a two-run homer as the White Sox routed the Orioles, 8-1.  Alejandro De Aza added a solo shot and Adam Dunn laced a bases-clearing double for Chicago, which put the brakes on a three-game skid.  Jake Peavy struck out eight over seven innings of four-hit, one-run ball to improve to 2-and-0.  Endy Chavez doubled in Baltimore's only run in the second.  Tommy Hunter was shelled for all eight runs over five-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 1-and-1.

MLB AL
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Minnesota Twins 6, New York Yankees 5
Tampa Bay Rays 12, Toronto Blue Jays 2
Texas Rangers 6, Boston Red Sox 3
Detroit Tigers 4, Kansas City Royals 3
Oakland Athletics 6, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Seattle Mariners 4, Cleveland Indians 1

>>Cards Flush Reds

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Jaime Garcia tossed seven innings of one-run ball as the Cardinals defeated the Reds, 11-1.  Garcia also drove in two RBI to help his cause.  Carlos Beltran and Tyler Greene each lifted a two-run home run for St. Louis, which improved to 9-and-3.  Rafael Furcal finished with four hits, a pair of RBI and a run scored in the win.  David Freese also brought home a pair of runs for the Cards.  Mat Latos gave up eight runs in five-and-two-thirds innings for the loss.  Devin Mesoraco drove in the lone run for Cincinnati, which fell to 4-and-8.

>>Marlins Maul Cubs

(Miami, FL)  --  Donnie Murphy and Hanley Ramirez each clubbed two-run homers to back eight strong innings from Mark Buehrle as the Marlins mauled the Cubs, 9-1.  Buehrle fanned five and allowed just one run on six hits to pick up his first win of the season.  Jose Reyes, Chris Coghlan and Gaby Sanchez all drove in a run for Miami, which has won three games in-a-row.  Ian Stewart's RBI groundout in the seventh accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Matt Garza was tagged for six runs on seven hits through five frames to absorb the loss for the Northsiders, who have dropped four straight games.

MLB NL
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Atlanta Braves 14, New York Mets 6
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Washington Nationals 3, Houston Astros 2
Milwaukee Brewers 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2 (10 inn)
Colorado Rockies 8, San Diego Padres 4
San Francisco Giants 1, Philadelphia Phillies 0 (11 inn)

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Lady Maroons Fall At Shelbyville

The Lady Maroons fell 13-7 to Okaw Valley Conference host Shelbyville Wednesday night.  Bailey Walker tok the loss.  Offensively the Maroons were led by Walker who was 3 for 3 with a double, Jessie Shride added two hits and Haley Toohill also added a double.

The Lady Maroons travel to Farmer City Thursday to take on Blue Ridge.

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Maroons Top Meridian

Josh Merrick went the distance on the mound, allowing just two hits and striking out 10 as the Maroons topped the Meridian Hawks 2-1 Wednesday afternoon. Merrick walked seven but only allowed one run, as each team combined for just three hits. Colton Reeves was 1-3 with an RBI. The lone two hits and RBI both came courtesy of Elijah Riggen for Meridian.

The Maroons improve to 10-8 on the season and even their Okaw Valley Conference record at 2-2.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-19

April 19, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Michelle Ritter, 28, Clinton, was issued a citation for Expired Registration. Ritter was issued 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 4-19

ON 4/18/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JARED L. THRASHER 27, CLINTON ON A PROBATION VIOLATION. THRASHER 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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Residential Speeding Concerns Brought Before City Council

Recently, the issue of vehicles speeding in residential areas of Clinton has been brought before the Clinton City Council.

Clinton resident Jim Defebaugh claims young people are speeding down Walnut Street past his residence, leaving children on the street vulnerable. He has approached other avenues and has asked the City to put a stop sign up to control traffic.

[audio:speeding1.mp3] [/audio]

Public Works Director Steve Lobb explains stop signs are not speed control devices, but rather traffic control devices. He says in some instances stop signs can in fact promote speeding further.

[audio:speeding2.mp3] [/audio]

After much discussion on the issue at the Clinton City Council meeting April 2, the decision was made to heighten patrols on Walnut Street. The past few weeks Clinton Police Officers have been surveying the area taking speeds of cars traveling on the road. Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements Nan Crang brought the results forward this past Monday. Over 200 vehicles were surveyed with well over 80% of vehicles gunned going within the speed limit.

[audio:speeding3.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton police Chief Mike Reidy noted just one vehicle was given a warning. He says he wanted his officers to simply take data on the area, he felt if they started handing out tickets, word would get out they were patrolling the area more and it may throw their numbers off.

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Jim Watson Eyes Congressional Seat

Jacksonville's state Representative says he's interested in being selected as the GOP nominee in the new 13th Congressional District.  State Representative Jim Watson notes he hasn't made a commitment yet but wouldn't mind being in a position to do more.  He acknowledges there are other good people eyeing the seat.  Watson doesn't currently live in the 13th District but says he'd be willing to make the move if he were to run and win.  Right now, he's slated to run unopposed in the 100th State Representative District. That district shares six counties with the 13th Congressional District.  Fourteen GOP county chairmen representing the new 13th are in charge of selecting a candidate to run in the November election.  Congressman Tim Johnson announced his retirement after winning the March 20th primary.

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Two U of I Professors Receive Arts And Sciences Awards

University of Illinois professors Edward Diener and Jennifer Lewis have been named to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Diener is the Joseph R. Smiley Distinguished Professor of Psychology at Illinois. Lewis is the Hans Thurnauer Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

The academy was founded in 1780 and honors outstanding leadership and scholarship in a variety of fields.

Diener and Lewis joined 218 other new members.

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Quinn Too Busy To Worry About Wrigley Renovations

Governor Quinn says Wrigley Field is a great park but he's too busy dealing with much more pressing issues to be concerned about funding its renovations.  

[audio:rddWrigley1.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Rahm Emanuel is reportedly hoping the Cubs will get millions by selling sponsorships inside the stadium.  The plan is similar to the one Boston used to spruce-up Fenway Park.

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Wisconsin Governor Gets Mixed Reviews In SPringfield

Businessmen and women packed a room at the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield today to hear a message from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  David From, with Americans for Prosperity, was among the group.  He says Illinois could learn from Walker's action toward solving the state's budget troubles.  

[audio:rddFrom1.mp3] [/audio]

Hundreds of protestors gave Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker what they call an "unwelcome greeting" when he arrived in Springfield this morning.  Michael Shipman, with IBEW Local 21 in Springfield, says what happened in Wisconsin can't happen to union members in Illinois.

[audio:rddProtest1.mp3] [/audio]

Walker was the keynote speaker at the Illinois Chamber of Commerce's "Business Action Day."  He told the crowd that making a difference in people's lives sometimes means doing what's unpopular.  The Governor is facing recall in an election scheduled for June 5th.  He says regardless of what happens, he believes Wisconsin is in a better place today than it was when he took office last year.

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Wisconsin Governor Blasts Quinn Medicaid Plan

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is often criticized for stripping collective bargaining rights to save the state's budget.  But, he says his methods aren't hurting the state's most needy and he blasted Illinois' plan to chop two-point-seven-billion dollars from Medicaid.  

[audio:rddWalkSpi1.mp3] [/audio]

Walker says instead of cutting Medicaid in Wisconsin, they added one point-two-billion dollars more so they could take care of seniors and those who need temporary assistance.  He says instead of using budget tricks and gimmicks, he made solid reforms to rescue the state's budget.

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Union Members Protest Walker Visit

Union members gathered outside the Abraham Lincoln Hotel in Springfield yesterday, protesting Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s visit.  Terry Reid with the Illinois Federation of Teachers says they won’t stand for Walker’s quote, "failed policies" in Illinois. Reid adds people all across the state reject Walker’s policies.

[audio:rddWalkerOpp2.mp3] [/audio]

Walker was in the capital city as the guest speaker for the Illinois Chamber of Commerce’s "Business Action Day."  Those inside the room during Walker’s speech hailed him as a good leader who took bold steps to rescue the state’s budget.

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Gov. Quinn: Don't Follow Walker's 'Prescriptions'

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn didn't exactly offer a warm welcome to his visiting Wisconsin counterpart Tuesday.

The Democrat greeted Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's trip to Springfield by criticizing Walker's record on job creation.

Quinn says Wisconsin's record on job growth is the worst of 50 states and that Illinois should reject Walker's prescriptions.

Walker spoke to business leaders in Springfield and touted his quick action to erase a budget deficit in the Badger State without raising taxes when he took office last year.

But his restrictions on union bargaining power started a move to have him recalled in a June 5 election.

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Mad Rush To File Taxes

It's a last minute rush for Illinoisans filing taxes today.  Tax preparers from Carbondale to Springfield, Rockford and Chicago say they've been swamped all day.  Many people across the nation typically wait until the final day to file.  Susan Hofer, with the state's Department of Revenue, says they were still waiting to receive more than two million returns just two weeks ago.  She says online traffic was higher than normal over the weekend and when that happens, it may take a while for the system to let people log on.  Illinoisans can file up until midnight tonight online at Tax.Illinois.gov or any other online tax prep site.  Those who still need time to gather all of their documents can file for an extension until October 15th, but if they think they're going to owe money, they're expected to make that payment by tonight's deadline.

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN PLANTING CONTINUES AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS ALTHOUGH SOME FARMERS ARE WAITING TO PLANT UNTIL SOIL MOISTURE IMPROVES…CORN PLANTING IS PROGRESSING QUICKLY…WITH 41 PERCENT NOW COMPLETE.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

SCHWAB ADDS TWO PERCENT OF SOYBEANS AND 93 PERCENT OF OATS HAVE BEEN PLANTED.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT FOUR PERCENT SURPLUS…60 PERCENT ADEQUATE…32 PERCENT SHORT AND FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT. 93 PERCENT OF OATS ARE NOW PLANTED…AND 40 PERCENT OF WHEAT HAS HEADED. THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS THREE PERCENT COMPLETE.

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Farmers May Have To Deal With Cutworms During Growing Season

Some farmers have worried that the unusually warm spring could lead to increased insect pressure during the growing season.  Those fears may be warranted.  Jared White has more...

[audio:41612CutwormsInIllinoisWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton Board of Education Leaning Towards Air Conditioning In Gym

The Clinton Board of Education recently brought Ruyle Mechanical to diagnose the air handling units above the high school gym.

They discovered a lot of problems with the units. Don Hidden from Ruyle Mechanical explains one of those problems is the units, which are original to the 1972 building, have detached from their original positioning.

[audio:airhandlers1.mp3] [/audio]

There is no guarantee the units would last very long if they were fixed. Hidden explains because of their age, they cannot upgrade them, they can only restore them as they would have been in 1972. He says many schools are going to rooftop airconditoning units, which he feels is a good option.

[audio:airhandlers2.mp3] [/audio]

Should the Board go with rooftop units, they will be much more efficient. Hidden says during the spring and fall days, when temperatures are traditionally cooler, the rooftop units would circulate cooler air from the outside, keeping air conditioning from running, but still keeping the gym cool.

[audio:airhandlers3.mp3] [/audio]

The Board of Education discussed completely removing the units from the ceiling. The roof of the high school gym is being redone this summer, Hidden says if that is avenue the district feels they want to take, it would save them money to have that done this summer.

[audio:airhandlers4.mp3] [/audio]

The Board has decided to work with the architects and Ruyle in what would be the best option to move forward with getting air conditioning installed in the high school gym.

Ruyle's bid for air conditioning did not include removal of the air handler units, but Hidden gave a ballpark estimate of an additional 10 to 20-thousand dollars for removal of the units.

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Sprint Cup Champ Stewart, NASCAR Visit White House

President Obama is thanking champion driver Tony Stewart and the rest of NASCAR for their efforts in giving back to the community and armed forces.  The President welcomed the reigning NASCAR champion and other top drivers from the 2011 Chase for the Sprint Cup to the White House on Tuesday.  Stewart finished last season's ten-race playoff tied with Carl Edwards in points, but earned the title with the most race wins.  It was his third career NASCAR championship.

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Bears, Rams 2012 Schedule Released

>>Bears' 2012 Regular Season Schedule Revealed

(New York, NY)  --  The NFL released the complete 2012 schedule last night.  The Bears open up their season on Sunday, September 9th against the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field.  Chicago plays at Green Bay on "Thursday Night Football" a week later.  The Bears play five total primetime games.  They play "Monday Night Football" contests at Dallas and San Francisco in Week's Four and 11, respectively, and host the Detroit Lions in Week Seven.

>>Rams To Open Season In Detroit

(Undated)  --  The NFL announced yesterday that the Rams will open their season in Detroit against the Lions.  St. Louis returns home a week later to host the Washington Redskins in the home-opener.  The Rams will play in prime time during Week Five when they host the Arizona Cardinals on a Thursday night.  St. Louis will also play a contest considered a home game in London during Week Eight against the New England Patriots.

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Cyotes Slip Past Blackhawks; Hossa Injured

>>Coyotes Slide Past Blackhawks

(Chicago, IL)  --  Mikkel Boedker made his first-career playoff goal count, netting the game-winner in overtime as the Coyotes defeated the Blackhawks, 3-2.  Rostislav Klesla and Ray Whitney scored in the third period, book-ending a tally by Chicago's Michael Frolik.  All three scores came in a span of 65 seconds.  Mike Smith made 35 saves for Phoenix, which grabs a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series.  Andrew Brunette gave Chicago an early lead in the first period.  Corey Crawford made 31 stops for the Blackhawks, who host Game Four of the series on Thursday night.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
Florida Panthers 4, New Jersey Devils 3
(Florida leads best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 2-1)

Nashville Predators 3, Detroit Red Wings 1
(Nashville leads best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 3-1)

>>Blackhawks' Hossa Hospitalized After Torres' Hit

(Chicago, IL)  --  Blackhawks forward Marian Hossa [[ HOE-suh ]] left on a stretcher in the first period of Tuesday's game between Chicago and the Phoenix Coyotes.  Hossa was on the receiving end of a brutal hit in the neutral zone by Coyotes forward Raffi Torres, who left his feet and made contact with Hossa's head.  Hossa was hospitalized, but later released.  Torres was not penalized on the play.  The Coyotes went on the win the game in overtime, 3-2, to take a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference Quarterfinal.  Game Four of the series is set for Thursday night.

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Bulls Kick Off Brief Road Trip

The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they depart on a brief two-game road trip against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.  The Bulls had a three-game winning streak come to an end with an 87-84 loss against Washington on Monday to fall to 46-and-15 on the season.  Chicago wraps up the road swing tomorrow evening at Miami.

NBA
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Indiana Pacers 102, Philadelphia 76ers 97
Detroit Pistons 116, Cleveland Cavaliers 77
New York Knicks 118, Boston Celtics 110
Memphis Grizzlies 91, Minnesota Timberwolves 84
San Antonio Spurs 112, Los Angeles Lakers 91

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Cards Walk Off On Reds; Sox, Cubs Lose

>>Cards Walk-Off On Reds In 10th

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Matt Carpenter's pinch-hit 10th-inning sacrifice-fly lifted the Cardinals to a 2-1 win over the Reds.  Carlos Beltran was 2-for-3 with a solo home run and two walks for St. Louis, which has won three straight.  Kyle Lohse tossed seven innings of four-hit ball while striking out six in a no-decision.  Jason Motte earned the win with a scoreless inning of relief work.  Zack Cozart hit an RBI single in the eighth to tie the game for Cincinnati, which has lost four-of-five.  Sam LeCure suffered the loss for the Reds after Bill Bray allowed his inherited runner to score.

>>Marlins Clip Cubs In Guillen's Return

(Miami, FL)  --  Hanley Ramirez clubbed a tie-breaking three-run homer in the bottom of the eighth to lead the Marlins in a 5-2 win over the Cubs in manager Ozzie Guillen's return from a five-game suspension.  Guillen was suspended for controversial comments he made to "Time" magazine about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  Emilio Bonifacio knocked in a run and Gaby Sanchez scored on an error for the Fish, who have won back-to-back games.  Josh Johnson tossed seven innings of two-run ball, but it was Steve Cishek who was credited with the win.  Heath Bell notched his first save.  Alfonso Soriano and Bryan LaHair each plated a run for Chicago in a losing effort.  Ryan Dempster fanned eight and gave up two unearned runs through six innings in a no-decision.  Rafael Dolis was saddled with the loss for the Northsiders, who have dropped three games in-a-row.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 1, Houston Astros 0
Atlanta Braves 9, New York Mets 3
Milwaukee Brewers 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 4
Colorado Rockies 5, San Diego Padres 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
San Francisco Giants 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2

>>O's Hold Off White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jim Johnson survived a scary ninth inning as the Orioles held off the White Sox, 3-2.  Johnson recorded his fifth save of the year despite loading the bases before the final out.  Wei-Yin Chen went five-and-a-third innings and allowed two runs to pick up his first career win.  Nolan Reimold connected on a two-run homer and J.J. Hardy followed his blast with a solo shot of his own for Baltimore, which has won four of its last five games.  John Danks gave up three runs over seven frames to take the loss for Chicago.  A.J. Pierzynski was 2-for-4 with a two-run double for the Sox, who have dropped three straight.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 8, Minnesota Twins 3
Toronto Blue Jays 7, Tampa Bay Rays 3
Texas Rangers 18, Boston Red Sox 3
Baltimore Orioles 3, Chicago White Sox 2
Detroit Tigers 3, Kansas City Royals 1
Oakland Athletics 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 3
Cleveland Indians 9, Seattle Mariners 8

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Sages Host Shelbyville This Afternoon

The Monticello Sages play host to Shelbyville, in an Okaw Valley Conference match up. The Sages are coming off a 6-1 Monday loss to Warrensburg-Latham. The Sages are 11-4 on the season and 1-1 in Okaw Valley Conference play.

You can hear the game live on the 95.9 WEZC and streamed live at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is 4:30. Broadcast time will be around 4 pm.

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Walker's Perfect Game Propels Lady Maroons

The Lady Maroons scored 2 runs in the bottom of the first inning off a bases loaded 2 out single by Hanna Long.  The 2 runs proved to be all the offense the Lady Maroons would need as Junior Lefthander Bailey Walker pitched a perfect Game Tuesday night in a 3-0 victory over Deer Creek - Mackinaw.

Walker picked up the win striking out 12 walking none and allowing no hits in seven innings.  The Lady Maroons defense was also a key to Walkers perfection as they made some spectacular plays.

Offensively for the Lady Maroons Hanna Long provided all 3 RBI's as she went 2 for 3 with 2 singles.  Emily Kroeger also doubled for the Lady Maroons.

The Lady Maroons will be back in action Wednesday night at 4:30 when they travel to Shelbyville to face the Lady Rams.

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Abe Lincoln Tourism Bureau Celebrating 25th Anniversary at Annual Breakfast

Friday morning is an annual event for the Logan County Tourism Bureau.

Their annual breakfast banquet is this coming Friday morning and there is a lot of excitement surrounding this year's event because they will be celebrating their 25th anniversary. Executive Director at the Abe Lincoln Tourism Bureau, Geoff Ladd, explains retiring Senator Larry Bomke will be on hand to share a few words with those in attendance. Ladd notes Sen. Bomke has been very supportive of tourism in Logan County throughout his many years of service.

[audio:lincolnelectric1.mp3] [/audio]

The Abe Lincoln Tourism Bureau has been a certified Tourism Bureau through the state of Illinois since the state handed out certifications 25 years ago. Ladd points out there is a grant that is given out as a part of the certification program, and to also be eligible for the grant, funds have to be matched from a county level which they have been able to maintain. He also adds the funds do come locally, but not from the local tax payers, but rather through the local hotel tax.

[audio:lincolnelectric2.mp3] [/audio]

The morning kicks off with a buffet breakfast and some local entertainment will be provided during the course of the meal. Ladd says the morning is wrapped up with an awards presentation to those who have made notable contributions to tourism in Logan County over the past 25 years.

[audio:lincolnelectric3.mp3] [/audio]

Things get going at 7:30 with breakfast until about 9 am Friday morning at the American Legion in Lincoln. Tickets are available for $15 a person. You can get yours by calling 217-732-8687.

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Sages Pick Up Solid OVC Victory Over Shelbyville

The Monticello Sages picked up a solid Okaw Valley Conference win Wednesday afternoon over the Shelbyville Rams, 6-3 at Monticello. Jacob Williams went 7 innings on the mound, giving up 3 run on two hits with 17 strikeouts. After giving up a 2-run home run in the top of the 3rd inning, Williams answered with a 2 run home run of his own to tie it in the bottom of the 3rd. Ross Reeder was 2-3 with an RBI, and freshman Ryne Bundy added a solo home run in the fourth. Matt Wells was 0-2 with an RBI.

The Sages improve to 12-4 overall and 2-1 in Okaw play.

The Sages are at Tuscola Friday afternoon.

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Deland Weldon Cancels School Tommorow

Classes have been canceled for Deland/Weldon Schools tommorow. Superintendent of DeLand Weldon Schools, Dr. Gary Brashear informed Regional Radio News Tuesday afternoon of the cancellation.

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Illinoisans Urged To Volunteer

It's National Volunteer Week and Illinoisans young and old are encouraged to make a difference.  Scott McFarland with the Serve Illinois Commission, says volunteering improves communities on several different levels.  

[audio:rddVolunteer1.mp3] [/audio]

About two-point-eight-million Illinoisans donated their time during last year's volunteer month.  If you'd like get involved, check out Serve.Illinois.gov for volunteer opportunities in your area.

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Clinton YMCA Kicks Off Strong Kids Campaign

An annual effort aimed at allowing greater access to the Clinton Community YMCA is getting underway.

The Clinton Y conducts their "Strong Kids" Campaign every spring in an attempt to raise thousands of dollars to support local families that may otherwise not have access to programming.  Executive Director Jann Martin explains the fund drive goes toward financial aid opportunities. Last year's goal was bumped significantly, however, the Y fell just short. She explains the agency is going to keep the goal at 90-thousand dollars this year.

[audio:strongkids1.mp3] [/audio]

Martin explains with what the Y is able to bring in, they still subsidize into the community more than they bring in. She feels while 90-thousand sounds like a lot of money, it is not even how much they put back into the community.

[audio:strongkids2.mp3] [/audio]

Martin feels the community of Clinton deserves to have a YMCA, which provides great opportunities to people of all ages. She says the Y is a non for profit organization and if the community enjoys the service the Y provides them, they need to have continued support from the community.

[audio:strongkids3.mp3] [/audio]

Community volunteers will be canvasing the area with phone calls and door to door visits. Martin is thankful for the community's support of past campaigns, and is hopeful this year's is another success.

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Clinton City Council Shoots Down Utility Tax Increase

The Clinton City Council faced a loaded agenda Monday evening, including the city's Fiscal Year 2013 budget.

There are many aspects to the FY13 budget needing approval Monday evening, and the proposed utility tax increase garnered the most discussion and debate Monday. The city faces dipping into their reserves below a six to twelve month threshold they have tried to maintain. Clinton City Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter explains the amended budget brought before the Council Monday dips into the reserves by over $280-thousand.

[audio:fy13budget1.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says when a family at home cannot or struggles to make ends meet, they are forced to find another job. She says with the city, they need to find ways to bring in extra revenue. And City officials felt a utility tax increase was the best option to bring that in.

[audio:fy13budget2.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner of Accounts and Finances Tom Edumonds does not like the fact the utility tax will be assessed to a basic necessity. He feels the tax is going to effect the low income population too much.

[audio:fy13budget3.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Edmunds feels there are enough increases in other areas being implemented. It was recently announced water rates in Clinton will be increasing. Residents will soon see an increase in property taxes to subsidize an ambulance service in DeWitt County. Commissioner Edmunds says those factors on top of the City not being in any financial danger of defaulting on bills or running out of money is reason enough to hold off on the tax increase.

[audio:fy13budget4.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters feels the utility tax would benefit the city in a couple ways. She first points out low income families in many cases are being supported in their electric bill by the city. And second, a utility tax would effect those who rent in Clinton.

[audio:fy13budget5.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Nan Crang wants to be optimistic when it comes to the financial future of the city. She points to the Magill Home on the square as an area of town improving. She is hopeful with the everyday work and improvement of the area they can have a developer in there by next year and that may bring some added revenue to the Clinton budget.

[audio:fy13budget6.mp3] [/audio]

The utility tax measure failed by a vote of 4-1, with Mayor Peters being the only yes vote.

In other business from Monday's City Council meeting:

> The Council approved the pre-application for a $1.5-million dollar USDA Rural Development loan.

> The Council put on file a revised parking ordinance.

> The Council approved the Motor Fuel Tax projects for this summer.

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NFL To Unveil 2012 Regular Season Schedule Tonight

The NFL is releasing its complete 2012 regular season schedule tonight.  The league announced last month that the Super Bowl champion New York Giants will open the season Wednesday, September 5th at home against the Dallas Cowboys.  Tonight's schedule release will air on NFL Network at 6 p.m.

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Blues Hold Off Sharks To Grab Series Lead

The Blues got 26 saves from Brian Elliott and held off a late push by the Sharks to win Game Three, 4-3.  Andy McDonald had a goal with two assists, while Jason Arnott [[ ARE-nit ]], Patrik Berglund and Alexander Steen each recorded a score with a helper.  St. Louis grabs a two-games-to-one lead over the Sharks in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal.  Brent Burns scored for San Jose before Collin White and Logan Couture [[ cuh-CHURE ]] pushed late goals across to narrow the margin of defeat.  Couture added an assist, while Joe Thornton had three helpers in the loss.  Antti Niemi [[ ANN-tee  nee-EM-ee ]] made 23 saves in defeat.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
Boston Bruins 4, Washington Capitals 3
(Boston leads best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 2-1)

New York Rangers 1, Ottawa Senators 0
(New York leads best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 2-1)

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Wizards Clip Depleted Bulls

Kevin Seraphin recorded 21 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Wizards to an 87-84 victory over the depleted Eastern Conference-leading Bulls.  John Wall added 16 points for Washington, which snapped a seven-game slide.  Chicago guard Derrick Rose and forward Luol Deng both sat out due to injuries.  Rose was out with a right foot injury, while Deng is battling bruised ribs.  Richard Hamilton paced the Bulls with 22 points.  The Bulls had won their last three games.

NBA
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Atlanta Hawks 109, Toronto Raptors 87
Orlando Magic 113, Philadelphia 76ers 100
New Orleans Hornets 75, Charlotte Bobcats 67
Indiana Pacers 111, Minnesota Timberwolves 88
Miami Heat 101, New Jersey Nets 98
Denver Nuggets 105, Houston Rockets 102
Utah Jazz 123, Dallas Mavericks 121 (3OT)
Phoenix Suns 125, Portland Trail Blazers 107
San Antonio Spurs 120, Golden State Warriors 99
Los Angeles Clippers 92, Oklahoma City Thunder 77

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Baseball Notes

Baltimore trailed the White Sox by three heading into the eighth inning but forced extra innings to defeat Chicago, 10-4, in 10 frames.  Matt Wieters hit a solo homer and added a grand slam in the 10th inning for the Orioles.  Nolan Reimold and Adam Jones each went yard in the ninth off Hector Santiago, who blew the save.  Zach Stewart allowed six runs, only one earned, and took the loss for the Sox.  Pedro Strop threw two scoreless innings and struck out three to pick up the win out of the bullpen for the Birds, who have won three-of-four after a three-game skid.  A.J. Pierzynski went 3-for-3 with a solo homer for Chicago, which has dropped back-to-back games on the heels of a four-game winning streak.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 6, Houston Astros 3
New York Mets 6, Atlanta Braves 1
San Diego Padres 7, Colorado Rockies 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Philadelphia Phillies 5, San Francisco Giants 2

MLB AL
------
Tampa Bay Rays 1, Boston Red Sox 0
Minnesota Twins 7, New York Yankees 3
Detroit Tigers 3, Kansas City Royals 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 6, Oakland Athletics 0

>>Cards Welcome Reds To Busch

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals host the Cincinnati Reds at Busch Stadium tonight.  St. Louis sends Kyle Lohse to the bump opposite Johnny Cueto in the opener of the three-game set.  The Cards won two-of-three against the Cubs over the weekend to move to 7-and-3 on the season.

>>Northsiders In Miami

(Miami, FL)  --  The Chicago Cubs open up a three-game series against the Marlins this evening in Miami.  Ryan Dempster will go up against Josh Johnson in the opener.  The Northsiders dropped two-of-three at St. Louis over the weekend to fall to 3-and-7 on the season.

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Tuscola Drops Maroons

The Tuscola Warriors dropped the Clinton Maroons 9-5 in an Okaw Valley Conference matchup. The Maroons led 5-0 after three frames but nine unanswered runs by the Warriors did in Maroons. Marshall Sprague took the loss on the mound for the Maroons, who came in in relief of starting pitcher Kyle Birk. Birk went 3 2/3 innings giving up five runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout. Birk finished the ball game giving up three earned runs on six hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Birk was 2 for 3 at the plate with a pair of RBIs and Josh Merrick added an RBI double for the Maroons.


Clinton is 9-8 on the season and 1-2 in conference action. Tuscola improves to 12-8 overall and 1-2 in confence play.

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Lincoln Man Pleads Guilty To Criminal Sexual Abuse

A Lincoln man has pleaded guilty to aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse.

Douglas Benz of Lincoln has been sentenced to six years in prison for the class II felony Tuesday. Charges of a class I felony of Criminal Sexual Assault and a class II felony of Aggravated Criminal Sexual Abuse have been dismissed.

Benz will serve two years of mandatory supervised release and will be fined $50-thousand dollars.

"Given the nature of the victim's desire to avoid a trial, we believe this is an appropriate resolution," First Assistant State's Attorney in Logan County, Jonathon Wright said in a statement released Tuesday.

Benz will begin serving the sentence immediately.

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Local Lawmaker Pleased With Start of Budgeting Process In Springfield

A majority of Illinoisans may think the budget process in Springfield is going to be the same song and dance in 2012, but one local lawmaker is optimistic this year is going to be different.

Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose feels things are being done correctly to this point this year. He says the budget this year is a bi-partisan effort that is being taken seriously on both sides of the isle.

[audio:statebudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose says the bi-partisan effort in the Illinois House starts with paying back their overdue bills. Rose explains they have set aside $1.3-billion to pay back those bills, which is going to lead to cuts in some areas.

[audio:statebudget2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Rose, some areas of the budget are going to be cut more than others. However, pensions and Medicaid make up over half the Illinois budget and Rose says committees are looking into cutting down those areas, but cuts are going to be inevitable to other areas.

[audio:statebudget3.mp3] [/audio]

The Medicaid committee is hoping to cut $2.7-billion. Rep. Rose is encouraged the framework has been laid to make headway and on the backlog of bills.

Rose also believes this framework could lead to the tax increase expiration date being the end of the tax increase implemented over a year ago.

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Citizens Look For Kinzinger Challenger

It's not looking like the Democratic Party will find a candidate to run against Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger in the new 16th Congressional District.  So a group of concerned citizens, along with Democratic Party precinct committeeman Dan Kenney, says they're looking for a qualified "Independent" candidate.   

[audio:rddKenney1.mp3] [/audio]

Kenney says they're looking for someone who can relate on a variety of levels.

[audio:rddKenney2.mp3] [/audio]

The group will meet in DeKalb this weekend.  The Citizen's Convention will be held at the Unitarian Church on Fourth Street starting at 2:00 Saturday afternoon.  Kenney says the people putting the convention together don't feel Kinzinger is able to represent the interests of a majority of people in the 16th Congressional District.  He says those without jobs, those facing home foreclosures, and those with trouble getting health insurance want someone else.  There will be a full vetting process for whoever they choose to run against Kinzinger.

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Electric Vehicles Reduce Costs At Pump

 Illinoisans are turning to electric vehicles to save cash and reduce expenses at the pump.  General Motors Manager of Advanced Technology Kristin Zimmerman says Zimmerman says owning a vehicle like the Chevy Volt is giving people freedom and helping them reign in vehicle operation costs.  

[audio:rddKZim1.mp3] [/audio]

Zimmerman adds on top of saving money, Chevy Volt driver say they’re having fun.

[audio:rddKZim2.mp3] [/audio]

Zimmerman says there are many other benefits to driving the Chevy Volt, including the fact that drivers will only need to get oil changes every three years as opposed to every three to five thousand miles.  And when it comes to gas savings, drivers who stay under about 38 miles a day can travel strictly on battery but it also takes gas and gets about 380 miles to the tank.  The Volt gets about 65 miles to the gallon equivalent to a regular gasoline vehicle.  Illinois drivers who purchase an electric vehicle can get about 11-hundred dollars in tax breaks.

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Illinois Gains Jobs Thanks To Wisconsin Governor

Illinois' economy is gaining momentum thanks to policy decisions by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.  That's according to Anne Sayers with the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, who says Walker has been called the worst governor in Wisconsin's history.

[audio:rddASay1.mp3] [/audio]

Sayers claims Illinois has also gained jobs in wind energy because Walker, quote, "complicated the rules around wind sightings."  Sayers says that discouraged wind businesses from wanting to build farms in the state, which drove jobs across the border.  To make her point, Sayer points out that Illinois has 614 megawatts of wind energy coming online while Wisconsin only has five.  Walker will be in Illinois tomorrow, addressing members of the Illinois chamber of Commerce.  ICC Executive Director Doug Whitley says Walker has a great record when it comes to restructuring a budget and a pension system.

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Judge Zagel To Speak At EIU

The judge who presided over the trials of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich will speak on the Eastern Illinois University campus in Charleston on Thursday.

U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel will talk about "The Breach of Public Trust" at the Doudna Fine Arts Center. A question & answer session will follow the free talk.

Zagel sentenced Blagojevich earlier this year to 14 years in a federal prison.

The judge is also a former Cook County prosecutor. He's also written a number of legal books and has published a novel, "Money to Burn."

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Best Buy Announces Locations For Store Closings

Best Buy has announced the locations of 50 stores that it is closing this year. The list includes seven stores in California, six in Illinois and six in the company's home state of Minnesota.

The struggling electronics chain said last month that it would close the stores, cut 400 corporate jobs and trim $800 million in costs.

The company has already closed two stores this year, one in Missouri and one in Arizona. Most of the rest will close May 12, others this summer. Best Buy says it will try to find other jobs in the company for the workers.

On Tuesday, Best Buy said CEO Brian Dunn had resigned after the board of directors began investigating his "personal conduct."

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Former Bears Receiver Arrested On Battery Charge

Former Chicago Bears player David Terrell is being held on $10,000 bond for a domestic battery charge.

Court documents allege he grabbed his ex-girlfriend during an argument inside his high-rise Chicago apartment and threatened to throw her off a balcony. The 33-year-old was charged with misdemeanor domestic battery and appeared in court Saturday.

Terrell's attorney declined to comment, saying his client is innocent. Terrell was arrested Friday.

Chicago police say the woman checked into a Chicago hospital after leaving Terrell's apartment and contacted police.

Terrell, who played for the University of Michigan, was drafted by the Bears in 2001. The wide receiver played four seasons with the Bears and one with the Denver Broncos. He finished his career with 128 receptions and 9 touchdowns.

He's due in court April 30.

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Grant Support May Be New Avenue For Corruption In Illinois

Charities seeking state grant funding in Illinois routinely turn to their state representatives for support.

But the indictment last week of a lawmaker for allegedly taking a bribe in exchange for a written endorsement leaves questions about whether it's another way for unscrupulous politicians to line their pockets.

Federal authorities accuse state Rep. Derrick Smith of accepting a $7,000 bribe after writing a recommendation letter for a state grant.

Officials say such a scheme doesn't offer much promise. Charities seeking state money usually don't have much to give.

The incident is prompting a call for more disclosure. Brian Gladstein of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says legislative correspondence should be available in a searchable online database.

Smith's attorney says the Chicago Democrat is innocent.

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Wisconsin Unit Helping Farmers In Afghanistan

A Wisconsin National Guard unit has taken over the mission of helping farmers in Afghanistan.

The 82nd Agribusiness Development Team is the Wisconsin National Guard's first such unit. It has taken over the mission of improving civilian skills crucial to agricultural success in Kunar Province.

Team commander Col. Darrel Feucht says it has been a long road in assembling the unit and training its members, but it's now ready to provide guidance to the Afghan farming community. The Wisconsin National Guard learned it would get an agribusiness development mission in 2010. The unit trained for 12 months before reporting for active duty in February and completing mobilization training at Camp Atterbury, Ind.

The mission was transferred from the Illinois National Guard in a ceremony last week.

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Arthritic Camel At Peoria Zoo Euthanized

The Peoria Zoo in central Illinois has euthanized an arthritic camel after a long period of declining health.

Karina, a 25-year-old camel with one hump, was captured from a wild population of the animals in Australia and came to the zoo in 1987.

The camel had been receiving arthritis medication since 2008 and she spent a lot of time seated or lying on her side. That created problems with pressure sores and eventually led to the decision to euthanize the animal.

The zoo has no immediate plans to acquire more camels.

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Iconic Museum Piece Is Called Into Question

The authenticity of an iconic stovepipe hat believed to have been worn by Abraham Lincoln is being called into question.

The leaders of the Springfield-based Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum cannot explain how a farmer acquired the stovepipe hat more than 150 years ago.

The news comes on the heels of a significant historical gaffe revealing that a famous portrait of Abraham Lincoln's wife that hung in the governor's mansion in Springfield for more than three decades was a fake.

No one has been able to refute the hat's authenticity with certainty. Museum officials say the hat belonged to Lincoln.

The heirloom is valued at $6.5 million.

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A Shift To More Aggressive Tactics Against Heroin

Police and prosecutors are turning to more aggressive tactics against heroin, dusting off little-used laws to seek murder charges against suspected dealers and provide for longer prison sentences.

Angry parents are joining the effort, too. They've organized anti-drug rallies and founded organizations to spread the word about heroin in affluent areas where it is usually considered a distant, unlikely threat.

Over the last several years, heroin has become cheaper than a six-pack and as easy to obtain as pot in many parts of the country.

The more assertive approach is not entirely new to the drug war, but it's being adopted more widely and in more areas that have rarely been so bold - comfortable residential communities.

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Lincoln Moving Forward With Electric Aggregation Process

The electric aggregation referendum was approved in Logan County on March 20.

Electric aggregation allows the cities and municipalities of Logan County to seek out non-local electricity providers for their residents and businesses. The measure gives residents and businesses the options of going with the provider their respective elected leaders decide to go with, should it not be the local provider, or to stay with their local provider. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains with the passing of the measure, they are now in the seeking process for those energy rates from the firm they have brought in to seek out those bids.

[audio:lincolnelectric1.mp3] [/audio]

The city is moving quickly to get a low rate locked in. Mayor Snyder says electric rates are as low as they have been in recent years, and his hope is for Lincoln residents to start seeing savings as soon as this summer.

[audio:lincolnelectric2.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Snyder says projections shows residents could save up to 10% on their electric bills each month. He says they made no guarantees, but a savings even close to that is certainly a good thing in economic times like these.

[audio:lincolnelectric3.mp3] [/audio]

Ameren will continue to provide maintenance on the power lines, the only change will be the provider of the energy coming from those lines.

Mayor Snyder notes they will have community informational meetings to give the public as much information about the process of switching providers and to answer and other questions they may have.

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DJWH Foundation Makes Donations Thanks To Successful Fundraising Year

Thanks to a successful annual Gala, the Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation was once again this year able to make several donations to departments of the hospital.

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The hospital received donations in their physical therapy department, cardiac therapy department, emergency room, and last year a donation was made to the ambulance department. The physical and cardiac rehab departments received new treadmills, and according to President of the DJWH Foundation, Dixie Walden, the new treadmills came at just the right time.

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[audio:djwhfoundation1.mp3] [/audio]

The emergency room received a Glide Scope which is going to be a very versatile device for her department. Renee Cavelink is the ER manager at the hospital, she says the Glide Scope is a "best practice device" and they are very grateful to have it in their department.

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Last year the Foundation donated an auto-pulse unit to the hospital. Retired doctor for the DJWH, Dr. John Veirs believes the auto-pulse units and the Glide Scope are two tools that greatly improve the service of the hospital and can make life saving impacts for it's patients.

[audio:djwhfoundation3.mp3] [/audio]

T width=he Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation's Annual Gala event is a fundraiser to help provide the hospital with things they need that may not be in their yearly budgets.

Walden thanks the community for their continued support of the Foundation.

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Clinton City Council Looks To Approve DJWH Budget Tonight

As the City of Clinton prepares their Fiscal Year 13 budget, the Dr. John Warner Hospital will seek to have areas in the city owned hospital to be more profitable in the coming year.

Because the hospital is owned by the city, the Clinton City Council has to approve their proposed budget. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains this year the hospital's proposed budget has a revenue over expenses is $12,189. Mayor Peters explains one area that is doing very well the DJWH is hopeful can bring in more revenue will be the physical therapy department.

[audio:djwhbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

The new home sleep study program and the swing bed programs are two areas the hospital is aiming to gain some more revenues from as well. Mayor Peters says other areas the hospital has targeted for more revenues will be the MRI imaging department.

[audio:djwhbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters says the hospital's projections for revenue generated from the hospital will be close to $390-thousand.

[audio:djwhbudget3.mp3] [/audio]

A special budget hearing will be 15 minutes prior tonight's 7 pm Clinton City Council, at which the Council will approve the Dr. John Warner Hospital's FY13 budget and also approve the city's budget.

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'Hawks, Blues Back At SCP Run

>>'Hawks Host 'Yotes In Game Three Tomorrow

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Blackhawks host the Phoenix Coyotes tomorrow evening as their best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal shifts to the United Center for Game Three.  The 'Hawks rallied to dump the 'Yotes, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday evening to even the set at one game apiece.  Chicago will also host Game Four on Thursday.

>>Blues Continue Series In San Jose

(San Jose, CA)  --  The St. Louis Blues continue their Western Conference quarterfinal series with the Sharks in San Jose tonight.  Brian Elliott will start in goal for The Note tonight in place of Jaroslav Halak.  The lower body injury that Halak suffered in Game Two is severe enough and the team says he will not dress.  The Blues won Game Two, 3-0, to tie the best-of-seven series at one game apiece.  St. Louis lost Game One 3-2 in overtime.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
Nashville Predators 3, Detroit Red Wings 2
(Predators leads best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 2-1)

Philadelphia Flyers 8, Pittsburgh Penguins 4
(Flyers lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 3-0)

Florida Panthers 4, New Jersey Devils 2
(Best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal tied, 1-1)

Los Angeles Kings 1, Vancouver Canucks 0
(Kings lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 3-0)

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Biffle Outpaces Johnson For Texas Title

Greg Biffle snapped a 49-race winless streak in the Sprint Cup Series by taking Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.  Jimmie Johnson dominated most of the race by leading 156 laps, but Biffle passed him for the top spot with 30 laps to go.  Johnson got loose and made slight contact with the wall shortly after, which ultimately put him out of contention to win, leading to a second-place finish.  Biffle captured his 17th career Sprint Cup win but his first since October 2010 at Kansas.  Mark Martin finished third, while Jeff Gordon and Matt Kenseth rounded out the top-five.

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Cards; Sox Take Respective Weekend Rivalry Series'

>>Cards Crush Cubs

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Matt Carpenter finished 4-for-4 with five RBI and a run scored to lift the Cardinals to a 10-3 victory over the Cubs in the finale of a three-game set on Sunday afternoon at Busch Stadium.  Paul Maholm lasted just four innings for the Cubs, yielding six runs on six hits to take the loss.  Reed Johnson had two hits, an RBI and two runs scored and Starlin Castro also knocked in a run for Chicago, which has now dropped each of its three series to open the season.  The Northsiders are off today.  They head to Miami to kick off a three-game series with the Marlins tomorrow evening.  Ryan Dempster will go up against Josh Johnson in the opener. The Cards start a three-game set with the Reds tomorrow night.

MLB NL
------
Miami Marlins 5, Houston Astros 4 (11 inn)
Cincinnati Reds 8, Washington Nationals 5 (11 inn)
Philadelphia Phillies 8, New York Mets 2
Atlanta Braves 7, Milwaukee Brewers 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Colorado Rockies 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, San Francisco Giants 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, San Diego Padres 4

>>Tigers Top ChiSox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Rick Porcello went seven-and-two-third strong innings as the Tigers avoided a sweep with a 5-2 win over the White Sox on Sunday afternoon in the Windy City.  Chris Sale gave up three runs on five hits over five-plus innings to take the loss for the White Sox.  A.J. Pierzynski drove in a run in the ninth for Chicago, which saw its four-game win streak come to an end.  The Southsiders open up a four-game series against the Baltimore Orioles this evening at The Cell.  Philip Humber will get the nod opposite Jake Arrieta in the opener.

MLB AL
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Toronto Blue Jays 9, Baltimore Orioles 2
Boston Red Sox 6, Tampa Bay Rays 4
Cleveland Indians 13, Kansas City Royals 7
Texas Rangers 4, Minnesota Twins 3
Seattle Mariners 5, Oakland Athletics 3
New York Yankees 11, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5

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Bulls Outlast Pistons In OT

Derrick Rose had 24 points and nine assists as the Bulls outlasted the Pistons in overtime, 100-94, on Sunday at The Palace.  Joakim Noah added 20 points and 17 rebounds for Chicago, which is three-and-a-half games ahead of the Heat for the top spot in the East.  Carlos Boozer chipped in with 15 points and nine boards in the win.  The Bulls are right back on the court this evening to host the Washington Wizards at the United Center.

NBA
------
Miami Heat 93, New York Knicks 85
Los Angeles Lakers 112, Dallas Mavericks 108 (OT)
Boston Celtics 94, Charlotte Bobcats 82
Sacramento Kings 104, Portland Trail Blazers 103
Orlando Magic 100, Cleveland Cavaliers 84
Toronto Raptors 102, Atlanta Hawks 86
New Orleans Hornets 88, Memphis Grizzlies 75
Denver Nuggets 101, Houston Rockets 86

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Lady Maroons Host Warresburg-Latham

The Clinton Lady Maroons Softball team plays host to Okaw Valley Conference foe Warrensburg-Latham this afternoon. Game time is 4:30 and you can hear all the action live on the Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Clinton Police Department Weekend Report

ON 4/14/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED WILLIAM D. RIVERA 30, CLINTON ON A WARRANT OUT OF CALIFORNIA. RIVERA WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 4/15/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED NIKOLE D. MCFARLAND 25, CLINTON FOR 2 COUNTS OF AGGRAVATED BATTERY. MCFARLAND 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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Sages Top Central A&M; At Warrensburg-Latham This Afternoon

The Monticello Sages held off a late surge by the Central A & M Raiders Friday afternoon for a 5-4 win. The Sages were led offensively by Jacob Williams three hits, including a home run, two RBIs and a stolen base.

Austin Reed had a two hit day with a double and single and added stolen base. Ryan Bundy, Ross Reeder and Alex Foran each recorded a pair of hits for the Sages.

Nick Stokowski went six solid innings striking out 11 and picking up the win(4-0). 

Reed came on in the seventh to close things out for his first save.

The Sages are now 11-3 and off to a 2-0 Okaw Valley Conference start.

The Monticello Sages travel to Warrensburg this afternoon to take on the Cardinals at 4:30.

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ISP Announce Heightened Seat Belt Patol During April

Illinois State Police (ISP) District 6 Commander, Captain William Colbrook announced that District 6 Troopers will conduct Occupant Restraint Enforcement Patrols (OREP) in McLean County during the month of April.

OREP allows the ISP to target an area with saturation patrols that focus on traffic violations and related compliance with safety belt and child safety seat laws.  Safety belt enforcement zones will also be set up to ensure the driver and passengers are buckled up.  Beginning January 1, 2012, Illinois law will require all vehicle passengers (front and back) to be buckled up! 

Safety belts are one of the most effective safety devices in vehicles today, estimated to save over 16,000 lives each year.  Over half of vehicle occupants killed in a traffic crash were not properly buckled up.  The objective of this program is to increase compliance of occupant restraint laws through education, child seat inspections, and enforcement.  Greater awareness, acceptance, and use of occupant protection equipment will save many lives.  This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety. 

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

April 14, 2012

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

April 15, 2012

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0

April 16, 2012

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 6:05 a.m. on Monday, April 16, revealed that a vehicle driven by Charleah Redman, 24, Clinton, sideswiped the guard rail after going off the road to the right. There was damage on Redman’s vehicle, but the guard rail sustained no damage.

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 14, revealed that a vehicle driven by David Howard Jr, 18, Clinton, was approaching the intersection of Business 51 south of Clinton at Illinois Route 51 when his vehicle ran the front end into the rear end of the other vehicle driven by Glenda Church, 64, Decatur. No injuries were reported and both vehicles were drivable. Howard was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle and Failure To Reduce Speed.

Himanshu Rana, 27, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Failure To Yield One Full Lane Upon Approaching Emergency Vehicle. Rana posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

John Strum, 19, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Speeding (85 mph in a 55 mph zone). Strum was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Ryan Matthews, 20, Nokomis, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Matthews posted the necessary bond and was released.

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

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Richland Community College Offering Free Home Energy Efficiency Classes For Earth Week

4-17-12    sl    6a

It's Earth Week around the country.

Richland Community College is taking this week to raise awareness centered around environmentally friendly habits. Ben Newton is the Sustainability Coordinator at Richland, he feels things we can do may seem small to us but can have a great impact on the environment. He encourages people to remember the three R's of Earth Week: reduce, reuse, and recycle.

[audio:rccearthweek1.mp3] [/audio]

RCC is offering two free classes this coming Thursday. The first class, Newton explains, they have arranged for a guest speaker to come in and discuss better ways better ways to heat and cool, insulate and measures to take to have more energy efficient homes. The class is recommended for home builders, remodelers, and general contractors. Realtors and energy consultants are also welcome to be a part of the class.

[audio:rccearthweek2.mp3] [/audio]

The second opportunity is a night class and Newton notes this is an opportunity for home owners to learn how to make their homes more energy efficient.

Newton feels there is sometimes a misconception when it comes to quote-"going green". He says you do not have to always take extreme measures, it is simple and basic things that go a long ways in helping the environment.

[audio:rccearthweek3.mp3] [/audio]

Throughout the week Richland will have activities to promote Earth Week. For a list of the activities or to learn more about their Thursday classes you can contact Ben Newton with a phone call to 217-875-7211 ext. 220 or by email at bnewton@richland.edu.

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Lady Maroons Win Against Warrensburg-Lathem

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Warrensburg-Lathem Cardinals by a score of 10-4 at Clinton High School. Hanna Long went 2-4 at the dish, driving in four baserunners. Emily Kroeger went 1-3 with an RBI triple. Bailey Walker picked up the win on the mound going seven innings, striking out six, giving up four runs and walking three Lady Cardinals. The Lady Maroons move to 7-9 on the season and 2-2 in OVC play. The Cardinals dropped to 9-10 and 0-5 in conference play. The Lady Maroons next WHOW broadcast will be on May 5th against the Tri-Valley Vikings at 4:30.

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Friday's Scoreboard

FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
------
San Francisco Giants 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Chicago Cubs 9, St. Louis Cardinals 5
Washington Nationals 2, Cincinnati Reds 1 (13 inn)
New York Mets 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Miami Marlins 5, Houston Astros 4 (11 inn)
Atlanta Braves 10, Milwaukee Brewers 8
Colorado Rockies 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 6
Los Angeles Dodgers 9, San Diego Padres 8

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Boston Red Sox 12, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Chicago White Sox 5, Detroit Tigers 2
Cleveland Indians 8, Kansas City Royals 3
Baltimore Orioles 7, Toronto Blue Jays 5
Texas Rangers 4, Minnesota Twins 1
Oakland Athletics 4, Seattle Mariners 0

NBA
------
Atlanta Hawks 109, Orlando Magic 81
Toronto Raptors 84, Boston Celtics 79
Indiana Pacers 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 83
New Jersey Nets 95, Philadelphia 76ers 89
New York Knicks 103, Washington Wizards 65
Miami Heat 105, Charlotte Bobcats 82
Milwaukee Bucks 113, Detroit Pistons 97
Phoenix Suns 112, Houston Rockets 105
Oklahoma City Thunder 115, Sacramento Kings 89
New Orleans Hornets 96, Utah Jazz 85
Los Angeles Lakers 103, Denver Nuggets 97
Dallas Mavericks 97, Portland Trail Blazers 94

NHL
------
New Jersey Devils 3, Florida Panthers 2
(Devils lead best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal, 1-0)

Philadelphia Flyers 8 Pittsburgh Penguins 5
(Flyers lead best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal, 2-0)

Detroit Red Wings 3, Nashville Predators 2
(Best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal tied, 1-1)

Los Angeles Kings 4, Vancouver Canucks 2
(Kings lead best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal, 2-0)

 


 

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White Sox Defeat Tigers on Friday

Jake Peavy pitched effectively into the seventh inning and Dayan Viciedo homered and

made a key catch Friday as the Chicago White Sox defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in their

home opener.

Peavy (1-0) took a one-hitter and a 3-0 lead into the seventh. He walked Miguel Cabrera and

Delmon Young's two-out, two-run homer finished him.

Alex Avila singled off reliever Will Ohman and Jhonny Peralta followed with a double against

Addison Reed before Viciedo made a diving catch of Andy Dirks' sinking liner to left field to

end the inning.

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Cubs Spoil Cards Home Opener

Ian Stewart hit a three-run homer in the first inning, Bryan LaHair later connected for a

grand slam and the Chicago Cubs hammered Adam Wainwright, spoiling the St. Louis Cardinals'

home opener with a 9-5 victory on Friday.

Starlin Castro had three hits and a walk for the Cubs. Chicago has scored 17 runs the last two

games after totaling 19 runs in the first six.

Wainwright's first start at home since Sept. 19, 2010, was a total mess from the get-go and

tied his worst ever from a statistical standpoint - eight earned runs in just three innings.

His outing unraveled just moments after pregame pomp and circumstance that featured

91-year-old Hall of Famer Stan Musial waving from a golf cart to fans who gave him a

standing ovation.

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Underage Drinking Can Lead To Dependency

Underage drinking is a serious problem in the U.S. It can be a threat to a teen’s health and development.

Although the legal drinking age in most states is age 21, many young people start drinking several years before, according to the U.S. surgeon general. The consequences of underage drinking can be serious says Ron Kanwischer, assistant professor of psychiatry and substance abuse counselor at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He explains when many teens begin drinking.

[audio:siubooze1.mp3] [/audio]

Kanwischer says earlier drinking can cause alcohol problems later in life. Of those adults who started drinking before age 15, about 40 percent have signs of alcohol dependency. He explains the negative effects that can be caused by drinking and drug use in the last stages of a young person’s growth and development.

[audio:siubooze.mp3] [/audio]

Kanswischer encourages families to have open conversations about drinking and the medical and legal consequences of it. If someone has a drinking problem and is dependent on alcohol, they should talk to their family physician or a substance abuse counselor.

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Grain Warehouse Hands Over License

A St. Clair County grain warehouse surrendered its operating licenses to the Illinois Department of Agriculture today.  Handy Feed Handyscape, Incorporated has been closed since April 2nd, when department staff discovered assets were insufficient to meet the requirements of the Illinois Grain Code.  Ag staff took control of the firm to protect the interests of its farmer customers.  The surrendering of the licenses will enable the department to liquidate those assets and pay valid grain claims.  A meeting has been scheduled so Department of Agriculture staff can explain in greater detail.  Anyone who has grain in storage at the facility or has not been paid for grain sold to the company is encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Millstadt Knights of Columbus Club.

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Study Finds Beer Makes Men Smarter, Sort Of

A new study confirms what many men have always wanted to believe.  Beer makes men smarter, sort of.  Researchers at the University of Illinois found that men who drank a couple of beers were better at solving brain teasers than men who were sober.  The 40 men in the study were given three words and told to name a fourth to complete a pattern.  For example, "cheese" would complete a pattern with the words "blue," "cottage," and "Swiss."  The 20 men who drank two pints of beer before taking the test solved 40-percent more of the problems three-and-a-half seconds faster than the 20 who were sober.  However, the beer-drinkers who were better at creative problem-solving were worse at working memory tasks.  A report on the study is available on the Federation of Associations in Behavioral and Brain Sciences website.

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Senator Blumenthal Blasts Soaring Gas Prices

Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal is calling for the federal government to take immediate steps to reduce the soaring cost of gasoline.  Visiting a gas station in Manchester, Connecticut Thursday, Blumenthal says the rising prices of gasoline threatens retailers, economic recovery and consumer quality of life.  Blumenthal is calling for a ban of exports of oil drilled on federal land, a crackdown on oil speculation, and an end of subsidies to big oil.  Michael Fox with the Gasoline and Automotive Service Dealers of America projects that gas will soar well over five-dollars a gallon this summer.

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Students Get Lesson In Egg Preparation

Students at Springfield High School became chefs for the day, experimenting with recipes using the incredible, edible egg.  Senior Dalton Konneker enjoys cooking with eggs and says he's created several recipes of his own including a lemon, mushroom omelet.

         [audio:rddEgg1.mp3][/audio]

Konneker says the creation was a big hit among his classmates.  Officials with the state's Department of Agriculture were on hand urging students to be creative.  Karen Fraase [[Fray-zee]] says that's just what they did, considering they made dishes ranging from egg and veggie pizzas to Doritos and cheese omelets.  The educational workshop is partly funded by egg producers across the state and even some across the nation.

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Grain Warehouse Hands Over Licenses

A St. Clair County grain warehouse surrendered its operating licenses to the Illinois Department of Agriculture today.  Handy Feed Handyscape, Incorporated has been closed since April 2nd, when department staff discovered assets were insufficient to meet the requirements of the Illinois Grain Code.  Ag staff took control of the firm to protect the interests of its farmer customers.  The surrendering of the licenses will enable the department to liquidate those assets and pay valid grain claims.  A meeting has been scheduled so Department of Agriculture staff can explain in greater detail.  Anyone who has grain in storage at the facility or has not been paid for grain sold to the company is encouraged to attend the meeting, which will be next Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Millstadt Knights of Columbus Club.

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Bloomington College Student Died Of Hypothermia

An Illinois Wesleyan University student's death at an off-campus fraternity event was caused by hypothermia.  A new report from a forensic pathologist shows hypothermia killed Illinois Wesleyan freshman Brandon Landau, but Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia says "acute alcohol intoxication" was a contributing factor.  Landau was a member of the Sigma Pi fraternity.  He was last seen alive at a Sigma Pi event nearby and had a blood-alcohol level above point-085, Fiduccia said.  He was found unresponsive March 4th in a creek at White Pines State Park in Mount Morris.  That's about 130 miles north of the IWU campus.  The fraternity has been suspended for three years for "serious violations" of the IWU student code of conduct.  Meanwhile, a special IWU task force is studying policy changes for off-campus events.

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Gaming Negotiations At Standstill

One state representative says he doesn't understand how Governor Quinn supports online lottery sales but refuses to allow slots at racetracks.  Representative Lou Lang says the concept doesn't make much sense.

[audio:rddLangGame1.mp3] [/audio]

Lang is behind the push to increase gaming in the state.  Quinn threatens to veto any bill that has too much gaming, claiming he doesn't want Illinois to become the Las Vegas of the Midwest.  Lang says slots at racetracks would benefit the state's agribusiness industry, which is in danger of taking a hard hit unless a compromise is reached.  Lang says so far there hasn't been much progress.

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Bloomington Company Closing Call Center In Peoria

A Bloomington-based company plans to close a call center in Peoria and cut about 300 jobs.

Afni Inc. said in a news release Thursday that it will shut down its Peoria call center as early as June 12.

Afni spokeswoman Lori Boyce said the company is closing the center because of a drop in call volume.

The company said it's trying to help employees find jobs with other local businesses.

Afni is a private company with more than 5,000 employees in six states. The Peoria call center opened in 1998.

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Stalled Gaming Negotiations Threaten Agribusiness

State Representative Lou Lang says stalled gaming negotiations are threatening the state's agribusiness industry.  He says up to 40-thousnad jobs could be on the line if Governor Quinn continues to refuse slots at racetracks.  

[audio:rddSlots1.mp3] [/audio]

Negotiations on gaming expansion are stalled between lawmakers and the governor.  Quinn has vowed to veto too much gaming expansion in Illinois, claiming he doesn't want the state to become the Las Vegas of the Midwest.   Lang says he can't make sense out of how Governor Quinn supports online lottery sales but won't support slots at racetracks.

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Planting Season Underway

The 2012 planting season is underway and Western Illinois farmer Todd Line says things are looking pretty good.  

[audio:rddPlant1.mp3] [/audio]

There has been some light frost in the area, thanks to recent cold temperatures, but Line says it won't hurt his crop.  That's because it hasn't emerged yet.

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Bass Fishing Tournament Draws Over 200 Schools

A growing number of Illinois high schools are participating in an annual bass fishing tournament.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources announced Thursday that 231 schools will take part in the sectional competition April 20. The top three teams from each sectional will advance to the finals May 4 and 5 at Carlyle Lake.

Illinois is the only state that conducts a statewide high school bass fishing tournament. Other states are planning tournaments.

Department of Natural Resources Fisheries Biologist Dan Stephenson says it costs very little for school districts to participate. He says it may be necessary to create a regional level of competition in the future to accommodate the growth in interest.

The tournament is supported by sponsors, including Country Financial, Plano and the Forrest Lee Wood Company.

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Turkey Season Opens This Weekend

The first season of Turkey hunting kicks off this weekend.

A number of hunters will head out starting tomorrow morning around the area. DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus reminds hunters they do need to get permits to hunt turkeys. CPOs do see a good number of turkey hunters where they are allowed to hunt between DeWitt and Piatt Counties.

[audio:turkeyshroomhunting1.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus reminds mushroom hunters to steer clear of State Parks that allow mushroom and turkey hunting until 1 pm in the afternoon. He says the two hunting groups have had confrontations in the past because of mushroom hunters interfering with a hunters turkey hunting. He feels this is the best remedy to keep tempers from flaring.

[audio:turkeyshroomhunting2.mp3] [/audio]

Hunters are encouraged to park in the marked parking lots of the parks they are hunting in. Wichus says there may be regulations for cities or county roads you may not be aware of you could get citations for. He notes hunting hours and some regulations will be posted on signs in those parking lots as well.

[audio:turkeyshroomhunting3.mp3] [/audio]

Again turkey hunting season gets underway this weekend and runs until the middle of May.

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Blues; Hawks Lose In Game 1

>>Sharks Nip 'Note In Double OT

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Martin Havlat's tally three-and-a-half minutes into the second overtime period propelled the Sharks to a 3-2 win over the Blues in Game One of their Western Conference playoff contest.  Havlat also found the back of the net in the second frame, while Andrew Desjardins split the pipes in the third for San Jose.  Antti Niemi [[ ANN-tee nee-EM-ee ]] kicked aside 40 of the 42 shots he faced as the Sharks took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven set.  Patrik Berglund scored twice in the third period for St. Louis.  Jaroslav Halak allowed all three goals on 34 shots for the Blues, who host Game Two on Saturday at the Scottrade Center.

>>'Yotes Bury Blackhawks In OT

(Glendale, AZ)  --  Martin Hanzal lit the lamp 9:29 into the overtime period to lift the Coyotes in a 3-2 win over the Blackhawks in Game One of their Western Conference playoff tilt.  Taylor Pyatt and Antoine Vermette both split the pipes in the second for Phoenix, which takes a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series heading into Saturday's Game Two at Jobing.com Arena.  Mike Smith denied 43 of the 45 shots he faced in the win.  Jonathan Toews [[ TAYVS ]] found the back of the net in the opening marker and assisted on Brent Seabrook's tally with 14.2 seconds left in the third period to force extra playing time for Chicago.  Corey Crawford allowed all three scores on 34 shots for the Blackhawks in a losing effort.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
New York Rangers 4, Ottawa Senators 2
(Rangers lead best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal, 1-0)

Boston Bruins 1, Washington Capitals 0 (OT)
(Bruins lead best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarterfinal, 1-0)

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NASCAR At Texas Motor Speedway This Weekend

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series is at the Texas Motor Speedway this weekend for Saturday night's Samsung Mobile 500.  NASCAR goes back under the lights for the first time since an exciting Monday night Daytona 500 in February.  The Sprint Cup Series was off last weekend.  Ryan Newman won two weeks ago at Martinsville.  Greg Biffle leads the points standings by six points over Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Defending champion Tony Stewart is 12 points back of Biffle alongside Matt Kenseth, Kevin Harvick and Martin Truex Jr.

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White Sox Play Home-Opener This Afternoon

The Chicago White Sox play their home-opener this afternoon.  The ChiSox host the Detroit Tigers in the opener of a three-game series at The Cell.  Jake Peavy will get the nod opposite Max Scherzer.  The Southsiders are coming off a rain-shortened two-game series sweep over the Cleveland Indians.

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Cardinals Hang Championship Banner Today; Missing Berkman

>>Cardinals Home Opener Today

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals will raise their World Series banner today as they play their home opener against the Chicago Cubs.  Adam Wainwright will start for St. Louis, while Chicago counters with Jeff Samardzija.  The Cardinals will get their World Series rings tomorrow.

>>Berkman Expected To Miss Cubs Series

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals will have to get by without Lance Berkman this weekend.  The first baseman is expected to miss all three games against the Cubs with a Grade 1 strain in his left calf.  He was injured running out a triple Tuesday against the Reds.  Berkman is not expected to go on the DL.

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Cubs, Garza Dominate Brewers

Matt Garza came within one out of a complete game shutout as the Cubs clobbered the Brewers, 8-0, yesterday at Wrigley Field.  Garza struck out nine while allowing just three hits and two walks over eight and two thirds innings for the win.  Shawn Camp came on after a Garza throwing error to record the final out.  Alfonso Soriano's two-run single highlighted a six-run third inning for Chicago.  Starlin Castro had a pair of run-scoring singles in the win.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 3, Cincinnati Reds 2 (10 inn)
San Francisco Giants 4, Colorado Rockies 2
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Miami Marlins 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 3, San Diego Padres 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 7, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Minnesota Twins 10, LA Angels of Anaheim 9
Texas Rangers 5, Seattle Mariners 3

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Heat's Wade Takes Back Wednesday Comment; Says Money Not Olympic Motivator

Heat guard Dwyane Wade says money is not his motivation for the London Games this summer.

In a statement Thursday, Wade said, "I do not want to be paid to go to the Olympics."

Wade was quoted Wednesday saying he thinks "guys should be compensated" for playing over the summer and noted the schedule demands of being an Olympian. He said he was responding to a question about Olympians being paid, and never said he needed to be paid to play.

Wade later tweeted that pride for his country "motivates me more than any $$$ amount."

Wade played for the U.S. at Athens in 2004 and Beijing in 2008, and has said the London Games would be his last.

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Bulls Outlast Heat In OT

Carlos Boozer collected 19 points and 11 rebounds as the Bulls outlasted the Heat in overtime, 96-86.  Kyle Korver hit five three-pointers as part of a 17-point night for Chicago, who have won two straight to move four games ahead of Miami for the top spot in the East.  Derrick Rose struggled in his return from a one-game absence, scoring only two points on 1-of-13 shooting.  LeBron James finished with 30 points, six rebounds and five assists for Miami.  Dwyane Wade added 21 points for the Heat, who have dropped two straight and three-of-four.

NBA
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Detroit Pistons 109, Charlotte Bobcats 85
Los Angeles Clippers 95, Minnesota Timberwolves 82
San Antonio Spurs 107, Memphis Grizzlies 97
Dallas Mavericks 112, Golden State Warriors 103

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#1 Jr Prospect Parker Receives Gatorade POTY

Jabari Parker of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy is the Gatorade Boys Basketball Player of the Year.

Parker received the award Thursday during a surprise visit from Alonzo Mourning, a past winner.

The former Miami Heat star showed up during Spanish class as Parker was presenting a project about the festive season Carnival. There was also a formal presentation in the auditorium.

The latest phenom from the school that produced Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose, Parker averaged 20.4 points and 9.2 rebounds while leading Simeon to its third straight state championship as a junior. He plans to narrow his list to five college finalists this spring, and he isn't ruling out staying close to home and going to Illinois.

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Sages Host Central A & M

The Monticello Sages are home this afternoon as they take on conference rival, Central A & M. The Sages are coming off a 12-6 victory Tuesday afternoon over Meridian, in which they struck out all 21 outs they recorded. The Sages are 8-3 on the season.

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Maroons At Home Today

The Clinton Maroons will play host to the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans this afternoon at Clinton High School. The Maroons are coming off their Okaw Valley Conference opener, winning 20-10 over Central A & M. The Maroons are 9-6 overall.

Game time this afternoon is 4:30 and you can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

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DeWitt County's Sheriff's Report for 4-13

April 13, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Cesar Mata, 19, Champaign, was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Driving While License Suspended. Mata posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Local Leaders Call County Board's Special Meeting 'Positive'

At the DeWitt County Board's special work session to focus on the future of ambulance service in DeWitt County, several DeWitt County emergency officials felt the meeting was productive.

DeWitt County's 9-1-1 Coordinator, Tony Harris feels the Board's decision to establish a separate board for the ambulance service was a good thing. Harris would like to see the board consist of people familiar with EMS operations.

[audio:meetingreaction2.mp3] [/audio]

Harris would like to see County officials represented on the board. Positions such as the Sheriff or Police Chief, a representative from Cencom, and other emergency services within the county. It was suggested to have a member of the public be a part of the board, which Harris feels is a good thing.

[audio:meetingreaction3.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton felt the discussion the County Board had Thursday was good discussion and he agrees with Harris, having a board put together with people familiar with EMS and how things operate.

[audio:meetingreaction4.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton says he doesn't favor one idea over another, but he partial to the Fire Department running things because they are the biggest EMS entity in the nation.

[audio:meetingreaction5.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley felt very good about the meeting Thursday. She said her goals were to get the thoughts of the Board and the thoughts of the public.

[audio:meetingreaction1.mp3] [/audio]

The County Board will meet next Thursday to discuss and take possible action on what kind of board they would like to form and who that board will consist of.

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Nuclear Regulatory Commission Hearing in Clinton Scheduled for April 19

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff will meet with representatives of Exelon Generation Company on Thursday, April 19, to discuss the agency’s assessment of safety performance for the last year at the Clinton nuclear power plant. The two-unit plant is located near Clinton.


The meeting, which will be open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 6:00 p.m. CDT at the Clinton Elks Lodge, 1520 E. South St., in Clinton. The NRC staff will present the results of the assessment, talk about the NRC, and its range of activities, and be available to respond to questions or comments from the public before the close of the meeting.

“The NRC continually reviews the performance of the Clinton plant and the nation’s other nuclear power facilities,” said Acting Regional Administrator for NRC Region III Cynthia Pederson. “During this meeting, we will discuss the plant’s performance during last year and the NRC’s actions to make sure the plant continues to operate safely. Those actions included additional inspections in response to the events at the Fukushima Daiichi facilities to evaluate the safety of US nuclear plants. The reviews showed that Clinton and other US plants continue to operate safely. ”

A letter sent from the NRC Region III Office to plant officials addresses the plant’s annual performance and will serve as the basis for the meeting discussion. It is available on the NRC website at http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/LETTERS/clin_2011q4.pdf.

Overall, the NRC found that the Clinton plant operated safely in 2011. All performance indicators and inspection findings were determined to be “green.” The NRC uses color-coded inspection findings and performance indicators to assess nuclear plant performance. The colors start with “green” and then increase to “white,” “yellow” or “red,” commensurate with the safety significance of the issues involved.

Clinton will continue to receive the detailed inspection regime required for plants that are operating well and require no additional oversight. Inspections are performed by two NRC Resident Inspectors assigned to the plant and by inspection specialists from the Region III Office
in Lisle, Ill., and the agency’s headquarters in Rockville, Md. Among the areas of plant operations being inspected are radiation protection, emergency preparedness, buried piping, and problem identification and resolution.

The most current performance information for Clinton is available on the NRC website at: http://www.nrc.gov/NRR/OVERSIGHT/ASSESS/CLIN/clin_chart.html.
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Maroa Trojans Win Big Against Clinton Maroons

4-13-12

As heard on WEZC, the Maroa Trojans defeated the Clinton Maroons by a score of 18-6. Greg Osgood went 1-3 with a 3 run single. Josh Ratts had a 2 run single in the 6th and had 5 rbi's. The Maroa Trojans move to 7-6. The Clinton Maroons move to 9-7. The Maroons next WEZC broadcast is Monday April 16th, the girls softball team will take on the Warrensburg Lathams at home at 4:30 p.m.

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Indicted Lawmaker Plans To Return To Springfield

The lawyer for indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith says the Chicago Democrat plans to return to work in Springfield despite numerous calls from him to step down.

Victor Henderson said Wednesday Smith "takes his responsibility as a state representative very seriously" and that Smith told him he'll return to the General Assembly shortly.

A federal grand jury indicted Smith Tuesday for allegedly taking a $7,000 bribe in exchange for endorsing a daycare's state grant application. The incident was part of a sting, and Smith faces 10 years in prison if convicted.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald declined comment.

Politicians including Gov. Pat Quinn have asked Smith to resign. A Chicago alderman said this week Smith should quit or go to work.

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Wind Proving To Be Good Investment

Wind energy is proving to be a good investment in Illinois.  It helped save Illinoisan's about 100-million dollars last year.  Kevin Borgia [[bor-jha]], with Wind on the Wires, says that's because wind energy has no fuel costs so generators can bid very low prices for electricity.  

[audio:rddWind1.mp3] [/audio]

Recent studies show wind energy in Illinois is saving consumers about 100-million dollars a year and creating jobs across the state.  Borgia adds the growth of renewable energy has major benefits for Illinois communities.

[audio:rddWind2.mp3] [/audio]

Borgia says coal and other energy companies don't have the luxury of bidding as low as wind generators because they have to take fuel costs into account.  There are more than 25-hundred megawatts of wind generation in Illinois but Borgia says wind growth is in danger of tapering off unless Congress extends a Wind Energy Production Tax Credit.

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Attorney General Sues Book Publishers and Apple

ILLINOIS ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN IS JOINING HER COUNTERPARTS IN SEVERAL OTHER STATES IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST THREE BOOK PUBLISHERS AND APPLE.

THE SUIT ALLEGES THAT APPLE AND THE PUBLISHERS WORKED TOGETHER TO JACK UP THE PRICE OF E-BOOKS WHEN APPLE CAME OUT WITH THE I-PAD SAYS MADIGAN SPOKESPERSON MAURA POSSLEY.

[audio:books1.mp3] [/audio]

BEFORE APPLE ENTERED THE E-BOOK MARKET…MOST BESTSELLERS SOLD FOR NINE-NINETY NINE. BUT MADIGAN SPOKESPERSON MAURA POSSLEY SAYS WHEN APPLE CAME ON THE SCENE…PRICES INCREASED BY AS MUCH AS FIVE BUCKS A BOOK.

[audio:books2.mp3] [/audio]

THE PUBLISHERS NAMED IN THE SUIT ARE THE PENGUIN GROUP…MACMILLAN…AND SIMON AND SCHUSTER. MADIGAN IS SEEKING TO RECOVER MONEY FOR ILLINOIS CONSUMERS WHO WERE OVERCHARGED IN THE ALLEGED SCHEME.

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Car Crashes Into Side of Abraham Lincoln Museum In Springfield

A car crashed into the side of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.

The crash happened about 8:30 a.m. on Wednesday. The vehicle apparently left the road and crashed into the side of the building. Damage was limited to an Egyptian limestone panel on the building's southeast corner.

Museum spokesman Dave Blanchette says an exhibit about Lincoln's years as president is on the other side of the damaged wall. Blanchette says operations are continuing as normal at the museum.

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Autopsy Shows Multiple Gunshots Killed Decatur Couple

An autopsy report shows a Decatur husband and wife both died from multiple gunshot wounds.

34-year-old Freedom Cunningham and 26-year-old Central Cunningham suffered numerous injuries. Macon County Coroner Michael Day says the murders were "very brutal, very tragic." The coroner says the autopsy took longer than usual because of the "complexity and severity" of the Cunninghams' injuries.

The Cunningham were killed Saturday. The coroner found Freedom Cunningham was shot in the head, back, chest, left arm, left thigh and both lower legs. Central Cunningham was shot in the chest, abdomen and both arms.

Decatur police detectives are investigating and asking the public for information about the murders.

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Livestock Producers Opportunity Can Take Advantage of E-QUIP Program

When most farmers think of the NRCS' E-QUIP, or Environmental Quality Incentives Program, they think of programs aimed at row crop producers.  However, livestock producers can also benefit from E-QUIP.  Jared White has more....

[audio:4912EQUIPForLivestockWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Heyworth Schools Anticipating Reduction In Funding

Heyworth Schools are anticipating more reductions in the districts budget.

The past three years, General State Aid funding to school districts around the state of Illinois have been gradually decreasing, forcing schools to make cuts or dip into reserve funds. Heyworth Schools Superintendent Randy Merker is speculates that trend should continue on into this year.

[audio:heyworthbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Merker explains Heyworth schools have seen an 11% decrease in their general revenue buget in the past three years. He says that amounts to $360-thousand, which is a significant reduction in revenue and leave the district in a tough spot.

[audio:heyworthbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

In an $8-million budget, a loss of $360-thousand dollars may not sound like much, but Merker explains because some funds can only be used on certain things, taking away that revenue from a fund that in essence pays the bills is quite significant.

[audio:heyworthbudget3.mp3] [/audio]

Merker is hopeful better days are ahead for the schools of central Illinois. Lawmakers once again this year are working to put over $2-billion dollars of the Illinois budget to pay back a back-log of bills and pass a balanced budget.

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Indy 500 Winner Unser Jr. Pleads Guilty To DUI

Retired American race car driver and two-time Indianapolis 500 winner Al Unser Jr. has pleaded guilty to driving while intoxicated and racing on a New Mexico freeway.  Unser pleaded guilty on Wednesday, just a day before he was set to go to trial for aggravated DWI, drag racing and reckless driving.  He was arrested in September.

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Blues, 'Hawks Begin Playoff Runs Tonight

>>Blues Open Stanley Cup Quest

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Central Division Champion Blues will open up their Stanley Cup quest tonight in game one against the Sharks.  The second seeded Blues finished the 2012 campaign at 49-22-and-11 after failing to qualify for postseason play last year.  Coach Ken Hitchcock will go with Jaroslav Halak between the pipes for game one.  Halak will start in place of Brian Elliott, who continues to suffer from an upper body injury that occurred against Detroit last week.  San Jose closed out the season winning their final four games to finish up at 43-29-and-10.  Game Two of the seven game series is slated for Saturday.

>>'Hawks On The Ice

(Glendale, AZ)  --  The Chicago Blackhawks' playoff run begins this evening.  The 'Hawks square off against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game One of the Western Conference playoffs at Jobing.com Arena.  Sixth-seeded Chicago and the third-seeded 'Yotes will also play Game Two in Glendale on Saturday.  The Blackhawks ended the regular season with a 3-2 shootout win over Detroit last weekend.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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Philadelphia Flyers 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 3 (OT)
(Game One of Eastern Conference quarterfinal)

Nashville Predators 3, Detroit Red Wings 2
(Game One of Western Conference quarterfinal)

Los Angeles Kings 4, Vancouver Canucks 2
(Game One of Western Conference quarterfinal)

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Bulls Wrap Up Homestand

The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they wrap up a brief two-game homestand against the Miami Heat at the United Center.  The Bulls beat the New York Knicks, 98-86, on Tuesday evening to improve to 44-and-14 on the season.  Chicago wraps up this week's play on Sunday at Detroit.

NBA
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Indiana Pacers 104, Cleveland Cavaliers 98 (OT)
Philadelphia 76ers 93, Toronto Raptors 75
Boston Celtics 88, Atlanta Hawks 86 (OT)
Los Angeles Clippers 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 98
New York Knicks 111, Milwaukee Bucks 107
Memphis Grizzlies 104, Phoenix Suns 93
New Orleans Hornets 105, Sacramento Kings 96
Utah Jazz 103, Houston Rockets 91
Los Angeles Lakers 98, San Antonio Spurs 84
Denver Nuggets 113, Minnesota Timberwolves 107
Portland Trail Blazers 118, Golden State Warriors 110

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Bears Extend Briggs Through 2014 Season

The Chicago Bears have given Lance Briggs a one-year contract extension that locks up the veteran linebacker through 2014.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but going into last season, Briggs approached the team seeking a raise over the $3.65-million and $3.75-million in base salaries he was set to receive in 2011 and 2012, and asked for a trade if the Bears couldn't accommodate the request.  The 31-year-old University of Arizona product has been named to seven straight Pro Bowls and led the Bears in tackles for the fourth time in his career last season.

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Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Lose Late

>>White Sox Topple Tribe

(Cleveland, OH)  --  A.J. Pierzynski highlighted a five-run sixth inning with a three-run homer as the White Sox outslugged the Indians, 10-6.  Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run shot in a four-run first for Chicago, which won both games of the snow-shortened series.  John Danks pitched into the sixth inning to get the win.  Justin Masterson allowed five runs in five frames to take the loss for the Tribe.  Travis Hafner and Shelley Duncan combined for five hits, two home runs and five RBI in defeat.

>>Crew Clip Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  George Kottaras clubbed a go-ahead, two-run homer in the seventh inning to lead the Brewers to a 2-1 win over the Cubs.  Yovani Gallardo [[ guy-ARE-doh ]] tossed seven innings of one-run ball for the win.  John Axford closed it out for his second save.  The Brewers have won three straight against the Northsiders and will go for a series sweep on Thursday.  Starlin Castro's sac-fly in the first inning accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Ryan Dempster gave up both runs through six-and-two-thirds frames to absorb the loss.  The Cubs fell to 1-and-5 on the season.

>>Reds Clip Cards In Ninth

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Chris Heisey's pinch-hit, RBI single scored the winning run in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Reds rallied for a 4-3 win over the Cardinals.  Jay Bruce and Wilson Valdez drove in runs in the fifth to tie the game for Cincinnati, which overcame a 3-0 deficit.  Joey Votto went 4-for-5 with an RBI double as the Reds evened their record at 3-and-3.  Aroldis Chapman worked two innings of relief to get the win.  Mark Rzepczynski took the loss for St. Louis.  Rafael Furcal had an RBI triple and Jon Jay a two-run homer in a three-run third inning for the Cardinals.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 4, New York Mets 0
San Diego Padres 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Philadelphia Phillies 7, Miami Marlins 1
Atlanta Braves 6, Houston Astros 3
Colorado Rockies 17, San Francisco Giants 8
Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 1

MLB AL
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Toronto Blue Jays 3, Boston Red Sox 1
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Detroit Tigers 2
Oakland Athletics 5, Kansas City Royals 4 (12 innings)
New York Yankees 6, Baltimore Orioles 4 (10 innings)
Seattle Mariners 4, Texas Rangers 3
Minnesota Twins 6, LA Angels of Anaheim 5

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-11

 

April 11, 2012

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 12:56 p.m. on Monday, April 9, revealed that a vehicle driven by Michael Hager, 65, Clinton, was parked in the lane of traffic facing east with another vehicle. Johann Friedmansky, 70, Colfax, was also facing east. Hager did not see Friedmansky and proceeded to back into driveway. Friedmansky was stopped in lane of traffic waiting for Hager and another vehicle to clear blocked lanes when Hager hit Friedmansky’s vehicle with the passenger side rear bumper, causing major damage to Hager’s vehicle. Friedmansky’s vehicle had a minor scrape on driver side front bumper. No injuries were reported and both vehicles were driven from the scene.

 

 

 

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

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DJWH Welcomes New Nurse Practicioner

The Dr. John Warner Hospital's Rural Health Center has a new face.

Marsha Atkins will be the new Nurse Practicioner at the Rural Health Center. Business Developer at the city owned hospital, Sandy Rice, explains Atkins will be an adult nurse practicioner and will see patients 13 and older, and some may see her in the nursing homes.

[audio:djwhnurse1.mp3] [/audio]

Atkins is a native to the Farmer City area and is quite familar with central Illinois. She has taught at Parkland and the University of Illinois. Atkins is a recent ricipient of her second Masters Degree in Adult Nurse Practicioning. Rice feels she will be a great addition to the DJWH staff.

[audio:djwhnurse2.mp3] [/audio]

To set up an appointment with Atkins, you can call the Rural Health Center at 937-5284.

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County Board Discusses Ambulance Future

 width=The DeWitt County Board held a special work session Thursday evening to focus on the future of the county's ambulance services.

The focus of Thursday's discussion was on assembling a board versus a committee, who should be on said committee or board, and what their responsibilities will be. County Board member Ed Young felt for many reasons a board separate from the County Board should be assembled.
He notes once that board has been assembled, it will be their responsibility to form the ambulance service.

[audio:ambulancework1.mp3] [/audio]

Ed Young says, should a board be assembled, the County Board will have no involvement with the service other than handing them the money from the levy. He believes the County Board shouldn't have involvement with that board either. The ambulance service then falls solely on them. Young compares what the ambulance board would be to the Human Resource Center's 708 Board.

[audio:ambulancework2.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County State's Attorney Dick Koritz stresses the decision lies with the 12 members of the County Board. He says they can take input from whoever they want, but in the end the decision is theirs on how to proceed. Koritz lays out the options from a models to follow like Farmer City or Logan County or go into the business themselves, but he notes there are logistical problems with each model.

[audio:ambulancemeeting3.mp3] [/audio]

So what are some of those logistical problems? He says the major problem is there is property of the taxing district on the eastern side of Farmer City, not covered by the Farmer City Fire Protection District.

[audio:ambulancework3.mp3] [/audio]

Another obstacle the Board faces is money. The tax money the County levies will not be received until after the the December 31 deadline to have a service in place. Pete Daugherty raised the question of, whoever the provider becomes, how are they going to get money and when will they get the money?

[audio:ambulancework4.mp3] [/audio]

The board used the example of the Logan County model of a non-profit service, and Farmer City's model, to answer the financial question. Getting enough money to operate a service will fall all the way down to the provider that steps up wanting to provide an ambulance service to DeWitt County.

[audio:ambulancework5.mp3] [/audio]

The DeWitt County Board has a lot of work ahead, but all indications are by Board Chair Melonie Tilley and other DeWitt County emergency officials, real progress was made Thursday night despite no action being taken.

The County Board made the decision to come back to their regular monthly meeting next Thursday ready to act on what kind of board they would like to have formed and who they would like on that board.

The meeting is next Thursday at 7 pm.

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Quinn Calls On Smith's Resignation After Indictment

Governor Pat Quinn is again calling for state Representative Derrick Smith to resign.

[audio:chiquinnsmith1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Pat Quinn says whehter Smith should be on the November ballot.

[audio:chiquinnsmith2.mp3] [/audio]

Smith was indicted yesterday on federal bribery charges.  He's accused of accepting seven-thousand dollars from a confidential informant last month.  Smith has declared his innocence but is being pressured by the state Democratic party to resign so they can pick a replacement.

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Feds Indict Representative Derrick Smith For Bribery

State Representative Derrick Smith has been officially indicted on bribery charges.  A grand jury returned the indictment today alleging Smith accepted seven-thousand dollars from a confidential informant last month.  Smith has declared his innocence but is being pressured by the state Democratic party to resign so they can pick a replacement.  Chicago's 28th Ward Alderman Jason Ervin is the latest to call for Smith to make a move.  He says the lawmaker either needs to resign or return to work.  Smith has not been at work since his March 13th arrest.  Ervin says it's unacceptable for him to continue to draw a paycheck when he isn't doing any work to show for it. 

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Quinn: Let?s Strengthen Ties To Brazil

Governor Quinn says Illinois has a special relationship with Brazil when it comes to exports.

[audio:rddBrazil1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says he’s looking to partner with Brazil in their effort to have over 100-thousand students study in America.

[audio:rddBrazil2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says he wants to strengthen Illinois’ relationship with Brazil.  He cites the countries growing economy as one reason to keep things on good terms.  Quinn met with the President of Brazil yesterday in Washington D.C.

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Cell Phone Companies Create Theft Database

Illinoisans who lose their cell phones may not have to worry about identity theft or deal with much of an inconvenience in the near future.  That's because wireless companies are teaming up to create a database designed to prevent theft and crackdown on the reactivation of lost or stolen phones.  The idea is in part to help keep the owner's personal information out of the hands of someone who steals or finds the phone.  Each cell phone will have an identifying code assigned to it.  That code will allow providers to deactivate the phone and stop it from being used again once it reported lost or stolen.  Anyone trying to crack the code could possibly face legal troubles.   So far, customers with AT&T, Sprint-Nextel, T-Mobile, and Verizon will have the protection.  According to the Federal Communications Commission, the database will be ready to launch sometime around October.

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Gov. Quinn Encourages Low Income Families To Apply For Tax Credit

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS URGING LOW INCOME WORKING FAMILIES TO APPLY FOR THE STATE AND FEDERAL EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT.

GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS 10 TO 20 PERCENT OF FAMILIES THAT COULD BE CLAIMING THE CREDIT…AREN’T DOING SO. HE SAYS IT’S A BENEFIT AIMED AT HARD WORKING ILLINOISANS WHO ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO GET BY.

[audio:eitc.mp3] [/audio]

QUINN POINTS OUT THE BENEFITS OF THE CREDIT WILL DOUBLE OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. IF YOU NEED HELP FILING YOUR TAXES AND APPLYING FOR THE CREDIT…VISIT THE WEBSITE: ECONOMIC PROGRESS DOT ORG FOR A TAX CENTER NEAR YOU.

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Peoria School Board Lays Off Over 250 Workers

The school board in Peoria has voted to lay off 258 employees, including 53 teachers, in a bid to deal with a $6 million budget deficit.

The vote by board members in Peoria School District 150 on Monday was unanimous.

The layoffs also include 100 part-time teachers and 105 part-time educational support staff members.

District 150 attorney Stan Eisenhammer says if the teachers union can show where other cuts can be made, it may be able to reduce the number of laid-off teachers.

The school district is anticipating a decline in state and federal aid. About 14,000 students attend Peoria public schools.

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Illinois Has Record Youth Wild Turkey Hunt

The Illinois youth wild turkey season harvest has set a record.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Tuesday that young hunters harvested 1,300 birds. That's compared with the previous record harvest of about 750 birds last year.

IDNR wild turkey project manager Paul Brewer credits excellent hunting weather for the large harvest. Brewer says last spring there was below-average turkey reproduction in many areas because of wet weather. This spring's mild weather contributed to good turkey numbers.

This year 4,100 youth turkey permits were issued. Last year about 3,700 were issued. The season was March 31 and April 1 in the southern zone and April 7-8 in the northern zone.

Jefferson County was the top county in Illinois with 47 turkeys harvested during the youth hunt.

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Illinois Gas Prices Among Highest

Illinois drivers are paying top dollar to fill their tanks.  In fact, Triple A lists the state as one of only nine across the nation with pump prices above four dollars a gallon.  Illinois comes in as the seventh highest at four-14 a gallon.  Gas prices are hovering right around four-40 in Chicago.  Central and Southern Illinoisans are paying slightly less with prices ranging from three-89 to four-15 per gallon.  Triple A Spokesperson Beth Mosier says there’s no way of telling how high or low gas prices will go this summer.  But part of the reason prices are high in Illinois is because the state adds about 57 cents in taxes to each gallon.  That’s about a quarter higher than neighboring Missouri.  Mosier says people can take things into their own hands by finding ways to combine errands and even car pooling, biking, or taking the bus to work.

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Illinois Wesleyan Fraternity Suspended For Three Years

A fraternity at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington has been suspended for three years after a student's death in March.

School president Richard Wilson announced the suspension in a statement Tuesday. Authorities in northern Illinois say 18-year-old Brandon Landau of New York was at a party in White Pines State Park and died after being found unresponsive with his lower body in a stream and his upper body on a log.

Sigma Pi can appeal the sanctions. It also can request reinstatement in 2015, but would face another four years of probation. Wilson says the university found the fraternity responsible for "serious violations."

The university's Office of Judicial Affairs investigated the case and it had a hearing before the judicial committee.

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Two More Meth Arrests Made In DeWitt County; Suspect Still At Large

On April 4, 2012, Betty Followell, (54) and Timothy Followell, (21) both of Clinton, Illinois were arrested on warrants for Methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy and procurement of methamphetamine precursors, Class X felonies.  These additional arrests were a result of the four month investigation  into  methamphetamine  production  in the DeWitt County area conducted  by  Task  Force  6,  DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office, and Clinton Police  Department in cooperation with the DeWitt County State’s Attorney’s Office and the Illinois Department   of Children and Family Services.

One suspect, Kenneth Scheid, (45), last known address of Clinton, Illinois, remains at a large.  A warrant for his arrest was issued on March 14, 2012 for Methamphetamine manufacturing conspiracy and procurement of methamphetamine precursors, Class X felonies.   Anyone having information on his whereabouts is asked to contact their local Police Department.   
A class X felony is punishable from 6 years to 30 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.   

Task Force 6 is a multi-agency enforcement unit specializing in narcotics enforcement.  Task Force 6 is composed of officers from Bloomington Police Department, Clinton Police Department, DeWitt County Sheriff’s Department, McLean County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State University Police Department, and the Illinois State Police.


THE PUBLIC IS REMINDED THAT CRIMINAL DEFENDANTS ARE PRESUMED INNOCENT UNTIL THE GOVERNMENT IS ABLE TO PROVE ITS CHARGES IN COURT BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.

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One Group Doubts Corn Yields To Keep Up WIth Worldwide Demand

Can corn yields keep up with ever increasing worldwide demand?  At least one well-respected firm has its doubts despite USDA projections of the largest corn crop in recent history.  Jared White has more....

[audio:4912RaboCornStudyWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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'Take Back Initiative' Back For 2012

The Clinton Police Department will host their annual "Take Back Initiative" later this month.

The "Take Back Initiative" gives anyone with unused prescription drugs or any other unused medication to dispose of it in a safe way. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says prior to the implementation of this program several years ago, his department would see one or two deaths a year from young people overdosing on leftover prescription drugs or unused drugs in a medicine cabinet.

[audio:takeback1.mp3] [/audio]

The "Take Back Initiative" this year is Saturday April 28th. However, the program is not just a one day event. Chief Reidy explains the Police Department has a container that anyone can come in and drop off any unwanted drugs, not just April 28th. He explains his department has partnered with the Drug Enforcement Agency to properly dispose of the drugs.

[audio:takeback2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy feels this is the safest option available. He says any other methods of disposing drugs can lead the chemicals, not generally treated for, back into the eco-system. He says handing them over to the DEA ensures the drugs are properly disposed of.

[audio:takeback3.mp3] [/audio]

The "Take Back Initiative" will hold a collection Saturday April 28th from 9-11 am at Clinton City Hall. This year Clinton Police Officers will be out on the curbs collecting the drugs. Chief Reidy says this program is open for any resident in any location. He says it is better to have unused drugs in the hands of the proper authorities rather than having them in cabinets exposed to the wrong hands.

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Rams Staff Announced

Rams head coach Jeff Fisher has formally named his coaching staff.  The only new names not previously known are assistant special teams coach Paul Boudreau Jr. and assistant linebackers coach Joe Bowden.  Suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is not listed.

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Marlins Manager Apologizes For Castro Comments

Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is apologizing again for controversial remarks he made about Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  The Marlins suspended the outspoken skipper for five games Tuesday after telling "Time" magazine that he "loves" Castro and respects him for keeping power for decades.  Guillen flew back from Philadelphia and held a Tuesday press conference to offer a public apology after his remarks outraged the Cuban-American community in South Florida.  Guillen said his comments were misinterpreted in the translation and said he is embarrassed and wants to rebuild his relationship with the community.  Just last week the Marlins celebrated their new stadium, which had its grand opening in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood.

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More Tests For Carpenter

Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter will have more tests this week on his ailing right shoulder.  Carp has been bothered by a nerve issue that has caused weakness in the arm.  He's been doing strengthening exercises in St. Louis and will be examined to see where his progress is at.

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Cards Win; Cubs Lose; Sox Washed Out

>>Cardinals Stifle Reds

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Kyle Lohse allowed one run on four hits over six frames as the Cardinals dropped the Reds, 3-1.  Carlos Beltran blasted a solo home run in the first.  David Freese added a two-run shot in the sixth inning for St. Louis, which has started defense of its World Series title with a 5-and-1 record.  Jason Motte pitched the ninth for his second save.  Mike Leake gave up three runs over six innings to take the loss for Cincinnati, which fell to 2-and-3.  Joey Votto's sixth-inning sacrifice-fly accounted for the lone run the Reds pushed across.

>>Crew Cruise Past Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alex Gonzalez's three-run homer highlighted a five-run first frame and the Brewers cruised to a 7-4 win over the Cubs.  Jonathan Lucroy added a solo shot and an RBI single for Milwaukee, which has won the first two of a four-game set at Wrigley Field.  Chris Narveson gave up three runs, two earned, through five frames to pick up the win.  Francisco Rodriguez recorded the final two outs to register the save.  Geovany Soto smacked a solo home run and Alfonso Soriano knocked in two runs for Chicago.  Paul Maholm allowed six runs through four innings of duty to take the loss in his Cubs debut.  The Northsiders fall to 1-and-4 on the season.

>>ChiSox-Tribe Game Postponed

(Cleveland, OH)  --  Last night's game between the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians was postponed due to adverse weather conditions.  A makeup date has not yet been announced.  Sox righty Philip Humber was set to pitch for Chicago after a breakout 9-and-9 campaign last season.  The White Sox won the opener of the scheduled three-game series, 4-2, on Monday.  John Danks gets the nod against Justin Masterson in this afternoon's series finale.

MLB NL
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Los Angeles Dodgers 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Washington Nationals 6, New York Mets 2
Atlanta Braves 6, Houston Astros 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 4, San Diego Padres 2

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 5, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Toronto Blue Jays 7, Boston Red Sox 3
New York Yankees 5, Baltimore Orioles 4 (12 inn)
Texas Rangers 1, Seattle Mariners 0
Kansas City Royals 3, Oakland Athletics 0 (8 inn)

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Bulls Turn Back Knicks

Rip Hamilton netted 20 points as the Bulls beat the Knicks, 98-86, to earn a split in their home-and-home series.  Derrick Rose did not play for Chicago due to an ankle injury.  Luol Deng finished with 19 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who outrebounded the Knicks 51-33.  Chicago had 18 offensive rebounds in the win.  Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points for the Knicks, who are only a game in front of the Bucks for the final playoff spot in the East. The Bulls wrap up a brief two-game homestand tomorrow evening against the Miami Heat.

NBA
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Cleveland Cavaliers 103, Charlotte Bobcats 90
Boston Celtics 115, Miami Heat 107
Washington Wizards 93, Orlando Magic 85
Philadelphia 76ers 107, New Jersey Nets 88
Dallas Mavericks 110, Sacramento Kings 100

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Clinton Wins Slugfest In OVC Opener

The Clinton Maroons won in a slugfest with the Central A & M Raiders, 20-10, Tuesday afternoon at Clinton High School. It was the Okaw Valley Conference opener for the Maroons, who Maroons scored in every inning except the first inning in what was a regulation, seven inning game. Kyle Birk went the distance on the mound for the Maroons, surrendering 10 runs, nine earned, on 14 hits with three strikeouts and two walks. It was a good day offensively for Maroon hitters, Nat Ennis, Zach Pate, Birk and Colten Reeves all recorded three hits. Greg Osgood and Josh Merrick each recorded two hits, including a double. Osgood, Birk, and Reeves each recorded three RBIs. Ennis and Merrick recorded two RBIs apiece.

Clinton is 9-6 overall and 1-0 in Okaw Valley Conference play.

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Corn Farmers Vote To Increase Corn Marketing Checkoff

Illinois corn farmers overwhelmingly have approved an increase in the check-off rate they pay when marketing their grain. 

By a vote of 1,137 to 317, they passed a referendum March 28 to raise the rate by 1/4 cent per bushel.   The referendum result was announced today after the Illinois Department of Agriculture completed its review of the ballots and certified the statewide vote total.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) requested the referendum.  The measure won approval in 71 of Illinois’ 102 counties and was supported on 78 percent of the ballots cast. .

That means effective Oct. 1, 2012, the current 3/8 cent check-off rate will increase to 5/8 of a cent per bushel. If they choose, however, corn farmers still have the right to receive a full refund..

The ICMB, a volunteer board of corn farmers elected by their peers, administers the check-off fund.  Members invest the proceeds in market development, research, education and promotion programs designed to enhance the profitability of Illinois corn farmers.

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Free Identity Theft Prevention Class Tonight

The Office of the State of Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is putting on a free program to discuss identity theft.

The Warner Public Library is the site for this free session. Librarian at the Warner Library, Bobbi Perryman explains at the class you will learn how to identify scams, ways to protect and prepare yourself, and steps to take if you are a victim of identity theft.

[audio:identitytheft1.mp3] [/audio]

There are several ways for people seeking your information to obtain it, and Perryman says this class is a good opportunity for people to get information on protecting themselves from being a victim of identity theft.

[audio:identitytheft2.mp3] [/audio]

Again the program is Thursday evening at 7 pm at the Warner Public Library and is being put on by Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's office. It is free and open to the public.

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Clinton Lady Maroons

 

The Clinton Lady Maroons Track and Field Team kept busy this past Easter weekend, competing in two invitational meets and proving they can keep up with the competition. Friday morning, the Maroons were at Shelbyville for a 19 team meet. Highlights of the meet included Ally Lawson in the high jump, jumping her season best again of 4’10”, and placing 3rd overall. Says Coach Leann Sosamon of her athlete, “I am proud of Ally, she consistently scores points for us in the high jump and is a very coachable jumper. We lean on her a lot in the field events”. Joining Lawson for the 4x100m relay were Erin West, Jade Thomas, and Becca Anderson running a time of 52.34 and placing 2nd in the event. The 4x200m relay of West, Anderson, Amber Miller, and Morgan Witzke was able to place 3rd with a time of 1:52.01, and the 4x400m relay took 3rd as well with a time of 4:19 consisting of Miller, Thomas, Witzke, and Anderson. Coach Rachel Lyons says of the relay times, “These times are the fastest times we ever ran in these events last year, so we are very happy with obtaining them this early in the season!”.

The Next morning the younger Maroons were able to compete in a Freshman/Sophomore meet hosted by Prairie Central. There is no “JV team” in track and field, so it’s always nice to see how the developing classes are stacking up. Winning events were Becca Anderson in the 100m dash with a time of 13.2 with teammate Brittany Price placing 6th with a 14.1. Morgan Witzke ran for a 1st place finish in the 200m clocking in at 28.4 with Price not far behind in 5th place at 29.7. The Clinton 4x200m relay consisting of Price, Whitney Ferguson, Holly Brown, and Ally Green also took first place with a time of 1:59.3. Freshman Shi Smith earned a 2nd place ribbon with her long jump of 13’8”, and was able to place 4th with a time of 57.33 in the 300m hurdles, running for the first time ever! Sophomore, Hannah Miles, dropped 8 seconds in her 3200m run to place 2nd at 13:38.4, and scored another personal best in the triple jump with 24’8.5”. Distance buddy and freshman, Raeann Huffman, ran a lifetime personal best in the 800m getting 3rd with a 2:44.9. Coach Dan Andrews has a lot of positive things to say about his distance crew and hurdle girls, “Raeann Huffman and Hannah Miles have stepped up this season as underclassmen willing to perform at a high level and have consistently improved all season long with the distance runners. We are still waiting for Alivia Powers and Mykenzie Witzke to return to full strength from injuries and trying to sort out relays and individual events to maximize performances. Alex Hunt and Megan Creager are putting in solid efforts in the hurdle events with freshmen Sarah Gehres and Shianne Smith and Junior Madison McClurg just now really learning how to hurdle and distribute energy in the hurdle races properly while attacking the hurdles. I really expect to see great improvement from these four athletes as the season progresses. Hungry freshmen and dedicated upperclassmen is usually a recipe for success at the team and personal levels”. In the throwing events Tara Coopenbarger and Jessica Riva led the way in the discus throwing their best throws of the year at 60’3”, and 59.95” respectively. With a lot of youth and seasoned throwers in the mix, there is a lot to be excited about in the throws! Says Andrews, “We have had a very solid improvement all year long from all our throwers this season. Megan Creager and Alexis Obermeyer leading the way and scoring in meets for us at Shot Put with Hannah Riva and Shianne Smith leading our discus throwers. Right now we are trying to develop our younger throwers for the long term as they have shown the capacity to break 28 feet in the shot put and 90 feet in the discus. At the fresh/soph meet this weekend our discus throwers threw 60 feet and for their second meet of the season surpassing their previous personal records.”

The Maroons have a busy week competing at Olympia on Tuesday the 10th, and the Unity Invite Friday the 13th, then they are back at home on Monday the 16th. Come out and support your running, jumping, and throwing Maroons!

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Field Shaping Up For Congressman Johnson's Replacement

The former chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson says he would like to replace the retiring congressman.

Johnson said last week that he plans to stop campaigning for re-election and retire at the end of his term. Former Johnson chief of staff Jerry Clarke said Monday that he would like to replace Johnson as the Republican candidate and run against Democrat David Gill. GOP officials have said he's a strong contender.

State Rep. Chapin Rose of Mahomet, meanwhile, says he isn't interested.

Another potential candidate, state Rep. Adam Brown of Decatur says he'd like to be considered.

The 65-year-old Johnson said Thursday that he will retire.

His replacement will be chosen by Republican Party leaders from the 14 counties in the 13th Congressional District.

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Ex-Bears QB Jim McMahon Sued By FDIC

The FDIC is hoping to sack former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim McMahon.  Multiple reports say the federal agency has sued McMahon in hopes of recovering over 100-million dollars in bad loans given to Broadway bank.  McMahon was on the board of the bank for five years, but only approved one loan.  The FDIC says the "Punky QB" and other board members was "grossly inattentive" to bank affairs.  McMahon says the lawsuit is without merit and will be dismissed.

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Quinn To Meet With President Of Brazil

Governor Pat Quinn is in Washington D.C today.  He's attending the Brazil-U.S. Partnership for the 21st Century conference.  While he's there he'll meet with the President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff.  Quinn says he's looking at the Southern American country as a marketplace for more exports.  He says the growing economy makes Brazil attractive, plus the nation will host the World Cup in 2014 and Summer Olympics in 2016.  Brazil is Illinois fifth largest trading partner.

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Weekly Crop Report

CORN PLANTING CONTINUES AT A BRISK PACE IN ILLINOIS.

NOT MUCH RAIN AND WARM SUNNY DAYS HAVE GIVEN FARMERS PLENTY OF TIME IN THE FIELDS SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

17 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW PLANTED…WELL AHEAD OF THE THREE PERCENT COMPLETED BY THE SAME TIME LAST YEAR SCHWAB NOTES.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

91 PERCENT OF OATS AND ONE PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE BEEN PLANTED. EIGHT PERCENT OF WHEAT HAS HEADED. ONE PERCENT OF SOYBEANS AND 91 PERCENT OF OATS HAVE BEEN PLANTED AS WELL. 84 PERCENT OF WINTER WHEAT AND 79 PERCENT OF ALFALFA IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

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Police In Decatur Investigate Double Murder

Police in Decatur are searching for two suspects following the shooting deaths of a husband and wife Saturday night.

Authorities identified the victims as 34-year-old Freedom Cunningham and his 26-year-old wife, Central Cunningham.

Deputy Police Chief David Dickerson is calling on the public for help solving the crime.

Witnesses described the body of Freedom Cunningham collapsed on the porch of a Decatur home and Central Cunningham's body slumped in a van.

No arrests had been made by late Sunday. Police have executed several search warrants.

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Rose Declines Replacement of Retiring Congressman Johnson

With the announced retirement of US Congressman Tim Johnson, Illinois GOP leaders are trying to narrow down someone to take the place of Rep. Johnson on the November ballot.

Many leaders and current legislators have come forward expressing interest in the position. One possible candidate is Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose. Rep. Rose says while it is an honor to be considered for the position, his answer was an easy one to make.

[audio:rosedeclines1.mp3] [/audio]

Rose was recently elected as the Republican candidate for the Illinois Senate. As he continues to work towards a seat in the Illinois Senate, Rose says his two focuses are and will be balancing the budget and creating jobs in Illinois.

[audio:rosedeclines2.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose was nominated as the Republican candidate for the Senate. He defeated Republican Tom Pliura March 20. To this point no Democrat for the Senate seat has been announced. Rose is encouraged because the district is predominantly Republican.

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Clinton Board of Education To Hold Special Work Meeting Tonight

With the passing of the March 20 referendum, the Clinton Board of Education will be holding a special meeting tonight.

Bids open at 10 am this morning for the high school roof replacement. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains tonight the Board will review those bids and award them.

[audio:specialmeeting1.mp3] [/audio]

Tonight the Board of Education will put out for bid the first phase of the high school renovations. Dr. Holmes explains they have put a few of the items on hold for next summer because of time restraints.

[audio:specialmeeting2.mp3] [/audio]

The final item on the Board of Education's agenda tonight will be the summer maintenance projects. The school has several areas of improvement they are seeking. One being the air vents above the high school gym. Ruyle Mechanical has given the Board an estimate of around $95-thousand to get those repaired, now the decision becomes moving forward with the presented bid or seeking secondary options, which discussed ideas have been air conditioning units, which would cost over $200-thousand.

[audio:specialmeeting3.mp3] [/audio]

The meeting will be tonight at 6 pm in the Junior High School Library.

The Clinton Board of Education's regular monthly meeting will be next Tuesday at 6:30.

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Bulls, Knicks Wrap Up Home-And-Home

The Chicago Bulls and New York Knicks wrap up a home-and-home series this evening at the United Center.  The Knicks held off the Bulls in overtime, 100-99, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.  Chicago, which sits at 43-and-14 on the season, caps off a brief two-game homestand on Thursday against the Miami Heat.

NBA
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Orlando Magic 119, Detroit Pistons 89
Washington Wizards 113, Charlotte Bobcats 85
Indiana Pacers 103, Toronto Raptors 98
Memphis Grizzlies 94, Los Angeles Clippers 85
Los Angeles Lakers 93, New Orleans Hornets 91
Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Milwaukee Bucks 89
Denver Nuggets 123, Golden State Warriors 84
Phoenix Suns 114, Minnesota Timberwolves 90
Utah Jazz 91, San Antonio Spurs 84
Houston Rockets 94, Portland Trail Blazers 89

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Sox, Cards Win; Cubs Lose In Ramirez's Retrun

>>Cardinals Turn Reds Blue

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Jake Westbrook gave up three hits and an unearned run over seven strong innings to power the Cardinals to a 7-1 win over Cincinnati.  Matt Holliday, David Freese and Yadier Molina all blasted first-inning homers for St. Louis, which has started the defense of its World Series title 4-and-1.  Freese finished with two RBI while Molina drove in three.  Homer Bailey gave up four runs over five-and-two-thirds innings to take the loss for the Reds.  Brandon Phillips was 1-for-3 with a run scored for Cincinnati, which dropped to 2-and-2 with the loss.

>>White Sox Double Up Tribe

(Cleveland, OH)  --  The White Sox used a three-run first inning to back a strong performance by Chris Sale in a 4-2 win over the Indians.  Sale went six-and-two-thirds innings, allowing one run on three hits with five strikeouts in his first MLB start.  Hector Santiago came out of the bullpen to surrender a run, but grab his second save of the season.  Alejandro De Aza led off the game with a solo homer and A.J. Pierzynski [[ peer-ZIN-skee ]] added a two-run shot later in the inning.  Chicago has started the season 2-and-2.  Josh Tomlin gave up four runs over five innings to take the loss for Cleveland.  Carlos Santana and Jose Lopez had an RBI each for the Tribe, who have started the season 1-and-3.

>>Crew Clip Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Rickie Weeks clubbed a solo home run and former Cub Aramis Ramirez knocked in two runs in his return to the Windy City as the Brewers clipped the Cubs, 7-5.  Four other Brewers plated a run to back six innings of three-run ball from Shaun Marcum.  Marcum gave up just five hits and had six strikeouts to pick up the win.  John Axford struck out Starlin Castro with the bases loaded in the ninth to notch the save.  Darwin Barney and Brian LaHair each smacked solo dingers for Chicago, which is now 1-and-3 on the young season after dropping two-of-three to Washington over the weekend.  Shawn Camp was saddled with the loss after allowing three runs through two innings in relief of starter Chris Volstad.

MLB NL
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Miami Marlins 6, Philadelphia Phillies 2
San Francisco Giants 7, Colorado Rockies 0
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Chicago Cubs 5
New York Mets 4, Washington Nationals 3
St. Louis Cardinals 7, Cincinnati Reds 1
Houston Astros 8, Atlanta Braves 3

MLB AL
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5, Minnesota Twins 1
Chicago White Sox 4, Cleveland Indians 2
New York Yankees 6, Baltimore Orioles 2
Boston Red Sox 4, Toronto Blue Jays 2
Texas Rangers 11, Seattle Mariners 5
Oakland Athletics 1, Kansas City Royals 0

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Two Assistants Hired For Illini's Groce

The University of Illinois has added assistant coaches Dustin Ford and Jamall Walker to head coach John Groce's staff.

The university said Monday that Ford and Walker have officially joined Groce after working with him at Ohio. Both began work at Illinois last week.

Groce says Walker is experienced at working with guards while Ford's strength is working with forwards and post players.

Ford was at Ohio for four years and previously worked at Western Carolina. He played at Ohio and is the brother of Bradley head coach Geno Ford.

Walker has also coached at Arizona, Murray State and St. Louis and played guard for St. Louis in the late 1990s.

Groce has one more assistant's spot to fill.

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Sages Pound St. Thomas More

The Monticello Sages put up 10 runs in the first three frames, Nick Stokowski recorded five RBIs and the Monticello Sages pounded the St. Thomas More Sabres, 14-6, Monday at Monticello High School. Freshman Ryan Bundy had three hits for the Sages and fellow freshman David Vanderkloot threw 4 2/3 innings and struck out two to pick up his first win of the season. Austin Reed struck out three in relief of Vanderkloot.

Reed and Jacob Williams had a pair of RBIs for the Sages who are not 8-3 on the season.

This afternoon the Sages are at Meridian. That game can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Maroons Downed By Champaign Centennial

The Clinton Maroons were defeated 10-2 Monday afternoon at the hands of Champaign Centennial High School. Centennial used a five run fourth inning to propel them over the Maroons. Colten Reeves started on the hill for the Maroons going just 3 1/3 giving ups eight runs, seven earned, on seven hits walking three and striking out two. Kyle Birk worked 1 1/3 innings of good relief giving up one unearned run on one hit and striking out one. Greg Osgood worked two innings of one run ball, giving up no earned runs one five hits and one strike out. Osgood and Josh Merrick each doubled. Anthony and Josh Merrick each recorded the lone RBIs for the Maroons, who are now 8-6 on the season.

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DeWitt/Logan RTA Holding Annual Meeting

The DeWitt/Logan County Retired Teachers Association will be holding their annul luncheon meeting Wednesday morning at Bonanza in Lincoln. A business meeting will kick things off at 10:30 with lunch at 11:15 and then the program at 12:15. The guest speaker this year is Dr. Frank Adubato, a local chiropractor. Directories for 2012 will be available.

All retired teachers and their spouses are invited to attend. Anyone interested in carpooling from Clinton or DeWitt County can meet at the east end of the United Methodist Church parking lot at 9:30 Wednesday morning.

For more information, you can contact Juanita Crowell at 935-6769.

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Old MGP Factory Site Excavation Delayed, Completion Estimated For June

 width=The clean up of the old MGP factory on Washington Street is nearing completion.

Leigh Morris, Senior Communications Executive with Ameren, explains Ameren is moving contaminated material from the site. They found more material than they were expecting, so the project has been prolonged but by June the project should be wrapped up and Clintonians who make their way by the area will see a grassy lot.

[audio:mgpsite1.mp3] [/audio]

Morris says the process has been very routine. This type of project is nothing new to Ameren nor the crew working on the site. Other than finding more materials than they were expecting, he calls the process very textbook.

[audio:mgpsite2.mp3] [/audio]

Finding the excess materials has delayed the completion of the project a couple months. Originally, Ameren was hoping the site would be finished by the end of March.

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Sages Strikeout 21 in Win Against Meridian

The Monticello Sages, aided by solid pitching and a blustery afternoon, defeated the Meridian Hawks in their Okaw Valley Conference opener, 12-6 at Meridian High School. After getting baserunners on the first three innings, the Sages only put one run across, but broke things open with an 8-run 4th inning.

Nick Stokowski, who came a triple shy of the cycle, filled the box score with a 3 for 3 day. He had a 3-run single, a solo homer, a double, four RBIs and scored four runs. Ross Reeder went 1-5 with a three-run triple. Jacob Williams went six innings, striking out all 18 outs he recorded, and gave up 2 runs. Every out the Sages recorded on the afternoon was a strikeout.

The Sages improve to 9-3 overall and 1-0 in Okaw Valley play. The Hawks drop to 7-4. The Sages play host Friday  to Central A & M.

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Quinn Grants Clemency To 52 Illinois Offenders

Fifty-two people have been granted clemency by Gov. Pat Quinn for crimes that date back decades.

Quinn announced Friday that he had pardoned or commuted sentences of the offenders.

The Democratic governor also rejected 136 clemency requests.

Quinn is whittling away at a backlog of 2,500 requests that piled up under former Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Now in prison himself, Blagojevich rarely took any action on clemency.

Most of the people whose requests were granted Friday had committed relatively minor offenses.

Twenty-five involved theft. Sixteen involved drugs. Eight offenses included some kind of violence, such as misdemeanor battery.

The oldest incident took place in 1958, the most recent in 2005.

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Contract Expires For Many At AT&T, Talks Continue

Union contracts for thousands of AT&T workers expired at midnight but officials said early Sunday that talks were continuing.

The passage of the deadline left the Communications Workers of America free to call a strike, but spokeswoman Candice Johnson says employees would report for work without a contract. She says that could change at any time.

Three separate contracts in eastern and Midwestern areas covering about 25,000 workers expired at midnight, while the midnight deadline was approaching for 18,000 other workers on the West Coast.

At issue in the negotiations are job protection clauses and health care premiums and co-payments.

The workers are on the shrinking local-phone and long-haul data side of the business.

During negotiations three years ago, the parties kept talking past the contract expiration, and reached agreements without a strike.

Dallas-based AT&T Inc. is the country's largest employer of unionized workers. About 140,000 of its 256,000 employees are union members.

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Autism May Be Linked To Obesity During Pregnancy

New research says obesity during pregnancy might increase chances for having a child with autism.

It's among the first studies linking the two. It doesn't prove obesity causes autism, but the authors say their results raise public health concerns because of the high level of obesity in the U.S.

The study involved about 1,000 California children, ages 2 to 5. Results are being released online today in the journal Pediatrics.

Previous research has linked obesity during pregnancy with stillbirths, preterm births and some birth defects.

The authors are with the University of California, Davis. They say the results add yet another incentive for maintaining a healthy weight.

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Six Illinois Schools To Start Teaching Wind Energy

Students in six Illinois schools will learn math and science through model wind turbines and weather balloons next year.

The Illinois Wind for Schools program is a partnership with several state universities. The selected schools will get a classroom set of experimental model wind turbines, a pack of experimental weather balloons, a model wind tunnel, customized lab activities and a curriculum on wind energy.

Matt Aldeman is the senior energy analyst for Illinois State University's Center for Renewable Energy. He says the program engages Illinois classrooms in renewable energy and introduces students to possible careers in the wind energy industry.

The program is also holding a free workshop in June to help other Illinois middle school or high school teachers incorporate wind energy topics in the classroom.

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Weekly Weather Report

As the week wore on last week, temperatures went from above normal down to normal. We will see highs this week will be in the 50s and we could see some rain later this week.

[audio:wx1.mp3] [/audio]

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Motorcyclists To Ride In Rememberance Of Iraq Dead

A central Illinois motorcycle club is holding its second annual ride in honor of 3 members of an Illinois Army Reserve unit killed in Iraq in 2004.

The Quiet Pride motorcycle club will ride from an American Legion Post in Washington to the 724th Transportation Company memorial in Alpha Park in Bartonville on today.

Specialist Gregory Goodrich of Bartonville, Sgt. Elmer Krause of Greensboro, N.C. and Staff Sgt. Keith Maupin of Batavia, Ohio, of the transport company died along with six civilian contractors in an ambush outside Baghdad on April 9, 2004.

Dennis Pickles of Quiet Pride said cars are welcome to join in the ride, too.

The 5-foot monument was unveiled at the park last year.

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Candidates Look To Replace Johnson

McLean County Republican Party Chairman John Parrott says six people have already talked to him about replacing Congressman Tim Johnson on the November ballot. The GOP chairman in the 14 counties that make up the 13th Congressional District will select a candidate to run in the general election against Democrat David Gill.  Parrott says he considers four of the candidates to be in contention for the seat if they choose to run.  They are Johnson's former chief of staff Jerry Clarke, Bloomington State Representative Dan Brady, Rodney Davis, who's an aide to Congressman John Shimkus, and Decatur State Representative Adam Brown.  Parrott says two others have inquired about the post, including Bloomington sports team and restaurant owner Jim Bob Morris and one other person.  Parrott didn't say he's ready to endorse a candidate now, but indicated he would prefer to have someone from McLean County represent the district.  He says he expects the county chairmen will appoint a candidate by mid-May.

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Wind Turbine To Help Power Illinois Community College

A community college in central Illinois says a new wind turbine on campus is expected to generate about half of the electricity used by the college.

The turbine at Heartland Community College in the town of Normal is to start producing electricity by June.

It's expected to save the campus about $320,000 a year on its electricity bill. The savings will help pay off the college's share of the project's $5.2 million price tag in 15 years.

The college got $1.4 million in grants from the U.S. Department of Energy and the Illinois Clean Energy Community Foundation. The rest of the money is from bonds.

Heartland is believed to be the first college in Illinois to have a large, commercial-grade turbine.

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New Social Media Site Connecting Farmers

Social media is all the rage these days, and now there's a website especially dedicated to connecting farmers.  Jared White has more...

[audio:4212CropNationNetworkWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Scovill Zoo Opens For 2012; Introduces Changes

Scovill Zoo in Decatur opened for 2012 this past weekend, and this year holds some new things for the zoo.

Assistant Director at the Zoo, Ken Frye, says they have remodeled their bathrooms and they also have a new concession stand. He believes the new set up will be much more efficient for the zoo employees and for the guests to the zoo.

[audio:scovillopen1.mp3] [/audio]

The remodel is not completely finished yet as the zoo has opened for the season, but they are hoping to be finished by the end of April and have everything up and going. Frye says the selection at the concession stand has increased just slightly, but they hope the bigger area will be more inviting for people to come and use it and hopefully the zoo can gain some more revenue from it.

[audio:scovillopen2.mp3] [/audio]

The zoo was able to make these upgrades thanks to a grant they received from the Illinois Museum Fund for 250-thousand dollars. The Decatur Park District then matched that grant. Frye says that would put the cost, right around a half-million dollars for all the upgrades to the zoo for 2012.

[audio:scovillopen3.mp3] [/audio]

The zoo has plans to add a penguin exhibit next fall and through the winter.

Back by popular demand this year will be several other special days, including free admission Thursday's. For a full list of this year's activities at the zoo, you can visit their website at www.decatur-parks.org/scovill-zoo.

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Popular Novel-Based Movies Benefiting Local Library

The 'Hunger Games' is not only popular at the box offices, it's also popular at the library.

Like 'Harry Potter' or 'Twighlight', the 'Hunger Games' is the most recent series of novels to be turned into a motion picture, and the 'Hunger Games' is the first in a trio of novels written by Suzanne Collins. The novels have been very popular for about three years now, and Bobbi Perryman, adults librarian, and Paula Lopatik, Children's Librarian, at the Warner Public Library note the books are in both the adult and children's sections of the library and are very hot items right now, along with several other popular series of novels.

[audio:moviebooks1.mp3] [/audio]

Movie profits have been on the decline recently. And because these books turned movies are so popular among young people, movie developers are working to find the next popular series to turn into movies. So what does Lopatik believe makes these books so appealing?

[audio:moviebooks2.mp3] [/audio]

Perryman feels the stories have characters that people can relate to and care about. She feels it makes you enjoy the story more because of those factors. If you enjoy the 'Hunger Games', Perryman has a few other books you may enjoy.

[audio:moviebooks3.mp3] [/audio]

Again the several copies of the full trio of 'Hunger Games' novels and many other novel series are available at the Warner Public Library. They are very popular but Lopatik and Perryman do have other recommendations to make for those who enjoy series such as 'The Hunger Games'.

To find out if these books or any other books you are interested in are available, you can contact the Warner Library at 935-5174.

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Watson Wins Masters In Playoff

 Bubba Watson parred the second playoff hole to defeat Louis Oosthuizen and win The Masters on Sunday.  Watson had two putts from 10 feet to win the green jacket and lagged his birdie try close.  He tapped in to secure his first major title.  Watson and Oosthuizen were tied at 10-under-par after four rounds.  Phil Mickelson was undone by a triple-bogey on the fourth hole.  Mickelson finished in a tie for third at eight-under.  Tiger Woods finished five-over for the championship.

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Blues, Blackhawks Start Playoffs This Week

>>Blues Get Sharks In First Round

(San Jose, CA)  --  The St. Louis Blues closed the regular season with a 3-2 win over the Dallas Stars on Saturday.  St. Louis earned the number-two seed in the Western Conference and draws seventh-seeded San Jose Sharks in the first round.  The Blues swept the regular season series against San Jose, 4-0, and outscored the Sharks 11-to-4.  Game One is Thursday at 4:30 p.m.

>>'Hawks Start Playoffs Thursday

(Glendale, AZ)  --  The Chicago Blackhawks start their playoff run on Thursday night.  The sixth-seeded 'Hawks square off against the third-seeded Phoenix Coyotes in Game One at Jobing.com Arena.  The two teams will play Game Two on Saturday in Glendale before the series shifts back to Chicago for Game Three.  The Blackhawks beat Detroit in a shootout, 3-2, on Saturday in their regular season opener.

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Knicks Spoil Rose Return

Carmelo Anthony scored a season-high 43 and drained the go-ahead three-point shot with 8.2 seconds left in overtime, boosting New York to a 100-99 win over Chicago, spoiling the return of Bulls point guard Derrick Rose.  The Knicks blew a 21-point, first-quarter lead and then had to rally from a 10-point deficit with under four minutes left in regulation.  Anthony, who shot 16-of-31 from the field and made 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, forced the extra session by nailing a long three-pointer with 11.2 seconds left.  Rose, who missed the previous 12 games due to a strained groin, had 29 points.  He had a chance to give Chicago the win, but his right-handed shot from the left baseline clanked off the rim as time expired.

NBA
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New York Knicks 100, Chicago Bulls 99 (OT)
New Jersey Nets 122, Cleveland Cavaliers 117 (OT)
Miami Heat 98, Detroit Pistons 75
Boston Celtics 103, Philadelphia 76ers 79
San Antonio Spurs 114, Utah Jazz 104
Oklahoma City Thunder 91, Toronto Raptors 75
Houston Rockets 104, Sacramento Kings 87

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Cubs; Cards Win, Sox Lose On Opening Weekend

>>Samardzija, Cubs Clip Nats

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alfonso Soriano plated two runs and Jeff Samardzija was one out away from a complete game as the Cubs clipped the Nationals, 4-3.  Samardzija gave up just one earned run to go along with eight strikeouts to register the win.  Carlos Marmol was credited with the save for Chicago, which salvaged the finale of a season-opening three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Adam LaRoche clubbed a two-run homer for Washington in a losing effort.  Jordan Zimmermann was saddled with the tough-luck loss after allowing two runs, one earned, through six innings of duty.

>>Cards Crush Crew

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Carlos Beltran went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run as the Cardinals crushed the Brewers, 9-3.  Matt Holliday and Rafael Furcal each scored twice and knocked in a run for St. Louis, which won the rubber match of a three-game set.  Lance Lynn was strong in his first start in place of the injured Chris Carpenter, tossing six-and-two-third innings of one-run ball, striking out eight and issuing one walk with two hits.  St. Louis begins a three game series tonight in Cincinnati with Jake Westbrook on the mound facing Homer Bailey.

>>Rangers Blank White Sox

(Arlington, TX)  --  Matt Harrison fired six innings of four-hit, shutout ball to lead the Rangers to a 5-0 win over the White Sox in the rubber match of a three-game set.  Harrison struck out three and walked two en route to the win.  Adrian Beltre belted a two-run homer, while David Murphy and Josh Hamilton added solo shots in the victory.  Gavin Floyd allowed five runs, four of which were earned, over five-and-two-thirds innings to take the loss.  Chicago left nine men on base in the loss.

MLB NL
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New York Mets 7, Atlanta Braves 5
Cincinnati Reds 6, Miami Marlins 5
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Philadelphia Phillies 4
Houston Astros 3, Colorado Rockies 2
San Diego Padres 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 7, San Francisco Giants 6
Detroit Tigers 13, Boston Red Sox 12 (11th inning)
Cleveland Indians 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Baltimore Orioles 3, Minnesota Twins 1
Tampa Bay Rays 3, New York Yankees 0
Kansas City Royals 7, LA Angels of Anaheim 3

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Ex-Illini Prosch Near Home, Cancer Stricken Mother

Jay Prosch's mother can't wait to see him play football for Auburn.

The fullback transferred from Illinois after last season to be closer to home and his cancer-stricken mother, Iris.

She was diagnosed nearly a year ago with a brain tumor and says it's "a motivation and a goal" to see him play this season.

Auburn is still waiting for word from the NCAA on whether Prosch (Prosh) will receive a hardship waiver allowing him to play immediately.

Regardless, the sophomore is now only a few hours from home. He's been able to visit his mother frequently and 1 of his three sisters is also attending Auburn.

Iris Prosch says "there really aren't words to express how comforting it is" to be able to see all of her children regularly.

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Maroons Sweep Saturday Twin Bill

The Clinton Maroons hosted their annual Clinton Tournament this past weekend and took two games, first from Decatur Lutheran, then from Okaw Valley foe Shelbyville.

In game one, the Maroons used an 8-run seventh inning to storm back and win 8-7. Josh Merrick and Greg Osgood combined on the victory for the Maroons. Osgood picked up the win in two innings of relief Merrick went five innings giving up four runs, but just one earned run while striking out nine. Osgood went three innings, giving up three earned runs while striking out two. At the plate the Maroons were led by Osgood, Nate Ennis and Zach Pate, each recording a pair of hits.

In game two, the Maroons used a two run sixth inning to take a two run advantage and held on in the top of the seventh for a 9-8 win. Marshall Sprague went the distance on the mound for the Maroons. He walked ten batters, gave up seven hits and struck out ten as well. Sprague had a pair of hits at the plate as well. Logan Woolridge was 1-2 with an RBI double and Anthony Merrick had a pair of hits.

Clinton is 8 -5 on the season.

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Lady Maroons Rout Ridgeview

The Lady Maroons improved to 6-7 with a 14-1 five inning non conference win over Ridgeview on Thursday.  The Lady Maroons offense exploded for 7 runs in the first ining and never looked back Thursday night in Ridgeview.

Bailey Walker picked up the win for the Lady Maroons striking out 10 and allowing 1 hit.  Offensively the Lady Marons were led by Megan Tool 2 for 4, 2 RBI's, Hanna Long 4 for 4, 2 RBI's and Bailey Walker 2 fo 3 with 2 doubles and 2 RBI's, Regan Pinkerton also added a triple and an RBI.

The Lady Maroons will return to Conference Action on Monday when the travel to Maroa Forsyth for a 4:30 contest.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

CITATIONS

4/6/12

BRIAN A. REMPE 29, CLINTON NO VALID REGISTRATION. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

DREY N. REES 17, CLINTON OPERATING VEHICLE OUTSIDE PERMITTED DRIVING RESTRICTED TIME-GDL. BOND POSTED

 

4/8/12

WILLIAM M. WHEELER JR 21, DECATUR SPEEDING 70 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

April 7, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

April 8, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

April 9, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 8:12 a.m. on Wednesday, March 28, revealed that a vehicle driven by Randall Dupin, 59, Waynesville, was traveling eastbound on County Highway 9/Waynesville Road when he went onto the right shoulder, and swerved back onto the road. He swerved again to the right and slid into the right ditch, striking a culvert, causing the unit to be airborne and roll. Dupin was ejected and deceased at the scene. Passenger Michael Dupin, 35, McLean was transported by Ambulance to Bromenn Hospital in Normal. The vehicle was towed from the scene

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 6, revealed that a vehicle driven by Daniel Gamache, 43, Clinton, traveling northbound on US Highway 51 from Decatur. After feeling “sleepy” Gamache swerved to the left to avoid a car, causing him to cross both lanes of travel and enter the east ditch. After EMS evaluation, Gamache was issued citations and released from the scene.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 09:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 04, revealed that a vehicle driven by Benjamin Dial, 16, Maroa was traveling southbound on Paintball Road. Unit 2 driven by Jeremy Roberts, 22, Kenney, was parked facing north on Paintball Road. Dial’s drivers side panel struck the front driver’s side door of Roberts vehicle, causing damage to the door of Roberts vehicle. No injuries were reported and the vehicles were driven from the scene.

 

Tyler Barger, 27, Champaign, was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Barger posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Kathleen Head, 70, Lincoln, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Head posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Charles Monkman, 24, Clinton, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation of Alcohol. Monkman posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Tabitha Lessman, 25, Normal, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Lessman posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Matthew Bryant, 26, LeRoy, was issued a citation for Speeding (59 mph in a 45 mph zone). Bryant posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Danny Mattocks Jr, 24, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Mattocks posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Jennifer Carter, 30, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (80 mph in a 55 mph zone). Carter posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Cody Moody, 24, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (92 mph in a 55 mph zone). Moody posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Stephanie Crum, 20, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Crum posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Mark Herriott, 62, Champaign, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Herriott posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Jose Contreras, 33, Clinton, was issued citations for No Valid Drivers License, No Registration Light, Operating Uninsured Vehicle, Improper Lane Usage and Driving Under Influence. Contreras being unable to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Matthew Lareau, 24, Clinton, was issued citations for Driving Under Influence and Failure To Signal When Required. Lareau being unable to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Damon Leininger, 34, Mason City, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Leininger was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Leonard Harmon, 43, Beason, was issued citations for Improper Lane Usage, Operating Uninsured Vehicle, Illegal Transportation Alcohol, Driving Under Influence and Driving While License Revoked. Harmon being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Zachary Corman, 17, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Corman was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Brandan Brough, 17 Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Brough was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

 

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

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Weldon Springs To Be Home To New Restaurant

Weldon Springs will be the home to a new restaurant opening up.

Scott Williamson Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce President and owner and operator of Clinton’s oldest restaurant, The Shack, is proud to announce that in May he will be opening the Clinton area’s newest eatery. Pinky’s, located at Weldon Springs State Park, will be the
place to “sit down, relax and pig out.” Williamson explains the place is named after his dad.

[audio:newrestaurant1.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson says some of his staff at The Shack will be going over to Pinky's to help start things out. Pinky's will be a seasonal restaurant which will allow him to hire seasonal staff, something he currently does not do at The Shack.

[audio:newrestaurant2.mp3] [/audio]

Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard is excited to have another restaurant in the area and also to have the building at Weldon Springs being used. She feels this is going to be great for the community.

[audio:newrestaurant3.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson says while dining lakeside, guests will enjoy delicious large portions in a fun, relaxed, music-filled atmosphere.  The menu will include po’boys, thick gourmet burgers, pattie melts, reubens, panini and more.  A Clinton Chamber of Commerce Ribbon Cutting will be scheduled to take place in late May.  Pinky’s hours of operation will be Tuesday through Friday, 11am to 8pm and 8am to 8pm on Saturdays and Sundays. 

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Diabetes Risk Test Information

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million children and adults in the U.S. and

a quarter of them do not even know that they have it.

Diabetes is a chronic disease in which a person’s body does not produce or properly process

sugar. Left untreated, diabetes can lead to heart disease, stroke, blindness and a number of

life-threatening medical complications. Caren Bryant, certified diabetes educator at SIU

School of Medicine in Springfield, says individuals can take a diabetes risk test to determine

their chances of having the disease.

[audio:siudiabetes1.mp3] [/audio]

Bryant says the individuals who might be at risk for diabetes include those sit at a desk most

of the day, don’t get much exercise, and don’t eat a healthy diet. She explains who should take

the diabetes risk test.

[audio:siudiabetes2.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Individuals interested in taking the diabetes risk test can go the website

www.stopdiabetes.org or call 1-800-diabetes. Anyone who is at high risk should see their

primary care physician for diagnosis and treatment.

 

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Illinois Store Gets Half-A-Million Dollars

A little store in a tiny town gets a big check.  Lottery officials presented a check for 500-thousand dollars yesterday to the owners of the MotoMart in Red Bud, Illinois which sold one of the winning tickets in last week's multi-million-dollar Mega Millions jackpot.  But there was a surprise.

       [audio:rddredbudstore1.mp3][/audio]

The nine employees will take home about 55-hundred dollars each.

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Traffic Deaths Declining on Illiniois Roadways

The number of deaths on Illinois roadways is down.

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities declined 26% from 2006 to 2010.

That includes a 21% drop in deaths related to speeding.

The agency says there were 927 road fatalities in Illinois in 2010, down from 1,254 in 2006.

The nonprofit Traffic Safety Coalition said Friday that roads were becoming safer because of increased seatbelt use, better air bag technology and red light cameras.

The coalition says nationwide data shows traffic safety cameras change driver behavior and deter them from breaking the law.

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List of Abandoned Bonds from Circuit Clerks' Office

The following list is comprised of people whom the Circuit Clerk’s office has been unable to find in order to return money. These are people who posted bond money on a court case and at the conclusion of that case we could no longer find that person.

THEY ARE CALLED ‘ABANDONED BONDS’.

If you are the rightful owner, you may claim your money by contacting our office at: 217-935-7750 (ask for the bookkeeper), we will then let you know what documentation you will need to provide to claim your money.
ABANDONED BONDS

ALEXANDER, OCEAN
AXTON, SHAWN M
BENJAMIN, MIKE
BHARDWAJ, DEVEKA
CAO, BI HUI
CARLOCK, ROBERT L
CERR, SHELLY R
CHOI, ROBIN J
CORNEJO, MANUEL A
COWART, POLYNIESIA
COX, OLETHA M
DETRICK, PERRY
FERGUSON, SHAWN SCOTT
FIERRO, RALPH
GILES, DEBBIE
HERNANDEZ, LUIS R
HOLDEN, MICHAEL C
HUFFMAN, DREW
HUTCHISON, JENNIFER
KAMPER, ANDREW W
KUNTZ, VIRGIL L
LANDAVERDE, SUYLEYMA E
MAXELL, JOHN T
MARTINEZ, RAUL
MCDANIEL, LUANN
MCGREW, ERIC EDMUND
MCNEIL, HEATHER
MITCHELL, STEPHANIE
MURPHY, EDWARD E
NEWBERRY, TIMOTHY E
TALLEY, LATASHA S
SCHULTZ, ANNE M
TAYLOR, PAUL
YOUNG, VALERIE

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Attorney General Creates Operation Smoked Out

Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced that retailers in Bloomington-Normal and the Champaign areas were targets today of “Operation Smoked Out,” an initiative aimed at removing illegal synthetic drugs from Illinois stores. In all, more than 6,000 packages of products with a street value of approximately $110,000 were handed over to law enforcement.


“Bloomington, Normal and Champaign have significant numbers of college students who have been enticed to purchase and use these illegal and dangerous products,” said Attorney General Madigan. “Retailers in these college towns should be aware that law enforcement will soon be walking through their front door to ensure that these dangerous, illegal drugs are not for sale.”


Madigan said today’s operation involved officers from the Normal Police Department and the McLean County Sheriff’s Department participated.


Many states, including Illinois, initially responded to the rise of synthetic drug use by passing laws that banned specific formulas of synthetic marijuana and bath salts. Drug makers attempted to sidestep these laws by replacing the banned chemicals with new formulas. A recent Illinois law that went into effect on Jan.1 takes a broader approach and bans all chemicals that are structural derivatives of the previously-banned chemicals. Madigan’s legislation would complement this current measure

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Illiniois Suspends Most Road Work for Holiday

Illinois officials will suspend road construction where possible to ease traffic flow for the Easter holiday weekend.

The Department of Transportation says some traffic lanes must remain closed.

Officials say all non-emergency work will be stopped at 3 p.m. Friday and open lanes where possible through midnight Sunday.

Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says less congestion will make travel safer.

She urges motorists to slow down, obey speed limits and drive with caution through work zones.

Work zone speed limits are in effect even if no workers are present.

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FAA Investigating After Plane Emergency Ignored

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating after an air traffic controller was accused of ignoring a request for an emergency landing in Denver after a commercial airline pilot reported smoke in the cabin.

The controller thought the call was a prank. The controller dismissed the emergency call minutes later.

The United Express plane from Peoria, Ill., was evacuated Tuesday after the plane landed at Denver International Airport. 1 of the 21 passengers was taken to the hospital.

According to the recordings, the controller apparently misunderstood the call letters of the airliner.

The National Transportation Safety Board says the investigation has been turned over to the FAA. A spokesman for the FAA says it would comment later Friday.

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COUNTY- Ambulance Work Session April 12 Preview

The DeWitt County Board is seeking public input as it prepares to address the community's ambulance service issue.

The Dr. John Warner Hospital is ending its ambulance service at the end of the year, and voters overwhelmingly passed a tax referendum in March to allow DeWitt County to have the necessary funds to operate a new service.  Board Chair Melonie Tilley says the county is moving forward in the process by having a community meeting Thursday, April 12th, to discuss the issue.

[audio:ambulancemeeting1.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley notes several key decisions face the County Board.  She hopes the public turns out Thursday night to let officials know what type of ambulance service they would like to see the County pursue...whether it be non-profit, for-profit, or some other setup.

[audio:ambulancemeeting2.mp3] [/audio]


According to Tilley, those wishing to discuss the ambulance issue can present oral or written comments to the Board.

[audio:ambulancemeeting3.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley plans to form an Ambulance Service Committee within the DeWitt County Board, and hopes to take the results of Thursday's work session to the full County Board meeting on April 26th.  She has previously stated that county officials hope to have an ambulance plan in place by the end of the summer.

Again, the DeWitt County Board will hold a public work session on the ambulance issue on Thursday, April 12th, at 6pm in Courtroom A of the DeWitt County Building.  The public is encouraged to attend.

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Doctors Want To Redefine Autism, Parents Worried

For the first time in nearly two decades, experts are trying to rewrite the definition of autism.

And that worries some parents and specialists.

For many years, different autism-related labels have been used, including Asperger's disorder. Doctors working on the new definition want to dump the confusing labels and lump them all into one category called "autism spectrum disorder."

Some specialists think that will weed out many autistic kids. And parents of mildly affected children worry their children will lose access to special education.

A decision is expected by December. The new definition would then be added to the reference manual used by psychiatrists.

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IL Congressman Tim Johnson Announces Retirement

Six-term Illinois Congressman Tim Johnson says he will not run for re-election.  The Republican represents the state's 15th District, which includes Champaign-Urbana and parts of Normal and Bloomington.  Johnson reportedly was facing difficult prospects for re-election after his district was redrawn.  The announcement leaves the GOP searching for a possible successor.  In a statement today, Johnson said he will serve out the remainder of his term, which expires in January, but will not stand for reelection in November.  He called his district's redrawn boundaries "grossly gerrymandered."  He said he'd like to return to practicing law and spend more time with his family.

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Illinois Suspends Most Road Work For Holiday

 Illinois officials will suspend road construction where possible to ease traffic flow for the Easter holiday weekend.

The Department of Transportation says some traffic lanes must remain closed.

Officials say all non-emergency work will be stopped at 3 p.m. Friday and open lanes where possible through midnight Sunday.

Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider says less congestion will make travel safer.

She urges motorists to slow down, obey speed limits and drive with caution through work zones.

Work zone speed limits are in effect even if no workers are present.

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Emanuel Wants To Expand Tourism Offices


Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says he wants to open city tourism offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan this year.

Emanuel says he wants to "dramatically" increase the number of visitors to Chicago. He spoke Thursday to members of the Chicago Convention and Tourism Bureau. Last year a Chicago tourism office opened in London. Offices opened in Mexico City and Toronto in March of this year. Chicago would have tourism offices on four continents with the addition of offices in Brazil, Germany and Japan.

Emanuel says 1 of his goals is to attract 50 million visitors a year by 2020. He also announced that the city will host the 2014 U.S. Travel Association's International Pow Wow.

City officials say they're particularly interested in attracting overseas visitors.

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Quinn Names New Head of Public Health Department

Gov. Pat Quinn has picked a doctor with a background in disease control to head the state's Department of Public Health.

Quinn's office says Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck comes to Illinois from New York, where he served as public health director and commissioner of mental health. Before that, Hasbrouck spent 11 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he was part of the epidemic intelligence service. He's worked to reduce and eliminate diseases in several countries, including efforts to eradicate polio in Bangladesh.

Quinn on Monday also appointed David Vaught to head the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Vaught has led the Governor's Office of Management and Budget since 2009. Quinn Chief of Staff Jerry Stermer will serve as acting director at the budget office.

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Illinois Travel Guide Has Tips For Food, History

Tourism officials say the 2012 Illinois Travel Guide is available with tips on where to eat, historical tours and state facts and figures.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's tourism office says the guide combines a newsstand magazine look with traditional statewide listings and practical information.

The guide includes whimsical information and background information on tourist sites.

An "Illinois by the Numbers" section offers readers everything from the different types of grapes the state's vineyards produce to how tall Willis Tower in Chicago is. "Steps Through Time" takes readers on trips through historic sites and museums and the bygone era of the preserved Route 66.

Sites are organized by region of the state. A digital edition and tablet app are also available.

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U of I Truestees Say It Was Clear Hogan Couldn't Survive

University of Illinois trustees say it became clear in the week before Michael Hogan's resignation that he couldn't repair his relationship with faculty and remain president of the school.

Trustee Timothy Koritz says Board members met with Hogan behind closed doors during a March 15 trustees meeting and said things weren't working out.

Just days before, Hogan had vowed to settle differences with faculty who had complained about his management style and his plans. Unhappy faculty members were also upset by anonymous emails intended to generate support for 1 of those plans that were blamed on Hogan chief of staff Lisa Troyer. She's denied involvement but resigned.

Hogan said March 22 he will resign effective July 1. Longtime administrator Robert Easter will take over.

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Area Farmers Taking To Fields Early in 2012

Despite the date on the calendar, corn planters have already been rolling across Illinois.  Jared White has more...

[audio:4212NafzigerOnEarlyPlantingWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Illinois Court To Rule On Banning Assault Weapons

The Illinois Supreme Court is about to weigh in on whether it's constitutional for Cook County officials to ban assault weapons.

The county imposed the ban back in 1993. It has been upheld by trial courts and appeals courts.

But opponents think their case gained new strength when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Chicago ordinance banning handguns. They hope the state's high court will agree and toss out the ban on assault weapons.

The state Supreme Court is scheduled to announce its decision Thursday.

A key question is whether high-capacity, fast-firing weapons should be considered ordinary guns that get full Second Amendment protection or treated like machine guns and other special weapons that can be restricted.

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Woodford County Among Most Healthy

Woodford County is one of the healthiest places to live in Illinois.  A recent study ranks Woodford as the second best county in the state when it comes to mortality and morbidity rates and at number three when it comes to how social and economic factors impact health.  That means the people there are in better shape physically, mentally, and financially plus they're living longer to tell about it.  The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. 

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AMC To Accommodate Disabled

Illinoisans who are blind, deaf, and hard of hearing are soon going to able to enjoy a good night out at the movies.  AMC Theaters says it's equipping all of its screens across the state with closed captioning services and audio-description technology.   It's part of a settlement reached with Attorney General Lisa Madigan on behalf of disabled residents in Illinois.  The new agreement will allow those with visual and hearing impairments to have an improved experience inside the theatres.  All 460 AMC screens in Illinois will be equipped by the end of 2014.

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Students Aim To Reduce Distracted Driving

Students across the state are participating in the Operation Teen Safe Driving program, trying to convince their peers to be responsible drivers.  Beardstown High School Senior Darrian Gregory says anyone can be hurt by distracted driving. 

[audio:rddDriveSafe1.mp3] [/audio]

One-hundred-five schools competed in the OTSD program this year.  Each came up with slogans to deter others from texting or participating in other activity while behind the wheel.  The top 35 are rewarded with funds for after prom activities plus they'll participate in the Ford Motor Company Driving Skills for Life: Ride and Drive events.  Beardstown won third place in their region.

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Decatur Man Accused of Sex With Teen In Church

A 44-year-old Sunday school teacher has been charged with criminal sexual assault after police accused him of having sex with a 15-year-old girl in a Decatur church and having nude photos of her.

Christian Coady of Decatur is charged with six counts of criminal sexual assault, five counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and two counts of child pornography. He's being held on $250,000 bond at the Macon County Jail.

Coady hasn't yet entered a plea, and his attorney, Jeff Justice of Decatur, declined to comment.

Police say Coady taught at the East Park Baptist Church and had been having a relationship with the girl for about a year.

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Mixed Bag For Sangamon County Health

Folks in Sangamon County can step it up when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.  A recent survey ranks Sangamon number 68 out of the state's 102 counties in terms of mortality and morbidity rates.  There were about two thousand more premature deaths in Sangamon County compared to the national benchmark and 18-percent of its residents have poor or fair health.  When it comes to being physically, mentally, and financially healthy, Sangamon fares pretty well, coming in at 16 out of 102.  The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  A spokesperson for the health institute says county officials should look at the findings to determine how they can find balance and improve the quality of life for each of its residents.

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American Red Cross Encouraging Families To Be Prepared For Storm Season

As storm season officially begins in Central Illinois, Red Cross wants to remind you to be aware weather conditions when there are chances for severe weather.

Executive Director with the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, Carl Baker, says the tornado that devastated Harrisburg is an example of how storms can strike at any time. He says having enough water on hand for the family for three days is a good rule of thumb to follow. He says having cash on hand is always a good idea, power being out can eliminate ATM use.

[audio:disasterpreparedness1.mp3] [/audio]

Baker stresses having a plan in place. He says having two meeting places is a good idea. One away from the home and one outside your neighborhood. He also suggests keeping a spare list on paper of phone numbers of important contacts.

[audio:disasterpreparedness2.mp3] [/audio]

Foods to keep on hand include high protein foods and canned goods. Baker says keeping the refrigerator and freezer closed as much as possible when the power is out is a good idea as well.

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Baker says keep your pets in mind when preparing for a disaster. Make sure there is enough food for them and keep enough water on hand for them as well. He also says anyone in your home on medication or any other supplies for a need they may have, keep those things well marked and easily accessible.

For more tornado safety tips, you can visit www.midillinoisredcross.org.

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Reading Buddies Seeking Volunteers

DeWitt County's RSVP program is in need of volunteers for one of their upcoming summer programs.

RSVP's Reading Buddies program is a program aimed at helping young children who may struggle with reading, and through the summer work with them to maintain the reading level they leave school with. Volunteer Coordinator for RSVP, Silvia Comfort says this a program throughout the DeWitt County Schools. It is in the Clinton School district and in Farmer City.

[audio:readingbuddies1.mp3] [/audio]

Comfort explains the program was started by a group of parents concerned with their children's reading level, who then approached RSVP to gather volunteer to support to help their kids, and now RSVP has taken it over to help those other kids who struggle with reading. Comfort notes the program also maintains a relationship with the kids' teachers to find out what they are seeing the child struggling with.

[audio:readingbuddies2.mp3] [/audio]

Comfort says the program gets rave reviews from the teachers and parents to watch their kids improve their reading levels, but she says from a volunteer standpoint, they enjoy watching the child begin to understand what they are reading and find relevance to reality or even their lives.

[audio:readingbuddies3.mp3] [/audio]

RSVP has many other volunteer opportunities including Big Brother, Big Sisters of DeWitt County. RSVP helps coordinate volunteers for the YMCA, Clinton Christian Academy, and the American Red Cross.

For more information on any of the RSVP volunteer opportunities, you can contact Silvia Comfort at 935-2241 or email her at scomfort@doveinc.org.

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The 'Tradition Unlike Anyother' Begins Today

The first major of the PGA Tour season begins this morning with first-round play at The Masters.  Tiger Woods begins his quest for a fifth Green Jacket at famed Augusta National Golf Club.  The four-time winner is among the favorites after ending his winless drought with a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational last month.  Woods' group includes Miguel Angel Jimenez and South Korea's Sang-Moon Bae.  They will tee off at 10:35 a.m. Eastern.  The field also includes defending champion Charl Schwartzel, three-time winner Phil Mickelson and U.S. Open champ Rory McIlroy, who blew a four-shot lead on the final day last year.  Legends Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player will serve as honorary starters at 7:40 a.m., with the first group teeing off at 7:50.  The course is expected to be ready to go after a Tuesday night storm downed trees and flooded several bunkers.

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Bears, Rams Preseason Schedule Released; Torry Holt Retires Ram

>>Bears Preseason Schedule Announced

(New York, NY)  --  The Chicago Bears preseason schedule was released on Wednesday.  Jay Cutler and Brandon Marshall will go up against their former team the Denver Broncos and Peyton Manning in the Bears first preseason game from Soldier Field.  Chicago will host the Washington Redskins in their second preseason tilt before wrapping up its exhibition slate at the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns, respectively.  Specific dates and times for all four games will be released later in the offseason.

>>Rams' Preseason Schedule Released

(New York, NY)  --  The Rams' preseason schedule has been released.  St. Louis could get first crack at rookie Andrew Luck as the Rams open in August at Indianapolis.  The Rams then host the Chiefs, play at Dallas and host Baltimore to close out the exhibition slate.  Exact dates haven't been finalized.

>>Cards, Saints To Open NFL Preseason Slate

(New York, NY)  --  The Arizona Cardinals and New Orleans Saints will square off in the NFL's first nationally televised preseason game of 2012.  The NFL has announced its preseason slate of national TV games.  The Cards and Saints will meet in the annual Hall of Fame Game Sunday, August 5th in Canton, Ohio on the NFL Network.  Among the other games that highlight the preseason national television schedule are the Dallas Cowboys and Oakland Raiders on ESPN Monday, August 13th, the Super Bowl champion New York Giants and Chicago Bears on CBS Friday, August 24th, and Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos against the San Francisco 49ers on FOX Sunday, August 26th.

>>Holt Retires A Ram

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Torry Holt is retiring as a Ram.  The longtime standout wide receiver signed a one-day contract with the Rams and retired from the NFL.  The move came more than three years after he was released by the Rams following 10 standout seasons.  Holt was a seven-time Pro Bowl selection.

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Bulls Host Celtics

The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they wrap up a brief two-game homestand against the Boston Celtics at the United Center.  The Bulls are coming off a 99-93 setback to Houston on Monday.  They have lost two straight to fall to 42-and-13 on the season.

NBA
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Indiana Pacers 109, Washington Wizards 96
Toronto Raptors 99, Philadelphia 76ers 78
San Antonio Spurs 87, Boston Celtics 86
Atlanta Hawks 120, Charlotte Bobcats 93
Milwaukee Bucks 107, Cleveland Cavaliers 98
New Orleans Hornets 94, Denver Nuggets 92
Golden State Warriors 97, Minnesota Timberwolves 94
Miami Heat 98, Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Dallas Mavericks 95, Memphis Grizzlies 85
Phoenix Suns 107, Utah Jazz 105
Portland Trail Blazers 101, New Jersey Nets 88
Los Angeles Lakers 113, Los Angeles Clippers 108

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Theo Era In Chicago Starts Today

As the curtain rises on the Theo Epstein era, it's not hard to find optimism around the Chicago Cubs.

Of course, the anticipation is more for what the future holds than what's standing right in front of them, starting with Thursday's opener against Stephen Strasburg and the Washington Nationals.

The Cubs underwent a major overhaul in the offseason, bringing in Epstein as president of baseball operations and general manager Jed Hoyer. They hired Dale Sveum as manager and parted ways with Carlos Zambrano and Aramis Ramirez after going 71-91.

Epstein put together the team that ended Boston's 86-year-old drought in 2004 and won another title in 2007, and the Cubs are hoping he can stop a World Series championship skid that dates to 1908.

The Cubs play their season opener today at the "Friendly Confines."  The Cubs and Washington Nationals square off at Wrigley Field, with first pitch at 1:20 p.m. Central.  Ryan Dempster takes the hill for Chicago, while Stephen Strasburg makes his first Opening Day start for Washington.

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Cards Down Marlins In Stateside Opener

Kyle Lohse took a no-hitter into the seventh inning as the Cardinals knocked off the Marlins, 4-1, in the Stateside MLB regular season opener.  Lohse allowed only two hits while striking out three and walking none over seven-and-a-third innings to earn the win.  Jason Motte closed things out to earn the save.  David Freese had three hits, a run and two RBI for the Cards in their first game in the post-Albert Pujols era.  Jose Reyes had two hits in his Miami debut, including a single to break up Lohse's no-hit bid.  Josh Johnson allowed three runs and 10 hits to take the loss in the first regular season game at Marlins Park.

>>Cards Move On To Milwaukee

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  After a single game in Miami to start the season, the Cardinals now move on to Milwaukee to open a three-game set with the Brewers tomorrow afternoon.  Jaime Garcia is slated to start against Milwaukee's Yovani Gallardo.  It's a rematch of last year's NLCS.

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Groce: Not Sure Yet How To Replace Leonard

New Illinois coach John Groce says he hasn't decided yet how he will deal with the loss of 7-1 center Meyers Leonard to the NBA draft.

Groce was hired just last week from Ohio to replace Bruce Weber. Leonard announced Monday that he will skip his last two seasons of college to turn pro.

Groce says he doesn't want to add a player to his roster just to plug a hole.

The new head coach said he talked with Leonard quite a bit before the center announced his decision. Groce said he knew he had little chance to keep Leonard, who averaged 13.6 points and was third in the Big Ten with 8.2 rebounds a game. His 1.9 blocked shots a game led the conference.

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Sages Host LeRoy

The Monticello Sages play host to LeRoy this afternoon at Monticello High School. Last night the Sages were in Bloomington taking on Paxton Buckley-Loda at The Corn Crib. Information for that game was unavailable. Going into yesterday's ball game, the Sages were 6-2 on the season. They play host to Rantoul tomorrow afternoon, which will be their third game in as many days.

Today's ball game can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com. Broadcast time will be approximately 4pm with game time around 4:30.

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Representative Tim Johnson Retiring

CBS News is reporting that Veteran Illinois U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson intends to drop his bid for a seventh term and retire, according to a Republican official.
Johnson was expected to make a public announcement of his decision today, said the official, who spoke directly with Johnson but would confirm the decision only on condition of anonymity in order not to pre-empt the congressman's formal announcement.
The reason for the 65-year-old Johnson's decision was not clear, but the official said he wanted to spend more time with his family.
Johnson, known for taking positions at odds with his party colleagues and his attempts to call every resident of his district, was considered a strong candidate for re-election in November to his seat in eastern Illinois' 13th Congressional District. He is just two weeks removed from a primary victory over two candidates.
Despite a new congressional district map drawn by Illinois Democrats, national Republicans had largely considered Johnson's seat safe in the November election. Johnson felt secure enough to stay in Washington during Illinois' primary election last month where he easily won the GOP nomination over two challengers.
But national Democrats had targeted the seat as a potential pickup in their efforts to reverse Republican gains in Illinois congressional seats in 2010 and help their party win back a majority in the U.S. House. They cite how the new map added Democratic-friendly territory to Johnson's district, which now covers a much bigger section of central Illinois to the Missouri line.
In November, Johnson faced David Gill, a Democrat from Bloomington.
A second Republican official said that Johnson has been telling colleagues about his plans for at least two weeks, and that Johnson believed the seat was secure enough to leave to another Republican in November. The official, also speaking anonymously ahead of Johnson's formal announcement, said jockeying among other Republicans for the seat already was intense, with "all kinds of names bandied about."
"I think that there are a lot of people that are interested because we are going to win that seat. I don't know if I would call it jockeying for position, but a lot of good people are interested," said Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
A replacement candidate would be chosen by county officials from the congressional district, officials said, but Brady said he had asked party lawyers Wednesday to verify the exact process. Habeeb Habeeb, interim chairman of Champaign County's Republican Party, did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press.
Johnson was first elected to Congress in 2000 after serving in the state General Assembly since 1976. Before that he was a member of the Urbana City Council.
Among the positions Johnson has sometimes taken against his party colleagues are his call last year for an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last month he endorsed Ron Paul in the presidential race.
Leaving now, Johnson will have never lost an election. He is a lawyer and University of Illinois graduate.

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Mitchell Proposes Gas Sales Tax Relief For Motorists

State Representative Bill Mitchell made a stop this morning at Clinton's Shell station to introduce a new piece of legislation.

 width=In light of the record gas prices and summer travel season on the horizon, Rep. Mitchell is proposing legislation that will provide gas sales tax relief for Illinois motorists. The statewide average price of gas is $4.17 per gallon, more than double what it was in 2009. Mitchell says this is leading to windfall tax receipts for the State.

[audio:mitchellgas1.mp3] [/audio]

The State of Illinois charges 19-cents per gallon of gasoline for the Motor Fuel Tax. Mitchell says in FY12, the State will collect an estimated $1.33 billion in revenue from its Motor Fuel Tax. Illinois is one of only seven states that impose a general sales tax on motor fuel, and it is higher than most at 6.25%.

[audio:mitchellgas2.mp3] [/audio]

Representative Adam Brown is co-sponsoring the legislation. He feels the state needs to be more responsible and stop over-taxing and over-spending the people of the state. He believes this legislation is a good way for consumers to save money in tough times.

[audio:mitchellgas3.mp3] [/audio]

The bill would not affect the 1.25% of the sales tax that goes to local governments, which would continue to be imposed on gase above $2.50 per gallon. According to estimates, the proposed legislation would provide nearly $225 million in tax relief to Illinois motorists.

Rep. Mitchell is launching a petition drive in support of the bill. Copies are available the Clinton Shell Station  or additional copies can be obtained by calling his district office at 217-876-1968 or by visiting mitchell-b.ilhousgop.org.

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Sages Get Walk Off Win In Extras

 width=As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Sages topped the LeRoy Panthers 5 to 4 at home in nine innings Thursday afternoon.

Tyler Taylor came through in the bottom of the ninth to single home the winning run for the Sages.  Austin Reed picked up the win in relief going 3 innings with 4 K's.  Colton Watrous pitched 6 strong innings, but didn't factor in the decision.  He had 7 strikeouts and 2 walks, and gave up 3 earned runs.

The Sages improve to 7-3 with the win, while Leroy falls to 5-8.

Monticello's next game on WEZC is Tuesday AT Meridian at 4:30p.

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Quinn: Closures Are Necessary

Governor Quinn says he's moving forward with his plan to shut down about 63 state facilities. 

[audio:rddQuinnClose1.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers have been holding public hearings across the state, giving people the chance to weigh in on the closure plan.  Quinn says the meetings are very valuable.  And despite the notion that the meetings won't make a difference in Quinn's decision, the governor says he is listening to the people's concerns and will take them into consideration.  There are meetings in Dwight and Joliet today.

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Rare Civil War Photo Donated To Lincoln Library

Illinois historians have obtained a photograph that looks ordinary but is extremely rare - the image of an African-American man who fought in the Civil War.

The picture shows Nathan Hughes decades after the war, when he was a respected farmer in northern Illinois.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library announced the find Tuesday. The library has only one other photo of a black Civil War soldier, and his name is a mystery.

The faded photo of Hughes was taken around 1900. It shows Hughes and his wife, Jane. He is wearing a medal that identifies him as a Civil War veteran.

Library official Kathryn Harris says the picture is important because it puts a name and face to the story of African-American soldiers fighting against slavery.

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Former Gov. Edgar Moves Back To Springfield

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar is back in Springfield, but he says it isn't because he's returning to politics.

Edgar and his wife, Brenda, have moved back to Illinois' capital city after almost 13 years of living in Champaign County.

Edgar explains he's enjoyed the time he's spent living in rural Seymour. But he says he'd lived in Springfield after college and raised his family there, so he'd always expected to move back.

Edgar says he felt the need to move away after he left the governor's office but it is time for his self-imposed exile to end.

Despite the move, Edgar plans to remain an instructor at the University of Illinois and a member of the university's Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

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Climate Center Says Warm March Set Midwest Records

The warmer-than-usual winter left nine Midwestern states with their warmest March on record, and in Illinois the first three months of the year were the warmest three winter months since 1895.

The Midwestern Regional Climate Center and Illinois Water Survey in Champaign on Tuesday said that Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin all had record warmth for March. Average temperatures in the states ranged from 57.6 degrees in Kentucky to 42 degrees in Minnesota. Previous records were set in either the mid-1940s or 1910 in all nine states.

The Water Survey says the statewide average temperature across Illinois from the January-to-March period was 40.9 degrees. That's more than nine degrees above normal.

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Quinn Announces Peoria Road Projects

The state is pitching in to help build roads in the Peoria area.  The state's Department of Transportation will start the final phase of widening Illinois Route 8 in Washington this summer.  Illinois Route 29 in Chillicothe is also on the construction list.  Crews will replace the BNSF Railroad viaduct which runs over the roadway.  The two projects will cost about 12-and-a-half-million dollars but they're expected to create jobs, reduce traffic congestion, and support economic growth throughout the state.

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Remember Pets When Planning For Severe Weather

Pet owners should remember their pets when planning for severe weather and other emergencies. That's the message in a new series of radio ads from the state of Illinois.

The ads feature Chicago radio legend Larry Lujack and his former partner Tommy Edwards, the courtside announcer for the Chicago Bulls.

The two resurrect their characters "Uncle Lar and Li'l Tommy" to deliver lighthearted reminders about including pets in emergency plans. They suggest being ready with food, water, ID tags, vaccination papers and other supplies in case you have to leave your home in a hurry.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says the spots will air on more than 200 radio stations.

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Utility Plans Installation of Smart Meters

Ameren Illinois has announced plans to install 780,000 advanced electric meters, or so-called "smart meters," over 10 years.

The utility on Monday filed its plan with the Illinois Commerce Commission under the state's power-grid modernization law. Ameren serves central and southern Illinois, while Commonwealth Edison serves northern Illinois. Both are allowed to include the cost of the upgrades in rates under the law.

Ameren estimates the $625 million investment would increase annual costs for the typical residential customer by $34 over the next 10 years.

Ameren spokesman Leigh Morris says the utility hasn't finalized an installation schedule, but state law requires the meters to be in place for 62% of its customers by 2022.

The smart meters use radio signals to send the utility customer usage information.

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Exelon Makes Donation To Lincoln Heritage Committee

A local corporation continues to step up in the Clinton community, this time to help preserve a local organization aimed at preserving DeWitt County's history.

Exelon Nuclear Power Station recently donated $4-thousand to the Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County. Chair of the Committee, Joey Woolridge, says the committee is very grateful to Exelon for the donation and the funds are going to be put to good use throughout the year.

[audio:exelondonation1.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee has also used the money to put up signs around the County to promote their sites. Woolridge points out there is a new sign out on US Highway 51 under the current DeWitt County Museum signage.

[audio:exelondonation2.mp3] [/audio]

There area several unique parts of the sign. Woolridge explains normally, Abraham Lincoln penned his name, A. Lincoln. But she wanted a signature with his name spelled out, which was difficult to find. Another unique aspect to the sign is Lincoln without his beard. Woolridge says, when Lincoln was in DeWitt County, he was a beard-less man.

[audio:exelondonation3.mp3] [/audio]

The Lincoln Heritage Committee also has an exhibit at the Warner Library titled, "Lincoln in DeWitt County". The Exhibit features the full signature of Abraham Lincoln along with a picture of Lincoln without his facial hair.

For more information about the Lincoln Heritage Committee, you can visit www.lookingforlincoln.com/8thcircuit.

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DJWH Surprised By Passing Margin of Referendum; Readies For Transition

Two weeks ago, DeWitt County residents voted to have ambulance service within the county.

Dr. John Warner Hospital officials felt the referendum to levy a tax for the service would pass, however, they did not think it would pass to the over 70/30 vote it did. CEO of the Dr. John Warner Hospital, Earl Sheehy explains, the hospital maintains their position to step away  from the ambulance service, however, they are more than willing to aid whoever comes in to take over, to sell vehicles and temporarily use their garage space.

[audio:ambulancereaction1.mp3] [/audio]

The DJWH legally has to get fair value for their equipment. Sheehy explains they also have equipment they have received that was obtained through grants that must get a green light from the grant distributor and find out if the equipment can be passed along.

[audio:ambulancereaction2.mp3] [/audio]

One concern on the mind of Sheehy is personnel. He says current employees are relieved the tax passed, however, he is concerned with their future if an outside source comes in to the  County. Sheehy says they also may run into overlap gaps in coverage, which will have to be addressed.

[audio:ambulancereaction3.mp3] [/audio]

The DeWitt County Board will have a work session Thursday, April 12 to discuss what the community would like to see happen in relation to the ambulance service. The meeting is at 6 pm at the DeWitt County Building in Courtroom A. Both written and verbal comments will be accepted at that time.

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Pacers Surge Past Knicks

 Danny Granger scored 27 points as the Pacers used a big fourth quarter to beat the Knicks, 112-104.  Paul George added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Pacers, who outscored the Knicks 40-17 in the final frame.  Leandro Barbosa and Dahntay Jones each had 12 points off the bench in the win.  Carmelo Anthony finished with 39 points and 10 rebounds for the Knicks, who have dropped two-of-three.  Tyson Chandler collected 12 points and 14 boards in the loss.

NBA
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San Antonio Spurs 125, Cleveland Cavaliers 90
Toronto Raptors 92, Charlotte Bobcats 87
Miami Heat 99, Philadelphia 76ers 93
Detroit Pistons 102, Orlando Magic 95
Memphis Grizzlies 98, Golden State Warriors 94
Phoenix Suns 109, Sacramento Kings 100
Los Angeles Lakers 91, New Jersey Nets 87

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Another Lion Busted For Drugs

Detroit Lions defensive tackle Nick Fairley is now the third player drafted by the team last year to be arrested on drug charges.  He was picked up in Mobile, Alabama yesterday on charges of marijuana possession and released on bond.  In January, offensive lineman Johnny Culbreath was arrested for marijuana possession, and last month running back Mikel Leshoure pled guilty to drug charges.  All face suspensions by the NFL.

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New Bears, Rams Uniforms Unveiled

New Chicago Bears and St. Louis Rams uniforms were unveiled by the NFL and Nike at a gala event in Brooklyn involving all 32 teams yesterday.  While the look remains mostly the same, the jersey collars and cuffs have been tweaked.  The uniforms are also sleeker and made with a more breathable stretch fabric.

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Reds Agree To Mega Deal With Votto

Joey Votto is reportedly receiving the next big payday in Major League Baseball.  "USA Today" reports Votto has agreed to a 10-year, 225-million-dollar extension with the Cincinnati Reds.  Votto's new deal will reportedly execute upon the conclusion of his current contract, a three-year deal he signed in January 2011.  The 28-year-old Votto batted .309 with 29 home runs and 103 RBI last season.

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Cardinals, Marlins Open Season Stateside

Although Seattle and Oakland opened the regular season with two games in Japan last week, the Major League Baseball regular season begins Stateside tonight.  The St. Louis Cardinals open defense of their 2011 World Series championship against the rebranded Miami Marlins.  It marks the first official game in the Marlins' new, retractable roof stadium.  Both teams begin the campaign with new looks.  Gone from the Cardinals are longtime manager Tony La Russa, who retired after last season, and perennial MVP candidate Albert Pujols, who joined the Angels as a free agent during the offseason.  Mike Matheny begins his first managerial stint in the St. Louis dugout, while free-agent addition Carlos Beltran tries to help fill the offensive void left by Pujols' departure. Matheny says he's enjoyed his role in getting this team prepared and ready to go after a productive spring training.

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 [audio:STLMatheny1.mp3] [/audio]

Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman says they still have a formidable offense even without the departed Pujols.

[audio:STLBerkman1.mp3] [/audio]

Despite hitting just .192 this spring, Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal will bat leadoff in tonight's season-opener.  Furcal will be followed by Carlos Beltran, Matt Holliday, Lance Berkman, David Freese, Yadier Molina, Jon Jay, Daniel Descalso and pitcher Kyle Lohse.

The Marlins also have plenty of new faces.  New manager Ozzie Guillen takes over in the dugout after eight seasons with the Chicago White Sox.  The Fish also added several key free agents in an effort to compete in the National League East.  The Marlins signed reigning National League batting champ Jose Reyes to play shortstop.  Hanley Ramirez slides over to third base to make room for the former Mets star.  Also, closer Heath Bell comes over from the San Diego Padres and former White Sox ace Mark Buehrle is reunited with manager Guillen after 12 years in the Windy City.

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Sages at Corn Crib

The Monticello Boys baseball team travels to Bloomington this afternoon to take on Paxton Buckley-Loda at Bloomington's Corn Crib, home of the Normal Cornbelters. The Sages are coming off a 7-4 Friday win against GCMS. The Sages ballgame this afternoon is the first of three games in three days. The Sages then host LeRoy Thursday afternoon and finish off the week by hosting Rantoul.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-4

April 4, 2012

 

Jail Population: 72

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Ronald Snyder, 64, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Snyder 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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DeWitt County Mass Notification System In Place

DeWitt County has a new mass notification system for emergencies.

The system is very similar to the systems in place through various schools, however, according to DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner their system is reserved strictly for health and safety emergencies. Sheriff Shofner says the system comes to the County thanks to a grant from Exelon.

[audio:countynotification1.mp3] [/audio]

Residents can visit www.dewittsheriff.com or www.clintonillinois.com and sign up for the alerts. Sheriff Shofner says this system allows them to reach hundreds of households simultaneously and get emergency information out in a timely manner.

[audio:countynotification2.mp3] [/audio]

Sheriff Shofner explains the mass notification system comes about because of an incident they encountered last year when they needed to get information out but had no means to do so. He says DeWitt County and Clinton officials began seeking funding sources for a mass notification system, and that was when Exelon stepped up to help.

[audio:countynotification3.mp3] [/audio]

Residents can receive messages via a phone all through your house phone or cell phone, email, or text message. Sheriff Shofner says recently many people have dropped their land lines for cell phones, and the Sheriff's Department has no contact information.

Again to get signed up for the free message alerts, you can visit dewittsheriff.com or clintonillinois.com.

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Lady Maroons Kick Off Conference Play with a W

As heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons picked up a home win to improve to 5-7 and 1-0 in conference with defeating the Central A&M Raiders 15-3 in five innings. Jessie Shride had a career day hitting her first career home run. She went 2-3 on the day with a double, home run, and five RBIs. Haley Ginger batted 2-4 with a triple and two RBI. Haley Toohill hit a walk-off 3-run home run. Bailey Walker got the win on the rubber pitching five innings, giving up six hits, surrendering three runs with four strikeouts. She helped her own cause going 2-3. The Lady Maroons can be heard on WHOW on April 16th when they take on the Warrensburg-Lathem Cardinals.

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McLean County Healthy Place To Live

People in McLean County are among the state's healthiest.  A recent study ranks McLean at number 18 out of the state's 102 counties when it comes to mortality and morbidity rates.  They come in at number four when it comes to how social and economic factors impact health.  That means the people there are faring better than most physically, mentally, and financially.  Plus, they're living longer to tell about it.  The study was conducted by the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.  A spokesperson for the health institute says they encourage each county to look at the findings and determine how they can improve the quality of life for each of its residents.

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Quinn Names New Head of Public Health Department

Gov. Pat Quinn has picked a doctor with a background in disease control to head the state's Department of Public Health.

Quinn's office says Dr. La Mar Hasbrouck comes to Illinois from New York, where he served as public health director and commissioner of mental health. Before that, Hasbrouck spent 11 years at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention where he was part of the epidemic intelligence service. He's worked to reduce and eliminate diseases in several countries, including efforts to eradicate polio in Bangladesh.

Quinn on Monday also appointed David Vaught to head the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. Vaught has led the Governor's Office of Management and Budget since 2009. Quinn Chief of Staff Jerry Stermer will serve as acting director at the budget office.

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U of I Trustee: Clear Hogan Couldn't Survive

University of Illinois trustees say it became clear in the week before Michael Hogan's resignation that he couldn't repair his relationship with faculty and remain president of the school.

Trustee Timothy Koritz says Board members met with Hogan behind closed doors during a March 15 trustees meeting and said things weren't working out.

Just days before, Hogan had vowed to settle differences with faculty who had complained about his management style and his plans. Unhappy faculty members were also upset by anonymous emails intended to generate support for 1 of those plans that were blamed on Hogan chief of staff Lisa Troyer. She's denied involvement but resigned.

Hogan said March 22 he will resign effective July 1. Longtime administrator Robert Easter will take over.

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Illinois Travel Guide Has Tips For Food, History

Tourism officials say the 2012 Illinois Travel Guide is available with tips on where to eat, historical tours and state facts and figures.

The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity's tourism office says the guide combines a newsstand magazine look with traditional statewide listings and practical information.

The guide includes whimsical information and background information on tourist sites.

An "Illinois by the Numbers" section offers readers everything from the different types of grapes the state's vineyards produce to how tall Willis Tower in Chicago is. "Steps Through Time" takes readers on trips through historic sites and museums and the bygone era of the preserved Route 66.

Sites are organized by region of the state. A digital edition and tablet app are also available.

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EPA Moves Closer To Approval of 15%Ethanol Gas

The federal government has taken another step toward wide distribution of gasoline mixed with 15% ethanol by allowing manufacturers to register as suppliers.

While the EPA is moving the process forward by allowing the registration, E15 still has to clear another set of federal tests and become a registered fuel in individual states. Ethanol makers then must convince petroleum marketers to sell it at gas stations.

Most ethanol fuel sold for passenger cars and pickups today is 10% ethanol and 90% gas. The new blend boosts ethanol to 15%. It would only be used in 2001 and newer vehicles.

Twenty ethanol makers that have registered to sell E15 are based in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, and Wisconsin.

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Central Illinois Gas Holding Steady

Gas prices are holding steady at about four dollars in Central Illinois, but Triple A's Beth Mosier says you can find ways to save by taking matters into your own hands.

[audio:rddGasSave1.mp3] [/audio]

Mosier says gas has been switched over to a summer blend, which is why drivers have seen the most recent spike in prices.  She says there's no way of telling whether gas prices will go up or down in the next few months.

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Clinton's Grant Street Location of First National Bank Closing

Clinton's First National Bank and Trust Company will be closing the facility located on South Grant Street.

June 30 of this year at noon, customers of First National Bank will be redirected to their main facility at 2 Kelli Court, next to the Clinton Shell Station. According to a letter released to their customers, the drive-thru services at 301 South Grant Street will be discontinued, however, the 24-hour ATM will continue to run.

The letter states, quote - "In 2012, First National Bank and Trust Company celebrates 140 years of serving DeWitt County. As the oldest bank charter headquartered in DeWitt County and the only National Bank charter with their primary banking office located in DeWitt County, our commitment to the community is as strong today as it has ever been. In 2005, an investment in our future was made with the construction of a modern facility to replace a building that was over 130 years old. Construction was completed in 2007, and this summer marks the fifth anniversary of our Main Office at the current location."

Employees at the Grant Street location will be transferred to the Main Bank. According to the customer letter, First National Bank is not in danger of going out of business and in fact, they have received a 5-star rating from the Bauer Financial Group every year since the early 1990s.

The Main Bank location was built with "the future in mind" and ready for expansion.

For more information you can contact the First National Bank at 935-2148.

First National Bank officials declined an interview.

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Clinton City Council Votes Down Parking Ordinance

The Clinton City Council has voted down an ordinance to eliminate all parking meters in the downtown area in Clinton.

 width=The City Council voted on the measure Monday. Commissioner John Wise says he was not in favor of the ordinance when it was first proposed and his mind was not changed from a meeting a few weeks ago until now. He feels if it did not work once before, then it would not work again.

[audio:parkingno1.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner of Streets and Public Improvements, Nan Crang was willing to give it a try. She explains she is hopeful the Magill home will continue to progress and potentially getting a developer into the building. She says if it does not work, they can repeal it in August.

[audio:parkingno2.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Tom Edmunds was not in favor of the ordinance either. He feels there are too many areas around the square where traffic needs to move, and to do away with time limits would bring tenants or business employees parking in those places slowing things down.

[audio:parkingno3.mp3] [/audio]

The ordinance failed 3-2. Now the Council faces bringing downtown business owners together to come up with another solution. An initial meeting was held later in March, which was where the original ordinance to eliminate parking time limits came from.

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Miller, Sampson, Nelson Headline 2012 Hall Of Fame Class

Reggie Miller, Ralph Sampson and Don Nelson are among this year's inductees for the Basketball Hall of Fame.  Miller was a five-time NBA All-Star, Sampson a three-time collegiate national player of the year, and Nelson the winningest coach in NBA history.  They will join a 2012 class that also includes Jamaal Wilkes, Katrina McClain, Hank Nichols and the first women's pro basketball team, the All American Red Heads.  Enshrinement ceremonies are set for September 7th in Springfield, Massachusetts.

Also inducted will be five directly-elected members who were announced in February.  They include Mel Daniels, voted in from the American Basketball Association Committee, Don Barksdale from the Early African-American Pioneers Committee, Lidia Alexeeva from the International Committee, Chet Walker from the Veterans Committee and Phil Knight from the Contributors Direct Election Committee.

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Carp On 15-Day DL

The Cardinals finalized their season opening roster by placing pitcher Chris Carpenter on the 15-day disabled list.  The veteran right-hander has battled a nerve irritation all spring that has caused weakness in his throwing shoulder.  Carpenter did not pitch in a game at all this spring. The Cardinals are in Miami as they prepare to open the regular season tomorrow night against the new-look Marlins.

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Kentucky Holds Off Kansas In Title Game

Doron Lamb scored 22 points as Kentucky knocked off Kansas, 67-59, in the national championship game in New Orleans.  Marquis Teague added 14 points for the 38-and-2 Wildcats, who captured their eighth national title and their first since 1998.  Anthony Davis had six points, 16 rebounds and six blocks en route to being named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four.  Kentucky's John Calipari earned his first national title in 20 seasons as a collegiate head coach.  Tyshawn Taylor netted 19 points for the Jayhawks, who were gunning for their fourth national title and their second in the last five seasons.  Thomas Robinson collected 18 points and 17 rebounds in the loss.  Kansas ends the year with a record of 32-and-7.

>>NCAA Victory Celebrations Lead To Dozens Of Arrests

(Lexington, KY)  --  Dozens of arrests are made in Lexington, Kentucky following last night's NCAA championship game.  The Wildcats got the best of Kansas in a 67-59 victory at the Superdome in New Orleans, securing their first national title in 14 years.  After the win fans took to the streets in celebration mode.  Police in riot gear watched on until some of the revelers took things a bit too far.  There were reports of at least one car being set on fire.  Another vehicle crashed into a local bar and grill.  In addition to the arrests, scores of citations were handed out in the hours following the big win.  Cops say most of those were for alcohol-related offenses.

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Rockets Rock Bulls

Luis Scola filled up the box score with 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists as the Rockets took down the Bulls, 99-93.  Goran Dragic led the Rockets with 21 points, while Marcus Camby chipped in 12 and grabbed 11 boards.  Houston is 3-and-3 in its last six games.  Chicago was without Derrick Rose for the 11th straight game.  Luol Deng paced the Bulls with 24 points, who have lost two in-a-row for the first time this season.

NBA
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Milwaukee Bucks 112, Washington Wizards 98
Memphis Grizzlies 94, Oklahoma City Thunder 88
Los Angeles Clippers 94, Dallas Mavericks 75
Utah Jazz 102, Portland Trail Blazers 97
Sacramento Kings 116, Minnesota Timberwolves 108

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Illini's Leonard Declares For NBA

Illinois sophomore center Meyers Leonard has announced he will declare for the 2012 NBA draft.

Leonard averaged 14 points, eight rebounds for the Fighting Illini. His average of 2 blocked shots last season led the Big Ten. The graduate of Robinson High School in southeastern Illinois earned honorable mention All-Big Ten honors.

In a statement, Leonard said it was a very difficult decision, but he believes the timing is right for him to follow his dream of playing in the NBA.

Illinois hasn't had a first round NBA Draft pick since Deron Williams and Dee Brown in 2005. Williams plays for the New Jersey Nets. Brown was waived by the Dallas Mavericks in 2010.

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Maroons Fall At Rochester Monday

The Clinton Maroons fell 13-1 in five innings Monday afternoon at Rochester. Colton Reeves (0-2) took the losso on the mound for the Maroons, going just 2.2 innings giving up nine runs on 11 hits and striking out two. For Rochester, Garret Doolley was 3-3 with 2 doubles, Reed Watson went 3-4 w/ 3 run HR in 5th and Austin Green added a 3 run HR in 3rd. Josh Merrick went 1-2 with the lone RBI for Clinton.

Rochester improves to 7-5 and Clinton drops to 5-5.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 4-3

April 3, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 8

Warrant Arrests: 0

Tina Russell, 39, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Russell 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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Clinton Police Report for 4-3

 

ON 4/2/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED MAX N. MORRIS 18, CLINTON FOR POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA AND TREVOR S. FATHEREE 18, CLINTON FOR POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. BOTH SUBJECTS WERE 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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Clinton City FY13 Budget Unbalanced; Utility Tax increase Proposed

The Clinton City Council has put the Fiscal Year 2013 Budget on File to be approved at their next meeting.

The budget for FY 13 is not a balanced budget, and Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters notes the past three budgets the City has had have not been balanced budgets, and they have been forced to dip into their savings. Mayor Peters says this current year's budget does not have quite the deficit they were expecting thanks to a payment from Ameren because of a new agreement with them.

[audio:fy13budget1.mp3] [/audio]

The City has been dipping into their reserves dwindling those funds each year little by little. According to Clinton Treasurer, Clint Lichtenwalter, the City has tried to maintain a reserve of six to twelve months cash on hand for emergency cases. Mayor Peters explains the current year's budget proposal has the City dipping into those funds so much so that it will take their reserves to about seven months worth of cash reserves.

[audio:fy13budget2.mp3] [/audio]

Over the past several years, Clinton City officials have worked to find ways to cut costs and increase revenues to help balance the budget. The City has reduced staff significantly and increased costs in other areas , such as water rates and other rates and fees. Mayor Peters says some costs or fees have not been increased since 2001. Some of those are going to be considered at the next meeting.

One area the City will look towards to increase revenues will be utilities. Mayor Peters says a utility tax increase will be implemented because the City is quite limited in where they increase taxes. Because so many taxes have limitations, the utility tax increase appeared to be the best option.

[audio:fy13budget3.mp3] [/audio]

Sales tax is another revenue source for the City, however, Mayor Peters notes that tax is inconsistent because of variables that effect the City's sales.

 Electricity costs are a per usage rate and gas is five-percent of gross receipts. One thing the Council is also considering is a senior citizen tax rebate. Mayor Peters says the estimated revenue from the tax increase would be around a half-million dollars.

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Traffic Deaths Declining On Illinois Roadways

The number of deaths on Illinois roadways is down.

According to the latest data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, fatalities declined 26% from 2006 to 2010.

That includes a 21% drop in deaths related to speeding.

The agency says there were 927 road fatalities in Illinois in 2010, down from 1,254 in 2006.

The nonprofit Traffic Safety Coalition said Friday that roads were becoming safer because of increased seatbelt use, better air bag technology and red light cameras.

The coalition says nationwide data shows traffic safety cameras change driver behavior and deter them from breaking the law.

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Research Suggests Long Term Use of Any Hormones Poses Cancer Risk

New research suggests that long-term use of any type of hormones to ease menopause symptoms can raise a women's risk of breast cancer.

It is already known that taking pills that combine estrogen and progestin pills, the most common type of hormone therapy, can increase breast cancer risk. But women who no longer have a uterus can take estrogen alone, and this was thought to be safe and possibly even beneficial in terms of cancer risk.

But the new study suggests otherwise. It tracked the health of 60,000 nurses and found that use of any kind of hormones for 10 years or more raised the chances of developing breast cancer.

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Illinois Bill Aims To Make Online Dating Safer

State lawmakers in Illinois are trying to make it safer for people to use online dating sites.

Legislation aiming to do that passed the Illinois House last week.

It would require Internet dating services operating in Illinois to post disclaimers saying whether they conduct background checks on their members.

The measure is sponsored by state Rep. Michelle Mussman, a Democrat from Schaumburg.

She says she wants to help Internet users "become more savvy" and protect themselves from online predators.

Opponents say the bill overreaches. Republican Rep. Jim Durkin of LaGrange says adults should be responsible for their own safety when using such sites.

The legislation now goes to the Senate.

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Senate Passes 'Julie's Law'

THE ILLINOIS SENATE PASSED “JULIE’S LAW” FRIDAY…CRACKING DOWN ON EXCESSIVE SPEEDERS.

THE PROPOSED LAW IS NAMED AFTER JULIE GORCZYSNSKI, AN ORLAND PARK TEENAGER FROM SENATOR MAGGIE CROTTY’S DISTRICT. IT DENIES COURT SUPERVISION FOR THOSE GOING 25 MILES OVER THE SPEED LIMIT ON CITY STREETS…AND 35 MILES PER HOUR ON THE HIGHWAY.

[audio:speed1.mp3] [/audio]

THE LAW IS NAMED AFTER JULIE GORCZYSNSKI…AN ORLAND PARK TEEN WHO DIED LAST SUMMER AFTER A COLLISION WITH A DRIVER WHO’D RECEIVED COURT SUPERVISION FOR SPEEDING SEVEN TIMES SAYS SENATOR MAGGIE CROTTY.

[audio:speed2.mp3] [/audio]

THE WAS APPROVED BY THE SENATE AND NOW MOVES ON TO THE HOUSE FOR A VOTE.

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Armed Robbery Prompts Alert At ISU Campus

An armed robbery on the Illinois State University campus has prompted the use of an emergency text message alert system.

Students, faculty and staff got the warning from the Illinois State Emergency Text Alert System about an hour after the robbery early Sunday.

Police say no one was hurt.

University President Al Bowman says a suspect is in custody. He says there was minimal threat to the campus but he decided to issue the alert nonetheless.

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Five People Shot At Decatur Nightclub

Police say five people were shot at the Celebrity Nights nightclub in Decatur overnight Saturday.

Police are searching for a 21-year-old suspect.

None of the victims had life-threatening injuries.

Police Lt. Cody Moore says multiple fights had broken out within a large crowd at the club before the shooting, which occurred at 1:30 a.m.

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Heyworth Schools Taking Advantage of State Grant

The Heyworth School district will be taking advantage of a state grant to help in the improvement of their facilities.

The grant is worth up to $50-thousand, and while the grant is not a great amount, the district is certainly happy to take advantage of it. Superintendent of the Heyworth School District Randy Merker explains the grant is available through the Illinois State Board of Education for facility improvements of up to $100-thousand dollars, and the state will reimburse half of that amount.

[audio:heyworthbuildings1.mp3] [/audio]

Heyworth will focus the grants towards more energy efficiency for the use of the grant this year. Merker explains their grade school and high school gymnasium lighting is not in good shape, as their current lights are original lights, so they will focus on replacing those this summer.

[audio:heyworthbuildings2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Merker, he estimates the project will cost a total of $60-thousand, with the State's grant, the Heyworth district will only be responsible for $30-thousand.

[audio:heyworthbuildings3.mp3] [/audio]

Heyworth hosts the IESA State Volleyball tournament in their gym, and Merker feels this improvement will improve those events. He also views these upgrades as classroom improvements. He says unless students are outside for their PE classes, the gym is essentially a classroom. The project will get underway during summer break.

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DJWH Using Loan To Make Mandated Upgrades

The Dr. John Warner Hospital has a couple of projects they have been mandated to take care of.

The City owned hospital has to upgrade some of their electrical work. CEO of the DJWH, Earl Sheehy explains the hospital Board approved for them to pre-apply for a loan through the USDA.

[audio:hospitalwork1.mp3] [/audio]

The USDA loan will be a low interest loan for the hospital. Sheehy explains the city of Clinton will not be responsible for the loan and they currently have a loan already out with the USDA. He says they will roll that loan into the one they are applying for. The hospital's debt will increase but their annual payment will decrease.

[audio:hospitalwork2.mp3] [/audio]

The hospital has applied for $1.5-million dollars. Sheehy believes the electric work will be less than a million but he explains there are other projects around the hospital's property they are looking to use with the rest. Two being a new parking lot at the physical therapy building and some floor work in the Rural Health Center.

[audio:hospitalwork3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy explains there is plenty of money in the Rural Development fund with the USDA, but they need to get the pre-application in before the government comes in and starts taking unused funds away.

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Clinton City Council To Consider New Downtown Parking Ordinance

The Clinton City Council could act on a new downtown parking ordinance this evening at their first April meeting.

The issue of downtown parking has once again been brought before the Council as business owners downtown are not happy with the current ordinance. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy explains downtown parking is nothing new to the Council or his department. He estimates every four to six years parking becomes an issue.

[audio:downtownparking2.mp3] [/audio]

The number of tickets the City issues varies with the seasons. Chief Reidy explains when the weather is nice, the amount of tickets they issue goes up. When it is cold and snowy, the amount of tickets decreases. This year because of the mild winter has been very different and their tickets are higher to this point this year.

[audio:downtownparking2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy says the current ordinance is in place to have people park on the square and then continue on to keep business coming to the square and not create a logjam of parking. He says whatever the City decides to do they will enforce.

[audio:downtownparking3.mp3] [/audio]

The City Council this evening will be considering placing an ordinance on file for no parking tickets on the downtown square. Chief Reidy explains this was tried once before and it failed. The ordinance will be effective until August, at which point, the Council will reconvene on the issue to find out how it is going.

[audio:downtownparking4.mp3] [/audio]

The Council convenes this evening to discuss and take possible action on the proposed ordinance. The meeting is at 7 pm at Clinton City Hall in the Council Chambers.

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Newman Snags Martinsville Victory

Ryan Newman earned a second straight victory for Stewart-Haas Racing and denied Hendrick Motorsports in the process by taking the checkered flag at Martinsville Speedway on Sunday.  Newman recovered from an early pit-road speeding penalty and took advantage when Hendrick drivers Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson were involved in a wreck during the first green-white-checkered finish.  A victory by either driver would have given HMS its 200th win in the Cup series.  Johnson and Gordon dominated most of the race along with Hendrick teammate Dale Earnhardt Jr., who finished third.  Johnson drove the 48-car to a 12th place finish, while Gordon came in 14th.  A.J. Allmendinger came in behind Newman to take second, while Matt Kenseth finished fourth followed by Martin Truex Jr.

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Wildcats, Jayhawks Meet For National Title

The Kentucky Wildcats and Kansas Jayhawks meet at the Superdome in New Orleans tonight for the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.  As the top-overall seed in the tournament, Kentucky got past its rival Louisville, 69-61, on Saturday night to advance.  Prior to that, the Wildcats defeated Western Kentucky, Iowa State, Indiana and Baylor during their run to the Final Four.  Head coach John Calipari will be seeking his first national championship while attempting to lead Kentucky to its eighth title.  The Wildcats last won it all in 1998 under Tubby Smith.

Kansas used a late second-half run to put away Ohio State, 64-62, on Saturday night in the national semifinal.  The Jayhawks' tournament run included wins over Detroit, Purdue, North Carolina State and North Carolina as well.  KU head coach Bill Self will be looking to capture his second national championship after taking the Jayhawks to the 2008 crown.  With a win, Kansas will notch its fourth title in school history.

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Thunder Sound In Win Over Bulls

Kevin Durant posted 26 points and 10 rebounds as the Thunder trounced the Bulls, 92-78.  Russell Westbrook paced the Thunder with 27 points, adding five assists and four steals.  Oklahoma City clinched a postseason spot with its sixth win in-a-row.  John Lucas provided 19 points off the bench to led Chicago, which saw a two-game win streak snapped.  Taj Gibson tallied 10 points and 11 rebounds also as a reserve in defeat.  Chicago was without guard Derrick Rose for the 10th straight game due to a groin injury.

NBA
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Boston Celtics 91, Miami Heat 72
Denver Nuggets 104, Orlando Magic 101
Toronto Raptors 99, Washington Wizards 92
Indiana Pacers 104, Houston Rockets 102 (OT)
Phoenix Suns 92, New Orleans Hornets 75
Portland Trail Blazers 119, Minnesota Timberwolves 106
Los Angeles Lakers 120, Golden State Warriors 112

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Weber Introduced At K-State

Bruce Weber has agreed to be the next head men's basketball coach at Kansas State.  He signed a five-year deal worth $1.5-million in 2012-13 and will receive a $100-thousand base salary increase each year remaining on the contract.  Weber replaces Frank Martin, who left Manhattan on Monday and was introduced as the new coach at South Carolina on Tuesday.  Weber, who was fired from Illinois on March 9th, is 313-and-155 in 14 seasons as a head coach.

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Lady Maroons Finish Strong in Tennessee

After a rough start the Lady Maroons won 2 of 3 games on Saturday to finish the Lady Warrior Classic with a record of 2 and 5. 

In their first game on Friday the lady Maroons lost to Boiling Springs South Carolina by a final of 7 - 2 Bailey Walker suffered the loss.  Offensively for the Lady Maroons Haley Ginger went 3 for 3 Emily Kroeger, Morgan Hickman and Kensie Hawes all added on hit each.

In the second Game Dickson County Tennesee defeated the Lady Maroons 2 - 1. Haley Ginger suffered the loss.  Offensively the Lady MAroons were led by Haley Toohill who was 3 for 4.  Emily Kroeger and Haley Ginger each added one hit.

On Saturday the Lady Maroons defeated Peru St. Bede Academy 5 - 3.  Bailey Walker picked up the win striking out 3.  Megan tool went 3 - 4 with 2 doubles. Walker, MAlly Hickman, Ginger and Kroeger all added on hit each.

In Game two on Saturday the Lady Maroons fell to Wilson Central from Tennessee 7 - 4.  Haley Ginger suffered the loss.  Offensively the Lady Maroons were led by Jessie Shride who was 2 for 3 with a double.  Ginger, Tool and Long each added on hit.

In the final game on Saturday the Lady Maroons defeated Nashville's Father Ryan Academy 13 - 2 in five innings. Bailey Walker picked up the win striking out 6.  Haley Ginger led the Lady Maroons offensive attack ging 3 for 4 with a double.  Morgan Hickman and Kennedy Carson each added two hits, Hawes, Kroeger and Toohill all added a hit each.

The Lady Maroons will be in action at Olympia this afternoon.

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Maroons Split Saturday D/H

The Clinton Maroons won one, and lost one Saturday at their annual Round Robin Tournament. In the first game the Maroons topped LeRoy 8-0. Kyle Birk went the distance on the mound striking out twelve and giving up just two hits along with four walks. Steven Evans was 2 for 4 at the plate with a pair of RBIs. LeRoy committed eight. Birk is now 2-1 on the season.

In game two, the Maroons were downed by Sullivan 8-5 as the Maroons committed six team errors. Marshall Sprague went six plus innings, giving up eight runs, one earned, one walk and ten strikeouts. Sprague is now 1-1 on the season. The Maroons were led offensively by Sprague and Birk, who were both 2-3. Birk had a pair of RBIs.

The Maroons are 5-4 on the season.

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Clinton Police Report for 3-26

On 03/23/12 at 11:40pm, Clinton police arrested Eric W. Young, 32, Clinton on an arrest warrant for Failure to Appear. He was transported to DCSO jail and released to the correctional staff.

On 03/24/12 at 12:40am, Clinton Police arrested Shannon W. Sanders, 40, of Clinton on an arrest warrant for Failure to Appear. He was transported to DCSO jail and released to the correctional staff.

On 03/24/12 at 1:18am, Clinton Police arrested Jeffrey L. Hoffman, 33, of Clinton on charges of Aggravated Battery and Resisting or obstructing a peace officer. He was transported to DCSO jail and released to the correctional staff.

0n 03/24/12 at 1:43pm, Clinton Police arrested Thomas F. Hunter, 18, of Clinton on the charge of Operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license. He was transported to DCSO jail and released to the correctional staff.

On 03/24/12 at 9:30pm, Clinton Police arrested Anibal Rodriguez Jr., 21, of Clinton on an arrest warrant for Failure to Pay Fine. He was transported to DCSO jail and released to correctional staff.

On 03/25/12 at 4:12pm, Clinton Police arrested Tequila R. Tedrick, 35, of Clinton on a DeWitt County Warrant. She was transported to DCSO jail and released to correctional staff.

On 03/25/12 at 3:47am, Clinton Police responded to a two vehicle accident on N. Grant St. Driver of vehicle 1 was Sharee L. Wood, 33, of Clinton was backing out of their shared driveway when a vehicle 2 being driven by Cheyenne M. Thayer, 19, of Clinton attempted to turn into the driveway and a collision occurred. No tickets were issued.

 

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

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Clinton Police Report for 3-27

On 03/26/12 at 2:05pm, Clinton Police arrested Nicholas P. Wilkins, 30, of Decatur on an arrest warrant out of Macon County and for operating a motor vehicle while driver’s license is suspended. Also arrested was Darren A. Mitchell Jr, 23, of Decatur on an arrest warrant out of Macon County, possession of Cannabis 2.5 – 10g and Obstructing Justice. Both individuals were transported to DCSO jail and released to the correctional staff.

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

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Clinton Police Report for 3-28

On 03/28/12 at 9:02am, Clinton Police responded to a hit and run accident on west Jefferson St. Witnesses reported a red mercury hit a garbage can, which in turn struck the rear of a vehicle, damaging the tail light cover. The vehicle damaged belongs to Nicole E. Forsberg of Clinton. The accident is still under investigation.

On 03/28/12 at 10:08am, Clinton Police arrested Derek S. Ayers, 19, of Clinton on the charged of Domestic Battery. He was transported to DCSO jail and turned over to the correctional staff.

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

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 ANDREW J. NEWBERG 31, CLINTON SPEEDING 44 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

ON 3/29/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED BRITTANY L. LORD 21, CLINTON ON A DEWITT COUNTY WARRANT. LORD WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 3/30/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED SARAH J. PRAWL 33, CLINTON FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED. PRAWL WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 3/30/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JOSHUA ABOYTES 23, JACKSONVILLE FOR DOMESTIC BATTERY, 2 COUNTS BATTERY AND AGGRAVATED BATTERY TO A PEACE OFFICER. ABOYTES WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 3/31/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED ASHLEY L. SPRIGGS 31, CLINTON FOR BATTERY. SPRIGGS WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 3/31/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED PAULA L. CONOVER 36, CLINTON FOR HARASSMENT BY ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION. CONOVER WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 4/1/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JOSHUA L. FATHEREE 24, CLINTON FOR UNLAWFUL POSSESSION OF REGISTRATION STICKER. FATHEREE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 4/1/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED THE FOLLOWING SUBJECTS FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR:

KAYLA N. DAY 18, SULLIVAN

ALISHA A. GORDON 18, DECATUR

HEATHER J. WELCH 18, DECATUR

ALL 3 SUBJECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS. A 16 YEAR OLD AND A 17 YEAR OLD JUVENILE WERE TAKEN INTO CUSTODY FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR AND TRANSPORTED TO THE CLINTON POLICE DEPARTMENT AND RELEASED TO THEIR PARENT PENDING FORMAL CHARGES IN COURT

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

April 1, 2012

 

Jail Polulation: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

April 2, 2012

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

Katrina Gramagna, 28, Decatur, was issued citations for Driving While License Suspended and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Gramagna posted the necessary bond and was released.

Brian Burns, 28, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Burns was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Michael Myers, 32, Springfield, was issued a citation for Speeding (81 mph in a 55 mph zone). Myers posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

Andrew Alwood, 19, Clinton, was issued a citation for Violation Of Classification-Motorcycle. Alwood 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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Grade Schoolers To Take Part In Annual 'Health Jam'

Clinton 4th graders will be taking part Tuesday in what is becoming a successful annual event.

The third annual 4-H Health Jam is Tuesday. The Dr. John Warner Hospital and the Clinton YMCA will help host the events and promote activity and good health to the Clinton School district's 4th graders. Sherry Fulton, 4-H Youth Development Educator with the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension explains the event is a two day event in which the nearly 180 students will take part in a variety of activities at the Clinton 'Y' and then will head to the DJWH and learn about a variety of things there.

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Since the consolidation of the Macon and Piatt County University of Illionis Extension Office's last year, Fulton will be introducing the program to the 5th students in Monticello. They will be teaming up with Kirby Medical Center and the 4-H Memorial Camp at Allerton Park. Their program will take place at the end of April.

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With over 300 students set to take part in the program, Fulton feels the program can have a great impact on students. She explains 4th-5th grade is an age where kids can be impacted by the things they learn and she feels it's also an age where they start to become more aware of their health and the physical condition of their bodies.

[audio:healthjam1.mp3] [/audio]

Fulton says there is a real problem with childhood obesity and this is a great program for young kids to understand why they should stay active and be healthy, and learn ways to do so.

The students will return to classes Thursday and discuss what they learned.

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