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31% of First Quarter Home Sales Were Foreclosures

Almost 31% of homes sold in Illinois in the first quarter of the year were in foreclosure or owned by a bank.

The statistics were released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. The company says the total number of foreclosures sold from January through March totaled 8,592, and the average sale price was $127,530.

The number of foreclosure sales was 22% higher than during the same period last year, and almost 12% higher than the last three months of 2011.

Nationally, foreclosure homes accounted for 26% of all residential sales in that same period.

The highest percentage of foreclosure sales were in Nevada, California and Georgia.

RealtyTrac says lenders also are approving more aggressively priced short sales.

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Union Worker's In Joliet Reject Caterpillar Offer

Union workers at Joliet's Caterpillar Inc. plant have again rejected a contract proposal from the company.

Steve Jones, the union's directing business agent says workers voted 504-116 on Wednesday against Peoria-based Caterpillar's latest proposal. About 800 workers from the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers rejected a previous offer from Caterpillar and went on strike earlier this month.

The company has said production at the plant wouldn't be disrupted. The facility manufactures hydraulics and other components for mining trucks, tractors and other machines. Caterpillar has called the strike vote unfortunate.

The details of the latest contract proposal weren't made public.

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Cell Phone Users To Receive Weather Alerts

Anyone with a newer cell phone in Illinois will get automatic weather alerts starting June 18th.  Chris Miller, with the National Weather Service in Lincoln, says people will receive several types of messages.

[audio:rddAlert3.mp3] [/audio]

Miller says people will get the alerts no matter what part of the country they're in.

[audio:rddAlert2.mp3] [/audio]

He adds people won't be charged anything to receive the alerts.

[audio:rddAlert1.mp3] [/audio]

The system will also provide alerts for hurricanes and tsunamis when people travel outside the state.  It will also send out AMBER alerts and presidential alerts, which means the message is coming straight from the president or his staff.  The messages will only go to phones that have been purchased within the last six months.  If you don't want to receive the alerts, you have to contact your cell phone provider and opt out.

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House Approves Budget

THE ILLINOIS HOUSE APPROVED A NEW STATE SPENDING PLAN WEDNESDAY NIGHT.

THE BUDGET CUTS MONEY TO SCHOOLS…BUT DOES HAVE FUNDING TO KEEP STATE FACILITIES OPEN AND STAYS UNDER A SELF IMPOSED SPENDING CAP THE HOUSE SET EARLIER THIS YEAR. REPRESENTATIVE WILL DAVIS OF EAST HAZEL CREST REMINDED HIS COLLEAGUES HE WARNED THIS WOULD BE DIFFICULT.

[audio:budget.mp3] [/audio]

THE SENATE HAS PASSED IT’S OWN VERSION OF A STATE BUDGET…WHICH SPENDS MILLIONS MORE. ONE OF THE TWO PLANS MUST BE APPROVED BY BOTH CHAMBERS BEFORE IT CAN BE SENT TO THE GOVERNOR.

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Lawmakers Claim State To Lose Money After Cigarette Tax Hike

State Senator Dale Righter says retailers that provide roll your own cigarette services will be put out of business thanks to provisions in the proposal to raise cigarette taxes.  

[audio:rddRightSmoke1.mp3] [/audio]

State Senator Kyle McCarter says raising cigarette taxes by one dollar will force smokers to cross state lines and purchase cigarettes there.

[audio:rddCartSmoke1.mp3] [/audio]

Republicans say taxing people is not the way to tackle the state's Medicaid problem.  They urge Democrats to deal with the issue by making necessary cuts, not by looking for ways to generate more money.  The additional tax is expected to bring in about 700-million dollars after the state receives matching money from the federal government.  The bill now heads to Governor Quinn, who supports the proposal.

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Legislation Cracking Down On Synthetic Drug Sales Passes

LEGISLATION CRACKING DOWN ON THE SALE OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS IN ILLINOIS HAS BEEN APPROVED BY STATE LAWMAKERS.

SYNTHETIC DRUGS ARE SOLD AS INCENSE OR BATH SALTS…BUT ARE ACTUALLY A BLEND OF HERBS AND CHEMICAL HALLUCINOGENS USED TO GET HIGH. REPRESENTATIVE JERRY COSTELLO OF SPARTA SPONSORED THE MEASURE…SAYING GAS STATIONS AND CONVENIENCE STORES ARE MAKING SO MUCH MONEY OFF THE PRODUCT…THEY ARE COMING UP WITH CLEVER WAYS TO GET AROUND STATE LAW AND SELL THE DRUGS.

[audio:synth.mp3] [/audio]

THE BILL MAKES IT ILLEGAL TO SELL ANY FORM OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS AND RAISES THE PENALTIES FOR THOSE CAUGHT. IT’S STRONGLY SUPPORTED BY ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN…WHO CALLS SYNTHETIC DRUGS THE GREATEST EMERGING PUBLIC HEALTH PROBLEMS IN THE STATE. IT NOW MOVES TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK TO BE SIGNED INTO LAW.

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Major Sticking Point In Pension Reform Removed

A MAJOR STICKING POINT IN THE BATTLE OVER PENSION REFORM IS BEING REMOVED.

BOTH THE HOUSE AND SENATE ADJOURNED WEDNESDAY WITHOUT TAKING ACTION ON EITHER OF TWO PENSION BILLS. BUT NOW WITH THIS CHANGE…PASSAGE IS MORE LIKELY. THE BIGGEST HURDLE HAS BEEN A PLAN TO GRADUALLY REQUIRE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND COLLEGES TO PICK UP THE TAB FOR TEACHER PENSIONS. RIGHT NOW…THE STATE HAS THAT RESPONSIBILITY. AND WHILE HOUSE SPEAKER MIKE MADIGAN STILL FAVORS THAT APPROACH…HE’S MET RESISTANCE FROM REPUBLICANS…AND NOW THE GOVERNOR.

[audio:nowhere.mp3] [/audio]

BOTH PENSION BILLS GIVE STATE OFFICIALS…EMPLOYEES…LAWMAKERS AND TEACHERS TWO CHOICES IN HOPES OF SAVING MONEY AND MAKING UP FOR YEARS OF UNDERFUNDING THE STATE’S PENSION SYSTEMS.

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Experts Warn To Watch For Early Rootworm

Farmers have taken advantage of the mild spring, and it looks like insects are also using the warm temperatures to their advantage.  Jared White has more...

[audio:52812EarlyCornRootwormHatchWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Ambulance Advisory Committee Making Great Strides In Early Work

As the Ambulance Advisory Committee continues it's research and work to finding the best solution for ambulance service in DeWitt County, there have been several surprises along the way.

The Ambulance Advisory Committee has already met twice in just over a month into their formation. DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley is pleased with the group's progress as they have been and will continue to investigating other area ambulance services.

[audio:53112committeereaction1.mp3] [/audio]

The DeWitt County Board had to make a minor change to the Committee. Tilley explains the person she had appointed from the Wapella Fire District, Callan Cain was unable to serve and so Willis Strange has been appointed to replace him.

[audio:53112committeereaction2.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley had asked the Committee to have a request for proposal ready by mid-June. Tilley notes at the time of asking to have the deadline met, that goal seemed like it could be accomplished. But now that the Committee has been formed and the work has begun, it is obvious that deadline is not going to be met.

[audio:53112committeereaction3.mp3] [/audio]

As the Committee continues to meet and research various options for the County, Tilley says this Board has exceeded her expectations and she feels it is evident they are committed to giving residents of DeWitt County the best option for ambulance service.

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Memorial Tees Off This Morning

The Memorial Tournament tees off this morning at the Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio.  The field is loaded honoring the most prolific winner in PGA Tour history.  Jack Nicklaus is the tournament host, course designer and the number-one reason the stars of golf show up for this, what is likely to be, a final tune-up for the U.S. Open in two weeks.  Since most of the game's best skip the FedEx St. Jude Classic next week, this will be the last time we see the likes of new number-one Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy [[ MAC-il-roy ]], Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan [[ MAY-han ]] until Thursday, June 14th at Olympic Club.  Steve Stricker is the Memorial defending champion after claiming a one-stroke win over Matt Kuchar last year. 

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NBA Playoffs, NHL Stanley Cup Recaps

>>Heat Outlast Celtics In OT

(Miami, FL)  --  LeBron James collected 34 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists as the Heat outlasted the Celtics in overtime, 115-111, in a wild Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals.  Dwyane Wade dropped in 23 points to help Miami take a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.  Mario Chalmers netted 22 in the victory.  Rajon Rondo scored a career-high 44 points for Boston.  Rondo also had eight rebounds and 10 assists while playing the entire game.  The series shifts to Boston for Game Three on Friday.

>>Kings Beat Devils In OT In Game One

(Newark, NJ)  --  Anze Kopitar [[ KOE-pih-tar ]] scored with 11:47 left in overtime to give the Kings a 2-1 win over the Devils in Game One of the Stanley Cup Final.  Colin Fraser lit the lamp in the first period to help the Kings grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.  Jonathan Quick stopped 17 of the 18 shots he faced in the victory.  Los Angeles moved to 9-and-0 on the road in this year's playoffs with the win.  Anton Volchenkov scored in the second period for the Devils, who will host Game Two on Saturday.  Martin Brodeur [[ mar-tan  bro-DURE ]] made 23 saves in the loss.

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Hornets Land Top Pick In Draft Lottery; Expected To Take UK's Davis

The New Orleans Hornets captured the first-overall pick in next month's NBA Draft by winning the draft lottery Wednesday night.  The Hornets were awarded the top selection after finishing with a Western Conference-worst mark of 21-and-45 last season.  The Hornets, who had only a 13.7-percent chance of getting the top pick, will likely select Kentucky big man Anthony Davis.

Meanwhile, despite posting the worst single-season winning percentage in NBA history, the Charlotte Bobcats will pick second.  Charlotte had a 25-percent chance of landing the top pick.  The 'Cats were just 7-and-59, good for a .106 winning percentage.  The Washington Wizards, Cleveland Cavaliers and Sacramento Kings round out the top-five.

Full Results Of NBA Draft Lottery
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1. New Orleans Hornets
2. Charlotte Bobcats
3. Washington Wizards
4. Cleveland Cavaliers
5. Sacramento Kings
6. Portland Trail Blazers (from Brooklyn Nets)
7. Golden State Warriors
8. Toronto Raptors
9. Detroit Pistons
10. New Orleans Hornets
11. Portland Trail Blazers
12. Milwaukee Bucks
13. Phoenix Suns
14. Houston Rockets

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Pro Bowl Gets Another Shot

The NFL is keeping the Pro Bowl for at least one more year.  The league announced that the 2013 Pro Bowl will be played in Hawaii in January and will work with players to make the game more competitive.  Commissioner Roger Goodell previously said cancelling the annual All-Star contest was possible given the number of players in recent years that have pulled out of the game, as well as criticism that the players who did participate weren't giving an NFL-caliber effort.

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White Sox Win 8th Straight; Cubs Win On Walk Off; Braves Drop Cards

>>Pale Hose Hold Off Rays For Eighth Straight Win

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  Alexei Ramirez went 2-for-4 with two RBI as the White Sox built a 4-1 lead and hung on to beat the Rays, 4-3.  Dayan Viciedo added three hits and an RBI as Chicago swept the three-game series at Tampa Bay.  Sox starter Jose Quintana was ejected in the fourth inning for throwing at the Rays' Ben Zobrist.  Nate Jones got the victory and Addison Reed his sixth save as Chicago won its eighth in-a-row.  Alex Cobb allowed all four runs in five innings to take the loss for Tampa Bay.  Luke Scott hit a solo homer and Carlos Pena added a two-run shot for the Rays.

MLB AL
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Kansas City Royals 6, Cleveland Indians 3
Minnesota Twins 4, Oakland Athletics 0
Toronto Blue Jays 4, Baltimore Orioles 1
Boston Red Sox 6. Detroit Tigers 4
Seattle Mariners 21, Texas Rangers 8
New York Yankees 6, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5

>>Barney Helps Cubs Sweep Padres

(Chicago, IL)  --  Darwin Barney blasted a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Cubs to an 8-6 win over the Padres.  Barney finished 2-for-3 with three RBI and three runs scored as Chicago swept the three-game set on the heels of a 12-game skid.  Steve Clevenger also plated a pair of runs for the Northsiders.  James Russell tossed a scoreless inning to get the win.  Carlos Quentin hit a pair of two-run homers and Chris Denorfia also hit a two-run shot for San Diego in a losing effort.  Dale Thayer was saddled with the loss.  The Padres have dropped nine of their last 10 games.

>>Braves Outslug Cards

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Brian McCann and Freddie Freeman both homered to lead the Braves in a 10-7 win over the Cardinals.  Matt Holliday and Tyler Greene knocked in two runs apiece for St. Louis.  Marc Rzepczynski [[ ZEP-chen-skee ]] was saddled with the loss for the Cardinals, who have dropped five of their last seven games.  The Cards start a four-game series with the Mets tomorrow.

MLB NL
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Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Cincinnati Reds 1
Miami Marlins 5, Washington Nationals 3
Philadelphia Phillies 10, New York Mets 6
Colorado Rockies 13, Houston Astros 5
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
Arizona Diamondbacks 4, San Francisco Giants 1

>>Garcia To Miss Start

(Undated)  --  St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Jaime [[ HIGH-may ]] Garcia underwent a successful MRI yesterday.  The test came up clean, but St. Louis manager Mike Matheny stated the lefty will skip his next scheduled start.  Garcia is expected to start June 5th against Houston.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-31

Jail Population: 82

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Phillip Dyer, 44, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Disorderly Conduct. Dyer being unable 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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Heads Up! of DeWitt County Hosting 'Community Play Day'

This Saturday, families are invited to take part in a special event hosted by Heads Up! of DeWitt County at Weldon Springs State Recreation Area.

A 'Community Play Day' is being put on by Heads Up!, community advocates for mental wellness. Tina Baxter with the organization explains the time will consist of lots of games and fun activities.

[audio:6112communityplayday1.mp3] [/audio]

The theme for this year's event is "What Makes You Smile" and Clinton and Blue Ridge youngsters made posters of what makes them smile. Baxter says some of those posters have already been displayed throughout the various communities, and more will be on display Saturday.

[audio:6112communityplayday2.mp3] [/audio]

The event is open to the public and takes place this Saturday from 9 am to noon at Weldon Springs Park. The goal of the event is to promote mental awareness and health in the community.

Heads Up! is a cooperative effort between local social service agencies, schools, the Clinton YMCA and volunteers to promote good mental health within DeWitt County.

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Judge Rules Firm Illegally Fired Illinois Worker

A federal judge has ruled that a subsidiary of BASF Corporation illegally retaliated against an Illinois employee who declined to give up his right to file a discrimination charge. A complaint alleging that many other employees were forced to give up that right could be headed for trial.

Judge Michael McCuskey wrote in a May 23 opinion that Cognis Corporation illegally fired Steven Whitlow after he declined to be bound by an agreement that forbid a discrimination charge. The U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission sued for him.

Whitlow was fired in 2007 from a company site in Kankakee.

The judge declined to rule in the case of other employees who signed agreements but weren't fired. That could go to trial.

BASF did not respond to a request for comment.

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Illinois Bill Would Require Free Health Care For Poor

Illinois hospitals would be required to provide free care to some poor people under a bill passed by the Legislature and headed to the governor's desk.

Urban hospitals would have to provide free treatment to patients with incomes below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines. That's about $46,000 for a family of 4.

Rural hospitals would have to give free care to patients with incomes below 125% of the poverty guidelines. That's about $29,000 for a family of 4.

Care would have to be medically necessary and patients would have to apply for assistance.

The measure also would authorize Attorney General Lisa Madigan to adopt standards for the applications hospitals use for financial assistance.

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Peoria Region Seen As Major US Exporter

Federal figures show the Peoria region is a major U.S. exporter, sending abroad more merchandise per person than any other part of the country.

Peoria's port district TransPORT said Tuesday the five most popular products exported from Greater Peoria are machinery, fabricated metal products, chemicals, transportation equipment and electrical equipment.

Most of the products are headed for Chile, Canada, Brazil, Belgium and Australia.

The Peoria region exported nearly $30,000 worth of products per person in 2010. That's according to the International Trade Administration, a bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Exports totaled more than $11 billion, making the Peoria region the 22nd largest export market in the nation.

Manufacturers exporting to world markets from Peoria include Caterpillar, Komatsu, Case New Holland, Kress Manufacturing and Excel Foundry.

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Republicans Challenge Quinn To Stick With Pension Reform

Illinois House Minority Leader Tom Cross sends a strong message to Governor Quinn when it comes to pension reform.

[audio:rddCrossPen4.mp3] [/audio]

Cross says Speaker Michael Madigan has too much control over the reform process, but he urges Quinn not to let up.  He says the governor should keep them in session through the summer or until a compromise is reached.  The Speaker presented a proposal just hours before it hit the floor for debate yesterday, leaving Republicans very little time to analyze the bill.  The debate turned ugly after Democrats refused to remove a section which puts more of a financial burden on downstate and suburban schools.  Lawmakers have until the end of the day tomorrow to negotiate a fix for the 85-billion dollar pension liability.

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Gas Prices Should Remain Level Over Summer Months

Gas prices are down more than 30-cents in Central and Southern Illinois over the past few weeks.  Patrick DeHaan, with GasBuddy.com, says it looks like they've pretty much leveled out.

[audio:rddGasDrop1.mp3] [/audio]

DeHaan says drivers will get some stability at the pump throughout the summer months.  He says the price of crude oil has dropped from 110-dollars to 92-dollars a barrel over the past month.  Plus, refineries have boosted production and is now using cleaner burning gas for the summer.  All of which are reasons why drivers are getting some relief at the pump.

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Gov. Quinn Thanks Lawmakers Who Voted For Cigarette Tax Increase

Gov. Pat Quinn is thanking lawmakers who voted to approve a $1 increase in cigarette taxes. It's the final piece of his plan to ease crushing financial burdens on the Medicaid system.

Quinn says the General Assembly "rose to the occasion to save our Medicaid system from the brink of collapse." The measure now goes to Quinn for his signature.

The governor and other Democrats argue the increase will help close a $2.7 billion hole in the state Medicaid budget and also help prevent smoking. Republicans object to any tax increase.

Quinn said Tuesday that smoking-related illnesses cost Medicaid $1.5 billion last year.

He also says the legislation will help 60,000 people quit smoking, prevent 60,000 deaths from smoking-related conditions and keep 80,000 young people from starting to smoke.

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Lawmakers Approve Cigarette Tax Hike

SMOKERS ARE SOON GOING TO HAVE TO PAY MORE TO GET THEIR FIX.

LAWMAKERS HAVE APPROVED A ONE DOLLAR A PACK INCREASE IN THE STATE TAX ON CIGARETTES…RAISING IT TO ONE DOLLAR 98 CENTS. SENATE PRESIDENT JOHN CULLERTON IS A STRONG SUPPORTER OF THE PLAN…SAYING IT WILL IMPROVE THE HEALTH OF ILLINOISANS.

[audio:smokehike1.mp3] [/audio]

THAT, COMBINED WITH A NEW TAX ON HOSPITALS AND FEDERAL MATCHING MONEY IS EXPECTED TO BRING IN ABOUT 800 MILLION DOLLARS FOR THE STATE’S MEDDICAID PROGRAM. BUT SENATOR DAN KOTOWSKI OF PARK RIDGE IS TOUTING THE HEALTH BENEFITS AS WELL.

[audio:smokehike2.mp3] [/audio]

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS THANKING LEGISLATORS FOR PASSING THE BILL AND SAYS HE LOOKS FORWARD TO QUICKLY SIGNING IT INTO LAW.

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Pension Reforms Taking Shape

A PENSION REFORM PACKAGE IS TAKING SHAPE IN THE ILLINOIS LEGISLATURE.

THE MEASURE RESTRUCTURES THE STATE’S PENSION SYSTEMS FOR STATE WORKERS, OFFICIALS, LAWMAKERS AND TEACHERS. IT REQUIRES EMPLOYEES TO MAKE A CHOICE: STAY UNDER THE CURRENT SYSTEM WITH COMPOUNDED COST OF LIVING INCREASES BUT LOSE YOUR HEALTH CARE WHEN YOU RETIRE…OR OPT FOR THE NEW PLAN THAT STILL ALLOWS ACCESS TO THE STATE’S HEALTH INSURANCE AND FACTORS IN ANY RAISES IN PENSION CALCULATIONS. THE DOWNSIDE WITH THAT OPTION IS THE ANNUAL COST OF LIVING INCREASES ARE REDUCED. THE GOVERNOR’S BUDGET DIRECTOR JERRY STERMER SAYS THIS ISN’T AN IDEAL SITUATION…BUT NECESSARY GIVEN THE DIRE CONDITIONS OF THE STATE’S PENSION SYSTEMS.

[audio:penplan1.mp3] [/audio]

 THE BIGGEST STICKING POINT IS A PART OF THE LEGISLATION REQUIRING SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND COLLEGES TO GRADUALLY START PICKING UP THE TAB FOR THEIR TEACHER’S PENSIONS. THAT COMPONENT IS OPPOSED BY HOUSE MINORITY LEADER TOM CROSS.

[audio:penplan2.mp3] [/audio]

THE BILL IS AWAITING A VOTE ON THE HOUSE FLOOR. THE SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION IS SCHEDULED TO END THURSDAY NIGHT.

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Weekly Crop Report

WHILE FARMERS HAD PLENTY OF TIME TO WORK IN THE FIELDS THIS PAST WEEK…ILLINOIS CROPS COULD SURE USE A GOOD RAINFALL.

97 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW EMERGED…AND STANDS AT AN AVERAGE HEIGHT OF 13 INCHES…WELL ABOVE CONDITIONS AT THIS TIME LAST YEAR SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

SCHWAB ADDS 94 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE NOW PLANTED AND 78 PERCENT HAS EMERGED.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA HAY IS NEARLY COMPLETE AND 34 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP IS RIPE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT ONE PERCENT SURPLUS…36 PERCENT ADEQUATE…48 PERCENT SHORT…AND 15 PERCENT VERY SHORT.

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DeWitt County Museum's Covered Bridge Restored

A landmark to those that frequent the Apple and Pork Festival each September that was destroyed at the DeWitt County Museum is back.

The covered bridge at the grounds of the museum was restored over the winter. Larry Buss with the DeWitt County Museum explains the bridge came down right around Thanksgiving of last year thanks to a windy night.

[audio:53012museumbridge1.mp3] [/audio]

This time around the bridge should last for a long time as the frame of the bridge is now steel. Buss notes, it was not an easy task, but he is very grateful to the hard work of Waters Construction to restore the bridge.

[audio:53012museumbridge2.mp3] [/audio]

Crews were able to get out during the mild winter to get the bridge restored. Buss feels that was a great break for the Museum to get an icon for so many back restored and back on the map.

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United Way's DeWitt County Fund Raising Drive Complete

The United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois has wrapped up their yearly fund drive for DeWitt County.

The United Way was able to reach its goal for its yearly campaign in DeWitt County of $45,000. Of the total money raised, $36,000 was undesignated and was distributed amongst agencies in DeWitt County. Director of Community Impact with the United Way, Chad Clevenger explains all that money raised will stay within DeWitt County.

[audio:53012UnitedWay4.mp3] [/audio]

Clevenger notes all the money that was raised in DeWitt County stayed in the county unless the donor says something different. He explains there are many examples of people donating from outside the area into DeWitt County

[audio:53012UnitedWay3.mp3] [/audio]

Once the money has been collected, it then must be distributed. Agencies endorsed by the United Way must fill out a grant application. According to Clevenger, community volunteers are brought in to decide how to distribute those funds.

[audio:53012UnitedWay5.mp3] [/audio]

There were twelve United Way endorsed agencies in DeWitt County that applied for funding this past year, join us this afternoon to find out how much each agency received and Clevenger's thoughts on this year's process.

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NASCAR Race Beats Indy In TV Ratings

The NASCAR Coca-Cola 600 was a TV hit.  The race, held in Charlotte over the weekend, posted better TV ratings than the Indy 500, which lost five-percent of viewers compared to last year.  The NASCAR race drew more than five-million households.

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NHL/NBA Notes

>>Spurs Sink Thunder In Game Two

(San Antonio, TX)  --  Tony Parker scored 34 points on 16-of-21 shooting to lead the Spurs to a 120-111 win over the Thunder in Game Two of the Western Conference finals.  Manu Ginobili netted 20 points to help the Spurs grab a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.  The Spurs have won all 10 of their playoff games and have reeled off 20 straight wins dating back to the regular season.  Kevin Durant ended with 31 points for the Thunder, who will host Game Three on Thursday.  James Harden had 30 points off the bench in the loss. Meanwhile, the Miami Heat will host the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.  Miami holds a 1-0 lead in the series.  Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m.

>>Devils Host Kings In Stanely Cup Game One

(Newark, NJ)  --  The puck drops on the Stanley Cup Final tonight.  The New Jersey Devils host the Los Angeles Kings in Game One of the best-of-seven series at the Prudential Center.  Backed by the league's all-time winningest goalie in 40-year-old Martin Brodeur, the Devils are seeking their fourth Stanley Cup title overall and first since 2003.  As the sixth seed in the Eastern Conference, New Jersey beat Florida, Philadelphia and the New York Rangers to reach the Final.  The Kings lost to the Montreal Canadiens in their only prior Stanley Cup Final appearance in 1993.  As the eighth seed in the West this year, Los Angeles has riden the hot goaltending of netminder Jonathan Quick to playoff wins over the top three seeds, Vancouver, St. Louis and Phoenix.  The Devils beat LA in two meetings during the regular season, but both took place back in October.

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Cubs, Sox Win; Cards Fall

>>Cubs Win Second Straight After 12-Game Skid

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alfonso Soriano homered to back seven solid innings from Jeff Samardzija as the Cubs beat the Padres, 5-3.  Darwin Barney went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and two runs scored as Chicago won its second straight on the heels of a 12-game losing streak.  Samardzija fanned eight while allowing three runs for his fifth win.  He also singled in a run to help his own cause.  Eric Stults gave up four runs in six-and-a-third frames to take the loss for San Diego.  Carlos Quentin hit his first home run of the year and Will Venable had an RBI triple for the Padres.

>>Braves Clip Cards To Snap Eight-Game Slide

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Dan Uggla clubbed a three-run homer and Michael Bourn added a solo shot to lead the Braves in a 5-4 win over the Cardinals.  Jose Constanza scored on a wild pitch to account for Atlanta's other run.  Randall Delgado tossed five-and-a-third frames of three-run ball to pick up the win and Craig Kimbrel locked down his 14th save of the season for the Braves, who snapped an eight-game slide.  Yadier Molina finished 4-for-4 with a homer and three RBI for St. Louis.  Jake Westbrook allowed all five runs, four earned, in five innings of duty to absorb the loss.

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Miami Marlins 3, Washington Nationals 1
New York Mets 6, Philadelphia Phillies 3
Milwaukee Brewers 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1
San Francisco Giants 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

>>White Sox Pummel Rays

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  Dayan Viciedo went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI as the White Sox pummeled the Rays, 7-2.  Viciedo also scored three times, while Alexei Ramirez plated a pair of runs in Chicago's seventh straight win.  Phil Humber tossed seven innings of two-run ball to earn his first win since tossing a perfect game on April 21st.  Hideki Matsui hit a two-run homer in his debut with the Rays.  James Shields allowed six runs, five earned, in six innings to fall to 6-and-3.

MLB AL
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Kansas City Royals 8, Cleveland Indians 2
Toronto Blue Jays 8, Baltimore Orioles 6
Boston Red Sox 6, Detroit Tigers 3
Seattle Mariners 10, Texas Rangers 3
Minnesota Twins 3, Oakland Athletics 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 5, New York Yankees 1

>>Magglio Ordonez To Announce Retirement Sunday

(Detroit, MI)  --  Magglio Ordonez is formally retiring from Major League Baseball.  The six-time All-Star will make it official during a pre-game ceremony in Detroit on Sunday.  Ordonez spent the final seven seasons of his 15-year career with the Tigers, helping Detroit reach the 2006 World Series.  The 38-year-old finishes his career with more than 21-hundred hits, a .309 batting average and 294 home runs.  Ordonez played his first eight seasons with the Chicago White Sox.

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Weber Rounding Out K-State Staff

Kansas State coach Bruce Weber is rounding out his coaching staff by hiring former Illinois standout Chester Frazier as an assistant coach.

Frazier will earn a base salary of $135,000. He joins former Southern Illinois coach Chris Lowery and Alvin Brooks III as assistant coaches, while Brad Korn will be director of basketball operations and Jimmy Price the strength and conditioning coach.

Frazier has spent the past two years playing professionally in Germany. He led S. Oliver Baskets Wuerzburg Basketball Club to the semifinals of the Bundesliga playoffs this season.

After playing for Weber at Illinois, Frazier served as a graduate assistant and video coordinator for the Fighting Illini between stints playing in Germany.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-30

 

May 30, 2012

 

Jail Population: 8

 

Summons Served: 1

 

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

 

David Atkins, 33, Farmer City, was arrested and charged with Assault, Property Damage <$300. Atkins posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

 

Joseph Redman, 25, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Battery. Redman, being unable 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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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-24

 

May 24, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 23, revealed that a vehicle driven by Joshua Capili, 25, Clinton, was northbound on US Highway 51. Capili drove off the roadway to the left, into the center median. The front driver’s side wheel broke, making the car unable to be driven from the scene. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

 

Richard Walters, 60, Decatur, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Walters being unable 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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United Way's Campaign Funds Distribution Announced

Once the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois' annual campaign drive wrapped up, it was time to distribute those funds.

The United Way this year set a goal of raising $45-thousand for United Way endorsed agencies in DeWitt County. Community Impact Director Chad Clevenger credits meeting this year's goal to the support of businesses within DeWitt County.

[audio:53012UnitedWay1.mp3] [/audio]

The distributation of money is decided by a group of volunteers. The volunteers listened to all the eligible agencies proposals and presentations on the things their programs do, and ultimately decided who receives the money. Clevenger says the volunteers give the money to whatever programs they believe helps the community out the most.

[audio:53012UnitedWay2.mp3] [/audio]

Several years back, the United Way Board decided in Macon County they would not fund agencies that provided direct funding to people that were unable to do things such as pay rent, or pay a utility bill. Clevenger says that decision was made because it was not dealing with the reason those people could not do those things. However, he notes that is not something that has been implemented in DeWitt County, but the volunteers this year made decisions that did not fund agencies providing direct funding for people.

[audio:53012UnitedWay6.mp3] [/audio]

In all, nine different organizations in DeWitt County were given money. YMCA received the largest donation with $7-thousand going to their youth and family programs. Peace Meals, an organization that delivers meals to senior citizens, was given the second highest donation at $6-thousand. DOVE received $55-hundred for its domestic violence programs. Other organizations that received money were Community Action, Human Resource Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Red Cross and the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

There were two programs that did not receive funding this year, those were DOVE's DAX program and Salvation Army's Rapidraft program.

To learn more about the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois,  you can visit their website at uwdecatur.org or give Chad a call at 217-422-8537.

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LITTLE LEAGUE: Bement Tops Clinton 2

As heard on WHOW, in 11-12 year old little league action Bement defeated Clinton #2 by a score of 17-6 at Clinton. Logan Peterson and Parker West had two hits a piece. Peterson had an RBI and a run, West added an RBI. Kane Patterson had an RBI single and scored a run. Billy Vo added a double.

For Bement, Wes McDermith had two inside-the-park homeruns, a double and six RBI's.

The next Little League Broadcast is next Tuesday at 6 p.m. You can hear The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

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UIC Director Honored For Charity Fundraising

A director of the Chicago Diabetes Project is being honored for raising the most charity funds in a 2011 marathon.

Dr. Jose Oberholzer is part of the Chicago Diabetes Project's charity team. They're called "Cellmates on the Run" and they raised more than $125,000 in the 2011 Bank of America Chicago Marathon.

The Chicago Diabetes Project is a collaboration of scientists, researchers, doctors and surgeons.

Oberholzer is also director of a transplant program at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

He's receiving the Mayor Richard M. Daley and Maggie Daley Award on Tuesday. The award was established in 2010.

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Chicago Police Say Woman Stole Ambulance

A judge has ordered a Chicago woman accused of stealing a fire department ambulance from a hospital held on $25,000 bond.

Cassie Weathersby was charged with stealing the vehicle, driving on a suspended license and driving under the influence of alcohol.

Authorities say the 30-year-old woman allegedly stole the ambulance from a hospital on the city's South Side and crashed it a few blocks away around 11 p.m. Sunday.

She appeared in bond court Monday.

Weathersby was not injured in the crash and was taken into custody.

A message left Sunday at a number listed for Weathersby wasn't immediately returned.

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Indicted Chicago Lawmaker's Case Hurting Democrats

As if one indicted Illinois politician making bizarre public speeches and refusing to leave office wasn't enough.

The political saga of state Rep. Derrick Smith has echoed, in miniature, the corruption case of Rod Blagojevich. That's from a federal wiretap to impassioned speeches on serving the people to big time embarrassment for Illinois Democrats.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White calls it a "another black eye" for Democrats. He was Smith's mentor but is now leading the charge to find a replacement.

Experts say Democrats have had little choice in forcing Smith out of office because he won't step down. Democratic leaders are supporting a third-party candidate to back in November.

Smith was charged with bribery a few days before the Illinois primary in March. He's pleaded not guilty.

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Cellphones Ban Near Emergency Scenes Goes To Quinn

The flashing lights of a parked ambulance or other emergency vehicle may soon be a sign for Illinois drivers to hang up the phone.

The limited cellphone ban goes to Gov. Pat Quinn's desk. It passed in the House on Monday by 84-30.

The legislation would make it illegal for drivers to make calls with a hand-held phone within 500 feet of an accident scene where emergency vehicles have flashing lights, except for reporting emergencies. It also bans sending picture and video messages while driving at any time.

Supporters say it would reduce the risk of careless drivers hitting accident victims or emergency personnel. Cellphone use by drivers already is banned in construction and school zones.

Opponents call the ban overregulation by the state.

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Lawmakers Considering Early Release Program To Help Ease Prison Overcrowding

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE CONSIDERING A NEW EARLY RELEASE PROGRAM TO EASE OVERCROWDING IN STATE PRISONS.

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN ENDED EARLY RELEASE BACK IN 2009…WHEN NEWS REPORTS FOUND SOME INMATES WERE BEING LET OUT JUST WEEKS AND IN SOME CASES…JUST DAYS AFTER BEING LOCKED UP. BUT THAT’S LED TO OVERCROWDING…WITH PRISONS PACKED FULL OF HUNDREDS MORE INMATES THAN THEY WERE DESIGNED FOR. REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE OF CHICAGO SAYS A REVAMPED TIME-OFF-FOR-GOOD- BEHAVIOR SYSTEM MIGHT EASE THE SITUATION.

[audio:early.mp3] [/audio]

THE SENATE HAS ALREADY APPROVE A BILL CREATING THE NEW EARLY RELEASE PROGRAM…BUT IT STILL MUST BE APPROVED BY THE HOUSE AND THE GOVERNOR. IT WOULD NOT APPLY TO VIOLENT OFFENDERS.

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Record Setting Memorial Day Heat

It was another day of record-breaking temperatures for much of Illinois.

The National Weather Service says the record in Chicago was shattered before 1 p.m. Monday when it hit 94 degrees at O'Hare International Airport. The record was 93 degrees set in 2006 and 1991.

A high of 94 degrees was predicted for Decatur.

The weather service issued precautions for several Illinois counties because of the heat. The warnings included heighted fire danger because of strong southwest winds and unseasonably hot and dry conditions. Those counties include Cook, DuPage, Ford, Grundy and Lake.

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Early Soybean Planting Not Always Rewarding

Farmers across Illinois are rapidly progressing with soybean planting, however some producers that were ahead of the pack found out that first may not always mean best.  Jared White has more...

[audio:52112BeanLeafBeetlesWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton High School Gym Floor To Receive Repairs This Summer

Add the Clinton High School gym floor to the list of upgrades at the high school.

After investigating the aging floor, it turns out almost 40-percent of the main gym floor is 'dead'. Superintendent of the Clinton School district Dr. Jeff Holmes explains they have a floating floor attached to sleepers, and those sleepers have become detached.

[audio:52912clintonfloor1.mp3] [/audio]

An initial quote to make repairs to the floor came in at just over $100-thousand. Dr. Holmes explains that quote repairs current detached sleepers, but does not guarantee other sleepers won't come detached in the future, which led to a quote of over $180-thousand to repair the whole floor.

[audio:52912clintonfloor2.mp3] [/audio]

Because of the possibility of other sleepers under the floor becoming detached, Dr. Holmes recommended to the Board of Education to replace the entire floor. He feels it makes long term economical sense.

[audio:52912clintonfloor3.mp3] [/audio]

The Board of Education sent the project out for bid with a target of having the work done this summer. It would be an estimated eight week project. The high school gym will only be host to one early summer event, opening up basically the entire summer for the job to be done.

The entire east to west, north to south main gym floor will be redone.

Dr. Holmes points out, come the start of school next fall, the gym will look the exact same, but it will be a much better surface.

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NBA Notes

>>Heat Hammer Celtics In Game One

(Miami, FL)  --  LeBron James scored 32 points and snatched 13 rebounds to lead the Heat to a 93-79 win over the Celtics in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals.  Dwyane Wade dropped in 22 points to help Miami grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven set.  The Heat never trailed and outscored Boston 47-33 in the second half.  Kevin Garnett finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds for Boston.  Rajon Rondo ended with 16 points, nine rebounds and seven assists in the loss.  Rondo, Ray Allen, and head coach Doc Rivers were all hit with technical fouls.  Game Two is Miami is on Wednesday.

>>Spurs Face Thunder In Game Two

(San Antonio, TX)  --  The Spurs host the Thunder in Game Two of the Western Conference finals this evening.  San Antonio notched a 101-98 victory in the opener of the seven-game set on Sunday.  Dating back to the regular season, the Spurs have won 19 straight games.  Tip-off is at 9:00 Eastern.

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Cubs Notes

>> Epstein Says Cubs' "Clearly Better Than This"

Theo Epstein expected some rough stretches for the Chicago Cubs. He didn't envision this.

With 12 straight losses entering Monday's game against San Diego, the Cubs were on 1 of the longest skids in franchise history and tied with Minnesota for the worst record in the majors.

Epstein says he doesn't think "this is indicative of the type of team we are" and that the Cubs are "clearly better than this."

Only seven times in their history had the Cubs dropped 12 or more in a row. They entered Monday's game on their worst losing streak since they opened with 14 losses in 1997.

>>Marmol Activated

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Cubs have activated pitcher Carlos Marmol from the 15-day disabled list and optioned pitcher Rafael Dolis to Triple-A Iowa.  Marmol was sent to the DL on May 12th with a right hamstring strain after he left a May 11th matchup against Milwaukee.  The 29-year-old righty is 0-and-1 with two saves and a 6.35 earned run average in 15 relief appearances for the Cubs this season.  The 24-year-old Dolis holds a record of 2-and-4 with four saves and a 5.68 ERA in 23 relief appearances for the Cubs this year.

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Cubs, Cards, Sox All Win Memorial Day Games

>>Sale's 15 K's Leads ChiSox Over Rays

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  Chris Sale allowed just one run and struck out a career-high 15 batters to guide the White Sox to a 2-1 win over the Rays.  Sale gave up just three hits and walked two over seven-and-a-third innings to improve to 6-and-2 on the season.  Addison Reed tossed a perfect ninth to secure his fifth save.  Adam Dunn hit a go-ahead two-run homer in the sixth for the White Sox, who have won six straight.  Jose Lobaton had an RBI single and Ben Zobrist had two hits and scored the lone run for the Rays, who have dropped two of three overall.  Matt Moore took the loss after giving up Dunn's homer.  He allowed just four hits and struck out a career-high 10 over seven frames in the tough-luck loss.

MLB AL
------
Boston Red Sox 7, Detroit Tigers 4
Minnesota Twins 5, Oakland Athletics 4
Cleveland Indians 8, Kansas City Royals 5
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Baltimore Orioles 2
Texas Rangers 4, Seattle Mariners 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 9, New York Yankees 8

>>Cards Hammer Braves

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Matt Adams finished with three hits and knocked in three runs to help the Cardinals take an 8-2 victory over the Braves.  Daniel Descalso smacked a two-run home run and Rafael Furcal added a solo blast for the Cardinals, who have won two straight on the heels of a three-game slide.  Lance Lynn spun seven strong innings of two-run ball with eight strikeouts to improve to 8-and-1 overall.  Game two of the three-game set features Jake Westbrook on the bump opposite Randall Delgado.

>>Cubs Pound Pads To Snap 12-Game Slide

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alfonso Soriano clubbed three hits, including a go-ahead two-run blast in the sixth to help the Cubs down the Padres, 11-7.  Soriano finished with three RBI and scored twice, Ian Stewart and Starlin Castro each added two-run homers and three RBI and Darwin Barney smacked a solo shot for the Cubs, who snapped a 12-game losing streak.  Randy Wells got the win in relief of starter Travis Wood.  Alex Hinshaw absorbed the loss for San Diego after serving up Soriano's two-run blast in the sixth.  Chase Headley homered twice and knocked in three runs for the Padres, who dropped their fourth straight contest.  Carlos Quentin went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his first game with the Padres after missing the first 49 games of the season while recovering from surgery on his right knee.

MLB NL
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Miami Marlins 5, Washington Nationals 3
Philadelphia Phillies 8, New York Mets 4
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Cincinnati Reds 1
Colorado Rockies 9, Houston Astros 7
San Francisco Giants 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
Colorado Rockies 7, Houston Astros 6 (10th inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

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Clinton Police Report for 5-24

On 05/24/12 at 1:07am, Clinton Police arrested Robert D. Rusher, 30 of Clinton on the charges of Disorderly Conduct and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was transported to DeWitt County jail and released to their staff. He was also cited for a city ordinance violation of Public Intoxication.

 

 

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

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Clinton Police Memorial Day Weekend Report

 CITATIONS 5/28/12

WAYNE YOUNG 51, MAROA SPEEDING 75 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

HALDEN W. SCHINZLER 48, MOWEAQUA SPEEDING 74 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

AHMED M. DAHIR 31, BLOOMINGTON SPEEDING 74 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

ON 5/25/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CODY L. RANKINS 19, DECATUR FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR, JARROD J. SIKOWSKI 20, WASHINGTON FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR, AND DAMON A. MORSTATTER 18, DECATUR FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR, POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, AND POSSESSION OF CANNABIS. ALL SUBJECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 5/26/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED DALTON L. HUBBLE 18, BRIGHTON, MO FOR NO VALID REGISTRATION, DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED AND 2 DEWITT COUNTY WARRANTS. HUBBLE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 5/26/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED ROBERT N. MOORE 20, CLINTON FOR THEFT AND BURGLARY TO MOTOR VEHICLE. MOORE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 5/27/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED KYLE R. SUGG 25, CLINTON FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL WITH A B.A.C. GREATER THAN .08. SUGG WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 4/27/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED KENNETH J. DYER 19, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL POSSESSION/CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR, CONTRIBUTING TO DELINQUENCY OF A MINOR, AND PROBATION VIOLATION. A 17 YEAR OLD JUVENILE AND A 16 YEAR OLD JUVENILE WAS TAKEN INTO CUSTODY FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR AND WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO THEIR PARENTS.

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Memorial Day Weekend Report

 

May 26, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

May 27, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

May 28, 2012

 

Jail Population: 80

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

May 29, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 6:00 p.m. on Monday, May 28, revealed that a motorcycle driven by Mary Troyer, 53, Hudson, was traveling north on US Route 48 and intended to turn west into the Weldon Boat Access. She missed her turn and decided to turn around at McCord Cemetery. While slowing down her tires caught some loose gravel which caused her to lay the motorcycle down on the left side trapping her leg between the bike and the pavement. She suffered an abrasion on her left leg as a result of the accident. She was transported by ambulance to Advocate Bromenn Medical Hospital for further treatment.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 7:27 p.m. on Tuesday, May 22, revealed that a vehicle driven by Marcella Maggi, 48, Mahomet, was traveling westbound on Illinois State Highway 10 just east of Illinois State Highway 48 when the vehicle left the roadway, driving onto the north gravel shoulder. She drove back onto the roadway and lost control, skidding sideways across the roadway entering the south ditch. The vehicle collided with the south ditch embankment, cause the vehicle to roll. Clinton Ambulance Service transported the Maggi to Carle Hospital for further treatment. The vehicle was towed from the scene. Maggi was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Maggi was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

James Flaningan, 42, Urbana, was issued a citation for Failure to Wear Seat Belt. Flaningan posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Joshua Hoekstra, 18, Clinton, was issued citations for Failure to Reduce Speed/Accident and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hoekstra was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Carol Buettner, 62, Petersburg, was issued a citation for Speeding (70 mph in a 55 mph zone). Buettner posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Timothy Rivera, 40, Lincoln, was issued a citation for Speeding (73 mph in a 55 mph zone). Rivera posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Joshua Wolfe, 26, Marquette Heights, was issued a citation for Speeding (84 mph in a 65 mph zone). Wolfe posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Karen Howell, 55, Morton, was issued a citation for Speeding (62 mph in a 45 mph zone). Howell posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

David Rice, 41, Pickerington, OH, was issued a citation for Speeding (60 mph in a 45 mph zone). Rice promised to comply and was released.

 

Deborah Modesty, 36, Warrensburg, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Modesty posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Jason Farmer, 42, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Farmer posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Christina Nation, 33, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Criminal Damage to Property and Criminal Trespass. Nation posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Trio DeWitt County Employees Announce Retirements; Celebrations Scheduled

DeWitt County has a few County employees who have recently announced their retirement.

The public is invited out to retirement parties being held for these retirees. The first will be Wednesday  for long time court reporter Marsha Young. DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley explains Young has been an employee of the County for over 30-years. Young's time with the County includes serving in the old Court House on the square and now in the new County Building.

[audio:53012countyretirments1.mp3] [/audio]

Kay Van Ness will be retiring from the County Assessers office. Tilley says Van Ness has been with the County for over 20-years and there will be a celebration party for her this Thursday.

[audio:53012countyretirments2.mp3] [/audio]

Roger Sprague has announced his retirement from the County Highway department. Tilley explains Sprague has served as the Assistant County Engineer for more than 30-years and he will have a retirement party next week, June 6.

[audio:53012countyretirments3.mp3] [/audio]

Sprague has chosen to continue serving DeWitt County on a part time basis until his position is filled. County Highway Engineer, Craig Fink, will be in charge of finding Sprague's replacement.

The Court System is in charge of filling Young's spot, and according to Tilley, that position has already been filled. Supervisor of Assessments, Sandy Schlosser, will look to fill the position Ven Ness is vacating.

Again the public is invited to attend the retirement parties for these County employees.

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Dewitt County Jail Housing Cook County Inmates Going Well

A partnership the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department has with Cook County to house inmates is well under way.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains the first inmates arrived from Cook County about two weeks ago. The Sheriff notes the transition has gone a lot smoother than he was expecting.

[audio:52912cookprisoners1.mp3] [/audio]

This is an agreement not only the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department has entered into with Cook County, but also Moultrie and Piatt Counties' Sheriff's Departments did as well. Sheriff Shofner says it's a good opportunity for all three departments to take some burden off local tax payers.

[audio:52912cookprisoners2.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff's Department is receiving over $50 per day to house each prisoner. Sheriff Shofner says that money covers feeding them and their medical needs.

[audio:52912cookprisoners3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheriff Shofner explains a majority of the costs associated with the jail are fixed costs. Whether there are 50 prisoners, or 100 prisoners, the jail is going to have those costs.

[audio:52912cookprisoners4.mp3] [/audio]

Not only does the added revenue pay the staffs costs, but it also gets pumped into another local entity, the Dr. John Warner Hospital. The DJWH provides the jail with meals for the prisoners, and the Sheriff's Department spends a lot of money with the hospital for that need alone.

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Sunday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
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New York Mets 2, San Diego Padres 0
San Francisco Giants 3, Miami Marlins 2
Cincinnati Reds 7, Colorado Rockies 5
Pittsburgh Pirates 10, Chicago Cubs 4
St. Louis Cardinals 8, Philadelphia Phillies 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Houston Astros 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Washington Nationals 7, Atlanta Braves 2

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

NBA Playoffs
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San Antonio Spurs 101, Oklahoma City Thunder 98
(Spurs lead best-of-seven Western finals, 1-0)

WNBA
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Indiana Fever 78, Atlanta Dream 62
Minnesota Lynx 84, Seattle Storm 71

IndyCar
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Indianapolis 500  (at Speedway, IN)

1. Dario Franchitti
2. Scott Dixon
3. Tony Kanaan

NASCAR
------
Coca-Cola 600  (at Concord, NC)

1. Kasey Kahne
2. Denny Hamlin
3. Kyle Busch

PGA
------
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial  (at Ft. Worth, TX)

1. Zach Johnson
2. Jason Dufner
3. Tommy Gainey

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Fire Fall To Columbus

The Chicago Fire suffered a 2-1 setback to the Crew in Columbus on Saturday.  Austin Berry scored the Fire's lone goal of the game.  Chicago, which fell to 5-and-4-and-3 on the season, plays at New England on Saturday.

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Cardinals' Berkman To Miss 8-to-10 Weeks After Surgery

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman is expected to be sidelined eight-to-ten weeks after surgery Friday to repair meniscus and cartilage tears in his right knee.  However, the procedure revealed no ligament damage, which could have ended Berkman's season.  The six-time All-Star suffered the injuries last Saturday while stretching to make a catch on a routine ground ball against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Berkman has played just 13 games this season.

 

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Cards Crush Phillies

Yadier Molina hit a grand slam before an early exit due to dehydration, and Carlos Beltran added a three-run home run as St. Louis ripped Philadelphia, 8-3.  Matt Adams launched his first career homer for the Cardinals, who salvaged a game in the series.  Adam Wainwright scattered seven hits and one run over six innings.  Lance Lynn goes for eighth win of the season this afternoon when the Cards begin a three-game set in Atlanta with the Braves.   

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White Sox Tank Tribe

Paul Konerko went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and drove in four to lead the Chicago White Sox to a 12-6 rout of the Cleveland Indians yesterday in the Windy City.  Konerko's homer tied him with Duke Snider for 47th place on the all-time home run list with 407.  Dayan Viciedo, Alexei Ramirez and Orlando Hudson each drove in two for the White Sox, who completed the three-game sweep at The Cell.  Chicago has won five in a row overall.  The Southsiders head to The Trop to open up a three-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays this afternoon.  Chris Sale gets the nod opposite Matt Moore in the opener.

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Pirates Sweep Hapless Cubs

Pedro Alvarez hit a three-run homer and had four RBI as the Pittsburgh Pirates completed a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 10-4 victory in the finale yesterday at PNC Park.  Starlin Castro ripped a two-run homer and Darwin Barney added an RBI double for the Cubs, who have lost 12 straight and are just two losses shy of tying a franchise-worst 14-game skid.  Matt Garza was tagged for six runs, five earned, in five-plus innings to absorb the loss.  The Northsiders return to Wrigley Field this afternoon to open up a three-game homestand against the San Diego Padres.  Travis Wood will toe the rubber opposite Jeff Suppan in the opener.

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Miller Park Zoo Records Record Numbers Last Year

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington recorded one of their best year's ever.

Superintendent of the Miller Park Zoo, Jay Tetzloff explains this year the zoo had over 100-thousand guests, which resulted in the third largest crowd, and resulted in the largest amount of revenue brought in. The zoo has been open over 120 years.

[audio:52812zoorecord1.mp3] [/audio]

With the downturn in the economy the past few years, Tetzloff says many people with sacrifice an expensive vacation for a small local trip. He adds it's not uncommon for zoos to experience success when there is a lull in the economy.

[audio:52812zoorecord2.mp3] [/audio]

A rare breed of goat at the Miller Park Zoo is the latest animal to give birth at the facility.  “Bella,” one of the Zoo’s San Clemente Goats, has given birth to a kid. The goats are native to San Clemente Island, one of the Channel Islands off the coast of California.  The goats are listed as a critically endangered heritage breed.  The global population of San Clemente Island Goats is under 500. Miller Park Zoo is home to four adult San Clemente Island Goats: three females, Bella, Valencia, and Breeze, and one male, Poseidon.  Each of the adults is one to two years old.

The birth of the goats should help boost the zoo's early summer attendance numbers.

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RCC Online Courses

Richland Community College is expanding its online learning services.

The Decatur based community college has made its online courses a flat rate of $140 a credit hour for anyone in the United States. Richland's Director of Online Learning Kona Jones says that this will help make the classes available for more people.

[audio:52812RCC1.mp3] [/audio]

During the fall and spring semester, there are over 60 classes available online and during the summer semesters there are over 30 classes.

Jones says people who only have basic computer skills should not worry about the classes being too technologically advanced since all students have to go through an online orientation.

[audio:52812RCC2.mp3] [/audio]

Jones adds that the only requirement needed for most of the classes is a high school diploma or GED.

For more information, contact Richland's Online Learning Services at 217-875-7211 extension 376 or email ochelp@richland.edu.


 

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Clinton Warner Library Kicks Off Summer Reading Program

The Clinton Warner Library is getting ready for its annual Summer Reading Club.

Starting May 29, children finishing kindergarten through eighth grade will be able to sign up for the children's summer reading program. This year's theme is "Reading is so Delicious." According to librarian Paula Lopatic, students just need to come to the library to sign up.

[audio:52812SummerReading1.mp3] [/audio]

The goal is for each student to read for 800 minutes over the course of the summer. A child can claim a prize after every 100 minutes. Prizes include a whoopie cushion, a rubber duck, a free eight inch Monicals pizza and a new paperback book. 
Participants are also invited to join "Tasty Tales," a half hour reading program from 11 to 11:30 every Monday and Wednesday that counts towards their reading records. The Library will also have big programs at 2:15 every Thursday. Events include Science is so Delicious, Really Read-diculous, Family Time Water Show and Ice Cream Extravaganza. 
Lopatic says that even though summer is a time for students to relax, they need to do a little bit of reading  everyday

[audio:52812SummerReading2.mp3] [/audio]

This year, the library is expanding its program. Children who aren't old enough to participate in the summer reading club or who haven't finished kindergarten can participate in the preschool summer reading time on Tuesday mornings. Registration starts on May 29, and Lopatic asks that all children to be pre registered for the reading time so that they have enough supplies on hand.

[audio:52812SummerReading3.mp3] [/audio]

The library is also having a teens and adults summer reading program, with registration starting on the same day. Librarian Bobbi Perryman explains that instead of minutes, the adult and teens program will go off how many books a person has read. For each book, a participants name is put in to win a gift certificate to a local restaurant.

[audio:52812SummerReading4.mp3] [/audio]

For more information the summer reading clubs, you can call the library at 217-935-5174 or visit www.vwarner.org.

 

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Illinois Plastic Recycling Plan Fails In House

A statewide plastic-bag recycling plan has significant support in the Illinois House -- but not quite enough.

The proposal designed to increase the recycling of grocery bags and plastic food-wrapping film drew 70 votes -- to 46 against -- Thursday. The bill needed 71 votes to pass.

Rep. Michael Tryon's bill would require plastic manufacturers to pay a fee and register with the state. They would have to set up collection sites for consumers to take bags and other plastic for recycling.

Opponents complained it would prohibit cities from setting up their own programs. The bill needed an extraordinary majority because it would override local municipal powers.

Tryon, a Crystal Lake Republican, used a procedural maneuver to allow another vote later.

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Newspaper To Sue U of I In State Court After Ruling

A lawyer for the Chicago Tribune says the newspaper will file a lawsuit in state court against the University of Illinois over the school's 2009 admissions scandal.

A federal appellate panel ruled Thursday that the case didn't belong in federal court. Tribune spokeswoman Karen Flax called the decision a technical setback.

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decision vacated a ruling by a federal court that the university can't withhold the identities of students involved in the scandal.

The Tribune sought the names as part of its investigation into university admission of under-qualified, politically connected students.

The university called the decision recognition of the need to protect student privacy rights.

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Local Unemployment Figures For April

County by county April unemployment figures were released Thursday.

DeWitt County's unemployment rates dropped over half a percent from 8.1% to 7.4%.

Piatt County's unemployment dropped from 8.1% to 7.3%.

McLean County saw a half percent drop from 6.7% to 6.2%.

Woodford County recorded central Illinois' lowest rate at 5.7%, and neighboring Tazewell County dropped from 7.6% to 6.8%

Macon County unemployment rates dropped out of the double digits from 10.1% to 9.4%.

Logan County dropped .7 percent from 7.9% to 7.2%

Champaign County dropped a half percent from 7.5% to 7.0%.

In the south, Moultrie County follows the same path as most of the area dropping from 6.9% to 6.5%, and Shelby dropped  from 8.7% to 7.9%.

The highest unemployment rate in Illinois was in Boone County, where they registered 10.8%, however they did drop 2.2% from March.

The lowest unemployment rate is in Brown County, where they dropped another half percent from 4.6% to 4.1%.

Putnam County saw the largest drop at 2.5 percent going from 11.7% to 9.2%.

Good news for Illinois in the month of April, there were no gains in any County in the state. The state's unemployment rate for April was 8.7% and the national average is 8.1%.

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Friday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
------
Pittsburgh Pirates 1, Chicago Cubs 0
New York Mets 6, San Diego Padres 1
Miami Marlins 7, San Francisco Giants 6
Colorado Rockies 6, Cincinnati Reds 3
Washington Nationals 7, Atlanta Braves 4
Philadelphia Phillies 5, St. Louis Cardinals 3 (10 inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Houston Astros 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

MLB AL
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Baltimore Orioles 8, Kansas City Royals 2
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Boston Red Sox 4
Texas Rangers 14, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Chicago White Sox 9, Cleveland Indians 3
Detroit Tigers 10, Minnesota Twins 6
New York Yankees 6, Oakland Athletics 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Seattle Mariners 4

NBA Playoffs
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No Games Scheduled

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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New Jersey Devils 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT)
(Devils win best-of-seven Eastern final, 4-2)

WNBA
------
Connecticut Sun 83, San Antonio Silver Stars 79
Atlanta Dream 100, New York Liberty 74
Indiana Fever 83, Chicago Sky 72


 

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ChiSox Crush Indians

Adam Dunn and Dayan Viciedo each drilled a two-run home run to help the White Sox slam the Indians, 9-3.  A.J. Pierzynski scored three times and drove in a pair, including a solo home run.  Alejandro De Aza added two RBI and a run for Chicago, which has won seven-of-eight.  Jose Quintana tossed six innings of two-run ball for his first career win.  Jeanmar Gomez gave up six runs in five-and-two-thirds frames for the setback.  Shelley Duncan lifted a solo home run in the ninth for Cleveland, which saw a three-game win streak come to an end.  Shin-Shoo Choo touched home twice in the loss.

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Rep. Mitchell Opposes Medicaid Overhaul

The Illinois House passed pieces of a Medicaid overhaul Thursday, including legislation slashing $1.6 billion from the program.

In voting against the measure, State Representative Bill Mitchell says the legislation keeps benefits for illegal residents living in the state but cut benefits for Illinois’  senior citizens.

[audio:52412MitchellSB2840.MP3] [/audio]

The House voted 94-22 to adopt the cuts in the bill, which range from outright elimination of some programs – like Illinois Cares Rx, a prescription drug assistance program for seniors – to taking extra steps to ensure that those receiving aid are entitled to it. The bill now heads to Quinn’s desk.

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New Pana Save-A-Lot Has A Clinton Connection

 

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The new Pana Save-A-Lot opened its doors this week, and has a Clinton connection.  Owners Tim and Jennifer Christer (chreyestur) got connected to Clinton Save-A-Lot owner Dave Jackson, by the corporate office in St. Louis, to mentor the Christer's in opening their new store.

Jackson was at the ribbon cutting this week in Pana, and told Regional Radio News how Save-A-Lot's corporate office got them connected.

[audio:Jacksoncut1May2412.mp3] [/audio]

Jackson added the Christer's were impressed with the Save-A-Lot concept and how it saves families money on their food bill.

[audio:Jacksoncut2May2412.mp3] [/audio]

Jackson said the Christer's had to do an immense amount of work to convert their conventional grocery store into a Save-A-Lot.

[audio:Jacksoncut3May2412.mp3] [/audio]

Jackson said one of the biggest challenges for the Christer's at Pana was getting them to change the grocery store mindset.

[audio:Jacksoncut4May2412.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton Save-A-Lot owner said it was a lot of fun to mentor the Christer's to help them open their new Save-A-Lot store in Pana.

[audio:Jacksoncut5May2412.mp3] [/audio]

Jackson has owned the Clinton Save-A-Lot for the past 13 years, and has spent a lifetime in the grocery business.

The new Pana Save-A-Lot is located just south of Pana's downtown area, and is open 8 to 8 7 days a week.

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Memorial Day, Summer Swimming Tips

WITH SCHOOL ABOUT OUT, THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS REMINDING ABOUT SWIMMING SAFETY THIS SUMMER.

DROWNING IS THE LEADING CAUSE OF DEATH FOR CHILDREN AGES ONE TO FOUR. STATE ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH ENGINEER JUSTIN DEWITT SAYS PARENTS NEED TO BE VERY VIGILANT WHEN THEIR KIDS ARE AROUND WATER…ESPECIALLY IN BACKYARD POOLS WHERE THE MAJORITY OF DROWNINGS OCCUR.

[audio:swim.mp3] [/audio]

ANOTHER SWIMMING CONCERN IS BACTERIA IN THE WATER AND UNCLEAN POOLS. DEWITT SAYS YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO SEE THE BOTTOM OF THE POOL AND TILES SHOULD NOT BE STICKY OR SLIPPERY. A STRONG CHEMICAL SMELL COULD ALSO INDICATE A MAINTENANCE PROBLEM.

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Weekly Weather Report

We saw back to back dry and warm weeks in central Illinois. While May is traditionally one of our wettest months, but not the case this year. We'll see very warm temperatures this Memorial Day weekend, with the slightest chances of rain early next week.

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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Pirates Clip Cubs

 Rod Barajas drove in Pedro Alvarez with a second-inning RBI single to give the Pirates a 1-0 victory over the Cubs.  A.J. Burnett did not allow a run in five-and-a-third innings.  He improved to 3-and-2 while striking out six.  Joel Hanrahan locked up his 11th save on the season for Pittsburgh, which snapped a two-game slide.  Ryan Dempster gave up the run in seven-and-a-third innings to take the tough-luck loss and dip to 0-and-3.  Chicago has lost 10 straight games.  The Cubs were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position, while Pittsburgh was 1-for-8.

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Holiday Construction Lifted

Construction is being suspended over the holiday weekend.  The Illinois Department of Transportation wants to reduce congestion and create a smooth traffic flow as people hit the road.  All non-emergency road projects will be lifted starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow.  Crews will be back at work next Tuesday. 

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Old Illinois Weather Records Remarkably Accurate

The keepers of the oldest known official Illinois weather records relied on glass thermometers and observations, but recent research finds their data to be remarkably accurate.

State climatologist Jim Angel and an assistant recently researched the records. They were recorded in the 1820s and '30s with quill and ink at what was once known as Fort Armstrong on Rock Island.

Angel said the readings show temperatures not far from current averages. He said that means they were likely pretty accurate.

But the readings also come with observations like crop conditions and the sight of ducks flying south. On July 21, 1820, there was a "violent hurricane." Angel said that must have been high winds or maybe a tornado.

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Second Accidental Shooting Death In Champaign

Another person is dead after an accidental shooting in Champaign.  Police say 22-year old Christopher Baker was handling a gun when it accidentally went off, shooting him in the head.  He was rushed to the hospital where he later died.  Police are still investigating Baker's death.  The incident comes just one week after a three-year-old boy was accidentally shot and killed.  The boy’s teenaged uncle was reportedly giving him a lesson on gun safety when the weapon fired.  A bullet hit the toddler in the forehead. 

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About 100 Pekin Graves Vandalized

 As many as 100 graves have been vandalized in a Pekin cemetery.

Police and officials at Lakeside Cemetery say dozens of heavy gravestones were found toppled from their bases on Tuesday. Since then volunteers have been working to repair the graves. The 130-acre cemetery is along Illinois Route 29 and has graves of Civil War veterans. Pekin Police Sgt. Erik Shipman calls the vandalism "malicious."

There have been no arrests.

Authorities also found smashed vases, lights and other ornamentation. Volunteers working to repair the broken graves say the reconstruction will take hours. Volunteers say they wanted to get to work before this weekend's Memorial Day holiday.

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Lawmakers Pass Major Medicaid Reform

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS ARE PASSING A MAJOR COMPONENT OF A MEDICAID REFORM PACKAGE.

THE PLAN MAKES ABOUT ONE POINT SIX BILLION DOLLARS IN MEDICAID CUTS…ELIMINATING SOME PROGRAMS, LIKE ILLINOIS CARES R-X…AND REDUCING ELIGIBILITY TO SEVERAL OTHERS. WHILE SOME WILL LOSE OUT UNDER THE CUTBACKS…REPRESENTATIVE SARA FEIGENHOLTZ OF CHICAGO SAYS THEY FACE NO OTHER CHOICE IF THEY WANT TO PROVIDE ANY TYPE OF MEDICAID COVERAGE AT ALL.

[audio:medicaid1.mp3] [/audio]

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER TOM CROSS ADDS THEY WILL MAKE SURE EVERYONE IN THE MEDICAID PROGRAM…ACTUALLY BELONGS THERE.

[audio:medicaid2.mp3] [/audio]

THE REFORMS ARE IN PART CONTINGENT ON LAWMAKERS PASSING A ONE DOLLAR A PACK TAX INCREASE ON CIGARETTES. THE BILL NOW GOES TO THE GOVERNOR.

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DNR Officers To Be Checking OUIs and Life Jackets This Memorial Day Weekend

With lots of sun and warm temperatures expected this Memorial Day weekend, Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officers are bracing for a busy weekend at the State's lakes and recreation areas.

As DNR Conservation Police Officers make their way around the boats especially, they will be looking for a number of things. Their first priority this weekend will be OUI's, or Operating Under the Influence. DNR Officer Ray Wichus says no one wants an intoxicated boater on the water and this will be a focus of Conservation Police not just this weekend, but every weekend.

[audio:52512boatfocus1.mp3] [/audio]

A second offense of an OUI the fines and penalties go up. According to officer Wichus, an accident on the water under the influence can turn into a felony offense very quickly. Officer Wichus says OUIs are not something DNR Officers take lightly.

[audio:52512boatfocus2.mp3] [/audio]

Life jackets will be the other area of focus  for DNR Officers. Wichus explains children 12 and under on a boat must have a life jacket on at all times and there must be a serviceable life jacket onboard for each person on the boat.

[audio:52512boatfocus3.mp3] [/audio]

There are also requirements regarding age of operating boats. Wichus says anyone under ten years old cannot be at the helm of a boat. Children ages 10 and 11 can operate the boat with a guardian onboard. Additionally, anyone between the ages of 12 and 18 must take a special boat safety course to be able to operate. And anyone over 18 years old can operate the boat or jet skis.

[audio:52512boatfocus4.mp3] [/audio]

Statistics compiled by the IDNR Office of Law Enforcement show that there were 103 reportable boating accidents in 2011, resulting in 70 injuries and 21 fatalities.  Those totals compare with 102 reportable boating accidents on Illinois waters in 2010, resulting in 73 injuries and 16 fatalities. There were 102 reportable boating accidents on Illinois waters in 2009, resulting in 71 injuries and 25 fatalities.

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Ambulance Advisory Committee Plugging Along In Establishing County Ambulance Service

The Ambulance Advisory Committee  has met three times since their formation.

 width=Non-voting DeWitt County Board member liaison to the Committee, Terry Ferguson updated the DeWitt County Board Thursday night of the Committee's happenings to this point. He says the first meeting was simply a meet and greet, although Tony Harris, was appointed assistant-chair of the Committee and Gail Ann Helton was named the Secretary.

The Committee held a meeting this past Wednesday, at which they met with the Logan County Paramedics Association, the non-profit ambulance service in Logan County. Ferguson says they outlined their operation. The LCPA runs around 4-thousand calls per year, where as the DJWH ambulance service runs less than half of that at about 18-hundred.

[audio:52512ambulanceupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

Ferguson explains Logan County owns the ambulances and then leases them back to the LCPA. Similarities between Logan County and DeWitt County, according to Ferguson, around 40% of both areas calls are non-transport calls.

[audio:52512ambulanceupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. John Warner Hospital officials have offered to allow the housing of the ambulances at their facility for up to two years for $900 a month. Ferguson says there are few strings attached to that offer. He explains the hospital does not want to be housing the ambulances with them still in their possession.

[audio:52512ambulanceupdate3.mp3] [/audio]

Ferguson says the Committee is moving right along and they are very dedicated to this process and doing what is best for DeWitt County.

Below you will find the listed contact information for Committee members. The Committee is encouraging the public to be in contact with these representatives to share their input.

Committee Chair - EMA Coordinator Teresa Barnett     217-935-0032

Assistant Chair - CenCom Director Tony Harris        217-935-3344

Secretary - Weldon Fire Representative Gail Ann Helton    217-736-2241

Clinton Fire Representative Shawn Milton            217-519-2909                                                                                             chief@clintonfire.org

Kenney Fire Representative Earl Jiles                  309-530-2644

Waynesville  Fire Representative Kevin Keim        309-319-8107

Wapella Fire Department's Representative Callan Cain stepped down from the Committee, and last night the DeWitt County Board aprroved Willis Strange as his replacement.

Community Representative Denise Torbert        217-935-3481 (H)
                                                                    217-935-2876 (W)

Community Representative Vicki Morrow            217-935-9267

DeWitt County Board Liaison Terry Ferguson        217-935-2074

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NASCAR, Indy 500 Notes

>>Wheldon's Widow Receives 2011 Indy 500 Ring

(Speedway, IN)  --  Indianapolis Motor Speedway is remembering former driver Dan Wheldon ahead of this weekend's Indy 500.  Wheldon's widow, Susie, was presented with his championship ring from 2011 during a ceremony at the track on Thursday.  Wheldon won the Indy 500 last year, but was killed in a crash in the Izod IndyCar Series season finale in Las Vegas last October.  Suzie Wheldon is attending this year's race with her two young sons and is expected to take part in activities throughout the weekend.

>>96th Running Of The Indy 500 Set For This Weekend

(Speedway, IN)  --  The 96th running of the Indianapolis 500 is on Sunday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  All 33 drivers qualified for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" during last weekend's Bump Day.  Ryan Briscoe won the pole.  The late Dan Wheldon was the winner of last year's race.  Today is Carb Day.  It kicks off in the morning with the final practice for IndyCar drivers and will be followed by the Firestone Indy Lights.  The final on-track activity is a competitive pit stop challenge and Carb Day wraps up with a concert by rock legend Lynyrd Skynyrd.

>>Coca-Cola 600 This Weekend at Charlotte Motor Speedway

(Concord, NC)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series returns to the Charlotte Motor Speedway this weekend for Sunday's Coca-Cola 600.  Kurt Busch is the only driver in the previous two seasons with back-to-back top-10 finishes at Charlotte.  Kevin Harvick won this event last season.  Last weekend, Jimmie Johnson won the All-Star Race in Charlotte.  Greg Biffle still holds a two-point lead over Matt Kenseth in the Sprint Cup standings.

>>Wallace Among Five New Inductees Into NASCAR HoF

(Charlotte, NC)  --  The 2013 class of inductees for the NASCAR Hall of Fame were revealed on Wednesday, with former Cup Series champion Rusty Wallace among those selected in the five-member class.  Drivers Buck Baker, Cotton Owens and Herb Thomas, as well as team co-owner and crew chief Leonard Wood will join Wallace in the NASCAR HOF's fourth class.  Wallace, the 1989 Cup champion, won 55 races during his 25-year career in NASCAR's premier series.  His influence on the sport continued after his retirement when he became an analyst for ESPN's coverage of NASCAR.

>>NASCAR Creates New Award

(Charlotte, NC)  --  NASCAR has announced the creation of a new award to honor the contributions of media members covering the sport.  The award, which will become part of the annual NASCAR Hall Of Fame ceremonies beginning in February 2013, will bear the names of the first two award winners legendary broadcasters Ken Squier and Barney Hall.  It will be called the "Squier-Hall Award for NASCAR Media Excellence."

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Wade, Heat Close Out Pacers

The Miami Heat have advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.  Dwyane Wade netted 41 points and pulled down 10 rebounds to lead the Heat in a 105-93 win over the Pacers in Game Six at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  LeBron James added 28 points, seven assists and six rebounds for Miami, which fell behind 2-1 in the best-of-seven set before winning three straight games to advance.  The Heat await the winner of the Boston Celtics-Philadelphia 76ers series, which concludes with a Game Seven on Saturday.  David West posted 24 points and five rebounds for the Pacers in a losing effort.  George Hill added 18 points for Indiana, which needed only five games to beat Orlando in the East quarters.

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Sox Win, Cards Outslugged By Phillies; Baseball Notes

>>ChiSox Hold Off Twins

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alejandro De Aza belted a grand slam to guide the White Sox to an 11-8 victory over the Twins.  A.J. Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Alex Rios and Dayan Viciedo all hit solo home runs for Chicago, which has won six-of-seven.  Nate Jones earned the win pitching an inning and two-thirds out of the bullpen.  Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau [[ more-NO ]] each lifted a solo shot for Minnesota, which has lost two straight.  Morneau drove in three runs and scored three times.  Cole DeVries gave up three earned runs and six total over five-plus innings for the loss.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 2, Detroit Tigers 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3, Seattle Mariners 0

>>Phillies Outslug Cards

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Ty Wigginton's solo homer in the eighth proved to be the difference as the Phillies edged the Cardinals, 10-9.  Yadier Molina clubbed a two-run homer and Matt Holliday and David Freese each popped solo shots for St. Louis.  Fernando Salas was saddled with the loss for the Cardinals, who were coming off a three-game sweep of San Diego.  The Cards and Phil are back in action tonight.

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 6, Atlanta Braves 3
San Diego Padres 11, New York Mets 5
San Francisco Giants 14, Miami Marlins 7

>>Cubs Start Set With Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  The Chicago Cubs begin a three-game series with the Pirates in Pittsburgh tonight.  The Cubs have lost a season-high nine straight games.  They are 15-and-29.  Ryan Dempster hits the mound for Chicago against A.J. Burnett of the Pirates.

>>Danks Lands On DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks has been placed on the disabled list due to soreness in the back of his left throwing shoulder.  Danks felt the soreness in his shoulder on Sunday and landed on the DL after his Thursday MRI.  He is 3-and-4 with a 5.70 ERA so far this season.  Carlos Quintana will be recalled from Birmingham and take his place in the rotation.

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Softball, Baseball Sectional Final Scores

Several Area High School Softball and Baseball teams advanced to Saturday's Sectional finals.

Class 1A...

At Buffalo (Tri-City)

Buffalo (Tri-City)     5
Tuscola         7  

Class 2A:

At Watseka

St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden)     4
Kankakee (McNamara)     3

Boys Baseball Class 2A:

At Clinton

Champaign (St. Thomas More)     1
Stanford (Olympia)         6

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-25

May 25, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Ronald Woolums, 45, Gibson City, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 55 mph zone). Woolums posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Jeffrey Douglas, 45, Mattoon, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Douglas posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Sasha Negley, 24, was issued a citation for Failure To Properly Secure Child Under Age 8 In Appropriate Child Restraint System. Negley posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Robert Rusher, 33, Clinton, was arrested for Disorderly Conduct and Possession Of Drug Paraphernalia. Rusher posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Lincoln's American Legion and Auxilary Unit To Hold Special Memorial Day Balloon Launch

Monday the American Legion Post and Auxiliary Unit of Lincoln will be holding a special Memorial Day event to honor Veterans from around the area.

The post will launch red, white and blue balloons into the air with names of veterans in them. According to post member Tecia (pronounced Tisha) Hennessey, over 2,500 names have been entered to be launched.

[audio:52512balloons1.mp3] [/audio]

The post will also have gold balloons for soldiers who died in action and black balloons for soldiers who are missing in action.

[audio:52512balloons2.mp3] [/audio]

The Post invited out all the senior citizen homes in Lincoln to attend the event. Hennessey says they have had a lot of support from the community. She adds that youth are coming out to volunteer, and helium and water have been donated.

[audio:52512balloons3.mp3] [/audio]

Names for the balloon launch will be taken until noon on the 28th. A Memorial Day service starting at 10 and ham and bean luncheon will precede the launch. The balloon launch will take place at 1 p.m. at the American Legion in Lincoln, located 1740 5th St.

For more information, contact the Lincoln's American Legion Post at 217-732-3743.

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Ex-Todd Stroger Aide To Run Against Derrick Smith

Democrats have picked a top aide to ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger to challenge state Representative Derrick Smith.  Lance Tyson will mount a third party campaign against Smith, who refused to get off the Democratic ticket after being indicted.  Smith is accused of accepting a seven-thousand-dollars bribe.  He was arrested in March just before the state primary.  Smith says he's innocent.

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Woman Sentenced For Running Boyfriend Over

A Springfield woman accused of running her boyfriend over with an SUV is headed to prison.  A judge sentenced Emerald White to 12-and-a-half years behind bars.  She's accused of chasing the man down and hitting him after he took off on a bike during an argument.  The incident left him with permanent injuries.  He has a metal rod in his leg.  White has also served time in prison for second degree murder.

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Illinois Wesleyan Fraternity Charter Revoked

A fraternity's national organization has revoked the charter of the Sigma Pi chapter at Illinois Wesleyan University.

The Grand Council of Sigma Pi Fraternity International took the action after the death of a Sigma Pi member. Brandon Landau died March 4 after attending an off-campus fraternity event. The Winnebago County coroner says the 18-year-old freshman died of hypothermia with acute alcohol intoxication as a contributing factor.

Sigma Pi Interim Executive Director Brian Alley says the Illinois Wesleyan chapter's charter was revoked because it failed to abide by the fraternity's rules and regulations.

The earliest the charter could be reinstated is May 2015.

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Quinn Threatens To Close State Parks

Governor Quinn is threatening to shut down state parks because of the state's financial squeeze.  Officials with the Department of Natural Resources say if lawmakers don't find a way to make changes to the Medicaid and pension systems, the parks may have to close. Quinn's administration has taken the message to outdoorsmen, asking them to lobby lawmakers on getting necessary reforms taken care of.  According to a Quinn spokesperson, the governor doesn't want to close parks but it may be one of the only alternatives to saving money if lawmakers don't come up with Medicaid and pension fixes.  While no specific parks have been identified, DNR officials say they hope lawmakers pass a law that allows them to charge entrance fees to help bear the load. The news of park closures comes just three years after Quinn launched a campaign to keep the parks open after his predecessor, Rod Blagojevich, threatened to shut them down.

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Crack Down On Disabled Parking

A proposal headed to Governor Quinn's desk could spark outrage among some disabled drivers.  It tightens up standards on who qualifies to receive handicapped parking privileges.  If you're disabled but physically capable of walking and putting a coin in a parking meter, you may not be eligible to park in handicapped spots.  The measure comes after Secretary of Jesse White teamed up with law enforcement agencies across the state to uncover widespread disabled parking abuse.   The proposal also bumps up the fine for those who use a disabled parking placard that doesn't belong to them.

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Senate Passes Initial Budget Bills

THE ILLINOIS SENATE IS PASSING SOME INITIAL BUDGET BILLS FOR THE UPCOMING FISCAL YEAR.

THE PLAN COMES FROM THE DEMOCRATS…WHO SAY IT PAYS DOWN SOME DEBT…MAKES THE REQUIRED PENSION PAYMENT…AND FUNDS VITAL PROGRAMS. BUT IT’S BEING WIDELY PANNED BY REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS…LIKE SENATOR MIKE MURPHY OF PALATINE WHO SAYS THERE AREN’T ENOUGH CUTS.

[audio:senbud1.mp3] [/audio]

SENATE DEMOCRATS SAY THE BUDGET MAKES THE REQUIRED PENSION PAYMENTS…FUNDS IMPORTANT STATE PROGRAMS…AND RELIES ON MONEY SITTING IN RARELY USED SPECIAL FUNDS TO HELP PAY OLD BILLS. IT’S SUPPORTED BY SENATOR JEFF SCHOENBERG OF EVANSTON.

[audio:senbud2.mp3] [/audio]

THESE MEASURES DON’T TACKLE THE EQUALLY DAUNTING PROBLEM OF MEDICAID AND PENSION REFORM. THEY NOW GO TO THE HOUSE FOR CONSIDERATION.S

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House Passes Gambling Expansion

LAWMAKERS IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE HAVE VOTED IN FAVOR OF A GAMBLING EXPANSION PLAN THAT WILL BRING IN MILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN NEW REVENUE FOR THE STATE.

THE PROPOSAL ALLOWS FOR FIVE NEW CASINOS…INCLUDING ONE IN THE CITY OF CHICAGO…AND SLOT MACHINES AT HORSE RACING TRACKS. BILL SPONSOR…REPRESENTATIVE LOU LANG OF SKOKIE SAYS THIS WILL GENERATE MUCH NEEDED MONEY FOR THE STATE…HELP PAY OFF OLD BILLS…CREATE JOBS…AND JUMP START THE ECONOMY.

[audio:casinos1.mp3] [/audio]

REPRESENTATIVE ED SULLIVAN OF MUNDELEIN TOLD HIS COLLEAGUES THIS MAY HELP AVOID SOME VERY PAINFUL CUTS.

[audio:casinos2.mp3] [/audio]

OPPONENTS WORRY ABOUT ADDING EVEN MORE OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE TO GAMBLE AWAY THEIR MONEY. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE FOR A VOTE AND THEN MUST ALSO BE APPROVED BY THE GOVERNOR.

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Several Deadlines Looming For Farmers Programs

Even though producers are still busy in the fields, they also need to keep in mind some upcoming paperwork deadlines.  Jared White has more....

[audio:52112FSAProgramDeadlinesWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton Schools Meet Road Block In Exelon Assessed Property Values Negotiations

Part of next year's budget for the Clinton School district remains in question because of a tax issue that is currently unresolved.

The Clinton School district is currently in negotiations with Exelon Nuclear Power Station over their assessed property values. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the school district and Exelon have not come to an agreement and the proposition Exelon has brought forward would be a significant decrease from where the value sits as of right now.

[audio:52312clintonexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

The DeWitt County Board of reviews has upheld Clinton Schools assessment of $240-million, but Dr. Holmes says Exelon has a track record of taking an appeal to the Property Tax Appeal Board. The district will have to prepare to spend $217-million, despite collecting $240-million, because if the Appeal Board sides with Exelon, that will be all the district can use.

[audio:52312clintonexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

There is hope the two sides can come to an agreement before the case gets taken to the Property Tax Appeal Board. Dr. Holmes notes that has happened on many occasions. He says this year's process is a little disheartening because of the way Exelon has handled things.

[audio:52312clintonexelon3.mp3] [/audio]

The process at the Property Tax Appeal Board level could take anywhere from six months up to several years simply because the Board is so far behind with appeals.

Dr. Holmes is still holding out hope the two sides can reach an agreement. An agreement traditionally sets the value with a small annual increase every year for multiple years.

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Devils Take 3-2 Lead On Top-Seeded Rangers; Sixers Force Game 7 With Celtics

The New Jersey Devils are a win away from the Stanley Cup Final.  The Devils skated to a 5-3 road win over the New York Rangers in Game Five of the Eastern Conference finals Wednesday night.  The Devils grabbed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven set with the victory.  New Jersey can put the top-seeded Rangers away with a home win Friday night.  The winner of this series will face the Los Angeles Kings for the right to hoist the Stanley Cup.

>>Sixers Sink Celtics To Force Game Seven

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  The Philadelphia 76ers have forced a decisive Game Seven in their semifinal series with the Boston Celtics.  The Sixers avoided elimination with an 82-75 home win over the Celtics in Game Six Wednesday night.  No team has won consecutive games in the hard-fought series.  Boston will host Game Seven on Saturday.

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Bears Notes; NFLPA Files Suit Against NFL

>>Bears' Knox May Miss All Of 2012 Season

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  Chicago Bears wide receiver Johnny Knox may miss the entire upcoming season.  Knox addressed the media during the Bears' OTA on Wednesday and said he plans on making a full recovery from a fractured vertebra that required surgery, but is not sure if he will be back on the field this season.  Knox suffered the injury on December 18th against the Seattle Seahawks after taking a hard hit from linebacker Anthony Hargrove.  Knox fumbled after making a catch and was awkwardly crumpled while trying to recover the loose ball.  He had 37 catches for 727 yards and two touchdowns on the season before the injury.

>>Bears Sign DT Collins

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears have signed defensive tackle Nate Collins to a one-year contract.  Terms of the deal were not disclosed.  The 6-foot-2, 296-pound lineman has played in 13 games over the past two seasons with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New York Giants, who signed him as an undrafted free agent from Virginia in 2010.  Last season, Collins played in 12 games and recorded 10 tackles, half a sack and a fumble recovery.  With the signing, the Bears roster stands at 90 players.

>>Union Files Salary Cap Collusion Suit Against NFL

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  The NFL Players Association is filing a collusion lawsuit against the league.  The union is claiming league owners conspired to keep player salaries down in the uncapped year of 2010.  The suit follows Tuesday's arbitration ruling in which salary cap penalties against the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys were upheld.  Those teams were penalized for front-loading contracts in 2010 despite league warnings not to do so.  The NFL says the lawsuit is prohibited by the new collective bargaining agreement and an agreement signed by players' attorneys last August.

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Cards, Sox Win, Cubs Swept

>>Cards Rock Padres

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Lance Lynn improved to 7-and-1 after dealing six innings of three-run ball as the Cardinals downed the Padres, 6-3.  Carlos Beltran socked his 14th home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth inning, that broke a 3-3 tie.  David Freese went 2-for-4 with a solo homer, two runs scored and two RBI for the Cards, who swept the three-game series from the Padres.  Jason Motte nailed down his eighth save.  All three San Diego runs were scored in the first inning including a lead off home run by Will Venable.  Jeff Suppan gave up five runs in four-and-two-thirds innings to earn the loss.


>>'Stros Sweep Cubs

(Houston, TX)  --  J.D. Martinez went 3-for-4 with three RBI to back seven strong innings from Wandy Rodriguez as the Astros cruised to a 5-1 win over the Cubs.  Rodriguez fanned five and allowed just one runs on eight hits to improve to 4-and-4 on the season.  Matt Downs drew a bases-loaded walk and Jose Altuve was hit by a pitch in the next at-bat to plate another to cap off a three-run eighth frame for Houston, which swept the three-game set at Minute Maid Park.  Reed Johnson's solo homer in the first inning accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Jeff Samardzija was saddled with the tough-luck loss after allowing two runs through six innings of duty.  The Cubs have lost nine straight games.

MLB NL
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New York Mets 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Milwaukee Brewers 8, San Francisco Giants 5
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Washington Nationals 1
Cincinnati Reds 2, Atlanta Braves 1
Colorado Rockies 8, Miami Marlins 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 11, Los Angeles Dodgers 4

>>Sale, ChiSox Shut Out Twins

(Chicago, IL)  --  Paul Konerko went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and Alex Rios added a solo shot to back seven scoreless innings from Chris Sale as the White Sox shutout the Twins, 6-0.  Sale struck out six and allowed just two hits with a pair of walks to improve to 5-and-2 on the season.  Adam Dunn, A.J. Pierzynski and newly-acquired Orlando Hudson each plated a run for the Southsiders, who have won five of their last six games.  Scott Diamond gave up five runs, just two earned, in six innings of duty to suffer the loss for Minnesota.

MLB AL
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Boston Red Sox 6, Baltimore Orioles 5
Tampa Bay Rays 5, Toronto Blue Jays 4 (11 inn)
LA Angels of Anaheim 3, Oakland Athletics 1 (11 inn)
Seattle Mariners 5, Texas Rangers 3
Cleveland Indians 4, Detroit Tigers 2
New York Yankees 8, Kansas City Royals 3

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High School Softball, Baseball Wednesday Results

Softball teams from around the area are looked to advance on Wednesday night in their sectional games.

Class 2A girls softball results from Wednesday.

At Havana

Quincy (Notre Dame)     3
Stanford (Olympia)         5  

At Shelbyville

Maroa-Forsyth     16
Rochester     0

Teutopolis     0
Williamsville     6  

Boys baseball from Wednesday...

Class 2A

At Danville (Schlarman)

Tuscola   8
LeRoy      5

Class 3A Boys Baseball Regional action from Wednesday...

At Chatham (Glenwood)

Chatham (Glenwood)     11
Jerseyville (Jersey)         3

At Chatham (Glenwood)

Jacksonville         3  
Springfield Southeast 4

At Decatur (Eisenhower)

Springfield  Sacred Heart-Griffin      6
Decatur  MacArthur         0

Springfield (H.S.)         3
Springfield (Lanphier)     2

At Normal (Community West)

Normal (Community West)     11
Lincoln             4

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Lincoln Receives Grant For Downtown Improvements

The City of Lincoln was recently awarded a grant worth $675-thousand from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity to improve their downtown area.

 width=The planning process of the use of the grant outlines five goals the city would like to accomplish through the use of the grant. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains community engagement is going to drive and sustain the process. He feels giving the whole community an opportunity to share their thoughts will be a much better approach than having civic leaders and business owners making all the decisions.

[audio:52512lincolngrant1.mp3] [/audio]

The city wants to make the downtown area accessible. Mayor Snyder notes another goal they have to give the downtown a little historical flavor. He feels Lincoln is rich with history and would like that history to have a place in this process.

[audio:52512lincolngrant2.mp3] [/audio]

The grant comes along with some strings attached. Mayor Snyder explains the work they do not only has to receive an OK from the DCEO but also from the Historic Preservation Agency. He notes it limits what the city thought they may be able to do with the money, but he still feels confident they will be able to get a very good outcome for the downtown Lincoln area.

[audio:52512lincolngrant3.mp3] [/audio]

The money has to be spent by the end of 2013. Mayor Snyder is hopeful to seek out some other grants to tie into this project, making the reality of this endeavor several years out for Lincoln.

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Illinois Senate Rejects Anti-Bullying Legislation

A push to make Illinois schools adopt more thorough policies to prevent bullying fell short in the state Senate.

The legislation would have required schools to spell out how they would investigate allegations and what would happen to students caught bullying others.

It got 29 votes Tuesday but needed 30 for approval. Twelve senators voted no and 12 voted present.

Some conservatives fear the legislation would be used as cover to lecture students on embracing homosexuality. They wanted the bill to include an opt out provision letting students and teachers skip any lessons that violated their religious beliefs.

Sen. Heather Steans and other supporters say the bill isn't about indoctrinating anyone. Steans could call it for another vote later.

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Blagojevich Chief Of Staff Heads To Prison

Rod Blagojevich's former chief of staff heads to prison today.  John Harris will spend the next ten days behind bars.  He's convicted of helping the former governor craft a scheme to sell President Barack Obama's old U.S. Senate seat.  Harris's sentence is significantly shorter than his former bosses, but the judge took Harris's cooperation with prosecutors into consideration, including his testimony against Blagojevich at trial.

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Union Workers Upset Over Pension Reform

Union workers say lawmakers are trying to fix the state budget on their backs.  AFSCME Local President Ruby Robinson says they're outraged that lawmakers are stripping their pension benefits.

[audio:rddOutrage1.mp3] [/audio]

Robinson says they're willing to negotiate but they can't bear the full brunt of the budget fix.  

[audio:rddOutrage2.mp3] [/audio]

Robinson adds state employees didn't cause pension problems in the state.

[audio:rddOutrage3.mp3] [/audio]

A current law gives free healthcare benefits to state employees who work more than 20 years.  But lawmakers have passed a bill that reverses that law, and requires retirees to pay for healthcare.  Robinson calls the bill an attack on their benefits and says lawmakers must be held accountable.  They're asking lawmakers and Governor Quinn to stop making pension decisions without including the union.  Quinn has committed to signing the bill that takes away free healthcare benefits.

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2008 Gunshot Wound Kills Peoria Man

Complications from a bullet that was left in his head have killed a Peoria man who was shot in November 2008.

27-year-old Haywood Drummond died May 9 at a hospital.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says an autopsy found that lingering problems from the wound killed Drummond.

Drummond was 23 when he was shot while in a moving car. He spent months in the hospital but doctors said the bullet was too deeply lodged in his brain to remove safely. The wound left him partially paralyzed and with cognitive difficulties.

No one was ever arrested in the shooting.

Drummond died after being hospitalized in April.

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Illinois House OKs 'Modernizing' Eavesdropping Law

The Illinois House has approved a proposal to allow people to audio record police officers and others in public.

The 71-45 vote came after Rep. Elaine Nekritz appeased police concerns that recordings could be manipulated and used against officers in court.

Current state law prohibits public audio recording without the consent of everyone involved. Court action this spring has ruled that unconstitutional. A federal appeals court prohibited enforcement of the Illinois law earlier this month in advance of last weekend's NATO summit.

Nekritz is a Northbrook Democrat. She says Illinois must modernize its law. She says virtually no one would believe that pulling out a cell phone and recording on the street should be a felony crime.

The measure returns to the Senate.

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Illinois Lawmakers Want To Monitor Vehicle Use

The Illinois Senate wants a tighter rein on the use of state-owned vehicles.

Senators voted 47-7 Tuesday to require agencies under the governor to determine whether buying cars for employee use is worth the money.

A state audit last fall found that many vehicles in the $129 million state fleet aren't driven the 7,000 miles annually considered the minimum to justify their purchase. It said commuting eats up 30% of the mileage on 5,100 personally assigned vehicles.

Lake Forest Democratic Sen. Susan Garrett's measure would also create a website for taxpayers to monitor vehicle-use costs and mileage.

GOP Sen. Dale Righter of Mattoon says the rules should apply to lawmakers and judges too.

The measure returns to the House for action.

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Homeless Man Receives 30-Year Prison Sentence

A judge in central Illinois has handed down a 30-year prison sentence for a 22-year-old homeless man who pleaded guilty to predatory criminal sexual assault of a child.

Judge Tom Difanis sentenced Ryan Hollingsworth on Monday.

Prosecutor Stephanie Weber says Hollingsworth could have gotten up to 60 years in prison for the crime, and she'd asked for a sentence "on the high end" of the range.

Police say Hollingsworth molested two girls under the age of 13. The girls were the children of a woman he knew.

At the time of his arrest, Hollingsworth was on probation after pleading guilty to criminal sexual abuse after admitting he sexually molested another child in Rantoul.

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Animal Control Officer Arrested For Animal Cruelty

An animal control officer in Decatur is in jail for abusing the pets he was supposed to protect.  Police responded to an apartment complex to investigate the smell of a dead animal but when they got there, they discovered it was coming from an animal control truck.  They found a dead hedgehog and a live kitten inside.  Officials say the worker knew the hedgehog was in the truck but he had unintentionally left the cat inside.  It had been locked in the truck with no air or food for at least two days.  It suffered from dehydration but is expected to make a full recovery.  The animal control officer has been arrested and charged with animal cruelty.

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Lawmakers Pass 'Facebook' Law

ILLINOIS LAWMAKERS HAVE PASSED WHAT’S BEEN DUBBED THE “FACEBOOK” BILL.

LEGISLATORS FACE A CONSTANT BATTLE IN MAKING SURE STATE LAW KEEPS UP WITH MODERN TECHNOLOGY. THIS LATEST ATTEMPT DEALS WITH A RECENT ASSOCIATED PRESS REPORT THAT FOUND SOME EMPLOYERS ARE DEMANDING ACCESS TO PROSPECTIVE WORKER’S FACEBOOK AND TWITTER ACCOUNTS. SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHRISTINE RADOGNO EXPLAINS THE MEASURE.

[audio:fb.mp3] [/audio]

EMPLOYERS WOULD STILL BE ALLOWED TO CHECK OUT WHATEVER CAN BE SEEN BY THE GENERAL PUBLIC. THE BILL MUST STILL BE SIGNED INTO LAW BY THE GOVERNOR FOR IT TO TAKE EFFECT.

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Monticello Schools Budgets In Good Shape

Despite the financial woes of the State of Illinois, the Monticello school district budget is not in bad shape.

Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools explains they had a good year from their Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) last year and because of that, this year's budget was off to a good start. Dr. Zimmerman feels next year's CPPRT payment could be even better than this year's thanks to a slow turn around in the Illinois economy.

[audio:52312sagesbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

CPPRT makes up for almost half of Monticello Schools yearly budget. Dr. Zimmerman says despite the good years they have experienced with CPPRT the past few years, the district is still going to have to dip into their reserves to make up the difference for shortfalls from the state.

[audio:52312sagesbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman says each year the district has to plan on expenses increasing, and predicting those is expenses is easy. Each year they have salaried staff that needs to be paid, they have supply expenses, and utilities that need to be paid.

The final CPPRT payment for this fiscal year should be arriving soon for Monticello schools, at which point they will be able to compare this year's amount to last year's.

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Financial Scams Continue To Be Problem

DeWitt Savings Bank has noticed a rise in financial scams recently.

Stephanie Runyan of DeWitt Savings says she has noticed a rise in customers depositing fraudulent checks and money orders. These checks are coming in the mail out of the blue and many people don't know what to do with the checks outside of depositing them.

[audio:52812Scams1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Runyan, these scams are generally targeted at senior citizens.  However, she has noticed a lot of cases with single females who have met someone online.

[audio:52812Scams2.mp3] [/audio]

Runyan says its not just checks that can trigger financial scams. With the rise of  companies using  phone calls and text messages to get information, Runyan encourages you to not respond to any financial company that claims they need personal information.

[audio:52812Scams3.mp3] [/audio]

Runyan adds financial scams are becoming more and more common, and the bank doesn't know when they are going to hit. She says the bank often sees fraudulent checks in a cluster, and there is no rhyme or reason as to who or when they send the checks. The origins of the checks are also sporadic, and there is no way to just look at a check and know its fraudulent.

She points out the bank can't stop all of the scams. They are becoming so abundant, police are rarely able to catch the culprit, and the customer becomes liable for the money they lost.

[audio:52812Scams4.mp3] [/audio]

Runyan encourages anyone who thinks they may have a fraudulent check to call the company or bank the check is from via the number provided in a phone book to make sure it is valid.

Your identification and financial information may two of the most valuable assets you have and keeping them safe now is as important as it has ever been. For tips to keep your financial information safe or more information on financial scam trends, stop in at or call your personal bank.

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NHL/NBA Playoff Recaps

>>Heat Hammer Pacers To Take 3-2 Lead

(Miami, FL)  --  LeBron James collected 30 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists as the Heat hammered the Pacers, 115-83, in Game Five of their semifinal series.  Dwyane Wade netted 28 points to help Miami grab a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.  The Heat shot a playoff franchise-record 61-percent from the floor in the win.  Paul George scored 11 points to lead the Pacers, who will try to avoid elimination when they host Game Six on Thursday.  Danny Granger had to leave the game with a left ankle injury.  Indiana was outscored 66-43 in the second half.

>>Kings Advance To Stanley Cup Final

(Glendale, AZ)  --  The Los Angeles Kings secured a spot in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1993 Tuesday night.  Dustin Penner scored with 2:18 left in overtime to give the Kings a 4-3 win over the Coyotes in Game Five of the Western Conference finals.  The Kings are 8-and-0 on the road and 12-and-2 overall in this year's playoffs.  Los Angeles will either face the New York Rangers or the New Jersey Devils for the right to hoist the Cup.  The Eastern Conference finals are currently tied at two games apiece.  Game Five in the best-of-seven set is Wednesday night in New York.

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Cards Win; Sox, Cubs Lose; Sox Sign Hudson

>>Wainwright, Cards Blank Padres

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Adam Wainwright fired a complete-game shutout as the Cardinals blanked the Padres 4-0 in the middle of a three-game series.  Wainwright struck out nine while allowing four hits and one walk as he upped his mark to 3-and-5.  Carlos Beltran drove in a pair of runs and Tyler Greene and Matt Holliday also plated a run each for the Cards, who will go for the sweep on Wednesday.  Edinson Volquez allowed three runs on six hits and four walks over six frames to fall to 2-and-4 with the loss.  San Diego has lost four-of-six.

>>'Stros Clip Cubs

(Houston, TX)  --  J.D. Martinez's RBI single in the sixth proved to be the difference as the Astros clipped the Cubs, 2-1.  Jose Altuve clubbed a solo homer in the first frame for Houston, which has won back-to-back games.  J.A. Happ struck out six through six innings of one-run ball to pick up the win.  Brett Myers worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 11th save.  Alfonso Soriano's solo dinger in the fourth frame accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Travis Wood gave up both runs in five-and-two-third innings of duty to suffer the tough-luck loss for the Northsiders, who have lost eight straight games.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
New York Mets 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Cincinnati Reds 4, Atlanta Braves 3
Miami Marlins 7, Colorado Rockies 6
San Francisco Giants 6, Milwaukee Brewers 4
Los Angeles Dodgers 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 7

>>Twins Crush ChiSox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Justin Morneau clubbed a three-run homer to back a complete-game gem by P.J. Walters as the Twins crushed the White Sox, 9-2.  Walters struck out eight and gave up just two runs on five hits to improve to 2-and-1 on the season.  Josh Willingham and Alexi Casilla plated two runs apiece for Minnesota, which has won five of its last six games.  Gordon Beckham popped a solo home run and Paul Konerko knocked in Chicago's other run in a losing effort.  Gavin Floyd was rocked for all nine runs in three-and-two-third innings of duty to suffer the loss.  The Southsiders had won their last four games.

MLB AL
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Baltimore Orioles 4, Boston Red Sox 1
Cleveland Indians 5, Detroit Tigers 3
New York Yankees 3, Kansas City Royals 2
Tampa Bay Rays 8, Toronto Blue Jays 5
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5, Oakland Athletics 0
Texas Rangers 3, Seattle Mariners 1

>>White Sox Sign Hudson, Morel To DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with infielder Orlando Hudson.  The 34-year-old hit .211 with five triples, one home run and 11 RBI in 35 games with San Diego this season before being released last Thursday.  Hudson is a career .276 hitter in 11 seasons with the Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Dodgers, Twins and Padres.  He helps fill the void left by third baseman Brent Morel, who has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a back strain.

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Softball, Baseball Sectionals Preview

Softball teams from around the area will take part in sectionals this week.

Class 1A Softball from Tuesday.

At LeRoy

Blue Ridge 0
Dwight     8

Here are some of the matchups on tap for today.

Class 1A:

At Havana

Stanford (Olympia)       4:30pm
Quincy (Notre Dame)   

At Shelbyville

Maroa-Forsyth           4:30pm
Rochester   

Williamsville           6:30pm
Teutopolis   

Class 1A Boys Sectional baseball action on tap for today.

At Danville (Schlarman)

Tuscola               7:00pm
LeRoy

Class 2A baseball Sectional games on tap for today.

At Clinton

Bloomington (Central Catholic)   5:00pm
Normal (University)

At Quincy (Notre Dame)

Litchfield           5:00pm
Williamsville

At Robinson

Mt. Zion               4:00pm
Olney (East Richland)

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-23

 

May 23, 2012

 

Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Franklin March, 44, Clinton, was arrested for Criminal Trespass To State Supported Property. March posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Now Is The Time To Prepare Boats For Memorial Day Weekend

If you are planning on taking that boat out to one of the many area lakes this Memorial Day weekend, before you head out, the Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police have a few things to keep in mind.

Now is the time to give a quick 15-20 minute check of the boat and it's equipment to make sure everything is still in good shape. DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus reminds boaters to give those life jackets a good once over especially.  He says if they are a little worn out from the previous year or from a lack of use over time, it's a good investment to get out and get yourself some new ones.

[audio:52412memorialboating1.mp3] [/audio]

Fire extinguishers are required on several boats. Wichus reminds boaters to check and make sure the fire extinguisher is usable. He notes he has already seen several boats this year with bad fire extinguishers on deck.

[audio:52412memorialboating2.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus also reminds boaters to give the engine and electric on the boat a quick once over. You will also want to be sure and check the battery is anchored down and covered. A loose battery could cause some major problems.

[audio:52412memorialboating3.mp3] [/audio]

There have been several instances of boat fires over the past several years that have completely destroyed boats on the lake. Because grease, oil and gas float, throwing water on them if they are on fire is not going to work, which is why having a serviceable fire extinguisher is a must on most engine boats.

Boats of a certain size also must have a throwable device and that is approved.

With lots of sun an warm weather in the forecast for this Memorial Day weekend, local lakes and parks are sure to be very busy. DNR Conservation Police encourage everyone to be safe wherever they may be or what they are doing.

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Supreme Court Refuses To Hear Illinois Redistricting Challenge

The Supreme Court will not hear a challenge to redistricting in Illinois despite complaints from the League of Women Voters of Illinois that the new congressional and legislative lines are unconstitutional.

The high court on Monday turned away the lawsuit that complained the new congressional and legislative maps are unconstitutional because they assign voters to districts based on their political views and voting histories. A federal court threw out the group's lawsuit last year.

New maps are required every 10 years after the census reveals population shifts. Democrats drew them in Illinois because they control the Legislature and governor's office.

The maps force some Republicans into districts where they must run against other incumbents in 2012 and created just one Latino-majority district, although Illinois' Hispanic population is 32.5%.

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Illinois Dioceses Join Birth Control Challenge

Catholic dioceses in Springfield and Joliet and their charity groups are among 43 plaintiffs in a dozen lawsuits that challenge the Obama administration mandate that most employers provide birth control coverage in insurance coverage for their employees.

The two Illinois dioceses and the Catholic Charities groups in Joliet and Springfield filed their lawsuit Monday in federal court in Chicago. Other lawsuits were filed around the country Monday.

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield said in a statement that the requirement infringes on the right of people to practice their religion without government interference.

Houses of worship are exempt but religiously affiliated charities are not.

An offer by President Obama offered to allow insurers to pay for birth control instead of religious groups has not satisfied Catholic bishops.

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Lawmakers End Legislative Scholarship Program

Gov. Pat Quinn says the decision by the Illinois House to end the Legislature's tuition waiver program makes it a good day for Illinois taxpayers.

Earlier this month, the Illinois Senate agreed to stop letting lawmakers hand out free college education to certain constituents. It ends a century-old practice plagued by allegations of corruption and political favoritism.

Quinn said Monday is a good day for deserving students in financial need. He added there is "no place for a political scholarship program in Illinois."

The governor also thanked the leaders of the General Assembly for passing the legislation. He said there is a need for more bipartisan progress in coming days to "get big things done for the people of Illinois."

Quinn said he is looking forward to signing the legislation.

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Historic Ads Missing From U of I

Several historic ads are missing from a display at the University of Illinois in Urbana.  Police say someone took the United Negro College Fund ads from a locked display case between the Main Library and Undergraduate Library.  A photo, poster, and public-transit signboard are among the items that went missing sometime between May 1st and May 8th.  Anyone with information should contact police immediately.

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GOP Senator Likes Part of Quinn's Medicaid Bill

A Republican Illinois senator who's a leader on Medicaid has some kind words for Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed legislation, but he's not quite ready to call it bipartisan.

Sen. Dale Righter says he likes the section that - as he puts it - "cuts up the state's Medicaid credit card."

Righter says the state has been able to delay Medicaid payments by pushing them into the next fiscal year. The bill would phase out that ability. He calls that an "important long-term reform."

Righter was a member of a bipartisan committee that tried to agree on how to cut Medicaid.

He says he's still reading the 474-page measure and withholding judgment.

A spokesman says the Illinois Hospital Association also is still evaluating the bill.

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Governor Quinn Urges Lawmakers To Stay Focused On Medicaid and Pension Reform

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS URGING LAWMAKERS TO STAY FOCUSED AND GET MEDICAID AND PENSION REFORMS PASSED BEFORE THE END OF THE SPRING LEGISLATIVE SESSION NEXT WEEK.

QUINN SAYS IT’S “GO TIME” FOR THESE TWO HUGE ISSUES…WITH BOTH THE STATE’S MEDICAID AND PENSION PROGRAM ON THE BRINK OF COLLAPSE. SOME ARE SPECULATING ANOTHER PUSH FOR GAMBLING EXPANSION WILL ALSO COME UP…BUT THE GOVERNOR IS DISMISSING ANY GAMING TALK.

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QUINN SAYS RAISING THE TAX ON CIGARETTES IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF MEDICAID REFORM…WHICH WILL RAISE MUCH NEEDED REVENUE FOR THE STATE AND ENTICE SOME SMOKERS TO KICK THE HABIT.

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Weekly Crop Report

WARM, DRY WEATHER GAVE FARMERS PLENTY OF TIME IN THE FIELDS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

CORN PLANTING IS NEARLY COMPLETE AS 99 PERCENT IS COMPLETE AND THE CROP IS 88 PERCENT EMERGED. THE AVERAGE HEIGHT OF CORN IS SEVEN INCHES SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

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SOYBEAN PLANTING IS NOW 80 PERCENT COMPLETE, AND 40 PERCENT EMERGED. SCHWAB NOTES THIS IS WELL AHEAD OF LAST YEAR’S PROGRESS.

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AS FOR OTHER CROPS…63 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN PLANTED…AND 45 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP IS TURNING YELLOW. THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 68 PERCENT COMPLETE

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT THREE PERCENT SURPLUS…64 PERCENT ADEQUATE…29 PERCENT SHORT…AND FOUR PERCENT VERY SHORT.

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New Maroon Basketball Coach Gibson Brings Winning Tradition

Last week, Chris Gibson was named the Clinton High School varsity boys basketball coach.

Coach Gibson has had an incredible journey and as a young coach, has already experienced a tremendous amount of success. Upon his graduation from high school, he felt the call to coaching basketball. Coach Gibson was able to quickly get his foot in the door and learn under two Hall of Fame coaches within a few years of graduating high school.

[audio:52212coachgibsonjourney1.mp3] [/audio]

Coach Gibson was then asked to become an assistant varsity coach at his alma matter of Coal City for a year. Coach Gibson explains at age 22 he was named the head basketball coach at Midland High School north of Peoria where he experienced some success. Coach Gibson is the youngest person to be named a head basketball coach in IHSA History.

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From Midland High School Gibson went back to college to get his degree. He explains he ended up at Olivet Nazarene University and was an assistant coach in their program. Coach Gibson says he was a sponge while at Olivet.

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It was after his graduation from Olivet Coach Gibson ended up at Caterpillar in Peoria and then had the opportunity to coach at Dwight Township High School. Coach Gibson experienced quite a bit of success as the head coach at Dwight.

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Dwight High School had to make a few cuts in their business department, and unfortunately Coach Gibson was one of those cuts and he sought out a new situation and feels Clinton is going to be a great fit for him and his family.

Coach Gibson knows he has his work cut out for him with very established programs in the Okaw Valley Conference like Maroa-Forsyth, Meridian, St. Teresa, and Unity.

Coach Gibson wants to be able to run the floor and create transition off of defense.

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Clinton Police Department Has New Deputy Chief

A newly created position in the Clinton Police Department has established and an appointment has been made.

 width=Monday evening at the Clinton City Council meeting Sergeant Ben Lowers was promoted to the position of Deputy Chief, who will be second in command to Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy. Chief Reidy explains the promotion of now Deputy Chief Lowers will allow him to consult with a non-union member of his staff, but it will also give the department a more clear chain of command.

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With his wife and daughter on hand and colleagues on hand, Sergaent Lowers was sworn in as the new Deputy Chief of the Clinton Police Department.

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Deputy Chief Lowers explains he has always had a goal of holding an administrative role within a police force. He feels his training and experience has prepared him for his new role.

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Deputy Chief Lowers says police work can sometimes be a tough career. He says it not only is a job or a career, but it becomes a lifestyle. He feels the Clinton Police Department has a great group of officers and looks forward to being their new Deputy Chief.

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NBA/NHL Playoff Recaps

>>OKC Secures West Finals Date With Spurs

(Undated)  --  The Oklahoma City Thunder punched their ticket to the Western Conference finals Monday night.  The Thunder ousted the Los Angeles Lakers with a 106-90 win in Game Five of their semifinal series.  The second-seeded Thunder will face the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the West finals.  The Spurs won two of the three meetings between the teams during the regular season.  Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics used a big second half to notch a 101-85 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Five of their East semifinal series.  Boston claimed a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven set with the victory.

>>Devils Get Even With Rangers

(Newark, NJ)  --  The NHL Eastern Conference finals have become a best-of-three series.  The Devils cruised to a 4-1 win over the New York Rangers in Game Four of the series in New Jersey Monday night.  Martin Brodeur [[ bro-DURE ]] stopped 27 shots to help the Devils even the set at two games apiece.  New York hosts Game Five on Wednesday.  Meanwhile, the Coyotes will look to fight off elimination again when they host the Los Angeles Kings in Game Five of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night.  L.A. holds a 3-1 lead in the series and can advance to the Stanley Cup Final with a victory.

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Dickerson Joins NFL Suit

Former Rams running back Eric Dickerson is joining a lawsuit against the NFL over concussions.  The Hall of Famer has joined the likes of retired players Art Monk, Tony Dorsett and Jim McMahon in going after the league for allegedly covering up known effects of concussions for years.

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Cardinals Notes

>>Berkman To Have Surgery For Torn Meniscus

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman has been diagnosed with a torn meniscus in his right knee.  According to the "Post-Dispatch," he'll have surgery later this week and is expected to be sidelined six-to-eight weeks.  Berkman was injured stretching for a ball Saturday in Los Angeles.

>>Cardinals To Wear Camouflage Logo Hats On Special Days

(New York, NY)  --  The Cardinals will wear special caps on Monday.  Every major league team will don hats that feature the club's logo in camouflage and outlined in a team color.  The hats will be worn on Memorial Day, July 4th and September 11th to raise money for the Welcome Back Veterans fund.

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Cards Come Back For Win; Cubs Lose

>>Cardinals Blow Lead, Come Back To Top Friars

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Tyler Greene blasted a two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Cardinals to a 4-3 win over the Padres.  Rafael Furcal and Matt Carpenter each drove in a run for St. Louis, which stopped a four-game slide.  Jaime Garcia gave up two runs and struck out seven over seven-plus frames in a no-decision.  Jason Motte improved to 3-and-1 on the season with the win.  Jesus Guzman hit a two-run double off Motte to give San Diego a lead in the top half of the eighth.  Nick Hundley added a sac-fly for the Padres in the loss.  Andrew Cashner suffered the loss for San Diego, which had won back-to-back games.  

>>Astros Clobber Cubs

(Houston, TX)  --  Jason Castro and Chris Johnson both clubbed three-run homers to back seven scoreless innings from Bud Norris as the Astros clobbered the Cubs, 8-4.  Norris struck out eight and allowed just five hits with three walks to improve to 5-and-1 on the season.  Jed Lowrie added a solo shot for Houston, which improved to 4-and-2 on its current eight-game homestand.  Blake Lalli had a two-run single and Reed Johnson and David DeJesus both plated a run in the top of the ninth for Chicago in the lopsided loss.  Matt Garza gave up seven runs in just three innings of work to absorb the loss.  The Northsiders have dropped seven games in-a-row.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 2, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, New York Mets 4
Cincinnati Reds 4, Atlanta Braves 1
Miami Marlins 7, Colorado Rockies 4
Houston Astros 8, Chicago Cubs 4
San Francisco Giants 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3 (14 inn)
St. Louis Cardinals 4, San Diego Padres 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

MLB AL
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Boston Red Sox 8, Baltimore Orioles 6
Kansas City Royals 6, New York Yankees 0
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Oakland Athletics 2, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1
Seattle Mariners 6, Texas Rangers 1

>>ChiSox Start Set With Twins

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox open up a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins this evening at The Cell.  Gavin Floyd gets the nod opposite P.J. Walters in the opener.  The ChiSox are coming off a three-game sweep of the Cubs over the weekend at Wrigley Field to improve to 21-and-21 on the season.

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Illini Football Notes

>> Illinois Hires Western Michigan Staffer

Former Western Michigan assistant coach Tim Knox has been hired as director of football operations at Illinois.

Illini head coach Tim Beckman in a news release Monday called Knox a great fit for a position that requires strong organizations skills.

The director of football operations handles the logistics of team travel, summer camps, preseason training camp in Rantoul and community service.

Knox has been an assistant at Western Michigan for 15 years. He started as a graduate assistant and was later running backs coach and then director of football operations.

>> Illini Face Big 10's Big Names At Home In 2015

Illinois will play home games against three marquee Big Ten matchups and its in-state rival during the 2015 football season.

The Big Ten released the conference schedules for 2015 and 2016 on Monday.

The Illini will play Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State and Northwestern at home in 2015. Road games will be at Purdue, Iowa, Indiana and Penn State.

The 2016 home schedule includes Penn State, Indiana, Iowa and Purdue. The Illini will go on the road for what figure to be tough games at Wisconsin, Ohio State and Michigan. Illinois will close the conference season at Northwestern.

Nonconference schedules for 2015 and 2016 have not been set.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-22

 

May 22, 2012

 

Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

 

Steven Kinney, 54, Kenney, was issued a citation for Operating an Uninsured Vehicle. Kinney posted his Illinois Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Jeffrey Ulozas, 31, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (62 mph in a 45 mph zone). Ulozas posted his Illinois Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Brian Kocher, 19, Henry, was issued a citation for Speeding (61 mph in a 45 mph zone). Kocher, posted his Illinois Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Connell Joyner, 56, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (73 mph in a 55 mph zone). Joyner posted his AAA card as bond and was released.

 

Joseph White Jr, 34, Purcell, OK, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant Charging him with Failure to Pay or Appear. White posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Blake Mariani, 22, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Mariani being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Daniel Wilson, 37, DeWitt, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Wilson being unable 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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DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Acquires Humvees For Emergency Use

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The DeWitt County Sheriff's Department is taking advantage of a program they are a part of to acquire equipment to be more available in emergencies.

 width=The Sheriff's Department has acquired two used military Humvees. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains he has a few deputies that have military experience that have volunteered to come in during some of their off time to help modify the vehicles for service.

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According to Sheriff Shofner, he says the Sheriff's Department has seen the need several times for the use of a Humvee-like vehicle. He feels the Humvees will be a very versatile piece of equipment that will help in several ways.

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The Sheriff explains the Department has recently joined a program through the government where they can acquire surplus and unused equipment. The great advantage the program serves the County is that the equipment comes at minimal cost. The only cost associated with the Humvees was shipping from a warehouse in Missouri.

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Sheriff Shofner has already been in contact with several area emergency agencies about partnering with them for use of the Humvees. He hopes for the vehicles to be up and usable within a month or two.

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Clinton High School Names Varsity Boys Basketball Coach

The Clinton Boys Basketball team has a new head coach.

The Clinton Board of Education approved the hiring of Chris Gibson. Gibson currently serving at Dwight Township High School. He explains he has been seeking a new situation, and will be able to serve as both a business teacher at the high school and also the high school's varsity boys basketball coach.

[audio:52112coachgibson1.mp3] [/audio]

Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes is excited to have Gibson become a member of the Clinton Maroon program. He says Gibson is the complete package of what they were looking for. Not only is he a candidate that can take the basketball program to a new level, but he also fills a teaching position the district was looking to fill.

[audio:52112coachgibson2.mp3] [/audio]

Coach Gibson realizes the importance of reaching out to the younger kids in the district and preparing them for the high school level. His first varsity program he took over, he had success the first year but because he had a lot of experience exit the program, he had to rebuild, and he feels doing that starts with preparing the 3rd and 4th grade athletes of the district.

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Coach Gibson is not looking to use the Clinton program as a stepping stone. He says he is very interested in establishing some stability, and being a part of the Clinton community for the long haul. Coach Gibson's wife is also an educator and they have two young children.

[audio:52112coachgibson4.mp3] [/audio]

As one of the younger basketball coaches the Okaw Valley Conference will have, Gibson's resume is already quite impressive.

Tune in to Regional Radio News tomorrow for more on Coach Chris Gibson's background and journey to Clinton High School.

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I'll Have Another Wins Preakness Stakes

I'll Have Another came one step closer to winning the Triple Crown with a come from behind win at the 137th running of the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.  The three-year-old colt once against chased down favorite Bodemeister [[ BOE-dee-my-ster ]] two weeks after running him down with a last second victory at the Kentucky Derby.  The third and final jewel of the American Classic Races is June 9th at the Belmont Stakes.

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NHL/NBA Playoff Recaps

>>Spurs Advance To West Finals

(Undated)  --  The San Antonio Spurs secured a spot in the Western Conference finals Sunday night.  The top-seeded Spurs finished a four-game sweep of the Clippers with a 102-99 win in Los Angeles.  San Antonio is 8-and-0 in the playoffs and has won 18 straight dating back to the regular season.  The Spurs will face either the Thunder or the Lakers in the West finals.  Meanwhile, the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers, 101-93, in Game Four of their East semifinal series.  LeBron James collected 40 points, 18 rebounds and nine assists to help the Heat even the series at two games apiece.

>>'Yotes Blank Kings To Avoid Sweep

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Shane Doan scored twice and Mike Smith registered his third career postseason shutout as the Coyotes staved off elimination with a 2-0 win over the Kings in Game Four of the Western Conference finals.  Smith kicked aside all 36 shots he faced for Phoenix, which still trails three-games-to-one in the best-of-seven set.  Jonathan Quick allowed both scores on 21 shots for the Kings, who lost for only the second time in 13 playoff tilts.  They had won a franchise-record eight straight playoff games.  The series shifts back to Jobing.com Arena for Game Five on Tuesday.

>>Rangers Face Devils In Game Four

(Newark, NJ)  --  The Rangers and Devils meet in Game Four of the Eastern Conference finals tonight.  New York took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series with a 3-0 win on Saturday.  The puck drops in Newark at 8:00.

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NASCAR, Indy 500 Notes

>>Briscoe Clips Hinchcliffe For Indy 500 Pole

(Speedway, IN)  --  Ryan Briscoe beat James Hinchcliffe by the slimmest of margins to win the pole position for the 96th running of the Indianapolis 500.  Briscoe's margin over Hinchcliffe was 0.0023 seconds, making it the closest 1-2 qualifying finish in race history.  It's the fifth straight pole for Team Penske in as many races this season.  The 500-mile race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the first oval event of the season.  A total of 24 drivers secured a starting position for the race on Saturday.

>>Field Of 33 Set After Sunday's Bump Day

(Speedway, IN)  --  The field is set for the Indianapolis 500.  All 33 drivers qualified for the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" during Sunday's Bump Day.  On Saturday, Ryan Briscoe won the pole for the 96th running of the Indy 500, which is slated for Sunday, May 27th.  Jean Alesi qualified in 33rd, but Charlie Kimball crashed during a practice lap after qualifying 14th and will have to start at the back of the field if a backup car is required.

>>Johnson Claims Third All-Star Victory

(Concord, NC)  --  Jimmie Johnson won the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race for the third time in his illustrious career on Saturday night at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  The five-time Sprint Cup Series champion won the first 20-lap segment in the 90-lap event.  Brad Keselowski finished second followed by Matt Kenseth, while pole sitter Kyle Busch came in fourth and Dale Earnhardt Jr rounded out the top-five.  With the victory, Johnson claims a one-million-dollar prize.  No Sprint Cup points were at stake during the race.

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Cubs Soto, Cards Berkman To DL

>>Cubs' Soto To Have Knee Surgery

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs will be without catcher Geovany Soto for a while.  He will have surgery for a torn meniscus in his left knee and is expected to miss three weeks.  With backup Steve Clevenger already on the disabled list with a rib cage injury, Welington Castillo takes over behind the plate.  Soto is batting just .161 with three home runs and six RBI.

>>Berkman Lands On DL

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Lance Berkman is back on the disabled list after suffering a knee injury during Saturday's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Berkman, who was on the 15-day DL from April 19th through May 12th with a strained left calf, was hurt while stretching to make a catch at first base on a routine ground ball hit to shortstop Rafael Furcal.  The veteran was helped off the field and was initially diagnosed with a right knee strain.

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Cards Swept In LA

 Scott Van Slyke made his first career home run a memorable one as the Dodgers snuck past the Cardinals, 6-5.  Van Slyke hit a three-run jack on a 3-0 pitch while pinch-hitting in the seventh to give Los Angeles a lead it would not relinquish.  James Loney and Andre Ethier each drove in a run as the Dodgers swept the three-game series and won their fourth overall.  Javy Guerra picked up the win in relief, while Kenley Jansen earned his fifth save.  Skip Schumaker hit a two-run triple and Rafael Furcal drove in a pair with a single for St. Louis, which has lost four straight and eight of its last 10 games.  Marc Rzepczynski [[ zep-CHIN-skee ]] suffered the loss for the Cards.

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Sox Sweep Cubs

Gordon Beckham and Adam Dunn blasted back-to-back solo homers in the fourth frame to back six-and-a-third scoreless innings from Jake Peavy as the White Sox blanked the Cubs, 6-0, to sweep the Windy City rivalry.  Peavy struck out seven and allowed just three hits with a pair of walks to improve to 5-and-1 on the season.  Tyler Flowers also clubbed a solo shot for the Southsiders, who have won four games in-a-row.  Paul Maholm gave up five runs through six-and-a-third frames of duty to absorb the loss.  The Northsiders have dropped six straight games.

The Northsiders head to Minute Maid Park this evening to open up a three-game set with the Houston Astros.  Matt Garza gets the nod opposite Bud Norris in the opener.  Meanwhile, the Southsiders are off today.  They return to The Cell tomorrow evening to host the Minnesota Twins in a three-game set.  Gavin Floyd will be on the bump in the opener.

MLB Interleague
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Cincinnati Reds 5, New York Yankees 2
Detroit Tigers 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Miami Marlins 5, Cleveland Indians 3
New York Mets 6, Toronto Blue Jays 5
Washington Nationals 9, Baltimore Orioles 3
Boston Red Sox 5, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Atlanta Braves 2, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Texas Rangers 6, Houston Astros 1
Milwaukee Brewers 16, Minnesota Twins 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Kansas City Royals 0
Seattle Mariners 6, Colorado Rockies 4
San Diego Padres 3, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2 (13 inn)
Oakland Athletics 6, San Francisco Giants 2

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITATIONS

5/18/12

HAYLEY BARRON 19, NORMAL SPEEDING 48 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

5/20/12

ALI A. ALIABADI 26, DECATUR SPEEDING 75 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

PURSES K. PAGE 32, DECATUR SPEEDING 77 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

JAMES P. MCCUBE 47, UTICA SPEEDING 74 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ON 5/18/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CODY A. ACKERSON 20, CLINTON ON A LOGAN COUNTY WARRANT. ACKERSON WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS

 

ON 5/19/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED NICHOLAS T. WELCH 20, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. WELCH WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 5/19/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED KENDRA L. SPELLMAN 30, CLINTON FOR THEFT. SPELLMAN 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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Scovill Zoo Readies For Busy Summer

The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is gearing up for its summer season.

Starting May 26, the Scovill Zoo will be expand its hours and be open from 10-7 every day with last admissions taken at 6. The summer hours will stay in affect until August 20.

Scovill Zoo is known for their free admission days, and the zoo will once again be offering free admission days every Thursday, starting June 7 to October 11. Assistant Zoo Director Ken Frye says that free admission days are a great opportunity for anyone who may be on a tight budget to enjoy the zoo at no charge.

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The zoo also has a couple of new features that they are ready to unveil. The new features include a new entry way through the gift shop that leads people to the new wolf viewing area.

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This summer if you're looking for something for those youngster to do, Scovill Zoo offers a number of activities for kids. Frye explains there are plenty of things for  kids ages 3 all the way up to teenagers. Frye notes there are volunteer opportunities the zoo offers that allow teens to go out and handle the animals.

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The zoo is offering many other events throughout the summer including a Family Camp Out and Father's Day event.  

For a full list of summer events or details about the zoo, go to scovillzoo.com.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

May 18, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 9

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

May 19, 2012

 

Jail Population: 80

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

May 20, 2012

 

Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Michael Dressler, 38, St. Louis, was arrested on a Logan County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Dressler posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Cody Ackerson, 20, Maroa, was arrested on a Logan County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Ackerson posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Nicholas Welch, 20, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Consumption of Alcohol by Minor. Welch posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Kindra Spellman, 30, Clinton, was arrested and charged with theft. Spellman posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Donald Coy, 31, Lincoln, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. After posting the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Six To Seek To Oppose Indicted State Representative

Six people, including the daughter of a state senator, are vying to be the third-party challenger to indicted state Rep. Derrick Smith.

Angelique Momon-Collins, daughter of state Sen. Annazette Collins, is seeking to be slated by the 10th District Unity Party. Momon-Collins' mother was defeated by Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins, who criticized the senator's questionable legislative scholarship awards.

Also seeking the party's mantle is Lance Tyson, a former aide to ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger.

A group of Chicago Democrats, led by Secretary of State Jesse White, created the third party after Smith refused to resign after his indictment in March.

Smith is accused of accepting a $7,000 bribe in a FBI sting in exchange for writing a letter supporting a state grant for a day care operation.

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Prosecutor Recommends No Charges For Illinois Warden

A special prosecutor investigating the acting warden of a prison in central Illinois has recommended that no charges be filed.

A Department of Corrections spokeswoman says Randy Pfister, who oversees the Pontiac Correctional Center, will remain on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal department review.

The spokeswoman, Stacey Solano, called that a standard procedure.

State police arrested Pfister May 10 on suspicion of unlawful restraint, but authorities have not made public any specific allegations.

Pfister was released the next day without formal charges, and the case was referred to a special prosecutor.

Pfister, who is 49, has been acting warden since May 2011.

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Private Equity Firm Buys Four Newspapers In Midwest

An affiliate of a Philadelphia-based private equity firm is buying four newspapers in the Midwest, including one in northwest Ohio.

Freedom Communications is selling the newspapers to an affiliate of Versa Capital Management LLC.

Irvine, Calif.-based Freedom announced the sale Thursday.

The papers in the sale are The Lima News in Ohio; The Telegraph in Alton, Ill.; The Journal-Courier in Jacksonville, Ill.; and The Sedalia Democrat in Missouri.

Terms of the deal were not released.

Versa Capital Management also owns newspaper chain Ohio Community Media. That group includes 14 daily newspapers and 30 weekly papers in northern and western Ohio.

Freedom operates 100 publications, including 24 daily newspapers.

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Springfield Man Dies In ATV Accident

An autopsy is planned on a 57-year-old Springfield man who died after an ATV crash.

The Sangamon County coroner has identified the man as James Pat Neighbors.

Authorities say he lost control of the vehicle in a driveway on Saturday. Police say when he fell off of the ATV, the vehicle landed on top of him.

The crash remains under investigation.

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Davis 'Honored' To Be Rep. Johnson's Replacement

Rodney Davis says he's honored to be chosen as a replacement on the November ballot for longtime Republican Congressman Tim Johnson.

GOP officials from 14 Illinois counties met Saturday and chose Davis for the 13th District. He's an aide to Republican Congressman John Shimkus.

Davis says he was informed of the decision while he was coaching his children's baseball game. He says he wants to be a common sense and fiscally-conservative Republican in Washington.

In November, he'll face Democrat David Gill, a Bloomington physician.

Gill says he welcomes Davis to the race. Gill says he's an ordinary citizen who represents the interests of ordinary people.

The new 13th District stretches across parts of central and southwestern Illinois.

Johnson announced his abrupt retirement last month, citing family reasons.

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GOP Choses Rodney Davis As Rep. Tim Johnson's Replacement

Republican officials have chosen Rodney Davis as the GOP nominee for longtime Congressman Tim Johnson's seat.

Davis of Taylorville is Republican Congressman John Shimkus' aide.

According to a statement, Republican Party chairmen from 14 counties met in Springfield on Saturday and selected Davis for the newly-created 13th District.

Johnson first took office in 2001 and easily won his seat in the Illinois primary election on March 20. However, shortly after he dropped his re-election campaign, citing family reasons.

That meant that GOP officials had to pick a replacement for the November ballot. Davis will face Democrat David Gill. He's a Bloomington physician.

The new 13th District stretches across parts of central and southwestern Illinois.

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Illinois Exports On The Rise

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SAYS ILLINOIS EXPORTS ARE UP BY MORE THAN 17 PERCENT SO FAR THIS YEAR.

THAT FIGURE IS FOR THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2012…AND AS STATE DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE AND ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY SPOKESPERSON SANDY JONES EXPLAINS…INCLUDES SEVERAL TYPES OF PRODUCTS.

[audio:51912IllinoisExports1.mp3] [/audio]

JONES SAYS EXPORTING IS VITAL TO THE ILLINOIS ECONOMY.

[audio:51912IllinoisExports2.mp3] [/audio]

JONES SAYS GOVERNOR QUINN WILL BE MEETING WITH WORLD LEADERS DURING THE NATO SUMMIT TO TRY AND FURTHER INCREASE TRADE OPPORTUNITIES FOR ILLINOIS.

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Lincoln Teen To Be Charged As Adult In Gun Case

A central Illinois teenager accused of bringing a stolen gun to school has been charged as an adult.

Blake Landstrom, a 15-year-old student at Lincoln Community High School, was charged with unlawful use of a weapon and possession of a stolen firearm.

He had his hands bound in shackles and was on the verge of tears at a court appearance Friday.

Landstrom was arrested Monday at the school. The weapon was identified in court as a Ruger P89 semi-automatic handgun.

Under Illinois law, a charge of unlawful use of a weapon is treated as an adult offense.

If he is found guilty only of possessing a stolen firearm, he could be sentenced as a juvenile.

Landstrom is being held on $25,000 bond.

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Cutworm Cutting Dates Upon Us

The mild spring has led to increased concerns over cutworms across central Illinois, and experts predict the prime time for damage is upon us.  Jared White has more...

[audio:51412CutwormCuttingDatesWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Children's Advocacy Centers Report Rise In Cases Through Year's Third Quarter

Although it has been reported there is a large drop in child abuse cases, Children's Advocacy Centers across Illinois say that's not the case.

Judy Brucker of the McLean County Child Protection Network saysthey saw a drastic rise between this year's third quarter and last year's third quarter.  Over 700 more children came in to be interviewed for a case between January 1 and April 30 this year than last year.

[audio:52112CACI1.mp3] [/audio]

Brucker states during times of economic distress people sometimes take all their stress out on children in their lives. This being said, its not easy to point out who the culprit is in these cases. She points out 25% of the time, abusers were someone the family trusted, and nearly as frequently, it is a family member.

[audio:52112CACI2.mp3] [/audio]

Brucker added people need to watch for signs in their child's behavior that could indictate they've been abused  by someone. Children will only speak up if they feel spreading the information won't hurt them more. When contemplating whether to report child abuse, she says to trust your instincts.

[audio:52112CACI31.mp3] [/audio]

Even though a child might not have come forth with information, Brucker says people should call the DCFS hotline at 1 800 25 ABUSE to get help on how to tell if their child has been injured and how to help their child open up about the incident.

In Illinois, Children's Advocacy Centers provide interviews, mental health and medical referrals for child sexual and serious physical abuse cases referred by both DCFS and law enforcement.

For more information, you can contact Judy Brucker at 309-888-5656.

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USDA Identifying Crop Pests

USDA researchers are using a forensic crime tool to identify insects that are natural predators to crop pests. Mike Greenstone - Entomologist with the Agricultural Research Service - says the researchers are using Preliminary Change Reaction - a tool to fingerprint bodily fluids or saliva from perpetrators of crime - to study DNA barcoding of those natural predators. Greenstone says this can help farmers.
 
[audio:agcsi1.mp3] [/audio]
 
Most recently - Greenstone says he was using this technique on the Colorado Potato Beetle - which he says is a very devastating pest. He says ladybugs and other true predatory bugs feed on that beetle. Before that - Greenstone worked on aphid pests - but he has used barcoding in other ways - too.
 
[audio:agcsi2.mp3] [/audio]

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Facebook Page Lets Lincoln Lovers Interact

Is your dog named Lincoln? Your old car is dubbed Honest Abe?

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum wants you to send in a photo. It might be posted on the "Good Morning from Mr. Lincoln" Facebook page.

The online site features images from around the world of places or things named after or depicting the 16th president.

So far, there have been 33 Lincoln presenters, 40 statues, and even a tattoo of the Great Emancipator.

Clicking "like" on the page will allow users to see daily quotes from Lincoln and links to blogs, videos and podcasts. Users can interact with other Lincoln fans.

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Weekly Weather Report

Temperatures this past week ranged in the lower 80s in some parts of the state to the mid 70s elsewhere. According to state climotologist Jim Angel, this weekend we will see above normal temperatures with a chance of rain on the back end of the weekend.

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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State Farm Hopes To Cut Dog Bite Claims

State Farm Insurance hopes a new series of videos help it cut down dog-bite claims it says cost it more than $100 million last year. And the company says the problem is particularly expensive in Illinois.

The company premiered the two new videos this week on its YouTube channel. The videos offer simple tips to avoid dog bites. For instance, don't run from a dog because dogs like to chase and catch things.

State Farm spokeswoman Holly Anderson said that dog bites are a serious problem for the Bloomington-based insurer.

The company says Illinois was second to California among dog-bite claims last year. People filed 309 claims in Illinois in 2011 for a total of $10 million.

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Rose Passing Child Care Law

The Illinois House Wednesday unanimously approved more money for the Child Care Assistance Program, which has already run out of funds for the current fiscal year.  The Senate Bill passed with a vote of 113-3, but numerous lawmakers, such as State Representative Chapin Rose, were  upset with Gov. Pat Quinn for what Rose said was mismanagement of the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. 

According to Rose, the legislature fully funded child-care programs last year before the Governor redirected the money to help pay for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, leaving the child-care providers scrambling for money to pay their bills.

[audio:51612Rose.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn diverted money allocated for child-care providers to help pay for the state's welfare program, known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The funding shift left child-care providers scrambling for money to pay their bills.

Like many others who were upset at the Governor’s move, Rose indicated his support for the measure but with the upcoming budget currently taking shape, it is also imperative that the Governor recognize that he has to live within the means of 2013 budget.

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Friday's Scoreboard

FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Los Angeles Dodgers 6, St. Louis Cardinals 5

MLB Interleague
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Chicago White Sox 3, Chicago Cubs 2
New York Yankees 4, Cincinnati Reds 0
Detroit Tigers 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Miami Marlins 3, Cleveland Indians 2
Baltimore Orioles 2, Washington Nationals 1 (11 inn)
Philadelphia Phillies 6, Boston Red Sox 4
Toronto Blue Jays 14, New York Mets 5
Atlanta Braves 5, Tampa Bay Rays 3
Texas Rangers 4, Houston Astros 1
Minnesota Twins 11, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Kansas City Royals 4
Seattle Mariners 4, Colorado Rockies 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7, San Diego Padres 2
San Francisco Giants 8, Oakland Athletics 6

NBA Playoffs
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Philadelphia 76ers 92, Boston Celtics 83
(Best-of-seven Eastern semifinal tied, 2-2)

Los Angeles Lakers 99, Oklahoma City Thunder 96
(Thunder lead best-of-seven Western semifinal, 2-1)

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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No Games Scheduled

WNBA
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Los Angeles Sparks 72, Seattle Storm 66

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Dodgers Drop Cardinals

A.J. Ellis notched a walk-off walk in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Dodgers defeated the Cardinals, 6-5.  James Loney was 3-for-4 with a pair of RBI  for Los Angeles, which has won two in-a-row.  Kenley Jansen blew the save after giving up a solo shot to Lance Berkman in the top of the ninth, but he earned the win, improving to 3-and-0.  Matt Holliday drilled a two-run home run for St. Louis, which has lost two straight.  Fernando Salas suffered the loss out of the bullpen.

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White Sox Hold Off Cubs

Gordan Beckham's solo homer in the top of the eighth inning lifted the White Sox to a 3-2 Interleague win over the Cubs at Wrigley Field.  Paul Konerko hit a two-run shot in the first inning but left the game after being hit with a pitch near his left eye in the third.  Matt Thornton got the win in relief and Addison Reed his fourth save.  Starlin Castro and starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija [[ suh-MARD-juh ]] singled in runs for the Cubs.  Samardzija pitched into the eighth and took the loss.  Cubs reliever Kerry Wood struck out the only batter he faced and announced his retirement after the game.

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Cubs' Reliever Kerry Wood Retires

The major league career of Chicago Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood is over.  The 34-year-old reliever retired after pitching one final game on Friday against the crosstown rival White Sox.  Wood struck out the only batter he faced in the eighth inning of the Cubs' 3-2 Interleague loss at Wrigley Field.  He was 0-and-2 with an 8.31 ERA and two blown saves in 10 games this season.  Wood had spent time on the disabled list this year with shoulder fatigue.  He went 86-and-75 with 63 saves over 14 major league seasons with the Cubs, Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.

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American Red Cross Training Courses

Each year, more than 5 million people learn how to save a life in American Red Cross training classes and people in our area can join the ranks of these heroes by taking a class now.

The Mid-Illinois Chapter is offering eight courses within the next month in Decatur.

The First Aid and CPR/AED course teaches people how to perform CPR and use an AED, what to do if someone is choking, and how to prevent and respond to other emergencies until help arrives. Course participants also learn how to control bleeding as well as how to care for seizures and other sudden illnesses. 

For a full list of training course details and to register, go to redcross.org/training.

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AFBF On Farm Bill

American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman testified this week before a House Agriculture Subcommittee on the reasons for a multi-legged stool approach for the new farm bill. AFBF’s Johnna Miller has the story…tape
 
[audio:afbfwrap1.mp3] [/audio]

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Survey Farming Helps Economy Grow In Rural States

The economy remains strong in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Plains states because of the health of agricultural businesses there.

The overall economic index on the new monthly Rural Mainstreet survey rose to 58.5 in May from April's already healthy 57.1. Any score above 50 on the index suggests growth in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says even though the May numbers are positive, he believes the region's economic growth will slow in the months ahead as the global economy weakens and crop prices decline.

The survey covers rural areas of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. The survey focuses on 200 rural communities with an average population of 1,300.

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Sages Season Ends With Loss In Regional Championship

As heard on WEZC the Olympia Spartans defeated the Monticello Sages by a score of 3-1. Nick Stokowski went 2-3 at the dish with a home run. Jacob Williams went 2-3. Williams got a no decision going five innings, striking out 10, giving up no runs on two hits with no walks.

The Sages end the year with a record of 17-13.

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Urbana Boy, 3, Dead of Gunshot To Head

The Champaign County Coroner says an autopsy confirms a 3-year-old Urbana boy died of a gunshot wound to the head in what investigators believe was an accident.

Coroner Duane Northrup said Thursday that Mekhi Woods died Wednesday night at Carle Foundation Hospital. The autopsy was performed Thursday.

Authorities say the child's 14-year-old uncle is being held at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center. Prosecutors will decide whether to charge him with a crime.

Urbana police responding to a report that a child had been shot found the wounded boy. That's when police saw the 14-year-old leaving a home with a handgun.

Police Lt. Bryant Seraphin says the teen was distraught. He says the teen was handling the gun when he unintentionally shot his nephew.

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Central Illinois Airport Gets Orlando, Denver Flights

Two airlines are beginning service this week to connect Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington with Orlando, Fla., and Denver.

Allegiant Air began its nonstop service to Orlando Sanford International Airport on Wednesday.

The new flights will operate Sundays and Thursdays.

The airport held a ceremony to welcome Las Vegas-based Allegiant on Wednesday. The festivities included cake for passengers and two airport fire trucks launching an arch of water over the plane as it took off.

Another carrier, Frontier Airlines, begins its service to Denver on Friday. That airline will also operate flights to Orlando International Airport starting on May 25.

At the same time, the airport is losing 1 of its primary carriers. AirTran Airways will cease operations in Bloomington in June.

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Big Ten Network Cuts Academics, Cites Low Ratings

The Big Ten network started in 2007 with plans to mix up to 660 hours of non-sports programs every year into its menu of football, basketball and other sports.

The network has added viewers and generated money for its schools. But the BTN has cut back non-sports programs and hired outside production companies to produce high-quality shows.

Network President Mark Silverman says it became clear that Big Ten schools wouldn't be able to produce nearly enough programs to meet those initial goals or meet quality standards.

Critics on some campuses are unhappy with changes that have seen some programs stop. Others argue that BTN is a commercial venture and that it will adapt just like MTV or CNN.

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Household Hazardous Waste Collections Scheduled For Illinois

Household hazardous waste collections have been scheduled in six Illinois communities for spring and fall.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency announced the schedule Thursday.

The events give citizens the opportunity to safely dispose of unused and leftover household products such as paint thinners, motor oils and insecticides. The materials are handled in an environmentally correct manner, redirecting them from local area landfills.

This year's collections are scheduled from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays. The first will be in Carbondale on June 2.

Other collections area set for Quincy on June 23, Peoria on Sept. 8, Swansea on Sept. 15, Springfield on Sept. 22 and Champaign-Urbana on Sept. 29.

Among the items accepted are batteries, fluorescent lamps and unwanted pharmaceuticals.

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Court Backs Quinn In Denying Pay Raises

A federal appeals court is backing Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn over pay raises his administration canceled for thousands of union workers.

A U.S. District Court dismissed an effort by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees to force the administration to pay the raises. The Seventh U.S. Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld that ruling.

The appeals court ruled the 11th Amendment prevents the union from prevailing because ruling in AFSME's favor would force the state to spend money.

Quinn, last year, canceled raises for thousands of state worker because he said lawmakers didn't give him enough money in the budget to do it. The move reportedly saved the state millions of dollars.

In a written statement, AFSCME said it will continue to fight for the pay raises.

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Comptroller Backs Cigerette Tax Increase

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is joining the call for higher cigarette taxes in Illinois, but she has a few conditions.

The Republican says she would support the increase only if it's accompanied by gambling expansion, including a Chicago casino and slot machines at race tracks. Topinka also said Thursday that it should be tied to significant spending cuts.

Topinka says ending the state budget crisis requires bringing in more revenue as well as cutting costs.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn wants to nearly double the cigarette tax, to $1.98 a pack, as one part of closing a $2.7 billion hole in the Medicaid health program.

Many Republicans oppose the idea.

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Illinois Couple Indicted After 12 Years On Run

A federal grand jury has indicted a Peoria couple captured after spending 12 years on the run from accusations they bilked investors out of about $1.7 million.

U.S. Attorney Jim Lewis says Nelson and Janet Hallahan were indicted Thursday for failure to appear for sentencing in May 2000. The Hallahans were arrested May 5 in an Arizona desert town. Authorities, acting on a tip from "America's Most Wanted," arrested the Hallahans in Tonopah, about 50 miles west of Phoenix.

The Hallahans pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering and then disappeared in January 2000.

They are in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service pending extradition to Illinois.

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Kids Busted Drinking Alcohol In School

A girl from Cuba, Illinois who was recently honored for academic success is among five students busted for drinking alcohol inside Cuba High School.  Fulton County Sheriff's deputies say they found Tiffany Deakin and four other students inside the school building at 3:30 in the morning on Tuesday.  Deakin is a senior at the school, scheduled to graduate this year and was featured in the "Peoria Journal Star" on Sunday for walking across the stage as a college graduate.  Deakin completed course work at Spoon River Community College while still in high school.  But now she's making news in a whole new way.   She was arrested along with Zachary Rilea and three other minors.  All five were cited for illegal consumption of alcohol by a minor.

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Illinois Unemployment Drops Again In April

ILLINOIS IS ENJOYING ANOTHER DROP IN THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE.

THE ILLINOIS JOBLESS RATE DROPPED FROM EIGHT POINT EIGHT PERCENT IN MARCH…TO EIGHT POINT SEVEN LAST MONTH SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON GREG RIVARA.

[audio:idesapril1.mp3] [/audio]

WHILE JOB GROWTH SLOWED A BIT LAST MONTH… RIVARA ADDS THERE WAS SOME NEW HIRING.

[audio:idesapril2.mp3] [/audio]

THE NATIONAL RATE CAME IN AT EIGHT POINT ONE PERCENT FOR APRIL.

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Time For Postemergence Application

Corn is popping up all across Illinois, but there could also be weeds coming up in those fields too.  Jared White has more...

[audio:51412TimeForPostemergenceApplicationWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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DeWitt County Sportsman Club To Host Preparedeness Event Saturday

The DeWitt County Sportsman Club is hosting a special event this Saturday.

Guns Save Life is hosting a Preparedness Expo to help people become better prepared for emergencies. Vice President of the Sportsman Club and coordinator of the event, Ed Adcock explains this will be a good opportunity to learn some basic ways to prepare yourself for unforeseen emergencies.

[audio:51812preparedness1.mp3] [/audio]

Several topics will be addressed at the expo, including food preparations during emergencies, basic home and vehicle emergency kits, firearm safety and personal defense among others. Adcock notes he learned to can food at a young age and feels that is a great skill to have, which will be addressed at the expo.

[audio:51812preparedness2.mp3] [/audio]

Adcock explains the day is structured so a different event is happening each hour. Each hour, and something will be going on inside the Sportsman Club while something is going on outside. He adds, if what is going on inside and outside isn't something you are interested in, the next hour two different topics will be discussed.

[audio:51812preparedness3.mp3] [/audio]

The Preparedness Expo again is this Saturday at the DeWitt County Sportsman Club, six miles east of Clinton on Route 10. Things open up at 7:30 with hourly presentations beginning at 9 am and lasting until 5 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch and refreshments will be served courtesy of the DeWitt County Sportsman Club.

For more information you can contact Ed Adcock at 217-519-4145.

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NBA/NHL Playoff Recaps

>>Pacers, Spurs Get Playoff Wins

(Undated)  --  The Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs picked up big wins in the NBA playoffs last night.  In Indiana, the Pacers rolled to a 94-75 win over the Miami Heat in Game Three of their semifinal series.  The Pacers took a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven set with the victory.  Dwyane Wade had only five points on 2-and-13 shooting in the loss.  In San Antonio, the Spurs slammed the Los Angeles Clippers, 105-88.  The top-seeded Spurs improved to 6-and-0 in this year's postseason by grabbing a 2-0 lead in the seven-game semifinal series.

>>Kings Take Commanding 3-0 Lead On Phoenix

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  The Los Angeles Kings are now just a win away from the Stanley Cup Final.  The Kings skated to a 2-1 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference finals on Thursday.  Los Angeles improved to 11-and-1 in this year's playoffs with the victory.  The Kings can put the seven-game series away with a win Game Four on Sunday.  No playoff games are on the schedule Friday night.  The Eastern Conference finals between the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils will resume with Game Three on Saturday.  That series is tied at a game apiece.

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Indy 500 Practice Concludes At IMS; NASCAR's All-Star Race Set For This Weekend

>>Indy 500 Practice Concludes At IMS

(Speedway, IN)  --  The final practice round session wrapped up yesterday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Marco Andretti ended with the month's fastest lap at 223.676 miles-per-hour on Tuesday.  Fast Friday is today and Pole Day qualifications start tomorrow with Bump Day on Sunday.  The 2012 "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is slated for May 27th.

>>NASCAR's All-Star Race Set For This Weekend

(Concord, NC)  --  NASCAR's All-Star Race is set for Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Drivers who qualify for the all-star race are those who won a Sprint Cup Series event from either the 2011 or 2012 seasons.  Additionally, drivers who won the all-star race or the series championship within the previous 10 years are eligible.  Three more competitors will be added to the field on Saturday night, with the top-two finishers in The Sprint Showdown and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote advancing.  Over the past eight seasons, the all-star race has had eight different winners.  Carl Edwards won the star-studded affair last year.

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Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Lose; Cubs/Sox Renew Rivalry

>>Phillies Hold Off Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Carlos Ruiz had four hits and three RBI as the Phillies completed a two-game sweep of the Cubs with an 8-7 win.  Roy Halladay tossed eight innings of three-run ball to improve to 4-and-3.  Jonathan Papelbon came on to get the final out after Jacob Diekman allowed four runs in the ninth.  Papelbon notched his 11th save.  Wellington Castillo homered and plated four runs for Chicago.  Chris Volstad allowed four runs in only two innings to fall to 0-and-6.

>>Giants Clip Cards

(San Francisco, CA)  --  Brandon Belt's RBI double sparked a decisive two-run seventh inning as the Giants clipped the Cardinals, 7-5.  Brandon Crawford drove in two runs and Buster Posey went 2-for-4 with an RBI for San Francisco, which snapped a two-game slide to salvage the finale of a brief two-game set at AT&T Park.  Matt Cain tossed six innings of four-run ball with six strikeouts to pick up the win and Santiago Casilla worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his ninth save.  Matt Holliday clubbed a two-run homer and plated three runs and Yadier Molina added a solo shot for St. Louis.  Adam Wainwright gave up five runs, only two earned, through five-and-two-third frames of duty to suffer the loss.

MLB NL
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New York Mets 9, Cincinnati Reds 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Colorado Rockies 7
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Washington Nationals 3
Atlanta Braves 7, Miami Marlins 0
Houston Astros 4, Milwaukee Brewers 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 8, San Diego Padres 1

>>White Sox Handle Halos

(Anaheim, CA)  --  Adam Dunn and A.J. Pierzynski plated two runs apiece to back five-and-a-third solid frames from Chris Sale as the White Sox cruised to a 6-1 win over the Angels.  Sale struck out seven and gave up just one run on five hits to improve to 4-and-2 on the season.  Dayan Viciedo added a solo home run for the ChiSox, who snapped a two-game slide by salvaging the finale of a two-game set in Anaheim.  Albert Pujols' solo home run in the sixth accounted for the Halos' lone run of the game.  C.J. Wilson walked six and gave up four runs, one earned, in just three-and-a-third frames to absorb the loss.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 6, Seattle Mariners 5
Minnesota Twins 4, Detroit Tigers 3
Oakland Athletics 5, Texas Rangers 4 (10 inn)
Baltimore Orioles 5, Kansas City Royals 3
Toronto Blue Jays 4, New York Yankees 1
Boston Red Sox 5, Tampa Bay Rays 3

>>Windy City Rivalry Renewed This Weekend

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Cubs and White Sox renew the Windy City Rivalry this weekend with a three-game Interleague set starting this afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Jeff Samardzija will be on the bump for the Northsiders in the opener, while Phillip Humber gets the nod for the Southsiders.  The two teams play the second installment tomorrow evening and wrap up the set on Sunday afternoon.

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Clinton Police Report for 5-18

ON 5/17/12 CLINTON POLICE ISSUED A CITATION TO CHRIS L. JONES 37, CLINTON FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED AND OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED.

 

ON 5/18/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED NICHOLAS A. STATON 28, CLINTON FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE WITH A B.A.C. GREATER THAN .08 AND CRIMINAL DAMAGE TO PROPERTY. STATON WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-18

May 18, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:05 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, revealed that a vehicle driven by Raymond Toohill, 41, Wapella, was northbound on Oak Street coming from Main Street when Toohill lost control and struck a parked Ford Mustang. No injuries were reported. Toohill was issued citations for Failure To Give Information After Striking Unattended Vehicle and Careless Operation Of An ATV.

 

Brent Shoemaker, 40, Heyworth, was issued citations for Failure To Reduce Speed, Failure To Wear Seat Belt and Improper Lane Usage/Shoulder. Shoemaker was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

David Droke, 21, Owaneco was arrested on a DeWitt County warrant charging him with failure to appear. Being unable to post the necessary bond, Droke remains lodged in the DeWitt County jail pending a court appearance.

 

Kimberly Brimberry, 37, Bloomington was arrested and charged with Arson and Reckless Damage To Property. Being unable to post the necessary bond, Brimberry remains lodged in the DeWitt County jail pending a court appearance.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Area Firefighters Respond to Fire at AREA Disposal Late Thursday

The Clinton Fire Department responded to a fire at AREA Disposal Thursday night.

Around 10:30 pm firefighters responded to reports of smoke coming from AREA Disposal in Clinton. Upon arriving on scene, surface material had caught fire. Assistance was needed and Maroa, Wapella and Kenney Fire Departments assisted the Clinton Fire Department.

A total of five tankers and a pumper were on scene. Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton estimates the fire was about 100 feet by 150 feet in size.

Firefighters were on scene for about two hours.

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May Days Features of Plenty Weekend Fun

Clinton's annual May Days festival is in full swing and the Chamber of Commerce has a full Saturday and Sunday of activities in store.

Saturday things get going bright and early at 8 am with the Farmers Market, which runs until noon. The 'Amazing Scramble', which is a spin off of "The Amazing Race" gets started at 9 am. Carolyn Sugg with the Clinton Chamber says there will be various prizes for those participating.

[audio:51512maydayssatsun1.mp3] [/audio]

Other Saturday activities include a couple of concerts on the square and a motorcycle show. Registration for the motorcycle show is at 11:30 and the show starts at noon. The Clinton Fire Department and other area fire departments will be on hand for the waterball competition.

Sunday on the downtown square, married couples will be quizzed on how well they know each other. Sugg the game is a spin of "The Newly Weds" game.

[audio:51512maydayssatsun2.mp3] [/audio]

The American Legion will be serving pork chops on the square Saturday afternoon. There will also be a concert on the square Saturday night.

Those making their way to the downtown area are encouraged to bring a canned good to donate to the DOVE Food Pantry.

All the events are downtown on Mr. Lincoln Square or within a block or two of the square.

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Maroa Boiler Alert Lifted

The Boiler Alert has been lifted for the City of Maroa. Residents may resume drinking and using water per usual.

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Developers Announce New Chicago Tower

In what Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel calls a sign of confidence in the city's economy, a group of developers have announced plans for a new office building on the western edge of the business district.

The developers, led by Hines Interests LP and landowner Larry Levy, plan to build the 45-story tower without any committed tenants. Plans for the building have languished for several years, hindered by the financial crisis of 2008.

The project will be the first speculative office building in Chicago since 1998, and the business district's first new office space since 2010.

The building, called River Point, is expected to generate 1,000 union construction jobs, 3,400 permanent office jobs and a 1.5-acre riverfront park. Construction is expected to begin this fall, with completion estimated for early 2016.

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HIV/AIDS Cases Up In Southern Illinois

HIV and AIDS deaths may be down across the nation but Paula Clark, with the Jackson County Health Department, says that doesn't mean the virus is under control.  

[audio:rddHIV1.mp3] [/audio]

Clark says they've seen a spike in the number of cases in the last nine months, but it isn't because people aren't aware of the dangers.

[audio:rddHIV2.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois has the seventh highest number of AIDS cases in the nation, according to the state's Department of Public Health.  And the infection is spreading beyond the borders of major metropolitan areas.  IDPH records show there have only been 34 cases of HIV reported in Jackson County between 2005 and 2011.  But that number has nearly doubled in the last nine months, with 24 new cases being recorded.  Other counties outside the Chicago area also reported double digit HIV cases in 2011, including St. Claire County, with 52.  Peoria County, with 20, Rock Island County, with 14, and Champaign County, with 10.

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Lawmakers Vote To Put More Money Towards State's Child Care Assistance

LAWMAKERS IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE HAVE VOTED TO PUT MORE MONEY TOWARDS THE STATE’S CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

THE PROGRAM HAS RUN OUT OF MONEY…SINCE FUNDS WERE DIVERTED TO PAY FOR THE STATE’S WELFARE NEEDS. BUT THAT LEFT FAMILIES AND DAY CARE PROVIDERS SCRAMBLING SAYS REPRESENTATIVE SARA FEIGENHOLTZ OF CHICAGO. SHE URGED HER COLLEAGUES TO FIX THE PROBLEM NOW.

[audio:care1.mp3] [/audio]

SOME OF THE FUNDING FOR ASSISTANCE WAS USED FOR OTHER STATE NEEDS…LEAVING DAYCARE PROVIDERS AND LOW INCOME WORKING FAMILIES SHORTCHANGED FOR THE REST OF THE FISCAL YEAR. THE HOUSE VOTED TO PUMP ADDITIONAL DOLLARS INTO THE PROGRAM…BUT HOUSE MINORITY LEADER TOM CROSS SAYS THIS SHOWS THE STATE ABSOLUTELY CANNOT SPEND MORE THAN IT HAS.

[audio:care2.mp3] [/audio]

THE EXTRA MONEY STILL MUST BE APPROVED BY THE SENATE AND THE GOVERNOR. THE STATE SUBSIDIZES DAYCARE TO HELP ABOUT 85 THOUSAND PARENTS KEEP WORKING.

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Attorney General Sues IHSA Over Acces For Disabled Athletes

The Illinois Attorney General's Office and an advocacy group for the disabled have filed a federal lawsuit that aims to force the organization that oversees high school sports in the state to allow disabled athletes to compete in swimming and track events.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday by the attorney general and Equip for Equality accuses the Illinois High School Association of violating disabilities laws by not providing equal access to competitions.

The suit was filed on behalf of 16-year-old high school swimmer Mary Kate Callahan of LaGrange. Her school lets her compete in local meets but she can't win points for her team and IHSA championships don't include the separate category she seeks for disabled swimmers.

The IHSA says it accommodates many disabled athletes on a case-by-case basis.

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Lawmakers Vote To Increase State's Minimum Wage

A SENATE COMMITTEE IS SAYING YES TO RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE IN ILLINOIS.

THE COMMITTEE APPROVED A BILL RAISING THE MINIMUM WAGE IN ILLINOIS TO JUST OVER 10 DOLLARS AN HOUR. SENATOR KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD OF WESTCHESTER SAYS PEOPLE NEED TO BE PAID A SALARY THEY CAN LIVE ON.

[audio:wage1.mp3] [/audio]

CRITICS…LIKE DOUG KNIGHT OF KNIGHT’S ACTION PARK IN SPRINGFIELD SAY THE PREVIOUS HIKE IN THE MINIMUM WAGE CAUSED THEM TO REDUCE THEIR BUSINESS HOURS…AND ANY FURTHER INCREASE COULD BE DEVASTATING.

[audio:wage2.mp3] [/audio]

SUPPORTERS SAY THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE MAKING MINIMUM WAGE ARE ADULTS...AND NEED TO EARN A SALARY THEY CAN ACTUALLY LIVE ON. ILLINOIS ALREADY HAS THE THIRD HIGHEST MINIMUM WAGE RATE IN THE COUNTRY. THE BILL NOW MOVES TO THE FULL SENATE FOR A VOTE.

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ISU Reviews Programs After Student Deaths

Officials at Illinois State University plan to review the school's suicide prevention and alcohol awareness programs after an above-average number of student deaths.

Eight student deaths were reported at ISU this academic year. Larry Dietz is the university's vice president of student affairs, and he says four or five deaths is average for a school the ISU's size.

The student deaths this year were from a variety of causes.

Sandy Colbs heads Illinois State's student counseling services. Colbs says officials will review the circumstances surrounding the deaths over the summer to find out if they could have done more to prevent them.

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Show Bus Offers Non-Profit Groups Voucher Programs

Is your non-for profit group seeking transportation at a cheaper cost?

Show Bus offers a variety of vouchers for non-profit groups. Laura Dick, Director of Show Bus explains they work with non-profits to to provide transportation to a group or individual who cannot afford their regular rates.

[audio:51712showbusvouchers1.mp3] [/audio]

A specific voucher program Show Bus offers is for anyone who needs more assistance than Show Bus provide, Dick explains a federal grant they have allows for an escort to ride along wth that person for free.

[audio:51712showbusvouchers2.mp3] [/audio]

Another program Show Bus offers is free rides for those students who are taking advantage of the Free Lunch program. Dick says they offer standing orders for this and hopes those families with young students taking advantage of the Free Lunch program will utilize Show Bus for their transportation.

[audio:51712showbusvouchers3.mp3] [/audio]

To learn more about any of the opportunities Show Bus offers for non-profits or to arrange a ride you can contact Show Bus at 800-525-2454.

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May Days Kicks Off Tonight

Clinton's annual May Days festival kicks off this Thursday.

May Days is an annual fundraiser for the Clinton Chamber. Anyone interested in still purchasing tickets for the four day festival can still get those noon today. Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard explains those tickets can be purchased at a discounted price and that is where the Chamber is able to raise money.

[audio:51512maydaysthufri3.mp3] [/audio]

Opening ceremonies will be held by the Clinton Chamber of Commerce Thursday and then a new event the Chamber is hosting will be held. Carolyn Sugg, with the Chamber of Commerce explains they will have their first May Days Pageant this Friday evening. There are four categories starting in kindergarten up to college students. Scholarships will be given out to the winners courtesy of various businesses in the community.

[audio:51512maydaysthufri1.mp3] [/audio]

Friday evening events this year include the introduction of the food and craft vendors, and Brisard says they will show a movie on the square courtesy of Sound and Light Creations. The movie being shown will be "The Smurfs". Youngsters will be able to show off their hula-hoop skills Friday night and the carnival will open back up for the evening as well.

[audio:51512maydaysthufri2.mp3] [/audio]

Parts of the downtown Clinton Square has been blocked off since Tuesday, and Brisard notes, this weekend, more streets will be blocked off as well for the activities and expected increase in guests.

[audio:51512maydaysthufri4.mp3] [/audio]

To get those tickets in advance while there is still time, you can stop by the Chamber of Commerce at 100 South Center, Suite 101 on the downtown Clinton Square or you can contact them at 935-3364.

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NBA/NHL Playoff Recap

>>Thunder, Celtics Pick Up Playoff Wins

(Undated)  --  The Oklahoma City Thunder still haven't tasted defeat in this year's NBA playoffs.  The Thunder nipped the Los Angeles Lakers, 77-75, in Game Two of their West semifinal series.  OKC improved to 6-and-0 in this year's postseason by taking a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set.  Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics crushed the 76ers, 107-91, in Game Three of their East semifinal series in Philadelphia.  The Celtics hold a 2-1 lead in the seven-game set.

>>Devils Get Even With Rangers

(New York, NY)  --  The New Jersey Devils skated to a 3-2 win over the New York Rangers in Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals.  David Clarkson's goal 2:31 into the third period helped New Jersey even the best-of-seven set at a game apiece.  The series shifts to New Jersey for Game Three on Saturday.  Meanwhile, the Kings will host the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Three of the Western Conference finals in Los Angeles Thursday night.  The Kings hold a 2-0 lead in that series.

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Report: Bears' Williams Moving Back To Tackle

The Chicago Bears biggest area of concern for the upcoming season is the offensive line.  Sources close to the situation say veteran lineman Chris Williams will move back to the offensive tackle position.  Williams, the Bears' 14th overall pick in 2008, was drafted to play left tackle.  He hasn't started a game at tackle since Week Two of the 2010 season.  Williams started at guard last season before a dislocated wrist landed him on the injured list.

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Cards Win; Sox, Cubs Crushed

>>Garcia, Cardinals Clip Giants

(San Francisco, CA)  --  David Freese belted a go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning to back seven-and-a-third strong innings from Jaime Garcia as the Cardinals clipped the Giants, 4-1.  Garcia struck out nine and allowed just one run on nine hits to improve to 3-and-2 on the season.  Jason Motte closed it out in the ninth to nail down his seventh save for St. Louis, which has won back-to-back games on the heels of a four-game slide.  Buster Posey's RBI single in the sixth accounted for San Francisco's lone run of the game.  Madison Bumgarner gave up all four runs through seven-and-a-third innings of work to fall to 5-and-3.

>>Phillies Crush Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Hector Luna clubbed a grand slam in the ninth inning as the Phillies scored seven unanswered runs en route to a 9-2 win over the Cubs.  Carlos Ruiz added a solo shot and scored three times for the Phillies, who have won four games in-a-row.  Jose Contreras worked a perfect inning in relief of Kyle Kendrick to register the win.  Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer in the fourth frame accounted for Chicago's only runs of the game.  Shawn Camp was saddled with the loss for the Cubs, who have dropped back-to-back games.

MLB NL
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San Diego Padres 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Washington Nationals 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Cincinnati Reds 6, New York Mets 3
Miami Marlins 8, Atlanta Braves 4
Houston Astros 8, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Colorado Rockies 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

>>Halos Pound Pale Hose

(Anaheim, CA)  --  Albert Pujols clubbed a three-run homer to back eight strong innings from Jerome Williams as the Angels cruised to a 7-2 win over the White Sox.  Williams fanned five and allowed just the two runs on 10 hits to improve to 4-and-1 on the season.  Vernon Wells blasted a two-run shot for the Halos, who have won back-to-back games.  Dayan Viciedo smacked a solo homer and Gordon Beckham had an RBI double for Chicago in defeat.  Gavin Floyd gave up all seven runs in six innings of work to suffer the loss for the Southsiders, who have dropped four of their last five games.

MLB AL
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Minnesota Twins 11, Detroit Tigers 7
Cleveland Indians 9, Seattle Mariners 3
Toronto Blue Jays 8, New York Yankees 1
Tampa Bay Rays 2, Boston Red Sox 1
Texas Rangers 4, Oakland Athletics 1
Baltimore Orioles 4, Kansas City Royals 3 (15th inn)

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Maroons Open Post-Season Play; Class 1A/2A Scores, Schedule

The Clinton Maroons are in action this afternoon as they play a first round Regional semi-final against Olympia.

Game time this afternoon is 4:30. You can hear the game live on the Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW.

Class 1A games from Wednesday:

At Moweaqua (Central A & M)

Altamont         1
Central A & M    6

At Pawnee

Sangamon Valley     0   
Pawnee         10  

At Springfield (Lutheran)

Delavan         10  
Mt. Pulaski     0

At Tuscola

Tuscola         18
Villa Grove     0

Class 2A results from Wednesday:

At Athens

Williamsville 9
Beardstown 0

At Fairbury (Prairie Central)

Normal (University)     6  
Pontiac         1

At Mt. Zion

Mt. Zion     15 F
Meridian    0

Decatur (St. Teresa) 7  
Sullivan          6

At Rantoul

Rantoul     1  
Tri-Valley 0

At Rantoul

Bloomington Central Catholic     12
Bismarck-Henning         1

At Teutopolis

Teutopolis 8
Newton      7

Shelbyville     3  
Marshall         1

At Tolono (Unity)

Unity             0  
Champaign (St. Thomas More)     4

Class 1A Games for today:

At LeRoy
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
LeRoy           4:30pm
Blue Ridge   

Ridgeview     6:00pm
Fisher

At Springfield (Lutheran)
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
Springfield Lutheran   4:30pm
Hartsburg-Emden

At Tuscola
REGIONAL SEMIFINAL
Bement          4:30pm
Cerro Gordo 

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IHSA Regionals Softball Scores

In Class 1A:

At Buffalo (Tri-City)

Central A & M     6   
Decatur (St. Teresa) 11  

At Gibson City

Fisher         8  
Ridgeview     18

At Heyworth

Dee-Mack     7  
LeRoy         2

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Boil Order Issued For Section In Clinton

A boil order is in effect until further notice in Clinton for resdients living west of Wood Street and South of Washington Street.

This includes Main Street, Lincoln Street, Elm Street, Cedar Street and Maple Street.

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Members of Clinton High School Girls Track Heading To State Finals

Clinton High School's girls track team will take their record setting season to the IHSA State Tournament this weekend.

The team was bumped up from Class 1A to 2A at the start of this year. Head Coach of the Lady Maroons, Randy Anderson said he was a little skeptical the team could make it out of their Sectional because the qualifying times were two and three seconds faster than the school records.

[audio:51812statetrack1.mp3] [/audio]

This has been a special year for the lady Maroons as the girls have broken multiple school records. The team competed Monday and broke a record, and Coach Anderson explains, they came off, by their standards a poor performance and still broke a school record.

[audio:51812statetrack2.mp3] [/audio]

Despite several record breaking meets, the Lady Maroons have had a hard time breaking through at meets where they face off against Sullivan. Coach Anderson explains Sullivan has a very good team this year and each time they meet Sullivan they get closer and closer to them. Since a majority of the Lady Maroons are juniors, they have a lot to look forward to in the future.

[audio:51812statetrack3.mp3] [/audio]

Coach Anderson credits his relay runners for continuing to support the individual runners. He explains relay runners give up individual events to be in the relays.

The girls compete this weekend at the State Finals.

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UPDATE: Maroons End Season On Disappointing Loss To Olympia; Sages Awaiting

The Clinton Maroons ended their season Thursday afternoon at the Maroa-Forsyth Regional with a 14-4 loss to Olympia.

Just about every aspect of the game was lacking Thursday as the Spartans hit the lights out and lit the Maroons up for 14 runs, and drew 10 walks. The Maroons' Josh Merrick had a tough outing as he went just 1 2/3 innings, walking six, struck out one and gave up seven runs on four hits.

Steven Evans led the Maroons going 3-3 with a double and an RBI. Marshall Sprague added an RBI double.

Sawyer Howard went the complete five innings, giving up four runs on seven hits, walking three and striking out six. Mike Hainline went 2-4 with three RBIs.

Olympia improves to 13-18 on the season and moves on to take on the Monticello Sages Saturday morning at 10 am for the Regional Championship.

The Maroons end their season at 17-13.

Other Boys Baseball Scores from Thursday...

From Class 1A:

At LeRoy

LeRoy     10  
Blue Ridge     0

Ridgeview  6  
Fisher     7

At Springfield (Lutheran)

Springfield (Lutheran) 6  
Hartsburg (H.-Emden) 4

At Tremont

Lexington 1   
Tremont 2  

At Tuscola

Cerro Gordo 3
Bement         8  

Class 2A:

At Tolono (Unity)

St. Joseph.-Ogden 6 F
Fithian (Oakwood) 3

Regional Finals Set for Saturday...

In Class 1A:

At LeRoy

LeRoy               11:00am
Fisher   

At Moweaqua (Central A & M)

Central A & M           11:00am
Windsor   

At Springfield (Lutheran)

Delavan               11:00am
Springfield (Lutheran)   

At Pawnee

Argenta-Oreana           11:00am
Pawnee

At Tuscola

Tuscola               11:00am
Bement

Class 2A Saturday Regional Championships

At Athens

Williamsville           11:00am
Riverton

At Fairbury (Prairie Central)

Normal (University)       11:00am
El Paso-Gridley

At Mt. Zion

Mt. Zion               11:00am
Decatur St. Teresa

At Rantoul

Rantoul               11:00am
Bloomington Central Catholic

At Teutopolis

Teutopolis           10:00am
Shelbyville

At Tolono (Unity)

Champaign (St. Thomas More)   11:00am
St. Joseph-Ogden  

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Illinois May Allow Mini Horses As Service Animals

Miniature horses trained as service animals may soon accompany Illinoisans with disabilities to school or the grocery store.

A new measure approved by the Illinois Senate Tuesday adds miniature horses as approved service animals.

Current law requires businesses and other public places to allow reasonable access and service to disabled people with trained guide dogs. Now small equestrian guides also would publicly assist their owners with vision, hearing, seizure alert, psychiatric, autism or other disabilities.

But businesses may take into account the size and weight of the horse, whether the animal is controlled, housebroken or compromises safety requirements.

The state Senate approved the measure by 40-11. The measure moves to the House.

Miniature horses already are allowed as service animals by federal rules.

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Inmate Partners Must Be Notified Of STD?s

Sexually transmitted diseases often run rampant among jail and prison inmate populations, and now lawmakers are looking for ways to notify people who may have had contact with the inmates.  They’ve passed a bill that requires the Illinois Departments of Public Health and Corrections to work up a plan to notify past inmate partners.  The identity of the inmate will not be revealed when notifying the partners but they must be told about the possibility of infection.  The idea is to help stop the spread of the STD’s and give those who may be infected a chance to get tested and treated.  One lawmaker says inmates still have a right to privacy but notes personal privacy should not trump public safety.  The bill is headed to Governor Quinn’s desk for final approval.

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Lawmaker Proposes More Online Gambling

Illinois gamblers will have quite a few Internet gaming options if Senate President John Cullerton has his way.  He wants to create a "Division of Online Gambling" within the state's lottery system.  The idea is to establish Illinois as a premiere online gambling hotspot and draw people from around the world.   Cullerton says it can boost the state's treasury by hundreds of millions of dollars.  It's a proposal that could pass before lawmakers wrap up session on May 31st.  Cullerton says it's important to get a jump start on Internet gambling so other states don't beat them to the punch.  Illinois was the first state to allow online lottery sales back in March.  The idea initially met some resistance but Cullerton is positive that online gambling can be done in a manner that protects consumers, provides logical and responsible regulation, and advances the public good.  If enacted, the state's iGaming Division could be up and running within the next year.  Part of the plan is to organize the first major poker pool that reaches people on a national and international level.

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Pregnant Woman Pleads Guilty To Meth Charges

A pregnant Peoria woman accused of making meth will not have to deliver her baby in jail.  Amethyst Pusey has pleaded guilty to one count of manufacturing methamphetamine.  But, the first time offender isn't getting off completely.  She'll serve two years on probation, plus perform 30 hours of public service.  She also has to pay a 15-hundred dollar fine.  Her baby's father didn't have the same fate, however.  He started serving a six year sentence last month for the same crime.  The two were arrested last November.

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Bus Accident Students Released From Hospital

Most of the students injured when their school bus slammed into a semi are being released from the hospital.  But two remain hospitalized with broken bones, after the accident that left parents -- and kids -- shaken.

[audio:rddschoolbusax1.mp3] [/audio]

That student is recalling the accident that happened Monday on I-55 in Litchfield, Illinois.  Troopers say a school bus carrying a group of sixth graders from the Highland School District, returning from a field trip to Springfield, crashed into the back of a semi truck.  The driver was cited for failing to reduce speed to avoid an accident, and has since been suspended from his job.

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Indications Point To Schools Transportation Funding Remaining In Tact; Still Several Hurdles Yet To Clear

Illinois lawmakers are trying to find $2.7-billion to cut from Medicaid to help save cuts in other areas. One of those areas is the transportation funding to schools in downstate Illinois.

No concrete decisions have been made as of right now, however, there are a lot of ideas being thrown around. Superintendent of Monticello schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman explains one idea is to eliminate a mandate requiring school districts to provide transportation to students a mile and a half away from the school building with transportation. Dr. Zimmerman says districts could still provide transportation and he believes very few school districts would eliminate transportation for students.

[audio:51612transportation1.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers reaching the aforementioned $2.7-billion in Medicaid cuts will directly impact cuts to other areas in the state's budget. Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose explains cuts are already sitting at 5.7%, assuming lawmakers find $2.7-billion in Medicaid cuts. If they don't reach that figure, cuts will be higher. He says though, the committee in charge of school districts funding is seeking to leave the transportation funding alone for this year.

[audio:51612transporation2.mp3] [/audio]

Rose notes if the committee doesn't cut transportation funding as much as they did last year, the districts general state aid funding will be cut. But Rose says, that is a more fair cut because that will effect school districts all over the state, not just downstate schools. Rep. Rose also points out this has a long way to go, as it still must clear the Senate, and most importantly the Governor, who has already cut $80-million from transportation funding last year.

[audio:51612transporation3.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose  says if cuts are to be made, the 5% base line on those cuts may not be 5% across the board. He says it could be more for some organizations and less for another.

Many school districts around the state are already having to dip into reserves to pay for maintenance or other things associated with transportation.

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5th Grade Students At Webster To Be Introduced To New Style of Teaching

Fifth graders at Webster School next year will have a little different learning experience.

Fifth grade teachers at Webster will be implementing a concept called departmentalizing. Fifth grade teacher at Webster school, Sarah Telford-Anderson explains the traditional style of teaching that many generations have known, where students remain in one classroom taught by one or two teachers will be completely changed, as the teachers will now teach towards their strengths.

[audio:51612departmentalization1.mp3] [/audio]

As with adjusting a style of teaching, before implementing, Webster School staff did some investigating. Fifth grade teacher Jessica Peterson explains they found other districts had implemented this into their classrooms and so they paid visits to several central Illinois schools to see how they did things.

[audio:51612departmentalization2.mp3] [/audio]

There are several advantages the teachers believe this will have for the students. Peterson feels it will allow students to create relationships with other students and they can benefit from each teachers style of teaching. It will also allow students the opportunity to move around throughout the day and it will create a smoother transition into the junior high school setting.

[audio:51612departmentalization3.mp3] [/audio]

Not only will this model benefit the students, but it will greatly benefit the teachers. Departmentalization will allow teachers to form instructional teams and allow them greater flexibility. Peterson explains it will also allow teachers to teach to their strengths and in turn, it will make their planning more in depth.

[audio:51612departmentalization4.mp3] [/audio]

There are currently seven fifth grade teachers and two special education teachers. What the teachers will do is split into two teams, with a team of three and four. For each set of teachers, students will have a homeroom teacher, who will also be the reading teacher. Students will then switch to social studies/science, math and language arts classrooms. Telford-Anderson will not have a revolving class, as she will have a traditional classroom, but she will have a co-teacher in the special education class.

Teachers are very excited to get this implemented, and feel this will allow them to introduce professional development and teaching style into the classrooms.

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NHL/NBA Recaps

>>Pacers Get Even; Spurs Cruise By Clips

(Undated)  --  The Indiana Pacers took homecourt advantage from the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs Tuesday night.  The Pacers grinded out out a 78-75 victory over the Heat in Game Two of their East semifinal series.  Indiana will host Game Three Thursday night with the best-of-seven series tied at a game apiece.  Meanwhile, the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs rolled to a 108-92 win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game One of their West semifinal series.  Dating back to the regular season, the Spurs have won 15 straight games.

>>Kings Crush Coyotes In Game Two

(Glendale, AZ)  --  The Los Angeles Kings are two wins away from securing a spot in the Stanley Cup Final.  The Kings cruised to a 4-0 win over the Phoenix Coyotes in Game Two of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night.  Los Angeles heads home with a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven set.  The Kings are 7-and-0 on the road and 10-and-1 overall in this year's playoffs.  The Kings host Game Three Thursday.  Meanwhile, the New York Rangers will host the New Jersey Devils in Game Two of the Eastern Conference finals at 8:00 Eastern Wednesday night.  New York holds a 1-0 lead in the series.

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NASCAR Fines Kurt Busch

NASCAR fined Kurt Busch $50-thousand on Tuesday for wreckless driving and a post-race altercation with Ryan Newman's crew members.  Busch was also placed on probation through July 25th for the incident.  The altercation stemmed from when Busch got a flat tire that caused him to spin with six laps remaining in the race.  He proceeded to do a burnout through Newman's pit stall after stopping to repair his car.

>>All-Star Race This Weekend At Charlotte

(Concord, NC)  --  The 28th running of the NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race gets underway on Saturday at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Drivers who qualify for the all-star race are those who won a Sprint Cup Series event from either the 2011 or 2012 seasons.  Additionally, drivers who won the all-star race or the series championship within the previous 10 years are eligible.  Three more competitors will be added to the field on Saturday night, with the top-two finishers in The Sprint Showdown and the winner of the Sprint Fan Vote advancing.  Over the past eight seasons, the all-star race has had eight different winners.  Carl Edwards won the star-studded affair last year.  The next Sprint Cup Series race is the Coca-Cola 600 on May 27th at Charlotte Motor Speedway.  Kevin Harvick won last year's race.

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Bears Sign Third-Round Pick Hardin

The Chicago Bears have signed safety Brandon Hardin to a four-year contract.  This year's third-round pick out of Oregon State missed his senior season because of a shoulder injury.  Hardin started 15-of-38 games during his collegiate career with the Beavers, recording 105 tackles, three forced fumbles and an interception.  The entire Bears' draft class is now under contract.

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Cards Top Cubs; Sox Lose Slugfest With Tigers; Cards' Jay To DL

>>Cards Clip Cubs On Molina Single In Ninth

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Yadier Molina singled in the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning as the Cardinals pulled out a 7-6 see-saw win over the Cubs.  Alfonso Soriano's solo homer off Jason Motte in the top of the ninth had tied the game for Chicago.  Matt Holliday and Matt Carpenter homered for St. Louis, which snapped a four-game skid and earned a split of the two-game set at Busch Stadium.  Motte got credit for the win.  Rafael Dolis took the loss for the Cubs.  Bryan LaHair hit his 10th home run, and Starlin Castro, Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson had RBi singles for Chicago.

MLB NL
------
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Houston Astros 3 (10 inn)
San Diego Padres 6, Washington Nationals 1
Atlanta Braves 6, Cincinnati Reds 2
Miami Marlins 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Milwaukee Brewers 8, New York Mets 0
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 1
Colorado Rockies 5, San Francisco Giants 4

>>Eight-Run Sixth Propels Tigers Over ChiSox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Austin Jackson's three-run homer capped an eight-run sixth inning as the Tigers rallied for a 10-8 win over the White Sox.  Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run shot and Ryan Raburn a three-run blast as Detroit overcame a 6-0 deficit.  Collin Balester got the win in relief.  Detroit closer Jose Valverde entered the game in the ninth in a non-save situation and ended up exiting with back stifness.  Octavio Dotel came on to record his first save.  A.J. Pierzynski finished 5-for-5 with three RBI and Paul Konerko homered for Chicago.  Will Ohman took the loss.

MLB AL
------
Cleveland Indians 5, Minnesota Twins 0
Boston Red Sox 5, Seattle Mariners 0
Baltimore Orioles 5, New York Yankees 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Oakland Athletics 0
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Kansas City Royals 7, Texas Rangers 4

>>Cards Place Jay On DL

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals have placed outfielder Jon Jay on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained right shoulder.  Jay missed six games last month after hitting the outfield wall during an April 19th game against Cincinnati.  He returned on April 27th.  Jay is batting .343 with a pair of homers and eight runs batted in.  St. Louis recalled outfielder Shane Robinson from Triple-A Memphis to fill the roster spot.

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Big Ten Rejects On-Campus Sites For Playoff

Big Ten officials have rejected on-campus sites for a potential four-team national college football playoff, preferring to keep the Rose Bowl and other traditional bowls venues intact.

Athletic directors meeting as part of the annual spring Big Ten Joint Group on Tuesday, said many playoff details remain unsettled.

"There was a pretty strong consensus among the ADs that we'd like to have the playoff within the bowl system," Nebraska athletic director Tom Osborne said. "If you took them out of the playoff, it would pretty much destroy the bowl system."

A four-team Football Bowl Championship system is set to debut in the 2014 season, replacing a current No.1 vs. No. 2 BCS championship game that has rotated among the Sugar, Orange, Fiesta and Rose Bowl sites.

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Sages Open Regionals; Class 1A, 2A Baseball Preview

The Monticello Sages received the top seed in their regional this year and they open up play this afternoon against Maroa-Forsyth. The Trojans shut out Warrensburg-Latham Monday afternoon 9-0 to advance on. The Sages finished the regular season at 16-12 overall. The winner plays Saturday morning against Olympia or Clinton who play tomorrow afternoon.

You can hear that game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com.

Other Boys games from around the area.

In Class 1A

At Moweaqua

Altamont  
Central A & M

At Pawnee

Argenta-Oreana
Edinburg    

Pawnee           6:30pm
Sangamon Valley

At Springfield (Lutheran)

Delavan           4:30pm
Mt. Pulaski   

At Tuscola

Tuscola           4:30pm
Villa Grove   

In Class 2A

At Athens

Williamsville       4:30pm
Beardstown   

At Fairbury (Prairie Central)

Normal (University)   4:30pm
Pontiac

At Harrisburg

Harrisburg       4:00pm
Carmi-White County

At Mt. Zion

Mt. Zion           4:30pm
Meridian   

Decatur St. Teresa  7:00pm
Sullivan

At New Berlin

Rochester       4:30pm
Pittsfield   

At Rantoul

Rantoul           4:30pm
Tri-Valley

Bloomington Central Catholic   
Bismarck Henning     7:00pm

At Teutopolis

Shelbyville       7:00pm
Marshall

At Tolono  

Unity           4:30pm
Champaign St. Thomas More

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Lady Maroons Open Regionals; Class 1A, 2A Scores, Wednesday Preview

The Clinton Lady Maroons softball team kicks off their regional this afternoon at Clinton High School. The Maroons will play Tri-Valley this afternoon at 4:30. Clinton is the three seed in the tournament, Tri-Valley is the two. The winner of this afternoon's game plays Saturday morning at 11 against Olympia, who defeated Midwest Central 11 to 1 Tuesday afternoon.

Today's game can be heard on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other Regional games today and Tuesday softball results...

Class 1A

At Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley)

Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley     15  
Armstrong         0

At Heyworth

Blue Ridge        10  
Hartsburg-Emden     0

At Tuscola

Tuscola         13  
Bethany Okaw Valley 0

Cerro Gordo     1   
Arcola         5  

 At Buffalo (Tri-City)
Edinburg             1 F-5
Buffalo (Tri-City) 11

In Class 2A

At Auburn

Rochester 15     
Carlinville 5

At Casey-Westfield

Casey-Westfield     0  
Shelbyville     8

At Monticello

Meridian        5  
Maroa.-Forsyth     8  

Warrensburg-Latham     9  
Monticello         10  

Class 1A games for today...

At Buffalo (Tri-City)
 
Decatur St. Teresa
Central A & M

At Heyworth

Dee-Mack
LeRoy   

At Gibson City (G.C.-Melvin-Sibley)
Fisher vs. Colfax (Ridgeview)

In Class 2A...

At El Paso-Gridley

Tremont
Bloomington (Central Catholic)  

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Clinton Police Report for 5-16

ON 5/15/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PROPERTY DAMAGE ACCIDENT AT RT 54 EAST & ALEXANDER ST. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY JESSE M. WEST 28,CLINTON WAS WESTBOUND ON RT 54. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY A. NICOLE BOLEY 37,WELDON WAS NORTHBOUND ON ALEXANDER ST. BOLEY STOPPED AT THE STOP SIGN AND THEN PROCEEDED INTO THE INTERSECTION AND COLLIDED WITH WEST. BOLEY WAS ISSUED A CITATION FOR DISOBEYED STOP SIGN AND WEST WAS ISSUED A CITATION FOR OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-16

May 16, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Trenda Smith, 24, Decatur, was issued a citation for Disobeyed Stop Sign. Smith promised to comply and was released.

 

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

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Two Arrests Made in Clinton Armed Robbery Case

On May 15, 2012 members of the Clinton Police Department, assisted by the Dewitt County Sheriff’s Department, Logan County Sheriff’s Department and Illinois State Police Central SWAT, executed two search warrants as part of the ongoing investigation into a home invasion/armed robbery that occurred on the night of May 6, 2012 in the 1600 block of East Main Street, Clinton. The search warrants were simultaneously executed at a residence in Beason, IL and an apartment in Clinton, IL. Jerry Dwayne Call, 18, Beason, and Cody Landrus, 21, Clinton, have been arrested on Dewitt County arrest warrants for Home Invasion in connection with the incident. Both are being held in the Dewitt County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

All suspects are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Clinton Junior High School To Be Well Represented At Weekend's IESA State Track Meet

Clinton Junior High School had some outstanding athletes recognized at the Board of Education's regular monthly meeting this past Tuesday.

The 7th grade boys track team went through their regular season undefeated. Coach Jessie Basalay explains there is something unique about his team this year, in that every meet they improved their event times each meet.

[audio:51712trackathletes1.mp3] [/audio]

The seventh grade team will be sending a relay team and several individual athletes to the IESA State meet this weekend.

[audio:51712trackathletes2.mp3] [/audio]

Coach Basalay points out the 8th grade team had a lot success this year as well. They finished their regular season at 19-5 overall.

[audio:51712trackathletes3.mp3] [/audio]

The Jr. High girls track team will have a couple of athletes competing this weekend. Head Coach Jane Cade will have athletes competing in the pole-vaulting competition and the hurdles. Coach Cade credits the pole-vaulting success within the program to volunteer coach Ken Lovett, who's daughter Betsy will be competing this weekend.

[audio:51712trackathletes4.mp3] [/audio]

State Track Meets are this Friday and Saturday. There will be a track awards ceremony this Monday, May 21 at 6:30.

Other Junior High School notable dates: Also Monday at 8:30 will be the Honor Roll awards assembly. Report Cards are issued Wednesday. And 8th grade graduation has been set for Thursday, May 24 at 7 pm.

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Lady Maroons End Season With Loss in Regionals

As heard on WHOW the Tri-Valley Lady Vikings defeated the Clinton Lady Maroons by a score of 5 to 1 at Clinton High School. Emily Kroeger went 2-3 for the Lady Maroons with a home run. Bailey Walker got the loss for Clinton going six innings, striking out one, giving up five runs on eight hits with two walks. Stephanie Sandias improved to 15-2 on the bump for Tri-Valley going seven innings, striking out four, giving up one run on three hits. Kara Neisen hit 3-3 for the Lady Vikings with a single, double and a home run.

The Lady Maroons ended the year with a record of 18-14.

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Monticello Advances In Regionals With Win Against Maroa-Forsyth

As heard on WEZC the Monticello Sages defeated the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans by a score of 3-1 at Monticello High School. Jacob Williams picked up the win on the mound going seven innings, striking out 20, giving up one run three hits with no walks. Logan Stelzriede got the loss for the Trojans going six innings, striking out six, giving up three runs on eight hits.

The Sages next WEZC broadcast will be May 19th against Clinton or Olympia at 10 AM.

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Some Electronics Waste Getting Dumped; Not Recycled

Officials in central Illinois say some residents are dumping their electronic waste along country roads rather than taking the items to be recycled.

Since Jan. 1, Illinois residents have been required to take electronic devices - including computers and TVs - to a registered recycler.

But Bob Shaw of Pekin's Streets and Solid Waste Department says they're seeing a dumping problem, mostly outside city limits.

Cincinnati Township Road Commissioner Ron Hawkins says there was a 200-foot long strip of computer and TV debris dumped on one road recently.

Brad Frick of Going Green Computers says the problem with Illinois' new law is that the only thing enforcing it is the good conscience of people who want to do the right thing.

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U of I Spends Almost $6-Million On Search Firms

The University of Illinois has spent almost $6 million on search firms over the last nine years to fill open positions as it increasingly turns to outside firms instead of relying on faculty search committees to find candidates.

The university paid a search firm $190,000 when the law and business colleges needed new deans in 2008. The university then paid another firm $200,000 when the first search didn't turn up a suitable candidate before picking internal employees for the jobs.

U of I spokesman Tom Hardy says the university is a complex organization that needs to recruit the best talent. And Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy says not using search firms would put the school at a "steep competitive disadvantage."

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Illinois Universities Seek Softened Pension Approach

Public universities in Illinois are asking Gov. Pat Quinn not to cut retirement benefits for current employees in his plan to overhaul state pension programs.

Presidents and chancellors of 15 schools recently signed a letter urging Quinn to consider their ability to attract top faculty talent and not to take away "promised benefits" to current employees.

Governors State University President Elaine Maimon (MAY'-mun) says Quinn and legislative leaders have listened to the colleges' concerns.

Quinn wants to require state employees to contribute more to their pensions, pay more to keep certain benefits, retire later and require schools and universities to contribute.

The May 3 letter also seeks a "reasonable" transition to university contributions, a guarantee of proper state funding in the future and more.

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Quinn Supports Gay Marriage

Governor Quinn says civil unions are working very well in Illinois and now he’s putting his support behind gay marriage.

[audio:rddQuinnGay1.mp3] [/audio]

Three of Illinois' openly gay lawmakers sponsored a bill proposing gay marriage earlier this year but won’t move forward on it because of more pressing issues.  Quinn's public support on the issue comes after President Obama announced his own support on the matter.  President Obama is the first commander-in-chief to say publicly that he supports same-sex marriage.  Illinois is the only state in the Midwest that allows civil unions.

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Congressman Schilling Opposed To Gay Marriage

Western Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling not in favor of legalizing gay marriage. He says President Obama needs to worry about many other issues.

[audio:rddSchilGay1.mp3] [/audio]

He says the federal government is overstepping its boundaries.

[audio:rddSchilGay2.mp3] [/audio]

Last week, President Obama became the first commander-in-chief to say publicly that he supports same-sex marriage.  Illinois' Governor Pat Quinn also came out in support of the controversial matter.

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Bus Carrying 6th Graders Slams Into Truck

A school bus carrying 33 6th-grade students slammed into a tractor trailer near the central Illinois community of Litchfield.

Authorities say the accident Monday afternoon, which injured 11 students, occurred as the bus was headed to Grantfork Upper Elementary School in Highland from a field trip to the state Capitol in Springfield.

Police say the bus rear-ended the truck seven miles north of Litchfield on Interstate 55. One student was airlifted to a hospital in St. Louis with serious injuries. The unidentified driver of the bus was also seriously injured.

Authorities say the other injured students were taken to St. Francis Hospital in Litchfield or Hillsboro Area Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Illinois State Police and local authorities are investigating the accident, which shut southbound Interstate 55 for several hours.

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Lawsuit Filed After Alleged Goose Attack

Mitsubishi Motors may have to dish out 50-thousand dollars after an alleged goose attack.  Todd Cole claims he was seriously injured after being attacked by geese while working at the Mitsubishi Motors North America plant in Normal.  He's filed a lawsuit in McLean County court, seeking more than 50-thousand dollars from Mitsubishi.  Cole was working a job at the plant for contractor Waddell Battery Corporation on May 27th, 2010, when he says the geese knocked him down, injuring his right shoulder, according to the lawsuit.  Cole's attorney claims Cole suffered both mental and physical anguish from the incident and will continue to suffer in the future.  Cole's lawsuit says Mitsubishi "knew or should have known of the risk of the attacks by geese."  He says the automaker had a "responsibility to mitigate the risk" but failed to protect Cole and others working in that unspecified location.  Mitsubishi's spokesman says the company has no comment on the lawsuit.

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Weekly Crop Report

Farmers continued working to get all the corn in the ground this past week as we hear in this week's crop report.

Corn planting is nearing completion around the state. Chief State Crop Statistician Brad Schwab reports corn planting across the state is at 95% planted with an average height of corn at five inches.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

As for soybeans, 44% are planted. Schwab says almost of 15% of soybeans have emerged.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

Sorghum planting advanced to 42% complete. The first cutting of alfalfa has advanced to 42% complete.

Top soil moistures were rated at 2% very short, 10% short, 75% adequate, and 13% surplus.

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New Information In Deadly Danville Shooting

Danville Police have new details surrounding a deadly shooting yesterday.  They say they believe Larry Carter Junior likely knew the person who shot him early Sunday morning.  Public Safety Director Larry Thomason says a car apparently stopped in the area where Carter was walking and a man got out of the car and exchanged words with Carter before shooting him.  The car then fled from the scene.  Authorities are looking for the public's help in solving the crime.  If you have any information or saw anything suspicious in the Williams and Robinson Street area around 4:45 Sunday morning, you're asked to call Danville Police detectives.   Or, you can call Vermilion County Crime Stoppers at (217) 446-TIPS.and leave the information anonymously.  It is the city's first homicide of the year.

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Childrens Advocacy Center's Champions For Childrens Walk Saturday A Success

The McLean County Child Protection Network, supporting the Children’s Advocacy Center and Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) programs, hosted the 5th annual Champions for Children Walk this past Saturday.

Sixty walkers joined in to raise awareness and donations for the services the center offers to abused and neglected children. Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center in McLean, DeWitt and Livingston Counties, Judy Brucker explains this is an event that takes place all over the state.

[audio:51512cacwalk1.mp3] [/audio]

Funding for the Advocacy Center comes primarily through grants and fundraising. And while the Champions for Children Walk is designed to be a fundraiser, Brucker says it is also aimed to keep communities informed of what it is they are doing.

[audio:51512cacwalk2.mp3] [/audio]

In 2011, Illinois Children’s Advocacy Centers coordinated almost 10-thousand investigations of child sexual abuse and CASA programs statewide advocated for almost 6-thousand abused and neglected children living in foster care.  Locally, 486 abused and neglected children were served through McLean, Livingston and DeWitt Children’s Advocacy Centers and CASA program.

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Clinton Fire Department Seeking Medical Upgrades

Firefighters from the Clinton Fire Department are seeking a couple avenues to better serve the community in a medical emergency.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton explains eleven firefighters are voluntarily basic EMTs and they are seeking upgrade two of their engines to what is called "Basic Life Support". Chief Milton says this is basically to supplement when Dr. John Warner Hospital Ambulances are on another call and they are called out waiting on Heyworth or Farmer City.

[audio:51412firemedical1.mp3] [/audio]

Currently, firefighters can only give oxygen or sugar for diabetics. This upgrade would allow them to give out six medications. Chief Milton says the fire fighters are footing the bill for the equipment to put on each rig. The total comes to close to $14-hundred.

[audio:51412firemedical2.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters expressed concern over fire fighters voluntarily footing the bill for medication. Chief Milton explains they currently will use their equipment or medication until an ambulance arrives on scene. At which, the ambulance reimburses the fire department by giving them what they used from the ambulance supply.

[audio:51412firemedical3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters also expressed concern over liability with the fire department issuing certain drugs. Chief Milton says there is liability for any call they go to. He assured the Mayor any exchange of medicine is documented by both parties.

[audio:51412firemedical4.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton City Council will vote to approve allowing the Fire Department to upgrade two of their engines to the Basic Life Support. Chief Milton feels the prevention part of the upgrade outweighs the cost associated with it.

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Rangers Blank Devils In East Finals Opener

Henrik Lundqvist stopped all 21 shots he faced to lead the Rangers to a 3-0 victory over the Devils in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals.  Dan Girardi and Chris Krieder each logged a goal and an assist during a three-goal third period.  Artem Anisimov [[ ARE-tem  uh-NEE-see-mahv ]] also had an assist and an empty-netter in the opener of the best-of-seven set.  Martin Brodeur made 25 saves for the Devils, who will try to get even in Game Two on Wednesday.  The Devils were 0-for-4 on the power play in the loss.

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Cavs' Irving To Be Named League's Top Rookie

The top pick in last year's NBA Draft will reportedly be named the league's top rookie for this season.  According to ESPN, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving will win the Rookie of the Year award today.  Irving averaged 18.5 points, 5.4 assists and 3.7 rebounds in 51 games for the Cavs this season.  The 20-year-old played just 11 games in his only season at Duke before becoming the first-overall choice in the draft.

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Sixers Clip Celtics; Thunder Pound Lakers

>>Sixers Nip Celtics Even Series

(Boston, MA)  --  Jrue Holiday dropped in 18 points as the 76ers edged the Celtics, 82-81, in Game Two of their semifinal series.  Andre Iguodala collected 13 points, six rebounds and seven assists to help the Sixers even up the best-of-seven series at a game apiece.  The Sixers notched their first playoff win in Boston since 1982.  Ray Allen had 17 points for the Celitcs, who were outscored 21-11 in the third quarter.  Kevin Garnett finished with 15 points and 12 boards, but he was called for a critical offensive foul with Boston down three and 10 seconds to go.  Philadelphia hosts Game Three on Wednesday.

>>Lakers Trounced By Thunder In Game One

(Oklahoma City, OK)  --  Russell Westbrook had 27 points, seven rebounds and nine assists as the Thunder steamrolled the Lakers, 119-90, in Game One of their West semifinal series.  Kevin Durant added 25 points and eight boards in the opener of the best-of-seven set.  Oklahoma City led by as many as 35 and had only four turnovers in the laugher.  Kobe Bryant and Andrew Bynum had 20 points apiece for the Lakers.  Bynum also grabbed 14 rebounds in the lopsided loss.  OKC hosts Game Two on Wednesday.

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Bears' Marshall Expected To Go Uncharged In Nightclub Incident

Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is expected to avoid charges for an alleged nightclub incident in March.  ESPN reports New York police are likely to wrap up their investigation this week and have little evidence to support a woman's claim that Marshall punched her in the face.  Marshall says he and his wife left the club after a scuffle broke out and his wife was hit by a bottle.  The Bears acquired Marshall from Miami on March 13th for two third-round draft picks.

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Cubs Top Cards; Sox Beat Tigers; Beltran Named POTW

>>Cubs Clip Cards

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Alfonso Soriano's RBI single in the top of the eighth inning was the difference as the Cubs clipped the Cardinals, 6-4.  Bryan LaHair went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer for the Northsiders, who have won back-to-back games.  Shawn Camp tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Ryan Dempster to register the win.  Rafael Dolis [[ doe-LEASE ]] worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his fourth save.  Dempster was once again denied his first victory of the season after allowing four runs through six innings of duty.  He is 0-and-1 with a 1.74 ERA in six starts this season.  Yadier Molina's two-run double highlighted a four-run sixth frame for St. Louis.  Mitchell Boggs was saddled with the loss.  The Cards have dropped four straight games.

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

>>White Sox Hold On To Top Tigers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Adam Dunn hit his 12th homer of the season, a two-run shot, as the White Sox edged the Tigers, 7-5.  Dayan Viciedo also hit a two-run bomb and added a two-RBI single for Chicago, which halted a two-game skid to win for the fourth time in six games.  Zach Stewart threw three scoreless relief innings and Addison Reed earned his third save.  Prince Fielder hit a two-run double and Delmon Young followed with a run-scoring double of his own for Detroit in the first.  Luke Putkonen suffered the loss after allowing three runs while recording just one out.  The Tigers have lost four of their last six.

MLB AL
------
New York Yankees 8, Baltimore Orioles 5
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Boston Red Sox 6, Seattle Mariners 1
Kansas City Royals 3, Texas Rangers 1
Cleveland Indians 5, Minnesota Twins 4
Oakland Athletics 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0

>>Cardinals' Beltran NL Player Of Week

(New York, NY)  --  St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran is the National League Player of the Week.  Beltran hit .360 with six home runs, 13 RBI and eight runs scored last week.  It was the ninth career weekly honor for Beltran.  Teammates Allen Craig and Rafael Furcal were also considered.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-10

 

May 10, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 17

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Michelle Ritter, 29, Clinton, was issued a citation for Expired Registration. Ritter posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Bradley Morrow, 22, Wapella, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Morrow posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Thomas Brame, 61, Wapella, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Brame 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 Streets Department Targets Summer Projects

summer maintenance projects.

Public Works Director for the City of Clinton, Steve Lobb explains each year the department targets streets that are in most need of repairs, and then they try to allow around $100-thousand for those streets. Lobb notes, this year, they bumped that total up to almost $117-thousand to get all their targeted roads fixed.

[audio:51612summerstreets1.mp3] [/audio]

Lobb estimates the price of the project will translate into 10-20 city blocks of target road work. He explains it depends on the type of project they have in store for a particular road. One of the most extensive projects the city will embark on is in essence just a resurface.

[audio:51612summerstreets2.mp3] [/audio]

There are some portions of town that have been put off. Lobb explains this is because of a sewer project they have been working on that is close to completion. He says this project is targeted for the western half of Clinton. He adds streets in that part of town have been put off until the sewer project is complete.

[audio:51612summerstreets3.mp3] [/audio]

Streets that are being targeted this year in Clinton include North Water and John Street, South Wilson and Monroe, Cherry Street, and East Jefferson. Lobb says the work will mostly be asphalt overlays or seal coating of oil and chip.

Next week, North Center and East Washington can expect some curb and gutter work.

White Street, near Dr. John Warner Hospital, will essentially be reconstructed. Lobb says a tentative target start date for that project is going to be early September.

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Illinois Politicians Mostly Quiet On Gay Marriage

Illinois politicians from both parties have been nearly silent in response to President Barack Obama's endorsement of gay marriage.

Many prominent Illinois Democrats already back gay marriage, while Republicans say their top election issue is the economy. Neither side sees much political value in putting the spotlight on same-sex marriage.

One exception to the general silence was Gov. Pat Quinn, who came out firmly in favor of gay marriage. In past years, the Chicago Democrat has backed civil unions while hedging on how he felt about gay marriage.

Anthony Martinez of the gay-rights group The Civil Rights Agenda says it would be risky for Republicans running in political districts drawn by Democrats to be seen as extreme on gay marriage and similar issues.

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Shotgun Clinic May 19-20 At Illinois Shooting Complex

Women and young people who want to sharpen their shotgun skills may participate in a "wingshooting" clinic May 19-20 at the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta.

The clinic will provide instruction on safely and properly shooting a shotgun. It is designed to teach the fundamentals of hitting a moving target - the principle behind wingshooting.

Women of any age and boys aged 10 to 15 are welcome. The sessions are from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days and are free.

Registration is necessary by May 16.

Sponsors are the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Friends of the World Shooting and Recreational Complex and the Turkey Bluffs Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

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Drilling Prospects Bring Land To Illinois

Across several southern Illinois counties, there's a land rush emerging. And it's the potential of once-inaccessible, underground oil and natural gas that's fueling it.

Out-of-staters recently have converged on Hamilton, Saline and Wayne County to scour through property records and establish who owns underground mineral rights their clients or companies may be able to lease for drilling.

The research by those "land men" is linked to a drilling technique called hydraulic fracturing. That so-called "fracking" involves blasting water, sand and chemicals into shale to free trapped energy sources.

Critics believe the chemicals have polluted drinking water supplies. The industry says there's no proof.

The intense interest stems from a belief that the region's shale has oil and liquid hydrocarbons that are rarer - and more profitable - than natural gas.

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New Exhibit At Lincoln Presidential Museum

There's a new exhibit at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield.  Exhibit Curator Glenna Schroeder-Lein [[Lin]] says it tells people about the Civil War's number one killer.

[audio:rddCWLin1.mp3] [/audio]

Schroede-Lein says the exhibit doesn't ignore the wounds soldiers endured during the Civil War.  There is a section complete with artifacts on some of the wounds suffered.  Some of the unique items on display include a Civil War stretcher and a door that was used as a surgical table in a field hospital in Tennessee.

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Quinn Finds Unlikely Allies In Business Community

Gov. Pat Quinn has built his career as a populist. But as he tries to cut spending and fix a broken state budget Quinn finds his closest allies in the business community.

Though some say they want to see more details, business leaders say they generally back Quinn's plans to cut Medicaid and state-worker pensions.

Illinois Chamber of Commerce President Doug Whitley says he's more comfortable with Quinn and his ideas right now than he's ever been.

Some of the business support is qualified. Whitley notes the chamber isn't behind every detail.

Quinn's more traditional allies aren't impressed.

The head of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees in Illinois says she was shocked by Quinn's plans after a legislative vote backing 1 of his ideas this week.

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Illinois' New Top Doc Likes Cigarette Tax Increase

Illinois' new chief doctor plans to tour the state to discuss public health and to voice his support for a proposed cigarette tax increase.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck will share his goals for the Illinois Department of Public Health at meetings around the state. He also will seek input from local health officials.

Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Hasbrouck to the head the health department last month.

Hasbrouck says he believes the governor's proposed cigarette tax can help prevent chronic disease. The governor wants to increase the cigarette tax by $1.

Next week, Hasbrouck will be in East St. Louis, Murphysboro, Champaign, Peoria and Rock Island. The following week he will be in Quincy and Rockford.

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Warden At Pontiac Correctional Center Under Investigation

The acting warden of the Pontiac Correctional Center is under investigation by the Illinois State Police and has been placed on administrative leave.

Randy Pfister was arrested Thursday night.

Stacey Solano, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Department of Corrections, says a special prosecutor will be handling the case but would not give any details.

The Livingston County state's attorney's office refused to comment.

Pfister was released from Livingston County jail on Friday and did not post a bond.

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ISU Grad Competes For TV Food Show

An Illinois State University graduate is putting her cooking skills to the test.  Kara Sigle [[Seegle]] is competing for her own Food Network show on Food Network Star.

[audio:rddFood1.mp3] [/audio]

Sigle says competing for a show on The Food Network is not as easy as people may think.

[audio:rddFood2.mp3] [/audio]

Sigle owns and operates Nostalgic Catering and says her point of view on the show is classic family recipes with a twist.  The show's eighth season opens this Sunday at 8p.m.  Sigle will compete against 14 other seasoned chefs. Sigle admits she had never watched the show before she auditioned.

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Clinton Farmers Market Seeking Vendors

Are you a farmer, gardener, or artist interested in selling your produce or wares at the Clinton Farmer's Market?

Elizabeth Burns with the Clinton Area Farmers and Artisans Market says becoming a vendor at the Saturday market is as easy as showing up to the Market. There is a $10 per day fee associated with being a part of the Market and all the produce or crafts you sell must be locally produced.

[audio:51412cafamvendors1.mp3] [/audio]

While it is not required, there are some perks to being a part of the Farmers Market on a weekly basis. Burns says every fifth Saturday you attend the market it is free. If vendors are interested in setting up at Clinton's largest event of the year, The Apple and Pork Festival, you only have to attend one market prior the September event. Burns also notes, non-profit groups setting up are free.

[audio:51412cafamvendors2.mp3] [/audio]

The Market kicked off a couple weeks ago, but Burns says it's not too late to become a vendor. The Market runs from 8 am until noon each Saturday morning until October.

To learn more about becoming a vendor, you can contact Elizabeth Burns at 217-417-4366.

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Liberty Village Hosting Food Drive This Week

This week (May 13-19) is National Nursing Home Week and one local business is taking the opportunity to host a food drive.

Liberty Village of Clinton is hosting a food drive all this week. Alison Skelton and Helen Michelassi with Liberty Village of Clinton explain they are going to use the donated goods for part of the upcoming Relay For Life and then once they have served their purpose there, they will then donate the canned goods to the local food pantries.

[audio:51412villagefood1.mp3] [/audio]

Michelassi explains the canned foods are going to have a two-fold purpose. First, At Relay for Life they will serve as paper weights, if you will, for their Luminaria ceremony. Then they will be passed on to local food banks. Michelassi says it's a win-win for both parties.

[audio:51412villagefood2.mp3] [/audio]

Michelassi says canned vegetables, spaghetti-Os, and tuna types of foods are high demand right now at food banks around the area.

Anyone wanting to donate can take their donations to the main entrance at Liberty Village in Clinton.

Relay For Life is June 8-9.

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2012 May Days Features New Additions, Old Traditions

The 20th annual festival May Days returns this week in Clinton.

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce coordinates this event each year and they once again have a full four days of activities. Executive Director at the Chamber, Marian Brisard notes May Days will kick off with opening ceremonies. She explains this will include a flag ceremony with the AmVets and Clinton Fire Department and an opening speech given by Chamber Board President Scott Williamson.

[audio:51412maydayspreview1.mp3] [/audio]

Tourism Director at the Chamber of Commerce, Carolyn Sugg recalls the first May Days when she was a junior high school student. She says they are trying to bring back some of the things that were a part of the original May Days festivals.

[audio:51412maydayspreview2.mp3] [/audio]

As you make your away around Clinton, the fliers the Chamber has up promoting May Days, in the bottom right corner of the flier you'll notice a 'QR Code'. A QR Code a two-dimensional bar code that anyone with a smart phone or mobile device, such as an iPad, Xoom, etc, can scan and it will take you directly to the Chamber's website. Brisard says it is becoming increasingly popular among businesses in town and it is easier to scan the QR Code rather than remember their long web address.

[audio:51412maydayspreview3.mp3] [/audio]

A full slate of competitions, fun activities and festival rides are on tap for this upcoming four day event which kicks off Thursday evening and runs through Sunday afternoon.

May Days is a fundraiser for the Chamber. Tickets can be ordered in advance, and are a discounted price. For more information you can contact the Clinton Chamber at 935-3364 or stop in at 100 South Center Street, Suite 101 on the downtown Clinton Square.

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Kings Down Coyotes In Game One

The Los Angeles Kings skated to a 4-2 win over the Coyotes in Game One of the Western Conference finals in Phoenix.  Dustin Brown scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period to help the Kings grab a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.  Game Two will be in the desert on Tuesday.  Meanwhile, the New York Rangers will host the New Jersey Devils in Game One of the Eastern Conference finals tonight.  The puck drops at 8:00 Eastern.

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Johnson Takes Southern 500, Gives HMS 200th Win

 Jimmie Johnson drove the 48-car to victory lane in Saturday's Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway, giving owner Rick Hendrick his long-awaited 200th career win.  The five-time Sprint Cup Series champion led the most laps with 133 but had to gamble on fuel in the late-stages and then held off Denny Hamlin and Tony Stewart in a green-white-checkered finish for the win.  Johnson and Hendrick Motorsports also ended a 16-race winless streak.  Johnson gave the racing organization its 199th win in Cup last October at Kansas Speedway.  Hamlin was the runner up after passing Stewart on the final restart.  Kyle Busch and Martin Truex Jr. rounded out the top-five.

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Rose Has Knee Surgery

Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose reportedly had surgery on Saturday to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament.  Rose suffered the injury in the first playoff game against the Philadelphia 76ers on April 28th.  The injury occurred with 70 seconds left in the game as he went down after driving to a jump-stop in the lane and throwing a pass out to the right.  Chicago won the game, but went on to lose the series as the 76ers defeated the Bulls, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, in six games.  The 23-year-old Rose missed 27 of the 66 games this season with several injuries, including back spasms and a pulled groin.  When he did play, he averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists per game.

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Clippers Take Down Grizzlies In Game Seven

The Los Angeles Clippers advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs on Sunday.  The Clippers used a big fourth quarter to down the Memphis Grizzlies, 82-72, in Game Seven of their quarterfinal series.  Los Angeles outscored Memphis 27-16 in the final frame en route to only its third playoff series win in its 42-year franchise history.  The Clippers will face the top-seeded San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference semifinals.  Meanwhile, the Miami Heat knocked off the Indiana Pacers, 95-86, in Game One of their East semifinal series.  LeBron James had 32 points and 15 rebounds in the opener of the best-of-seven set.

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Bears Ink 7 Rookie Free Agents

The Chicago Bears have agreed to contracts with seven rookie free agents, including quarterback Matt Blanchard of Division III Wisconsin-Whitewater.

The Bears announced the deals on Sunday.

Blanchard grew up in suburban Lake Zurich, Ill., and contributed to three national champions in college. He was 25-0 as a starter, and as a senior, he threw for 2,852 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions. Also agreeing to deals on Sunday were Texas Southern receiver Joe Anderson, Illinois State tight end Brandon Venson, Concordia offensive tackle Tyler Hendrickson, Central Florida guard Nick Pieschel, Boston College punter Ryan Quigley and Connecticut kicker David Teggart.

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Cubs Win; Sox, Cards Lose

>>Cubs Salvage Series Finale With Crew

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson both blasted solo home runs and the Cubs scored six unanswered run en route to an 8-2 win over the Brewers.  Tony Campana, Starlin Castro, Alfonso Soriano and Darwin Barney all knocked in a run for Chicago, which salvaged the finale of a three-game set at Miller Park.  Jeff Samardzija struck out six through five frames of one-run ball, but it was Shawn Camp who was credited with the win.  Taylor Green plated both of Milwaukee's runs in a losing effort.  Kameron Loe was saddled with the loss for the Crew, who wrapped up a six-game homestand with a mark of 3-and-3.

>>Braves Best Cardinals

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Jason Heyward hit a bases-clearing double in the top of the third inning as the Braves held on to top the Cardinals, 7-4.  Freddie Freeman and Dan Uggla each added an RBI double for Atlanta, which completed the three-game sweep at Busch Stadium.  Tommy Hanson tossed five-plus innings of one-run ball with nine strikeouts for the win.  Allen Craig hit a three-run home run in the ninth for St. Louis, which was riding a four-game win streak heading into this series.  Carlos Beltran added a solo shot in the setback.  Lance Lynn fell to 6-and-1 after giving up three runs over six frames.

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 9, Washington Nationals 6
Miami Marlins 8, New York Mets 4
Pittsburgh Pirates 3, Houston Astros 2 (12 inn)
Philadelphia Phillies 3, San Diego Padres 2
San Francisco Giants 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 11, Colorado Rockies 5

>>Royals Crush White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Royals put down the White Sox with a six-run ninth inning to nail shut a 9-1 win.  The rally was keyed by Chicago reliever Addison Reed's three walks.  Jeff Francoeur hit his first home run of the season in the eighth inning for the Royals, who have won four of their last five games.  Royals starter Danny Duffy left the game in the first inning with an apparent left arm injury and Luis Mendoza grabbed his second win of the season.  Paul Konerko accounted for the only White Sox run with an RBI single.  Phil Humber struck out seven in six-and-two-thirds innings and gave up one-run.  Reliever Matt Thornton was tagged with the loss for Chicago as they dropped their second-straight game.

MLB AL
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Seattle Mariners 6, New York Yankees 2
Boston Red Sox 12, Cleveland Indians 1
Tampa Bay Rays 9, Baltimore Orioles 8
Minnesota Twins 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Detroit Tigers 3, Oakland Athletics 1
Texas Rangers 13, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITATIONS

5/11/12

RYAN E. SHARP 36, NEOGA SPEEDING 44 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

ANDREW J. DUGGINS 35, CLINTON ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL. BOND POSTED

EMILY B. WHITE 21, HOPEDALE ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL. BOND POSTED

5/12/12

CAMILLE DEMOND 20, ALTON DISOBEYED TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE. BOND POSTED

RANDY L. SHEPHERD 63, CLINTON DISOBEYING STOP SIGN. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ON 5/13/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT AT RT 54 & RT 10 EAST. A MOTORCYCLE DRIVEN BY DAVID W. COIT 66, ATLANTA WAS WESTBOUND ON RT 10 APPROACHING THE RT 54 STOP INTERSECTION. COIT LOST CONTROL OF THE MOTORCYCLE AND LAID IT OVER. COIT WAS EJECTED FROM THE VEHICLE. COIT WAS TRANSPORTED BY CLINTON AMBULANCE FOR TREATMENT.

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

May 12, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 9

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

May 13, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

May 14, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Jennifer Bligh, 27, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Speeding (76 mph in a 65 mph zone). Bligh posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Tiffany Acton, 37, LeRoy, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 65 mph zone). Acton posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Aaron Barnes, 27, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (76 mph in a 55 mph zone). Barnes posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Carey Carter, 26, DeWitt, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Carter posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Tracey Dawson, 36, DeWitt, was issued citations for Reckless Driving and Improper Lane Usage. Dawson posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Early Spring Doesn't Phase Weldon Springs, Clinton Lake Staff or Visitors

The early spring gave outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to be outside earlier than normal.

Those that enjoy the peaceful nature of Weldon Springs and walking the trails or enjoy Clinton Lake got out earlier than normal this year. Enjoy Clinton Lake or Weldon Springs as early as some were able to would not have been possible without some hard work by those in the Department of Natural Resources. Tom Jackson, Site Superintendent at Clinton Lake and Weldon Springs says his crew answered the bell in getting the sites ready on short notice.

[audio:51512dnrspring1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Jackson, getting the water going for the year is a challenge they face. He explains it is because they do not know when the final frost or freeze may occur that could cause some problems for them.

[audio:51512dnrspring2.mp3] [/audio]

The routine maintenance of trimming tree lines or getting brush cleaned up is something DNR focuses on during the winter. Jackson says this allows them to focus on making sure everything is in order once guests start coming in.

Jackson feels those who frequent the park were pleasantly surprised they were able to come out so early, and right away begin their usual activities.

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Three Peoria High School Basketball Champions Arrested

Three members of the state champion Peoria High School basketball team have been arrested on suspicion of beating a fellow student.

They were arrested Thursday at the high school just hours after 2 of them had signed to play with a Missouri junior college.

They were booked on charges of aggravated battery and mob action.

They are accused of attacking another student in front of his home on April 26. The beating victim told police he believed he was attacked because one of the men thought he was interested in the same girl.

According to a police report, the three took part in an attack in which the student was pushed to the ground and then kicked and punched.

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Miller Park Zoo Offering Free Admision To Moms Sunday

Moms will get special treatment at Miller Park Zoo, on Sunday, May 13th. 

On Mother’s Day, moms will receive free admission to the Zoo with one paid child’s admission. 

While there, mom will be able to visit with the newest mothers at Miller Park Zoo: Beatrice and Windy, the two Wallaroos who gave birth to joeys this spring.  The joeys have emerged from the pouch of both the grey female Common Wallaroos on exhibit at the Zoo. 

For more information on the Zoo visit www.MillerParkZoo.org.

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SIU Board Approves Raise of Tuition By Almost 5%

New students at Southern Illinois University will be paying nearly 5% more in tuition this fall while continuing students face higher fees.

The university's trustees signed off on the increases Thursday.

Trustees Roger Herrin and Don Lowery voted against those actions, saying budget cuts should be made to rein in costs.

Administrators say they've cut to the core in many areas, with little other places to trim.

New students this fall will pay $272 per credit hour, and seven mandatory fees for all students are going up.

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Survey Shows Parents Struggling To Find Babysitters

Parents say that good babysitters are hard to find, according to a new American Red Cross poll.

The poll found that in the past 24 months, 55 percent of parents surveyed decided to stay home because they couldn’t find a babysitter. The survey also found that nearly a third of parents rejected a potential babysitter because of safety concerns.

Parents want to entrust their children to babysitters trained in first aid, CPR and childcare skills, and more than 80 percent of parents believe that teenaged babysitters should be paid more if they have these skills. However, eight in 10 parents have looked to adult relatives, while nearly half have relied on adult friends to watch their children.

Carl Baker, Executive Director of the Mid-Illinois Chapter, says it can be hard for parents to trust someone to care for their children when they’re not at home. He feels it’s only natural to want someone who isn’t just a loving playmate but who is also trained in what to do during an emergency. He adds the Red Cross babysitting courses help teens feel fully prepared to act quickly to aid a child if needed, which parents really value.

The Red Cross babysitting, CPR and first aid courses teach teens how to care for young children and handle emergency situations. The American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training course gives youth the knowledge and confidence to care for infants and school-aged children.

A majority of parents believe sitters should be paid more if they are trained to help a child who is choking, recognize potential emergency situations, identify items that could be hazardous to small children, and give first aid for minor cuts and bruises. More than three in four of parents with children younger than 17 feel teenagers should receive some training before they begin babysitting.

About half of Americans rely on unpaid babysitters, and nearly a quarter pay between $6 and $10 an hour for someone to watch their children. Ten percent pay between $11 and $15 an hour; while four percent pay between $16 and $20 an hour, making babysitting a potentially lucrative option for qualified teenagers.

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Warden Placed On Leave

The acting warden at the Pontiac Correctional Center has been placed on administrative leave.  Randy Pfister was scheduled to appear in Livingston County Court this afternoon for a bond hearing on a charge of unlawful restraint.  An Illinois Department of Corrections spokeswoman says Pfister is being investigated by Illinois State Police and the Livingston County State's Attorney.

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Stripping Retiree Health Benefits Unconstitutional

  Free health insurance for Illinois retirees is coming to an end.  Senator Larry Bomke says something needs to be done to reign in pension costs but stripping the benefits isn't the way to do it.

        [audio:rddBomPen1.mp3][/audio]

Bomke says there will undoubtedly be lawsuits brought up against the measure, considering it's retroactive and strips guaranteed benefits from already retired state workers.  He cites a law passed in 1998 that guaranteed free health insurance for anyone who worked 20 years with the state.   The measure will require retirees to contribute more for premiums.   Payment amounts will be based on ability to pay and will be determined through a collective bargaining process.   Governor Quinn says he supports the plan and plans on signing it into law.

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Rep. Jonhson Seeks Special Counsel for MF Global

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson along with 26 House colleagues appealed to Attorney General Eric Holder on Wednesday to appoint an independent counsel to investigate Jon Corzine’s role in the collapse of MF Global Holdings Ltd.

Johnson says the situation is precisely why the provisions for the appointment of independent counsel exist. He adds the conflicts of interest are staring us in the face. MF Global lost $1.6 billion in investments that belonged to farmers and ranchers across the country, including many in his district. Rep. Johnson begged the question - How does that happen without someone being held responsible?

Rep. Johnson’s letter cites preferential treatment of former MF Global CEO Jon Corzine by federal regulators with whom Corzine had professional relationships with in the past. Before MF Global’s collapse, executives including Corzine successfully lobbied for delays in the imposition of certain regulatory reforms that would have enhanced customer protections.

Four congressional committees have held hearings on the bankruptcy. Rep. Johnson was one of the lead interrogators of Corzine and expressed his deep suspicion surrounding the “Goldman Sachs fraternity” when Corzine appeared before the House Agriculture Committee last December. The Agriculture Committee is involved because it has oversight authority over the Commodities Futures Trading Commission, which regulates commodity trades, and is chaired by Gary Gensler, a former colleague of Corzine’s at Goldman Sachs. Gensler recused himself from the investigation.

The ongoing probe took another twist last month when it was revealed that Corzine was listed as a “first-quarter volunteer fundraiser” by President Obama’s campaign, having raised over $500,000 for the President’s reelection.

The letter states - quote - "…the Independent Counsel Provisions in the U.S. Code…provide for the Attorney General to appoint an Independent Counsel in cases where ‘an investigation or prosecution of a person by the Department of Justice may result in a personal, financial or political conflict of interest,’”.

Rep. Johnson adds, Mr. Corzine’s situation shows what is wrong with Washington. With enough money and friends in the right places, people in the position of power can trample on the little guy with impunity. He says he will not stand for that.

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Rep. Johnson Opposes Scam of Reconciliation

U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson opposes the reconciliation bill that was crafted to postpone automatic across-the-board cuts that had been mandated under sequestration.

The reconciliation bill the Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act of 2012 passed now goes to the Senate.

Rep. Johnson believes this bill typifies all the reasons Americans are upset with Congress. He feels there was a way forward but special interests intervened and once again, "we’ve just kicked the ball down the field to avoid making the hard decisions necessary to address our ballooning debt and deficits.”

The Sequester Replacement Reconciliation Act was crafted in response to the failure of the Budget Control Act passed last August. Under the Budget Control Act, the debt ceiling was raised equal to the savings found by the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction, also known as the “Super-Committee”. Since the Super Committee failed to reach agreement, the Budget Control Act would have automatically sequestered $1.2 trillion in future spending, with nearly half the cuts coming from defense.

On the House Floor, Johnson said “We don’t even play by the rules we set for ourselves, from ethics to insider trading to ignoring spending caps, Congress does as it pleases. In August, both side of the aisle were praising the Budget Control Act. I voted against it as another inside-the-beltway scam. Everything about the Budget Control Act was a scam: the ultra-partisan Super Committee, the accounting gimmicks, and the sequester. Only in Washington can you count the slowing of spending growth as a “savings.” In the real word, people save when they spend less than they did yesterday."-end quote.

Johnson urged his constituents to "think outside of normal." He feels Congress must recognize that even defense must share in reining in the country's debt.

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Smith Vows To Clear his Name

State Representative Derrick Smith says he's "painfully aware" that the federal charge levied against him creates a very poor perception of him and the House of Representatives.  But the Chicao Democrat has no plans to resign, saying he's innocent.   

[audio:rddSmithSpeaks1.mp3] [/audio]

An attorney for State Representative Derrick Smith will not confirm the most basic allegations against his client.  When asked by members of a special investigative committee whether Smith actually wrote a letter of support, or engaged a conversation to accept a bribe, Attorney Victor Henderson had little to say.

[audio:rddSmithAtty2.mp3] [/audio]

Smith's attorney wants lawmakers to be careful not to judge his client's guilt or innocence without all the facts. Henderson says there are holes in the federal government's case against Smith.

[audio:rddSmithAtty1.mp3] [/audio]

Smith appeared before a special investigative committee charged with determining whether he should be disciplined or expelled from the legislature. His attorney refused to confirm whether Smith actually wrote a letter of support for a daycare center, had a copy of the letter, engaged a conversation to accept a bribe or whether he actually accepted a cash bribe. The refusal created some suspicion among committee members.  They compare Smith's case to that of former Governor Rod Blagojevich where all they had to go off of was federal documents that transcribe a wiretap.  Blagojevich was impeached based on the documents.

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U of I Promotes Dean To Provost

The University of Illinois has chosen the dean of its College of Engineering to take over as provost at the school's flagship campus.

Urbana-Champaign campus Chancellor Phyllis Wise says Ilesanmi Adesida (il-i-SAHN'-me uh-DESS'-i-dah) will step in as provost on Aug. 16. The provost is the top academic and budget official on campus.

Adesida says he's excited to go to work for Wise and help set the direction for the campus for decades to come.

Adesida is a native of Nigeria and is a graduate of the University of California-Berkeley. He came to the University of Illinois in 1987 as an electrical and computer engineering professor. He was appointed dean of the College of Engineering in 2006.

Adesida will be paid $430,000 a year.

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Identity Thieves Target Illinoisans

Identity thieves are using several new methods to get your credit information, says Janet Dobrinsky [[Doe-brin-skee]] with the Comptroller’s Office of Consumer Affairs.

[audio:rddIDTheft2.mp3] [/audio]

Identity thieves are using several different methods to target Illinoisans, but Dobrinsky says it happens most frequently when people don’t shred important documents.

[audio:rddIDTheft1.mp3] [/audio]

Dobrinsky adds there are ways to protect yourself.

[audio:rddIDTheft3.mp3] [/audio]

Dobrinskysays pulling your credit report once a year is another way that will help protect you from identity thieves.

[audio:rddIDTheft4.mp3] [/audio]

Dobrinsky say Illinois is among the top ten states that identity thieves target, with 12-thousand Illinoisans becoming victims each year.  The Consumer Affairs team is helping educate people on how to protect themselves.  They’ll be hosting seminars around the state.  Admission is free.  For more details on the events or to find out how you can attend a seminar, call 1-855-IL-ASK-US or 1-855-452-7587.

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Bill Ending Free Health Insurance For Retirees Headed To The Governor's Desk

A BILL DOING AWAY WITH FREE HEALTH CARE FOR RETIRED STATE WORKERS IS HEADED TO THE GOVERNOR’S DESK.

THE PERK COSTS THE STATE MORE THAN 800 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR…AND IS NO LONGER FEASIBLE SAYS SENATE MINORITY LEADER CHRISTINE RADOGNO.

[audio:pass.mp3] [/audio]

THE MEASURE APPLIES TO STATE WORKERS…UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES…JUDGES AND LAWMAKERS. RETIREES WOULD PAY PREMIUMS BASED ON THEIR PENSION BENEFIT. IT’S SEEN AS A BIG FIRST STEP TOWARDS PENSION REFORM.

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Peoria Official Wants To Prevent Dixon-Style Theft

A Peoria city councilman has asked for a report to make sure the theft of taxpayer money like the one that shook the city of Dixon cannot happen in his city.

Councilman Bill Spears requested a policy report on how the city's finances are handled.

Spears says he has no reason to believe there is any specific cause for concern. But he says a review would alert officials to any vulnerabilities that might require changes in policy.

In the case in Dixon, the city's former comptroller is accused of stealing $53 million by siphoning public funds into a secret bank account. She handled all of the city's finances.

Finance officials in Peoria say they have more checks and balances in place.

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Caterpillar Selling Logistics Unit For $750-Million

Caterpillar is selling a majority stake in a logistics division for about $750 million to better focus on its core businesses.

The world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment said Thursday that it is selling a 65% interest in Caterpillar Logistics Services LLC to Platinum Equity.

Caterpillar, based in Peoria, Ill., will keep a 35% interest in the business.

Caterpillar Logistics Services continue to provide logistics services for non-Caterpillar branded parts including FG Wilson, Perkins, Solar, as well as for Caterpillar Japan.

The sale won't impact its manufacturing logistics and transportation operations and Cat brand parts distribution.

The deal is expected to close in the third quarter.

Shares of Caterpillar Inc. added 86 cents to sell for $96.85 in Thursday morning trading.

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Social Security Offers Financial Assitance For Medicare Prescription Drug Program

With Mother's Day this Sunday, doing something special for Mom is on the mind of most everyone. How about showing mom or grandma a way to save up to $4-thousand a year.

Something a mother, grandmother, or anyone special in your life on Medicare can take advantage of is a program called "Extra Help". Jack Myers with Social Security explains Social Security takes applications for financial assistance with the "Extra Help" program.

[audio:51112momsday1.mp3] [/audio]

The money from the financial assistance can bridge the gap between gaps in coverages, or having co-pays and deductibles paid for. Myers says this can really be a great help for that special person in your life who may be struggling financially.

[audio:51112momsday2.mp3] [/audio]

When applying for the assistance, there are some income and asset limits that must be met. Myers says assets such as a home or vehicle are not counted against them when applying. Assets that are counted are bank account balances, investments or stocks and bonds.

[audio:51112momsday3.mp3] [/audio]

To apply or learn more about the program, visit www.socialsecurity.gov or stop by your local Social Security office.

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Kirby Medical Center Hosting First Ever 'Kirby Derby' Saturday

This Saturday, Kirby Medical Center of Monticello is putting on a first time event.

The 'Kirby Derby' is a 5k and 10k run and walk event that also features a childrens race. Heidi Apperson with Kirby Medical Center of Monticello explains the race starts and ends at Forest Preserve Park and runs through State Street and downtown Monticello.

[audio:51012kirbyderby1.mp3] [/audio]

Kirby Medical Center recently opened and moved into a new facility in Monticello. The Derby is aimed to promote activity and exercising. Kirby Medical's Carol Stoddard explains the new facility allows Kirby to keep up with the advancements in healthcare.

[audio:51012kirbyderby2.mp3] [/audio]

Race day registration is from 6:30 AM to 7:45 AM. 5K & 10K Run and the 5K Recreational Walk begin at 8:00 AM. Cash prizes & awards will be presented to the 1st overall male & female runners in the 5K & 10K Runs. Awards will be presented to 1st through 3rd place in each age group for both the 5K and 10K runs.

For more information, you can call 217-762-1509.

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NASCAR Notes

>>NASCAR In Darlington

(Darlington, SC)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to Darlington this weekend for Saturday's Bojangles' Southern 500.  Regan Smith became a first-time winner on the Sprint Cup circuit when he captured the 2011 running of the Southern 500.  Brad Keselowski won last weekend at Talladega to climb to 12th in the Sprint Cup standings, but Greg Biffle maintained a seven-point lead over Matt Kenseth.  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Denny Hamlin and Kevin Harvick out out the top-five.

>>Coca-Cola Enters Endorsement Deal With Patrick

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Coca-Cola is entering a partnership with NASCAR driver Danica Patrick.  The soft drink giant has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with the popular female driver to promote its Coke Zero brand.  Patrick will begin serving as spokeswoman for Coke Zero at the Coca-Cola 600 in Charlotte later this month and Coke Zero 400 at Daytona in July.  Patrick will do marketing for the brand and her racing jumpsuit and Chevrolet car will both don Coke Zero logos, as well.

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Cards, Cubs, Sox Off Thursday

>>Cardinals Open Series With Braves

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals are back home tonight as they open a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves at Busch Stadium.  Jaime [[ HIGH-may ]] Garcia opposes Mike Minor in the series opener.  The Cards are coming off a three-game sweep at Arizona and have won four straight overall.

>>Cardinals To Retire La Russa's Number

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals will honor former manager Tony La Russa tonight.  The team will retire La Russa's number-10 jersey in a ceremony before tonight's game against the Braves.  The 67-year-old retired shortly after winning the World Series last October, ending a 16-year run in St. Louis.

>>Cubs Clash With Brew Crew

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  The Chicago Cubs head to Miller Park this evening to kick off a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers.  Matt Garza will toe the rubber opposite Randy Wolf in the opener.  The Northsiders took two-of-three from the Atlanta Braves in their last series to improve to 13-and-18 on the season.

>>White Sox Host Royals

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox open up a three-game series against the Kansas City Royals this evening at The Cell.  Gavin Floyd gets the nod against Felipe Paulino in the opener.  The Southsiders are coming off a four-game split with the Cleveland Indians to sit at 15-and-17 on the season.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 2

MLB AL
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Baltimore Orioles 6, Texas Rangers 5 (Gm.1)
Texas Rangers 7, Baltimore Orioles 3 (Gm.2)
New York Yankees 5, Tampa Bay Rays 3
Cleveland Indians 8, Boston Red Sox 3
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Minnesota Twins 2
Detroit Tigers 10, Oakland Athletics 6

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Bulls 5th Nuimber One Seed Ousted In First Round

>>Sixers Send Bulls Home

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  Andre Iguodala knocked down a pair of free throws with 2.2 seconds left to give the 76ers a series-clinching 79-78 win over the Bulls in Game Six of their quarterfinal matchup.  Igoudala's free throws came after Chicago's Omer Asik missed a pair at the line with seven seconds to go.  Iguodala finished with 20 points to help the Sixers become only the fifth number-eight seed in NBA history to oust a one-seed.  The Sixers will face the Celtics in the East semifinals.  Luol Deng collected 19 points and 17 rebounds for the shorthanded Bulls, who were without Joakim Noah for the third straight game.  The Bulls also lost Derrick Rose to an ACL injury in Game One.

>>Celtics, Sixers Advance To Second Round

(Undated)  --  The Boston Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers secured spots in the second round of the NBA playoffs with Game Six wins Thursday night.  The Celtics closed out their series with the Atlanta Hawks with an 83-80 win in Boston.  The Celtics and Sixers will square off in the Eastern Conference semifinals.  Meanwhile, the Nuggets forced a Game Seven with a 113-96 thumping of the Los Angeles Lakers in Denver.  The Lakers will host the decisive affair of the West quarterfinal series on Saturday.

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Source: Former Illini Head Signs With SMU

Former Illinois reserve Crandall Head has signed to play with SMU.

An SMU official familiar with Head's decision said he signed his paperwork Thursday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because Head's decision hasn't been announced by the school.

The 6-4, 190-pound Head will have to sit out a year under NCAA rules. He has two more years of eligibility.

Head follows former Illinois assistant coach Jerrance Howard to SMU. New head coach Larry Brown hired Howard last month.

Head left the Illinois team in December after getting only limited playing time. He averaged 1 point over nine games last season before leaving.

The Matteson, Ill., native is the younger brother of former Illinois standout Luther Head.

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Lady Maroons End Regular Season On High Note

The Clinton Lady Maroons ended their regular season with 9 - 5 win over Normal U-High.  The LAdy Maroons pounded out 16 hits with every Lady MAroon having at least one hit.  Emily Kroeger was 3 for 5 with a tripke and double.Bailey Walker was 2 for 3 with 2 doubles, Haley Ginger was 2 for 5 with a double, and Jessie Shride, Hanna Long, and Reagan Pinkerton added two hits each.

Bailey Walker picked up the Win for the Lady Maroons.

The Lady Maroons begin post season play on Wednesday May 16th at 4:30 when they take on Tri-Valley in Clinton.

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Clinton City Council Reappoints City Officials

The Clinton City Council reappointed a number of City Officials at their regular monthly meeting.

Steve Myers was reappointed to the position of City Attorney.

To the position of City Clerk, Cheryl Van Valey was reappointed.

City Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter was reappointed.

Tom Edmunds was reappointed to the position of Budget Officer. Edmunds is also the Commissioner of Accounts and Finances for the City of Clinton.

Public Works Director Steve Lobb was reappointed to that position.

Tim Followell was reappointed to the position of Public Health Officer and Sexton of the Cemetery. Followell also serves as the City's Administrator.

Shawn Milton was reappointed to the position of Clinton Fire Chief.

Reappointed to the position of Assistant Fire Chief were Raymond James and Jeff Woodbury.

Each appointment is for a one-year term.

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Audit: Big Problems In Illinois Tuition Plan

A new audit finds major problems in the College Illinois tuition savings program, including possible financial conflicts among top personnel.

Auditor General William Holland reported Wednesday that the former executive director of College Illinois did not disclose conflicts of interest. And another official made a $500,000 investment with an investment manager that was applying to handle the program's money.

The report says College Illinois also ignored or changed its criteria for deciding how to invest money that participants put into the program. Meanwhile, costs nearly tripled in just five years.

The prepaid-tuition program has stopped accepting new customers. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission says new leadership has already begun making changes and adding new safeguards.

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State Will Resume Denying Tax Exemptions To Hospitals

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn announced March 1 that the state would resume denying property tax exemptions to hospitals that behave more like businesses than charities. His action meant hospitals could lose millions of dollars each year.

But two months later, the state has taken no action on 17 pending tax exemption applications. That's despite calls from advocates to make hospitals live up to their missions and provide more free care for the poor.

The silence is raising concerns that the decisions are getting embroiled in wider negotiations in Springfield between the state and hospitals and that Quinn may be feeling pressure from the influential hospital industry. The industry is traditionally a top contributor to political campaigns.

The governor's office denies a hold-up, saying the decisions are complicated and take time.

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Illinois Firefighters To Be Honored Today

Two dozen Illinois firefighters who were killed on the job or have done outstanding work will be honored Thursday.

The annual Illinois Fallen Firefighter and Medal of Honor Ceremony will begin at 9 a.m. at the firefighter memorial on the southwest lawn of the state Capitol. An official awards ceremony will follow at the Prairie Capital Convention Center at 10 a.m.

Three firefighters who died in the line of duty and 21 others who have demonstrated exemplary work and commitment to public service will be honored.

The Office of the State Fire Marshal established the memorial and medal of honor awards ceremony 19 years ago to pay tribute to and recognize men and women in a dangerous profession protecting the public.

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State Rep Candidate Charged With Domestic Battery

A candidate for state representative is being charged with misdemeanor domestic battery.  Natalie Manley, who's looking to represent Illinois' 98th House district, was taken into custody yesterday after her daughter claimed she attacked her.  The daughter told police Manley kicked her, punched her in the face, and tried to hit her with a set of keys.  The daughter says she left the home after the fight and had a friend take her to the police station, where police saw she had facial bruises.  Manley was arrested but denies she had a physical altercation with her daughter.  She ran unopposed in the March 20th primary to represent the state's 98th House district, which includes portions of Bolingbrook, Romeoville, Plainfield and Crest Hill.  Party officials say Manley is innocent until proven guilty and at this point, they have no plans to replace her on the November ballot.

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Social Worker Challenges Congressman Kinzinger

An Ottawa social worker is looking to square off against GOP Congressman Adam Kinzinger in November.  Democratic Party leaders have chosen an Ottawa social worker to run for Congress against Republican incumbent Adam Kinzinger.

[audio:rddRohl1.mp3] [/audio]

Wanda Rohl says she's ready to make Kinzinger defend his record.  

[audio:rddRohl3.mp3] [/audio]

Rohl is going into the race with no money against Kinzinger who spent more than one million dollars in his primary against Don Manzullo.  Rohl needs to collect and file at least 600 signatures by early next month.  She also has just six months to make a winning impression on enough voters.

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Bill Requiring Legislative Approval Before Closure of State Facilities

THE ILLINOIS SENATE SAID NO TO LEGISLATION WEDNESDAY LIMITING THE GOVERNOR’S ABILITY TO SHUT DOWN STATE FACILITIES.

CURRENTLY…A LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE REVIEWS ANY PLANNED CLOSURES AND MAKES RECOMMENDATIONS…BUT THE DECISION IS NOT BINDING. THIS PROPOSAL REQUIRES LAWMAKER'S APPROVAL BEFORE ANY STATE FACILITIES COULD BE SHUT DOWN AND COMES IN LIGHT OF GOVERNOR PAT QUINN’S CLOSING OF SOME STATE PRISONS AND DEVELOPMENTAL CENTERS TO SAVE MONEY. SENATOR KIRK DILLARD DISAGREED WITH THE MEASURE…SAYING SUCH RESTRICTIONS SHOULDN’T BE PUT ON A GOVERNOR.

[audio:closewrap.mp3] [/audio]

THE MEASURE FELL ONE VOTE SHORT OF PASSAGE.

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Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Decatur

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says the tree-killing emerald ash borer has been detected in the city of Decatur.

Members of the local forestry staff discovered the insect in a tree on the east end of the city. The insect and a tree sample were sent to the Agriculture Department for testing, which confirmed the infestation.

The small, metallic-green beetle native to Asia has since 2002 decimated ash trees in this nation.

Agriculture authorities say the ash borer's larvae feed on the inner bark of trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. But the insect doesn't pose any direct risk to public health.

According to officials, there are about 22 counties in Illinois that have confirmed infestations of emerald ash borer.

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Gas Prices Lower Than Normal

Natural gas prices are lower than ever.  Bernie Anderson says it's the lowest he's seen in the 32 years he's worked for Nicor Gas.  He says the mild winter created a low demand for all of the product.  Prices are only 22-cents per therm right now, which means major savings for customers.  Anderson says now might be a good time to sign a long term contract for your natural gas supplier.  But he says customers should check out all their options and don't do it in a hurry.

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No Shot Clock For High School Basketball

Illinois high schools will not be incorporating a shot clock in its basketball programs.  Monmouth-Roseville Coach Chuck Grant says he's a bit disappointed by the news but understands why some teams wouldn't want it.

[audio:rddShotClock1.mp3] [/audio]

The shot clock has been used in college games for many years, but according to a survey conducted by The National Federation of State High School Associations, Illinois coaches and organizations didn't show a strong desire to use the clock.

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ISU Considers Tuition Hike

Students heading to Illinois State University this fall could be paying more than current students.  The university's Board of Trustees wants to up tuition by four-point-four percent.  In-state students would pay 335 dollars per credit hour, while out-of-state students would pay five hundred-78.  They're also looking at boosting residence hall rates by three percent.  University officials say the increase is needed to keep up with the economy.  They'll talk about the proposals in a meeting this Friday.

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Spring Planting Update

Last week's rains were a welcome relief for central Illinois farmers.  Spring planting is in full swing across the area, and most producers welcomed the break.  Jared White has more...

[audio:5712SpringPlantingUpdateWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Monticello Retaining All Teaching Positions For 2012-13

The Monticello School districts staffing situation for next year looks very positive.

Superintendent of Monticello Schools Dr. Vic Zimmerman says like most schools, the Monticello district has a number of retiring teachers leaving vacancies needing filled, and the district will be able to fill all those positions rather than combine sections. He adds many times vacancies will come up later in the school year or even over the summer that will need filled. All in all, the outlook for their staff next year looks positive.

[audio:5812monticellostaff1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman explains as their budgets have allowed, the district has tried to maintain smaller than state average class sizes. This starts at the very elementary levels to the middle school classes.

[audio:5812monticellostaff2.mp3] [/audio]

Those smaller class sizes have certainly translated into better test scores for the district.

In 2011, the Monticello schools met the Adequate Yearly Progress, or AYP. The AYP is based off of standards set by the No Child Left Behind Act. Dr. Zimmerman says there are 18 different categories considered for AYP. He notes in the past the school has focused on reading at the elementary level. He says their goal has become a 100% reading rate by the time students graduate from 3rd grade.

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Caps Force Game Seven With Rangers

The Washington Capitals forced a Game Seven in their East semifinal series with the New York Rangers Wednesday night.  The Caps skated to a 2-1 win over the Blueshirts in Game Six in Washington.  All 13 of Washington's playoff games have been decided by one goal.  The decisive Game Seven will be in New York on Saturday.  The winner of Saturday's game will meet the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference finals.

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The Players Championship Tees Off

Rory McIlroy [[ MAC-il-roy ]], Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and more of golf's best players will convene in Florida this morning for The Players Championship.  Among those teeing it up at TPC Sawgrass will be K.J. Choi, who won The Players last year.  He parred the first playoff hole to beat David Toms and earn the title, his eighth and most notable PGA Tour victory.  With the victory, Choi became the first Korean and first Asian-born winner in the 38-year history of the event.  The field also includes Toms and Rickie Fowler, who is fresh off his first PGA Tour win.  Fowler defeated world number-one McIlroy and D.A. Points in a playoff Sunday to earn the Wells Fargo Championship title.  A total of 52 players from 19 countries outside of the United States are in the field.

However, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson are not competing this week.  Watson announced earlier this month that he was withdrawing to spend more time with his family, while Johnson pulled out due to a lingering back injury.  In addition, Fred Couples, a two-time winner of The Players Championship, has also withdrawn because of an illness.

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Bears agree to terms with Sixth Round Pick

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a 4-year contract with sixth-round draft pick Isaiah Frey.

The team announced the agreement on Wednesday.

A cornerback from Nevada, Frey had 141 tackles and seven interceptions over four seasons. He was first-team all-WAC as a senior after leading the Wolf Pack with five interceptions to go along with 37 tackles.

He is the fourth Bears draft pick to sign, joining receiver Alshon Jeffery (second round), tight end Evan Rodriguez (fourth round) and kickoff returner/cornerback Greg McCoy (seventh round).

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Bulls In Philly In Game Six Tonight; Heat Move On

>>Bulls In Philly For Game Six

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  The Chicago Bulls will once again look to extend their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game Six this evening at the Wells Fargo Center.  The Bulls beat the Sixers, 77-69, in Game Five on Tuesday evening, but still trail three-games-to-two in the best-of-seven set.  If necessary, the series would shift back to the United Center for a decisive Game Seven on Saturday.

>>Heat Knock Out Knicks; Grizzlies Stay Alive

(Undated)  --  The Miami Heat advanced to the second round of the NBA playoffs Wednesday night.  The Heat wrapped up their seven-game quarterfinal series with the New York Knicks with a 106-94 win in Game Five in Miami.  The second-seeded Heat will face the third-seeded Indiana Pacers in the Eastern Conference semifinals.  Meanwhile, the Memphis Grizzlies avoided elimination with a 92-80 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game Five of their West quarterfinal series.  The Clippers will try to close the set out again when they host Game Six on Friday.

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Cubs, Cards, Sox Win; Chris Sale To MRI On Elbow

>>Cards Sweep Snakes

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Matt Carpenter's two-run double in the sixth inning was the difference as the Cardinals cruised to a 7-2 win over the Diamondbacks.  St. Louis piled on four runs in the top of the ninth with a two-run double by Matt Holliday and a two-run homer by Allen Craig.  Kyle Lohse tossed five frames of one-run ball to improve to 5-and-1 on the season.  Jason Motte got the final three outs to nail down his sixth save for the Cards, who swept the three-game set at Chase Field and have won four straight overall.  Wade Miley and Aaron Hill each plated a run for Arizona in a losing effort.  On the mound, Miley gave up three runs on 10 hits through five-and-two-third innings of duty to absorb the loss for the D'backs, who have lost five in-a-row.

>>Maholm Sharp Again As Cubs Blank Braves

(Chicago, IL)  --  Paul Maholm combined with two relievers on a four-hitter as the Cubs shut out the Braves, 1-0.  Maholm scattered three hits and three walks over seven innings to improve to 4-and-2.  James Russell and Rafael Dolis finished up, with Dolis notching his third save.  Bryan LaHair singled in the game's only run in the seventh as Chicago took two-of-three at Wrigley Field.  Tim Hudson pitched seven innings of one-run ball to take the tough-luck loss for Atlanta.

>>White Sox Topple Tribe

(Cleveland, OH)  --  Adam Dunn mashed a two-run homer to back seven stellar innings from Jake Peavy as the White Sox crushed the Indians, 8-1.  Peavy fanned five and allowed just one run on seven hits to improve to 4-and-1 on the season.  Alejandro De Aza's two-run single highlighted a six-run fourth frame for Chicago, which has won back-to-back games on the heels of a three-game slide.  Jason Donald's RBI groundout in the seventh accounted for Cleveland's lone run of the game.  Jeanmar Gomez gave up all eight runs through six-and-two-third frames to suffer the loss for the Indians in the finale of the four-game set.

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 2, Milwaukee Brewers 1
Colorado Rockies 6, San Diego Padres 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Washington Nationals 2
New York Mets 10, Philadelphia Phillies 6
Miami Marlins 5, Houston Astros 3 (12th inn)
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, San Francisco Giants 2

MLB AL
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Texas Rangers at Baltimore Orioles (PPD)
Toronto Blue Jays 5, Oakland Athletics 2
Tampa Bay Rays 4, New York Yankees 1
Kansas City Royals 4, Boston Red Sox 3
LA Angels of Anaheim 6, Minnesota Twins 2
Seattle Mariners 2, Detroit Tigers 1

>>Sale To Have MRI On Left Elbow

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper says Chris Sale will have an MRI on his left elbow.  The MRI will reportedly be done today.  Sale had compiled a 3-and-1 record with a 2.81 ERA as a starter before the team shifted him to the bullpen due to elbow tenderness.  In his first stint in the 'pen on Tuesday, he gave up an unearned run and blew the save, but the ChiSox ended up winning the game 5-3 in extra innings.

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Sages Fall At Tolono; Host Clinton This Afternoon

Austin Fender outpitched Jacob Williams at Tolono as the Unity Rockets beat the Monticello Sages 6-4 Wednesday afternoon in an Okaw Valley Conference matchup. Austin Fender went the distance striking out eleven, giving up four runs on five hits.

Nick Stokowski and Ross Reeder each recorded a double and a pair of RBIs for the Sages.

Jacob Williams pitched six innings giving up six runs on four hits and struck out 11.

The Sages are 16-10 on the season and 5-5 in Okaw Valley play.

The Sages play host to the Clinton Maroons this afternoon. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Clinton Polie Report for 5-10

 

ON 5/9/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CALEB B. MAHONEY 22, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL, OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL WITH A B.A.C. GREATER THAN .08. MAHONEY WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 5/9/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JASON L. REMPE 30, CLINTON FOR HOME INVASION AND AGGRAVATED BATTERY. REMPE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

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Letter Carriers Collecting Food For Local Pantries

The largest food drive around the country takes place this Saturday.

Letter carriers around the area, state and country will be collecting canned goods this Saturday as a part of the National Association of Letter Carriers Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. Butch Larson is leading the charge locally, he explains this is the 20th year for the food drive that provides a boost to the local pantries.

[audio:51112mailfood1.mp3] [/audio]

The volunteers helping this Saturday will help assist mail carriers in collecting the donations. Larson says donating is as easy as placing your donation in a bag or box out near your mailbox or on your doorstep.

[audio:51112mailfood2.mp3] [/audio]

Last year, local carriers were able to collect over two-tons of food. Larson says with the number of people relying on food banks increasing over the past few years, the donations they have received have been decreasing.

[audio:51112mailfood3.mp3] [/audio]

Last year across the country, 70.2-million pounds of food was donated.

Anyone interested in lending a hand to the mail carriers this weekend can show up their local post office around 8:30 Saturday morning.

All the food donated goes to local food pantries.

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Clinton Defeats Monticello To Wrap Up Regular Season Play

As heard on WEZC and WHOW the Clinton Maroons defeated the Monticello Sages by a score of 4-1 at Monticello High School.  Zach Pate went 1-1 at the plate with a double and scored two runs. Josh Merrick went 1-1 with an RBI double. Merrick also picked up the win on the mound going seven innings, giving up one run on five hits, walking two and striking out nine. Nick Stokowski got the loss for the Sages, pitching four innings, giving up two runs on two hits while walking seven and striking out six. Jacob Williams had the lone run batted in with a double, going 1-1.

The Maroons finish the regular season with a record of 17-12 and 6-5 in the Okaw.

The Sages dropped to 16-11 and 5-6 in conference play.

The Maroons next WHOW broadcast will be May 17th against Olympia.

The Sages next WEZC broadcast will be May 16th against either Warrensburg-Lathem or Maroa-Forsyth.

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Bill Spares Lawmaker From Paying Disputed Taxes

The Illinois House has passed a bill that spares a lawmaker from paying taxes owed on an office lease

In a 60-54 vote, the House spared Democratic Rep. Monique Davis from paying leaseholder taxes on her district office.

Chicago Board of Education officials say Davis' office lease ended in 2002 and she stopped paying rent. Davis says she requested a new lease several times, but didn't get a response.

Davis was sued in 2009 by the school system in a bid to collect seven years of back rent and uncollected leasehold taxes and penalties totaling $444,500.

The measure passed Tuesday by the House would bar taxation on any property owned by a state or local government leased to another state or local government.

The Senate must vote on the legislation.

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Illinois Names 37 Districts To Receive School Grants

The Illinois State Board of Education is announcing 37 school districts will share in nearly $43 million in federal "Race to the Top" school improvement grants.

The money will go toward improving achievement in science, technology, engineering and math education and building better connections to post-secondary education and training.

Among reforms is that districts will use more comprehensive principal and teacher evaluations that tie student growth to educators' reviews.

All districts must have such evaluations by 2016.

Illinois got third-round "Race to the Top" funding after it was a finalist in the first two. The State Board of Education keeps half the grant to implement statewide reforms and shares the rest based on a formula that measures school-district poverty levels.

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Mark Kirk Details Stroke Recovery On YouTube

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk is walking again.  

[audio:chimarkkirk1.mp3] [/audio]

Kirk thanks everyone for being patient has he recovers from a stroke.

[audio:chimarkkirk2.mp3] [/audio]

In video posted on YouTube yesterday, Kirk detailed his recovery from a stroke he suffered in January.  The Illinois Republican thanked the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago for helping in his recovery.  He was released from the rehab center last week.  Kirk says he's hoping to be back in Washington DC soon and thanked everyone for showing him patience.

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Study: Breast Cancer More Aggressive In Men

Only one-percent of all breast cancer cases occur in men but according to a recent study, it?s much more aggressive when males get the disease.  Dr. Robert Mocharnuk [[ Mo-char-nik ]] with the Simmons Cancer Institute in Springfield says the disease is often diagnosed at later stages in men.

[audio:rddMenBreast2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Mocharnuk adds some men are at higher risk for developing the disease.

[audio:rddBreast2.mp3] [/audio]

Mocharnuk says they study suggests maybe there should be more preventative measures put in place for men with high risk for breast cancer.  That includes incorporating mammograms and routine breast exams in yearly check-ups.

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Identity Thieves Targeting Children

Identity thieves are targeting children more frequently these days but Steve Bernas [[Ber-nis]], with the Better Business Bureau in Chicago, says there are things parents can do to protect their child.  

[audio:rddChildIT.mp3] [/audio]

Bernas says that's unfortunate because it could have a big impact on the children as adults.

[audio:rddChildIT2.mp3] [/audio]

Bernas says parents should monitor their child's online use and set strict privacy settings on social networking sites.  He also says parents should know what school employees have access to their child's social security number.  Records show more than 19-thousand cases of identity theft were reported by people under the age of 19 last year.

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Illinois Universities Get $2.8-Million For Nuclear Study

Three Illinois universities are getting $2.8 million in federal research grants, scholarships and fellowships to train future leaders in the nuclear industry.

The U.S. Department of Energy announced Tuesday that the money would go to the Illinois Institute of Technology, Northwestern University and the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign.

Secretary Steven Chu says the investment will encourage innovations that will create jobs and export opportunities.

Most of the money - $1.6 million - goes to Northwestern for research on fuel cycle technologies.

The University of Illinois will get about $876,000 to develop reactor designs and technologies. Another $5,000 will fund an undergraduate scholarship for one student at the university for a degree in the nuclear field.

The Illinois Institute of Technology gets $300,000 to buy equipment for its research reactor.

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Illinois GOP Names 4 Finalists To Replace Congressman Tim Johnson

Some voters in the 13th Congressional District will get the chance to meet the four people being considered to replace Congressman Tim Johnson on the November ballot.

After the Illinois primary, Johnson announced he's dropping his re-election campaign. That left the Illinois Republican Party chairmen to pick a replacement.

The chairmen met with eight people seeking the nomination on Saturday and narrowed the field. The finalists are: Johnson's former chief of staff, Jerry Clarke; Congressman John Shimkus' aide, Rodney Davis; attorney and former Miss America Erika Harold; and Macoupin County business owner Kathy Wassink.

Madison County GOP Chairman Andrew Carruthers says those four will be at a forum Wednesday at the Edwardsville Gun Club.

The 14 county chairmen are scheduled to pick a candidate on May 19.

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Heyworth Student Wins GROWMARK Scholarship

A local student and a local FFA Chapter are receiving a financial boost courtesy of GROWMARK.

Emily Bloemer (Bloomer), of Bloomington, has been named the Illinois state winner of the 2012 GROWMARK essay contest for FFA members. The theme of this year’s contest was “Cooperatives in a Global Environment.”

Bloemer is a student at Heyworth High School and a member of the Heyworth FFA chapter.. Her FFA advisor is Jestun Nutter.  As the contest winner, Bloemer will receive a $500 scholarship from GROWMARK at the Illinois State FFA Convention, held in Springfield during June. The Heyworth FFA chapter will also receive a $300 award in honor of her accomplishment to help future students.

In her contest entry, Bloemer said: “Cooperatives are also improving and affecting our daily lives. From electricity to water to the base foundations of the food pyramid, these stupendous types of businesses have kept communities around the globe running smoothly and efficiently over the past 100 years. Co-ops also improve communities because, simply put, they are the community.”

Four state runners-up will each receive a $125 scholarship. Kaitlin Magsamen of the Monticello FFA chapter was one of the runners-up.

This is the nineteenth year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their writing skills, learn about current issues in agriculture, and understand the unique role of cooperatives.

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Time Is Now For Farmers To Begin Scouting

With corn planting quickly wrapping up across Illinois, now is the time for farmers to be scouting.  Jared White has more....

[audio:5712StandStrengthWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton Board of Education Approves Bids For Summer Work

The Clinton Board of Education approved bids last night for their summer maintenance projects as well as bids for the renovations of the high school's commons area.

Superintendent of the Clinton School District, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the Board of Education received four bids for the renovation to the commons area at the high school, and they approved the low base bid. The bid is going to include restrooms, the library, and painting in the gym.

[audio:5912schoolboard1.mp3] [/audio]

The Board of Education also received four alternate bids. The first is an addition to the high school auditorium, which the Board plans to build an area off the stage for storage. Dr. Holmes explains the second alternative bid involves the new roof the high school gym will be getting.

[audio:5912schoolboard2.mp3] [/audio]

The Board of Education also approved a bid for driers in the restrooms and a  bid for air conditioning in the gym for over $275-thousand.

The Board of Education discussed the old junior high school property at 401 North Center Street. A decision could be acted on at their next regular monthly meeting.

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Devils Advance To Eastern Conference Finals

The New Jersey Devils have advanced to the Eastern Conference finals in the Stanley Cup playoffs.  The Devils closed out their semifinal series with the Flyers with a 3-1 win in Philadelphia Tuesday night.  After dropping the opener of the best-of-seven series, New Jersey reeled off four straight wins to advance to the conference finals for the first time since 2003.  The Devils will face either the New York Rangers or the Washington Capitals in the finals.  The Rangers hold a 3-2 lead in the series, which resumes with Game Six in Washington Wednesday night.

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Chevy Corvette To Pace Indy 500 For Record 11th Time

A Chevrolet Corvette will pace the Indianapolis 500 for a record-extending 11th time.  Officials at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway made the announcement on Tuesday.  The car to pace the "Greatest Spectacle in Racing" is a 2013 Corvette ZR1.  According to General Motors, it is the most powerful production car to serve as the pace car.  The first Corvette to pace the Indy 500's field was in 1978.

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Bears, Rams Rookie News

>> Bears Sign 4th, 7th Round Draft Selections

The Chicago Bears agreed to 4-year contracts with fourth-round draft pick Evan Rodriguez and seventh-rounder Greg McCoy on Tuesday.

A tight end from Temple, Rodriguez had 69 receptions for 871 yards and seven touchdowns in his college career. He caught 35 passes for 479 yards and two touchdowns as a senior.

McCoy, a cornerback and kickoff returner from TCU, had 92 tackles, seven interceptions and 17 pass breakups in his college career.

>>Rams Get Set For Rookie Minicamp

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Rams head coach Jeff Fisher will get his first on-field look at first-year players when the team's rookie minicamp begins this week.  The team has signed 23 rookie free agents, but key draft picks Michael Brockers, Brian Quick and Janoris Jenkins are among those taking part.

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Sox, Cards Win; Cubs Lose Late

>>White Sox Edge Tribe In 10 Innings

(Cleveland, OH)  --  Despite allowing three runs in the eighth to allow Cleveland to tie, the White Sox earned a 5-3 victory over the Indians in 10 innings.  Alex Rios tripled in a run and Alexei Ramirez added an RBI ground out in the 10th to help Chicago snap a three-game slide.  A.J. Pierzynski had two RBI.  Hector Santiago picked up the win and Addison Reed earned his second save.  Carlos Santana had a two-run single to tie the game in the eighth for the Tribe, who lost for just the second time in eight games.  Chris Perez suffered the loss out of Cleveland's bullpen.

MLB AL
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Texas Rangers 10, Baltimore Orioles 3
New York Yankees 5, Tampa Bay Rays 3
Kansas City Royals 6, Boston Red Sox 4
Minnesota Twins 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 0
Oakland Athletics 7, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Detroit Tigers 6, Seattle Mariners 4

>>Westbrook, Beltran Lead Cards Over D'Backs

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Carlos Beltran blasted a two-run homer in the first and added a grand slam in the second to back seven scoreless innings from Jake Westbrook as the Cardinals cruised to a 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks.  Westbrook fanned eight and gave up just four hits and two walks to improve to 4-and-2 on the season.  The Cards have won three in-a-row.  Miguel Montero's RBI double in the bottom of the ninth inning accounted for Arizona's lone run of the game.  Ian Kennedy struck out six through seven innings, but gave up all six runs on six hits to suffer the loss.  The Snakes have dropped six of their last seven games.

>>Braves Clip Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Dan Uggla's two-run single in the top of the eighth frame proved to be the difference as the Braves clipped the Cubs, 3-1.  Tyler Pastornicky added a sac-fly in the fifth for Atlanta, which has won four of its last five games.  Kris Medlen was credited with the win and Craig Kimbrel worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 10th save.  Alfonso Soriano's RBI double in the sixth accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Ryan Dempster struck out seven through seven innings of one-run ball in a no-decision.  Kerry Wood was charged with the loss for the Cubs, who had won their last two games.

MLB NL
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Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Washington Nationals 4
New York Mets 7, Philadelphia Phillies 4
Houston Astros 3, Miami Marlins 2
Milwaukee Brewers 8, Cincinnati Reds 3
San Diego Padres 3, Colorado Rockies 1
San Francisco Giants 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

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Bulls Avoid Elimination

>>Bulls Down Sixers To Extend Series

(Chicago, IL)  --  Luol Deng had 24 points as the Bulls avoided elimination with a 77-69 win over the 76ers in Game Five of their quarterfinal series.  Carlos Boozer collected 19 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Chicago, which still trails 3-2 in the seven-game series.  The top-seeded Bulls held the Sixers to just 32.1-percent shooting.  Joakim Noah did not play for Chicago.  Jrue Holiday ended with 16 points for Philadelphia, which will host Game Six Thursday night.

>>Three Teams Avoid Elimination In NBA Playoffs

(Undated)  --  Three teams avoided elimination with Game Five wins in the NBA playoffs Tuesday night.  In Atlanta, the Hawks kept hope alive with an 87-86 win over the Boston Celtics.  The top-seeded Bulls dropped the Philadelphia 76ers, 77-69, in Chicago.  While in Los Angeles, the Denver Nuggets escaped with a 102-99 victory over the Lakers.  All three teams on the brink are now down 3-2 in their respective seven-game quarterfinal series, all three of which will resume on Thursday.  Meanwhile, the Orlando Magic were not so fortunate.  The Indiana Pacers ousted the Magic with a 105-87 win in Game Five of their East series.

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Bombers Explode On Maroons

The Argenta-Oreana Bombers offense produced twelve runs to back five stellar innings from Senior Michael Cummins Tuesday afternoon at Clinton High School as the Bombers dropped the Maroons 12-0. Cummins helped his own cause with three hits, coming a home run short of the cycle. Freshman Keegan McHood added a 3-run triple and Logan sparks clubbed a solo home run in the first inning.

Cummins allowed just three hits, walked two and struck out three for the win.

Marshall Sprague picked up two of the three hits off Cummins. Sprague also was the losing pitcher for the Maroons going three innings, giving up nine runs on eight hits with five walks and four strike outs. He falls to 4-4 on the season.

The Bombers improve to 20-6 on the season and 7-2 in the Okaw Valley. Clinton drops to 16-12 and 5-5 in conference action.

The Maroons next ball game will be at Monticello Thursday. You can hear that ball game live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW, 95.9 FM WEZC, and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com.

Monticello is 16-9.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For 5-9

May 9, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 6

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:25 a.m. on Monday, May 7, revealed that a vehicle driven by Bruce Kohl, 44, Cerro Gordo, was eastbound on County Highway 15 (Ospur Road) when his vehicle went onto the right shoulder. In an attempt maintain control, and return to the roadway, the action was over-corrected, causing it to drive off the roadway on the left (north) side. The vehicle continued in the north ditch and came to a stop, stuck partially on a culvert. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.

 

 

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

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Police Department's Take Back Initiative Turns Over 400-Pounds of Drugs To DEA

The final weekend of April the Clinton Police Department hosted their annual "Take Back Initiative" at the Police Department.

The initiative is in coordination with the Drug Enforcement Administration's "P2D2" program. Last week, Clinton Police turned over 400 pounds of unused drugs to the DEA. Officer Ben Lowers explains the total is a combination of drugs collected April 28 along with drugs they had collected from those turned in from the lobby of the Police Department.

[audio:51012policeupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

As reported earlier this week, the Police Department also conducted an alcohol compliance check with 20 of the establishments in Clinton with liquor licenses. Officer Lowers explains they strive for 100% compliance, and he commends those businesses who refused sales to the covert underaged buyers. The establishments that sold to minors were Sophie's, Pizza Hut, and 3 Star Restaurant.

[audio:51012policeupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

Those who were not compliant in the "stings" will have to attend a hearing before Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters. Mayor Peters says she is disappointed there was not 100% compliance. She feels it is unacceptable for establishments in the area to be serving minors with alcohol.

[audio:51012policeupdate3.mp3] [/audio]

It is interesting to point out, these compliance checks were done around prom time for schools around the area.

The students the Clinton Police Department used were from out of the area.

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Dem Concedes In Central Illinois Race

A former University of Illinois football star has officially conceded in his race for the Democratic nomination in a central Illinois legislative race.

Winston Taylor announced his decision Monday. He lost to Decatur schoolteacher Sue Scherer (SHEER'-er) by 69 votes.

Taylor sought a discovery recount in Macon and Christian counties but did not further challenge the results of the March 20 primary.

The former state Environmental Protection Agency administrator fought an uphill battle. Scherer got nearly $90,000 from campaign funds controlled by House Speaker Michael Madigan.

Taylor took 42.6% of the vote to Scherer's 43.7%. Springfield Alderman Sam Cahnman (CAN'-man) finished a distant third.

Taylor says he will contact both Scherer and Republican nominee Dennis Schackelford before deciding whether to endorse 1 of them in the November election.

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Quinn Links Budget Cuts To Job Growth

The Quinn administration is making the argument that cutting health care and pension costs could help businesses grow in Illinois.

The head of the state's economic development agency has two events scheduled for Tuesday where he'll promote the governor's proposals. The administration says inaction on these growing budget problems will mean more uncertainty for Illinois businesses.

David Vaught of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is to appear in Cahokia and Quincy.

The Democratic governor spoke to a business group last week and asked for support on cutting Medicaid services and reducing pension benefits for government employees.

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Student Gets Perfect Score On Math SAT

A sixth grade Illinois student could feasibly be called a math genius.  Joshua Yoon, from Buffalo Grove, scored a perfect 800 on the math portion of the SAT.  Many teenaged students who are actually about to head off to college don't ace the math portion of the college entrance exam.  But, this Twin Groves Middle School student says he just studied math books to prepare for the test.  He and several other students were selected to take the exam after scoring ahead of the curve on a school assessment test.   Yoon says he was confident while taking the test but didn't expect a perfect score.  Math is his favorite subject but the 12-year-old also likes playing the piano and sports.

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Aaron Tippin To Hunt In Illinois

Country music superstar Aaron Tippin is going to hunt turkeys in Illinois this week.  Fred Cory, with the Mississippi Valley Council of the Boys Scouts of America, says Tippin is an avid outdoorsman.  

[audio:rddTippin1.mp3] [/audio]

Tippin will be speaking at an annual Boy Scouts fundraiser and according to Event Coordinator Fred Cory, he may participate in a few outdoor activities.

[audio:rddTippin2.mp3] [/audio]

Tippin is making a special stop in Nebo, Illinois as the featured speaker at the Oakley-Lindsay Foundation Sporting Clays for Scouting on Wednesday.  He's expected to perform one song at the semi-private boy scouts event.  It's the 13th year for the fundraising event.  They've had NASCAR champions, pro-bowl NFL players, and Olympic medalists attend the event in the past.

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Juvenile Arson rising Across State

Illinois arson teams investigated more than 350 arson fires last year.  Jessica Blackford, with the State's Fire Marshall's Office, says 43 of those were started by children.

[audio:rddArson1.mp3] [/audio]

State fire officials are urging parents to talk to their kids about the dangers of candles, matches, lighters, and other fire devices.

[audio:rddArson2.mp3] [/audio]

The state is urging parents to use matches, lighters, candles, and other fire starting tools cautiously.  They also want parents to teach teens to respect these devices and show them how to handle them in a safe way.   More than a billion dollars in damages were reported across the nation last year, thanks to fires started by youth.  Three thousand injuries are linked to those fires.

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Student Loses Foot In Train Accident

A University of Illinois student is in stable condition after losing her foot in a train accident.  Police say the student hopped on a parked train with a friend around five this morning, hoping to spray graffiti.  But the pair wasn't expecting the train to take off.  When it did, they jumped from the train but the student's foot got caught underneath.  It was completely severed in the incident.  She underwent surgery and is in stable condition.

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Weekly Crop Report

WET CONDITIONS SLOWED PLANTING LAST WEEK…BUT FARMERS ARE STILL WAY AHEAD OF SCHEDULE AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS 64 PERCENT OF CORN HAS EMERGED WITH AN AVERAGE HEIGHT OF THREE INCHES.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

SCHWAB ADDS 21 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE NOW PLANTED WITH SEVEN PERCENT EMERGED.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

AS FOR OTHER CROPS, 41 PERCENT OF SORGHUM AND 99 PERCENT OF OATS ARE NOW PLANTED. STATEWIDE AVERAGE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS RATED AT 26 PERCENT SURPLUS, 68 PERCENT ADEQUATE AND SIX PERCENT SHORT.

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Woman Busted For Hosting Post Prom Party

A Heyworth woman is in trouble with the law for hosting an after prom-party over the weekend.  Police say Kathryn Morgan posted news of the party on Facebook.  Dozens of students from Peoria's Notre Dame High School showed up for the shindig.  When police busted the party early Sunday, they found teenagers holding containers of alcohol.  Tests reveal at least 27 had consumed alcohol while another 14 chose not to be tested.  Morgan was arrested but released on a 150-dollar bond.  Authorities say official charges are coming down the pike.

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Local Economy Showing Signs of Turn Around

Perhaps the economy is picking back up.

Unemployment in Illinois dropped once again in March and in DeWitt County, unemployment hovers right around 8%. Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council, Ruth Stauffer says they keep track of employment figures and in 2011, we saw steady growth and she feels 2012 is well its way to that same trend.

[audio:5712localeconomy1.mp3] [/audio]

Over the year a number of businesses have opened up in DeWitt County and Stauffer says that is a great sign of economic turnaround. She says no matter the economy, there is always going to be gains and losses.

[audio:5712localeconomy2.mp3] [/audio]

This winter saw record setting sales tax figures in Clinton. Many Clinton officials feels the mild winter had a lot to do with that. Other projected factors include rising gas prices and the fore-mentioned new businesses in the area.

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Local Health Department Being Held Back By State's Fiscal Issues

The State's financial crisis has taken a toll on one local organization.

The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department has been very effected by the financial woes of the state. Administrator of the Health Department, Dave Remmert calls the state's financial picture "horrible" and says it is taking a major toll on their ability to operate.

[audio:5712badhealth1.mp3] [/audio]

Remmert explains each health department in the state is required to provide four basic services. The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department receives a grant that covers 30% of the cost associated with those services, and the state fills in the rest. Remmert says they may not see the other 70% for nine or ten months.

[audio:5712badhealth2.mp3] [/audio]

As the leader of the Health Department, Remmert would like to find ways to continue meeting the needs of the communities they serve, however, he says when all that is on the mind is trying to make ends meet, it is makes that task exceptionally difficult.

[audio:5712badhealth3.mp3] [/audio]

The Health Department not only has been cutting back on staff, but their salaries have in fact been slashed. Remmert even questions the grants they have received in the past if those will be able to be paid in full moving forward.

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Clinton Water Department Continues Seeking Ways To Save Money

Part of the Clinton Water Department's increase in water rates was due to the rising cost of chemicals.

The Water Department believes they may have found a remedy to offset some of those rising costs. Commissioner of Public Property for the City of Clinton, John Wise explains they have sodium hydro-chloride, which goes into the water, in bulk.

[audio:5812clintonwater1.mp3] [/audio]

Wise explains this could hold a lot of savings for the water department at a time when chemical costs continue to rise and the department is seeking ways to save money to offset some of that cost.

[audio:5812clintonwater2.mp3] [/audio]

Wise worked with City Treasurer Clint Lichtenwalter to find the chemical. Wise says buying the chemical in bulk is a lot of where the cost savings comes in.

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Mickelson Inducted Into Golf Hall of Fame

Four-time major champion Phil Mickelson was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday.  When the vote took place late last year, Mickelson earned 72 percent of the ballot, marking the highest percentage for any player since Greg Norman received 80 percent of the vote in 2001.  The 41-year-old Mickelson has 48 career professional wins.  His 40 wins on the PGA Tour ranks ninth all-time.  Mickelson was joined in the 2012 class by Sandy Lyle, Peter Allis, Hollis Stacy and Dan Jenkins.

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Coyotes Advance To West Finals

The Phoenix Coyotes have advanced to the Western Conference finals for the first time in franchise history.  The Coyotes closed out their semifinal series with the Nashville Predators with a 2-1 victory in Game Five Monday night.  Phoenix will clash with the Los Angeles Kings in the conference finals.  Meanwhile, Marc Staal scored 1:35 into overtime to give the New York Rangers a stunning 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals in Game Five of their semifinal series.  Staal's goal came after New York's Brad Richards scored with 6.6 seconds left to tie the game.  The Rangers have a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Swept In Double-Header

>>Cubs Blast Braves

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart smacked back-to-back solo homers in the fourth frame to back seven stellar innings from Jeff Samardzija as the Cubs cruised to a 5-1 win over the Braves.  Samardzija struck out seven and allowed just one run on five hits to improve to 4-and-1 on the season.  Geovany Soto added a two-run shot and Starlin Castro also knocked in a run for Chicago, which has won three of its last four games.  Jason Heyward's solo dinger in the second inning accounted for Atlanta's lone run of the game.  Tommy Hanson gave up a pair of runs through five frames to absorb the loss.  The Braves had won their last three games.

>>Cardinals Fly Past Diamondbacks

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Carlos Beltran and Matt Holiday cracked back-to-back home runs in the third inning to lead the Cardinals to a 9-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.  Allen Craig and David Freese also hit back-to-back shots in the seventh inning to thwart Arizona's' comeback attempt.  A 7-0 Cards lead had been trimmed to 7-6.  St. Louis won its second straight game as Lance Lynn picked up his major league-leading sixth win.  Jason Motte locked up his sixth save.  Joe Saunders streak of five straight quality starts came to an end when he gave up seven runs and nine hits in three-and-a-third innings.  Cody Ransom knocked his fourth home run of the season, which ties a career-high, in the loss.

MLB NL
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New York Mets 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Miami Marlins 4, Houston Astros 0
Cincinnati Reds 6, Milwaukee Brewers 1
San Diego Padres 3, Colorado Rockies 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 9, San Francisco Giants 1

>>Indians Sweep Doubleheader With ChiSox

(Cleveland, OH)  --  Michael Brantley and Casey Kotchman drove in three runs each to lead the Indians to an 8-6 win over the White Sox in the first game of a day-night doubleheader.  Brantley and Kotchman each had a two-run double in a five-run third inning that staked Cleveland to an 8-2 lead.  Zach McAllister allowed four runs, but just two earned, in six innings for his first big league win.  Nick Hagadone got the final three outs for his first career save.  Phillip Humber [[ UMM-ber ]] was rocked for all eight runs in less than three frames to take the loss.  Alexei Ramirez had three RBI for Chicago.

Shelley Duncan's RBI double in the bottom of the eighth frame proved to be the difference as the Indians edged the White Sox, 3-2, in the nightcap of a doubleheader.  Michael Brantley and Jason Kipnis each knocked in a run for Cleveland, which has won three games in-a-row.  Joe Smith tossed just two-thirds of an inning to register the win and Tony Sipp closed it out to nail down his first save.  Brent Morel and Alex Rios each plated a run for Chicago.  Matt Thornton was charged with the loss for the White Sox, who have dropped six of their last seven games.  In the opener, Brantley and Casey Kotchman drove in three runs each to lead the Indians to an 8-6 win over the White Sox.

MLB AL
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Texas Rangers 14, Baltimore Orioles 3
Boston Red Sox 11, Kansas City Royals 5
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8, Minnesota Twins 3
Seattle Mariners 3, Detroit Tigers 2

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Bulls Face Elimination Tonight

>>Win Or Go Home For Bulls Tonight

(Chicago, IL)  --  It's win or go home for the Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls host the Philadelphia 76ers tonight in Game Five of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series at the United Center.  The Bulls fell into a 3-1 hole in the best-of-seven set with an 89-82 loss to the Sixers in Sunday's Game Four.  Philadelphia has won three straight since Bulls star Derrick Rose went down for the rest of the season with a torn ACL late in Game One.  If Chicago wins tonight, the series would shift back to the Wells Fargo Center in Philly for Game Six on Thursday.

>>Bulls' Noah Doubtful For Elimination Game

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah is listed as doubtful for Game Five of the team's opening-round series with the Philadelphia 76ers.  Noah sprained his left ankle in Game Three of the best-of-seven set and did not play in Sunday's Game Four.  The Sixers hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the series.  Philadelphia has reeled off three straight wins since Bulls star Derrick Rose went down with an ACL injury in Game One.

>>Spurs Bounce Jazz To Reach Semifinals

(Undated)  --  The San Antonio Spurs secured a spot in the Western Conference semifinals in the NBA playoffs Monday night.  The top-seeded Spurs completed a four-game sweep of the Utah Jazz with an 87-81 victory.  Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Clippers notched a 101-97 overtime win over the Memphis Grizzlies.  The Clippers now hold a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.  Either the Clippers or the Grizzlies will face the Spurs in the semifinals.

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ISU Hires Vandy Assistant

Illinois State has hired longtime Vanderbilt assistant Dan Muller, a former Illinois State player, to be its next men's basketball coach.

The school announced that it will hold a news conference on Tuesday to introduce Muller as the program's 19th coach.

Muller played at Illinois State under current Vanderbilt coach Kevin Stalling from 1995-98 and has been part of his staff in Nashville, Tenn., since 2000.

Muller replaced Tim Jankovich, who left last month after five seasons to join Larry Brown's staff at SMU.

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Clinton Police Report for 5-8

ON 5/7/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED ADAM E. VINSON 21, CLINTON FOR 2 COUNTS OF CONTRIBUTING TO THE DELINQUINCY OF A MINOR AND NATHAN MOORE 20, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR AND A 17 YEAR OLD JUVENILE FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. VINSON AND MOORE WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS. THE 17 YEAR OLD JUVENILE WAS TAKEN TO CPD AND RELEASED TO THEIR PARENT PENDING FORMAL CHARGES.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Bus, Truck Collision Totals Truck; No Injuries

A local softball team had a routine trip home interrupted Monday afternoon.

At approximately 3:38 P.M., a bus transporting students from a Bloomington school, returning home from a canceled softball game made a stop at the railroad tracks on Route 51 North in Clinton. The bus was rear-ended by a truck and the truck was totalled.

No injuries were reported.

There were 20 refusals for medical treatment from those on the bus. Those 18 years old and under were required to be taken to the Dr. John Warner Hospital for medical treatment. The bus driver was retained at the hospital for precautionary reasons. A pregnant woman on the bus was taken to OSF in Bloomington for precautionary treatment as well.

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Show Bus Growth In DeWitt County Leads To More Expansion Consideration

A local service within DeWitt County has experienced so much success, they are considering expansion.

Show Bus is a service in DeWitt County that started focusing on Senior citizens and has since taken off to a service anyone can take advantage of. Show Bus is a service that transports anyone within the county to anywhere in the county. There are also out of county rides that can be arranged. Laura Dick is the Director of Show Bus, she says the growth has been consistent since they started in 2009.

[audio:5912showbus1.mp3] [/audio]

Dick feels the current economy could be playing a large role in the increased need and demand for their service. With increasing travel costs, she believes people are realizing there are better ways of getting around.

[audio:5912showbus2.mp3] [/audio]

Dick explains they would like to expand hours within DeWitt County. To do that, they will need to take advantage of grants. Currently Show Bus is primarily funded through a majority grant awards, private donations, and service contracts as well.

[audio:5912showbus3.mp3] [/audio]

To receive a ride from Show Bus, all you have to do is dial 800-525-2454. Show Bus requests 24-hour notice, they will pick you up anywhere and bring you into Clinton. Rates vary depending on trip details. Persons over 60 years old are not required to pay.

To get details about Show Bus, inquire about rates, or schedule a ride, call Show Bus at 800-525-2454.

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Illinois Lottery Glitch Led To Duplicated Tickets

A glitch affecting Illinois Lottery machines last weekend led to thousands of duplicate quick-pick tickets.

3,000 tickets were affected out of more than 6 million sold between last Saturday and Tuesday.

Lottery spokesman Mike Lang says the glitch occurred while new software was being uploaded to the machines. The lottery learned of the problem Tuesday and it has been resolved.

Lang says some machines weren't clearing numbers out of their memories from the previous ticket issued. So, old numbers were making their way onto the next ticket.

Customers can get reimbursed with new quick-pick tickets.

While some were left feeling like they got one losing ticket for the price of 2, others were twice as lucky.

There were 340 duplicate prizes that won.

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47-Thousand Pounds Collected In Drug Take Back

The Drug Enforcement Administration's recent effort to collect unused prescription drugs has netted nearly 47,000 pounds in part of the Midwest.

The DEA's St. Louis office said Friday that the six states covered by the office saw 46,686 pounds of medication collected on April 28, National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Nationwide, more than a half-million pounds of unwanted or expired medications were turned in for disposal.

The St. Louis DEA says it collected 21,232 pounds of drugs in Missouri, 8,753 pounds in Kansas, 5,422 pounds in Nebraska, 5,365 pounds in Iowa, 1,490 pounds in South Dakota and 4,424 pounds in southern Illinois. Another DEA office is responsible for the rest of Illinois.

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Governor's Tax Bill Up $33-Hundred As Rates Climb

Gov. Pat Quinn's Illinois tax bill jumped more than $3,300 in the first year of the state's higher income tax rate.

Quinn released returns Friday showing he paid $7,750 in Illinois income taxes for 2011. That's when the tax rate rose from 3% to 5%. A year earlier, the Chicago Democrat paid just under $4,400.

The returns also show Quinn gave less to charity - about $11,600 compared to $17,400 in the previous year.

His federal taxes fell slightly, to $38,095.

Quinn made more than $157,000 in salary as governor and also withdrew $42,500 from a pension plan.

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Illinois Fire Officials Aim To Reduce Arson By Youth

Fire officials in Illinois will hold a week of events to educate children and teens about the dangers of mishandling matches, candles and other flammable objects.

Part of a nationwide program, the effort is aimed at reducing incidents of arson involving youths. Such fires are blamed for around 300 deaths and more than $1 billion in property loss each year across the country.

State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says parents, teachers and neighbors need to play an active role in reducing the number of arson fires by watching for warning signs among children and teens.

In Illinois, juveniles were associated with 43 arson fires statewide last year.

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Couple In Illinois Ponzi Scheme Caught In Arizona

The U.S. Marshals Service says an Illinois couple who fled a conviction for running a Ponzi scheme has been captured in a small town west of Phoenix after a dozen years on the run.

The arrests of 65-year-old Nelson Grant Hallahan and his 54-year-old wife, Janet, came Saturday after they were featured on "America's Most Wanted" the previous night. A tip led deputy marshals to the couple in the community of Tonopah (TOHN'-uh-paw).

They pleaded guilty in Illinois federal court to bank and mail fraud conspiracy charges and money laundering but didn't show up for sentencing in early 2000.

The Hallahans lived in Peoria, Ill., and targeted family, friends, and elderly victims by promising significant returns on investments.

They used the millions they netted to live a lavish lifestyle.

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Republicans Support Combining Illinois Offices

A PROPOSAL TO COMBINE THE STATE OFFICES OF TREASURER AND COMPTROLLER IS MEETING SOME RESISTANCE DUE TO CONCERNS ABOUT CHECKS AND BALANCES.

REPUBLICANS IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE ARE CALLING FOR A VOTE ON THE PLAN…WHICH THEY SAY WILL SAVE THE STATE AROUND 12 MILLION DOLLARS A YEAR SAYS REPRESENTATIVE JIL TRACY OF QUINCY.

[audio:combine1.mp3] [/audio]

REPRESENTATIVE DAVE WINTERS OF ROCKFORD SAYS IT MAKES GOOD SENSE TO MERGE THE TWO OFFICES THAT HANDLE THE STATE’S FINANCES…AND PROVIDE MUCH NEEDED SAVINGS.

[audio:combine2.mp3] [/audio]

BUT CRITICS WORRY ABOUT ALL THE STATE’S FINANCES BEING HANDLED BY JUST ONE OFFICE. THEY POINT TO THE RECENT SCANDAL IN DIXON…WHERE THE TOWN’S SINGLE FISCAL PERSON IS ACCUSED OF EMBEZZLING 53 MILLION DOLLARS.

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Social Security Moves Closer To Paperless Payments

Last year Social Security began phasing out issuing paper checks to recipients and began going towards electronic payments.

While the process did not happen all at once, time is starting to run short for those who may still be receiving paper checks to switch to an electronic form of payment. Jack Meyers, Public Affairs Specialist with Social Security explains the process began last year, as new Social Security recipients were automatically enrolled into the electronic payment process.

[audio:54112epayment1.mp3] [/audio]

As of March 1 of 2013, current Social Security recipients will have to make the switch. Meyers recommends making the switch sooner rather than waiting until the last minute. He feels there are many benefits to receiving the payments electronically.

[audio:5412epayment2.mp3] [/audio]

For anyone that may have financial difficulties and cannot open a bank account for direct deposit, Meyers says the debit card they issue is a good alternative. He says it can be used anywhere Master Card is accepted.

[audio:5412epayment3.mp3] [/audio]

To get signed up for the electronic payments, you can visit www.usdirectexpress.com or you can call 1-877-212-9990.

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Local Lawmaker Fighting For Seniors In Springfield

Illinois Representative Bill Mitchell paid a visit to the DeWitt County Friendship Center Friday morning and discussed the budget, seniors programs, and cuts.

The budget proposal has Illinois completely cutting the Illinois Cares Rx program. Mitchell calls this "an outrage" and feels it is not acceptable to cut this program but to continue to allow illegal immigrants to receive state money.

[audio:5712mitchellpresser1.mp3] [/audio]

Mitchell spent Friday raising awareness as to the ins-and-outs of the proposed budget from the Democratic majority in the Illinois House. According to Mitchell, he is raising awareness that it is cheaper to have a senior living independently with dignity rather than in a nursing home.

[audio:5712mitchellpresser2.mp3] [/audio]

Mitchell says Democrats are calling for Republicans who oppose their ideas to propose something different. Mitchell has a few ideas for a counter proposal.

[audio:5712mitchellpresser3.mp3] [/audio]

Mitchell does not believe this issue is not a Republican/Democrat issue. Mitchell points out a recent study by the Auditor General shows approximately 3-thousand families who do not live in the state of Illinois receive welfare checks. He calls it 'absurd' nothing will get done about that but seniors will continue to be the target of cuts in Springfield.

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Ambulance Advisory Committee Ready For Task At Hand

The Ambulance Advisory Committee's Chairperson is ready for the challenge of deciding on an ambulance service for the County.

Teresa Barnett is the Committee's Chairperson and she understands the challenge and task at hand and feels very equipped to handle the responsibility. Barnett will lead nine other committee members, and she feels assigning duties and organizing themselves is their first task.

[audio:5712ambulancecommittee1.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett feels the group of ten committee members is going to be a good group to work with. She feels each individual has their strengths and areas they excel in which, she says will make this committee the right fit to make a big decision like this.

[audio:5712ambulancecommittee2.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley laid out some goals for this committee to try to meet. Barnett feels they are appropriate given the time sensitive nature of the task at hand. While there is not a lot of time to form an ambulance service, Barnett feels the pressure or stress is not going to be too much for the committee to handle.

[audio:5712ambulancecommittee3.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett says the committee is going to be thoughtful and thorough towards the task at hand. She has full faith in each of the members of the committee to make the right decision and do their due diligence for the residents of DeWitt County.

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Fowler Gets First PGA Tour Win In Wells Fargo Playoff

Rickie Fowler birdied the first playoff hole Sunday to earn his first PGA Tour win at the Wells Fargo Championship.  Fowler got into the clubhouse first at 14-under-par 274 thanks to a final-round, three-under 69.  D.A. Points and Rory McIlroy [[ MAC-il-roy ]] also finished at minus-14 to join Fowler in a playoff at Quail Hollow.  Points and McIlroy both parred the hole, while Fowler drained his four-foot birdie attempt to take the title.  All was not lost for McIlroy, who will again supplant Luke Donald as the top-ranked player in the world when the new rankings come out on Monday.

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Keselowski Wins At Talladega

Brad Keselowski put Dodge into victory lane at Talladega Superspeedway for the first time in 36 years after winning Sunday's Aaron's 499 in thrilling fashion.  Keselowski, the driver of the number-2 Dodge for Penske Racing, got pushing help from Kyle Busch on the second-to-last lap.  Keselowski crossed the finish line 0.3-seconds ahead of Busch for his second win of the season and the sixth of his Sprint Cup Series career.  It was also the second victory for Keselowski at Talladega.  The last time a Dodge driver won at Talladega occurred in August 1976, with Dave Marcis taking the checkered flag.  Kenseth, who won the Daytona 500 in February, finished third after leading a race-high 73 laps.  Kasey Kahne [[ Kane ]] and Greg Biffle, the current points leader, rounded out the top-five.

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Kings Sweep Blues; Advance To Western Conference Finals

The Los Angeles Kings have advanced to the Western Conference finals for just the second time in franchise history.  Dustin Brown scored twice to back 23 saves from Jonathan Quick as the Kings clipped the Blues, 3-1, in Game Four at the Staples Center.  Jordan Nolan also lit the lamp for Los Angeles, which swept the best-of-seven semifinal series, four-games-to-none.  Kevin Shattenkirk's first frame tally accounted for St. Louis' lone goal of the game.  Brian Elliott allowed two scores on 18 shots for the Blues in a losing effort.  The 'Note beat the San Jose Sharks in the Western Conference quarterfinals.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------

New Jersey Devils 4, Philadelphia Flyers 2
(Devils lead best-of-seven Eastern semifinal, 3-1)

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Fall

>>Cubs Dump Dodgers On Walk-Off Walk

(Chicago, IL)  --  David DeJesus drew a bases-loaded walk in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Cubs a 4-3 win over the Dodgers.  Tony Campana clubbed a game-tying RBI double in the bottom of the ninth for the Cubs, who took two-of-three from the Dodgers at the Friendly Confines.  Rafael Dolis worked two scoreless innings to register the win.  Juan Rivera smacked a two-run homer for Los Angeles, which was without Matt Kemp due to left hamstring tightness.  Jamey Wright was saddled with the loss.

>>Cards Crush Astros

(Houston, TX)  --  Tyler Greene clubbed two home runs and plated four runs to back seven stellar innings from Adam Wainwright as the Cardinals crushed the Astros, 8-1.  Wainwright struck out seven and allowed just one run on seven hits to improve to 2-and-3 on the season.  Allen Craig added a two-run dinger for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game slide.  The Cards kick off a three-game series in Arizona against Diamondbacks this evening.  Lance Lynn will toe the rubber opposite Joe Saunders in the opener.

MLB NL
------
New York Mets 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Cincinnati Reds 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 0  
Atlanta Braves 7, Colorado Rockies 2
Miami Marlins 6, San Diego Padres 3
San Francisco Giants 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3 (11 inn)
Philadelphia Phillies 9, Washington Nationals 3

>>Tigers Top ChiSox

(Detroit, MI)  --  Prince Fielder, Austin Jackson and Andy Dirks each smacked solo shots as the Tigers downed the White Sox, 3-1.  All three players finished with two hits, while starter Rick Porcello allowed just one run on four hits with five strikeouts over six-and-a-third innings of work to register the win.  Jose Valverde worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to record his fifth save of the season as the Tigers took two of three from Chicago at Comerica Park.  Adam Dunn's home run in the first frame accounted for Chicago's lone run in defeat.  Dylan Axelrod surrendered two runs on six hits over four-and-a-third innings to take the loss, Chicago's fourth in five tries.

MLB AL
------
Cleveland Indians 4, Texas Rangers 2
Baltimore Orioles 9, Boston Red Sox 6 (17 inn)
Oakland Athletics 9, Tampa Bay Rays 5
New York Yankees 10, Kansas City Royals 4
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Seattle Mariners 5, Minnesota Twins 2

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76ers Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead Over Bulls

The Philadelphia 76ers have the NBA's number-one overall seed on the brink of elimination.  Spencer Hawes netted 22 points and Jrue Holiday scored six of his 20 points on back-to-back three's late in the fourth quarter as the Sixers beat the Bulls, 89-82, in Game Four to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven first-round Eastern Conference series.  Philadelphia has won three straight since Bulls star Derrick Rose went down for the rest of the season with a torn ACL late in Game One.  Chicago was also without center Joakim Noah, who sprained his left ankle in Game Three.  Carlos Boozer scored 23 points for the Bulls, who host Game Five on Tuesday at the United Center.

NBA Playoffs
------
New York Knicks 89, Miami Heat 87
(Heat lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 3-1)

Boston Celtics 101, Atlanta Hawks 79
(Celtics lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 3-1)

Los Angeles Lakers 92, Denver Nuggets 88
(Lakers lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 3-1)

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Illini Add Coastal Carolina Big Man

Coastal Carolina forward Sam McLaurin will transfer to Illinois after his graduation this month.

In a news release Friday, Illinois says the 6-8, 230-pound McLaurin will enroll as a graduate student and has one season of eligibility left. Under NCAA rules, he'll be able to play next season.

McLaurin started 31 games for the Chanticleers last season. He averaged 10 points and 7.5 rebounds a game.

First-year Illini coach John Groce (grohs) says McLaurin should help Illinois' front-court depth. The early departure of 7-1 center Meyers Leonard to the NBA draft left the Illini short on experienced big men.

Illinois has now signed graduate transfers in two straight seasons to address weak spots on its roster. Guard Sam Maniscalco joined the Illini last season after graduating from Bradley.

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Clinton Police Report for 5-7

 

CITATIONS

5/4/12

KERRI L. NIHISER 30, CLINTON ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL. BOND POSTED

NICK SHEPHERD 43, CLINTON OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE. BOND POSTED

WILLIAM R. MARTIN 90, CLINTON SPEEDING 46 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

5/5/12

CORY H. EVANS 22, TAYLOR SPRINGS SPEEDING 78 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

JENNINGS F. WERNER 72, BONITA SPRINGS, FL SPEEDING 75 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

JAMES E. COOP 42, LINCOLN SPEEDING 51 MPH IN A 35 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED.

 

5/6/12

GLENN L. TYUS 18, DECATUR 74 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

ON 5/4/12 THE CLINTON POLICE DEPARTMENT CONDUCTED ALCOHOL COMPLIANCE CHECKS OF 20 PACKAGED AND ON PREMISE LIQUOR ESTABLISHMENTS WITHIN THE CITY OF CLINTON. OF THE 20 ESTABLISHMENTS THERE WERE 3 BUSINESSES THAT SOLD TO MINORS:

 

SOPHIE’S

RODOLFO BARRERA 43, CLINTON

3 STAR RESTAURANT

JESSICA N. HOURAN 27, CLINTON

PIZZA HUT

KATIE J. BALL 19, CLINTON

 

THESE SUBJECTS WERE ISSUED CITY ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS AND THE REPORTS WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE LIQUOR COMMISSIONER.

THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES REFUSED TO SELL :

 

CASEYS, MARATHON, SHELL, MOBIL, WALGREENS, WALMART, IGA, BIG D’S, ELKS, EAGLES, SNAPPERS, WHITNEY’S COVE, BREAKERS, AMERICAN TAP, EL REY’S, SOTO’S AND TED’S GARAGE.

 

THE CLINTON POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO STRIVE FOR 100% COMPLIANCE IN THE FUTURE.

 

ON 5/4/12 CLINTON POLICE ISSUED MISTY Y. LAHEY 31, CLINTON A CITY ORDINANCE VIOLATION FOR DISORDERLY CONDUCT ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE SQUARE.

 

ON 5/4/12 CLINTON POLICE ISSUED DILLON J. MCCULLEY 29, KANKAKK A CITY ORDINACE VIOLATION FOR PUBLIC TIPPLING.

 

ON 5/5/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JAMIE M. THOMAS 32, CLINTON AND ELIA M. LOBANO 31, CLINTON FOR BATTERY. BOTH SUBJECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 5/6/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CODY E. LANDRUS 21, CLINTON FOR DISORDERY CONDUCT. LANDRUS WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

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Clinton Police Department Conducts Alchohol Compliance Checks

FRIDAY, MAY 5, THE CLINTON POLICE DEPARTMENT CONDUCTED ALCOHOL

COMPLIANCE CHECKS OF 20 PACKAGED AND ON PREMISE LIQUOR ESTABLISHMENTS

WITHIN THE CITY OF CLINTON. OF THE 20 ESTABLISHMENTS THERE WERE 3

BUSINESSES THAT SOLD TO MINORS:

FROM SOPHIE’S: RODOLFO BARRERA 43, CLINTON.

FROM 3 STAR RESTAURANT: JESSICA N. HOURAN 27, CLINTON

FROM PIZZA HUT: KATIE J. BALL 19, CLINTON

THESE SUBJECTS WERE ISSUED CITY ORDINANCE VIOLATIONS AND THE REPORTS

WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE LIQUOR COMMISSIONER.

 THE FOLLOWING BUSINESSES REFUSED TO SELL :

CASEYS, MARATHON, SHELL, MOBIL, WALGREENS, WALMART, IGA, BIG D’S, ELKS,

EAGLES, SNAPPERS, WHITNEY’S COVE, BREAKERS, AMERICAN TAP, EL REY’S, SOTO’S

AND TED’S GARAGE.

THE CLINTON POLICE DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO STRIVE FOR 100%

COMPLIANCE IN THE FUTURE.

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Armed Robbery Being Investigated In Clinton

The Clinton Police Department is investigatign a home invasion and armed robbery incident.

The incident happened Sunday night at approximately 10:45 in the 1600 block of East Main Street. A single suspect entered the home, showed a weapon, and fled with undisclosed items in his/her possession.

Residents nearby reported sounds of shots fired or fireworks. It is unconfirmed that the two are related.

An investigation is ongoing at this time. No one was hurt in the incident and no arrests have been made.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

May 5, 2012

 

Jail Population: 65

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

May 6, 2012

 

Jail Population: 70

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

May 7, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Saturday, May 5, revealed that a vehicle driven by Colton Boyd, 21, Heyworth, was traveling east on Prairie Chapel Road near the intersection of Rosebud Road when the vehicle left the roadway and struck the guardrail on the south side of Prairie Chapel Road causing extensive damage to the entire vehicle. The driver and the other two passengers; Caleb Stine, 18, Bloomington and Kristen Lyons, 19, Normal; were all injured. Stine, who was seated behind the driver’s seat, sustained lacerations to his right arm and was transported to Advocate Bromenn Medical Center by ambulance. Lyons, who was seated in the back seat on the passenger side sustained lacerations to her face and was also transported to Advocate Bromenn Medical Center by Ambulance. Boyd was also transported by ambulance to Advocate Bromenn Medical Center. The vehicle was towed from the scene. Boyd was issued citations for Driving Under Influence, Improper Lane Usage and Failure To Wear Seat Belt. Boyd posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Alex McDonal, 31, Springfield, was issued citations for Driving While License Suspended, Improper Lane Usage and Driving Under Influence. McDonal posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Raymond Toohill, 41, Wapella, was issued citations for Failure To Give Information After Striking Unattended Vehicle and Careless Operation Of ATV. Toohill posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Melissa Wachter, 22, Springfield, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Wachter posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Tyler Scott, 17, Mansfield, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Scott posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Lucas Sprague, 22, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (70 mph in a 55 mph zone). Sprague 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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Growth Of Commerical Fishing Brings Opportunity To Illinois River Valley

If life hands you lemons, make lemonade. In this case, it’s not lemons, but fish. Asian carp to be specific. While federal and state agencies continue to coordinate efforts and dollars to abate the invasive species from the river systems, harvesting is a quietly growing and effective part of the plan.

The White House Council on Environmental Quality led by Asian Carp Director John Goss and the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) was held in  January, in Portage, IN, to discuss the proactive efforts of the Obama Administration and the Great Lakes states to prevent Asian carp from establishing a self-sustaining population in the Great Lakes. The committee was created in 2009 by the Obama administration in order to help integrate federal and state involvement in finding solutions to the Asian carp as an invasive ecosystem danger. In February, the committee released the 2012 Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.

Simultaneously, research has been ongoing as to the size and characteristics of the population presently as well as the potential impact harvesting can have on abatement. The potential volume of harvest creates an opportunity to do something besides disposal as the value of the Asian carp is also being evaluated for processing into various products for domestic and export purposes.  According to Dr. James E. Garvey, Director of Fisheries and Illinois Aquaculture Center and Professor, Department of Zoology at Southern Illinois University, for the first time, research has been able to put an actual number on the size of this fish’s population currently in the main channel of the Illinois River.

According to Garvey, 60% of the total biomass (which includes native species) is represented by the Asian carp.  He adds what they are eating isn’t available for the other species that are competing for the same food sources.. 

While fishing ultimately can’t be the only way to control the carp population, consistent hard harvesting is an important part of the solution. Culling the large mature members reduces the fish that reproduce and are also the size of fish that meets the demand for Chinese export. This is an established market as the Chinese highly value the fish for consumption. Developing fisheries to also harvest the smaller members could meet demands domestically for production of meal. Garvey estimates that there are 3.1 million pounds from the Peoria lock and dam to the channel. This does not include backwaters or the Peoria Lake which would more than double that figure. These fish are incredibly resilient to fishing and other controls.  Even though there might be greater than 7 million pounds sitting in the Illinois River at any one time, immigration from the Mississippi River, fast growth, and high reproduction will allow them to replenish that amount AS IT IS REMOVED.  The goal of managers is to get the harvest and other control measures to exceed the ability for the fish to repopulate as they are removed – likely a challenging task.

Southern Illinois University also conducted market research into the viability of a value added product, such as fish cakes and fillets, for domestic consumption. The research study conducted surveys of households, both nationally and regionally, that eat fish on a weekly basis. The majority responded positively to trying the product. It was also noted in the survey that it is very important to consumers today to buy local and that fact influences their buying decisions.

On the harvest and production side of this story, in 2011, Select Logistics Network Inc., of Clinton, Illinois was awarded an Illinois state grant to manage the entire supply chain coordination of a project to deliver Asian carp to Southern Illinois University for analysis. According to Lisa Edwards, owner and CEO of Select, they were delighted to be chosen for this project. It’s great to be part of a market solution to an environmental issue in our home state. She feels it’s been a challenge to meet the requirements as there are few remaining commercial fisheries on the Illinois River, but they have partnered with some great people and the project is in full swing. Networking with Big River Fish, Select is also handling shipments of Asian carp to global markets.

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Lawmakers Debate Combining Comptrollers And Treaurers Office

In an effort to save the state money, legislation has been proposed in both the Illinois House and the Senate to combine the state comptroller and treasurer offices. This would save the state an estimated $12 million a year. State Representative Mike Bost believes the people of Illinois are most likely behind the ammendment as well.

[audio:5112BostHJRCA47b.MP3] [/audio]

The Senate has already unanimously passed the legislation but the House bill remains stuck in committee. House Republicans took to the floor earlier this week to ask that the measure be brought out of committee for debate, but under current House rules, it only takes one member to object to kill the request. That is what happened when Democrat Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie objected.  Rep. Bost says he is shocked there was opposition.

[audio:5112BostHJRCA47a.MP3] [/audio]

Wednesday, House Republicans requested that the Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment be brought out of committee for debate and State Representative Dave Winters challenged his Democrat colleagues to do what is right.

[audio:5212WintersSJRCA13a.MP3] [/audio]

The idea has broad support not only in the Senate but also in the House where 13 Democrat members have signed on as co-sponsors. When a roll-call vote was taken on the House Floor to override the chairman and bring the measure forward, not one of the 13 voted to do so.  

Rep. Bost explains the reason is because House Speaker Michael Madigan is blocking a vote.

[audio:5112BostHJRCA47c.MP3] [/audio]

Lawmakers must approve a constitutional amendment this week for it to appear on the November ballot, so unless the Speaker has a change of heart by the end of the week, the measure won’t go to Illinois voters for their approval.

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Friday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
------
Chicago Cubs 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 4
Cincinnati Reds 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Washington Nationals 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3 (11 inn)
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, New York Mets 4
Houston Astros 5, St. Louis Cardinals 4
Atlanta Braves 9, Colorado Rockies 8 (11 inn)
Miami Marlins 9, San Diego Padres 8 (12 inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 6, San Francisco Giants 4

MLB AL
------
Detroit Tigers 5, Chicago White Sox 4
Cleveland Indians 6, Texas Rangers 3
Baltimore Orioles 6, Boston Red Sox 4 (13 inn)
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Oakland Athletics 2
New York Yankees 6, Kansas City Royals 2
Toronto Blue Jays 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0
Minnesota Twins 3, Seattle Mariners 2

NBA
------
Boston Celtics 90, Atlanta Hawks 84
(Celtics lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 2-1)

Philadelphia 76ers 79, Chicago Bulls 74
(76ers lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 2-1)

Denver Nuggets 99, Los Angeles Lakers 84
(Lakers lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 2-1)

NHL
------
Phoenix Coyotes 1, Nashville Predators 0
(Coyotes lead best-of-seven Western semifinal, 3-1)

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ChiSox Move Sale From Rotation To Closer

White Sox pitcher Chris Sale is moving back to the bullpen.  Chicago manager Robin Ventura has named the 23-year-old lefty the team's new closer.  Sale had complained about soreness in his pitching elbow.  He is expected to rest until the Sox are in Cleveland on Monday.  While in the starting rotation, Sale went 3-and-1 with a 2.81 ERA.  Hector Santiago had been in the ninth inning role, but has since been moved to middle relief.  Dylan Axelrod will start Sunday in place of Sale.

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Cubs Hold Off Dodgers

Alfonso Soriano went 3-for-3 with two RBI to help lead the Cubs to a 5-4 win over the Dodgers.  David DeJesus had a single, double and a triple for Chicago, which built a three-run lead and held on to win the opener of the three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Paul Maholm [[ mah-HAH-lum ]] pitched six innings of one-run ball for his third win and Rafael Dolis hung on in the ninth for his second save.  Chad Billingsley allowed four runs in six frames to fall to 2-and-2 with the loss.  Jerry Hairston Jr. went 3-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI for Los Angeles.  The Dodgers have lost three-of-four.

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Tigers Top White Sox

Jhonny Peralta blasted a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth as the Tigers defeated the White Sox, 5-4.  Alex Avila went 3-for-3 with a solo homer and two runs scored.  Jose Valverde got the win for Detroit, which has won two-of-three.  Matt Thornton suffered the loss out of the bullpen.  Gordon Beckham was 3-for-4 with three RBI, including a two-run home run.  Chicago has lost three straight.

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Astros Clip Redbirds

Jose Altuve went 2-for-5 with a three-run homer and two runs scored as the Astros took down the Cardinals, 5-4.  Carlos Lee and Jed Lowrie were each 2-for-4 with an RBI in the victory.  Lucas Harrell gave up three earned runs over five-and-a-third innings to get the win while Brett Myers locked down his seventh save.  Houston has won four straight.  Matt Holliday tripled in a run for St. Louis, which has lost back-to-back games.  Kyle Lohse [[ low-sh ]] allowed five runs, three earned, over five frames to suffer the defeat.

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76ers Shock Bulls In Game Three

Spencer Hawes scored 21 points and grabbed nine rebounds to help the Philadelphia 76ers down the Chicago Bulls, 79-74 in Game Three of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.  Jrue Holiday added 17 points, six rebounds, and six assists, while Evan Turner chipped in 16 points and nine rebounds.  Philly took a 2-1 lead in the series over the injury depleted Bulls.  Joakim Noah left during the third quarter with a sprained left ankle.  Carlos Boozer posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds in a losing effort.     

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May Is Asthma Awareness Month

IT’S ASTHMA AWARENESS MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS URGING THOSE AFFECTED TO MAKE SURE THEY TAKE STEPS TO MANAGE THEIR CONDITION.

ABOUT 14 PERCENT OF ILLINOISANS SUFFER FROM ASTHMA…AND OVER THE LAST 20 YEARS…ILLINOIS HAS HAD ONE OF THE NATION’S HIGHEST ASTHMA MORTALITY RATES. PUBLIC HEALTH SPOKESPERSON SABRINA MILLER SAYS THAT’S WHY IT’S SO IMPORTANT TO KNOW WHAT AFFECTS YOUR ASTHMA.

[audio:asthma1.mp3] [/audio]

MILLER SAYS THE NUMBER ONE THING YOU CAN DO IF YOU HAVE ASTHMA IS FIND OUT WHAT CAUSES AN ATTACK AND HOW TO REDUCE THE THREAT. COMMON TRIGGERS INCLUDE SMOKE, MOLD, OUTDOOR ALLERGENS AND MORE.

[audio:asthma2.mp3] [/audio]

ABOUT 14 PERCENT OF ILLINOISANS HAVE ASTHMA…WITH AFRICAN AMERICANS AND LATINOS AFFECTED DISPROPORTIONATELY BY THE DISEASE.

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Help For Autism Available With Early Detection

Autism is a developmental disability increasingly being diagnosed in young children. It can be devastating to families, but help is available through early diagnosis and treatment.

It is estimated that one in every 88 newborns in the U.S. may be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, and incidences of the disorder are increasing. Dr. Mary Dobbins, assistant professor of psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says one reason for the increase in autism is that the medical profession is getting better at diagnosing it. She describes the disorder:

[audio:siuautism1.mp3] [/audio]

Dobbins says other characteristics of children with autism include speech and language being delayed or different. They have stereotypical behaviors such as being overly interested in certain things, or they may rock or spin repeatedly. She says children have the best chance for improvement if diagnosed and treated early.

[audio:siuautism2.mp3] [/audio]

Dobbins says parents of young children who have symptoms of autism should make an appointment with their primary care physician or pediatrician for evaluation. If autism is diagnosed, they may be referred to a pediatric specialist or neurologist for treatment.

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Kenney Receives Gift To Beautify City

The Village of Kenney recently received a generous donation aimed to beautify the town.

A recent donation of 50 flowering trees will provide Kenney with a much more colorful spring in 2013. Most trees were iether flowering cherry or flowering pear which will be festooned with pink or white blossoms next spring. The trees will not produce actual fruit.

Trees were about six feet tall and were supplied in three-and-a-half gallon pots. The trees had already bloomed at the nursery this year but were ready for immediate planting.

The trees were purchased from Lowe's Home Improvement Center in Decatur.

The trees were donated by John. F. Regan, a retired lawyer who lives in Decatur. Regan has donated other plants to Kenney in the past, including mums and rose bushes. They can be seen at private homes and public spaces throughout town.

Kenney is six miles west of Clinton.

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Illinois Communities Awarded $1.5-Million In Grants

More than $1.5 million in grants from the Department of Housing and Urban Development will go to local communities in Illinois.

Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin announced the grants from two HUD programs Thursday.

Five Illinois local governments will receive money for economic development. The two largest of the competitive project grants will go to the city of Springfield and the Lakeview Regional Museum in Peoria. Three Chicago projects will also get grants.

The Neighborhood Initiative awarded one grant in Illinois for stimulating investment and community revitalization in distressed neighborhoods. The grant will go to Teen Challenge, a program that helps with drug and alcohol addictions in the state.

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Announced Job Cuts Rise From Year Ago

Announced job cuts in April by employers are higher than last year.  Figures released this morning by Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas indicate planned firings increased eleven-percent to 40-thousand-559 from April 2011.  The report says education is the front-runner in handing out pink slips, with just over nine-thousand layoffs planned in April.  Still, the pace of reductions in education so far this year is down 32-percent compared to the same time last year.  Company CEO John Challenger says, quote, "We do not foresee a sudden upsurge in downsizing activity."  He adds that the monthly totals remain well below levels that would signal a reversal in the recovery.

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Audit Shows Problems With Illinois FOID Card Program

A state audit has found bureaucratic loopholes and incomplete data have weakened the Illinois Firearm Owners Identification card program.

The first-ever audit of the program found that the mentally ill and others could obtain a FOID card to purchase firearms and ammunition. The audit doesn't detail any cases or examples. Auditor General William Holland says public safety "is at risk."

More than 1.3 million Illinois residents have FOID cards. The state started the program in 1968.

The audit found faulty reporting allowed ineligible people to obtain FOID cards and it cited lengthy delays in processing card requests.

Records show more than 20,000 FOID cards were revoked between 2008 and 2010, but auditors found state police recovered only 30% of those FOID cards from cardholders.

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Saturday Is 'Stars Wars Day' At Miller Park Zoo

May the Fourth Be With You.

Today is 'Star Wars Day'. And if you're interested in getting those Cinco De Mayo festivities started a little earlier Saturday, Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington will be hosting an event both kids and adults can get excited for. Superintendent of the zoo, Jay Tetzloff explains Saturday, they are going to be hosting an event to celebrate Star Wars Day.

[audio:5412mayfourth1.mp3] [/audio]

Tetzloff explains one very exciting part of what the group will be doing is having the  storm troopers rescue those who come out. He says they have exhibits they can have youngster trapped in to be rescued from.

[audio:5412mayfourth2.mp3] [/audio]

As Tetzloff works with the group to find animals to incorporate into the theme, he says recollecting through the movies is a lot of fun, and he feels they have come up with a lot of fun ideas to incorporate Star Wars at the zoo.

[audio:5412mayfourth3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information on the event, visit www.millerparkzoo.org.

The event goes from 1-3 pm this Saturday.

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Kenney Rummage Sale Set For Saturday

An annual event in Kenney is set for this Saturday.

 This Saturday is the Kenney Rummage Sale, which is hosted each year at the Kenney Community Center, and the proceeds from the sale go to benefit the Community Center. Gary Stewart with the Kenney Heritage Association explains along with the Rummage Sale at the Community Center, over a dozen families usually hold garage sales during the day as well.

[audio:5412kenneysale1.mp3] [/audio]

Those coming from out of the area or who are not familar with Kenney, there will be maps available of where various garage sales will be held. Bookworms will want to stop by the Community Center because Stewart says the Heritage Association this year has a lot of books.

[audio:5412kenneysale2.mp3] [/audio]

If you don't find what you are looking for, the Kenney Christian Church will be hosting a bake sale and the Heritage Association will be serving meals through the day. Stewart encourages folks to come out and enjoy a meal served by member of the Heritage Association and then to check out the Christian Church's sale.

[audio:5412kenneysale3.mp3] [/audio]

Stewart encourages anyone making there way through Kenney or coming to town Saturday to stop by the Community Center at 101 South Johnston Street and check out the things they are selling and where residents around town are hosting sales as well.

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Kings Double Up Blues, Take 3-0 Lead

Drew Doughty posted a goal and two assists as the Kings defeated the Blues 4-2 in Game Three of their best-of-seven Western Conference semifinals matchup.  Mike Richards added a goal and an assist for Los Angeles, which holds a 3-0 series lead.  Dwight King and Justin Williams also scored for the Kings, who host Game Four on Sunday.  Jonathan Quick made 18 saves for the victors.  Chris Stewart notched both goals for St. Louis.  Brian Elliott turned aside 18 shots in the setback.  Game Four is on Sunday.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
------
New Jersey Devils 4, Philadelphia Flyers 3
(Devils lead best-of-seven Eastern semifinal, 2-1)

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Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chicago Bulls are in the City of Brotherly Love this evening for Game Three of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal matchup against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.  The Bulls suffered a 109-92 setback in Game Two on Tuesday to leave the Windy City with the best-of-seven set tied at one game apiece.  The series stays in Philly for Game Four on Sunday.

NBA Playoffs
------
Miami Heat 87, New York Knicks 70
(Heat lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 3-0)

Oklahoma City Thunder 95, Dallas Mavericks 79
(Thunder lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 3-0)

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Cubs, Cards, Sox Lose; Musial's Wife Passes

>>Reds Rally To Clip Cubs

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  The Reds rallied for three runs in the ninth and Scott Rolen ended the game with a walk-off sac-fly in the 10th en route to a 4-3 win over the Cubs.  Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the ninth, Cincinnati tied the game on an error, a bases-loaded walk and a double-play ball.  Logan Ondrusek got the win in relief as the Reds split the rain-shortened two-game series at Great American Ball Park.  Starlin Castro, Bryan LaHair and Geovany Soto clubbed solo homers for Chicago.  Carlos Marmol was charged with all three runs in the ninth, but Rafael Dolis was saddled with the loss.

>>Bucs Beat Cards To Avoid Sweep

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Pedro Alvarez hit a two-run homer and Clint Barmes also drove in two runs as Pittsburgh avoided a sweep with a 6-3 win over St. Louis.  Jose Tabata added three hits, an RBI and scored twice for the Pirates.  Erik Bedard worked five frames for the win, allowing five hits and two runs with a season-high 11 strikeouts.  Allen Craig drove in two runs and David Freese added a run-scoring double for the Cardinals, who lost for just the second time in their last seven games.  Jake Westbrook gave up four runs on nine hits over six-and-a-third innings to absorb the loss.

>>Indians Dump White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jason Kipnis cracked a three-run homer and an RBI triple to lead the Indians to a 7-5 win over the White Sox.  Asdrubal Cabrera homered and plated a pair to help the Tribe take the rubber match of the three-game set.  Justin Masterson earned his first win after throwing six-and-a-third innings of three-run ball.  Chris Perez got the final two outs for his ninth save.  Adam Dunn belted a two-run homer for Chicago, which has lost seven-of-nine.  John Danks allowed six earned runs in seven innings to fall to 2-and-4.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 4, Atlanta Braves 0
Cincinnati Reds 4, Chicago Cubs 3 (10 inn)
Pittsburgh Pirates 6, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Miami Marlins 3, San Francisco Giants 2
Washington Nationals 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

MLB AL
------
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Seattle Mariners 3
Cleveland Indians 7, Chicago White Sox 5
Kansas City Royals 4, New York Yankees 3
Toronto Blue Jays 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0

>>Stan Musial's Wife Passes

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Lillian Musial, the wife of Cardinals' great Stan Musial, passed away on Thursday.  She was 91 years old and was married to Stan for almost 72 years.  Lillian was one of eight children.

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Maroons Edge Redskins

The Clinton Maroons edged the Sullivan Redksin Thursday afternoon by a score of 3-2. Josh Merrick and Josiah Davidson locked in a pitchers duel for the afternoon, as the Maroons used a 3-run fifth to edge the Redskins in an Okaw Valley Conference matchup.

Josh Merrick went the distance on the hill two runs, one earned on three hits with two walks and 11 strikeouts. Davidson went five innings for Sullivan allowing all three runs on just two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.

Gregg Osgood came through for the Maroons with at go-ahead two-run single in the fifth to put the Maroons up 3-2.

Sullivan drops to 19-8 on the season and 5-3 in the Okaw. The Maroons improve to 16-11 and 5-4 in Okaw play.

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DeWitt County Board Selects Ambulance Advisory Committee Representatives

The DeWitt County Board established the Ambulance Advisory Committee.

The Comittee will be responsible for forming ambulance service in the County as the Dr. John Warner Hospital has announced it will end the service at the end of the year. DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley is pleased with the selections.

[audio:5512comitteeselection1.mp3] [/audio]

Teresa Barnett, DeWitt County's EMA Coordinator has been named the Committee Chairperson. Tilley explains she has asked the committee to keep the Board updated on their progress and has also given them some potential deadline goals to meet.

[audio:5512comitteeselection2.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee is going to be comprised of representatives from the various Fire Departments, DeWitt County EMA, Cencom, two community representatives and a non-voting County Board Representative.

The Fire Department representatives are going to be:

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton will represent Clinton..
From Kenny, Earl Giles.
From Waynesville, Kevin Keim.
From Wapella, Callan Cain.
From Weldon, GailAnn Helton will be the representative.

Representing Cencom will be Tony Harris.

The two community representatives will be Vickie Morrow and Denise Torbert.

The non-voting DeWitt County Board representative will be Terry Ferguson.

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Officers Pay Tribute To Fallen Comrades

Officer Mike Pawlowski, with the Hodgkins Police Department, says he's very humbled by the sacrifice of his fallen colleagues across the state.  

[audio:rddFallPolice1.mp3] [/audio]

Officer Macias [[Ma-cee-us]], with the Berwyn Police Department, says coping can be tough for families of fallen police officers but he encourages them to stay strong and reach out for help when they need it.

[audio:rddFallPolice2.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois pays tribute to its fallen officers and their families in a memorial service every year.  Hundreds of officers from across Illinois showed up for the event on the west lawn of the Capitol yesterday.

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Voters To Decide On New Pension Roadblock

Illinois voters will decide this fall whether to change the state constitution so that it's more difficult to sweeten government pensions.

The proposed amendment would require a three-fifths vote in the state Senate and House before pension benefits could be improved for public employees. Right now, it can be done by a simple majority vote.

The Illinois Senate approved the amendment 51-2 Thursday. Since the House approved it earlier, it now goes on the November ballot.

Growing pension costs are a major concern for the Illinois budget, although increased benefits are only one part of the rising costs.

It's not clear that this amendment would have a major impact at the Capitol. Most past benefit increases were approved by overwhelming majorities.

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USDA Has Money Available For Farmers Markets

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has $10 million available for farmers markets and community-support agriculture programs.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon urged local food producers in Illinois to apply for the grant money to help develop farmers markets and other locally grown food businesses in the state.

The Farmers Market Promotion Program last year awarded four grants in Illinois. That included $81,000 that Southern Illinois University is using to establish the Illinois Farmers Market Association. That group will provide professional development for farmers and markets.

Simon's office says applicants will get priority if their plans would increase healthy food choices in low-income areas.

More information can be found at the federal government grants website, grants.gov.

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Students Allegedly Steal Jersey Off Mannequins

Two University of Illinois students are facing charges for allegedly stealing game jerseys.  Police say Alex Didier and Nicholas Poe were spotted snagging the jerseys off the mannequins inside Memorial Stadium.  They're facing criminal trespass and burglary charges.

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Tornadoes Touch Down In Illinois

The National Weather Service says several tornadoes touched down in Illinois yesterday.  One was in Tilton, where it picked up a large metal garage port and tossed it about 70 yards.  No estimate of the damage was immediately available, but Vermilion County Emergency Management Agency Director Ted Fisher says there might also be hail damage to some vehicles.  Another twister was spotted in Piatt County.  The County's Emergency Management Agency reports a tornado was on the ground for seven minutes, hitting farms fields Monticello and Savoy, and on the west side of Sydney.  Officials say the storms developed quickly yesterday, even before a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch could be issued for the area.

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Budget Dilemma Looms For Illinois Democrats

The Democrats who run Illinois insist they're serious about controlling pension and health costs, even though it would mean opposing their own constituents and political allies in an election year.

That's a tall order in a state infamous for emphasizing politics over policy and budget shortcuts over long-term solutions.

Many states, particularly those led by Republicans, have already taken drastic steps to fix their budgets.

Now Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is proposing $2 billion in cuts to the state Medicaid program, which serves struggling families that provide key votes for some Democrats.

He also wants to raise the retirement age for public employees and take more of their pay for retirement. Labor groups that donate millions of dollars to Illinois Democrats say this is unfair and unconstitutional.

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Illinois Transportation Officials Discuss Spending

Sen. Dick Durbin and transportation officials from around Illinois have laid out their priorities for a long-term national transportation funding bill

At the top of the list is preserving a portion of the federal gasoline tax to be a guaranteed source of money for mass transit. They also want to avoid cuts in federal aid for Amtrak. Both items were threatened in a House version of the bill that failed to pass. Durbin discussed the issue Wednesday during a roundtable meeting at Chicago's Union Station. He was joined by representatives from the Chicago Transit Authority, Amtrak, Metra, Pace, the Illinois Department of Transportation and the Regional Transportation Authority.

Negotiations on the funding bill are to begin Tuesday among a conference committee of House and Senate members that includes Durbin.

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Program For Long Term Jobless To End May 12

Illinois' dropping unemployment rate will trigger the end of a federal program for the long-term jobless in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Wednesday that the Extended Benefit program ends May 12. The program pays 20 weeks of benefits to anyone unemployed beyond 79 weeks.

Department spokesman Greg Rivara says the program started paying benefits in Illinois in 2009 because of high unemployment. Recent decreases that have seen unemployment fall below 9% triggered its end.

Rivara says Illinois is 1 of several states where the program will soon stop paying.

Department Director Jay Rowell encourages anyone without a job to visit the Illinois JobLink website. It has postings for more than 90,000 job openings.

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Surveyed CEOs Find Illinois Business Climate Poor

Illinois gets low marks for its business climate in a survey of 650 corporate chief executives.

Chief Executive magazine released the survey Wednesday. Illinois ranked 48th among U.S. states and received low ratings in particular for taxes and regulations.

Texas was the top-rated state.

Illinois has struggled the past year with a mounting state budget deficit, rising taxes and public campaigns by other states to lure businesses away.

Marcelyn Love is a spokeswoman for the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. She notes that the state added 32,000 jobs last year. Unemployment has dropped for seven straight months.

Peoria-based Caterpillar Inc. has been among the state's critics. But company spokesman Jim Dugan says the state is now taking steps that could move Illinois in a better direction.

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House Bill To End Free Health Insurance Premiums For State Retirees

LAWMAKERS IN THE ILLINOIS HOUSE ARE WORKING ON A BILL THAT WOULD END FREE HEALTH INSURANCE FOR STATE AND UNIVERSITY RETIREES.

THE MEASURE PASSED A HOUSE COMMITTEE…LETTING THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF CENTRAL MANAGEMENT SERVICES DECIDE HOW MUCH, IF ANY THE STATE HAS TO SPEND ON RETIREE INSURANCE. RIGHT NOW…THOSE WHO WORK 20 YEARS OR LONGER DON’T PAY A MONTHLY PREMIUM FOR THEIR HEALTH CARE COVERAGE.

[audio:premium1.mp3] [/audio]

HOUSE MINORITY LEADER TOM CROSS SAYS WITH THE CURRENT BUDGET CRISIS…THEY NEED TO CONSIDER DOING AWAY WITH OR LIMITING THE FREEBIE.

[audio:premium2.mp3] [/audio]

THE MEASURE IS SEEN AS A BARGAINING CHIP IN THE TENSE NEGOTIATIONS OVER GOVERNMENT WORKER AND TEACHER PENSIONS. THE STATE’S PENSION SYSTEMS ARE SERIOUSLY UNDERFUNDED AND MOST EVERYONE AGREES SOME TYPE OF REFORMS ARE NECESSARY.

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Soybeans Could Have Down Year

With many central Illinois producers finishing up corn planting, it won't be long before soybeans start going into the ground.  However, some experts think it may be a difficult year for soybean production.  Jared White has more....

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

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DeLand Weldon Introducing Recognition Program

DeLand Weldon Schools are hoping a program they will be implementing will highlight many of the exception graduates of the district.

"Eagle Soar" is a campaign designed to recognize graduates of the district who have gone on to great things after their days as a DeLand Weldon Eagle. Dr. Gary Brashear, Superintendent of DeLand Weldon Schools, is excited to introduce the program and wants to emphasize the good things of the small district.

[audio:5312eaglesoar1.mp3] [/audio]

The District will be creating a space to allow for the nominees to be recognized on. Dr. Brashear says there are plenty of examples of graduates that have gone on to exceptional things from DeLand Weldon. This past weekend, DeLand Weldon alum, Larry Huisinga was inducted into the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.

[audio:5312eaglesoar2.mp3] [/audio]

DeLand Weldon graduates soon will be able to follow the happenings of the campaign "Eagle Soar", or even make nominations thanks to a Facebook page the district will have.

For more information on the program or to make a nomination, you can contact the DeLand Weldon Unit Office at 217-736-2311.

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Blues In L.A.

The St. Louis Blues are in Los Angeles this evening for Game Three of their Western Conference semifinal series against the Kings at the Staples Center.  The Blues lost Game One last weekend and suffered a 5-2 setback in Monday's Game Two to fall into an 0-2 hole in the best-of-seven set.  Game Four is on Sunday in L.A.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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New York Rangers 2, Washington Capitals 1 (3-OT)
(Rangers lead best-of-seven Eastern semifinal, 2-1)

Nashville Predators 2, Phoenix Coyotes 0
(Coyotes lead best-of-seven Western semifinal, 2-1)

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Bears Sign Second Round Pick to 4-Year Deal

The Chicago Bears have agreed to a 4-year contract with second-round draft pick Alshon Jeffery.

A receiver from South Carolina, the 6-foot-3, 212-pound Jeffery had 3,042 yards for his career, making him 1 of only three Southeast Conference receivers to go over 3,000 yards. He had 1,517 receiving yards as a sophomore in 2010, but just 762 last year.

Jeffery gives Chicago another big receiver to go with the 6-foot-4 Brandon Marshall. The Bears announced the agreement on Wednesday.

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Philadelphia Upset Minded Heading Home

The Philadelphia 76ers are no longer just a mere stepping stone for the Chicago Bulls on their way to tougher battles in the Eastern Conference playoffs.

They're a major hurdle now.

Losing reigning NBA MVP Derrick Rose had an immediate impact on the top-seeded Bulls in this first-round series. After dominating the Sixers in the opener, they were routed 109-92 in Game 2 Tuesday night.

Now the best-of-7 series shifts to Philadelphia on Friday night. The underdog Sixers are confident about their chances.

NBA Playoffs
------
San Antonio Spurs 114, Utah Jazz 83
(Spurs lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 2-0)

Indiana Pacers 97, Orlando Magic 74
(Pacers lead best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal, 2-1)

Memphis Grizzlies 105, Los Angeles Clippers 98
(Best-of-seven Western quarterfinal tied, 1-1)

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Cubs, Cards Win; Peavy Named AL Pitcher Of The Month

>>Samardzija, Cubs Roll Over Reds

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Bryan LaHair and Ian Stewart both blasted solo homers to back seven-and-two-third stellar innings from Jeff Samardzija as the Cubs edged the Reds, 3-1.  Samardzija struck out seven and allowed just one run on three hits to improve to 3-and-1 on the season.  Carlos Marmol worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his second save.  Geovany Soto added an RBI single in the win.  Joey Votto scored on a Jay Bruce double-play ball in the fourth frame to account for Cincinnati's lone run of the game.  Bronson Arroyo gave up all three runs through six innings of duty to absorb the loss for the Reds, who had won their last two games.

>>Cardinals Romp Pirates

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Carlos Beltran went 4-for-5 with two home runs and seven RBI to help the Cardinals crush the Pirates, 12-3.  St. Louis scored all 12 runs in the first three innings as they have taken the first two games of the three-game set and have won five of their last six overall.  Lance Lynn improved to 5-and-0 after tossing six-and-two-thirds innings of two-run ball while striking out six.  Josh Harrison was 2-for-2 with two RBI for Pittsburgh in the loss.  A.J. Burnett was rocked to the tune of 12 runs in two-and-two-thirds innings.  Burnett's ERA jumped from 1.38 to 8.04 in the loss.

MLB NL
------
Houston Astros 8, New York Mets 1
Colorado Rockies 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 5
San Diego Padres 5, Milwaukee Brewers 0
Washington Nationals 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
Atlanta Braves 15, Philadelphia Phillies 13 (11 inn)
Miami Marlins 3, San Francisco Giants 2 (10 inn)

>>Indians Double Up White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Carlos Santana smacked a three-run homer and Travis Hafner hammered a two-run shot as the Indians cruised to a 6-3 win over the White Sox.  Jack Hannahan added an RBI double for the Tribe, who improved to 8-and-3 on the road this season.  Joe Smith worked a scoreless inning in relief of Josh Tomlin to register the win.  Chris Perez closed it out to lock down his eighth save.  Johnny Damon led off and went 0-for-3 with a walk and strikeout in his Cleveland debut.  He left the game in the seventh inning due to muscle cramps.  Adam Dunn clubbed a solo home run and Alexei Ramirez had a two-run single for the Southsiders, who had won their last two games.  Will Ohman was charged with the loss.

MLB AL
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Toronto Blue Jays 11, Texas Rangers 5
Kansas City Royals 3, Detroit Tigers 2
Baltimore Orioles 5, New York Yankees 0
Oakland Athletics 4, Boston Red Sox 2
Tampa Bay Rays 5, Seattle Mariners 4
LA Angels of Anaheim 9, Minnesota Twins 0

>>Peavy Named AL Pitcher Of The Month

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago White Sox right-hander Jake Peavy has been named the American League Pitcher of the Month for April after going 3-and-1 with a 1.67 earned run average in five starts.  The 30-year-old Peavy struck out 33 batters and issued just five walks in 37-and-two-third innings for Chicago.  He threw two complete games, including a shutout, and captured the award for the first time.

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Former Women's U of I Coach Joins Lady Vols

Jolette Law, former head coach at Illinois, has joined the staff of new Tennessee women's coach Holly Warlick.

The 44-year-old Law was head coach at Illinois from 2007 to 2012 following assistant coaching stints at Rutgers and Ball State. She played for the Harlem Globetrotters from 1991 to 1994.

Law completes Warlick's staff, joining Kyra Elzy and veteran assistant Dean Lockwood. Warlick recently succeeded Pat Summitt, now coach emeritus.

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Maroons Pound Tolono-Unity

Marshall Sprague went the distance on the mound Wednesday afternoon as a 10-run fifth inning propelled the Maroons to a 5-inning 13-1 Okaw Valley Conferendce win over the Tolono-Uity Rockets.

Gregg Osgood, Josh Merrick and Zach Pate each recorded a pair of hits, Pate had three RBIs and crossed the plate three times. Merrick and Evan Stevens each plated a pair as well. Nate Ennis, Merrick and Osgood each scored twice.

Sprague threw five innings, giving up one-run on three hits, walking no one and striking out seven to pick up the win for the Maroons.

Clinton is now 15-11 and 4-4 in Okaw play and Tolono is now 15-5 and 5-2 in the conference.

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Clinton Police Report for 5-3

 

ON 5/2/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED KYLE G. BIRK 18, CLINTON ON A DEWITT COUNTY WARRANT. BIRK WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 5-3, 4-26

 

May 3, 2012

 

Jail Population: 65

Summons Served: 6

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Brandon McCarrey, 27, Farmer City, was issued citations for Speeding (70 mph in a 55 mph zone). McCarrey posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.

 

 

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

  

April 26, 2012

 

Jail Population: 69

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Sonja Fehrenbacher, 33, Waynesville, was issued citations for Fictitious Or Unlawfully Altered Driver’s License or Permit and Driving While License Suspended. Fehrenbacher 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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Farmer's Market Kicks Off In Clinton Saturday

The Clinton Area Farmers and Artisan's market kicks off for the season this Saturday.

The market takes place each Saturday on the downtown Clinton Square until October, and this Saturday is their opening weekend. Elizabeth Burns, of the CAFAM, explains because of the crazy winter, she is not really sure what to expect for this first weekend, or moving forward.

[audio:5412cafam1.mp3] [/audio]

There may not be as much variety this first weekend of the market in the area of produce as there will be in the middle of June, but Burns says because they are an artisans market, there will be lots of hand-made crafts and maybe even some baked goods.

[audio:5412cafam2.mp3] [/audio]

Burns feels over the past decade there has been an increased awareness of where our food comes from. She believes the Farmer's Market is a good opportunity to bring communities together.

[audio:5412cafam3.mp3] [/audio]

This Saturday marks the start of this year's Farmer's Markets in Clinton and will be open from 8 am until noon.

To learn about becoming a vendor at the Farmer's Market or to get information about this year's market, you can contact Elizabeth Burns at 217-417-4366.

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Sages Fall In Pitchers Duel

The Monticello Sages and Argenta-Oreana Bombers locked up in a pitchers duel Thursday afternoon. Michael Cummins went the distance on Senior Day at Argenta-Oreana High School. Cummins out-dueled Nick Stokowski. Cummins gave up only one run on three hits with three walks and three strikeouts. His only run given up was a mammoth home run by Ross Reeder. A-O produced just as little as the Sages offensively, but thanks to a three base error in the fifth inning, the Bombers were able to scratch across two runs, which would be all they would need to put the Sages away. The Bombers improve to 18-5 overall and 6-3 in the Okaw Valley Conference. The Sages drop to 16-7 overall and 5-4 in Okaw play. The Bombers next ball game is next week at Decatur St. Teresa, the Sages host St. Joseph-Ogden tomorrow afternoon.

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Illinois Health Centers To Receive $9.5 Million

Illinois health care centers from Cairo (KEHR'-oh) to Chicago are receiving nearly $9.5 million in grants made possible by the national health care overhaul.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (seh-BEEL'-yuhs) announced Tuesday that Illinois health centers have been awarded grants under the Affordable Care Act.

The health centers estimate they can serve more than 17,700 new patients because of the grants.

The grants are part of more than $728 million going to health centers across the United States. The money will go toward expanding facilities, updating equipment and serving more patients.

The Illinois health centers receiving grants include Shawnee Health Service in Carterville, Community Health and Emergency Services in Cairo and Erie Family Health Center in Chicago.

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Lawmakers Vote To Keep Murray Open

A legislative panel votes seven to three to keep Murray Developmental Center off of Governor Quinn's chopping block.  That's good news to State Senator John O. Jones, who says Quinn hasn't provided a solid plan to close the facility.

[audio:rddMurray1.mp3] [/audio]

Jones says today's vote is a step in the right direction, now it's up to lawmakers and families to keep pressure on Quinn to actually heed the panel's advice.  The panel's vote is non-binding, which means Quinn is not obligated to take it into consideration.  He can move forward with the closure plan anyhow, but no governor has ever shut down a facility after the panel has voted against doing so.

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Forby: COGFA Deals Tamms A Victory

Lawmakers are urging Governor Quinn to reconsider his plan to shut down the Tamms Supermax Prison.  A legislative panel voted seven to three in favor of keeping the prison open, a move Senator Gary Forby calls a step toward victory.  

[audio:rddNoTamms1.mp3] [/audio]

Forby says Quinn doesn't have to listen to the recommendation of the legislative panel but the good news is, he doesn't usually go against it.  Forby says closing the facility will essentially destroy the economy in Alexander County, where unemployment is already high.

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Professor Says Obama Could Commute Ryan Sentence

John Marshall Law School Professor Ann Lousin [[ Lou-seen ]] says it may be a good idea for President Obama to commute former Governor George Ryan's prison sentence.  She says Ryan suffers from Type Two Diabetes, which puts him at risk for a heart attack or stroke.

[audio:rddRyanOut1.mp3] [/audio]

Lousin says the question is whether the people want Ryan's family to take care of him, or do they want the federal government to keep footing the bill.  She says if President Obama did commute the sentence, it likely wouldn't happen until after the November election.

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April Cooler Than March

Illinois climate experts say the state had a rare phenomenon this year: April's weather was cooler than March.

State climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says the statewide average temperature in April was 54.1 degree. That's nearly a degree cooler than the record-breaking March average temperature of 55 degrees. Angel says the April average temperature was still 2.4 degrees higher than normal. March's average was 13.8 degrees higher than normal.

Records show that since 1895 there was only one year that had April cooler than March. That was in 1907. Weather experts say April is usually 11 degrees warmer than March.

Statewide average precipitation during April was 3.32 inches, about a half inch below normal.

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Teen Death Remains A Mystery

An autopsy shows inconclusive results after a Dunlap High School student mysteriously died.  Now, officials are depending on toxicology reports to help determine what happened to 16-year-old Joshua Olt.   A friend found him unresponsive in his bedroom on Sunday evening.  Olt was rushed to the hospital where he died about two hours later.  The teen's parents were vacationing in Mexico at the time of the death.  Grief counselors are on hand at Dunlap High School to help students deal with the tragedy.

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Accused Killer To Hire Experts

One of two brothers charged in the Beason slayings will be allowed to hire expert consultants and a private investigator to aid his defense.  Chris Harris appeared in Logan County court yesterday for a case management conference hearing, along with his new attorneys.  A judge granted Harris' request for the expert help.  Harris' defense team must provide prosecutors with copies of all reports prepared by his experts, as well as any other discovery evidence they have, by September 4th.  Chris Harris and his brother, Jason Harris, are accused of using a tire iron to kill Ruth and Rick Gee and three of the couple's children in Beason in 2009. They're also charged with attempted murder for an attack on the Gees' then-three-year-old daughter, who survived.  Both brothers are due back in court for a hearing on July 13th.

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CISFN To Host Sustainable Farming Workshop

Illinois producers interested in learning more about sustainable farming are encouraged to attend an upcoming workshop.  Jared White has more...

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

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Farmer City Passes Balanced Budget

Farmer City will be facing challenges as they head towards Fiscal Year 2013.

The city has passed a balanced budget, however, City Manager Larry Woliung explains they made some cuts in some areas. Those cuts will most likely lead to Farmer City having to put off projects they were not wanting to be put off too much longer.

[audio:5212farmercitybudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Woliung explains it was a collaborative effort to cut back in just about every area of the budget. Some city parks will not receive some upgrades they were hoping for. Some general road work will have to be put off this year and city administrators will be helping in the effort as well.

[audio:5212farmercitybudget2.mp3] [/audio]

For Farmer City, their reserves seem to be in a good spot. Woliung explains they have not had to dip into their reserves to balance the budget, instead, they have periodically chosen to dip into the reserves to complete a special project they may have.

[audio:5212farmercitybudget3.mp3] [/audio]

Woliung explains Farmer City is having to put off updating some of their aging infrastructure. He says they have very old infrastructure that could use some attention.

All in all, Woliung says Farmer City is in decent shape looking at their budget, despite cuts having to be made.

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Blues' Halak Ruled Out For Rest Of Kings Series

The St. Louis Blues will finish their Western Conference semifinal without goalie Jaroslav Halak.  He has been ruled out for the rest of the team's second-round matchup against the Los Angeles Kings with a lower-body injury.  Halak was hurt in a collision with teammate Barret Jackman in Game Two of the Blues' first-round win over San Jose and has not played since.  Brian Elliott will stay in net for the rest of the series, which St. Louis trails 2-0.

NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs
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New Jersey Devils 4, Philadelphia Flyers 1
(Best-of-seven Eastern semifinal tied, 1-1)

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Sixers Slam Bulls Behind Big Third Quarter

Jrue Holiday netted 26 points as the 76ers used a big third quarter to blast the Bulls, 109-92, in Game Two of their East quarterfinal series.  Lou Williams had 20 points off the bench for Philadelphia, which outscored Chicago 36-14 in the third quarter.  The Sixers evened the best-of-seven series at a game apiece with the win.  Joakim Noah finished with 21 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the Bulls in their first playoff game without the injured Derrick Rose.  Carlos Boozer was held to nine points on 4-of-10 shooting in the loss.

NBA Playoffs
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Boston Celtics 87, Atlanta Hawks 80
(Best-of-seven Eastern quarterfinal tied, 1-1)

Los Angeles Lakers 104, Denver Nuggets 100
(Lakers lead best-of-seven Western quarterfinal, 2-0)

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Sox, Cards Win; Cubs Washed Out; LaRussa To Have Number Retired

>>White Sox Trash Tribe

(Chicago, IL)  --  A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham each clubbed solo homers as the White Sox trounced the Indians, 7-2.  Beckham added an RBI single as a part of his 3-for-4 night as Chicago won its second straight following a five-game slide.  Chris Sale allowed one run over six innings to improve to 3-and-1.  Shelley Duncan hit a solo homer and Jason Kipnis doubled in a run for Cleveland, which has lost four of its last six.  Ubaldo Jimenez gave up seven runs, four earned, over four-and-two-thirds innings to suffer the loss for the Tribe.

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

>>Cardinals Outslug Pirates

(St. Louis, MO)  --  David Freese belted a three-run homer as the Cardinals outslugged the Pirates, 10-7.  Rafael Furcal smacked a two-run shot, while Matt Holliday added a solo shot.  Adam Wainwright lasted seven innings to earn his first win.  Jason Motte notched his fourth save.  St. Louis has won four-of-five.  Jose Tabata and Pedro Alvarez each clubbed two-run homers for Pittsburgh.  Charlie Morton allowed five earned runs in only four-and-a-third innings to fall to 1-and-2.

>>Cubs Opener With Reds Postponed

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Tuesday night's game between the Chicago Cubs and the Cincinnati Reds was postponed due to rain.  A makeup date has not yet been announced.  The series will instead start tonight at the Great American Ball Park.  Jeff Samardzija will toe the rubber against Bronson Arroyo.

MLB NL
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Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Washington Nationals 1
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Atlanta Braves 2
Houston Astros 6, New York Mets 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Colorado Rockies 6
San Diego Padres 2, Milwaukee Brewers 0
Miami Marlins 2, San Francisco Giants 1

>>Cardinals To Retire La Russa's Number

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals will retire the number-10 of former manager Tony La Russa.  The uniform number will be retired prior to a Friday, May 11th game against the Atlanta Braves.  La Russa racked up a franchise-record 1,408 wins while with the Redbirds.  The 67-year-old retired after guiding the Cards to their 11th World Series title last fall.  He led the Cardinals to eight division titles, three National League pennants and two World Series championships.  La Russa is the third-winningest manager in MLB history.

>>Damon Joins Indians In Chicago

(Chicago, IL)  --  Johnny Damon is back in the big leagues.  The Cleveland Indians added the veteran outfielder to the roster before last night's game against the White Sox in Chicago.  The 38-year-old signed a minor league contract with the Tri