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Local News

Quinn Sings Measure To Cut Legislator Compensation

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed a law that will reduce state legislators' compensation by more than $3,000 a year.

Quinn signed the law Friday with his office saying it will help close Illinois' budget deficit. It requires legislators to give up 12 days' worth of pay, or about $3,100 each. It is effective immediately.

This is the fourth straight year lawmakers have taken a pay cut. The money saved is minuscule compared to the billions of dollars' worth of red ink in the state budget, but lawmakers consider it an important symbol that they're sharing the pain.

 

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Weekly Weather Update

The state is still in a stage of drought and saw very little rain. Temperatures reached record highs this past week, and the high temperatures will be around for the 4th. Rain is only forecasted in northern Illinois, but it won't be a significant amount.

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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County Board Approves Fire Re-Appointments

The DeWitt County Board approved re-appointments to the Kenney Fire Protection District.

Richard Meadows, Earl Rau, and Terry Rhodes were all reappointed to the Kenney Fire Protection District. Their terms will end in 2013, 2014, and 2015 respectively.

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FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Chicago Cubs 4, Houston Astros 0
Miami Marlins 6, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Washington Nationals 5, Atlanta Braves 4
Colorado Rockies 10, San Diego Padres 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 14, St. Louis Cardinals 5
New York Mets 9, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Cincinnati Reds 5, San Francisco Giants 1


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

WNBA
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Connecticut Sun 77, Washington Mystics 64
Atlanta Dream 102, Tulsa Shock 92
Phoenix Mercury 84, Chicago Sky 81

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White Sox Crush Bronx Bombers

The White Sox bats buried the Yankees in New York, 14-7.  A.J. Pierzynski clubbed a pair of solo homers and finished with three RBI for Chicago, which has won four straight.  Paul Konerko added a solo jack while Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run bomb.  Adam Dunn drove in two while Jose Quintana gave up six runs in as many innings for the win.  David Phelps took the loss after giving up two runs in relief for New York.  Curtis Granderson hit a two-run shot while Andruw Jones and Jayson Nix each drove in a pair.  Outfielder Dewayne Wise took the mound and threw two-thirds scoreless in the ninth for the Yanks, who have lost back-to-back games after winning five straight.

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Pirates Pummel Cardinals

Andrew McCutchen belted a two-run homer and scored four times to help the Pirates pound the Cardinals, 14-5.  Clint Barmes [[ BAR-mess ]] and Alex Presley both added solo shots, and Garrett Jones had a two-run bomb for Pittsburgh, which has won three straight.  Jose Tabata scored three times in the win.  Kevin Correia gave up five runs in as many innings for the win.  Adam Wainwright allowed seven runs in five innings for the loss.  Allen Craig hit a three run home run for St. Louis, which has lost two in-a-row.  Carlos Beltran connected on his two-thousandth hit in the loss.

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Maholm Sharp As Cubs Blank 'Stros

 Paul Maholm [[ mah-HAH-lum ]] and Carlos Marmol combined on a four-hitter as the Cubs shut out the Pirates, 4-0.  Maholm struck out six while scattering four hits and a walk over eight-and-a-third innings for his fifth win.  Marmol got the final two outs for his sixth save as Chicago took the opener of the three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Steve Clevenger hit his first career home run with a man on, and Luis Valbuena and Alfonso Soriano also went deep for the Cubs.  Bud Norris allowed all four runs in six frames to take the loss.  Chicago has won three-of-four.  Houston has lost its last two.

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Tips To Help Control Your Allergies

Although allergens are present all year round, allergy sufferers find the spring, summer and fall months especially troublesome.

Many people who are experiencing sneezing, runny nose and congestion may think they have a common cold, but they actually could be suffering from allergies. It is believed that 35 percent of the U.S. population has some form of allergic rhinitis says Dr. Richard Bass, professor of otolaryngology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He explains some common allergens.

[audio:siuallergies1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Bass says susceptibility to allergies is genetic and usually runs in families. There is no cure, but there are ways to manage and treat the condition. The first way is to take steps to identify and avoid the allergy triggers. He suggests some medications for treating allergies including antihistimines.

[audio:siuallergies2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Bass recommends shots or medications for individuals whose allergies are not improved by basic treatment options. Anyone suffering from allergies should see their primary care physician, who may refer them to an allergist for further evaluation and possible treatment.

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Illinois State Police Announce Roadside Safety Checks

The Illinois State Police (ISP), District 06, will conduct Roadside Safety Checks (RSC) in McLean County during July according to Captain William Colbrook.

 The ISP has zero tolerance for impaired driving in Illinois.  Officers working this detail will be watchful for drivers who are operating vehicles in an unsafe manner, driving with a suspended or revoked driver’s license, transporting open alcoholic beverages, or driving under the influence. 

 Alcohol and drug impairment is a significant factor in over 40 percent of all fatal motor vehicle crashes in Illinois.  RSCs are designed to keep our roads safe by taking dangerous DUI offenders off the road.  This project is funded through the Illinois Department of Transportation, Division of Traffic Safety.

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Swimming Safety Tips

With hot weather comes trips to the beach and pool, and the American Red Cross wants to remind people to stay safe.

Swimmers should use the buddy system while swiming and stay in designated, lifeguard supervised areas. If you see a swimmer in distress, reach or throw aid to the swimmer, don't go, and if you are on a boat, remember to wear your lifejacket. Pool owners should install barriers, and parents should actively supervise their children and stay within an arm's reach of young children.  Also make sure to keep toys out of sight while children are in the pool.

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Changes To Make During Poor Air Quality Times

As a result of the high temperatures and low wind speeds, air pollution levels, specifically ground-level ozone, are expected to reach the unhealthy for sensitive groups category.

The Illinois EPA encourages people to make green choices to help those who are sensitive to air pollution such as those with respiratory and pulmonary disorders and active children. Some changes that can be made include taking public transit, turn off and unplug all electronics not in use, using enviromentally friendly household and cleaning products and set your thermostat 2 degrees higher.

The EPA encourages all residents should keep cool and limit physical activity when air polluntion is high.

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Rep. Mitchell On Chicago Favoritism

Representative Bill Mitchell says the changes the state of Illinois is making are Chicago friendly and hurting downstate Illinois.

Mitchells says the state may have cut money in the budget, but most of that money being cut helps downstate Illinois, but projects in the Chicago area that should be cut are still being funded. He adds that projects like these should lead to a house cleaning in Congress, and downstate voters are not on the same page as Chicago voters.

[audio:63012Mitchell.mp3] [/audio]

This statement was made after Governor Quinn announced his plan to close downstate prisons and facilities.

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State Grant To Help Pay For youth Fire Training

The Illinois State Fire Marshal says it is giving the University of Illinois Fire Service Institute a $65,000 grant to help pay for training for young people interested in firefighting.

The Fire Marshal's office says in a news release the money will help pay for the Explorer-Cadet Hands-on Training School next year. More than 300 potential firefighters between the ages of 15 and 21 are registered to participate.

The training at the institute's Champaign campus will focus on rescue techniques, hazardous materials handling and other areas. Other training will also be offered at sites around the state.

The 2013 training will be the 10th year for the 4-day program.

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Scary Fish Found In Lake

Fish with teeth are lurking in an Illinois lake.  Officials say several Pacu's have been discovered in Litchfield's Lake Lou Yaeger this month.  The fish is related to the piranha but officials say they won't go after humans.   Lake Superintendent Jim Cadwell says the Pacu would rather eat nuts, snails, and leafy veggies.  He says the Pacu's teeth are more like humans, not sharp like the piranha.  Still, some people won't take any chances.  They say they won't get in the water so long as they know the fish is there.  Officials say someone probably dumped the fish in the lake.  Whoever is responsible could face criminal charges.

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Illinois Officials React To ACA Ruling

Governor Quinn says he's thrilled that the Supreme Court sided with President Obama on the individual mandate, calling it a "great day" for the country.  But Republican leaders in Illinois don't share the same sentiment.  Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says the Court's decision doesn't resolve the debate over whether the Affordable Care Act is good policy.  She says she's committed to reviewing the decision and looking for opportunities to reduce any negative impact the ACA and its tax may have on Illinois citizens.  Meanwhile, House GOP Leader Tom Cross says the law has the potential to pile billions of dollars of additional expenses into the state's budget, which is already squeezed tight.  He joins with countless Republicans across the nation calling on Congress to repeal the law as soon as possible, giving Illinois the ability to administer an efficient Medicaid program.

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Heat Putting Hurt On Southern Illinois Crops

Extreme heat forecast into next week for southern Illinois isn't likely to help corn and soybeans stressed by weeks of drought.

University of Illinois crop expert Emerson Nafziger says triple-digit heat will send plants into a sort of survival mode.

National Weather Service forecasters say parts of southern Illinois could see highs of 100 or more through July 4th.

Nafziger said corn in some areas may already be damaged enough to trigger insurance payments to farmers.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture said earlier this week that almost a quarter of the state's corn crop is in poor or worse condition.

The U.S. Drought Monitor indicates most of Illinois is experiencing at least moderate drought.

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Sen. Brady Calls Health Ruling 'Challenge To Liberty'

A prominent Illinois state senator and staunch opponent of universal health care calls Thursday's Supreme Court ruling upholding the law "a challenge to our liberty."

Sen. Bill Brady says the opinion opens the door for Congress to force individuals to do just about anything. The justices upheld President Barack Obama's landmark health care law, which requires most Americans to have health insurance.

The Bloomington Republican and 2010 gubernatorial nominee says there are other ways to provide affordable health care. He prefers expanding an existing state-administered pool providing affordable high-risk insurance purchases.

He says the insurance industry is willing to provide cheaper and more accessible insurance but that talks about doing that stopped when so-called "Obamacare" passed in 2009.

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Illinois Commits $8.6-Million For Springfield Train Route

Illinois has set aside $8.6 million for engineering studies and designs for a section of the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail line that runs through the state capital.

That, along with preliminary environmental approval, boosts chances of resolving a key dispute over the line's route through Springfield.

Local officials opposed an early proposal that they felt would cause disruption to business downtown and to the medical district.

Instead, they favor an alternative route that would consolidate rail traffic along the city's 10th Street.

If that route is chosen, the new state funding would help make it a reality.

The funds come from Gov. Pat Quinn's Illinois Jobs Now program.

The first trains traveling at the higher speed of 110 mph will begin between the cities of Dwight and Pontiac in September.

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Gov. Quinn Urging Illinoisans To Stay Cool

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS URGING ILLINOISANS TO KEEP COOL AND STAY SAFE DURING THESE EXTREME TEMPERATURES.

QUINN SAYS YOU NEED TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF…BY STAYING HYDRATED AND NOT OVERDOING IT…AS WELL AS TAKE CARE OF OTHERS…ESPECIALLY THE ELDERLY AND VERY YOUNG. HE HOPES PEOPLE WILL CHECK ON THOSE WHO DON’T HAVE AIR CONDITIONING.

[audio:hot.mp3] [/audio]

MORE THAN 120 COOLING CENTERS AROUND ILLINOIS ARE NOW OPEN…AT LOCAL DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES OFFICES. TO FIND ONE NEAR YOU…AND FOR OTHER TIPS TO STAY COOL…VISIT THE WEBSITE: KEEP COOL DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Gov. Quinn Pleased With Supreme Court's Ruling

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SAYS HE’S VERY PLEASED WITH THE SUPREME COURT’S RULING ON THE PRESIDENT’S HEALTH CARE PLAN.

THE COURT UPHELD MOST OF THE LAW…REQUIRING THAT NEARLY EVERYONE HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE. GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS THIS IS A HUGE STEP…AND ILLINOIS WILL START WORKING TO FULLY IMPLEMENT THE PROGRAM.

[audio:obamacare1.mp3] [/audio]

ONE BIG CHALLENGE THE LAW PRESENTS IS CREATING AN ONLINE INSURANCE SHOPPING TOOL WHERE INDIVIDUALS AND SMALL BUSINESSES CAN COMPARE PRICES. THAT’S SUPPOSED TO BE UP AND RUNNING BY 2014.

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Local Lawmaker Calls 'Obamacare' Decision Devastating

One local legislator believes the Supreme Court's ruling is going to make Illinois' financial mess worse.

The Supreme Court voted 5-4 that President Barak Obama's health care law's individual insurance mandate was Constitutional. Commonly known as "Obamacare", Illinois State Representative Bill Mitchell says this ruling is going to be "devastating" for small business owners in Illinois. Rep. Mitchell says small business owners he has talked to in his district have expressed their concerns to him about this making it even tougher to make ends meet.

[audio:62912mitchellobamacare1.mp3] [/audio]

As a result of one provision in the original bill, almost 700-thousand Illinoisans would have gone on the public aid system, and the provision stated Illinois would have to pay for that, but if they didn't they would no longer be eligible for existing funds. Rep. Mitchell believes the only bright spot in the ruling was the Supreme Court deemed that unconstitutional.

[audio:62912mitchellobamacare2.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Mitchell says "Obamacare" is going to make the Illinois budget deficit worse. He adds this is going to cost the state even more money that they don't have. He feels the question needs to be asked, "How are we going to afford this?"

[audio:62912mitchellobamacare3.mp3] [/audio]

26 states have opposed the mandate, however, Illinois is not one of them. Rep. Mitchell feels the Supreme Court's decision to not withdraw current funding for state's that do not approve it was a good decision.

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Monticello Searching For New Police Chief

The city of Monticello is conducting a search for a new police chief.

After 17 years as police chief of Monticello, John Miller announced his retirement at the beginning of June. Although they are looking for someone with basic qualifications such as experience and leadership skills, Monticello Mayor Chris Corrie says he wants someone who knows how small towns work. He says working on a small town force like Monticello is different than being a police officer in a bigger city.

[audio:62912MonticelloPoliceChief1.mp3] [/audio]

The person they are looking for needs leadership skills and the abilility to adapt and keep up with changes. Mayor Corrie adds technology is ever changing and the personell a person is working with also changes often.

[audio:62912MonticelloPoliceChief2.mp3] [/audio]

Corrie says the decision for the new police chief will be a tough one since there is a wide variety of ages. He says each age group is able to bring a different quality that he is looking for to the table, and its a matter of finding the right balance between all of those.

[audio:62912MonticelloPoliceChief3.mp3] [/audio]

Corrie says Miller was a great fit for Monticello, and they are hoping the next chief is just as successful.

The city of Monticello received over 30 applicants for the new job opening, and  they came in from all over the United States.

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Sprint Cup Series In Kentucky This Weekend

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to the Kentucky Speedway this weekend for Saturday's Quaker State 400.  Last year, the Sprint Cup Series made its inaugural visit to Kentucky Speedway, as Kyle Busch raced to victory.  The 2011 race featured 20 lead changes among 20 drivers, as 23 of the 43-car field finished on the lead lap, with 34 cars running at the finish.  Busch, the awarded pole sitter due to inclement weather in 2011, held off David Reutimann and Jimmie Johnson in a two-lap shootout to the finish.  Clint Bowyer won last weekend at Sonoma, but Matt Kenseth still holds an 11-point lead over Greg Biffle atop the Cup Standings.

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Sox Rally Past Yankees; Locals In Action This Weekend

>>White Sox Rally To Top Yankees

(Bronx, NY)  --  Dayan Viciedo hit a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to give the White Sox a 4-3 comeback win over the Yankees.  Alejandro De Aza went 4-for-5 with a solo homer for Chicago in the opener of the four-game set.  Hector Santiago was credited with his second win.  Addison Reed nailed down his 11th save.  Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer, while Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano each plated a run for the Yankees.  David Robertson blew his second save and fell to 0-and-2.

MLB NL
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Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Philadelphia Phillies 4
Colorado Rockies 11, Washington Nationals 10 (11 inn)
Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Atlanta Braves 2
San Diego Padres 7, Houston Astros 3
New York Mets 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
San Francisco Giants 5, Cincinnati Reds 0

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 7, Baltimore Orioles 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 9, Toronto Blue Jays 7
Detroit Tigers 5, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Texas Rangers 7, Oakland Athletics 6
Seattle Mariners 1, Boston Red Sox 0

>>Cubs Host Houston

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs open up a three-game series against the Houston Astros this afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Paul Maholm will toe the rubber against Bud Norris in the opener.  The Northsiders took two-of-three from the New York Mets in their last series, but suffered a 17-1 loss in Wednesday's finale to fall to 26-and-49 on the season.

>>Cardinals Host Bucs

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals open up a three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates this evening at Busch Stadium.  Adam Wainwright gets the nod opposite Kevin Correia in the opener.  The Cards had a five-game winning streak snapped with a 5-3 loss at Miami on Wednesday to fall to 40-and-36 on the season.

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Illini's Leonard Goes To Portland; Draft Notes

>> Illini's Leonard Headed To Portland

The Portland Trail Blazers selected 7-foot-1 center Meyers Leonard out of Illinois with the 11th overall pick in the NBA draft on Thursday night.

Leonard averaged 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game as a sophomore last season before declaring early for the draft. He led the Big Ten with an average of 1.9 blocks per game.

The Blazers also selected point guard Damian Lillard out of Weber State with the sixth overall pick earlier in the night.

It was the first time the Blazers have had two lottery picks in the draft. Portland also has the 40th and 41st picks.

>> Bulls Take Kentucky's Teague

The Chicago Bulls selected Marquis Teague with the 29th pick in the draft on Thursday, giving them a point guard possibly to help fill in for the injured Derrick Rose.

Teague, whose older brother Jeff plays for Atlanta, was the fourth Wildcats player drafted, after Anthony Davis and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist went to New Orleans and Charlotte at No. 1 and No. 2 and Houston took Terrence Jones at No. 18.

Teague averaged 10.0 points and 4.8 assists while helping Kentucky win a national championship.

The Bulls have also had good luck with guards who played for John Calipari. Rose, who is recovering from major knee surgery and isn't expected back until early next year, played for him at Memphis.

>>Hornets Take Davis With Top Pick

(Newark, NJ)  --  The New Orleans Hornets selected Kentucky forward Anthony Davis with the top-overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft Thursday night.  In his only season at Kentucky, he averaged 14.2 points, 10.4 rebounds and had a school-record 186 blocks while leading the Wildcats to the national title.  With the second pick, the Charlotte Bobcats took Kentucky forward Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.  It marked the first time in Draft history that two players from the same school were taken with the top two selections.

At number-three, the Washington Wizards selected Florida guard Bradley Beal.  The Cleveland Cavaliers chose Syracuse guard Dion Waiters with the fourth pick.  The Sacramento Kings picked Kansas forward Thomas Robinson to round out the top five.  At number-10, the Hornets chose Duke guard Austin Rivers.  Austin is the son of Boston Celtics head coach Doc Rivers.  With the 21st and 22nd picks, the Celtics took Ohio State forward Jared Sullinger and Syracuse center Fab Melo.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-29

June 29, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 12:05 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, revealed that a vehicle driven by Elizabeth Fleck, 62, Wapella, was backing from a parking lot at Cleary Buildings and Larry Fainter, 55, Champaign, had his vehicle parked and it was unoccupied, in a parking space behind Fleck. Fleck backed into Fainter’s vehicle causing a dent and scratch to the front end and also damaged the rear bumper of her own vehicle. There were no injuries reported and both vehicles were driven from the scene.

 

Matthew Herald, 43, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Driving On Revoked License and Possess Drug Paraphernalia. Herald being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Nikki Eades, 20, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Eades posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Erin McKinley, 29, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 55 mph zone). McKinley posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Clinton Farmers Market To Feature Special Items Saturday

The Clinton Area Farmers and Artisans Market will have a lot of unexpected, popular produce items this Saturday that will interest those who frequent the Farmers Market.

Elizabeth Burns with the Clinton Area Farmers And Artisans Market announced Friday, on top of their traditional produce selections for late June, this coming Saturday's market will feature a great crop of strawberries courtesy of a producer in Heyworth and also a batch of sweet corn.

[audio:63012saturdaymarket1.mp3] [/audio]

Burns notes in addition to those items, fresh eggs will be on hand which is a new addition to the market for the first time in nearly a decade. Burns feels fresh eggs are superior to the eggs that can be purchased in the grocery store.

[audio:63012saturdaymarket2.mp3] [/audio]

The Farmers Market runs each Saturday on the downtown Mr. Lincoln Square in Clinton from 8 am until noon.

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Police To Crackdown On Highways Through July 4

Illinois law enforcement agencies are planning to crack down on drunk driving this weekend and through the Fourth of July holiday.

The Illinois Department of Transportation announced stepped-up enforcement plans Wednesday. State police and other law enforcement agencies also will be watching for seat belt violations.

The statewide effort is funded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and administered by IDOT. It follows an increase in Illinois' vehicle crash fatalities compared to the same time period in 2011.

Preliminary Illinois data show 449 people have died in crashes through June 25 of this year. That's compared to 381 killed in crashes during the same period last year.

Last year, 13 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in Illinois during the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

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Illinois, Union Agree To Contract Extension

Illinois officials and the union representing thousands of state workers have agreed to extend the current contract as negotiations on a new one continue.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 31 also agreed with the state to find a mediator to help contract talks.

The 4-year contract covers 40,000 state workers and expires Saturday.

State and AFSCME negotiators agreed Wednesday in East Peoria to keep the existing contract in place as bargaining continues.

An AFSCME statement did not disclose sticking points in the talks.

The union says contracts have been extended twice before in the nearly 40 years of state employee collective bargaining - in 1984 and 2008 - before resolutions were reached.

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Illinois Making Progress Against Synthetic Drugs

A Herrin store owner was arrested yesterday for allegedly selling bath salts in his store.  Despite the arrest, Karen Dobner, with For the Maximus Foundation in Aurora, says Illinois has made major progress in tackling the issue.  

[audio:rddArrest1.mp3] [/audio]

Dobner’s son died after smoking synthetic marijuana for the first last June.  She’s since spearheaded a campaign to make synthetic drugs illegal.  Her efforts have proven successful in Illinois and soon, even on the federal level.  Thousands of packages of drugs have been removed from store shelves in Illinois.  And a new bill which will make synthetic marijuana illegal sits on President Obama’s desk.  As for the store owner in Herrin, he’s charged with delivery of a look-alike substance and possession of a controlled substance.  He’s being held at the Williamson County Jail.

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Two Dead After Rend Lake Boat Crash

Two people are dead following a boat crash on Rend Lake near the small Southern Illinois town of Ina.  Larry Smithhart's body was recovered from the water this afternoon, nearly 24 hours after two boats collided.  Smithhart was a boat tester with Bombardier Boat Company in Florida.  He was visiting family in Carmi, Illinois.  Another woman, whose name has not yet been released, died at a St. Louis hospital from the injuries sustained in the crash.  A total of five people were involved in the collision.  Police are still investigating.  They urge boaters of all ages to be careful on the water and always wear safety vests.

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Peoria Recycling Company Finds Land Mine

An inspector at a Peoria recycling company found a World War II-era, Japanese-made land mine while sorting through items in the company's scrap yard.

The inspector was on the look-out for more common prohibited items, like propane tanks.

Lots of unusual items pass through the recycling center, but Behr Recycling Vice President Dave Rumer says the land mine was a first for his company.

Police on Tuesday said it wasn't immediately clear if the device found Monday had active explosives inside. But Lt. Mike Eddlemon of the Peoria Police Department's explosive ordnance disposal unit says "you never can tell."

Eddlemon says the land mine was taken to a secure location so it could be turned over to a military ordnance disposal team.

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Computer-Based Phones Working At U of Illinois

A new computer-based phone system at the University of Illinois' flagship campus is up and running and officials say it's mostly working fine.

Greg Gulick is director of application services for Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services. He says aside from glitches here and there the $4.8 million system is working well.

The system combines phone, email, instant messaging and other functions. Calls are made using voice-over-Internet protocol rather than land lines. More than 10,000 phones are on the new service while another 4,000 will be moved to the system eventually.

The university expects the system to save up to $3 million a year.

But some users say they've had trouble with dropped calls and a tough time transferring some calls.

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Gov. Quinn Signs Law In Repsonse To Penn State Scandal

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN HAS SIGNED A NEW LAW IN RESPONSE TO THE PENN STATE SCANDAL.

THE LAW ADDS COACHES AND UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES TO THE LIST OF PROFESSIONALS THAT MUST REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF SEXUAL AND CHILD ABUSE. IT WAS SPONSORED BY SENATOR KYLE MCCARTER OF HIGHLAND.

[audio:pennstate.mp3] [/audio]

THOSE ALREADY REQUIRED TO REPORT ABUSE INCLUDE DOCTORS…DENTISTS…ELEMENTARY AND HIGH SCHOOL TEACHERS…AND NURSES. THIS NEW LAW GOES INTO EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.

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Lincoln To Offer Cooling Center

Due to increasingly high temperatures it is recommended that all individuals stay in a cool environment and drink plenty of water and fluids. A cooling center is available at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, located at 200 Stahlhut Drive in Lincoln, for anyone needing to cool off or rest comfortably. The hospital is asking all individuals to sign in at the information desk at the front lobby. The cooling center will be available this week from 9:00 am until 8:30 pm today through Friday.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Approved For Purchase of Two Squad Cars

The DeWitt County Board approved the purchasing of two squad cars for the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department.

The County Board approved the purchasing of the cars after finding out the state bid for police cars will go up next year. The state is discontinuing using Impalas for squad cars next year and is switching to a different style car. According to Board Chair Melonie Tilley, the county will save just under $11,000 by purchasing the cars this year.

[audio:62812SquadCar1.mp3] [/audio]

The cars will be put in storage for a while but will be put in use for next fiscal year. Tilley says the upgrades a squad car needs are around $9,000 and will be financed through next years budget.

[audio:62812SquadCar2.mp3] [/audio]

Finance Committee Chair Ed Young says even though the cars would be losing a year of warranty, the cars tend to run the mileage warranty out before the years warranty.  The state bid for the cars this year is at $21,779 and will go up next year to $27,175.

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Phelps Edges Lochte In 200m Freestyle

Michael Phelps narrowly beat Ryan Lochte [[ LOCK-tee ]] at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials Wednesday night.  Phelps nipped Lochte by five-tenths of a second in the finals of the 200-meter freestyle event in Omaha.  The win came after Lochte edged Phelps in the semifinals of the same event Tuesday night.  Both men qualified for the Olympic team with the one-two finish.  Meanwhile, Lochte beat Phelps in the 400-meter individual medley on Monday night.  Both also secured a spot on the U.S. team for that event at next month's London Olympics.

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Cubs, Cards Notes

>>Carpenter To Visit Specialist

(Dallas, TX)  --  Cardinals starter Chris Carpenter will be having his right shoulder examined in Dallas, Texas today.  Carpenter wasn't able to pitch against batters as was originally planned on Monday.  He felt a weakness in his right shoulder, which is what kept him from throwing against live competition.

>>Cubs Designate Wells For Assignment

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs have designated pitcher Randy Wells for assignment.  Wells was 1-and-2 with a 5.34 earned run average in 12 games this season for the Cubs.  He pitched to a 7.15 ERA in the month of June.  The Northsiders also recalled 24-year-old reliever Rafael Dolis from Triple-A Iowa.  Dolis has gone 2-and-4 with four saves and a 5.68 ERA in 23 relief appearances for Chicago this season.

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Sox Win; Cubs Pounded, Cards Lose

>>White Sox Slam Twins

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Adam Dunn clubbed a three-run homer and plated four runs to back seven strong innings from Chris Sale as the White Sox rolled to a 12-5 win over the Twins.  Sale fanned five and allowed just two runs on six hits to improve to 9-and-2 on the season.  Alex Rios popped a solo shot and Kevin Youkilis went 3-for-4 with two RBI for Chicago, which pounded out 21 hits to win for the fourth time in five games.  Brian Dozier had a solo homer and Darin Mastroianni added a two-run shot for Minnesota.  Nick Blackburn gave up six runs in five frames of duty to absorb the loss.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 5, Cleveland Indians 4
Boston Red Sox 10, Toronto Blue Jays 4
Kansas City Royals 5, Tampa Bay Rays 4
Oakland Athletics 2, Seattle Mariners 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 13, Baltimore Orioles 1
Texas Rangers 13, Detroit Tigers 9

>>Mets Clobber Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Daniel Murphy popped a pair of solo home runs and Scott Hairston blasted a grand slam as the Mets scored 16 unanswered runs en route to a 17-1 lopsided victory over the Cubs.  Ike Davis added a three-run shot and David Wright knocked in five runs for New York, which salvaged the finale of a three-game set at Wrigley Field to snap a four-game slide.  Jon Niese threw seven innings of one-run ball for the win.  Luis Valbuena's RBI double in the second accounted for Chicago's lone run.  Jeff Samardzija gave up nine runs in four-and-a-third frames to take the loss.

MLB NL
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Milwaukee Brewers 8, Cincinnati Reds 4
San Francisco Giants 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 11, Philadelphia Phillies 7
Atlanta Braves 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
Houston Astros 1, San Diego Padres 0
Washington Nationals 11, Colorado Rockies 5

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NBA Draft Notes: Bulls, Leonard, Deals

>> Bulls In Holding Pattern Heading Into Draft

The Chicago Bulls own the 29th pick in the NBA draft on Thursday, and whoever they select will be joining a team that appears to be in a holding pattern.

That's because superstar Derrick Rose is recovering from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

The Bulls are in an awkward spot after capturing the No. 1 overall playoff seed the past two years. They were widely viewed as the top threat in the Eastern Conference to LeBron James and the Miami Heat until Rose was hurt in the playoff-opening win over Philadelphia.

As if that weren't bad enough, the Bulls lost Joakim Noah to a sprained left ankle in Game 3 and bowed out in the first round.

>>Meyers Leonard Set For NBA Draft

(Champagne, IL)  --  Illinois center Meyers Leonard will be sitting in the "Green Room" at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey waiting for his name to be called at the 2012 NBA Draft.  After the NBA Draft Combine in Chicago and his private workouts Leonard is now expected to go in the lottery.  He decided to leave Illinois after averaging 13.6 points and 8.2 rebounds as a sophomore.  

>>Rockets Make Deal With Bucks

(Houston, TX)  --  The Houston Rockets have shipped center Samuel Dalembert and the 14th-overall pick in Thursday night's draft to the Milwaukee Bucks in exchange for the 12th-overall pick.  The Rockets also received guard and Peoria native, Shaun Livingston, and forwards Jon Brockman and Jon Leuer, while the Bucks netted a future second-round pick and cash.  The Rockets now have three picks in the top 18 of the draft.  On Tuesday, the Rockets traded forward Chase Budinger to Minnesota for the 18th-overall pick.  They also have the number-16 selection.

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DJWH Reports Consecutive Months of Profits

Despite recent controversial attention, the Dr. John Warner Hospital has a lot of positive things happening.

CEO of the city owned hospital, Earl Sheehy, says despite popular opinion, the Hospital is doing quite well. He points to the fact the hospital has had two straight months of positive revenues in their budget and the fiscal year has started out in the black.

[audio:62912djwhpositive1.mp3] [/audio]

The hours of the Rural Health Center have recently expanded. Sheehy says they are now open until 6 pm Wednesday and Thursday nights, which means patients can get a 6 pm appointment. The Saturday after the Labor Day holiday, the Rural Health Center will open it's doors for Saturday morning business.

[audio:62912djwhpositive2.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy says the biggest factor in the hospital's recent success was in May, their inpatient volume was up significantly. The hospital was almost 30% over budget for their inpatient volume.

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Washington Street Building's Demolition Underway In Clinton

The demolition of the vacant buildings on the 200th block East Washington Street is underway.

 width=Crews began the process earlier this week to begin bringing them down. The Clinton City Council began the process late last year to begin getting everything in line for the demolition. An Ameren driven project directly north of the buildings, which City Administrator Tim Followell explains was the primary reason for the delay.

[audio:62812washingtonbuilding1.mp3] [/audio]

A lot of work has gone into the buildings prior to this week's start of the demolition. Followell explains the contractor has been in the buildings removing recyclable materials prior to this week. The materials able to be disposed of, will be taken to the Clinton Landfill.

[audio:62812washingtonbuilding2.mp3] [/audio]

Most of the property is still under the ownership of the City of Clinton. Followell explains because of zoning regulations, the property can only be used for retail purposes. He adds an owner could choose to build a multi-story building, with commercial use on the lower floor and rental above.

[audio:62812washingtonbuilding3.mp3] [/audio]

Part of Madison Street is currently blocked off because of the work being done.

Dust filled the air of the area Monday afternoon as the demolition got underway, Followell says the contractor has a two inch hose on hand to settle the dust.

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EIU Installing Fire Sprinklers, Alarms In Dorms

Eastern Illinois University is doing work this week to install new fire sprinkler systems in its dormitories.

Workers have closed roads to lay a dedicated water line. Work is expected to last at least through the end of the week. The new sprinklers will go into the Ford, McKinney and Weller residence halls. The installations will help the university conform with new student housing fire safety laws.

The university says the three residence halls also will get new fire alarm systems. The total cost is more than $900,000.

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Lawmakers Push For More Math In High School

High school students may not agree but lawmakers say taking an additional year of math will better prepare them for the workforce.  State Senator Michael Frerichs says several businesses in his district have had difficulty finding qualified applicants.

[audio:rddMoreMath1.mp3] [/audio]

State Senator Kimberly Lightford says taking an additional year of math in High School could be a key factor in helping students get accepted into college.

[audio:rddMoreMath2.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn has approved a plan that allows a task force to study the four-year requirement.  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon also backs the idea of more math in high school.  She says most of the community colleges across the state say students aren't being adequately prepared to take collegiate level math courses. Those students have to start in remedial math courses and many times don't get credit for the class.

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Five Central Illinois Events Raise Over $800-Thousand

Five recent American Cancer Society Relay For Life events in central Illinois raised about $826,000.

More than half of the total from last weekend's fundraisers came from Relay For Life of McLean County.

Organizers of the event at the Normal Community West High School track say more than $501,000 was collected. That's less than the $572,000 brought in last year, but organizers say donations are still coming in.

The cash goes to cancer research, patient services and public education. Other events were held in Peoria, Pekin, Eureka and Washington.

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Sloth With A Sassy Side Comes To Decatur

A bundle of energy she is not, but the newest resident of Decatur's Scovill Zoo is pretty good at just hanging around.

Eden is the zoo's first sloth. She made the move from the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden this spring and has been on display since mid-June.

Eden is a Linnaeus's two-toed sloth. She sleeps more than 15 hours a day and spends virtually all of her time in the trees in her habitat.

But zoo keepers says Eden has a feisty side.

The sloth reportedly tried to bite a keeper in Cincinnati. But the Decatur staff says she hasn't tried anything like that since moving to Illinois.

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Illinois School District Accidentally Buys Extra School Bus

A central Illinois school district accidentally bought an extra school bus, leaving it owing more than $72,000.

The Ball-Chatham School District is selling five old school buses to make up for the cost. District operations director Jim Lovelace says a request to buy four new buses instead of 3 new buses was "an oversight" on his part. No one caught the mistake and the bus company wouldn't cancel the extra bus purchase.

The district will receive nearly $68,000 for the five old school buses. The district's transportation department will pay the nearly $5,000 difference out of next school year's budget. The district will have 58 buses after the five old buses are sold.

Chatham is just south of Springfield, in Sangamon County.

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Independent Candidate Jumps In Congressional Race

Independent Candidate for Congress John Hartman says he feels obligated to help fix the problems facing the nation.  He says his financial background is just one thing that qualifies him for the job.

[audio:rddHartman1.mp3] [/audio]

Hartman feels it's going to take a leader with some backbone to step up and tackle tough issues, especially when it comes to the climate change.

[audio:rddHartman2.mp3] [/audio]

Hartman adds he supports cap and trade.

[audio:rddHartman3.mp3] [/audio]

Hartman says his sense of history and his set of principles are also good indicators that he'll do a good job representing the people in Illinois' 13th Congressional District.  He filed more than eight thousand signatures with the Illinois State Board of Elections yesterday.  That's three thousand more than he needed to, leaving room just in case some of the names are deemed invalid.  Hartman will face Democrat David Gill and Republican Rodney Davis in November if he's allowed on the ballot.

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Temperatures Expected To Top 100 Degrees This Week

Temperatures in Illinois are forecast to top 100 degrees by Thursday, and authorities are urging the public to be cautious.

The rest of the week is expected to bring temperatures in the lower and mid-90s.

Health officials are urging Illinois residents and visitors take steps to avoid heat-related illnesses, like staying hydrated and wearing light cotton clothing.

The public cooling centers will be open across the state.

Emergency officials are also asking people to be good neighbors and check on the elderly and disabled.

Officials in Champaign have canceled some summer school classes on Thursday and Friday in anticipation of soaring temperatures.

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Beef Producers Learn Latest Cow/Calf Research

Beef producers from across Illinois and Indiana gathered last week to learn about the latest cow/calf research being done at the University of Illinois' Dudley Smith Farm.  Jared White has more...

[audio:62512DudleySmithFarmWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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CCEF Recognition Wall Construction Continuing

The Clinton Community Education Foundation is in the process of installing the new recognition wall outside the sports entrance at Clinton High School.

According to Claudine Wargel of the foundation, people in the community have purchased granite tiles to have the name of someone they want to recognize, such as a teacher or veteran, engraved into it. The sales of the tiles are a fundraiser for the Foundation.

[audio:62712RecognitionWall1.mp3] [/audio]

The wall is currently underconstruction. The brick of the wall matches with the brick of the school. A limestone cap will be added and then the granite tiles will be placed on later in the summer. While bricks can be purchased once the wall's construction is complete, Wargel encourages people to purchase their tiles before they are installed, as the cost to engrave the tile later will increase once the brick has been installed.

[audio:62712RecognitionWall2.mp3] [/audio]

There are varying sizes to the tiles you can purchase and the larger the tile, the more you can engrave. Wargel explains logos, sayings, or dedications can go on the bricks. While just about anything can go on a tile, logos do add extra costs to for the bricks.

[audio:62712RecognitionWall3.mp3] [/audio]

With purchases made so far, Wargel says they are seeing various engravings going on the tiles. They are seeing things from parents recognizing their students to graduates recognizing a favorite teacher or even Clinton High School alumni putting inspirational sayings on them for the generations that will walk by the wall to see.

[audio:62712RecognitionWall4.mp3] [/audio]

The idea for the Recognition wall came about when another member of the Foundation, Amy Overton, who works for Shive Hattery Inc. of Bloomington. Shive Hattery came forward willing to design the piece for the foundation. Wargel says the addition of the wall will help make the Clinton School District more attractive to people outside the area, since that entrance has become the primary entrance for poeple coming to the school.

Clinton Community Education Foundation is a group of local volunteers who raise money to donate unbudgeted items to the Clinton School District's classrooms.

For more information about the wall or to purchase a brick, visit clintonedfoundation.org.

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Kenseth, Roush Fenway Parting Ways After 2012 Season

Driver Matt Kenseth is leaving Roush Fenway Racing after this season.  Ricky Stenhouse will take his place for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series season.  There had been speculation that Kenseth would leave Roush Fenway due to sponsorship issues with the number-17 team, and that he would join Joe Gibbs Racing next year.  If Kenseth moves over to JGR, it's assumed he will either replace Joey Logano in the number-20 car or Gibbs will add a fourth team.  Logano, who won two weeks ago at Pocono, is in the last year of his contract with Joe Gibbs Racing.

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Report: Larry Bird Leaving The Pacers

Larry Bird is closing another chapter in his one-of-a-kind NBA career.  Bird says he is "100-percent sure" he won't be back as president of the Indiana Pacers next season.  Bird announced his decision on Tuesday just a month after being named the NBA Executive of the Year.  He's reportedly dealing with some health issues.

The 55-year-old "Larry Legend" is the only person to be named NBA Executive of the Year, Coach of the Year, and Most Valuable Player, which he was three times with the Boston Celtics.  He was also the league's Rookie of the Year and twice the NBA Finals MVP.  In his senior season at Indiana State, Bird was named the National College Player of the Year.

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Obama Hears Boos After Youkilis Comment

President Barack Obama didn't help his campaign stock in New England on Monday night.  During a fundraiser in Boston, Obama joked with the crowd about the recent trade made between the Red Sox and White Sox that sent fan-favorite Kevin Youkilis to Chicago.  Obama said, "Boston, I just want to say, thank you for Youkilis."  The remark was met with a few laughs but a heavy barrage of boos followed by chants of "Youk" from the crowd.  The President, a known White Sox fan, backtracked on his comment, saying he shouldn't have brought up the trade.  The Red Sox dealt the 33-year-old Youkilis to the White Sox on Sunday and received Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart in return.

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Four-Team College Football Playoff Approved

layoffs are coming to college football.  The Bowl Championship Series presidential oversight committee has approved a four-team playoff to determine college football's national champion.  The seeded format was presented on Tuesday by conference commissioners in Washington, DC.  Semifinal opponents at existing bowls will be chosen by a selection committee, with the national championship game to be awarded to the highest bidder.  The current BCS contract runs through the 2013 season, with the playoff system to go into effect after the 2014 regular season.

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Braun Reclaims Starting Spot In NL All-Star Voting

With time running out to vote, Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun is back in position to start next month's All-Star Game in Kansas City.  The reigning National League MVP moved ahead of the Giants' Melky Cabrera for the third and final outfield spot in the latest tabulations.  The Dodgers' Matt Kemp and Cardinals' Carlos Beltran are the top-two vote-getters among outfielders.    Reds first baseman Joey Votto leads the Senior Circuit overall with more than 4.5-million votes.  Other positional leaders are Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal, Mets third baseman David Wright and Giants catcher Buster Posey.  Fan voting ends on Thursday.

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Briggs: Bears Could Have Best Team He's Played On

Lance Briggs envisions big things for the Chicago Bears this coming season.

The Pro Bowl linebacker says it "definitely could be" the best team he's played on after sweeping changes during the offseason that sent expectations soaring.

He's not quite ready to plan a parade, though.

Briggs says the Bears "still have a lot of hard work to do," with training camp opening in about a month, but it's not hard to see why he's optimistic.

The Bears were a busy bunch after a disappointing 8-8 finish, hiring a new general manager who addressed some key issues with the roster.

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Locals All Win; Rizzo Makes Cubs Debut

>>Cardinals Fry Fish

(Miami, FL)  --  St. Louis scored five unearned runs in the first and held on for a 5-2 win over the Marlins.  Yadier Molina had the big blast with a three-run homer while Carlos Beltran added an RBI single.  Kyle Lohse pitched seven-and-a-third effective innings, allowing just two runs to improve to 7-and-2.  Jason Motte earned his 16th save for the Cardinals, who ran their winning streak to five.  Carlos Zambrano went six-and-two-thirds innings and allowed the five unearned tallies to suffer the loss.  Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer and Greg Dobbs added a sac-fly for Miami, which continued its June freefall by dropping to 5-and-18 this month.

>>Cubs Down Mets In Rizzo's Debut

(Chicago, IL)  --  Anthony Rizzo had two hits and an RBI in his Chicago debut to help the Cubs down the Mets, 5-3.  Luis Valbuena and Darwin Barney also had two hits and an RBI apiece for Chicago, which will go for a three-game sweep Wednesday.  Chicago's bullpen allowed only two hits in six innings in relief of Randy Wells.  Scott Maine earned the win.  Carlos Marmol notched his fifth save.  Josh Thole, David Wright and Dillon Gee plated the runs for the Mets, who have dropped four straight.  Gee allowed four runs in five innings to fall to 5-and-6.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Cincinnati Reds 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Atlanta Braves 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Houston Astros 5, San Diego Padres 3
Washington Nationals 12, Colorado Rockies 5
San Francisco Giants 2, Los Angeles Dodgers

>>White Sox Hold Off Twins

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Gavin Floyd struck out nine over seven shutout innings and the White Sox held on for a 3-2 win over the Twins.  Floyd scattered five hits and walked none to improve to 6-and-7.  Addison Reed allowed two runs in the ninth, but held on for his 10th save.  Alex Rios hit a two-run homer and scored on an Alexei Ramirez single for the White Sox.  Jamey Carroll smacked a two-run single for the Twins.  Liam Hendriks allowed all three runs over six-and-a-third innings to fall to 0-and-5.

MLB AL
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7, Baltimore Orioles 3
New York Yankees 6, Cleveland Indians 4
Boston Red Sox 5, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Texas Rangers 7, Detroit Tigers 5
Kansas City Royals 8, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Seattle Mariners 3, Oakland Athletics 2

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Illini Basketball Coach Groce Completes Coaching Staff

A University of Illinois source has confirmed that basketball coach John Groce has completed his staff by hiring former Illinois State assistant Paris Parham.

The source confirmed Tuesday that Parham will take the spot vacated by Isaac Chew. Chew left for Marquette shortly after being hired by first-year Illini head coach Groce. The source spoke on condition of anonymity because Parham's hiring has not been announced.

Parham has coached in the Chicago Public League. Chicago is a key recruiting ground where Illinois has had only limited success in recent years.

Most recently Parham was an assistant under Tim Jankovich at Illinois State. Jankovich left this spring to join the staff at SMU.

Parham has been an assistant at Maryland-Eastern Shore and Minnesota State. He played at Minnesota State.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-27

June 27, 2012

 

Jail Population: 83

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 10:00 p.m. on Monday, June 25, revealed that a vehicle driven by William Bryant, 51, Clinton, was traveling northbound on US 51 approaching the intersection of Illinois State Highway 10. Bryant drove into the westbound turn lane. Kyle Reynolds, 16, Decatur, was traveling southbound on US 51 approaching the intersection of Illinois State Highway 10. Bryant turned westbound in the intersection, turning directly in front of Reynolds. Bryant and Reynolds collided, causing major damage to the passenger side front-end of Bryant’s vehicle and major damage to the entire front-end of Reynolds’ vehicle. Bryant’s vehicle was turned from a westbound direction to an eastbound direction as a result of the collision and traveled east through the intersection, coming to rest in the east ditch. Reynolds didn’t report any injury and Bryant was treated by the ambulance and then transported to St. Joseph Hospital for further treatment. Both vehicles were towed from the scene. Bryant was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Bryant was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:53 p.m. on Monday, June 25, revealed that a vehicle driven by James Peters, 44, Farmer City, was traveling west on State Highway 54 near the intersection with Bloomington Street. Thomas Neumane III, 37, Albrightsville, PA, was traveling east on a motorcycle around the same area. Peters failed to yield right of way making a left hand turn causing Neumane to brake immediately. Neumane fell over on right side causing him to sustain major injury to his right elbow, right knee, and left hand. Neumane also had minor injuries to his face. Neumane’s motorcycle had damage to the right side handle bar, right side engine area, right side foot peg and right side saddlebag. Peters did not report any injuries on scene. Neumane was transported to Carle Hospital. Peters was issued a citation for Failure To Yield-Turning Left. Peters posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Nathan Rich, 23, Decatur, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear. Rich being unable to post 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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Clinton Police Report for 6-27

 

ON 6/26/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED SCOTT H. JANDREAU JR 24, CLINTON FOR FORGERY. JANDREAU 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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Accident At US Highway 51, Route 10 Intersection Monday Sends One To Hospital

At approximately 10:00 p.m. on Monday, DeWitt County Sheriff's deputies responded to a two car accident that had taken place the intersection of US Route 51 and Route 10.

Chief Deputy Mike Walker explains a vehicle driven by William Bryant, 51, Clinton, was traveling north on US 51 approaching the intersection. Bryant drove into the turn lane. Kyle Reynolds, 16, Decatur, was traveling southbound on US 51 approaching the intersection of Illinois State Highway 10. Bryant turned westbound in the intersection, turning directly in front of Reynolds. Bryant’s vehicle was turned from a westbound direction to an eastbound direction as a result of the collision and traveled east through the intersection, coming to rest in the east ditch.

[audio:62812accident1.mp3] [/audio]

The accident caused major damage to the passenger side front-end of Bryant’s vehicle and major damage to the entire front-end of Reynolds’ vehicle. Walker says Reynolds didn’t report any injury and Bryant was treated by the ambulance and then transported to St. Joseph Hospital for further treatment.

[audio:62812accident2.mp3] [/audio]

Both vehicles were towed from the scene.

Bryant was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Bryant was issued a notice to appear and was released.

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Wisconsin Governor Walker Says He's Not Trying To Poach Illinois Businesses

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker says he's not looking to "poach" businesses from Illinois - an apparent softening of the stance he took last year when he greeted news that Illinois was raising personal and corporate taxes by inviting disgruntled businesses to come to his state.

Walker said he would like Chicago-area companies looking to expand to take a look at Wisconsin.

In 2011, Walker called on Illinois companies to "Escape to Wisconsin" and that they were welcome in his state.

Walker says he had a good working relationship with former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and would like to similar relationship with Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

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State Fire Marshall Encouraging Safe Cooking Practices

The Illinois State Fire Marshal is urging safety steps before enjoying the outdoor grilling season.

Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis (mat-KYE'-tiss) says the chef of the house should inspect the grill to ensure all parts are functioning properly.

There were about 170 fires related to grills in Illinois last year. The National Fire Protection Association says gas grills are the leading cause of about 7,000 home fires in the U.S. each year.

The fire marshal says only use propane and charcoal grills outside. Grills should be a safe distance from games and foot traffic. Use the proper starter fluid for charcoal grills and check propane gas cylinder hoses for leaks before use.

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Rutherford On South Korea Business Trip

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is in South Korea, looking to expand the state's business partnerships.  Rutherford took off on a six-day trip where he'll meet with several governmental and business leaders.  During the trip, Rutherford intends to encourage Korean leaders to expand their imports from Illinois. The state already sends more than 800 million dollars in goods to South Korea each year.  He'll also work to facilitate the expansion of a South Korean energy-solutions company to Central Illinois.  That agreement would immediately create several technology-related jobs in the region.  Rutherford says this is a great opportunity to enhance the economic and political ties between Illinois and South Korea.   The trip is not funded by taxpayer dollars.

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Quinn Cuts Educational Offices

A longstanding battle to save Regional Offices of Education across the state is finally over.  Bob Daiber [[Dy-ber]], President of the Illinois Association of Regional Superintendents of Schools, says a compromise with the governor means districts can still be served effectively.  

[audio:rddROE1.mp3] [/audio]

Daiber says the reduction was necessary in order to save the offices.  Governor Quinn had slashed the salaries of regional superintendents last year, but didn't provide a plan on how the offices would function without them.  Lawmakers eventually found a way to pay the supes after they went five months without a check.  Daiber says the reduction in regional offices means about 200 people will lose their jobs.

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Caterpillar Studies Future of Peoria Headquarters

Caterpillar Inc. plans to spend several months studying ways to modernize its 45-year-old Peoria headquarters.

The Fortune 500 heavy-equipment maker said Monday that the study will focus on the company's facilities, technological and organizational needs.

Caterpillar spokesman Jim Baumgartner says Caterpillar has evolved from a primarily domestic company when the headquarters was built in 1967 to a global corporation with extensive overseas sales. Caterpillar has regional headquarters in other locations.

The company says the study will help it create what it calls a corporate headquarters footprint in Peoria.

Last year CEO Douglas Oberhelman reminded Gov. Pat Quinn that the company has out-of-state suitors to prompt the governor to work on improving the state's economy. But Oberhelman later said he wasn't threatening to leave Illinois.

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Illinois Drought Continues To Worsen

DROUGHT CONDITIONS CONTINUE TO GROW IN ILLINOIS.

STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL SAYS WITH HOT TEMPS AND NOT MUCH RAIN ALL SPRING AND NOW INTO SUMMER...MUCH OF THE STATE IS INDEED SUFFERING A DROUGHT.

[audio:drought1.mp3] [/audio]


ACCORDING TO ANGEL, MUCH OF THE STATE IS IN A MODERATE TO SEVERE DROUGHT…WITH SOUTHERN ILLINOIS THE MOST DRY. HE SAYS TOTAL RAINFALL IS SIGNIFICANTLY DOWN THIS YEAR.

[audio:drought2.mp3] [/audio]

ANGEL SAYS IF WE DON’T GET A FEW GOOD RAIN SHOWERS SOON…CROPS WILL REALLY START TO SUFFER. THE JULY FORECAST IS CALLING FOR MORE OF THE SAME HOT WEATHER THOUGH WITH BELOW NORMAL PRECIPITATION.

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Governor Quinn Signs A Number of Education Bills Into Law

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS SIGNING A GROUP OF NEW LAWS TO HELP IMPROVE EDUCATION IN ILLINOIS.

ONE NEW LAW REDUCES THE NUMBER OF OFFICES OF REGIONAL SUPERINTENDENT IN ILLINOIS FROM 45 TO 35 OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF YEARS. GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS THE IDEA IS TO CUT BUREAUCRACY.

[audio:ed1.mp3] [/audio]

ANOTHER NEW LAW PROMPTS EDUCATION OFFICIALS TO DEVELOP A CURRICULUM FOR MIDDLE AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS THAT INCLUDES MORE MATH SAYS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR SHEILA SIMON.

[audio:ed2.mp3] [/audio]

SIMON SAYS TESTS SHOW ONLY ABOUT 40 PERCENT OF ILLINOIS HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS ARE READY FOR COLLEGE LEVEL MATH COURSES. SUPPORTERS SAY KIDS ULTIMATELY NEED FOUR YEARS OF HIGH SCHOOL MATH TO BE PREPARED FOR COLLEGE.

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Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS CROPS ARE SHOWING SIGNS OF STRESS AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS ALTHOUGH GROWTH CONTINUES AT A STEADY PACE…CROPS ARE FEELING THE HEAT AND LACK OF RAIN. ALTHOUGH CORN IS NOW AT AN AVERAGE HEIGHT OF 53 INCHES…THE CONDITION OF THE CROP IS DECLINING…WITH JUST 37 PERCENT RATED GOOD OR EXCELLENT.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

ONE PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE HEADED AND ARE RATED IN MOSTLY FAIR TO GOOD CONDITION.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

THREE PERCENT OF OATS AND 84 PERCENT OF THE WINTER WHEAT CROP HAS BEEN HARVESTED. THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 66 PERCENT COMPLETE. TOPSOIL MOISTURE CONTINUES TO DECLINE…STANDING NOW AT 16 PERCENT ADEQUATE…41 PERCENT SHORT…AND 43 PERCENT VERY SHORT.

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Central Illinois Introduced To New DNR Conservation Police Officer

DeWitt County and other parts of central Illinois will see a new face when they encounter Department of Natural Resources conservation officers.

John Williamson, a native of Mahomet, will be taking over the position next year when current officer Ray Wichus retires. Williamson has been in the field for 13 years and has worked in Winnebago County in northern Illinois and Harrisburg County in the southern part of the state. He says the two different locations gave him drasticcally different experiences.

[audio:62612Williamson1.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson adds he has always wanted to be a conservation officer, regardless of what others told him. He remembers being told in high school he should reconsider his goal, due to job opportunities.

[audio:62612Williamson2.mp3] [/audio]

Williamson will be active in DeWitt, Piatt, Iroquios, Champaign, Macon, Livingston and McLean counties.

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DJWH To Reconsider Staffing For Overnight Ambulance Crews

The Dr. John Warner Hospital will reconsider their staffing on the ambulance crew overnight.

In December of last year, the hospital made the decision to go to one overnight crew to cut back on cost, based on statistics that showed the call volume allowed for one ambulance crew overnight. CEO of the Dr. John Warner Hospital, Earl Sheehy explains the hospital does put additional crews on when there are events happening in the community, such as the Apple and Pork Festival, that would increase the likelihood of additional calls.

[audio:62612reconsider1.mp3] [/audio]

Ambulance Manager Terrance Hubbard feels the logic behind the initial change was solid, and that still holds true. He says problems comes both during the day and at night where there is not always coverage.

[audio:62612reconsider2.mp3] [/audio]

Concerns have been expressed about the overnight situation of the ambulance handling longer non-emergency transfers. The problem is not the calls becoming overwhelming to the crews on hand either during the day or at night, but Hubbard feels the plan should simply be re-evaluated.

[audio:62612reconsider3.mp3] [/audio]

Reconsidering staffing runs into a several problems. First, the hospital would have to approach the Ambulance union to approve adding more positions. The second issue becomes hiring local EMTs who know the area, Hubbard feels that would be a challenge. So they would then have to hire outside EMTs, who could be unfamiliar with the area. Which then maybe runs into the biggest obstacle this faces, of training these new EMTs, familiarizing them with the area, and then in December, they will receive a notice they will be laid off because the hospital will no longer be providing ambulance service.

These EMTs could be picked up by the organization or company that is brought in by the county to provide ambulance services to the county, however, the hospital cannot guarantee that happening.

The DJWH Board of Directors would have to approve bringing on an additional crew for the overnight hours.

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Leishman Climbs In World Rankings After Travelers Victory

Australian Marc Leishman picked up his first PGA Tour victory Sunday at the Travelers Championship and soared 82 places to number-78 in this week's world rankings.  Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Tiger Woods and U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson stayed pat at one-through-five.  Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Justin Rose and Hunter Mahan  also held their rankings from last week and completed the top-10.

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Arizona Wins College World Series

The Arizona Wildcats have won the College World Series.  Arizona captured its first national championship title since 1986 with a 4-1 win over two-time defending champion South Carolina in Omaha Monday night.  Arizona scored three times in the top of the ninth inning.  Brandon Dixon smacked a go-ahead RBI double, while Trent Gilbert added a two-run single as part of a three-RBI night.  The Wildcats went a perfect 10-and-0 during the postseason en route to their fourth national title.

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NIU Kick Returner Transferring To Illinois

Defensive back and kick returner Tommy Davis is transferring to Illinois after spending the past four years at Northern Illinois University.

During his career at Northern Illinois, Davis played in 41 games and made 19 starts.

Davis, who in May earned a bachelor's degree in general studies at NIU, redshirted the 2008 season. He was named to the All-MAC team in 2009 and 2010 as a return specialist.

According to Illinois, Davis is already enrolled at Illinois for summer classes, where he will work toward a master's degree in education policy, organization and leadership. Davis will be immediately eligible to play at Illinois this fall.

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Fall; Cubs To Get First Look At Prospect Rizzo

>>Cubs Clobber Mets

(Chicago, IL)  --  Travis Wood struck out six over seven shutout innings to lead the Cubs to a 6-1 win over the Mets.  Wood scattered five hits and a walk en route to improving to 2-and-3.  Joe Mather clubbed a two-run homer for Chicago, which ended a four-game skid with the win in the opener of the three-game set.  Ike Davis hit a solo homer with two outs in the ninth for the Mets, who have dropped three straight.  Johan Santana allowed two runs over six innings to fall to 5-and-4 with the loss.

>>Cards Rally To Stun Fish

(Miami, FL)  --  The Cardinals scored four times in the ninth and twice in the 10th to earn an 8-7 victory over the Marlins.  Yadier Molina tied the game with a two-run homer in the ninth and Rafael Furcal and Joe Kelly each drove in a run in the 10th for St. Louis, which has won four straight.  Victor Marte earned the win while Jason Motte notched his 15th save for the Cards.  Heath Bell surrendered four runs in the ninth, but Chad Gaudin suffered the loss for Miami.  Jose Reyes drove in a pair while Hanley Ramirez and Giancarlo Stanton each added an RBI in the loss.  The Marlins have lost seven of their last eight.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Cincinnati Reds 3, Milwaukee Brewers 1
San Diego Padres 8, Houston Astros 7 (10 inn)
Colorado Rockies 4, Washington Nationals 2
San Francisco Giants 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 0

>>Twins Down ChiSox

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Francisco Liriano tossed seven innings of one-run ball as the Twins spoiled the White Sox debut of Kevin Youkilis with a 4-1 victory.  Joe Mauer and Trevor Plouffe each hit a sac-fly while Jamey Carroll drove in a run for Minnesota, which has won three-of-four.  The absence of Matt Capps gave Jared Burton the chance to convert his second-career save.  Youkilis went 1-for-4 in his first game since being traded from Boston to Chicago.  Alexei Ramirez hit a sac-fly for the White Sox, who had won three-of-four.  Jake Peavy allowed three runs and struck out seven over six innings to suffer the defeat.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 7, Cleveland Indians 1
Toronto Blue Jays 9, Boston Red Sox 6
Detroit Tigers 8, Texas Rangers 2
Kansas City Royals 8, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Oakland Athletics 1, Seattle Mariners 0

>> Cubs Call Up Rizzo

Cubs prospect Anthony Rizzo is Chicago-bound and could get his first start as early as Tuesday.

Manager Dale Sveum confirmed the news Monday night before the start of a 3-game series against the New York Mets.

The 22-year-old rookie, acquired in a winter trade with San Diego, was reportedly pulled out of Monday's game for AAA Iowa so he could travel to the Windy City.

The 6-foot-3 first baseman, who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2007 and traded to San Diego three years later, was hitting .342 with 23 home runs and 62 RBI for Iowa.

In January, the Padres sent Rizzo and pitcher Zach Cates to the Cubs in exchange for pitcher Andrew Cashner and outfielder Kyung-Min Na.

>>Marlon Byrd Suspended For PEDs

(New York, NY)  --  Major League Baseball is suspending outfielder Marlon Byrd 50 games for testing positive for Tamoxifen, a performance-enhancing substance.  Byrd, who is a free agent, spent time with the Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox this season.  In 47 combined games, he hit .210 with one homer and nine RBI.  Byrd will be placed on the restricted list for the duration of his suspension.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-26

June 26, 2012

 

Jail Population: 80

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 3

 

Erin McKinley, 29, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 55 mph zone). McKinley posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

June 16, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

June 17, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

June 18, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Rebekka McCoy, 26, Clinton, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. McCoy posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Thomas Saunches, 62, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Saunches posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Jonathan Cline, 19, Leroy, was issued a citation for No Valid Driver’s License. Cline posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Joseph Blazek, 45, Weldon, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Blazek 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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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-19

June 19, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Jordan Hamblen, 22, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hamplen posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Steven Martin, 18, Rockford, was arrested for Minors Consumption Of Alcohol. Martin posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Friday, June 15, revealed that a vehicle driven by Shawn Fosdick, 33, Normal, was traveling northbound on US Highway 51, north of Wapella, when he fell asleep and veered off the roadway to the right, striking a “One Way” sign and support, causing the sign support to break. He had front end damage to his vehicle. No injuries were reported.

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-20

June 20, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 10

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Joshua Zirkelbach, 31, Beason, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Zirkelbach 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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Heyworth Superintendent Merker In Final Week Before Retirement

A local school administrator is calling it a career.

Randy Merker has served the last eight years as superintendent of the Heyworth school district. He is pleased with a lot of changes that have been made during his time as the schools leader. Merker feels the new facilities will affect generations to come. He thanks the community for their generous support and he is thankful to be able to leave his position on a high note.

[audio:62712Merker1.mp3] [/audio]

In his eight years at Heyworth, Merker points expanding the class variety for students in the district as one aspect of his tenure he is proud of. Merker explains the district was able to extend their Spanish program and add in new advance placement courses and college credit courses through Heartland Community College.

[audio:62712Merker2.mp3] [/audio]

The retiring superintendent says he is glad to get rid of the stress load that comes with being in the education field. He jokes wintry weather will be less of an issue for him and on nice days he can spend time on the golf course instead of in the office. He adds after 34 years of being in the education system, it will be nice to spend full days with his wife, which will an adjustment for them both.

[audio:62712Merker3.mp3] [/audio]

Merker's retirement becomes official at the end of this week. He will be replaced by Tonica Grade School principal and superintendent Dr. Ty Wolf.

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Report Shows U of I VP Defends Enhanced Pension

An administrator who retired after years as the University of Illinois' vice president for business and finance is drawing a pension under a more lucrative formula intended for university police and firefighters, instead of the formula used for regular university employees.

As a result, Craig Bazzani was able to retire with full benefits in 2002 at age 55. He's gotten about $365,000 more in pension payouts over the last decade than he would have under the regular formula.

Bazzani says he deserves his pension because he coordinated security at board meetings, worked with auditors on internal investigations and did other police-like duties. He says he's never done anything unethical.

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Quinn OKs New Rules For Early Release Program

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that authorizes early release of prison inmates with some new restrictions.

The Democratic governor halted all early release late in 2009 after some violent offenders were included in a version called "MGT Push." That program let some inmates out after just a few weeks behind bars.

The bill Quinn signed Friday allows inmates to be released early only if they are non-violent, display good behavior and serve at least 60 days with the Corrections Department.

The department also must issue reports on the program and notify local law enforcement two weeks before a prisoner is released.

Quinn says the bills will make the state's crowded prisons safer without jeopardizing the public.

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Report Shows Agents Improperly Leaked Illinois Prison Info

A state ethics officer has recommended firing two Illinois parole agents accused of leaking information about inmates who had been granted early release from prison.

However, both agents retired during the long-running investigation before the report was released.

The Office of the Executive Inspector General asserted that Daniel Reardon and James Crane improperly looked up information about the parolees, gave it to the press and later lied when questioned about the leaks.

The investigation was triggered by AP stories in late 2009 and early 2010 about "MGT Push," a program that quietly accelerated the process of granting time off for good behavior.

Reardon called the investigation a "witch hunt."

In its stories, the AP described its source as "a law enforcement official" familiar with state records.

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Illinois Fugitives Arrested In New Mexico

A manhunt that began with a deadly shooting in Illinois ended Saturday in the eastern New Mexico city of Tucumcari.

The U.S. Marshals Service arrested 20-year-old Carlton Neely and 22-year-old James Edward Johnson outside a truck stop early Saturday morning without incident after spotting 1 of the men buying food inside.

Murder warrants were issued for the men on June 15 in Illinois after the Marshals Service said the two men shot at least four people, killing one.

The Marshals Service said the pair fled to California, and investigators were able to track them to Arizona and then New Mexico.

After authorities combed Tucumcari area hotels for the men, a deputy saw Edwards buying food at a truck stop and notified his colleagues outside.

They're awaiting extradition back to Illinois.

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Full Scale Emergency Test Held At Midway Airport

Emergency officials responded to an airplane fire at Midway International Airport that injured 160 people - but luckily it was just an emergency drill.

Saturday's full-scale emergency response exercise involved Chicago, state and federal officials as well as volunteers posing as victims. It was meant to evaluate how well crews would respond to a real emergency.

Such exercises must be held at least once every three years.

Chicago Department of Aviation Commissioner Rosemarie Andolino says the safety and security of travelers and employees is of highest priority, and emergency preparedness training is a critical to ensuring everything goes smoothly in the event of an emergency.

The last full-scale exercise at Midway International Airport was in June 2009, and at O'Hare International, a similar required exercise was held in September 2011.

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Property Tax Grants Nixed For Seniors, Disabled

The state has eliminated a 40-year-old property tax relief program for senior citizens and the disabled because of Illinois' escalating budget problems.

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration ended the Circuit Breaker Program on Friday.

It was formed by the state in 1972 to help seniors and the disabled with property taxes.

The state spent $24 million on the program during the fiscal year ending June 30, with grants to homeowners typically ranging from about $90 to $350 depending on a recipient's income.

Quinn's administration said it had no choice but to abandon the program because no money was appropriated for it in the fiscal year starting July 1.

River Grove retiree Joeine Sheehan says her $35 annual check helped buy shoes or vitamins.

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Even With Tight udgets, Some Illinois Groups Fare Well

Even in a tough budget year, Illinois lawmakers can find ways to give special help to a few organizations with the right connections.

The budget includes a handful of grants that take money away from general services and divert it to specific groups.

There's $400,000 for a neighborhood development group on Chicago's South Side and $1.1 million to bus children to religious schools. An inactive commission on Latino families gets $750,000.

Details on the grants are hard to come by. The budget itself doesn't provide information, and the groups getting the money aren't saying much.

But it's no secret that the grants were included to help Democrats pass a budget.

An Illinois House appropriations chairman, Rep. Fred Crespo, says the grants were approved as Democrats scrambled to pick up votes.

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Illinois Medicare 'Doughnut Hole' Savings Average Over $6-Thousand

Thousands of Illinois residents with high medication costs are seeing some gains from a provision of the Affordable Care Act aimed at shrinking the Medicare drug coverage gap known as the "doughnut hole."

The federal government plans to release data Monday showing more than 26,000 Illinoisans with Medicare coverage saved a total of $16.7 million on prescription drugs in the first five months of 2012. The figures were released early to The Associated Press.

The average savings was $636 per person.

Last year, seniors began receiving discounts when they reached the "doughnut hole," a certain spending level that isn't covered by Medicare.

The government has released a flurry of positive news ahead of a Supreme Court ruling on President Barack Obama's health law, which could come as early as Monday.

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Quinn Announces $17-Million In Grants For Parks Projects

Gov. Pat Quinn says $12.3 million in grants have been awarded to Illinois communities to help build and improve parks and open spaces.

He made the announcement Saturday. Grants were awarded to 42 projects, including $400,000 to the Rockford Park District to develop a winter activity center and golf course and $400,000 to the Champaign Park District to develop Boulder Ridge Park.

Most of the grants are being funded by the Open Space Lands Acquisition and Development grant program administered by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. Three will receive federal funding through the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The state program is funded through the real estate transfer tax. Grant recipients must contribute at least half a project's total cost.

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Smokers Brace For Cigarette Tax Increase

Illinois smokers used the weekend to brace for the $1-a-pack cigarette tax increase that took effect Sunday, with some stocking up and others vowing to kick the habit.

Some business owners were doing a brisk business yesterday, but worry that could change now that the increase kicks in.

The tax on a pack of cigarettes is jumping from 98 cents to $1.98.

Lorraine Harvey is assistant manager at Discount Tobacco in Peoria. She says she'll try to quit smoking rather than pay the tax. But she hears others talking about buying cigarettes from other states.

Meanwhile, so many smokers stocked up that distributors are hd trouble meeting demand. Harvey has limited her customers to two cartons apiece until the tax increase takes effect.

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Skimpy Rainfall Leaves Illinois Dry State

The U.S. Drought Monitor says about 70% of Illinois is in a drought, while northern Illinois is "extremely-dry."

Illinois State Climatologist Jim Angel says it was warm and dry all spring, and he says the summer looks like it will be more of the same.

University of Illinois Extension educator Dennis Bowman says Illinois' crops are starting to show signs of stress. Bowman says corn roots, for example, don't like to grow in dry soil conditions and some plants sent into the university's Plant Clinic are showing signs of nutrient deficiency.

Kane County corn and soybean farmer Joe White says his crops are definitely suffering, and he says the last time he saw conditions this severe was during the drought of 1988.

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Congressman Johnson's Replacement Davis Setting Bar High For Himself

As Rodney Davis prepares for the November election, he has a lot of ideas on how he can be effective in Washington.

Davis will be the Republican replacement for Congressman Tim Johnson on the November ballot. As the Republican candidate makes his way around his 14 county district, he is making his intentions should he get elected to represent the area. Davis says his experience in working for Congressman John Shimkus make him very familiar with how the federal government works.

[audio:62212Davisagenda1.mp3] [/audio]

Davis says he knows Washington DC fairly well, which he feels will allow him to not be taken back by the area, but rather to get to work. He says he wants to be a leader amongst his constituents to help push legislation that matters to the people of his district.

[audio:62212Davisagenda2.mp3] [/audio]

Davis feels becoming partners with others in Washington starts with communication. He feels communication has broken down between Republicans and Democrats, and he hopes to make communicating with everyone a priority.

[audio:62212Davisagenda3.mp3] [/audio]

Davis feels Congressman Johnson and Shimkus and also Ray LaHood have set good examples of how to be a leader in Washington and work in a bipartisan way.

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New Program To Begin Soon To Help Seniors Prevent Scams

Local law enforcement groups around the area will be teaming up to start a program designed to help and inform senior citizens of financial abuse and scams.

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Department is gearing up to start what will be the DeWitt County Triad. According to DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner, over the past few years there has been a rise in financial scams committed against senior citizens. He hopes this new program will help educate senior citizens on how to watch out for the ever increasing crimes.

[audio:62112Triad1.mp3] [/audio]

To make the program successful, police departments in Clinton and Farmer City are teaming up with the DeWitt County Friendship Center,  other senior citizen facilities and volunteers in the county to help educate the older community. Shofner adds there are 300 similar and successful programs across the country.

[audio:62112Triad2.mp3] [/audio]

Shofner hopes with the DeWitt County Triad in place, senior citizens will be able to avoid
financial scams or be more likely to report them. Financial crimes are the second in crimes most likely not to be reported.

[audio:62112Triad3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information on Triad, contact the DeWitt County Sheriffs Department at 935-9507.

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Clinton Administrators Surprised By Okaw Dismantling Talks

School athletic directors and principles convened last week to discuss possible changes in the Okaw Valley Conference.

Okaw Valley officials got together Wednesday to talk about schools possibly leaving the Okaw Valley Conference. According to Clinton Athletic Director Karl Parrish, this news came as a surprise. He feels all the schools in the conference have great relationships, which makes the news all the more disappointing.

[audio:62512okawbreakup1.mp3] [/audio]

Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes says the Okaw Valley Conference is the premier conference at the very least in downstate Illinois. He points to the conference's 42 state trophies through the IHSA recognized sports as proof of the Okaw's strength.

[audio:62512okawbreakup2.mp3] [/audio]

With a likely separation of seven teams from the conference, Dr. Holmes believes this is being driven by football. He feels it is unfair for schools to look down on the success of schools like Tolono-Unity or Maroa-Forsyth because they have worked hard to get their programs to the successful levels they are at.

[audio:62512okawbreakup3.mp3] [/audio]

To leave the conference, schools must give two years notice prior to their departure, so the earliest any team could exit or enter the conference would be the 2014-15 school year.

Parrish believes the timeline of knowing a school's intent to withdraw from the Okaw Valley could come within the next month.

A special meeting is being held today by athletic directors from the five schools expected to remain in the Okaw, Maroa-Forsyth, Tolono-Unity, Clinton, Monticello and Decatur St. Teresa. They will be deciding what their plan of action will be moving forward.

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Arizona Takes Game One Of CWS

The Arizona Wildcats got on the board early with two runs in the first and held on to beat the South Carolina Gamecocks 5-1 in Game One of the College World Series Finals.  Konner Wade tossed a complete game, allowing only one run and six hits.  Robert Refsnyder blasted a two-run shot in the first.  Forrest Koumas did not get out of the third inning, giving up three total runs in two-and-a-third innings.  South Carolina is the two-time defending national champion.  The Wildcats have a chance to close out the series in Game Two on Monday.  The teams will play Game Three Tuesday with a Gamecock victory.

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Bears' Forte May Miss Camp, But Not Season

Despite still looking for a long-term contract, Chicago Bears running back Matt Forte plans to play this season.  He told the Bears radio network that he might not show up to training camp on time but it's unlikely he'll hold out during the regular season if he doesn't get a new deal.  The Bears put the franchise tag on Forte, who has yet to sign his $7.7-million tender.

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Bowyer Dominates For Sonoma Victory

Clint Bowyer won his first road-course race in the Sprint Cup Series with a dominating performance in Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Sonoma.  Bowyer drove the number-15 car to his first win for Michael Waltrip Racing, leading 71-of-112 laps.  The second caution of the day set up a green-white-checkered finish in which Bowyer beat defending Cup champion Tony Stewart to the line for his sixth-career win.  Kurt Busch couldn't defend his race title with a third-place finish while Brian Vickers came in fourth followed by Jimmie Johnson.  Despite a 13th-place finish, Matt Kenseth remained atop the point standings, while last week's winner at Michigan, Dale Earnhardt Jr., slipped to third in points behind Greg Biffle after a 23rd-place finish.

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Illini Guard Breaks Jaw

Illinois guard Brandon Paul suffered a broken jaw in a pickup basketball game with teammates and will have surgery.

Illinois spokesman Derrick Burson says Paul broke his jaw Thursday night when he collided with teammate Devin Langford as the two dove for a loose ball while playing at the team's practice facility.

Burson says Paul is scheduled for surgery Friday and is expected to return to non-contact drills in two weeks. There is no timetable for the senior's return to full practices.

Paul was the team's leading scorer last season with 14.7 points a game. He's expected to be a key piece of Illinois' backcourt in the first season for new head coach John Groce.

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White Sox Acquire Boston's Youkilis

The Boston Red Sox have traded infielder Kevin Youkilis to the Chicago White Sox for utilityman Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart. Will Middlebrooks' emergence in Boston made Youkilis expendable after a successful 8½-year run with the Red Sox. The versatile All-Star, who can play both of the corner infield spots, is a career .286 hitter with 133 homers and 563 RBIs. The AL Central-leading White Sox, who also receive cash in the deal, have been looking for a third baseman with Brent Morel plagued by back problems. The 25-year-old Stewart is 1-2 with a 6.00 ERA in 18 games with the White Sox this season. Lillibridge, 28, is hitting .175 with two RBIs and seven stolen bases in 48 games.

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White Sox, Cards Win Sunday; Cubs Swept

>>White Sox Sneak Past Brewers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Eduardo Escobar hit a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the tenth to give the White Sox a 1-0 win over the Brewers.  Jose Quintana dealt eight scoreless innings with four strikeouts, while reliever Brian Bruney grabbed his first win of the season.  Alejandro De Aza and Gordon Beckham each had two hits for Chicago, who took two-of-three from Milwaukee.  Michael Fiers struck out seven and didn't give up a run in seven-and-one-third innings in the loss.  Reliever Manny Parra fell to 0-and-2.

>>Cards Pound Royals

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Carlos Beltran hit his 20th home run of the season, a three-run shot in the first inning, to help the Cardinals beat the Royals, 11-8.  Allen Craig was 2-for-4 with two RBI and Matt Holliday went 1-for-2 with two runs scored and two RBI as the St. Louis swept Kansas City to move three games above .500.  After a scorching start to the year, Lance Lynn gave up five earned runs or more for his second straight outing.  Reliever Victor Marte earned the win.  The Cards open a three-game set with the Marlins in Miami tonight.  Jake Westbrook will get the start against Ricky Nolasco.

>>Snakes Sweep Cubs

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  Justin Upton plated three runs to back eight strong innings from Wade Miley as the Diamondbacks cruised to a 5-1 win over the Cubs.  Miley struck out seven and gave up just one run on three hits with a walk to improve to 9-and-3 on the season.  Jason Kubel added a solo home run and Aaron Hill also knocked in a run for Arizona, which swept the three-game set at Chase Field and has won four straight overall.  Alfonso Soriano's solo dinger in the seventh inning accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Matt Garza gave up three runs in seven innings of duty to suffer the loss.  The Cubs have dropped four in-a-row and six of their last eight.

MLB Interleague
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Tampa Bay Rays 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2 (Gm.1)
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Philadelphia Phillies 3 (Gm.2)
Minnesota Twins 4, Cincinnati Reds 3
Miami Marlins 9, Toronto Blue Jays 0
Boston Red Sox 9, Atlanta Braves 4
Baltimore Orioles 2, Washington Nationals 1
Detroit Tigers 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Houston Astros 7, Cleveland Indians 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
Oakland Athletics 4, San Francisco Giants 2
San Diego Padres 2, Seattle Mariners 0
Texas Rangers 4, Colorado Rockies 2
New York Yankees 6, New York Mets 5

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITAITONS

6/21/12

CODY HUFFMAN 22, CLINTON NO VALID REGISTRATION. BOND POSTED

 

6/22/12

WILLIAM D. RIVERA 30, CLINTON NO VALID DRIVERS LICENSE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

ELIA M. LOBANO 31, CLINTON ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

SUMMER E. MOORE 29, MAROA ILLEGAL TRANSPORTATION OF ALCOHOL. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

6/23/12

JONATHON S. BATESON, OPERATING MOTORCYCLE ON 1 WHEEL, NO VALID REGISTRATION, OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE. BOND POSTED

 

ON 6/22/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED STEPHEN W. MOORE 55, CLINOTN ON A DEWITT COUNTY WARRANT. MOORE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 6/23/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CASSIE N. DOCKRILL 20, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. DOCKRILL WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

June 23, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 3

 

June 24, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

June 25, 2012

 

Jail Population: 72

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Richard Ishmael, 32, Wapella, was issued a citation for Illegal transportation Alcohol. Ishmael posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Paige Thayer, 19, Clinton, was issued citations for Leaving The Scene Of An Accident and Improper Lane Usage. Thayer posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Stephanie Beck, 36, Wapella, was issued citations for Disobeying Traffic Control Device, Illegal Transportation Alcohol, and Driving Under Influence. Beck posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Karla Norton, 42, Clinton, was arrested on a Macon County Warrant charging her with Failure To Appear. Norton posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Kevin Jarvis, 23, Waynesville, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear. Jarvis posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Mansfield Jr. High Construction Set To Begin July 9

The Blue Ridge School district is about ready for construction to begin on their plan to add on to the Mansfield Junior High School facility.

The district has wrapped up their bid process and Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson explains the bids have come in well under budget. They are under budget by over $200-thousand, leaving the district with a contingency fund of about 10%, or around $600-thousand, which will be reduced to 5% once the construction gets going.

[audio:62612mansfieldupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

Because of the downturn of the economy, Wilson explains they have anticipated a competitive bidding environment. She feels that has caused the bids to come in under budget, which has definitely played to their advantage.

[audio:62612mansfieldupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

As the plan continues to move forward, Wilson feels the Board of Education has been aggressive in their pursuit to begin construction and make this dream a reality. Currently, the plan is within a week or two of it's original time line.

[audio:62612mansfieldupdate3.mp3] [/audio]

Construction is slated to begin on July 9. Contracts are currently being finalized and background checks completed on workers.

The interest rate on the bonds will be over 1% less than projected, and expected to save taxpayers about $1-million in interest payments over the life of the bond issue from what was previously thought.

The bond and interest tax rate from 2012-2034 is estimated to range from 43-44 cents per $100 Equalized Assessed Valuation of Property. This is 5 cents less than projected. On a home valued at about $100,000 this represents a savings of about $15 a year over the previous estimates.

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College World Series Recap

Two-time defending national champion the University of South Carolina will meet the University of Arizona in the finals of the College World Series.

South Carolina defeated Arkansas 3-2  Thursday to advance to the best-of-three National Collegiate Athletic Association baseball finals for the third consecutive year in Omaha, Nebraska.

The Gamecocks, down by two runs to none, rallied in the fifth inning to tie the score and then took the lead in the seventh inning when Joey Pankake scored on a bases-loaded walk.

The teams meet for Game 1 tonight with the second game scheduled for the following night. If a third and deciding game is needed, it will be played June 26.

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Local Unemployment Figures For May

County by county May unemployment figures were released Thursday.

DeWitt County's unemployment rates dropped slightly to 7.1%

Piatt County stayed about the same going from 7.3% to 7.2%.

Macon County saw a slight rise to 9.5, and Champaign County also saw a rise from 6.9% to 7.1%.

Other counties that also saw only slight changes were Sangamon dropping rom 6.8 to 6.7%, Logan sslipping into 7.1% and Shelby, going from 7.9 to 7.8%.

McLean, Christian and Moultrie Counties saw no changes in their unemployment rates, staying at 6.2, 7.9 and 6.5% respectively.

The hightest unemployment rate was in Alexnder County at 11%. This is 4% less than what they recorded in May 2011.

The lowest unemployment went to Brown County, who saw another drop from 4.1 to 3.9%, being the only county below 4% unemployment.

Illinois overall saw a drop from 8.6 to 8.4%, this is good news seeing as the nation's average rose from 7.7 to 7.9.

 

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FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Chicago Cubs 1

MLB Interleague
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Baltimore Orioles 2, Washington Nationals 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Detroit Tigers 1
Tampa Bay Rays at Philadelphia Phillies (PPD)
Atlanta Braves 4, Boston Red Sox 1
Minnesota Twins 5, Cincinnati Reds 4
New York Mets 6, New York Yankees 4
Toronto Blue Jays 12, Miami Marlins 5
Texas Rangers 4, Colorado Rockies 1
Cleveland Indians 2, Houston Astros 0
St. Louis Cardinals 11, Kansas City Royals 4
Milwaukee Brewers 1, Chicago White Sox 0 (10 inn)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 5
San Francisco Giants 5, Oakland Athletics 4
San Diego Padres 9, Seattle Mariners 5

WNBA
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Seattle Storm 82, San Antonio Silver Stars 76

 

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Cards Crush Royals

Carlos Beltran knocked in four runs and scored twice as the Cardinals crushed the Royals, 11-4.  David Freese and Tyler Greene each drove in a pair of runs for St. Louis, which has won two of its last three.  Joe Kelly gave up three runs in six innings for his first career win.  Salvador Perez lifted a two-run home run in his first game of the season for Kansas City, which saw a two-game win streak come to an end.  Vin Mazzaro allowed seven runs in an inning and a third for the setback.

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Brewers Outlast White Sox

Rickie Weeks singled in a run in the top of the 10th inning to give the Brewers a 1-0 win over the White Sox.  Zack Greinke [[ GRAIN-key ]] tossed nine innings of three-hit ball for his eighth win.  John Axford recorded his 13th save for Milwaukee, which has won two in-a-row.  Chris Sale struck out seven and allowed four hits and a walk over eight innings in a no-decision.  Jesse Crain took the loss for Chicago, which has lost four of its last five. 

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D'backs Cruise Past Cubs

Jason Kubel smacked a two-run homer to lead the Diamondbacks in a 6-1 win over the Cubs.  Miguel Montero tripled in a pair of runs, while Aaron Hill and Justin Upton also plated a run each for the D'backs, who have eight-of-nine at home and are now back at the .500 mark at 35-and-35.  Brad Zeigler tossed two scoreless innings to pick up his fourth win in relief.  David Hernandez recorded the final four outs for his second save.  Geovany Soto homered in the fourth for the Cubs, who have dropped four of their last six.  Jeff Samardzija allowed five runs in five-plus frames to fall to 5-and-6 with his third straight loss.

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Weekly Weather Update

It's been another dry week for Illinois. While some areas recieved small amounts of rain, the state is still below it's expected precipitation. State Climatologist Jim Angel has more....

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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New Financial Aid Announced For Mississippi River Basin Initiative

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that $8.4 million of financial assistance will be availble to 23 different projects under the USDA's  Mississippi River Basin Healthy Watersheds Initiative.

According to Vilsack, the projects are to help target priority conservation practices in priority watersheds to improve water quality in the river's basin. The USDA is working with local agencies and producers to help improve the quality of water and the quality of life for those who live in the Mississippi River basin.

The MRBI was first announced in 2009 to help agriculture producers implement conservation and management practices that prevent, control and trap nutrient runoff from farming lands.

This intitiative is one of the many ways USDA works with state and local governments and private landowners to conserve and protect our nation's natural resources, helping preserve our land, and clean our air and water.

For more information go to nrcs.usda.gov.

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Barickman Upset About Dwight Correctional Center Closing

State Representative Jason Barickman says he finds Govenor Quinn's decision to close the Dwight Correctional Center a huge mistake.

Barickman says closing the facility will actually cost Illinois taxpayers millions instead of helping the budget. He claims that the closure is an attack on downstate Illinois by bringing more prisons to the area.

[audio:62212BarickmanDwightA.MP3] [/audio]

When the Dwight facility closes, it is set that all the inmates will be moved to the Logan County facility. If this transfer happens Logan will need approval for new upgrades.

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Decatur Preparing For Bassmaster Event

Organizers from B.A.S.S. Bassmaster have met with Decatur leaders in preparation for the September 20-23, 2012 Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament final event in Nelson Park.

Plans are already underway to accommodate the expected number of visitors to our area. Attendance at previous tournaments led Bassmaster organizers to estimate 7,000 and 8,000 visitors per day on just the final two days of the four-day Decatur event.

With that many visitors coming to town, most local and area hotels can expect to be filled to capacity. According to Jeff Hendricks, Executive Director of the Decatur Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, that equates to an estimated 4,000 to 6,000 room nights, and the event has the potential to bring a lot of money into the Decatur area

The Convention and Visitors Bureau is playing a key role in the popular event by contracting with Bassmaster to help staff, publicize, and organize the tournament. Hendricks says the Bureau has already started collecting names of individuals and groups interested in volunteering to help with the tournament.

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Normal Resident Wins Special Olympics Outstanding Athlete

Sandra Froman of Normal was named 2012 Special Olympics Illinois Outstanding Athlete of the Year. She was honored at a reception held on June 15 before the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games Opening Ceremonies at Illinois State University in Normal.

The Outstanding Athlete Award recognizes a Special Olympics Illinois athlete whose achievements, dedication and commitment to their team and themselves exemplifies the purpose of Special Olympics.

Froman has been a Special Olympics Illinois Athlete for 29 years, competing with Special Opportunities Available in Recreation in Bloomington. She participated in basketball, bowling, soccer, volleyball, golf, bocce, aquatics, and athletics. She was one of the first female athletes to run the mile. While she was successful in these sports, Froman moved to the lifetime sports competition, competing in Unified bocce and bowling.

Most recently, Froman has dedicated her time to Special Olympics as a volunteer and is also on the volunteer committee, helping distribute thousands of volunteer registration forms as well as helping mail back confirmation letters to many volunteers.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities.

For more information, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

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Special Olympics Had Big Turnout

Nearly 4,000 athletes from across the state competed in the Special Olympics Illinois Summer Games on June 15-17 at Illinois State University in Normal.

Athletes competed in aquatics, track & field, bocce, gymnastics, powerlifting or soccer.

To compete in the State Summer Games, athletes must have completed eight weeks of training and qualified through Area or District competition. Athletes are divisioned based on age and skill level so that each athlete can have the opportunity to experience success while competing on a comparable playing field.

Also at this year’s Summer Games, 6- and 7-year-olds in the Young Athletes Program were able to participate in the 50-meter run, tennis ball throw and soccer skills.

Those in attendance included approximately 3967 athletes, 2,000 family members, 1621 coaches and 2,500 volunteers

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics changes lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life.

For more information,  call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

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SIU Study Shows Why Women Live Longer Than Men

On average men live shorter lives than women – in part because men don’t give as much attention to their health, including getting physical check ups and screenings on a regular basis.

Men are at risk for premature death at younger ages compared to women. That’s because men have earlier and more severe coronary artery disease and they have some different types of cancers, says Dr. Seigfreid Yu, assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He explains some reasons why men put off seeing a doctor.

[audio:siumen1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Yu says men need to get the appropriate screenings and follow various health guidelines to take good care of themselves. They should know their readings for blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol. He advises men to stop smoking, get adequate exercise and manage their weight.

[audio:siumen2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Yu stresses the importance for men to stop smoking, limit alcohol use and see their primary care physicians for regular check ups and screenings so they can correctly manage any risk factors they may have.

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Reminders For Lightning Safety Week

LIGHTNING SAFETY WEEK BEGINS SUNDAY WITH A REMINDER THAT “WHEN THUNDER ROARS, GO INDOORS”

ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON SAYS EVEN WHEN IT SEEMS A STORM IS FAR AWAY…THE DANGER OF BEING STRUCK BY LIGHTNING IS STILL THERE.

[audio:lightning1.mp3] [/audio]

ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE…ABOUT 55 PEOPLE DIE AND OVER ONE THOUSAND ARE INJURED BY LIGHTNING STRIKES EACH YEAR IN THE US.

LIGHTNING CAN STRIKE AS FAR AS 10 MILES AWAY FROM THE STORM…SO WHEN YOU START HEARING THUNDER…YOU NEED TO GET INSIDE SAYS ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON. BUT IF YOU’RE OUTSIDE AND CAN’T FIND SHELTER?

[audio:lightning2.mp3] [/audio]

AND WHILE LESS THAN 10 PERCENT OF PEOPLE WHO ARE STRUCK BY LIGHTING ARE KILLED…MANY ARE SERIOUSLY INJURED AND SUFFER FROM LONG TERM EFFECTS LIKE CHRONIC PAIN…NERVE DAMAGE AND DIZZINESS.

 

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Annual Sex-Offender Fee Generates Little Money

A 2010 change in state law allowed law enforcement agencies that maintain sex-offender registries to increase the annual fees they charge offenders to $100. That's a tenfold increase and at least a few local agencies have made the shift.

But Greg Sullivan of the Illinois Sheriffs Association says not nearly enough have.

The association pushed the increase to raise money for a new statewide sex-offender tracking system operated by the Attorney General's office. Of every $100 collected, $30 would go to that system. Sullivan says only a fraction of the money he hoped to raise is being collected.

Streator raised its fee this week. But Mayor Jimmie Lansford says he doesn't expect to collect much money.

 

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Agents Improperly Leaked Illinois Prison Info

A state ethics officer has recommended firing two Illinois parole agents accused of leaking information about inmates who had been granted early release from prison.

However, both agents retired during the long-running investigation before the report was released.

The Office of the Executive Inspector General asserted that Daniel Reardon and James Crane improperly looked up information about the parolees, gave it to The Associated Press and later lied when questioned about the leaks.

The investigation was triggered by AP stories in late 2009 and early 2010 about "MGT Push," a program that quietly accelerated the process of granting time off for good behavior.

Reardon called the investigation a "witch hunt."

In its stories, the AP described its source as "a law enforcement official" familiar with state records.

A state ethics officer has recommended firing two Illinois parole agents accused of leaking information about inmates who had been granted early release from prison.

However, both agents retired during the long-running investigation before the report was released.

The Office of the Executive Inspector General asserted that Daniel Reardon and James Crane improperly looked up information about the parolees, gave it to The Associated Press and later lied when questioned about the leaks.

The investigation was triggered by AP stories in late 2009 and early 2010 about "MGT Push," a program that quietly accelerated the process of granting time off for good behavior.

Reardon called the investigation a "witch hunt."

In its stories, the AP described its source as "a law enforcement official" familiar with state records.

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Quinn OKs New Rules For Early Prison Release

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation that authorizes early release of prison inmates with some new restrictions.

The Democratic governor halted all early release late in 2009 after some violent offenders were included in a version called "MGT Push." That program let some inmates out after just a few weeks behind bars.

The bill Quinn signed Friday allows inmates to be released early only if they are non-violent, display good behavior and serve at least 60 days with the Corrections Department.

The department also must issue reports on the program and notify local law enforcement two weeks before a prisoner is released.

Quinn says the bills will make the state's crowded prisons safer without jeopardizing the public.


The bill is SB2621.

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Illinois Circuit Breaker Property Tax Help Ending

Low-income seniors and disabled Illinoisans have one week to apply for property tax help through the state's Circuit Breaker program.

The Legislature didn't approve funds for Circuit Breaker property tax grants for fiscal year 2013. That means they'll no longer be available after June 30.

Seniors and the disabled can apply online at the Illinois Department on Aging's website. Mailed applications must be postmarked by June 30.

Illinois residents must be 65 or older or have a disability. Total income for 2011 must be less than $27,610 for a single-person household.

Starting July 1, only the license plate discount, "Seniors Ride Free" and "Disabled Ride Free" benefits will continue to be processed. The property tax grant and Illinois Cares Rx drug assistance program are no longer available.

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States Form Coalition To Boost Career Training

More than a year after the release of a Harvard University report encouraging the development of more pathways to careers for young adults, a coalition of 6 states has begun taking steps toward offering viable alternatives for students other than attending a 4-year college.

The Pathways to Prosperity report by Harvard University's Graduate School of Education concluded millions of students are being shortchanged in preparation for a successful career by a one-size-fits-all approach that encourages everyone to earn a bachelor's degree.

Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, North Carolina and Tennessee announced Tuesday they have formed a network to build alternative tracks leading to a successful career. They'll be working with the Pathways to Prosperity Project at Harvard and Jobs for the Future to connect employers with educators and policymakers.

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Red Wolf Pups Born At Miller Park Zoo

There are two new additions at Bloomington’s Miller Park Zoo.   The zoo’s Red Wolves, ‘Kai’ and ‘Bruiser’ gave birth to two new pups, one male and one female, who are now emerging from the den box and can be seen in the Red Wolf habitat.  Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says it’s the third spring that Kai has delivered, which is a great success for the national Red Wolf Species Survival Program.  Red Wolves are an endangered species. Tetzloff says in 1970, there were only 14 pure Red Wolves known to be alive in the world, and by 1980, those wolves had been removed from the wild to establish a breeding program to restore the population.  Now, there are approximately 179 Red Wolves in 40 institutions.

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Court Says Use New Drug Sentencing Law In Crack Case

The Supreme Court says criminals who were arrested but not yet sentenced for crack cocaine offenses should be able to take advantage of newly reduced sentences.

Corey A. Hill and Edward Dorsey were arrested in 2007 and 2008 for selling crack cocaine and faced mandatory 10-year sentences in Illinois. But they weren't sentenced until after the Fair Sentencing Act went into effect in August 2010. That law reduces the difference between sentences for crimes committed by crack cocaine and powder cocaine users.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in a 5-4 decision Thursday that the courts should have used the new law to sentence the two men.

Chief Justice John Roberts, and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito dissented.

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Health Insurers To Pay $62-Million In Rebates In Illinois

The Obama administration has announced that 300,000 Illinoisans will benefit from nearly $62 million in rebates from insurance companies because of the federal health law that critics have labeled "Obamacare."

The law requires insurance companies to spend at least 80% of the premiums they collect on medical care and quality improvement - or return the difference to consumers and employers by Aug. 1.

The administration says the Illinois rebates will average $380 for the 163,000 families covered by policies not meeting the standard. Some will go to individuals and some to employers, who can apply rebates in a way that benefits workers.

Individual policyholders owed a rebate will either get a check, a reimbursement to their credit card account or see a reduction in future premiums.

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Auditor Shows Total Deficit Over $43-Billion

The Illinois budget news just keeps getting worse. The auditor general says the overall state budget deficit passed the $43 billion mark last year.

Five years earlier, the deficit was less than $19 billion.

The report Thursday from Auditor General William Holland looks at all state government assets and liabilities. It's a broader picture than the annual budget. The report is also a year out of date.

The report shows some improvement in the state's main account. The deficit in the General Revenue Fund shrank to $8.1 billion, a drop of $700 million.

Holland said the state's overall deficit of $43.8 billion was easily the worst in the nation.

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Rural Midwest, West Growth Slowing

A June survey report says growth in rural areas of 10 Midwestern and Western states has slowed.

The report released Thursday says the Rural Mainstreet Index hit its lowest level of the year, 56.7, compared with 58.5 in May.

But survey organizers say any survey index score above 50 on the 100-point scale suggests growth in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey of rural bankers. Goss says the global economic slowdown, combined with a stronger U.S$., have pushed agriculture and energy prices lower. He says downward pressure that weakens overall growth for rural parts of the 10 states.

The states are Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

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Follow The Money In Campaigns

A handy new tool is available for people interested in keeping a close eye on campaign contributions.  Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has launched the "Open Book" database, which let's you follow the money in campaigns.  The database compares state contracts with campaign contributions and gives users a portal of transparency in state government.  It lists every dollar donated and combines information from the Comptroller's accounting system with the Illinois State Board of Elections semi-annual campaign finance disclosure reports.  To check it out, go to Openbook.IllinoisComptroller.com.

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IEPA Says Illinois Water Supplies Meet Standards

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency says the state's public water supplies consistently met state and federal health standards last year.

More than 12 million people in Illinois rely on public water sources for drinking, cooking and bathing.

The agency provides its annual analysis to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The latest report says 99.9% of the population was served by community water supplies that met all short-term health standards and 96.9 got water that complied with long-term standards.

All water supplies that had violations in 2011 have either returned to compliance, have agreed to take steps necessary to return to compliance, or are in the formal enforcement process involving the office of the Illinois Attorney General or the federal EPA.

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Lawmakers Put Pension talks On Hold

Lawmakers are putting pension talks on hold.  Governor Quinn says the delay doesn't mean they're not serious about resolving the pension liability.

[audio:rddPenTalks1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says the pension fix is still a priority because it's squeezing money from other important areas.

[audio:rddPenTalks2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says talks are stalled when it comes to how to implement the pension fix.

[audio:rddPenTalks3.mp3] [/audio]

A new report puts Illinois' pension liability over 200 billion dollars.  Lawmakers had planned to pass a pension fix before finishing up the spring session on May 31st but a disagreement on cost shifting shut talks down.  Now, lawmakers will take five weeks to do a comprehensive study on how cost shifting will impact schools, plus analyze how schools are funded between school districts across the state.  Quinn wants to have a plan before the November election.

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EAB Discovered In Champaign

The emerald ash borer is working its way across Illinois with confirmation of the insect's spread to Champaign.

The city of Champaign confirmed this week that 1 of the insects has been found in the city. Ash borer larvae feed on the bark of ash trees and are believed to have killed tens of millions of the trees since the bugs were first discovered in Detroit in 2002.

The city has been anticipating the bugs for years. Planting of new ash trees was already prohibited on public property and many trees that were in poor health had already been removed.

Champaign County was designated a quarantine zone after an ash borer was found in Rantoul in 2010.

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Decatur Businesses Sell Alcohol To Minors

Two Macon County businesses are busted for selling liquor to minors.  The Illinois Liquor Commission teamed up with law enforcement agencies and a group of volunteers under the age of 21 to conduct the sting last month.  They scoped out 13 businesses in Macon County.  Eleven businesses refused to sell liquor to the minors but two were cited for non-compliance.  They include Hot Spot on West Eldorado in Decatur and Applebee's in Forsyth.  Each business will be assessed fines and, or penalties based on their previous compliance.

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Governor Signs Law Ending State Retirees Free Premiums

STATE OF ILLINOIS RETIREES ARE GOING TO HAVE TO START PAYING MONTHLY PREMIUMS FOR THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE.

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SIGNED A NEW LAW ENDING FREE PREMIUMS FOR STATE RETIREES. SPOKESPERSON ANNIE THOMPSON SAYS THE CHANGE IS NEEDED TO MAKE SURE FORMER WORKERS HAVE HEALTH CARE COVERAGE...WHILE PRESERVING STATE FINANCES.

[audio:retiree1.mp3] [/audio]

THOMPSON SAYS THE AMOUNT RETIREES WILL HAVE TO PAY WILL BE DETERMINED IN COMING MONTHS.

[audio:retiree2.mp3] [/audio]

RETIREES CURRENTLY PAY NO MONTHLY PREMIUM…BUT ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR CO-PAYS AND DEDUCTIBLES. THE CHANGE APPLIES TO STATE WORKERS…LAWMAKERS…JUDGES…AND UNIVERSITY EMPLOYEES.

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Clinton Fire Department Responds To Wednesday Incident At Eagle Theater

 width=On Wednesday afternoon, Clinton Firefighters responded to reports of smoke from the Clintonia Eagle Theater.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton explains upon arrival and further investigation they found a furnace motor had overheated that was the problem. He notes they caught the problem before it could catch fire.

[audio:62212eaglefire1.mp3] [/audio]

This is not the first time firefighters have been called out to the Eagle. Chief Milton notes they have had similar encounters like the one Wednesday in the past.

[audio:62212eaglefire2.mp3] [/audio]

Firefighters were on hand for approximately a half hour. No one was injured and no damage was reported.

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Ambulance Advisory Committee Continues Progress Towards Ambulance Service In DeWitt County

The Ambulance Advisory Committee continues to progress forward in coming up with an ambulance service for DeWitt County.

At the DeWitt County Board's regular monthly meeting Wednesday, Chair of the Committee, Teresa Barnett updated the Board on where they stand. She says they have worked with several outside firms in developing what exactly they need to be looking for in bringing in a service for the county.

[audio:62212aac1.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee met Wednesday evening and Barnett calls their work Thursday their first complete work session. She says they have been keeping notes of what they will put in their bid package and continue to work on the points they want in the package.

[audio:62212aac2.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley had asked the Committee to have a request for proposal (RFP) ready for the Board's regular July 19 meeting. Because of slow progress at first, that deadline seemed like it would not be met, but Barnett says, the Committee has progressed enough they should be able to have the RFP ready for the July 19 meeting.

[audio:62212aac3.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett is very pleased with the way the Committee is working together and the work they are putting in.

In other business from the DeWitt County Board's regular monthly meeting Thursday evening:

>> Approved using Patrick Engineering to review Landfill Permit Modifications on an as needed basis.

>> Approved the purchase of two Sheriff's Department squad cars, as next year the price of those vehicles is set to increase by approximately $5-thousand a vehicle.

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NASCAR Notes

>>Sprint Cup Series In Sonoma

(Sonoma, CA)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is in Sonoma this weekend for Sunday's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.  Kurt Busch won at Sonoma last year.  No driver other than Jeff Gordon has won two straight at Sonoma in the 23-year history of the race.  Gordon won at Sonoma consecutively from 1998-2000.  Last season, Busch captured his first road course victory in the series.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. snapped a 143-race winless streak by taking the checkered flag last weekend at Michigan.  Matt Kenseth holds a four-point lead over Junior in the Cup Standings.

>>La Russa Grand Marshal For Toyota/Save Mart 350

(Sonoma, CA)  --  Retired major league manager Tony La Russa is taking part in this weekend's NASCAR event.  He will serve as Grand Marshal for the Sprint Cup's Toyota/Save Mart 350 at Infineon Raceway.  The 67-year-old will be honored at a fundraiser banquet on Friday and participate in the official command of, "Gentlemen, Start Your Engines" before Sunday's race.  La Russa retired shortly after the St. Louis Cardinals won the 2011 World Series.  A four-time Manager of the Year and three-time World Series champ, La Russa is the third-winningest manager in major league history.  His number-10 jersey was retired by the Cardinals in May after he spent 16 years in the St. Louis dugout.

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College World Series Notes

The Arizona Wildcats advanced to the College World Series Championship Finals on Thursday with a 10-3 victory over Florida State.  Kurt Heyer tossed seven-and-a-third frames of two-run ball for the win.  Brandon Leibrandt failed to get out of the first inning, giving up six total runs, two earned, in a third of an inning.  It's Arizona's first trip to the Finals since 1986.

In Bracket Two, two-time defending national champion South Carolina eliminated Kent State in a make up game from Wednesday night.  The Gamecocks also staved off elimination with a 2-0 win over Arkansas.  Jordan Montgomery tossed eight shutout innings with six strikeouts for the win.  Randall Fant gave up both runs for Arkansas in the setback.  The two teams will meet again Friday, with the winner advancing to face Arizona in a best-of-three Finals, which begin on Sunday night.

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Heat Win NBA Finals; LeBron MVP

LeBron James' quest for his first NBA championship is complete.  James and the Heat defeated the Thunder, 121-106, in Game Five of the NBA Finals.  Miami won the final four games in the best-of-seven series to capture its second title in franchise history.  James, who famously left the Cavaliers to join the Heat during the 2010 offseason, logged a triple-double with 26 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists in the title-clinching victory.  James was named Finals MVP.

Chris Bosh, who also joined the Heat in 2010, had 24 points and seven assists.  Dwyane Wade collected 20 points and eight boards, while Mike Miller went 7-of-8 from three-point range as part of a 23-point night off the bench.  Kevin Durant finished with 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Thunder.  Russell Westbrook had 19 points on 4-of-20 shooting in the loss.

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Tigers Top Cards; MLB Notes

>>Tigers Clip Cards In Ten

(Detroit, MI)  --  Quintin Berry grounded a bases-loaded single up the middle in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Tigers a 2-1 win over the Cardinals.  Prince Fielder hit a solo homer in the fourth for Detroit, which took two-of-three in the Interleague matchup at Comerica Park.  Joaquin Benoit got the win, while Victor Martetook the loss.  Matt Holliday lofted a sac-fly in the fifth to tie the game at one for St. Louis.  Starter Jacob Turner pitched five innings of one-run ball in his season debut for the Tigers.  Kyle Lohse threw seven innings of one-run ball for the Cards.

MLB NL
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Colorado Rockies 4, Philadelphia Phillies 1

MLB Interleague
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Oakland Athletics 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Minnesota Twins 1
Washington Nationals 5, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Boston Red Sox 6, Miami Marlins 5

>>Cubs Clash With D'backs

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  The Chicago Cubs kick off a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks this evening at Chase Field.  Jeff Samardzija gets the nod opposite Joe Saunders in the opener.  The Northsiders took two-of-three from the White Sox in their last set to improve to 24-and-45 on the season.

>>White Sox On The Diamond

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox are back on the diamond this evening as they open up a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at The Cell.  Chris Sale will go up against Zack Greinke in game one.  The Southsiders dropped two-of-three to the Cubs in their last set, but won Wednesday's finale to improve to 36-and-33 on the season.

>>Pair Of Prospects To Represent Cards

(Undated)  --  Kolten Wong and Oscar Taveras will represent the St. Louis Cardinals at the 2012 All-Star Futures Game in Kansas City on July 8th.  Wong and Taveras are teammates for Double-A Springfield.  Wong will play for the U.S. Team, while Taveras will oppose him on the World Team.  The Hawaiian infielder is batting .301 with seven homers and 31 RBI this season in the Texas League.  The Dominican outfielder is hitting just over .320 with 13 bombs and 47 runs batted in for the Springfield Cardinals.

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Clinton Police Report for 6-22

ON 6/21/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JAMES W. MITCHEL 22, CLINTON FOR DISOBEYED STOP SIGN AND DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED. MITCHEL WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND WAS RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 6/21/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CASANDRA B. SHOFNER 24, CLINTON FOR OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE, AND DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED. SHOFNER WAS RELEASED ON A NOTICE TO APPEAR.

 

ON 6/21/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED STEVEN E. MARTIN 18, LANE FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. MARTIN 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 6-22

June 22, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Christopher Pine, 40, Clinton, was issued citations for Driving Under Influence, Failure To Signal, Improper Lane Usage and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Pine posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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DNR Investigating Recent Break Ins At Area Parks

The Department of Natural Resources has had to handle numerous park break ins recently.

According to Ray Wichus, Department of Natural Resources conservation officer, people need to be on the look out for suspicious behavior in parks. He adds that you should notify the department or police as soon as you notice something.

[audio:61812BreakIns1.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus says its often that the call adds up to be nothing, but says its better to call just in case, adding that its better to be over prepared then letting something happen. Recent break ins have caused a lot of damage.  

[audio:61812BreakIns2.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus adds that people can help investigators by taking down identification like license plate number or personal description.

To report a suspicious act, call your district's Department of Natural Resources or local police station. For DeWitt County, the district number is 217-935-6860.

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American Medical Association Supports Requiring Obesity Education For Kids

The American Medical Association says yearly instruction aimed at preventing obesity should be required for public schoolchildren and teens.

Support for such education is among new obesity-fighting policies that the nation's largest doctors group adopted at its annual meeting Wednesday.

The AMA says it will support legislation that would require yearly classes in causes, consequences and prevention of obesity for grades 1 through 12.

Doctors will be encouraged to volunteer their time to help the effort.

Another new policy says the AMA supports the idea of taxing sugar-sweetened sodas as one way to help pay for obesity-fighting programs. But the group stopped short of a full-fledged endorsement. Some doctors think soda taxes would disproportionately hurt the poor and disadvantaged.

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Durbin Calls Off Congressional Hearing On NFL Bounties

There will be no congressional hearing on bounties in the NFL.  Senator Dick Durbin met with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday and said he is satisfied Goodell is handling the problem appropriately.

[audio:DurbinBounty620a.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin explains the interest of Congress in the bounty scandal.

[audio:DurbinBounty620b.mp3] [/audio]

Durbin said several months ago that Congress would look into whether there should be a federal law making bounty programs in the NFL a crime.  Among the steps Goodell is taking is to add a bounty section to player handbooks, posters in locker rooms and a hotline number for team personnel to report any suspected bounty activity.  Bounties have been a hot topic since an NFL investigation that alleges more than 20 New Orleans Saints players took part in an improper pay-to-injure program.

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Scammers Target The Unemployed

A new scam targets people who are unemployed and looking to extend their unemployment benefits.  Marion police say scammers are asking people for personal information such as name, date of birth, and social security number on a bogus website.  Police are urging people not to provide the information. They say the scammers could use it to apply for loans, open credit cards, or doing other things to damage a person's credit.  The scammers have the Marion Fire Department's address and phone number listed as their own on the website.  Officials at the firehouse say they've already intercepted several phone calls from people asking about unemployment benefits.  Authorities say the unemployment office is the only authorized agency that can extend benefits.

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Illinois Government Transparency Site Expands

A website devoted to information about Illinois government is expanding.

The Ledger now shows how much the state has paid to groups and businesses that provide services to the government. It also includes salary information for state officials and details on boards and commissions.

It provides links to lobbyist reports and the General Assembly.

The site already offered information on state spending, contracts and campaign donations.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka operates the site. She says she'll continue expanding the website to help people keep watch on their government and their tax money.

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East Peoria Lifts Pet Rabbit Ban

Bunnies are no longer banned in East Peoria.

The East Peoria City Council approved an amendment to a city ordinance Tuesday. Residents had lobbied the city to change language in the ordinance, which included rabbits on a list of prohibited animals along with cattle, sheep, ponies and foxes.

Resident Cindy Miller took up the cause after she was cited for violating the ordinance because of her son Isaac's pet rabbit, Fifi. Miller calls the change in the ordinance "awesome."

The change passed on a 5-0 vote, and Commissioner Chad Joos called it "a sensible amendment."

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Illinois Health Care Centers Receive $6.5-Million in Federal Funding

Eleven health centers in Illinois have been awarded grants under the Affordable Care Act to expand care.

The Illinois grants announced Wednesday total nearly $6.5 million. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius (seh-BEEL'-yuhs) announced more than $128 million in awards to health centers in 41 states.

Health center officials are pleased the grants came before the Supreme Court's decision on the health law, which is expected this month.

Illinois cities with grant awardees are Aurora, Bloomington, East St. Louis, Elgin, Galesburg, La Grange and Springfield.

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Prison Closures Concerning To Several In Springfield

THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF PRISON CLOSURES IN ILLINOIS IS RAISING CONCERNS AMONG LAWMAKERS AND OTHER TOP OFFICIALS.

ALTHOUGH THE LEGISLATURE INCLUDED MONEY IN THE NEW STATE BUDGET TO KEEP THE FACILITIES OPEN…GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS MOVING FORWARD WITH THE CLOSURE OF TWO PRISONS…TWO YOUTH CENTERS…AND THREE HALFWAY HOUSES. STATE TREASURER DAN RUTHERFORD IS PROTESTING THE DECISION…SAYING PRISONS ARE ALREADY OVERCROWDED AND THAT SUCH A MOVE NEEDS TO BE CAREFULLY THOUGHT OUT.

[audio:closures1.mp3] [/audio]

SENATOR GARY FORBY OF BENTON IS ESPECIALLY WORRIED ABOUT THE LOSS OF JOBS IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS WITH TAMMS CLOSING…AS WELL AS PUBLIC SAFETY.

[audio:closures2.mp3] [/audio]

THE PRISONS SLATED FOR CLOSURE AT THE END OF AUGUST…IN DWIGHT AND TAMMS…HOUSE ABOUT 14-HUNDRED INMATES COMBINED. OTHER CLOSURES INCLUDE AN ADULT TRANSITIONAL CENTER IN DECATUR AND A YOUTH CENTER IN MURPHYSBORO.

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Miller Park Zoo Celebrating 40 Years Of Junior Zookeeper Program

The Miller Park Zoo is celebrating its 40th year of the junior zookeeper program.

The junior zookeeper program allows students finishing sixth grade through high school learn about animals and help around the zoo. Education specialist at Miller Park Zoo, Shannon Reedy explains students are grouped into various levels. The levels go from learning basic animal tips through actually helping around the zoo.

[audio:62112Zoo1.mp3] [/audio]

The program has around 250 students particpating in it every year. Reedy adds since there are so many students in the program, many of them volunteer at the zoo 3 to 4 times a month.

[audio:62112Zoo2.mp3] [/audio]

To participate, students must attend a meeting held by the Zoo in the March prior to the summer they want to work at the zoo. All meeting times are posted on their website in the month of January. Reedy says it is a competitive process, but she says that if a student doesn't get in one year, the zoo tries to put them in the next year.

[audio:62112Zoo3.mp3] [/audio]

Miller Park Zoo will be holding a reunion for all former junior zookeepers. This Saturday, June 23 the zoo will hold an open house from 5:30 to 8 p.m. for all the former junior zookeepers to meet up and see the changes that have happened in the zoo. The program was started by a group of mothers in 1972 and is one of the few zoo programs in the United States that works with teenagers year round.  

For more information, go to millerparkzoo.org.

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Hospital Board President Concerned About Board, Hospital's Future

On a majority vote, the Clinton City Council Monday evening voted to table a pair of appointments to the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board.

Three Commissioners cited receiving concerns from residents and the situation involving Randy Workman not being re-appointed to the Board, who is also serving as the Board President. One of those concerns the Council received was a letter from Workman. In the letter, Workman expressed his concern towards the Hospital Board situation, the hospital's finances, and the upcoming strategic plan.

[audio:62112hospitalletter1.mp3] [/audio]

Workman expressed his concern towards the lack of experience that will be left on the Board. Workman and B.A. Nelson's terms expire at the end of the month. Workman will not be reappointed and Nelson has recently informed the Board she did not want to be reappointed.

[audio:62112hospitalletter2.mp3] [/audio]

Workman feels being on the hosptial board is a huge commitment. He says dealing with a $17-million budget and 150 employees takes a while to learn and really understand what is going on.

[audio:62112hospitalletter3.mp3] [/audio]

Workman is serving in his second, nonconsecutive term as Hospital Board President. His term expires at the end of the month. According to the bylaws of the Hospital, should an appointment not be made for Workman's replacement on the Board, he could still serve until someone has been approved.

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Malkin Named NHL MVP; Other Awards Announced; 'Hawks Update

Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin won the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player Wednesday night.  Malkin had 50 goals and 59 assists this past season.  Malkin also won the Ted Lindsay Award as the NHL's most outstanding player, as well as the Art Ross Trophy for leading the league in points.

Meanwhile, Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers won the Vezina Trophy as the top goaltender.  Brian Campbell of the Florida Panthers took home the Lady Byng Trophy.  Gabriel Landeskog of the Colorado Avalanche won the Calder Memorial Trophy as the NHL's top rookie.  Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators won the James Norris Trophy as the league's best defenseman.  Shane Doan of the Phoenix Coyotes won the Mark Messier Leadership Award.

Montreal Canadiens forward Max Pacioretty was voted the recipient of the Bill Masterton Trophy for perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.  Ken Hitchcock of the St. Louis Blues won the Jack Adams Award as the top head coach.  Doug Armstrong of the Blues was named the General Manager of the Year.

Chicago Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman is giving some updates on his team leading up to tomorrow's NHL Draft.  Bowman says both Marian Hossa [[ HO-suh ]] and Steve Montador are getting better.  The duo were unable to finish the season because of head injuries.  Also, forwards Dan Carcillo and Ben Smith are making progress in their recoveries as well.  Both their seasons ended prematurely because of leg injuries.  Carcillo blew out his knee in early January.  Carcillo signed a two-year contract extension in March, while Smith did the same earlier this week.

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'Niners Sign Illinois Product

The San Francisco 49ers have signed their top draft pick wide receiver A.J. Jenkins to a four-year contract.  The 30th overall pick of the 2012 draft, Jenkins played in 13 games for Illinois last season and totaled 90 catches for 1,276 yards and eight touchdowns.  He played in 46 games for the Fighting Illini during his collegiate career and finished third all-time in school history with 167 receptions for 2,432 yards and 19 scores.

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Bulls' Rose Visits Dr. Andrews

Chicago Bulls MVP point guard Derrick Rose continues to rehabilitate his surgically repaired knee.  Rose was in Alabama on Tuesday to consult with renowned Dr. James Andrews and a physical therapist.  The 23-year-old Rose injured the ACL on April 28th in Game One of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.  He had surgery on May 12th.  The recovery process is 8-to-12 months.

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Gamecocks, Golden Flashes Postponed In Omaha

The College World Series game between South Carolina and Kent State was postponed due to rain last night night.  It was the only scheduled Bracket Two game on tap in Omaha.  The contest will be played at 11:00 a.m. today.  The winner will face Arkansas, while the loser heads home.  A win for the Razorbacks in the nightcap moves them into the Championship Finals.

Arizona and Florida State meet in Bracket One tonight.  The Wildcats defeated the Seminoles 4-3 in 12 innings last Friday.  Arizona will advance to the Finals with a win, while Florida State would need two victories to move on.

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MLB Notes

>>Cubs Head To The Desert

(Phoenix, AZ)  --  The Chicago Cubs head to the Valley of the Sun tomorrow evening to open up a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.  Jeff Samardzija [[ suh-MARD-juh ]] gets the nod opposite Joe Saunders in the opener.  Paul Maholm [[ muh-HALL-um ]] will start on Saturday and Matt Garza will toe the rubber in Sunday's series finale.

>>ChiSox Host Crew

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox wrap up a six-game homestand tomorrow evening in the opener of a three-game series against the Milwaukee Brewers at The Cell.  Chris Sale will go up against Michael Fiers in game one.  Phil Humber gets the nod on Saturday and Jose Quintana will be on the bump Sunday.

>>Brett To Manage U.S. In Futures Game

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Royals Hall of Famer George Brett will manage the United States in the Futures Game during next month's All-Star festivities at "The K."  Brett is also serving as ambassador for Kansas City.  Former Yankees star and Puerto Rico native Bernie Williams will lead the World team.

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Cards Win; Sox Pound Cubs

>>Cards Down Tigers

(Detroit, MI)  --  Jake Westbrook went the distance to lead the Cardinals to a 3-1 win over the Tigers in the rubber match of a three-game set.  Westbrook allowed an unearned run and five hits while striking out five to improve to 6-and-6.  Carlos Beltran went 2-for-2 with a run and two walks in the victory.  Austin Jackson had two hits and an RBI for Detroit.  Rick Porcello allowed two runs on 10 hits in seven innings to fall to 4-and-5.

>>White Sox Clobber Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Gavin Floyd tossed six-and-a-third shutout innings as the White Sox clobbered the Cubs, 7-0.  Floyd scattered four hits and a walk while striking out four to improve to 5-and-7.  Gordon Beckham homered and plated four to help the Sox avoid a three-game sweep.  Adam Dunn, Paul Konerko and Alexei Ramirez plated a run apiece in the win.  Randy Wells allowed three runs in only three-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 1-and-2.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 7, Colorado Rockies 6

MLB Interleague
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Atlanta Braves 10, New York Yankees 5
Kansas City Royals 2, Houston Astros 1
Milwaukee Brewers 8, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Arizona Diamondbacks 14, Seattle Mariners 10
Texas Rangers 4, San Diego Padres 2
Cleveland Indians 8, Cincinnati Reds 1
Minnesota Twins 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Washington Nationals 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Boston Red Sox 15, Miami Marlins 5
New York Mets 4, Baltimore Orioles 3
Oakland Athletics 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 1
LA Angels of Anaheim 6, San Francisco Giants 0

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-21

June 21, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Robbie Blake, 43, Clinton, was arrested for Criminial Trespass to Land. Blake posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Okaw Valley Conference Appears To Be Headed To Separation

Athletic Directors from the Okaw Valley Conference met in Monticello Wednesday to discuss the future of the conference.

Seven members of the twelve team league have been discussing breaking off of the conference. Athletic Director for Monticello High School, Randy Moss says the discussions included reducing the number of football sections to two, as there are currently three, and eliminating travel for some schools. Those things, Moss felt, they were able to address.

[audio:62212okawbreakup1.mp3] [/audio]

Concerns addressed that could not be changed were competitiveness of teams and their demographic. According to Moss, when the seven schools seeking to leave the conference were asked what should the remaining five do, the answer was simply, 'find new members'.

[audio:62212okawbreakup2.mp3] [/audio]

While nothing is official, the five will hold a special meeting Monday to figure out what needs to happen going forward. Moss says schools in the area have already contacted them about joining the conference and they too have schools in mind they feel would be a good fit. The target for the future of the Okaw will be eight to ten schools.

[audio:62212okawbreakup3.mp3] [/audio]

Moss feels the situation is unfortunate because each school has a good relationship and the conference has been extremely competitive as evidenced by the multiple championships of several schools in various sports.

The schools remaining in the Okaw are Clinton, Monticello, Decatur St. Teresa, Tolono-Unity, and Maroa-Forsyth.

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Red Cross Issues Tips To Help IL Beat The Heat

The Red Cross is issuing safety tips so people in Illinois can beat the heat.  The Red Cross suggests eating small meals, more often during the day, wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing, avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day, and take frequent breaks if working outdoors.  Most importantly, never leave seniors, children or pets in the car alone during a heat wave.  It could cause serious health problems, including heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  And as always, be sure to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids and limit drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

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Topinka To Give Developmentally Disabled Priority

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka has announced her office will prioritize payments to providers of services to the developmentally disabled.

Topinka's order on Tuesday follows a notification to group homes and other agencies for the developmentally disabled that they wouldn't be paid for one month of services this fiscal year. Even then, the state payments would be subject to ongoing payment delays.

The letter notifying providers was dated Monday and said there's not enough money in the current budget to pay them. The letter said deferred payments would come from next year's budget.

Topinka says her office will immediately begin making payments to providers for the developmentally disabled when the new fiscal year begins July 1.

Her office estimates the state's backlog of unpaid bills has reached $8.5 billion.

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Gov. Quinn Closing Prisons Against Lawmakers Wishes

Gov. Pat Quinn is going forward with his plan to close several adult and juvenile prisons, even though legislators put money in the new state budget to keep them open.

The Democratic governor's office said Tuesday he will close prisons in Dwight and Tamms, along with some halfway houses and two youth camps.

Quinn's office did not explain his decision or make an official announcement.

The Tamms prison is a "supermax" facility for the state's most dangerous inmates. Dwight is a prison for women.

Closing them will mean squeezing more inmates into the remaining prisons, which are already seriously overcrowded.

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Illinois, Indiana Officials Team Up To Tackle Drugs

Methamphetamine and synthetic drugs continue to plague many Illinois communities but Attorney General Lisa Madigan isn't giving up her fight against the drugs.  She's teaming with Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller to confront the problem.  They hosted an inter-state summit in Evansville, Indiana today to tackle the growing threat of small-batch methamphetamine production and increasing use of synthetic drugs.  Madigan and Zoeller said the drugs are a significant threat to public safety.  Both states have passed laws to crackdown on the drugs but the problem isn't going away.  In fact, the Attorneys General say the popularity of chemically laced synthetic drugs among young people has exploded over the past year, and meth production levels are on the rise in both Illinois and Indiana. Together, Madigan and Zoeller are putting together a collaborative strategy to better protect communities in Illinois and Indiana.

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Illinois Farmers Headed To Cuba

The Illinois Farm Bureau plans to send 18 farmers to Cuba this month as part of a longstanding campaign to lobby for the normalization of trade with the island nation.

Vermilion County farmer Kevin Green is 1 of the farmers. The eastern Illinois farmer says the group plans to meet with members of Cuba's agricultural import agency, port authorities and other officials. The trip is June 28 through July 2.

Green farms near Fithian.

The American Farm Bureau Federation's state-level organizations have regularly sent groups of farmers to Cuba for years as part of the group's lobbying to end the 50-year-old trade embargo against Cuba. Farmers see the country as a potential market for rice, chicken and a range of other crops and livestock.

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Peoria Investigating City's 7th Homicide

Police in Peoria are investigating the city's seventh homicide of the year after a 23-year-old man was shot multiple times.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll pronounced Robreco King dead early Monday.

Authorities say King's family is no stranger to violence.

The victim's grandfather, 78-year-old Robert King, spent 25 years in jail for killing another man over a gambling dispute when he was 26. The elder King says he wants to see his grandson's killer get a similar sentence, but he adds that he doesn't want to see retaliation that would end another life.

Police say the victim's father was shot 11 times in April 2011, and Robert King says his son is now going deaf as a result of those injuries.

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West Nile Detected In Central Illinois

West Nile virus shows up in Central Illinois for the first time this year.  Champaign Urbana Public Health officials collected a crow on June 12th, which tested positive for the virus.  Officials expect to see an increase in West Nile activity this year because mosquitoes are more likely to bite when the weather is hot.  Humans infected with the virus may experience fever, nausea, headache and muscle aches.  Symptoms may last from a few days to a few weeks.  In rare cases, severe illness including meningitis, encephalitis, or even death, can occur.  You can reduce your exposure to the virus by wearing insect repellent to ward off mosquitoes.

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Governor Quinn Not Happy With DCFS Budget

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SAYS HE’S NOT PLEASED WITH THE BUDGET LAWMAKERS PASSED FOR THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF CHILDREN AND FAMILY SERVICES.

THE NEW D-C-F-S BUDGET CONTAINS ABOUT 85 MILLION DOLLARS IN CUTS. THAT MEANS LAYOFFS FOR HUNDREDS OF WORKERS AT THE STATE’S CHILD WELFARE AGENCY AND ELIMINATING VITAL PROGRAMS. GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS WHILE REDUCTIONS NEED TO BE MADE…THAT’S 50 MILLION DOLLARS MORE THAN HE ORIGINALLY REQUESTED.

[audio:dcfs1.mp3] [/audio]

HE ADDS THE AGENCY CHARGED WITH PROTECTING KIDS CANNOT SUFFER MASSIVE LAYOFFS AND THE ELIMINATION OF MAJOR PROGRAMS.

[audio:dcfs2.mp3] [/audio]

GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS HE’LL SPEAK MORE ON THE ISSUE WHEN HE ANNOUNCES IF HE WILL SIGN THE NEW STATE BUDGET INTO LAW. THE NEW FISCAL YEAR BEGINS JULY FIRST.

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Commodity Conference Preview

Agriculture professionals from across Illinois and the Midwest are gathering in Bloomington-Normal next month.  Jared White has more...

[audio:61812ILCommodityConfPrevWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Illinois Law Enforcement Seeing New Methods of Producing Meth

Local leaders went to a drug seminar to learn about the new ways people are creating methamphetamine.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says the seminar presented a new method being used to create meth and it puts more people in danger. Due to new laws on sales of pseudoephedrine, people who cook meth have come up with newer methods done in smaller doses. They can be done in 20 oz. soda and energy drink bottles, which can lead to exposure to more people.

[audio:62112SheriffDrugSeminar1.mp3] [/audio]

Shofner says if anyone sees a plastic bottle with what looks to be kitty litter and water in it, they should call the authorities to check it out. Its a strong possibility that the bottle was used to create meth.

[audio:62112SheriffDrugSeminar2.mp3] [/audio]

The sheriff adds that the new method is also more harmful to those creating meth since the new method can cause burns easier and can be done in smaller areas. It could cause a small explosion in the backseat of a car.

[audio:62112SheriffDrugSeminar3.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County has dealt with many drug busts over the past year and is using what they learned at these seminars to help crack down on drug use and production in DeWitt County.

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Michael Phelps Enters Seven Olympic Qualifying Races

Michael Phelps has entered seven races for next week's Olympic qualifying trials in Omaha, Nebraska.  Phelps included the 400-meter individual medley on the list.  The 26-year-old won a record-breaking eight gold medals in Beijing in 2008, adding to the six gold and two bronze he took home from Athens in 2004.  It is still unknown just how many events Phelps will end up competing in this summer in London.

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College World Series Recap

Florida State defeated UCLA, 4-1, to stay alive at the College World Series in Omaha.  Scott Sitz struck out eight over six-and-two-thirds innings of one-run ball for the Seminoles, while Robert Benincasa earned the save.  Zack Weiss was charged with the loss for the Bruins, who saw their season come to an end with the loss.  FSU will face Arizona on Thursday and must beat the Wildcats to force a rematch on Friday.  The winner of that matchup moves on to the championship series out of Bracket One.

Tonight, two-time defending champion South Carolina will play an elimination game against surprise story Kent State.  The winner will advance to face Arkansas on Thursday in Bracket Two.  With a victory in that game, the Razorbacks would advance to the championship finals but with a loss, a deciding game would be played on Friday.

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Heat A Win Away From Title

LeBron James led a balanced attack with 26 points, nine rebounds and 12 assists as the Heat downed the Thunder, 104-98, in Game Four of the NBA Finals.  Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers netted 25 points apiece in the victory.  Miami has won three straight to take a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.  The Heat can wrap up the series with a win in Game Five on Thursday in Miami.  James, who battled leg cramps in the fourth quarter, can capture his first championship with a victory.  Russell Westbrook finished with 43 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Thunder.  Kevin Durant dropped in 28 points in the loss.

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Cards, Sox, All-Star Voting Notes

>>Schumaker Activated, Cleto Sent Down

(Detroit, MI)  --  The Cardinals made a roster move before last night's game.  Skip Schumaker was activated off the 15-day disabled list and started in center field.  He had been out since May 31st with a hamstring strain.  Pitcher Maikel Cleto was optioned to Triple-A Memphis.

>> Sox's Danks To Start Rehab In 3-4 Weeks

The Chicago White Sox say pitcher John Danks could begin a rehabilitation assignment in about three to four weeks after tests confirmed he has a mild muscle strain in his left shoulder.

Two MRIs confirmed Monday that Danks has a mild Grade 1 strain of the subscapularis muscle in his left shoulder, that there was no tendon or ligament damage and his labrum is intact.

The team said in a statement Tuesday that his condition has improved since his previous MRI on May 23. Danks will begin a rehabilitation and strengthening program on Friday and could being a rehab assignment in three to four weeks.

Danks, 3-4 with a 5.70 ERA, has not pitched for the White Sox since May 19.

>>Cabrera, Furcal Move Into Starting Position For NL All-Star Team

(New York, NY)  --  Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera and Cardinals shortstop Rafael Furcal have moved into position to start for the National League at next month's All-Star Game in Kansas City.  Cabrera has overtaken the Brewers' Ryan Braun in voting for the third outfield spot behind the Dodgers' Matt Kemp and Cardinals' Carlos Beltran.  Furcal has passed injured Rockies' star Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop.  Kemp leads the NL with more than 3.3-million votes.  Reds first baseman Joey Votto is next with more than 3.1-million.  Other leaders are Braves second baseman Dan Uggla, Mets third baseman David Wright and Giants catcher Buster Posey.  Fan voting ends on June 28th.

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Tigers Top Cards; Cubs Down Sox

>>Tigers Double Up Cards

(Detroit, MI)  --  Delmon Young and Austin Jackson plated two runs apiece as the Tigers doubled up the Cardinals, 6-3.  Quintin Berry and Miguel Cabrera both added two hits, an RBI and scored a run for the Tigers, who have won three in-a-row.  Justin Verlander allowed three runs, just one earned, on five hits and four walks over seven innings as he improved to 7-and-4.  Phil Coke earned his first save in place of closer Jose Valverde, who suffered an injury while warming up in the ninth.  Matt Holliday drove in a run and Daniel Descalso had two hits and scored twice for St. Louis, which has lost three-of-four.  Lance Lynn gave up five runs on nine hits in five frames to fall to 10-and-3 with the loss.

>>Cubbies Clip Sox In Chicago Showdown

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Cubs won their second straight against the cross-town rival White Sox with a 2-1 victory on the South side.  Travis Wood allowed one run in six innings to pick up the victory while Carlos Marmol earned his fourth save.  David DeJesus singled in a pair of runs in the third to account for the scoring for the Northsiders, who clinched their first series victory since sweeping the Padres at the end of May.  Jake Peavy was a hard-luck loser, firing a complete-game while allowing just one earned run.  Alexei Ramirez clubbed an RBI double for the White Sox, who swept the Cubs at Wrigley in mid-May but have lost the first two of their meeting at home.  The Sox have dropped six-of-seven overall.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 7, Colorado Rockies 2

MLB Interleague
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Atlanta Braves 4, New York Yankees 3
Cleveland Indians 3, Cincinnati Reds 2 (10 inn)
Detroit Tigers 6, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 7, Minnesota Twins 2
Tampa Bay Rays 5, Washington Nationals 4
Boston Red Sox 7, Miami Marlins 5
New York Mets 5, Baltimore Orioles 0
Kansas City Royals 2, Houston Astros 0
Chicago Cubs 2, Chicago White Sox 1
Toronto Blue Jays 10, Milwaukee Brewers 9
Seattle Mariners 12, Arizona Diamondbacks 9 (10 inn)
Oakland Athletics 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 12, San Francisco Giants 5
Texas Rangers 7, San Diego Padres 3

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Clinton BOE To Issue Bonds Early With Low Interest Rates

The Clinton Board of Education made a decision Tuesday evening at their regular monthly meeting in regards to the issuance of their bonds.

Bond rates are currently extremely low. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes says the district will issue a large amount now and a smaller amount later. Interest rates on bonds tend to fluctuate during a presidential election year, and with rates currently low, Dr. Holmes feels issuing some of those bonds now is a good financial decision.

[audio:62112Clintonbonds1.mp3] [/audio]

The school district will issue $10-million now and then the rest at the end of the year. Dr. Holmes feels this is a great situation for the school board and the community. Issuing those bonds now will allow the local banks to buy the bonds.

[audio:62112clintonbonds2.mp3] [/audio]

Issuing $10-million in bonds now will allow the local banks to buy those bonds because if it is over $10-million they cannot. Dr. Holmes realizes the local banks will not be able to buy all of them but the Board wanted to give them the opportunity to do so.

[audio:62112clintonbonds3.mp3] [/audio]

The Board of Education will have to approve the issuance of the bonds at their July Board Meeting.

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Study Shows State Pension Shortfall Ballooned in 2010

A study finds government pension systems sank deeper into the red as the recession took its toll and states spent their scarce dollars elsewhere.

The Pew Center on the States says 34 states failed to reach the commonly accepted level for pension funding in 2010, the latest year for which figures are available. Four states - Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky and Rhode Island - didn't even have 55% of the money they'll need in the long run.

The overall gap between assets and future pension costs ballooned to $757 billion.

But the Pew Center said Monday that states are trying to address the problem by cutting benefits or increasing contributions for future employees. Some are trying to cut current workers, although that invites legal challenges.

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Quinn Approves Actuary for Pension Systems

Governor Quinn is giving the state's Auditor General the go ahead to hire a someone to review all of the actuarial assumptions of all the pension systems.  State Representative Barbara Flynn Currie says this will give the legislature much more confidence in the systems.

[audio:rddActuary2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says this will improve transparency in the systems.  As far as overall pension reform, Quinn and legislative leaders are still trying to come to an agreement on how to implement changes.  Quinn says he's been meeting with both Republican and Democrat staffs and hopes to have a reform package soon.

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Comptroller Says Illinois Spends $65-Million on Food

Illinois taxpayers have spent $65 million on groceries through April of this year.

The data come from the Illinois comptroller's office. The money was spent on everything from frozen fish to vegetables to feed prisoners, developmental center residents and veterans who live in state nursing homes.

The comptroller's office reports the General Assembly paid $20,000 for coffee supplies like tea, sugar, creamer, artificial sweeteners and drink-related supplies. That's about $113 in coffee-related spending for each of the 177 members of the House and Senate.

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Weekly Crop Report

CROPS ARE STARTING TO SHOW SOME STRESS FROM THE LACK OF RAIN IN ILLINOIS.

THE RECENT RAIN MANY AREAS JUST RECEIVED HASN’T BEEN ENOUGH TO QUENCH THIRSTY CROPS. STILL…GROWTH REMAINS STEADY IN ILLINOIS CORN FIELDS SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

97 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS HAVE EMERGED…WITH THREE PERCENT NOW BLOOMING.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

AVERAGE TOPSOIL MOISTURE STANDS AT ONE PERCENT SURPLUS…29 PERCENT ADEQUATE…46 PERCENT SHORT…AND 24 PERCENT VERY SHORT. SORGHUM PLANTING IS NEARLY COMPLETE…AND THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 49 PERCENT DONE.

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Summer Heat Suggestions From American Red Cross

With temperatures on the rise and the first days of summer right around the corner, local health officials want to remind you of safety precautions to take during the dog days of summer.

According to Executive Director of the MidIllinois Chapter of the American Red Cross Carl Baker, people should not leave children or pets in the car even if it's for a quick run into a store. He also encourages people to make a few adjustments such as staying hydrated, eating smaller meals, and avoid doing things outside alone.

[audio:61312RedCrossChecklist3.mp3] [/audio]

Pet owners need to watch after their pets a little more closely during hotter temperatures and to create a pet safety kit in case disaster hits your area. Baker encourages keeping a photo of your pet handy in case you become separated and also to keep notes of medications or behaviors they may have.

[audio:61312RedCrossChecklist2.mp3] [/audio]

Baker encourages anyone without an air conditioner, especially seniors, to seek shelter where there is air conditioning. Good places to seek include the library, your local senior center, or even a large retail or grocery store. It is always a good idea for residents with an elderly neighbor or relative near them to check on them throughout the day.

[audio:61312RedCrossChecklist1.mp3] [/audio]

Very hot summer days can cool off quickly thanks to passing severe storms. During power outages, the American Red Cross encourages people to leave things such as freezers and refrigerators closed to help keep the food cold longer and for people to get a items such as battery powered radios so they can know what's going on.

To obtain the checklists go to midillinoisredcross.org and for more information call 217-428-7758.

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Clinton City Council Shoots Down DJWH Board Appointments

In a surprising decision Monday evening, a majority vote shot down two appointments to the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board that Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters brought before the Council.

Originally three appointments were going to be made however, because Gloria Stauffer did not live within the city limits of Clinton, she was not eligible to be appointed. The two appointments were then Karren Osborne and Brian Ennis.

Each Council member took a turn to voice their opinions or concerns over the appointments. Commissioner Jerry Milton voiced concerns over remaining Board members. He felt discussion should be tabled until the futures of current members are established.

[audio:61912noboard1.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner John Wise felt more information needed to be brought forward on the current status of the Board, why members are not returning and information on concerns that have been brought forth from those within the community.

[audio:61912noboard2.mp3] [/audio]

The two appointments were to fill the spots of Julie North and Harold Weinberg. Commissioner Tom Edmunds stated he would like to see appointments be made to get those positions filled while there are still members of the Board with seniority. He feels the situation involving Randy Workman not being reappointed needs to be set aside, as it is a completely separate issue.

[audio:61912noboard3.mp3] [/audio]

Because of concerncs voiced by citizens, Commissioner Nan Crang too stated her opposition to any appointments until more information was brought forward.

[audio:61912noboard4.mp3] [/audio]

Randy Workman also sent letters to each of the Commissioners addressing his concerns over the Board current fragile state and the situation the hospital is in.

The no vote was a resulted 3-2, with Commissioner Edmunds and Mayor Peters supporting the appointments.

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NASCAR Heads West For Road Course Action

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to California this week for the first road course test of the season at Sonoma.  The Toyota/Save Mart 350 takes place at 2 p.m. on Sunday and is the 16th race of 26 prior to the start of the Chase.  Matt Kenseth currently leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. by four points atop the standings followed by Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin.

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College World Series Recap

The top-seeded Florida Gators were eliminated from the College World Series yesterday.  Kent State built a 4-0 lead and held on to beat Florida, 5-4, in the day's only elimination game.  David Lyon went 3-for-5 with an RBI while George Roberts added a pair of RBI for the Golden Flashes.  Ryan Bores pitched six innings of two-run ball for the win.  Josh Pierce earned the save.

In the second game, two-time defending champion South Carolina fell to Arkansas, 2-1.  Ryan Stanek tossed six innings of one-run ball for the Razorbacks, while Dominic Ficociello and Matt Vinson each had an RBI.  The Gamecocks face elimination on Wednesday when they meet Kent State.  Arkansas moves on to face the winner of that matchup on Thursday.  Today, UCLA and Florida State play an elimination game for the right to face Arizona in Bracket One.

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Heat Host Thunder In Game Four

The Oklahoma City Thunder will clash with the Heat in Game Four of the NBA Finals tonight in Miami.  LeBron James had 29 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Heat to a 91-85 win in Game Three on Sunday.  Miami has won the last two games to snatch a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven set.  Kevin Durant had 25 points for the Thunder in the loss.  Tip-off tonight is at 9:00 Eastern.

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Sox Sign No. 13 Pick

Courtney Hawkins' back-flipping days appear to be over. His professional baseball career is just beginning.

The Chicago White Sox agreed to terms on Monday with the 18-year-old outfielder, 13th overall pick in this year's draft.

Hawkins drew a lot of attention at the televised draft on June 4 when he did a backflip during an interview after he was selected.

Williams said there wasn't a "no backflips" clause in Hawkins' contract, but it's unlikely that he'll be doing them in a White Sox uniform.

Hawkins, from Corpus Christi, Texas, hit .437 with 11 home runs, 39 RBIs, 17 stolen bases and 56 runs in 36 games for Carroll H.S. He was the ESPNHS Gatorade Texas Baseball Player of the Year, and was rated second by Baseball America among high school power hitters.

Hawkins put on a No. 12 jersey after signing the contract, then participated in on-field drills and batting practice with the White Sox.

The 6-foot-3, 220-pound right-handed hitter will report to Bristol in the advanced Rookie League.

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Cubs Clobber Sox; Dempster To DL; Cards Head To Detroit

>>Cubs Clobber White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Luis Valbuena's three-run homer capped a six-run seventh inning as the Cubs clobbered the White Sox, 12-3.  Bryan LaHair and Starlin Castro clubbed two-run homers, while Alfonso Soriano and Geovany Soto added solo shots for the Cubs.  Matt Garza went six innings to improve to 3-and-5.  Paul Konerko lifted a two-run homer, while A.J. Pierzynski smacked a solo shot for the White Sox.  Zach Stewart was shelled for six runs in five-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 1-and-2.

MLB Interleague
------
New York Yankees 6, Atlanta Braves 2
Cleveland Indians 10, Cincinnati Reds 9
New York Mets 5, Baltimore Orioles 0
Houston Astros 9, Kansas City Royals 7
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Toronto Blue Jays 6
Arizona Diamondbacks 7, Seattle Mariners 1
San Francisco Giants 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3
Texas Rangers 2, San Diego Padres 1

>>Cubs' Dempster Lands On DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  Pitcher Ryan Dempster's trade value took a slight hit on Monday.  The Chicago Cubs right-hander has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with tightness in his right lat.  Dempster sports a glossy 2.11 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.  He has won three straight games after starting the season 0-and-3.  The 35-year-old met with general manager Theo Epstein last week to discuss potential trade options with several teams rumored to be interested.  Dempster can veto any deal.

>>Cardinals At Tigers

(Detroit, MI)  --  The Cardinals continue Interleague play with the first of a three-game series against the Tigers tonight in Detroit.  Lance Lynn puts his 10-and-2 mark on the line against Tigers ace Justin Verlander in the opener.  The Cards will also rematch with the Royals this weekend in Kansas City.

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DeWitt County Habitat For Humanity Seeking Applicants For Homes

DeWitt County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity is looking for more home applicants.

Each year, Habitat for Humanity looks to build a home for a family in need in DeWitt County. According to DeWitt County Chapter President Delmar Sandage, there are a few requirements for applicants. The requirements include the applicants have been living in DeWitt County for at least 2 years and have been turned down by a bank for a traditional loan, but the end goal is to give those in need a home to call their own.

[audio:62012HabitatApplicants1.mp3] [/audio]

Sandage says there is a slight misconception with Habitat's goal. The homes that are given are not a gift, and those who receive a home must a pay a mortage just like other home owners. They also have to work on their home and other Habitat for Humanity homes in the area.

[audio:62012HabitatApplicants2.mp3] [/audio]

Applications for a Habitat for Humanity Home can be found at the Habitat ReSale Shop on 401 E Washington in Clinton, which is open Saturdays 8 a.m. to noon. The organization is currently looking at three applications in DeWitt County.

For more information, call the ReSale Shop at 935-4663.

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Weak Economy Good For Illinois Forest Preserves

It turns out the economic downturn has an upside for Illinois forest preserves.

Groups working to expand preserves and other open spaces in the Chicago area have been able to buy up big pieces of land after plans for residential developments fell apart. Since 2008, prices for coveted pieces of land have dropped. So have interest rates.

This unexpected boon means there will more than 2,500 acres of new open space in the Chicago area in the years to come.

Conservation groups and forest preserve districts have been buying up property in Cook, DuPage, Kendall, Kane, Will and McHenry counties.

The groups say the land, all of which is next to existing forest preserves, will link trail systems and benefit endangered wildlife.

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Illinois Towns Struggle To Pay For July 4 Fireworks

Hurt by the economy, small towns in northern Illinois have struggled to pay for July Fourth fireworks, forcing some to cancel or scale down shows in recent years.

That looks set to change this year, as communities band together to share the tens of thousands of dollars in costs and find other ways of raising the cash.

One such collaborative effort involves the towns of Elgin, Hanover Park, Hanover Township and Hoffman Estates near Chicago. That has ensured the Northwest Fourth-Fest from July 4-8 will feature a fireworks display. Those Chicago suburbs are billing it as their biggest one ever.

And in Mount Prospect, donations are collected in cans placed at businesses in a campaign dubbed "Bang for a Buck."

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Two Springfield Hotels Face Foreclosure

Two Springfield hotels face foreclosure after failing to pay off a $36.5 million mortgage.

The Crowne Plaza and a neighboring Holiday Inn Express missed an April 1 payment deadline.

U.S. Bank, which holds the mortgage, filed for foreclosure May 11 in Sangamon County Circuit Court.

The hotels' general manager and their management company, Rhode Island-based TPG Hospitality, did not respond to requests for comment.

The two hotels together have 428 guestrooms.

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Illinois GOP Leaders Slam Madigan Amid Pension Reforms

Illinois Republican leaders are stepping up their criticism of Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan in an effort to make him a top campaign issue this fall.

The focus on Madigan comes as he and other state officials try to negotiate cuts to government pensions. That could increase tensions at the bargaining table, but a Madigan aide says the speaker won't let it interfere.

State Republican Chairman Pat Brady called Madigan a vindictive leprechaun. U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh says he's a corrupt tyrant.

The GOP also sent out a mock Father's Day letter from Attorney General Lisa Madigan. She is portrayed as a girl thanking her daddy for giving her "this cool attorney general job."

Brady says Republicans are simply calling attention to the speaker's tremendous influence over state policies.

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Union Pickets Caterpillar's Peoria Headquarters

Caterpillar workers who are on strike at a plant in Joliet have picketed the company's Peoria headquarters.

Friday's action is the second information picket for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. The union represents 780 workers at Joliet who went on strike May 1. Members of the Machinists union have overwhelmingly rejected two contract proposals from the company. Caterpillar has said it has negotiated in good faith.

Union steward Sean Gallaway says organizers are hoping to bring a little more public awareness.

Earlier this week Caterpillar started advertising for replacement workers to fill in for the striking Joliet workers.

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Quinn Signs Law Making Fundraising Easier For Fire, Police Departments

A NEW STATE LAW WILL MAKE IT EASIER FOR POLICE AND FIREFIGHTERS TO RAISE MONEY FOR CHARITY.

SOME COMMUNITIES HAVE BANNED COPS AND FIREFIGHTERS FROM COLLECTING DONATIONS FROM MOTORISTS AT INTERSECTIONS. THIS NEW LAW MAKES SURE THEY CAN STILL DO THAT SAYS GOVERNOR QUINN.

[audio:charity.mp3] [/audio]

ILLINOIS IS NOW THE SIXTH STATE WITH SUCH A LAW. IT TAKES EFFECT IMMEDIATELY.

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Governor Quinn Signs Law Protecting Mail Carriers

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SIGNED A NEW LAW FRIDAY TO HELP PROTECT MAIL CARRIERS.

THE LAW ALLOWS JUDGES TO CONSIDER TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR THOSE WHO COMMIT VIOLENT CRIMES AGAINST EMPLOYEES OF THE UNITED STATE POSTAL SERVICE SAYS GOVERNOR QUINN.

[audio:mail.mp3] [/audio]

THE NEW LAW GOES INTO EFFECT IN JANUARY.

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Reminders For Changing Name, Getting New Social Security Card

This is a very popular time of year for weddings, and Social Security has some reminders when changing your name or receiving a new Social Security card.

Kevin Rice of Social Security, says is important to know what you need to bring before you come in to make changes or receive a new card. People looking to have their name changed need to bring proof of the name change and an original copy of their ID.

[audio:61312ssa1.mp3] [/audio]

Rice adds there are some special cases where only the change of name is needed. He says a marriage change of name only requires a marriage certificate.

[audio:61312ssa2.mp3] [/audio]

Rice says it is not uncommon for them to turn down people for not having proper information with them. Getting a new social security card is a free process, and Rice warns people to watch out for websites or persons who claim you have to pay to get an application for a new card.

[audio:61312ssa3.mp3] [/audio]

Applications can be mailed in or delivered in person. Rice stresses all forms of identification mailed in will be sent back.

For an application, more information or to find your local Social Security office, visit ssa.gov.

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Farmer City Gearing Up For Nearing 175th Celebration

Farmer City citizens are gearing up for their 175th Celebration.

The festivities kick off on Saturday, June 30 with a parade followed by a Farm Expo on the square. According to Farmer City 175th Chairperson Elizabeth Folks, the first weekend also includes opening ceremonies with local celebrities.

[audio:61812FarmerCity1.mp3] [/audio]

Throughout the week, Farmer City will have live performances by Blue Ridge High School Thespian
Troupe and Me-N-Him Band and the Beauty Queen Pageant will be held. Women of all ages can
participate in the Queen Pageant. Folks explains there are only two age groups, but the winners get to donate half their winnings to a local charity or organization.

[audio:61812FarmerCity3.mp3] [/audio]

The last weekend will have a carnival feel to it. The weekend will be filled with live performances,
a high school reunion, inflatables and a street fair. Folks says they are pulling out all the stops to finish out the celebration.

[audio:61812FarmerCity2.mp3] [/audio]

The Farmer City 175th Celebration has a full list of activities and entertainment scheduled for the week of June 30 through July 8.

For a full list of all the events, go to farmercityil.org.

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To Be Former Board President 'Caught Off Guard' By Not Being Reappointed

The soon to be former President of the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board of Directors was ttoally caught off guard by not being reappointed to the board.

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters informed current President Randy Workman he would not be reappointed to the Board of Directors, leaving his position as President vacant. Mayor Peters cited her reasons of not reappointing Workman because of friendships he had made in his time on the Board. Workman says absolutely he has friends in the hospital and he does not apologize for them either.

[audio:61812workmanreax1.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor also questioned Workman's abilityu make tough decisions because of "allegiances" he has with employees. Workman points to his eight years experience as Board President making tough decisions despite those "allegiances".

[audio:61812workmanreax2.mp3] [/audio]

Workman questions the Mayor's views of the Board's role of discipline towards employees. Workman says that responsibility lies with the CEO of the hospital, Earl Sheehy. Workman adds Sheehy can come to the BOard with those actions, but he is not mandated to.

[audio:61812workmanreax3.mp3] [/audio]

A total of four Board positions are now available. Mayor Peters will present the Clinton City Council with three appointments to approve tonight at the Clinton City Council meeting.

Workman's last regular season Hospital Board Meeting will be Monday June, 25.

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Webb Simpson Captures U.S. Open Title

Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open at The Olympic Club in San Francisco at one-over-par for his first career victory in a major.  The 26-year-old fired a final round 68, matching his Saturday number to win a major in just his fifth try.  Simpson is the ninth consecutive first-time winner of a major tournament.  Tiger Woods started the day six-over on the first six holes and could only recover to shoot a 73, good for a tie in 21st place at seven-over-par for the championship.  Phil Mickelson finished 16-over.

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Miami Holds Off OKC In Game Three

LeBron James collected 29 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Heat to a 91-85 win over the Thunder in Game Three of the NBA Finals.  Dwyane Wade had 25 points, seven boards and seven assists to help Miami take a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.  Chris Bosh finished with 10 points and 11 rebounds in the win.  Kevin Durant dropped in 25 points for the Thunder, who have dropped two straight in the series.  Russell Westbrook had 19 points on 8-of-18 shooting in the loss.  Miami will host Game Four on Tuesday.

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Earnhardt Jr. Ends Drought With Win At MIS

Dale Earnhardt Jr. finally visited victory lane again after a 143-race winless drought by taking the checkered flag in the Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway.  Earnhardt Jr. drove the 88-car to a win four years ago at MIS for his last victory.  He led 96 of the 200 laps in the race, which was delayed almost two hours by rain.  Defending Cup champion Tony Stewart finished second, followed by current points leader Matt Kenseth.  Greg Biffle and Jimmie Johnson rounded out the top-five.

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Bears Sign Two Free Agents

The Chicago Bears have signed offensive lineman Cory Brandon and cornerback Cornelius Brown.

The 6-foot-7, 324-pound Brandon entered the league as an undrafted free agent out of Oklahoma in 2011. He appeared in all four preseason games with Tampa Bay last year before being waived.

Brown first joined the Bears as an undrafted free agent in 2010 out of Texas-El Paso and got waived after that preseason. He appeared in 10 games for Indianapolis that season and got released during the preseason last year.

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Beltran Makes History; Sox Set To Host Cubs

>>Cards' Beltran Makes History

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran is now the eighth member of the 300/300 club.  Beltran joins Barry and Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley as the only players with 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.  He is the first switch hitter in the group.  He stole a base in Friday's game against Kansas City.  The 35-year-old has 321 homers in his career.

>>Torre To Manage Team USA In 2013 World Baseball Classic

(Durham, NC)  --  Joe Torre will manage Team USA in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.  The 71-year-old spent 29 seasons as a major league manager with the New York Mets, Atlanta Braves, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers.  He led the Yankees to four World Series titles between 1996 and 2000.  Torre is currently the executive vice president of baseball operations for Major League Baseball.  The U.S. has not placed higher than fourth in the World Baseball Classic, finishing sixth in its first year in 2006 and fourth in 2009.

>>Cubs, Sox Start Set At The Cell

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Cubs and White Sox renew their Windy City rivalry this evening at The Cell.  Matt Garza will toe the rubber for the Northsiders opposite Southsiders' righty Jake Peavy in the opener.  The White Sox swept a three-game set against the Cubs earlier this season at Wrigley Field.

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All Local MLB Teams Lose Sunday

>>Dodgers Edge White Sox In Extras

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Dee Gordon singled home the winning run with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Dodgers edged the White Sox, 2-1.  Juan Rivera and Elian Herrera added a sac-fly apiece for Los Angeles, which took two-of-three from Chicago at Chavez Ravine.  Chris Capuano fanned 12 through eight innings of one-run ball, but it was Ronald Belisario who was credited with the win.  Dayan Viciedo's RBI single in the sixth accounted for Chicago's lone run of the game.  Addison Reed blew the save and Matt Thornton was saddled with the loss.  Jose Quintana tossed eight scoreless innings of five-hit ball in a no-decision.

>>Royals Down Cards In 15

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Yuniesky Betancourt hit a two-run home run in the top of the 15th inning to push the Royals past the Cardinals, 5-3.  Betancourt was 2-for-7 with three RBI replacing Chris Getz, who left the game in the bottom of the first inning with an ankle injury.  Jonathan Broxton picked up the win.  Kansas City won for the fifth time in its last six games.  Matt Holliday and Allen Craig each hit a solo home run for the Cards. who are 4-and-4 in their last eight.  Adam Wainwright dealt seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts.  Eduardo Sanchez was tagged with the loss.

>>Red Sox Take Rubber Match Over Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Boston survived a scary ninth inning to earn a 7-4 victory over the Cubs in the rubber match of the three-game set in Chicago.  Alfredo Aceves loaded the bases and gave up run but held on to give Matt Albers the win in relief of Franklin Morales, who gave up two runs and fanned nine in five innings.  David Ortiz went 2-for-4 with a solo homer and two RBI for the Red Sox, who have won four-of-five after losing four straight.  Paul Maholm struck out six in as many innings, but gave up three runs in the start for Chicago.  Shawn Camp gave up two runs while failing to retire a batter to take the loss.  Starlin Castro finished a home run shy of the cycle while driving in a pair for the Cubs, who have dropped four-of-five and eight of their last 11 contests.

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 3, New York Mets 1

MLB Interleague
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Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Cleveland Indians 5
Detroit Tigers 5, Colorado Rockies 0
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Baltimore Orioles 2, Atlanta Braves 0
New York Yankees 4, Washington Nationals 1
Tampa Bay Rays 3, Miami Marlins 0
Minnesota Twins 5, Milwaukee Brewers 4 (15 inn)
Texas Rangers 9, Houston Astros 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 0
San Diego Padres 2, Oakland Athletics 1
Seattle Mariners 2, San Francisco Giants 1

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Clitnon Police Weekend Report

ON 6/15/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JOHNNEY R. LOWE 36, CLINTON FOR DOMESTIC BATTERY. LOWE WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 6/17/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED BRANDON R. HIERONYMUS 20, CLINTON FOR ILLEGAL CONSUMPTION OF ALCOHOL BY A MINOR. HIERONYMUS WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

ON 6/17/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT IN THE 200 BLOCK S. WALNUT ST. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY LARRY D. JACKSON 74, CLINTON WAS NORTHBOUND ON WALNUT ST WHEN HE STRUCK A PARKED VEHICLE OWNED BY MARK LORD, CLINTON AND THAT VEHICLE WAS PUSHED INTO A PARKED VEHICLE OWNED BY PAULINE M. GAULTNEY, CLINTON. JACKSON WAS TRANSPORTED BY CLINTON AMBULANCE FOR TREATMENT.

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DeWitt County Sheriff Asking Homeowners To Monitor Abandoned Homes

Law enforcement officials are asking residents near abandoned homes to keep an eye on those homes in light of a recent incident in Wapella last week.

This past Friday the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department responded to a burglary in Wapella. The incident took place at an abandoned home in the 200 block of Locust Street. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains this was not just a regular invasion of an abandoned home. He says the home had been stripped of it's metal .

[audio:61912wapellaburglary1.mp3] [/audio]

With the state of the economy currently, the foreclosure rate is quite high and Sheriff Shofner says abandoned homes in the process of foreclosure are easy targets. He notes this has been a focus of the department, and they have gotten good compliance from area scrap yards.

[audio:61912wapellaburglary2.mp3] [/audio]

Because of a high demand overseas for metals such as copper, the cost of those items is extremely high making them very valuable. The loss in this particular burglary was around $9-thousand. Sheriff Shofner encourages residents who see suspicious activity at these abandoned homes to not hesitate calling it in.

[audio:61912wapellaburglary3.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff is also imploring those in the Wapella who may have noticed anything from the area of the burglary Friday to contact the Sheriff's office with any information.

To contact the Sheriff's office at 935-9507.

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Tax Hike On Smoking Should Inspire Some To Quit Says Health Director

It's soon going to cost more to smoke in Illinois.

Starting Sunday, the state tax on a pack of ciagarettes will be $1.98. The $1 increase will help fund the state's Medicaid program, but Illinois Department of Health Director Dr. Lemar Hasbrouck says the tax hike will have additional benefits.

[audio:quit1.mp3] [/audio]

The $1 a pack tax hike should also entice about 60 thousand smokers to kick the habit says Hasbrouck. He says they predict the increase will also cause about 80 thousand kids from starting smoking in the first place.

[audio:quit2.mp3] [/audio]

Hasbrouck says with the price of smokes going up, now is a great time to quit. For free counseling, call the state's Tobacco Quit Line at 1-866-QUIT-YES.

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Tax Hike On Smoking Should Inspire Some To Quit Says Health Director

It's soon going to cost more to smoke in Illinois.

Starting Sunday, the state tax on a pack of ciagarettes will be $1.98. The $1 increase will help fund the state's Medicaid program, but Illinois Department of Health Director Dr. Lemar Hasbrouck says the tax hike will have additional benefits.

[audio:quit1.mp3] [/audio]

The $1 a pack tax hike should also entice about 60 thousand smokers to kick the habit says Hasbrouck. He says they predict the increase will also cause about 80 thousand kids from starting smoking in the first place.

[audio:quit2.mp3] [/audio]

Hasbrouck says with the price of smokes going up, now is a great time to quit. For free counseling, call the state's Tobacco Quit Line at 1-866-QUIT-YES.

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Weekly Weather Update

Temperatures were normal this past week, but there has been a high lack of rain in the area. Scattered showers are presicted throughout the weekend followed by a warm and dry week. Here's meteorologist Steve Hilberg with more.

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton High School's FFA Chapter Receives Club Award

Clinton High School's FFA Chapter was recognized at the 84th Annual Illinois FFA Convention.

Clinton's chapter was given $2000 Club Award. This award goes to chapters who collected between $2000-$3000 during the annual Illinois Foundation FFA's Collection Driv.e State-wide to drive collected over $470,000.

Clinton was one of 34 chapters that recieved the award.

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DNR Warning About Stray Animals

With young animals running about, the Department of Natural Resources wants to remind people to not take in stray wild animals.

According to Department of Natural Resources Conservation Officer Ray Wiches, people have been known to take in baby animals they think are orphaned or hurt. Although your heart might be in the right place Wiches says the animal is probably close to its mother, and people should leave the animals alone.

[audio:61612BabyAnimals1.mp3] [/audio]

Not only is it illegal for a person to have a wild animal in their home, but it is dangerous for animals to be around humans. Many people do not know how to properly feed the animals, and animals that are taken care of by humans tend to imprinted to humans and according to Wiches imprinting is very dangerous to an animals well being.

[audio:61612BabyAnimals2.mp3] [/audio]

Many animals are being taught how to survive on their own this time of year. If you see an animal during the day by itself, don't worry about it, but if it is there overnight, then you should call your district's Department of Natural Resources  or local police station.

For DeWitt County, the district number is 217-935-6860.

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Law Ensures Police, Others Can Do Roadside Charity

Now, no one in Illinois can stop firefighters or police officers from collecting charitable donations on roads - even if they wanted to.

Under a new Illinois law, public safety officials can't be denied permits to collect money for charities from drivers along roadsides. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Friday and it takes effect immediately.

The governor's office says Illinois is the sixth state to adopt such a law. The others are Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California and North Carolina.

The Associated Firefighters of Illinois had called for the legislation after some communities started banning the roadside collections, citing safety hazards.

1 of the oldest roadside charity drives is organized by the International Association of Firefighters. It collects money in firefighters' boots for the Muscular Dystrophy Association.

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Friday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
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Cincinnati Reds 7, New York Mets 3

MLB Interleague
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Chicago Cubs 3, Boston Red Sox 0
Cleveland Indians 2, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Colorado Rockies 12, Detroit Tigers 4 (10 inn)
New York Yankees 7, Washington Nationals 2
Toronto Blue Jays 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Tampa Bay Rays 11, Miami Marlins 0
Atlanta Braves 4, Baltimore Orioles 2
Texas Rangers 6, Houston Astros 2
Milwaukee Brewers 5, Minnesota Twins 3
Kansas City Royals 3, St. Louis Cardinals 2
Oakland Athletics 10, San Diego Padres 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0
San Francisco Giants 4, Seattle Mariners 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, Chicago White Sox 6

NBA Finals
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No Game Scheduled

WNBA
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Connecticut Sun 97, New York Liberty 55
Washington Mystics 67, Indiana Fever 66
Atlanta Dream 92, Los Angeles Sparks 59
Seattle Storm 86, Tulsa Shock 73
Minnesota Lynx 78, Phoenix Mercury 60

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Cards' Beltran Makes History

Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran is now the eighth member of the 300/300 club.  Beltran joins Barry and Bobby Bonds, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Andre Dawson, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley as the only players with 300 home runs and 300 stolen bases.  He is the first switch hitter in the group.  He stole a base in Friday's loss to Kansas City.  The 35-year-old has 321 homers in his career.

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Cubs, Dempster Blank BoSox

Ryan Dempster and two relievers combined on a five-hitter as the Cubs shut out the Red Sox, 3-0.  Dempster scattered four hits over seven innings to even his record at 3-and-3.  Carlos Marmol worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the ninth to post his third save as Chicago took the opener of the three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Steve Clevenger doubled in two runs in the first and David DeJesus singled in a run in the second for the Cubs.  Daisuke [[ DICE-kay ]] Matsuzaka allowed three runs in six frames to take the loss.  Scott Podsednik went 2-for-4 with a walk for Boston.

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Royals Hold Off Cards In I-70 Series

  Tyler Greene was thrown out at the plate to end the game as the Royals held on for a 3-2 win over the Cardinals in the I-70 Series.  Greene had stolen second when the ball got away, prompting him to take off for third base.  The throw there got away again and Greene looked to tie the game but was thrown out on a close play at the dish.  Jonathan Broxton recorded his 16th save to give Vin Mazzaro the victory.  It was 100th save of his career.  Mazzaro tossed six innings of five-hit ball to improve to 3-and-1.  Jeff Francoeur had two RBI for Kansas City, which has won four straight.  Matt Adams and Shane Robinson each had an RBI for St. Louis in the loss.  Kyle Lohse [[ lowsh ]] gave up three runs in seven innings to fall to 6-and-2.  The Cards have lost three-of-five.

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Dodgers Come Back To Top White Sox

The Dodgers used a five-run sixth to propel themselves to a 7-6 win over the White Sox.  Elian Herrera finished with three RBI for Los Angeles, which has won four of its last six.  Ronald Belisario picked up the win while Kenley Jansen earned his 11th save.  Adam Dunn hit a two-run homer while Alex Rios connected on a pair of solo shots for Chicago.  Matt Thornton suffered the loss for the Sox, who have lost three straight and five-of-seven.

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DNR Sets Deer Hunting Dates

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says deer hunting will begin Oct. 1 this year for archers and Nov. 16 for regular firearms.

The agency said Thursday that hunting for people who use muzzle-loading firearms will start Dec. 7 and the annual late-winter season for antlerless deer will run in two sessions that start Dec. 27 and Jan. 18.

The DNR also announced that 10 counties that in the past have been open for the late-winter deer season this year will be closed. They are Cass, Christian, Henry, Johnson, Lawrence, Mason, Morgan, Tazewell, Union and Wabash counties.

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DNA May Boost Innocent Claim of Murder

DNA test results may strengthen a claim of innocence by a man who spent years in prison for the murder of his ex-girlfriend.

Documents submitted to the Illinois Prisoner Review Board by attorneys for Alan Beaman indicate tests of a vaginal swab taken from murder victim Jennifer Lockmiller contained no DNA from Beaman. The tests also failed to turn up DNA from three other suspects in the case. However, the test did turn up DNA from two unknown males.

Assistant State's Attorney Pablo Eves said Thursday his office has received the results, which are being reviewed.

Beaman spent more than 13 years in prison after being convicted of stabbing and strangling Lockmiller. The Illinois Supreme Court vacated his conviction in May 2008, ruling prosecutors suppressed evidence about another suspect.

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Quinn To Review Each Facility Individually

Governor Quinn says community care is the best care for people with developmental disabilities.  He wants to shut down several state facilities but says he's open to looking at each facility individually.

[audio:rddFacilities1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says he'll listen to testimony from COGFA hearings and read letters he's received from parents before making a final decision.  Quinn wants to close the facilities in order to save the state money.  Doing so will leave nearly three thousand people without jobs.

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Agency Cites Urbana Plant For Alleged Violations

Federal authorities have cited an Illinois bumper-manufacturing plant with safety and health violations for allegedly failing to monitor workers' exposure to harmful materials while cleaning industrial tanks.

A Thursday statement from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration says Urbana-based Flex-N-Gate Corp. didn't take sufficient steps to monitor exposure to nickel, chromium, hydrochloric acid and sulfuric acid.

The agency says the company sometimes failed to do periodic medical checks of employees or to provide workers advanced training on potential hazards.

OSHA proposed fines totaling $57,000 for nine violations.

Someone answering the telephone Thursday at Flex-N-Gate's headquarters declined to give a name and said the company isn't commenting.

OSHA says Flex-N-Gate Corp. operates as Guardian West in Urbana. Flex-N-Gate employs 12,500 people at 50 plants in the United States and overseas.

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Man Shoots At Joy Riding Teenagers

A Peoria man is accused of firing a gun at two joy riding teenagers.  Todd Stenger was arrested after allegedly shooting multiple rounds from a .357 magnum, aimed at a two 13-year olds who'd been driving a pickup truck on his property.  He hit the truck several times.  The driver lost control and ended up in a ditch.  Neither of the teens were injured.  They had taken the truck from a relative at a nearby camp ground.  Stenger was booked in the Knox County Jail and charged with aggravated discharge of a firearm and two counts of reckless discharge of a firearm.  He is out on bail.

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McLean County Approves New Teachers' Contract

School officials in Normal have approved a 2-year contract for teachers and other professionals in McLean County Unit 5 that will give them a 1% increase in base pay each year.

The school board approved the contract Wednesday night.

The Unit Five Education Association ratified the deal Tuesday. The union represents more than 900 teachers, nurses, social workers, psychologists and speech pathologists.

The approval means that, starting this fall, a beginning teacher with no experience will earn about $33,700. A teacher with at least 18 years of experience, a master's degree and additional graduate studies will earn more than $80,000.

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Illinois Unemployment Down Again In May

THE STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FELL FOR THE NINTH MONTH IN A ROW IN MAY.

THE ILLINOIS JOBLESS RATE HIT EIGHT POINT SIX PERCENT LAST MONTH SAYS STATE DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY SPOKESPERSON GREG RIVARA. THAT’S DOWN SLIGHTLY FROM APRIL…AND IN PART DUE TO GROWTH IN SOME KEY AREAS.

[audio:idesmay1.mp3] [/audio]

HE SAYS IT’S A GOOD SIGN FOR ILLINOIS.

[audio:idesmay2.mp3] [/audio]

JOB GAINS WERE ALSO SEEN IN THE EDUCATIONAL AND HEALTH SERVICES SECTOR…AS WELL AS IN THE FINANCE INDUSTRY. THE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE FOR MAY CAME IN AT EIGHT POINT TWO PERCENT.

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Congressman Johnson's Replacement Davis Excited About Opportunity

Rodney Davis is currently making the rounds of central Illinois promoting his candidacy for congress.

Davis has been appointed as the replacement for Congressman Tim Johnson on the November ballot, who announced his retirement in March. Davis calls himself a normal guy who faces the same problems people in his area faces. Davis was raised in the small town of Taylorville and still resides there with his family.

[audio:61512Davis1.mp3] [/audio]

Davis says he was surprised by the Congressman's decision to retire. He feels Congressman Johnson has done great work in his 40-plus years as the areas representative. He says he was even more surprised when he received the call that he had been selected.

[audio:61512Davis3.mp3] [/audio]

The 14 county district Davis is running in is quite a large district. The 14th Congressional district runs from parts of McLean County and Bloomington and covers DeWitt, Piatt, and Champaign Counties and all the way down to Taylorville. The district then runs over to the Mississippi River and goes down the the Madison County area and Collinsville. Davis calls his area a diverse area but a very similar group.

[audio:61512Davis2.mp3] [/audio]

Davis is currently opposed by Democrat David Gill.

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DeWitt County's Habitat For Humanity To Move Home Across Clinton

DeWitt County's Habitat for Humanity will soon begin the unique process of recycling a home.

Habitat takes over the home at 409 West White Street, adjacent to the Dr. John Warner Hospital, will be modified to be moved off the property. Delmar Sandage, President of DeWitt County's Habitat for Humanity explains this is a unique process that involves adding extra support, using a crane to lift the house onto a trailer and moving it.

[audio:61512movinghome1.mp3] [/audio]

The Dr. John Warner Hospital has agreed to allow Habitat to take possession of the home, and they will have to move it at their expense. Sandage explains the hospital has plans to retain the property and put it to use.

[audio:61512movinghome2.mp3] [/audio]

Because the home is in good shape, moving the home will save Habitat more money rather than building a new home. Sandage explains Habitat also plans on adding on to the home once they have moved it.

[audio:61512movinghome3.mp3] [/audio]

With the close to $15-thousand savings, Sandage says the home they plan to build next year should get started a little earlier.

Habitat takes possession of the home today and they are working to get gas, water and power lines disconnected and preparing the home to be moved. The goal is to have the foundation of the new location poured and ready to have the house moved by the end of July.

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Thompson Leads At U.S. Open

Michael Thompson carded a four-under 66 to take a three-shot lead after the first round of the U.S. Open.  Thompson was the U.S. Amateur runner-up at Olympic Club in 2007.  Tiger Woods sits at one-under with, Graeme McDowell, Nick Watney, Justin Rose and David Toms.  Phil Mickelson shot a six-over 76 to close the first round.

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Sprint Cup Series Heads To Michigan

The NASCAR Sprint Cup Series heads to Michigan International Speedway this weekend for Sunday's Quicken Loans 400.  For the second consecutive week, drivers will compete at a racetrack that has recently been repaved.  The two-mile oval, which is located roughly 70 miles southwest of Detroit, has a new coat of asphalt on it.  Michigan has previously been repaved three times in 1977, 1986 and 1995.  The track was built in 1968.  Last weekend, the series ran at the newly-repaved Pocono Raceway, where Joey Logano took the checkered flag.  Matt Kenseth leads Dale Earnhardt Jr. by 10 points atop the Cup standings.  Greg Biffle, Denny Hamlin and Jimmie Johnson round out the top-five.

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Heat Win Game Two To Get Even With Thunder

LeBron James dropped in 32 points and the Heat held on for a 100-96 win over the Thunder in Game Two of the NBA Finals.  James was 12-of-12 at the free-throw line.  He also grabbed eight rebounds to help Miami even the best-of-seven series at a game apiece.  Dwyane Wade netted 24 points, while Chris Bosh had 16 points and 15 boards in the victory.  Kevin Durant finished with 32 points for the Thunder, who lost at home for the first time in this year's playoffs.  Russell Westbrook had 27 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.  James Harden scored 21 off the bench in the loss.  Miami will host Game Three on Sunday.

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Rams Notes

>>Rams Ink LB McIntosh As Minicamp Ends

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams have signed linebacker Rocky McIntosh to an undisclosed workout.  After a private workout on Wednesday, McIntosh took the field yesterday as the team held its final minicamp practice.  The Rams now look ahead to the start of training camp late next month.

>>Rams, CVC Heading To Arbitration Over Dome Renovation

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Rams and Convention and Visitors Commission are heading to arbitration over how to renovate the Edward Jones Dome.  According to the "Post-Dispatch," the CVC voted to enter into arbitration in a conference call yesterday.  The two sides previously rejected one another's proposals and had until today to avoid arbitration, which could last through December 31st.

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Cards Top Sox; Cubs Lose To Reigning MVP/Cy Young Verlander, Tigers

>>Tigers Clip Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Austin Jackson finished 3-for-4 with a homer and three RBI to back eight stellar innings from Justin Verlander as the Tigers clipped the Cubs, 5-3.  Verlander fanned eight and allowed just two runs on five hits to improve to 6-and-4 on the season.  He has won 17-of-23 career Interleague starts.  The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner had gone four starts without a win, his longest such stretch since 2009.  Jose Valverde gave up a run in the ninth, but held on to register his 13th save as the Tigers took two-of-three at Wrigley Field.  Darwin Barney, Luis Valbuena and David DeJesus all knocked runs for Chicago.  Travis Wood gave up three runs in six-and-two-thirds frames to absorb the loss for the Cubs, who are just 3-and-10 in June.

>>Cards Clip ChiSox

(St. Louis, MO)  --  David Freese belted a two-run home run to help the Cardinals defeat the White Sox, 5-3.  Freese finished 2-for-4 with three RBI.  Allen Craig scored three times for St. Louis, which took the final two games of this three-game series.  Jake Westbrook gave up three runs in six innings for the win.  Jason Motte notched his 13th save of the season.  Adam Dunn drilled a three-run jack for Chicago, which has lost three-of-four overall.  Gavin Floyd allowed five runs in four-and-two-thirds frames for the loss.

MLB NL
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Houston Astros 6, San Francisco Giants 3

MLB Interleague
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Cincinnati Reds 12, Cleveland Indians 5
New York Mets 9, Tampa Bay Rays 6
Oakland Athletics 8, Colorado Rockies 2
Baltimore Orioles 12, Pittsburgh Pirates 6
Arizona Diamondbacks 11, Texas Rangers 3
Philadelphia Phillies 6, Minnesota Twins 1
Kansas City Royals 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
San Diego Padres 6, Seattle Mariners 2

>>Cardinals Renew I-70 Rivalry With Royals

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals resume the I-70 rivalry tonight with the first of three games against the Royals at Busch Stadium.  Kyle Lohse puts his 6-and-1 mark up against the Royals' Vin Mazzaro tonight.  The Cardinals will also play three games in Kansas City beginning next weekend.

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Illini's Mercilus Signs With Texans

The Houston Texans have signed first-round pick Whitney Mercilus to a 4-year deal.

Mercilus was the 26th overall pick in this year's draft out of Illinois.

The 6-foot-4, 254-pound player was a defensive end in a 4-3 scheme at Illinois but has moved to outside linebacker in the 3-4 alignment the Texans use.

He started just one season in college, but was the nation's leader in sacks with 16 and forced fumbles with eight.

The Texans did not release financial terms of the deal.

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Clinton Police Report for 6-15

 

ON 6/13/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED BRANDON G. MITCHELL 25, CLINTON FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED. MITCHELL WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 6/15/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PROPERTY DAMAGE ACCIDENT AT RT 54 & RT 10 WEST. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY ROOSEVELT BYRD 88, CHICAGO WAS WESTBOUND ON RT 54 WHEN HE WENT OFF THE ROADWAY STRIKING 2 HIGHWAY SIGNS. BYRD WAS ISSUED CITATIONS FOR IMPROPER LANE USAGE AND OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-15

 

Eric Hart, 27, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (65 mph in a 45 mph zone). Hart posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Paige Zumwalt, 22, Farmer City, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Failure To Appear for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Zumwalt posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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Mattoon Fires City Administrator

The Mattoon City Council has fired the city administrator.

Council members met for more than three hours in closed session before voting 4-1 to end City Administrator Sue McLaughlin's contract "without cause." The newspaper reports that means she walks away from the almost $100,000-per-year post with a severance package worth an estimated $50,000.

McLaughlin had faced criticism for her proposal to sell 4.7 acres of land at Lake Mattoon to her fiancé for about $41,000. Critics contend that offer was too low and the property should be put up for auction.

Council member Chris Rankin voted against the firing, saying he thought McLaughlin's proposal didn't merit termination.

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Illinois Justices Call For Improvement of Acces To Court System

The Illinois Supreme Court is throwing its weight behind attempts to make the justice system more accessible to people, no matter what their income or location.

The court announced Wednesday that it's creating an "Access to Justice Commission" to look for ways of overcoming hurdles that keep some people from getting their day in court.

Those hurdles range from the cost and complexity of filing cases to the long distances some people must travel to reach courthouses in downstate Illinois.

The commission is supposed to work with groups like the Illinois Coalition for Equal Justice that are already addressing the issue.

Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride says the goal is "to make access to justice a high priority" for the entire legal system.

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Study Shows Cougars Again Spreading Across Spreading

A new study suggests cougars are again spreading across the Midwest a century after the generally reclusive predators were hunted to near extinction in much of the region.

The findings by a University of Minnesota doctoral student, a Southern Illinois University wildlife ecologist and the Cougar Network are detailed in the latest Journal of Wildlife Management.

The study showed 178 cougar confirmations in the Midwest and as far south of Texas between 1990 and 2008.

Confirmed sightings of Midwest cougars were sporadic before 1990, when there were only a couple. The study shows that number spiked to more than 30 by 2008.

Sixty-seven confirmations were in Nebraska, 31 in North Dakota, 12 each in Oklahoma and Texas, 11 in South Dakota and 10 in Missouri. Other states had single-digit tallies.

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Illinois Foreclosures Up 29% In May

Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 29% in May compared to the previous month and is 54% higher than May of 2011.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 16,318 foreclosure filings last month. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

The filings represent one in every 325 housing units in the state, fifth highest nationally.

RealtyTrac says the jump signals a "bumpy ride" but that new foreclosure starts are likely to end up as short sales or auction sales rather than bank repossessions.

Georgia posted the nation's highest foreclosure rate. Other states with rates higher than Illinois are Arizona, Nevada and California.

Foreclosure rates in Chicago worsened to one in every 252 housing units, fourth-highest among the nation's 20 largest metro areas.

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AIG Settlement Means $3.7-Million For Illinois

The director of the Illinois Department of Insurance says the state will take a $3.7 million share of a multi-state settlement with the insurer American International Group, Inc.

Director Andrew Boron announced the settlement with AIG on Wednesday. The agreement settles a complaint that AIG misreported billions of dollars in workers compensation premiums in past years.

AIG agreed to pay a $100 million penalty and another $46.5 million in taxes and assessments as part of the settlement agreement.

The Illinois insurance director says the settlement will mean millions of dollars in unpaid taxes owed to Illinois.

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GOP Names Six To Hear Case Against Smith

The full 12 member jury is now in place to hear a case against Representative Derrick Smith.  House Minority Leader Tom Cross appointed six members today.  They'll join six from the Democratic side of the aisle to determine what, if any, disciplinary action Smith should face after being arrested and charged on federal bribery charges.  The jury must convene within the next three weeks to begin proceedings in the civil case.  Smith is charged with accepting a seven thousand dollar cash bribe in exchange for helping a Chicago daycare get a state grant.  

The jury can decide whether he should be reprimanded, censured, expelled, or exonerated.  Smith has asked a judge for permission to release the criminal background of the FBI informant who helped bring him down.  He says that will help build his case and could even help him keep his job in the legislature.  A judge will make the decision by the end of the week.

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Vintage Museum Offers Family Fun

Stepping back in time is easy to do if you're in Central Illinois.  The Wheels O' Time Museum, in Peoria, offers plenty of fun and excitement for the whole family, says Marketing Director Bobbie Rice.

[audio:rddWheels1.mp3] [/audio]

Rice says the museum offers a variety of activities for the whole family.

[audio:rddWheels2.mp3] [/audio]

The museum is adding a Ford showroom floor, complete with four or five vintage Ford cars, sponsored by the Early Ford V-8 club.  The new display will be open next spring.  Rice says going to the museum is a great way to enjoy the summer and stay close to home.  They're open Wednesday through Sunday from noon until five.  Admission is six-50 for adults and three-50 for children.

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Quinn Preparing To Sign Tax, Medicaid Bills

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is to sign several bills passed by the Legislature, including those that will slash health care coverage and increase cigarette taxes by $1 a pack to help finance the Medicaid program.

The governor is expected to sign the legislation Thursday.

With Quinn's signature, some Medicaid programs will die at the beginning of the state's fiscal year, which is July 1. While the poorest Illinois residents will continue to receive benefits, parents making more than 133% of the federal poverty guidelines - about $20,000 a year for a two-person household - will see their coverage under Family Care cut.

Also part of the $2.7 billion package designed to save Medicaid is the cigarette tax hike, which is supposed to generate about $350 million.

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Former Illinois Football Player Convicted of Rape

A former University of Illinois football player has been convicted in a 1995 rape and could be headed to prison for as long as 90 years.

A jury in Urbana on Wednesday convicted 42-year-old Steven Feagin of aggravated criminal sexual assault. The victim was a 22-year-old student who was raped in her apartment near the university campus in Urbana.

Feagin will be sentenced in July. He was convicted of 3 separate acts and faces up to 30 years in prison for each.

Feagin still faces charges in two other 1990s rapes in Champaign County.

He was a running back on the Illinois football team while in school from 1989 through 1992.

Feagin was arrested in Florida in 2008 based on DNA evidence.

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Man Wards-Off Prostitutes With Homemade Sign

A Decatur man is tired of seeing prostitutes conducting business near his home, so he made a sign and posted it outside his house.  It reads, "Do not parade your ass in front of my house or my children."  Timothy Ryan says despite his efforts, some prostitutes say they're not going anywhere.

[audio:rddStop2.mp3] [/audio]

Ryan says some of the prostitutes have vowed to move to a different location.

[audio:rddStop3.mp3] [/audio]

Ryan says he wants his kids to know that behavior isn't acceptable.

[audio:rddStop5.mp3] [/audio]

Some of Ryan's neighbors say they're glad to see someone finally taking action.  They claim they've tried calling police to report the prostitution problem, but nothing has been done.

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Local Lawmaker Pleased With Spring Legislative Session

Despite the focus on the lack of pension reforms during the Spring Legislative Session, one local representative believes lawmakers tackled a lot of issues.

State Representative Chapin Rose feels the media is only focusing on the unresolved pension issue and isn't looking at the reforms made in programs such as Medicaid and welfare. Rose feels the legislation made major forward progress and says reforms will save 1.6 billion dollars.

[audio:61312Rose1.mp3] [/audio]

It's estimated 300-thousand people are on Illinois' welfare system that shouldn't be. Rep. Rose adds with all the reforms and cuts, Illinois is moving towards a balanced budget. He says the next and separate step becomes cutting down the debt.

[audio:61312Rose2.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose feels eliminating the General Assembly scholarship was a big step forward. Rose stopped giving away a scholarship several years ago because he felt if the State cannot pay it's universities on time then they shouldn't be sending students there on free tuition.

[audio:61312Rose3.mp3] [/audio]

Rose adds that Governor Pat Quinn will be meeting with leaders on the pension bill. They will work to get reforms worked out and call lawmakers back later in the summer for a vote on those reforms.

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City of Lincoln Investigating Implementing TIF District

The City of Lincoln has recently been investigating the possibility of implementing a TIF district.

The city has recently applied for a couple short term grants to help in a downtown revitalization vision they have. They have been awarded a grant from the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. They also applied for an Illinois Transportation Program Grant, which would be a three year grant to improve their walks and sidewalks. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder feels implementing a TIF district would be the final phase to a three phase plan, which would be a long term fund.

[audio:61412lincolntif1.mp3] [/audio]

A TIF district would be something to new to Lincoln. Mayor Snyder says the city has never had a TIF district, although there have been discussions, nothing has come of them. The Mayor feels as though the downtown area would be a good starting point for their first TIF.

[audio:61412lincolntif2.mp3] [/audio]

The TIF district is going to have to be approved by the other taxing bodies in the City of Lincoln, which include the local Park District, the school district and the library district. Mayor Snyder says they are in the process of informing the other taxing bodies of their plans, and will work to answer their questions in a cooperative manner.

[audio:61412lincolntif3.mp3] [/audio]

Recently, property values have declined on the properties in downtown Lincoln. Mayor Snyder explains the increase in values and the added revenues would allow those businesses downtown to make improvements.

[audio:61412lincolntif4.mp3] [/audio]

Once the TIF has expired, the new assessed values of the properties goes on to the books for the taxing bodies, distributing those funds back to them.

Mayor Snyder would like to see the process move along rather quickly. He hopes for the feasibility study to be complete within a few months.

The TIF district would consist mostly of the downtown Lincoln square and a few city blocks in each direction.

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U.S. Open Tees Off At Olympic Club

The second major of the PGA Tour season tees off this morning with first-round play at the U.S. Open.  The tournament returns to The Olympic Club in San Francisco for the first time since 1998 and the fifth time overall.  A pair of star-studded groupings will take the spotlight for the first two rounds.  Defending U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy, and fellow top-ranked players Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are in one group.  Four-time U.S. Open winner and 14-time major champion Tiger Woods, five-time U.S. Open runner-up Phil Mickelson and reigning Masters champion Bubba Watson are in another.  The Olympic Club is one of the oldest venues in the country, established in 1860.

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WBO To Review Bradley-Pacquiao Decision

The World Boxing Organization is looking into the results of last weekend's controversial fight.  The WBO announced it will review Timothy Bradley's split-decision victory over Manny Pacquiao.  Promoter Bob Arum, who represents both fighters, submitted a request for inquiry on the judges' scoring on Monday.  The decision was greeted by gasps and boos at the MGM Grand on Saturday night.  It ended Pacquiao's 15-fight winning streak.

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Goodell Issues Memo To All Teams After Recent DUI Arrests

Roger Goodell is issuing a reminder to all NFL personnel about the dangers of impaired driving.  According to CBSSports.com, the commissioner has sent a memo to all 30 NFL clubs entitled, "Responsibility and Safety."  It comes after a rash of recent DUI arrests.  In the memo, Goodell reminds players, coaches and other team employees about the need to be responsible, avoid potential trouble and to use available league resources for help.  The memo comes as many teams are wrapping up minicamps and breaking before the start of training camp next month.

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Thunder Host Heat In Game Two Tonight

The NBA Finals resumes tonight in Oklahoma City.  The Thunder host the Miami Heat in Game Two at Chesapeake Energy Arena after taking Tuesday's series opener, 105-94.  Kevin Durant poured in 36 points for OKC, which outscored Miami 58-40 in the second half to take the first game in the best-of-seven set.  LeBron James had 30 points to lead the Heat.  After tonight, the seies will shift to Miami for Games Three and Four on Sunday and Tuesday.  The Heat would also host a potential Game Five next Thursday in the 2-3-2 format before the series returns to OKC.

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Cubs' Epstein: Rizzo Almost Ready For Call Up

 It looks like fans will soon be seeing Cubs top prospect Anthony Rizzo at Wrigley Field.  Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said on Wednesday that he has been impressed with the first baseman's progression and that he is almost ready to be called up to the big leagues.  Rizzo, who was acquired in a trade with San Diego during the offseason, has blasted 22 homers and driven in 57 RBI to go along with a .367 batting average in 60 games with Triple-A Iowa.

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Carp Throws BP Session

The Post-Dispatch reports Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter threw a 26-pitch bullpen session yesterday afternoon.  The session marked the first time Carpenter has pitched since mid-March.  Carp has been battling a nerve disorder in his right shoulder.

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Tigers Top Cubs; Cards Ege Sox

>>Tigers Double Up Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Tigers erased a three-run deficit behind a 4-for-5 night from Brennan Boesch to pull out an 8-4 win over the Cubs.  Boesch hit a solo home run, had two RBI and scored two runs.  Jhonny Peralta was a home run away from the cycle, going 3-for-4 with two RBI and two runs scored as Detroit won for the third time in its last four games.  Rick Porcello improved to 4-and-4, despite struggling through five innings, giving up four runs and nine hits.  Alfonso Soriano continued his recent hot streak by going 2-for-4 with a RBI in the loss.  Matt Garza gave up five runs, only three of which were earned, across six innings.  Chicago had a two-game winning streak snapped.

>>Cards Clip White Sox

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Lance Lynn struck out 12 over seven-and-a-third shutout innings to lead the Cardinals to a 1-0 win over the White Sox.  Lynn scattered three hits and a walk en route to improving to 10-and-2.  Jason Motte earned his 12th save.  Carlos Beltran's solo homer in the third accounted for the game's only run.  Jake Peavy fanned six in seven innings, but fell to 6-and-2 with the tough-luck loss.  Chicago had won its previous eight on the road.

MLB NL
------
San Francisco Giants 10, Houston Astros 0

MLB Interleague
------
Washington Nationals 6, Toronto Blue Jays 2
Baltimore Orioles 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
New York Mets 9, Tampa Bay Rays 1
Boston Red Sox 10, Miami Marlins 2
Cincinnati Reds 5, Cleveland Indians 3
New York Yankees 3, Atlanta Braves 2
Texas Rangers 1, Arizona Diamondbacks 0
Philadelphia Phillies 9, Minnesota Twins 8
Kansas City Royals 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3 (11 inn)
Oakland Athletics 10, Colorado Rockies 8
San Diego Padres 1, Seattle Mariners 0
LA Angels of Anaheim 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

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Illinois LB Buchanan Breaks Jaw In Fight

A University of Illinois spokesman says defensive end Michael Buchanan broke his jaw in a weekend fight.

Illinois sports information director Kent Brown said Wednesday that Buchanan's jaw is wired shut after a fight Saturday night somewhere in the Champaign area. Brown said the university was still trying to determine exactly what happened and where. The spokesman wasn't sure whether police were called to the incident or whether the team will discipline Buchanan.

Brown said Illinois coach Tim Beckman hopes Buchanan will be able to play again by the time preseason training starts in early August.

Buchanan is a 6-6, 240-pound senior and was fourth in the Big Ten in sacks last fall. He is expected to anchor Illinois' defense this season.

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DJWH Board To Have New President

The Dr. John Warner Hospital will have a new president for the Board of Directors.

The decision has been made by Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters to not reappoint Randy Workman to the Board, whose term expires at the end of the month. With three other Board positions available currently, Mayor Peters feels as though it is time for a change on the Board.

[audio:61512workman1.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters has expressed concerns to administration recently about the Rural Health Center's numbers. This is the second term as president for Workman and Mayor Peters feels as though in that time he may have developed some friendships and allegiances that may hinder him in making necessary changes.

[audio:61512workman2.mp3] [/audio]

With the situation at the Rural Health Center added on to the three vacant positions and potential friendships between the hospital's employees and Workman, Mayor Peters calls this decision the best for the hospital at this time. She adds she has been thinking about this for about a month and a half, but has no replacement in mind as of now.

[audio:61512workman3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters explains she has three appointments for the Hospital Board she will make at the Clinton City Council meeting Monday.

CEO of the DJWH Earl Sheehy and Randy Workman were both unavailable for comment.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-14-12

June 14, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 1:42 p.m. on Tuesday, June 12, revealed that a vehicle driven by Talen Trummel, 15, Clinton, was traveling northbound on US Route 51. The other vehicle, driven by Jeffrey Glowacki, 42, Normal, was passing Trummel in the left hand lane. Trummel did not see Glowacki and began to change lanes to pass another slower vehicle, striking Glowacki’s vehicle. Both vehicles immediately slowed and pulled safely over to the right shoulder. Both vehicles sustained damage the length of the unit on their respective sides. No injuries were reported.

 

 

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

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Kenney Fire Department Responds To Wednesday Barn Fire

The Kenney Fire Department also responded to a fully engulfed barn/stable on June 13, 2012 at approximately 7:30 A.M.  Crews from Kenney, Clinton, Waynesville, Wapella, Maroa, Beason, Chestnut, and Warrensburg fought the blaze until nearly 2:30 P.M.  The Clinton Ambulance Service and American Red Cross responded as well for support and firefighter care.  Over 500 bales of hay made extinguishing the fire very difficult and power equipment had to be brought in to remove it.  No injuries were reported at either fire.

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Kenney Fire Department Responds To Residential Fire

The Kenney Fire Department responded to a residential structure fire June 12, 2012 at approximately 5:30 A.M.  A two story, unoccupied farmhouse had smoke showing upon arrival.  Crews from Clinton, Maroa, Chestnut, and Warrensburg were called for assistance and extinguished the fire around 7:30 A.M.  The Clinton Ambulance Service and American Red Cross also responded for personnel safety. 

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Clinton Police Report for 6-14-12

ON 6/13/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED KIMBERLY M. NEELY 27, KENNEY FOR POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA, AND POSSESSION OF CANNABIS. NEELY 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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Illinois EPA Rejects Coal To Gas Project's Permit

Plans to build a southern Illinois power plant that would convert coal to synthetic natural gas are cloudier now that state environmental officials have denied the developers' request for a construction permit.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has turned down the permit request by Power Holdings LLC for the proposed plant near Waltonville in Jefferson County.

The agency says the developers failed to provide required information about emissions and an air-quality analysis.

Power Holdings didn't immediately respond to The Associated Press' interview requests Tuesday.

The project's backers have said it would create 1,500 construction jobs and 700 permanent positions, although the gas produced may be more expensive for customers.

Critics worry the plant's emissions would harm the environment.

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Two Illinois Wetlands Projects Awarded Federal Grants

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is providing $150,000 to help restore wetland habitat in Illinois.

Ducks Unlimited received a $75,000 federal grant toward a project to protect 36 acres of wetland and upland habitat and to restore 75 acres of former wetland habitat in Black Crown Marsh, near the border of Lake and McHenry counties. The work is part of a larger effort to restore the 375-acre Black Crown Marsh complex.

The Will County Forest Preserve District also received a $75,000 grant to help restore or enhance 96 acres of former wetland and grassland habitat at Hadley Valley Preserve. Projects include reestablishing native prairie and wetland plants.

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced the grants on Tuesday. They're among $1.2 million in grants awarded to projects in the Midwest.

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Attorney General Says Guantanamo Detanees Won't Come To Illinois

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says the Obama administration continues to maintain the position it will never seek to transfer detainees in Guantanamo Bay to Thomson Correctional Center in Illinois.

Durbin says Attorney General Eric Holder confirmed under oath the Obama administration's position that it won't move detainees, many being held on terrorism charges, to Illinois.

Durbin is working with Illinois and U.S. officials to come up with funds for the federal purchase of Thomson for use as a maximum-security federal facility.

Thomson is a 1,600 cell facility about 150 miles west of Chicago. Durbin says its sale to the U.S. has bipartisan support from members of the Illinois and Iowa congressional delegations.

The Justice Department has expressed the belief the acquisition of Thomson will help alleviate serious federal prison overcrowding.

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Davenport Teenagers Arrested After High Speed Chase

Two boys from Davenport, Iowa led police on a chase down a major highway in West Central Illinois last night.  According to the Morgan County Sheriff's Department, the driver was 15 years old, while his passenger was 13.  Chief Deputy Mike Carmody says Chapin officers tried to pull over the boys after the car they were driving was reported stolen out of Davenport.  The boys flew down Route 67 at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour.  The scene turned dangerous when they went through Roodhouse, where the boys went through residential yards, a bean field and a cornfield.

They were arrested in White Hall about 20 minutes and 30 miles after the chase began.  The fifteen-year-old is facing several charges, including reckless driving, speeding, driving unlicensed and improper lane usage.  He and his 13-year-old passenger were also arrested for resisting a peace officer.  The boys have been released into the custody of their parents.

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Quinn: Lawmakers Barking Up Wrong Tree On Gaming

A plan to add more five casinos across the state is still in limbo, despite the fact lawmakers sent a plan to Governor Quinn's desk.  Quinn says he refuses to sign a "slip shot" bill that doesn't include proper oversight.  

[audio:rddQuinnGame1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says lawmakers have the wrong idea if they expect him to sign a gambling expansion deal that lacks proper oversight.

[audio:rddQuinnGame2.mp3] [/audio]

The house passed the bill with a veto proof majority.  The Senate would need to find six votes to override a Quinn veto.  Senate President John Cullerton has said he plans to work with the governor to avoid a veto.  The bill would add five casinos across the state plus allow slots at race tracks. It's expected to generated billions in additional revenue.

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Quinn Frustrated With Lawmakers On Pension Fix

Governor Quinn isn't happy with the way pension reform talks are going.

[audio:rddPenDeal1.mp3] [/audio]

The state has an 83-billion dollar pension liability that Quinn says is squeezing money from education and public safety.  This year alone the state paid more than five-billion dollars into the system.  Quinn wants to have a vote by the end of the month but he and legislative leaders haven't been able to strike a deal on how to fix the system.

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Judge Says Champaign Should Turn Over Messages

A judge in central Illinois says the city of Champaign should turn over electronic messages City Council members sent and received during meetings.

Sangamon County Circuit Judge John Schmidt's decision Monday supports an earlier decision by the Illinois attorney general's office based on the state's Freedom of Information Act.

The case involves a request for "all electronic communications, including cellphone text messages" sent during City Council meetings and study sessions over several weeks last year.

In response, the city turned over 24 pages of emails but argued the rest of the documents weren't public record because they were on council members' personal accounts and phones.

Champaign City Attorney Fred Stavins says the city is deciding whether to appeal the judge's decision.

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Japanese Beetle Arriving Early This Year

A pest that irritates farmers and gardeners alike is arriving in Illinois early this year.  Jared White has more...

[audio:61112JapaneseBeetlesArriveWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Pinky's Open At Weldon Springs

A local establishment has recently opened up and Tuesday morning held a ribbon cutting ceremony.

 width=Pinky's has opened at Weldon Springs recreation area. In the building previously occupied by Gooseneck's, Pinky's sits right off the lake. Owner of the Shack restaurant and now Pinky's, Scott Williamson explains he named his restaurant after his father and he feels this would have been his dream.

[audio:61312pinkys1.mp3] [/audio]

Tom Edmonds is the City's Commissioner of Accounts and Finances and also Budget Officer, he says Pinky's is a great addition because it will attract people from all over the area and it will bring additional revenue to the area.

[audio:61312pinkys2.mp3] [/audio]

The situation is a win/win for the area. Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard explains Goosenecks left Weldon Springs but remained open, and now the addition of Pinky's adds to the existing businesses in DeWitt County.

[audio:61312pinkys3.mp3] [/audio]

Pinky's has been open for a couple weeks now and early indications are the food is excellent and the scenery of Weldon Springs adds to the atmosphere.

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Clinton Resident Receives Special Recognition From American Red Cross

A Clinton resident was recently named the new Disaster Action Team Captain of DeWitt County by the American Red Cross at the Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

According to Carl Baker, executive director of the American Red Cross Mid Illinois Chapter,
Bob Reed has been active in the Red Cross not just locally but on a national level. Reed was also presented the DeWitt County Volunteer award. Baker adds its volunteers like Reed that make the American Red Cross possible.

[audio:61312RedCrossReed1.mp3] [/audio]

The Disaster Action Team is a group of volunteers who are trained and try to help in disasters any way they can. Baker says volunteers can be trained to a specific field that they want to be, such as counseling or shelter work.

[audio:61312RedCrossReed2.mp3] [/audio]

Baker says there are around 20 volunteers in DeWitt County, but they are always looking for more. To find out more about the Disaster Action Team or to sign up go to midillinoisredcross.org or call 217-428-7758.

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Busch To Race Sunday At MIS

 Kurt Busch is returning for this Sunday's Quicken Loans 400 at Michigan International Speedway after serving a one-race suspension.  Phoenix Racing team owner James Finch says they are moving forward with Busch in the number-51 Chevrolet, and will work together to fix the problems that exist.  Already on probation for a prior incident, NASCAR suspended Busch for threatening a reporter during a post-race interview following the June 2nd Nationwide Series event at Dover.  David Reutimann drove the number-51 car this past Sunday at Pocono.

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Thunder Storms Past Heat In Game One

Kevin Durant scored 36 points as the Thunder used a big second half to beat the Heat, 105-94, in Game One of the NBA Finals.  Russell Westbrook added 27 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists for the Thunder in the opener of the best-of-seven series.  OKC outscored Miami 58-40 in the second half.  LeBron James finished with 30 points on 11-of-24 shooting for Miami.  Dwyane Wade scored 19 points and Chris Bosh had 10 points in the loss.  The Thunder will host Game Two on Thursday.

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Report: Cardinals Have Deal With Wacha

The "Post-Dispatch" reports the Cardinals have a deal in place with first-round pick Michael Wacha.  According to the report, the pitcher will be in town today to take a physical.  The Cards took the right-hander with the 19th overall pick in this year's draft.

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Cubs Win; Sox Club Cards

>>Cubs Clip Tigers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Darwin Barney scored the go-ahead run on an error in the eighth and the Cubs clipped the Tigers, 4-3.  Barney drove in the other three runs for the Cubs in their second straight win.  Carlos Marmol was credited with his first win.  Shawn Camp earned his first save.  Austin Jackson smacked a two-run single in a three-run seventh inning for Detroit.  Max Scherzer struck out eight over six innings in a no-decision.  Phil Coke was charged with the loss.

>>White Sox Trash Cardinals

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The White Sox put up a four-run eighth to pull away from the Cardinals in a 6-1 victory.  Adam Dunn connected on his 21st homer of the season and A.J. Pierzynski added a two-run shot as Chicago won its third in five games.  Orlando Hudson added a two-run triple in the win.  Jose Quintana surrendered 10 hits, but gave up just one run in five-and-a-third innings to get the win.  Allen Craig singled in Matt Holliday to account for the Cardinals' lone run.  Adam Wainwright gave up two runs and struck out seven in as many innings to take the loss as St. Louis dropped its third in four games.

MLB NL
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San Francisco Giants 6, Houston Astros 3

MLB Interleague
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Baltimore Orioles 8, Pittsburgh Pirates 6
Washington Nationals 4, Toronto Blue Jays 2
New York Mets 11, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Boston Red Sox 2, Miami Marlins 1
Cincinnati Reds 7, Cleveland Indians 1
New York Yankees 6, Atlanta Braves 4
Texas Rangers 9, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Minnesota Twins 11, Philadelphia Phillies 7
Kansas City Royals 2, Milwaukee Brewers 1
Oakland Athletics 8, Colorado Rockies 5
San Diego Padres 5, Seattle Mariners 4
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2

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Bears' Forte Abasent As Bears Open Minicamp

The Chicago Bears opened minicamp, and one key piece remained missing - Matt Forte.

The Pro Bowl running back was absent Tuesday as expected, with his franchise-player tender remaining unsigned and the staredown with management continuing. Coach Lovie Smith says Forte's situation is "not an issue for me" and would not say if he expects him to show up for the start of training camp next month.

Forte's contract status is a major issue for a team aiming high, though. The Bears made several big moves during the offseason - none bigger than the trade with Miami for Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall. But one matter remains unresolved.

Forte hasn't signed his $7.74 million tender, and he has a July 16 deadline to agree to a multiyear deal.

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Cubs Fire Hitting Coach Jaramillo

The Chicago Cubs fired hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo on Tuesday after losing 40 of their first 60 games.

James Rowson, the organization's minor league hitting coordinator, was chosen to replace Jaramillo on an interim basis.

Jaramillo was named hitting coach in October 2009. He was in his third season under his third manager. Jaramillo was the hitting coach for the Texas Rangers for 15 seasons before joining the Cubs.

The Cubs were 20-40 entering Tuesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

June 9, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

June 10, 2012

 

Jail Population: 82

Summons Served: 9

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

June 11, 2012

 

Jail Population: 82

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

M.P. Dellasperanza, 23, Bethpage, NY, was issued a citation for Speeding (63 mph in a 45 mph zone). Dellasperanza promised to comply and was released.

 

Brian Glover, 44, Decatur, was issued a citation for Scotts Law. Glover posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Josephe Blazek, 45, Weldon, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence. Blazek was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Angela Ishmael, 43, Clinton, was issued a citation for Driving While License Revoked. Ishmael posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Harold Taylor, 61, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Taylor posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Kyle Lecouris, 20, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Probation Violation. Lecouris posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

William Robinson, 44, Bloomington, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear. Robinson posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-12

 

June 12, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Megan Vaca, 21, Sullivan, was issued a citation for Speeding (68 mph in a 45 mph zone). Vaca posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Timothy Hannah, 19, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear On Criminal Contempt For Conviction Of Unlawful Procurement Of Drug Methamphetamine Precursors. Hannah 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 6-13

 

June 13, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Saturday, June 9, revealed that a vehicle driven by Allen Follis, 56, Mount Pulaski, was traveling west on Benjamin Street near the intersection of Harriett Street. He veered left off the roadway and collided with the vehicle of Charles Dunning, 51, Kenney, which was parked on the south sie of Benjamin Street unoccupied. Follis’ vehicle had minor front bumper damage on the driver side. Dunning’s vehicle had major damage to rear passenger side quarter panel and possible damage to suspension on rear passenger side. No injuries were reported and both vehicles were driven from the scene.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 8:12 a.m. on Friday, June 8, revealed that a vehicle driven by Vincent Smith, 34, Clinton, was traveling eastbound on Illinois Route 10 approximately 1 mile west of Clinton. A guy riding a bicycle was also traveling eastbound in the same lane as Smith, both traveling in the same direction. The bottom outside corner of Smith’s passenger side mirror made contact with the cyclist’s left shoulder. Smith stopped to check the cyclist’s well being. He refused any treatment.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 10:42 a.m. on Friday, June 8, revealed that a vehicle driven by Matt Workman, 18, White Heath, was traveling westbound on Illinois 10, east of Weldon. Workman lost control of the vehicle and veered to the left ditch, dug into the embankment, and rolled. Workman climbed out of the vehicle and waited for emergency responders to arrive. Workman was taken to Dr. John Warner Hospital for further evaluation. The vehicle was towed from the scene.

 

David Kinder, 53, Moberly, MO, was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and Disobeying Traffic Control Device. Kinder was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Brittney Purdue, 18, Clinton, was issued citations for Failure To Reduce Speed/Accident and Driving Under Influence. Purdue was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

 

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

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

CITATIONS

06/09/12

HEATHER L. MARSHALL 33, MT. ZION SPEEDING 78 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

MICHAEL J. COMBS 62, ROCKFORD DISOBEYING TRAFFIC CONTROL DEVICE. BOND POSTED

 

6/10/12

GARY K. ROBERTS. 69, MT. ZION SPEEDING 73 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

ON 6/10/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED DANIEL C. NORRIS 21, 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. NORRIS WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

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Exelon Merges With Constellation; Creating Nation's No. 1 Compteting Energy Provider

Exelon Corporation, which includes the Clinton Nuclear Power Station, has recently closed a merger with Constellation Energy.

In early March, the two companies joined forces, becoming the leading US competitive energy provider with one of the industry's cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets, and one of the largest retail customer bases in the nation. Communications Director at the Clinton Power Station, Bill Harris says this will increase the business part of the station.

[audio:61412exelonmerger1.mp3] [/audio]

Harris adds, with the merger, Exelon will increase it's nuclear units from 17 to 24, making them the unanimous number one provider of nuclear energy.

[audio:61412exelonmerger2.mp3] [/audio]

Merging Exelon and Constellation will together create about 164 terawatt-hours per year and provide about 100-thousand businesses and 1-million residential homes with energy.

The two will also server about 2/3 of America's Fortune 100 companies.

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Currie, Durkin Head Another Illinois Ethics Panel

Deciding the fate of Illinois politicians accused of misconduct is starting to become a habit for two state legislators.

Barbara Flynn Currie and Jim Durkin have been named to the top spots on the Illinois House committee that will decide whether to recommend expulsion for a member accused of bribery. The two also led the committee that impeached then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Currie, a Chicago Democrat, was appointed chairwoman of the committee Monday.

Durkin, of Western Springs, was given the job of the committee's top Republican last week.

The pair will present evidence this summer against Rep. Derrick May, who has been accused of taking a $7,000 bribe. He denies the charge.

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'Field of Dreams' Project Faces Key Vote In Iowa

The Dyersville City Council is scheduled to vote next month on annexing property for the "Field of Dreams" movie site.

At its special meeting Monday night, the council set the vote for July 2.

City officials say the annexed property could help the site access Dyersville's water and sewer systems.

An Illinois couple has announced plans to buy the farmhouse and baseball field featured in the 1989 film, along with the surrounding land, to build the "All-Star Ballpark Heaven." The complex would include 24 baseball and softball diamonds.

Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law a tax break for the project.

Some neighbors worry about the project's impact, which could include more traffic on small country roads and noise and light pollution, plus flooding from the facility's runoff.

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NIU To Host High School Football Championships

High school football title games will be held at Northern Illinois University's Huskie Stadium in DeKalb during odd years starting in 2013 and running through 2021.

The Illinois High School Association's board of directors approved the state final hosting bid on Monday. The NIU campus will be home to football title games on Thanksgiving weekends in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. The title games will remain at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Champaign during even years, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

The IHSA had to alter the schedule because the University of Illinois will be playing home games on Thanksgiving weekends during odd years.

Other football bids came from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Illinois State University in Normal.

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IHSA Launches Pilot Program For Disabled Students

The Illinois High School Association says it's beginning a pilot program for student athletes with disabilities.

Monday's announcement comes after Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and an advocacy group for the disabled filed a federal lawsuit to force the organization to allow disabled athletes to compete in swimming and track events. It accuses the association of violating disabilities laws by not providing equal access.

A spokeswoman for Madigan says the pilot program doesn't affect the lawsuit's status.

IHSA spokesman Mat Troha says during state finals for cross country, bowling, swimming, diving and track, there'll be separate events for disabled students. The 2-year pilot program starts in the upcoming school year.

Executive director Marty Hickman says the association has been listening to stakeholders and advocacy groups about how to improve opportunities.

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Eureka College Wanting To Increase Enrollment

Eureka College in western Illinois wants to attract more students.

College President David Arnold says he'd like to increase enrollment over the next five yards to 1,200 students. This fall the school expects enrollment at 790 students. Enrollment at the small liberal arts school has grown 60% since 2003. That's when it had fewer than 500 students.

Arnold says the latest increases are thanks to reduced tuition and efforts to retain students. The college president says Eureka needs to strengthen its academic programs, hire additional faculty and stay financially sound.

School officials say 90% of students are from Illinois and about 50% are the first in their family to attend college.

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Cat Advertises For Replacement Workers In Joliet

Caterpillar has started advertising for replacement workers to fill in for striking workers at its plant in Joliet.

The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers represents 780 workers at Joliet who went on strike on May 1.

Caterpillar spokesman Jim Dugan says the Peoria-based company decided to look for temporary replacement workers because it believes it has exhausted the negotiations process. Dugan says hiring the workers was part of Caterpillar's contingency plan in the event of a prolonged strike.

Members of the Machinists union have overwhelmingly rejected two contract proposals from the company.

Union member Allen Williams says striking workers remain resolved about getting a good deal. And Williams says Caterpillar won't be able to replace them quickly because the people they bring in won't have the same skills.

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Weekly Crop Report

FARMERS HAD PLENTY OF TIME FOR FIELDWORK…BUT CROPS COULD USE SOME RAIN AS WE HEAR IN THE WEEKLY CROP REPORT.

AND CORN CONTINUES IT’S STEADY PROGRESS SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

SOYBEANS ARE ALSO FARING WELL SAYS SCHWAB WITH 53 PERCENT NOW COMPLETE AND ONE PERCENT BLOOMING.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

TOPSOIL MOISTURE DECLINED LAST WEEK…STANDING AT 22 PERCENT ADEQUATE…52 PERCENT SHORT…AND 26 PERCENT VERY SHORT. WHEAT HARVEST IS MOVING RIGHT ALONG…WITH 53 PERCENT NOW COMPLETE. THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS ABOUT DONE…AND 29 PERCENT OF THE SECOND CUTTING IS ALREADY COMPLETE. THREE PERCENT OF OATS ARE NOW RIPE.

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Mahomet Valley Water Authority Calls On DeWitt County Board To Hire Outside Landfill Inspector

At their regular monthly meeting in May, the DeWitt County Board was presented with a proposed ordinance regarding the Clinton Landfill.

Speaking on behalf of the Mahomet Valley Water Authority, Doug Graves highlighted a few of the points in the seven page document. Graves feels there needs to be an inspection process that is unaffiliated with the entities the DeWitt County Board, MVWA, or the Clinton Landfill.

[audio:61212mvwa1.mp3] [/audio]

The proposed ordinance calls for an inspection on a daily basis and all hours the landfill is open. Graves says the person inspecting also must be qualified.

[audio:61212mvwa2.mp3] [/audio]

Graves says the goal of the proposed ordinance is to keep the water source safe and show that the Clinton Landfills operations are within the legal limits. He feels the future water supply of the generations to come needs to be considered.

[audio:61212mvwa3.mp3] [/audio]

There was no response or questions asked by Board members.

The Land Use Committee of the DeWitt County Board has been investigating hiring a landfill inspector.

The ordinance calls for the landfill to provide the funds for the proposed inspector or firm.

The County Board has to authorize the hiring of any inspector of the landfill.

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Clinton Fireworks Display In Need of Donations Once Again In 2012

Brady Realtors in Clinton is once again asking the community to help support them in their efforts to provide Clinton with a fireworks display.

Each year Brady Realtors approaches the community in an effort to give Clinton residents a local fireworks display for the 4th of July. Camille Tedrick with Brady Realtors explain each year they head the work for bringing a display to the community and once arrangements have been made, they approach community members and businesses to help financially support a show in Clinton.

[audio:61212clintonfireworks1.mp3] [/audio]

Each year, Tedrick works with a company in Lincoln to provide them with fireworks. She says they are great partners and despite the cost of fireworks going up, they continue to give Brady Realtors a good deal each year.

[audio:61212clintonfireworks2.mp3] [/audio]

The goal for this year's show is $67-hundred. Tedrick notes they have struggled in recent years to make that mark, so they are keeping it steady. She adds with the economy the way it is, it is harder and harder to rely on businesses in the community, so they have been heavily relying on community members support.

[audio:61212clintonfireworks3.mp3] [/audio]

Tedrick is asking the community to give $5 or $10 or whatever amount they can to provide the community with Fourth of July Fireworks this year.

Brady Realtors has sent out letters to those in the community to provide donations. Soon at your local grocery stores and gas stations, there will be change buckets for shoppers to drop spare change in for the display. Tedrick says all that spare change can really add up. Tedrick thanks Jerry and Mary Ryan for donating their land for the fireworks to be shot from.

The City of Clinton once again this year will donate $3-thousand to the display.

If you would like to donate money, you can stop by Brady Realtors office on the Downtown Clinton Square.

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Thunder, Heat Square Off For NBA Title

The battle for the Larry O'Brien Trophy begins tonight between the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder with Game One of the NBA Finals.  The Eastern Conference champion Heat are back in the Finals for the second straight year after losing in six games to the Dallas Mavericks last season.  Miami superstar LeBron James eyes his first championship ring in his third trip to the Finals.  Led by league scoring champ Kevin Durant, the Thunder are making their first Finals appearance.  OKC overcame an 0-2 hole against the Spurs to take the Western Conference crown.  The Heat and Thunder split their two regular-season meetings, with each winning at home.  Oklahoma City has home-court advantage in the 2-3-2 format.  Tonight's tip-off is at 9 p.m. Eastern.

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Kings Crown Devils To Claim Cup

The Kings captured the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history with a 6-1 win over the Devils in Game Six of the Final.  Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter and Trevor Lewis all scored during a five-minute power play in the first period.  Carter added another score just 1:30 into the second period to give L.A. a 4-0 lead.  Lewis and Matt Greene also scored in the third period in the one-sided affair.

Jonathan Quick made 17 saves for the Kings, who are the first eight-seed to ever hoist the Stanley Cup.  Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player in this year's playoffs.  Adam Henrique had New Jersey's only goal in the second period.  Martin Brodeur [[ mar-tan  bro-DURE ]] stopped 19 shots for the Devils, who were trying to become the only team other than the 1942 Maple Leafs to overcome a 3-0 series deficit.

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Bears Fifth Most Expensive Ticket In Pro Sports

Be prepared to shell out a pretty penny if you are going to catch a Chicago Bears game this season.  According to a report by 24/7 Wall Street, the Bears are the fifth most expensive ticket in all of professional sports at just under $220 apiece.  The most expensive ticket in all of pro sports is the New England Patriots at just under $242.

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Cubs Host Tigers; Sox In St. Louis

>>Cubs Host Tigers

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs are back at the Friendly Confines this evening as they open up a three-game Interleague series against the Detroit Tigers.  Paul Maholm [[ muh-HALL-um ]] gets the nod opposite Max Scherzer [[ SURE-zer ]] in the opener.  The Northsiders dropped two-of-three at Minnesota over the weekend, but won Sunday's series finale to improve to 20-and-40 on the season.

>>White Sox In St. Louis

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Chicago White Sox continue Interleague play this evening as they kick off a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals at Busch Stadium.  Jose Quintana will toe the rubber against Lance Lynn in the opener.  The Southsiders dropped two-of-three to the Houston Astros over the weekend to fall to 33-and-27 on the season.

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Cubs Notes

 The Chicago Cubs have landed Cuban defector Jorge Soler.  According to ESPNChicago.com, the Northsiders won the bidding war for Soler and agreed to terms with the 20-year-old outfielder.  Soler will come to the U.S. to take a physical and sign his contract.  Terms of the deal were not released, but have been rumored to be between $25-million and $35-million for nine years.  He had until July 2nd to sign with a major league club under the previous collective bargaining agreement.  The 6-foot-3, 225-pound Solar is projected as a right fielder with five-tool potential.

>>Dempster Shares NL POW Honor

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster has been named co-winner of the National League Player of the Week.  Dempster shared the honor with Arizona outfielder Jason Kubel.  Dempster was 2-and-0 with 0.00 earned run average and nine strikeouts over 15 innings last week.  On June 5th, Dempster spun seven shutout frames while carrying a perfect game into the fifth to pick up his first win of the 2012 season when the Cubs routed the Brewers 10-0.

MLB Interleague
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New York Yankees 3, Atlanta Braves 0
Miami Marlins 4, Boston Red Sox 1
Washington Nationals 6, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

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NIU To Host High School Football Championships

High school football title games will be held at Northern Illinois University's Huskie Stadium in DeKalb during odd years starting in 2013 and running through 2021.

The Illinois High School Association's board of directors approved the state final hosting bid on Monday. The NIU campus will be home to football title games on Thanksgiving weekends in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2021. The title games will remain at Memorial Stadium at the University of Illinois in Champaign during even years, 2012, 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2020.

The IHSA had to alter the schedule because the University of Illinois will be playing home games on Thanksgiving weekends during odd years.

Other football bids came from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Illinois State University in Normal.

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Social Security's Survivors Benefit Leaves Loved Ones With Funding

When one thinks of Social Security, the two most common thoughts that come to mind are probably retirement and disability benefits.

When a person is working and paying into Social Security they are paying into what is called their Survivors Benefit. Kevin Rice with Social Security explains the beneficiary could be a child, a widow or even on some occasions an elderly parent.

[audio:61112survivorsbenefits1.mp3] [/audio]

For younger people working, the families would become the beneficiaries. Rice says the work requirement depends on how old a person is. The older a person gets the work requirements increase.

[audio:61112survivorsbenefits2.mp3] [/audio]

In the unfortunate scenario a loved one passes away, Rice notes there is a one time payment which is a small payment. After though, the Survivors Benefit becomes a lifetime benefit.

[audio:61112survivorsbenefits3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information on the Survivors Benefit and learn more about the various requirements, you can visit socialsecurity.gov or stop in at your local Social Security office.

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Scovill Zoo Provides Perks Beyond The Decatur Based Zoo

Do your children or your family enjoy frequently visiting the Scovill Zoo and many other area zoos?

Perhaps its time to consider getting a membership to the Scovill Zoo in Decatur. Assistant Director of the Scovill Zoo in Decatur, Ken Frye explains there are a lot of discounts that come along with having a zoo membership. Admission is free year round for members. Frye adds memberships last on a year to year basis.

[audio:61112zoomembers1.mp3] [/audio]

Members of the zoo also get invited to several other events throughout the year at the Zoo. Frye notes one of those events is this Friday. Their annual Friends of the Zoo picnic gives members an opportunity to enjoy food provided by the zoo and to also help support the animals they have.

Another advantage Zoo members may appreciate is a perk that provides discounts to other area zoos. Frye notes only does it give you free admission to the Scovill Zoo but it also provides half off admission to other area zoos such as Bloomington and Springfield, but also zoos around the country.

[audio:61112zoomembers2.mp3] [/audio]

Membership fees are $70 for a family, or $30 a person. And again, the membership lasts the entire year.

For more information on becoming a member of the Scovill Zoo, you can contact them at 217-421-7435.

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Clinton City Council To Vote To Approve Basic Life Support Upgrade

The Clinton City Council tonight will vote to approve the Clinton Fire Department to upgrade two of their engines to Basic Life Support (BSL).

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]

President of the firefighters union, David Dallas explains since the Dr. John Warner Hospital has cut back their overnight crews, they have had 11 calls waiting for Clinton Ambulances. Dallas explains on four of those calls, firefighters could have been administered the drugs if the upgrade had been approved.

[audio:61112firemedical3.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]

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters has been hesitant to vote to approve the upgrade because of legal issues involving non-union paid volunteer firefighters. The City was waiting for the approval of their Labor Attorney to give the green light that an agreement between the hospital union and the firefighters union was enough to avoid potential problems in the future but has put the vote off because of these issues.

The Council has had the item on the agenda for two regular meetings now. Tonight's meeting is at 5 pm. Voting to approve the upgrade of the two fire engines to Basic Life Support is the only item on the agenda.

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Logano Wins At Pocono From Pole

Joey Logano ended a three-year drought with a victory at Pocono Raceway on Sunday.  The 22-year-old closed in on 53-year-old Mark Martin in the final laps to grab his second career victory.  Logano became the first driver in 31 Sprint Cup races to win from the pole position, and led a race-high 49 laps at "The Tricky Triangle."  Defending Cup champion Tony Stewart finished third, while Jimmie Johnson bounced back from a pair of speeding penalties on pit road to finish fourth.  NASCAR issued a total of 22 speeding penalties on pit road.  Denny Hamlin finished fifth ahead of Clint Bowyer, Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Paul Menard and Jamie McMurray.

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Astros Outslug White Sox

Jose Altuve hit a two-run home run and stole home to lead the Astros to a 11-9 win against the White Sox.  Altuve was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, while J.D. Martinez, Justin Maxwell and Brett Wallace all hit homers.  Lucas Harrell improved to 6-and-4 despite giving up five runs across seven-and-one-third inning as Houston took two of three from Chicago.  Brett Myers nailed down his 15th save.  Adam Dunn hit his 20th home run of the year in the loss, and Paul Konerko connected on two-run shot in the eighth inning.  Orlando Hudson smashed a three-run jack in the setback.  Philip Humber [[ UM-ber ]] struck out nine and gave up six runs in five-and-one-third inning to fall to 2-and-4.   

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MLB: Dempster, Cubs Topple Twins; Astros Outslug White Sox ; Indians Down Cards

David DeJesus drove in three runs to back eight scoreless innings from Ryan Dempster as the Cubs cruised to an 8-2 win over the Twins.  Dempster struck out six and allowed just four hits and a walk to improve to 2-and-3 on the season.  Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker, Joe Mather and Darwin Barney all plated a run for Chicago, which snapped a four-game slide to salvage the finale of a three-game set at Target Field.  Ryan Doumit [[ DOH-mit ]] and Jamey Carroll each knocked in a run for Minnesota.  Francisco Liriano was saddled with the loss.

 

Jose Altuve hit a two-run home run and stole home to lead the Astros to a 11-9 win against the White Sox.  Altuve was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and three RBI, while J.D. Martinez, Justin Maxwell and Brett Wallace all hit homers.  Lucas Harrell improved to 6-and-4 despite giving up five runs across seven-and-one-third inning as Houston took two of three from Chicago.  Brett Myers nailed down his 15th save.  Adam Dunn hit his 20th home run of the year in the loss, and Paul Konerko connected on two-run shot in the eighth inning.  Orlando Hudson smashed a three-run jack in the setback.  Philip Humber [[ UM-ber ]] struck out nine and gave up six runs in five-and-one-third inning to fall to 2-and-4.    


Jason Kipnis smashed a three-run homer in the top of the ninth inning to give the Indians a 4-1 win over the Cardinals.  Kipnis was 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, while Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 18 games with a single in the top of the sixth.  Ubaldo Jimenez dealt seven innings of one-run ball with seven strikeouts, but Vinnie Pestano came away with the win and Chris Perez locked down his 20th save.  Carlos Beltran hit his 18th home run of the season in the first inning to account for the Cards only run of the game.  Closer Jason Motte was tagged with the loss.

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Union Rags Wins 144th Running Of Belmont Stakes

The Belmont Stakes turned out to be an exciting horse race even without crowd favorite I'll Have Another in the event.  Saturday's 144th running of the Belmont was won by Union Rags with inches to spare over Paynter who'd led most of the race.  Union Rags was ridden by John Velazquez who got a very late burst up the rails out of Union Rags, passing Paynter at the last possible second.  Atigun came in third in the longest, most grueling of the season's three classic races.  After the win, Velazquez complemented Union Rags saying, quote, "He just works unbelievable and I was just hoping he could put that work into today's race and he did.  I am very proud of him."

The Triple Crown wasn't at stake this year.  Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner I'll Have Another was scratched from the Belmont late Friday with a leg injury.  The last Triple Crown winner was Affirmed in 1978.

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Clinton Chamber's Annual Golf Outing June 26, Registration Due This Week

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce's annual Golf outing is coming up at the end of the month and time is running short to get registered.

Friday is the deadline to get deadline to get registered for the event that takes place Tuesday June 26 at the Clinton Country Club. The day starts out at noon with lunch served until 1:30. The shotgun start gets underway at 1:30. Executive Director of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Marian Brisard explains that evening the Clinton Country Club will be hosting an "After Hours" event that gives anyone interested in becoming a member of the Chamber an opportunity to get details in a relaxed environment.

[audio:61212chambergolf1.mp3] [/audio]

The annual Golf outing is a fundraiser for the Chamber. Brisard notes this is a small fundraiser compared to other events such as the Business Expo or their annual Banquet. She notes every fundraiser they have is an important one as it helps them maintain day to day operations.

[audio:61212chambergolf2.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard feels the golf is outing is worth the investment to come out and be a part of. She adds the golf outing is a great networking opportunity.

[audio:61212chambergolf3.mp3] [/audio]

Sign up is due by the end of the week, June 15 at 4:30. Businesses can sponsor holes. There are also packages that allow up to $20 dollar savings on teams registration.

To get more information about the annual Chamber Golf Outing or to register, you can visit www.clintonilchamber.com for the registration form, stop by the Clinton Chamber office on the downtown Clinton Square, or contact the chamber at 935-3364.

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Steve Miller Band Added To Fair Line-Up

The Steve Miller Band has been added to the State Fair lineup.  They'll take the stage on Sunday, August 19th at 7:30p.m.  The classic rock group joins a diverse set of performers at this year's fair, including Eric Church, Demi Lovado, Toby Mac, Creed, and Miranda Lambert.  Tickets go on sale tomorrow and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or at the state fair box office tomorrow from 9a.m. to 1 p.m. and 8a.m. to 5p.m. on weekdays.  To get more details about the state fair and the entertainment line-up, check out IllinoisStateFair.info or call 217-782-1979.

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IEMA Officials Encourage Outdoor Events To Keep Severe Weather In Mind

THE ILLINOIS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY IS URGING OUTDOOR EVENT ORGANIZERS TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE A PLAN IN PLACE SHOULD SEVERE WEATHER STRIKE.

BAD WEATHER AT A FAIR…CARNIVAL…CONCERT OR EVEN JUST A BIG PARTY CAN BE DISASTROUS…AND DEADLY. IEMA SPOKESPERSON PATTI THOMPSON SAYS THAT’S WHY ORGANIZERS NEED TO BE PREPARED.

[audio:event1.mp3] [/audio]

THOMPSON SAYS ORGANIZERS FIRST NEED TO MAKE SURE THEY HAVE MULTIPLE WAYS OF KEEPING TABS ON THE FORECAST…SUCH AS A WEATHER RADIO AND INTERNET OR RADIO BROADCAST.


[audio:event2.mp3] [/audio]

AND FINALLY…ORGANIZERS SHOULD, IF POSSIBLE, DESIGNATE A SPOT AHEAD OF TIME WHERE EVERYONE CAN GO IF A STORM IS APPROACHING. FOR MORE SEVERE WEATHER PREPAREDNESS TIPS…VISIT THE WEBSITE: READY DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Weekly Weather Summary

It was a pleasant week here in central Illinois. Meteorologist Steve Hillberg says there was rain, but not enough to make up for the lack of rain recently. It should be a beautiful week and the best and perhaps only chance of rain comes early in the week.

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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Special Olympics Illinois

Law Enforcement Torch Run® for Special Olympics to kick off June 10.

Starting Sunday, June 10, about 3,000 law enforcement across Illinois will participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run® to help raise money for the Special Olympics Illinois.

The Torch Run is largest year-round fundraising event for the Special Olympics Illinois. Illinois officers will run over 1,500 miles carrying the "Flame of Hope" through the streets of their hometowns. On Friday, June 15, all the participants will meet at Illinois State University's Hancock Staduim in Normal, the site of the State Summer Games. The "Flame of Hope"  will be handed off to Special Olympic athletes.

According to Special Olympics Illinois president and CEO Dave Breen, the athletes participating in Special Olympics Illinois are able to do so free of charge because of the Torch Run.

Eric Smith, director of the Torch Run and Chief of the Sherman Police Department, says the Torch Run is a genuine project since it helps Special Olympic athletes experience sports and competition while building life skills.

For more information about the Torch Run contact your local law enforcement agency or Matt Johnson at Special Olympics Illinois at 1-800-394-0562 or email mjohnson@soill.org.

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Friday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
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Milwaukee Brewers 9, San Diego Padres 5

MLB Interleague
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New York Yankees 9, New York Mets 1
Philadelphia Phillies 9, Baltimore Orioles 6
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Kansas City Royals 2
Washington Nationals 7, Boston Red Sox 4
Cincinnati Reds 6, Detroit Tigers 5 (10 inn)
Tampa Bay Rays 5, Miami Marlins 1
Atlanta Braves 4, Toronto Blue Jays 3 (10 inn)
Minnesota Twins 8, Chicago Cubs 7 (10 inn)
Houston Astros 8, Chicago White Sox 3
Cleveland Indians 6, St. Louis Cardinals 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 7, Colorado Rockies 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Oakland Athletics 8
Seattle Mariners 1, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Texas Rangers 5, San Francisco Giants 0

NBA Playoffs
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No Games Scheduled

NHL Stanley Cup Final
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No Game Scheduled

WNBA
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Connecticut Sun 89, Indiana Fever 81
New York Liberty 76, Washington Mystics 70
Atlanta Dream 60, San Antonio Silver Stars 57
Chicago Sky 98, Tulsa Shock 91 (OT)
Los Angeles Sparks 90, Phoenix Mercury 74

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Astros Use Long Ball To Down ChiSox

Brian Bogusevic clubbed a three-run homer and Jed Lowrie added a two-run shot, as the Astros defeated the White Sox, 8-3.  Brett Wallace also went deep for Houston, which snapped a two-game skid.  Wandy Rodriguez gave up three runs on nine hits over five-and-a-third innings as he improved to 5-and-4.  Adam Dunn and Alexei Ramirez both had two hits and an RBI for the White Sox, who have dropped three-of-four.  Gavin Floyd struck out nine over six frames, but allowed four runs to fall to 4-and-6 with the loss.

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Twins Clip Cubs In 10th

Josh Willingham singled in the winning run in the bottom of the 10th inning to lift the Twins past the Cubs, 8-7.  Justin Morneau tripled in Willingham to tie the game at seven in the bottom of the ninth.  Trevor Plouffe and Ryan Doumit both homered for the Twins, who have won five of their last six games.  Matt Capps was credited with the win after tossing a scoreless 10th.  Alfonso Soriano homered twice and drove in three and Starllin Castro added a two-run blast for the Cubs, who have dropped seven-of-eight.  Shawn Camp fell to 2-and-3 with the loss.

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Homeowner Follows Thieves In Car

 A Manhattan man pulls up to his home to find three men loading his stuff into their car early this morning.  The thieves drove off but the homeowner was hot on their tail.  He called police while he followed them to Interstate 80.  That’s where state police joined the chase and eventually caught up with the thieves after their vehicle crashed about three miles down the road.  The men got out of the car and took off across the highway on foot, hiding in the woods.  Bloodhounds eventually helped capture the men, who are being held for questioning.

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BYU Dancers To Perform At Presidential Museum

The Brigham Young University Dance Co. will perform at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum.

The company, winner of a number of international awards, will present shows on June 15 and June 29.

The June 15 performance will feature international styles such as Latin, waltz, samba, foxtrot and hustle. Native American, Latin American and Polynesian dances will be featured in the "Living Legend" show June 29.

The company has toured the U.S. and more than 45 other countries.

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Illinois Farmers Headed to Cuba

Eighteen Illinois farmers will see market opportunities in Cuba up close during this year's Illinois Farm Bureau Market Study Tour.  IFB Senior Director of Commodities, Tamara Nelsen says the group typically goes to a market that is a huge potential market, like China, or one that they can learn something from, like European countries. But, she says Cuba has been a fascination to Illinois farmers for many years.  The group will be looking for direct trade opportunities either now or in the future.  It's a small market but it's already a huge destination for tourism and its proximity makes the United States a target for exports to the country.  Nelson says trade barriers has caused some setbacks in preparing for the trip but the group is set to leave on
June 28.

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Retirements May Affect Illinois DNR

Officials at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say dozens of pending retirements may leave some facilities without full-time employees.

80 of the department's 1,100 employees have filed notice that they intend to retire. DNR spokesman Chris McCloud says the department has some sites with one or two employees. McCloud says if those employees decide to retire, "then there would be nobody there."

McCloud says the department is deciding what to do if that happens. He says the public uses some facilities that don't have employees working around the clock. And McCloud says conservation police patrol areas.

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WIU Trustees Vote Increase In Student Costs

The Western Illinois University board of trustees has approved a 4.5% increase in tuition, fees and room and board costs for students attending the Macomb campus.

With the trustees' action Friday, undergraduate students entering Western's Macomb campus in fall 2012 will be charged $8,012 in annual tuition.

Yearly room and board increases for entering students will increase $360 to $8,820 per year for double occupancy and $455 to $11,237 for single occupancy.

Fees for incoming students with a 15-hour schedule per semester will increase by $99.60 per year to $2,431.

Incoming students at the Quad Cities campus will see an all-costs increase of 5.6%.

The board also approved a recommendation to keep student health insurance fees at $738.

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Civil War Re-enactment

Get a taste of what the  Civil War was like this weekend in Springfield.  The Old Northwest Volunteers will be re-enacting the war, portraying the 52nd Illinois Volunteer Infantry.   Volunteers will take Confederate prisoners-of-war off the train in Springfield and make them camp with them near President Lincoln's old home.   They'll also reinvent a prisoner of war camp at the Camp Butler Veterans cemetery.  Those walking through the Lincoln home can interact with the Civil war soldiers and prisoners.  It all starts today at 5p.m. and all events are free and open to the public. 

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Superman Celebration Under Way In Metropolis

The yearly festival honoring Superman has taken off in the southern Illinois city that enthusiastically claims the Man of Steel as its favorite son.

The Superman Celebration is under way in the 6,500-resident Ohio River community of Metropolis and runs through Sunday.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to attend the celebration that includes movies and music, along with appearances by John Glover and Cassidy Freeman from the Superman television series "Smallville."

Metropolis has no real connection to the fictional crime-fighter beyond the fact that Superman's co-creator, Jerry Siegel, happened to choose the name "Metropolis" when he first wrote the strip in the 1930s.

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Healthy Lifestyle Key For Seniors To Live Independently

Senior citizens can lead independent and active lives for a number of years. One key is to develop a healthy lifestyle, including some preventative measures.

Living a healthy lifestyle helps protect against the deterioration that is often associated with aging. Dr. Vajeeha (Vah’-gee-ah) Tabassum, assistant professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, offers suggestions for seniors.

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Dr. Tabassum says seniors should get regular screenings for diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol as well as colon cancer screenings. She also advises seniors to become physically active.

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Dr. Tabassum says many diseases can be prevented or treated by eating more nutritious foods such as fruits and vegetables. She says seniors should check with their primary care physician about screenings, vaccinations and starting an exercise program.

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Indians Cruise Past Cards

Johnny Damon belted a two-run homer to back seven solid innings from Josh Tomlin, as the Indians cruised to a 6-2 win over the Cardinals.  Tomlin scattered eight hits and two runs to even his record at 3-and-3.  Michael Brantley had two hits, extending his hitting streak to 16 games, an RBI and scored a run.  Jason Kipnis also had two hits, plated a run and scored for Cleveland, which has won three-of-four.  Matt Adams had a pinch-hit, two-run single in the seventh for the Cards, who had won their previous two.  Jake Westbrook allowed four runs, three earned, on eight hits over six frames as he fell to 4-and-6 with the loss.

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Homeowner Follows Thieves In Car

A Manhattan man pulls up to his home to find three men loading his stuff into their car early this morning.  The thieves drove off but the homeowner was hot on their tail.  He called police while he followed them to Interstate 80.  That’s where state police joined the chase and eventually caught up with the thieves after their vehicle crashed about three miles down the road.  The men got out of the car and took off across the highway on foot, hiding in the woods.  Bloodhounds eventually helped capture the men, who are being held for questioning.

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SIU Gets Nearly $300-Thousand In Clean Coal Grant

Southern Illinois University in Carbondale is getting a nearly $300,000 federal grant meant to further clean-coal technology.

The money bound for the university's Coal Research Center will go toward work on powder coatings to protect coal boiler and turbine parts from corroding.

The university will kick in $142,000 from funds already raised by the research center.

Twenty universities submitted a total of 23 research projects for Department of Energy consideration. The department ultimately chose nine projects for a total of $2.7 million.

The grants are part of more than $5 billion President Barack Obama's administration has allocated to clean coal research and development.

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Illinois Supreme Court Drops GOP Census Map Challenge

The Illinois Supreme Court has rejected a challenge from Republicans who claimed a Democratic-drawn legislative map was unconstitutional.

The decision on Thursday was 4-3 and split along party lines. The justices did not give a written explanation.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno filed a complaint in February claiming that the maps drawn by Democrats were gerrymandered to benefit the party and violated the state constitution.

Cross and Radogno issued a joint statement Thursday. They say the decision is unfortunate and is evidence of the need for redistricting reform in the state.

Political boundaries are redrawn every 10 years based on U.S. Census data.

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Illinois Communities Receive $7-Million In Housing Grants

Illinois will receive more than $7 million in federal housing grants to improve local communities and provide shelter and affordable housing.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, says the money comes from three Department of Housing and Urban Development grant programs.

Seven cities and Lake County will share Community Development Block Grant money. The program helps states and local government redevelop urban areas and provide suitable housing and economic opportunities for those living there.

Lake County will get an Emergency Shelter Grant which helps government and private agencies develop homeless shelters.

And money will go to Lake County and Decatur for the HOME Program which aims to expand affordable housing opportunities for the poorest members of a community.

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No More Court Supervision For Excessive Speeding

No more court supervision for drivers busted going more than 25-miles-an-hour over the speed limit.  State Representative Sid Mathias says lawmakers passed the bill because some drivers were getting off too easy.  

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That man killed a Frankfort teenager.  The bill is called "Julie's Law" in her honor.  If signed by Governor Quinn, it would take away a person's chances of getting court supervision if they're caught driving more than 25-miles-an-hour over the limit on local roads and 30 on highways.

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Schools To Take Hit In New Budget

Illinois schools would lose $210 million under the budget approved by legislators last week, leaving the state even further away from its goal of providing a basic "foundation level" of funding for every student.

Free meals for poor students would also be cut back if Gov. Pat Quinn signs the budget into law, as would early childhood education.

The advocacy group Voices for Illinois Children says the people "who will be most hurt are those most in need."

The budget includes money to maintain two prisons that were slated to close and to operate agriculture labs and state police communications facilities that were going to be consolidated.

Community care for senior citizens is also on the short list of programs getting more money.

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Crimestopper Tips Lead To Six Guns

The Crimestoppers hotline is paying off in Champaign County.  Tips led police to homes where they seized six guns, including a loaded Tec-9 semi-automatic handgun and a loaded Ruger Mini-14 rifle.  The Crimestoppers tips came in two weeks after police held a press conference on gun violence in the area.  Police says the tipsters helped take those guns off the streets and out of the hands of people who aren't authorized to have them.  Champaign Police spokeswoman Rene Dunn says most of the homeowners didn't even know the weapons were inside the homes.  They were brought in by their children or grandchildren. Police urge parents and caretakers to talk about gun safety with their children.  The tipsters could be in for a one thousand dollar reward if the information they provided leads to an arrest.  Crimestoppers can be reached at 217-373-8477.

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With Planting Mostly Done, Farmers In Need of Rain

With spring planting virtually complete across central Illinois, most producers are hoping Mother Nature provides some much needed rainfall.  Jared White has more...

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DeWitt County's Relay For Life Tonight

The Fourth Annual DeWitt County Relay for Life will be held from 6 p.m. tonight to 6 a.m. tomorrow June 9 at on Clinton High School track.

According to Relay for Life volunteer Clarene Arnold, last year they were able to raise $60,000 for the cause, and so far this year, over 12 teams have signed up with a 150 participants. Arnold says the event has gotten a lot of local business support.

[audio:6812Relay1.mp3] [/audio]

This year's theme for the event is superheros, and the schedule has a superhero themed lap, where everyone walking will be dressed as their favorite superhero. The event will also include a caregiver's garden and beads will be given to survivors.

[audio:6812Relay2.mp3] [/audio]

Relay for Life is a cancer awareness organization that holds relays across the United States to help raise money for cancer research. Arnold emphasises the organization is more credibile than other ones out there.

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Arnold says each member of a Relay for Life team is encouraged to raise $100 for the event. She says members have raised money by doing chores, selling flowers and having cookouts in the community. Relay for Life will also accept canned foods this year to help hold down some of the lumanaries. All the cans will be donated to Dove after the event.

Relay for Life was started in 1985 by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Tacoma, Wash. when he wanted to see his local American Cancer Society receive more to money so they could help his patients who were battling cancer. He personally raised money in his community and walked for 24 hours straight. Since then, it has spread across the United States, and teams  tag in and out to walk for a 12 hour relay.

For more information on DeWitt County Relay for Life, visit relayforlife.org/dewittil or call Arnold at 217-935-8517. 

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I'll Have Another Tries For Triple Crown Saturday

I'll Have Another makes its run at history tomorrow in the 144th edition of the Belmont Stakes.  The Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes winner is the 4-to-5 morning line favorite and will try to become just the twelfth horse to win the Triple Crown overall and first since Affirmed in 1978.

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Racing Notes

>>Pocono 400 Set For Sunday

(Blakeslee, PA)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to "The Tricky Triangle" this weekend for Sunday's Pocono 400.  The track has received a new coat of asphalt since the series last competed there 10 months ago.  It's the first time Pocono has been repaved since 1995.  The race distance at Pocono will also be shorter than it normally has been in the past.  Each event at Pocono had been scheduled for 500 miles since the series began competing at this track in 1974.  Jimmie Johnson won last week at Dover to climb into fifth place in the Cup standings.  Greg Biffle still holds a slight one-point lead over Matt Kenseth.

>>IndyCar Series In Fort Worth This Weekend

(Fort Worth, TX)  --  The IZOD IndyCar Series heads to Texas Motor Speedway this weekend, with drivers quite concerned about their safety on this fast 1.5 mile racetrack.  Texas is the first IndyCar race on a mile-and-a-half track since eight months ago at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, where two-time Indianapolis 500 winner and former series champion Dan Wheldon lost his life during a horrifying 15-car crash.  Texas and Las Vegas are very similar with its high banking in the turns.  Speeds at these tracks can reach as high as 225 miles-per-hour.

>>Hall Of Famer Cotton Owens Dies

(Charlotte, NC)  --  NASCAR Hall of Famer Cotton Owens has died.  He was 88 years old.  According to the NASCAR website, Owens died Thursday morning.  Owens was elected to the 2013 Class of the Hall of Fame late last month.  He is set to be inducted with Rusty Wallace, Buck Baker, Herb Thomas and Leonard Wood in the five-member class.  As a driver, Owens won nine times on NASCAR's premier circuit, including the 1957 Daytona Beach road course.  He nearly won the 1959 championship, finishing second to Hall of Famer Lee Petty.  Owens also won 38 races as an owner and captured the 1966 title with Hall of Famer David Pearson as his driver.

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LeBron, Heat Crush Celtics, Force Game Seven

LeBron James put together a virtuoso performance that led the Miami Heat to a 98-79 dismantling of the Boston Celtics in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Finals.  James scored 45 points on 19-of-26 shooting, with 15 rebounds and five assists.  Thirty of his 45 points came in the first half.  Dwyane Wade added 17 points, eight rebounds and four assists.  Rajon Rondo had 21 points and 10 assists, while Paul Pierce struggled from the field shooting 4-of-18 and only posting nine points.  Game Seven is Saturday Night in Miami.

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Concussion Lawsuits Against NFL Consolidated Into One

More than 80 concussion-related lawsuits against the NFL are now merged into one.  Lawyers representing more than two-thousand former NFL players have filed a master complaint in U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania.  The suit alleges the league knowingly withheld from players its knowledge of the link between football-related head injuries and long-term neurological damage.

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MLB, Players Association Revise Drug Policy

Major League Baseball and the Players Association are making changes to their Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.  Among the revisions are additional blood testing for human growth hormone during spring training, the offseason and for reasonable cause.  The parties also agreed to study expanding HGH testing to the regular season.  Also modified are the collection and storage procedures for specimens, as well as appeal procedures for the program.  The changes come after National League MVP Ryan Braun had a 50-game suspension overturned this spring.

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Garcia Placed On Disabled List

The St. Louis Cardinals placed pitcher Jaime Garcia on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to June 6th, with a left shoulder strain.  Garcia has started 11 games for the Cards this season, pitching to a 3-and-4 record with a 4.48 ERA.  St. Louis recalled pitcher Fernando Salas from Triple-A Memphis to fill the roster spot.

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Cardinals Crush Stros; Crew Walks Off On Cubs; Sox Walk Off On Jays

>>Cardinals Crush Astros

(Houston, TX)  --  Lance Lynn struck out 11 and tossed six innings of two-run ball as the Cardinals crushed the Astros, 14-2.  David Freese belted a grand slam and a two-run homer for St. Louis, which has won three-of-four.  Carlos Beltran smoked a solo shot and Shane Robinson added a two-run home run in the win.  J.A. Happ gave up four runs in four-and-two-thirds frames for the loss.  Jed Lowrie drilled a solo bomb for Houston, which has lost two straight.

>>Aoki, Crew Walk Off On Cubs

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Norichika Aoki blasted a solo home run in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the Brewers a 4-3 win over the Cubs.  Aoki also popped a solo shot in the fourth for Milwaukee, which took two-of-three in the series at Miller Park.  George Kottaras and Corey Hart also knocked in a run in the win.  John Axford got credit for the victory after tossing two scoreless innings.  Bryan LaHair hammered a pinch-hit, two-run homer and Koyie Hill doubled in a run for Chicago.  Casey Coleman was saddled with the loss for the Cubs, who have dropped six of their last seven games.

MLB NL
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Los Angeles Dodgers 8, Philadelphia Phillies 3
New York Mets 3, Washington Nationals 1
San Francisco Giants 8, San Diego Padres 3
Atlanta Braves 8, Miami Marlins 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Cincinnati Reds 4 (10 inn)

>>ChiSox Clip Jays

(Chicago, IL)  --  Orlando Hudson hit an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the White Sox to a 4-3 win against the Blue Jays.  Alex Rios drilled a two-run home run for Chicago, which salvaged the finale of the three-game series.  Addison Reed earned the win out of the bullpen.  Francisco Cordero suffered the loss in relief.  Yunel Escobar went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Toronto, which saw a three-game win streak snapped.

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 7, Cleveland Indians 5
Oakland Athletics 7, Texas Rangers 1
Tampa Bay Rays 7, New York Yankees 3
Boston Red Sox 7, Baltimore Orioles 0

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Blue Ridge High School Awarded National Recognition

Blue Ridge High School recently received an award for their academics.

BRHS was named to the US News and World Report 2012 Bronze Level of Best High Schools. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Susan Wilson says they received this award a few years ago, but she feels it's still nice to be recognized.

[audio:6912blueridgeaward1.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson calls receiving the award a team effort. She feels it reflects the hard work from administrators, to teachers, to the parents of the district.

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US News evaluated nearly 22,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver, or bronze medals based on state proficiency standards, how well they prepare students for college, and other factors.

Click on the link below to find the page.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/illinois/districts/blue-ridge-cusd-18/blue-ridge-high-school-6412

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Retirements May Affect Illinois DNR

Officials at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say dozens of pending retirements may leave some facilities without full-time employees.

80 of the department's 1,100 employees have filed notice that they intend to retire. DNR spokesman Chris McCloud says the department has some sites with one or two employees. McCloud says if those employees decide to retire, "then there would be nobody there."

McCloud says the department is deciding what to do if that happens. He says the public uses some facilities that don't have employees working around the clock. And McCloud says conservation police patrol areas.

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Corporations Boost Agricultural Research Funding

The gap between federal funding for agricultural research at large public universities and private investment is growing, and critics fear it will jeopardize schools' independence.

A recent study by the Washington-based environmental group Food and Water Watch shows that nearly one-quarter of the money spent on agricultural research at land-grant universities comes from corporations, trade associations and foundations, an all-time high.

Financial support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture accounts for less than 15%, the lowest levels in nearly two decades.

The advocacy group says such arrangements can pose conflicts of interest and steer researchers away from scientific results that may contradict the goals of their financial backers.

Deans at several agricultural schools counter that corporate support is vital but unlikely to sway their research.

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Deer Bursts Through Decatur Bank

A deer burst through the window of a Decatur bank and neither the building nor the deer was better off for the encounter.

PNC Bank branch manager Brad Wagers says the young deer crashed through an office window about 7 p.m. Tuesday.

The deer ran through the building apparently looking for an exit and in the process injured itself and damaged the building's interior. Macon County Animal Control Warden Paulette Smith says the deer was shot with a tranquilizer dart and later euthanized.

Construction worker Jordan Stanberry says he watched the deer dash across a busy street and into the window. Stanberry says he thought don't do it as he watched the deer sprint toward the window.

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Illinois GOP On Scott Walker Victory

Illinois Republicans are chiming in on Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's victory last night.  GOP Party Chairman Pat Brady says Walker's ability to withstand the recall shows that "voters are fed up with big spending Democrats running their state governments."  Brady says Walker's reforms are exactly what Illinois needs right now.  Plus, he says the state could use more fiscally courageous leaders like Scott Walker and less like Pat Quinn, Mike Madigan and John Cullerton, who think the solution to every problem is a tax increase.  Walker defeated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in a recall election yesterday.  He won by five percentage points.

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DecatuDecatur Hospitals Get Average Safety Rating

Decatur hospitals get an average grade when it comes to hospital safety, according to the Leapfrog Group.  A recent report breaks down hospital safety ratings across the nation, based on data detailing patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.  Both Decatur Memorial and St. Mary's received a "C."  Leapfrog officials say the hospitals should see the average score as a reminder that patient safety should be a top priority.  To see hospital scores in your area, check out HospitalSafetScore.org.

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Bloomington Hospital Top Notch In Safety Rating

Patients at Bloomington's OSF St. Joseph's Medical Center should feel pretty good about the service and safety they're getting.  A recent report by the Leapfrog Group breaks down hospital safety ratings across the nation, based on data detailing patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.  St. Joseph's passes with flying colors, receiving an "A" for safety.  Normal's BroMenn Hospital received a "C."  Leapfrog officials say the hospital should see the less than perfect score as a reminder that patient safety should be a top priority.  To see hospital scores in your area, check out HospitalSafetScore.org.

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Springfield Hospitals Get Average Safety Rating

Springfield hospitals get an average grade when it comes to hospital safety, according to the Leapfrog Group.  A recent report breaks down hospital safety ratings across the nation, based on data detailing patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections.  Both Memorial and St. John's received a "C."  Leapfrog officials say the hospitals should see the average score as a reminder that patient safety should be a top priority.  To see hospital scores in your area, check out HospitalSafetScore.org.

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Gov. Quinn Meets With Legislative Leaders On Pension Reform

PENSION REFORM NEGOTIATIONS CONTINUE…BUT IT DOESN’T LOOK LIKE LAWMAKERS WILL BE CALLED BACK ANYTIME SOON TO VOTE ON A NEW PROPOSAL.

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN MET WITH THE FOUR LEGISLATIVE LEADERS TO DISCUSS OVERHAULING THE STATE’S UNDERFUNDED PENSION SYSTEMS. HE SAYS THEY ALL AGREE THEY NEED TO HOLD SCHOOLS ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE PENSION BENEFITS THEY OFFER TEACHERS. THE TROUBLE IS HOW TO BEST DO THAT.

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THE GROUP DIDN’T SEEM TO REACH ANY MAJOR CONSENSUS. GOV QUINN SAYS THEY ARE CALLING IN SOME EXPERTS…AND COLLECTING MORE DATA TO TRY AND COME UP WITH SOLID PENSION REFORM.

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GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS THEY PLAN TO MEET AGAIN LATER THIS MONTH AND STRESSES THEY NEED TO FIND A COMPREHENSIVE SOLUTION TO PENSION REFORM…NOT A PARTIAL FIX.

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Despite Cuts, Illinois Adding New Programs To Medicare

After cutting programs Illinois' senior citizens have taken advantage of for years, Illinois is adding four new benefits to the prevented service package for Medicare users to take advantage of.

Alcohol misuse counseling, intensive behavioral therapy for cardiovascular disease, depression screening, and sexually transmitted infections screening and counseling are all new benefits for Medicare benefactors. According to SHIP Outreach Coordinator Bryan Padget, Medicare benefactors can now get four free counseling sessions for those tested positive for alcohol misuse screenings, amongst several other benefits.

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Depression screenings are now free through Medicare and according to Padget, this goes along with another feature Medicare has.

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Padget says the biggest add on is the STI screenings. This includes two screenings each year for STIs and hepatitis B. He encourages all sexually active seniors to take advantage of these screenings since some STI symptoms mirror other symptoms.

[audio:6612NewBenefits2.mp3] [/audio]

For a full list of everything in the prevented service package or for more information on the new benefits, go to insurance.illinois.gov or call SHIP at 1-800-548-9034.

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Construction Set To Begin At Mansfield Jr High School This Month

With the Blue Ridge schools referendum behind them, the school is moving forward quickly as they update their Mansfield facility.

The Mansfield Junior high school will be added on to in the coming year in the Blue Ridge School District. The district held a groundbreaking ceremony in mid-May. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Susan Wilson explains community leaders from across the district and those involved in making the new addition a reality.

[audio:6712blueridge1.mp3] [/audio]

At the ground breaking ceremony, the several hundreds that were gathered were addressed by Farmer City Mayor Mike Jenkins. Mayor Jenkins says he is asked all the time why he felt Mansfield needed a better facility. After taking a picture of all the students in attendance, Mayor Jenkins says he can now show those people, rather than tell them, why Mansfield deserves better facilities.

[audio:6712blueridge2.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson explains the district is currently under budget for the project. She says they do still have a few more bids to acquire but the major bids have returned. Within the last six months, the district had learned bond rates had dropped by whole percentage points and Wilson adds those bond rates still look very favorable.

[audio:6712blueridge3.mp3] [/audio]

Construction should begin this month and the district hopes to be in the new addition by the start of school next year.

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Thunder Advance To Finals; Devils Extend Series With Kings

>>Thunder Take Down Spurs To Reach NBA Finals

(Oklahoma City, OK)  --  Kevin Durant had 34 points and 14 rebounds as the Thunder secured a spot in the NBA Finals with a 107-99 win over the Spurs in Game Six of the Western Conference finals.  Russell Westbrook added 25 points and eight rebounds for the Thunder, who won the final four games in the best-of-seven series.  The Thunder advanced to the championship series for the first time since they were located in Seattle in 1996.  OKC will face either the Celtics or the Heat in the Finals. They play Game Six tonight.  

>>Devils Dump Kings To Force Game Five

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  The Devils scored three times in the third period and avoided elimination with a 3-1 win over the Kings in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final.  Patrik Elias put New Jersey on the board 7:56 into the frame, but Drew Doughty scored on the power play a minute later to tie things up.  Adam Henrique netted the go-ahead score with 4:29 left.  Ilya Kovalchuk put the game away with an empty-netter.  Martin Brodeur stopped 21 of the 22 shots he faced for New Jersey, which will host Game Five on Saturday.  Jonathan Quick also made 21 saves for the Kings, who still hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series.

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Cubs Call Up Corpas; Cardinals Draft Sons Of Two Coaches

>>Cardinals Draft Sons Of Two Coaches

(New York, NY)  --  The Cardinals have drafted the sons of two members of the coaching staff.  They took manager Mike Matheny's son, outfielder Tate Matheny, in the 23rd round of the draft.  Later, they selected third base coach Jose Oquendo's son, shortstop Eduardo Oquendo, in the 32nd round.

>>Cubs Call Up Corpas

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  The Chicago Cubs selected the contract of pitcher Manny Corpas from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday.  Corpas, who signed as a free agent with Chicago last December, hasn't pitched in the majors since August 2010, when he suffered an elbow injury which required Tommy John Surgery.  Two years ago for Colorado, he finished 3-and-5 with a 4.62 earned run average and 10 saves in 56 appearances.  To make room on the roster, the Cubs placed pitcher Blake Parker on the 60-day disabled list retroactive to June 2nd with an elbow injury.  Parker had not allowed a run in four-and-a-third innings with the Cubs this season.

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Cards Win; Cubs, Sox Blanked By Aces

>>Cards Clip 'Stros

(Houston, TX)  --  Allen Craig and Daniel Descalso both blasted solo homers to lead the Cardinals in a 4-3 win over the Astros.  Craig added an RBI single and David Freese doubled in a run for St. Louis, which has won two-of-three on the heels of a five-game slide.  Adam Wainwright tossed five-and-two-third frames of three-run ball with eight strikeouts to get the win.  Jason Motte recorded the final four outs to lock up his 10th save.  Brett Wallace, Brian Bogusevic and Jose Altuve each knocked in a run for Houston.  Bud Norris fanned 12, but allowed all four runs through six innings of duty to absorb the loss.

>>Brewers Blank Cubs

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Zack Greinke struck out 12 and gave up two hits over seven innings to help the Brewers blow out the Cubs, 8-0.  Taylor Green blasted a pinch-hit, three-run home run for Milwaukee, which stopped a two-game slide.  Norichika Aoki went 3-for-4 with a pair of runs in the win.  Paul Maholm gave up four runs in as many innings for the loss.  Manny Corpas struck out two in an inning of work, his first in the majors since August 2010.  Chicago has lost five-of-six overall.

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

>>Blue Jays Blank White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Brandon Morrow tossed a two-hit shutout to lead the Blue Jays to a 4-0 win over the White Sox.  Morrow struck out five en route to improving to 7-and-3.  Rajai Davis was 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI, including a two-run home run in the ninth inning.  Jose Bautista cracked his 15th homer of the season for Toronto, who won its third straight game.  A.J. Pierzynski had both hits for Chicago.  Jose Quintana was tagged with the loss, giving up two runs across six innings.  The White Sox have dropped three of their last four games.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 9, Detroit Tigers 6
New York Yankees 4, Tampa Bay Rays 1
Baltimore Orioles 2, Boston Red Sox 1
Minnesota Twins 4, Kansas City Royals 2
Seattle Mariners 8, LA Angels of Anaheim 6
Oakland Athletics 2, Texas Rangers 0

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Bears' Briggs Understands Forte's Position

If there is a player on the Chicago Bears who could understand Matt Forte's position, it's probably Lance Briggs.

After all, he's had his share of contract confrontations.

With Forte locked in a staredown with Bears management, Briggs voiced his support for the Pro Bowl running back.

He says Forte has "put his life and his mind and body on the field for all of us" and is not letting anyone down by missing organized team activities.

Briggs spoke after Wednesday's session.

Forte hasn't signed his $7.74 million tender after being slapped with the franchise tag. He has until July 16 to negotiate a multiyear deal.

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DNR Conservation Police Memorial Day Weekend Report

District 19 holiday weekend activity: 30 arrests and 27 written warnings. Three OUI's at Clinton Lake, one criminal aggravated battery arrest at Mascoutin Beach, and two warrant arrests.

A CPO arrested a Dewitt County subject on a failure to appear arrest warrant. The CPO encountered this subject at the beginning of his shift and remembered that he was wanted on the warrant out of Dewitt County.

While checking fisherman at the Clinton Lake Spillway, a CPO arrested a subject that was wanted on a warrant out of Woodford County.

While on a patrol boat detail at Clinton Lake, CPOs arrested a Dewitt County subject for OUI. The subject was found to have a BAC of .084.

While on a patrol boat detail at Clinton Lake, CPOs arrested a Logan County subject for OUI. The subject was found to have a BAC of .084.

While performing a ramp check of recreational boaters at Clinton Lake, a CPO arrested a subject for OUI. At the time of contact the subject had a BAC of .082.

A CPO handled a personal injury accident that occurred on Clinton Lake. A female tuber was injured when she was thrown from the tube and the other passenger landed on her, injuring her back.

A CPO handled a minor personal injury and property damage accident that occurred on Clinton Lake. The wake of a large cabin cruiser caused pontoon boats to sustain damage when it passed their location. The CPO is investigating and may issue citations to the operator.

A District Sergeant arrested a Piatt County resident for aggravated battery. These charges resulted from a fight that the subject was involved in at the Mascoutin Beach. The Sergeant was close to the beach area when the fight started was able to round up all the parties involved and witnesses.

A District Sergeant handled an incident at the Clinton Lake Marina. While attempting to launch a boat, a boater’s Ford Expedition and boat trailer slid into Clinton Lake and became submerged. The rear wheels began sliding on the algae covered ramp and the driver was unable to stop the slide. The vehicle was removed by divers and a towing company.

A District Sergeant responded to a medical emergency at Moraine View State Park. An elderly subject was losing consciousness in the campground and was transported to a Bloomington hospital by LeRoy Ambulance.

A CPO handled a missing adult complaint at Kickapoo State Park. The subject went missing from a canoe trip on the middle fork. At a certain point the group noticed that she was no longer with the group traveling downstream and they were unable to locate her. The CPO and the Vermilion County Sheriff’s Office began searching for the subject. She was found later in the day.

CPOs located a highly intoxicated suicidal subject near the Higgins bridge access. The subject’s family was located and he was released to their custody.

A CPO assisted Vermilion County on a complaint of a DUI subject that had lost control of their vehicle and ran through a tent camp area at Kickapoo State Park, striking a tree. The driver was arrested for DUI and received additional citations.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-7

June 7, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Michael Welch, 30, La Grange Park, was issued a citation for Driving While License Revoked. Welch 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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Local Legislator Co-Sponsoring Bill To Ban PCBs Being Dumped In Landfills Along Mahomet Aquifer

One local legislator is sponsoring a bill that will allow counties to vote against allowing PCB's to be dumped along the Mahomet Aquifer.

The issue of landfills seeking permission to dump polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) into their landfills is a big issue in central Illinois because several landfills lie over the Mahomet Aquifer and many residents and groups feel the PCBs could endanger the drinking water of almost 750-thousand people. Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose is co-sponsoring a bill that has passed out of committee. He explains the bill would not allow landfills to dump those PCBs in their landfills.

[audio:6812aquifer1.mp3] [/audio]

Currently landfills are accepting things that are more dangerous than PCBs and a greater danger to central Illinois' water supply. Rep. Rose says those are issues that as things move forward are going to have to be addressed.

[audio:6812aquifer2.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose calls the bills passage out of committee encouraging. He says there is still a long ways to go before the bill could potentially become a reality. He speculates a few amendments may have to be made to the bill before it could pass. He also says there is a lot of pressure from groups outside of central Illinois that want to dump their PCBs in these landfills to shoot down this bill.

[audio:6812aquifer3.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose criticizes the EPA for the way they have handled the situation. He feels the situation is worsening and says they will not be letting the issue go.

[audio:6812aquifer4.mp3] [/audio]

A hearing will take place this summer on the proposed piece of legislation. Rep. Rose speculates that hearing will be in Champaign or Monticello. Date and time of the meeting has not yet been established.

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Cubs Pound Crew; Sox, Cards Lose

>>Cubs Clobber Crew To Get Dempster First Win

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Ryan Dempster carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and tossed seven scoreless innings as the Cubs clobbered the Brewers, 10-0.  Dempster struck out three and allowed just three hits to register his first win in 18 starts dating back to last August.  Alfonso Soriano smacked a three-run homer in the first, Bryan LaHair added a solo shot in the fourth and Jeff Baker capped off the Cubs' second-highest scoring performance of the season with a three-run shot in the ninth to snap a four-game slide.  Yovani Gallardo [[ GUY-are-doh ]] fanned 10, but allowed five runs in six innings of work to suffer the loss for Milwaukee.  The Crew has dropped back-to-back games.

>>Astros Hold Off Cardinals

(Houston, TX)  --  St. Louis scored four times in the final inning but came up short in a 9-8 loss to the Astros.  Brett Myers locked down his 14th save to preserve the win for Lucas Harrell who went six innings and allowed three earned runs.  Jose Altuve went 4-for-5 with three runs scored while Justin Maxwell and Chris Snyder each finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI for Houston.  The 'Stros have won back-to-back games following an eight-game skid.  Jaime Garcia gave up six runs in two innings to suffer the loss for the Cardinals.  Mike Adams clubbed a three-run homer and Rafael Furcal jacked a two-run shot while Adron Chambers hit a two-run triple for St. Louis, which has lost six-of-seven.

MLB NL
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Los Angeles Dodgers 2, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Washington Nationals 7, New York Mets 6 (12 inn)
Atlanta Braves 11, Miami Marlins 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Cincinnati Reds 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 10, Colorado Rockies 0
San Diego Padres 6, San Francisco Giants 5

>>Blue Jays Soar Past ChiSox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Colby Rasmus went 5-for-5 with a two-run homer and three RBI as the Blue Jays downed the White Sox, 9-5.  David Cooper blasted a two-run shot and totalled three RBI for Toronto, which has won five-of-seven.  Ricky Romero improved to 7-and-1 after pitching seven innings of three-run ball.  A.J. Pierzynski hit a two-run homer while Adam Dunn added a solo shot for Chicago, which has lost two-of-three since its nine-game winning streak.  Philip Humber allowed five runs in as many innings to suffer the loss.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 4, Detroit Tigers 2
New York Yankees 7, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Baltimore Orioles 8, Boston Red Sox 6 (10 inn)
Kansas City Royals 1, Minnesota Twins 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Seattle Mariners 1
Texas Rangers 6, Oakland Athletics 3

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 6-6

June 6, 2012

 

Jail Population: 82

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Jamie Thomas, 32, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Thomas was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Pamela Terry, 49, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Driving On Suspended License. Terry posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

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

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UPDATE: Decision Still Pending On Fire Department's Bid To Upgrade Engines To Basic Life Support

A decision is still pending to allow the Clinton Fire Department to upgrade two of their fire trucks to be certified as Basic Life Support.

Monday evening at the Clinton City Council meeting, a lot of discussion was focused on this issue. As far back as early December, this proposal has been discussed. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains it was recommended the City they ask for a letter of understanding from the hospital union and the firefighters union. Mayor Peters feels the issue lies with the volunteer fighters of the Clinton Fire Department, and receiving clarification that both unions approved of the volunteers providing the service.

[audio:6712fireissue1.mp3] [/audio]

Upgrading to Basic Life Support for the Fire Department will allow them to administer a handful of certain drugs when they are on a call waiting on an ambulance to arrive on scene.

President of the local firefighters union, David Dallas addressed the council over concerns and questions raised over the validity of the letter of understanding between the two unions. The Council asked for further evidence of the procedure and Dallas claims that was not necessary. Dallas says the firefighters union and ambulance personnel signed a letter stating their agreement. Because AFSCME represents the ambulance employees they too provided proof.

[audio:6712fireissue2.mp3] [/audio]

In working to make sure all the legal sides of this are covered, Mayor Peters restates she does not feel all the paperwork submitted covers the paid volunteer firefigthers. Mayor Peters explains she does not want someone coming back with a potential lawsuit claiming they were fired because someone is doing union work that their union could be doing.

[audio:6712fireissue3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters is awaiting the approval of the submitted documentation from the City's Labor Attorney. Once the approval has been received, a tentative meeting date of this Monday, June 11 has been set to approve the desired upgrades from the Clinton Fire Department.

The money for the upgrades is coming from the firefighters and once next year's budgeting process arrives, they will budget the cost into their budget.

UPDATE: A meeting has been announced for Monday, June 11 at 5 pm to approve the upgrade of two fire engines to basic life support for the fire department.

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Coles County Sees Increase In Deer-Vehicle Crashes

A new report shows an increase in the number of deer-vehicle accident in Coles County even though there have been fewer accidents overall.

The Coles County Sheriff's Office annual report for last year marks the first time deer accidents were the majority of accidents in the east-central Illinois county. The total number of accidents decreased for the fourth year straight. There were 131 deer-vehicle accidents in 2011, accounting for 52% of the office's total accidents for that year.

Sheriff Darrell Cox says there is no pattern to explain the increase in deer accidents.

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Illinois Increases Fees For Attorney Licenses

The Illinois Supreme Court is raising the licensing fee for attorneys to pay for legal services for the poor.

The high court said Tuesday it would raise the yearly fee by 18%, or $53, to $342. The entire increase will go to the Lawyers Trust Fund. The fund pays for Illinois agencies that provide legal help the poor in non-criminal cases.

The court says the money is needed because low interest rates are hurting the trust fund. The interest for this year is estimated at $2.7 million. In 2008 that figure was more than $17 million.

It is estimated the increase in licensing fees will raise $3.5 million. The Illinois Supreme Court says lawyers in the state pay the lowest dues in the nation.

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Car Buying Tips Protect From Buying Bad Car

The Attorney General's office gets over 500 complaints a year from people claiming they've been stuck with a lemon after driving off a used car lot.  AG Lisa Madigan says you take a risk when you buy an As-Is used car but there are ways to protect yourself.

[audio:rddUsedCar1.mp3] [/audio]

Madigan says there are advantages to getting a complete title report before making the purchase.

[audio:rddUsedCar2.mp3] [/audio]

Madigan says most used cars are sold As-Is in Illinois.  She says dealers can provide the title report or you can get the VIN number and check yourself by going to CarFax.com.  That information can also be obtained from the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System.

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Restaurant Owner Says Video Gaming Good For Business

Video poker will be available to Illinois gamblers by year's end.  Karen Murukas [[Ma-rue-kus]], owner of Entourage Lounge in Bloomington, says that's great news for the city.  

[audio:rddUsedCar1.mp3] [/audio]

Murukas says gamblers will get instant gratification.  

[audio:rddUsedCar2.mp3] [/audio]

Video poker was approved in 2009 to help pay for the 31-billion dollar capital construction program.  The state began accepting applications for licenses back in April.  Some question whether it will bring in the revenue originally anticipated because more than 150 towns have chosen not to offer the gaming.

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Western Illinois University Trustees To Consider Student Costs Increases

The Western Illinois University board of trustees plans to consider a 4.5% increase on all student costs.

Trustees will take on the issue Friday. The increase would affect tuition, fees and room and board. The rate would be guaranteed for four years to students entering WIU this fall. Last year the increase was 4.6%.

Undergraduate students entering the Macomb campus this fall will be charged about $8,000 in tuition, up about $$350 from last year. Annual room and board will go up about $400 for the average student.

Trustees also will consider a recommendation to keep student health insurance fees the same as last year.

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U of I Selects New Police Chief

The University of Illinois has a new campus police chief.

Longtime University of Illinois police officer Jeff Christensen will take the job. The selection is pending approval by the board of trustees next month. Christensen has been interim chief and director of public safety since February. He replaces Barbara O'Connor, who left the university to become chief and director of public safety at the University of Connecticut.

Christensen was a student-patrol supervisor at the university when he was an undergraduate student. He has since worked as a patrol officer, lieutenant, deputy chief and assistant director.

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Macon County Welcomes New Police Dog

Capone's name might bring to mind a bad guy but the latest member of the Macon County Sheriff's Department has already sunk some serious teeth into crime in the central Illinois county.

The police dog has been on the job two weeks. But already he's helped collar a pair of car-theft suspects in Mount Zion, near Decatur.

Macon County Sheriff Tom Schneider says the suspects headed for a deep creek thinking the German shepherd couldn't follow. They thought wrong.

Capone also has been credited with sniffing out marijuana and cocaine in a home.

The sheriff says the dog's name is his only drawback. But Capone arrived already named for gangster Al Capone. So the department will keep the name.

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Illinois Police Find Stolen Steaks In Man Pants

A central Illinois man is in jail on suspicion of stealing steaks from a Decatur grocery store and after stuffing them in his pants.

Court documents show the 54-year-old man was arrested Thursday after police responded to a Kroger grocery in Decatur. Officers say they found two packages of meat in the man's pants and more in his car.

Court officials say the man has not been formally charged and doesn't have an attorney. Macon County court officials say his initial court appearance is scheduled for Friday.

Police says surveillance video shows a man stuffing two steaks into his pants and leaving. Five minutes later he comes back into the store and puts two more steaks in his pants.

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Officials Say Gaming Bill Should Be Ready By Fall

IT’S BEEN THREE YEARS SINCE VIDEO POKER WAS LEGALIZED IN ILLINOIS…AND THE FIRST MACHINES ARE SCHEDULED TO BE UP AND RUNNING BY THIS FALL.

VIDEO GAMING WAS OKAYED TO HELP PAY FOR A MUCH NEEDED…31 BILLION DOLLAR CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION PROGRAM FOR THE STATE BACK IN 2009. OFFICIALS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO PUT TOGETHER A SYSTEM OF RULES AND BEGAN ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR LICENSES IN APRIL. JOHN SCHOMBERG WITH THE GOVERNOR’S OFFICE SAYS VIDEO POKER WILL SOON BE AVAILABLE.

[audio:video.mp3] [/audio]

THE QUESTION IS…WILL VIDEO GAMING BRING IN AS MUCH AS EXPECTED? SEVERAL COMMUNITIES HAVE OPTED OUT…REFUSING TO ALLOW THE POKER MACHINES IN THEIR TOWNS.

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EAB Discovered In Decatur

The Emerald Ash Borer continues to make its way across Illinois, and the recent discovery of the invasive pest in the Decatur area has left many homeowners with questions.  Jared White has more...

[audio:6412EABInDecaturWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Seniors To Experience Major Changes With Medicare Changes

Major changes are in the works to the Illinois Medicare system.

Starting July 1st, the state of Illinois will eliminate the Illinois Cares RX program. According to SHIP Outreach Coordinator Bryan Padget, this will cause a lot of strife for senior citizens on Medicare, since Illinois Cares Rx cut the cost on most of their benefactors needs.

[audio:6612MedicareChanges1.mp3] [/audio]

Padget says people on the Illinois Cares Rx program can change programs, which he feels is a great opportunity for those on Illinois Cares Rx to look and see what other plans have to offer. Although he wasn't able to give an exact date, Padget feels the window to change programs will close in August.  

[audio:6612MedicareChanges2.mp3] [/audio]

Padget adds over 165-thousand people across the state of Illinois are affected by the elimination of Illinois Cares Rx. While other programs do not have a limit to the number of applicants they can take, he encourages seniors to begin exploring their options and deciding on a new plan right away.

[audio:6612MedicareChanges3.mp3] [/audio]

Senior Citizens do not need to worry about losing their Circuit Breaker benefits, such as tax reforms and lower licenses plate fees. The state will send out a letter explaining all the changes being made. Padget adds any senior citizen entity will help explain all the changes being made and how it affects them.

In order to change programs, DeWitt County senior citizens should contact the Friendship Center at 217-935-9411. For those outside the county who do not know who to contact to make the changes, they should contact SHIP at 1-800-548-9034, and they will help direct you to the appropriate entity.

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Reutimann To Step In For Suspended Busch At Pocono

David Reutimann is replacing the suspended Kurt Busch behind the wheel of Phoenix Racing's number-51 car for Sunday's race at Pocono.  Busch was suspended Monday for threatening comments towards a reporter following Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Dover.  Busch was already on probation for a prior incident at Darlington last month.  He's eligible to return a week from Wednesday, but his long-term future with Phoenix Racing could be in jeopardy

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Kings Try To Close Out Devils In Cup Final Tonight

The Los Angeles Kings will try to put the finishing touches on their first Stanley Cup championship tonight.  They host the New Jersey Devils in Game Four of the Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center.  The Kings hold a commanding three-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series following a 4-0 home win in Monday's Game Three.  Only the Toronto Maple Leafs have overcome a 3-0 deficit in the Stanley Cup Final, rallying back to beat the Detroit Red Wings in 1942.  If the Devils win tonight, the series would shift back to New Jersey for Game Five on Saturday.

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Celtics Push Heat To Brink

Kevin Garnett collected 26 points and 11 rebounds as the Celtics knocked off the Heat, 94-90, in Game Five of the Eastern Conference finals.  Paul Pierce added 19 points to help Boston take a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.  The Celtics can secure a spot in the NBA Finals with a home win in Game Six on Thursday.  LeBron James had 30 points and 13 rebounds for Miami, which has dropped three straight in the series.  Dwyane Wade netted 27 points in the loss.  Chris Bosh returned from a nine-game absence and had nine points and seven rebounds in 14 minutes of action.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder can secure a spot in the NBA Finals with a home win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game Six of the Western Conference finals Wednesday night.  OKC took a 3-2 lead in the series with a 108-103 win in Game Five.  The Thunder haven't reached the NBA Finals since they were still in Seattle in 1996.  Tip-off is at 9:00 Eastern.

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Bears Make Changes In Scouting Department

The Chicago Bears have made some changes to the organizational structure of their personnel department.  Longtime scout Chris Ballard has been named director of pro scouting and Marty Barrett becomes the team's director of college scouting.  Ballard and Barrett have a combined 47 years of experience in pro scouting, administrative tasks and coaching.  In other front office moves, Kevin Turks and Dwayne Joseph will serve as assistant directors of pro scouting, Ted Monago moves to executive scout and James Kirkland, Kent Kahl, Sam Summerville and Francis Saint-Paul will work as area scouts.

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Cubs, Cards, Sox Draft Day 2

>>Cards Draft More Future Stars

(Seacaucus, NJ)  --  After picking five players on the first night of the MLB First-Year Player Draft, the Cardinals continued to make selections on Day Two yesterday.  The Cards picked up third baseman Carson Kelly from Westview High School in Portland, Oregon with their second-round pick.  In the third round, St. Louis selected Wake Forest left-hander Tim Cooney.  With the 150th overall selection, the Redbirds picked up Arizona State shortstop Alex Mejia.

>>MLB Draft Continues

(Secaucus, NJ)  --  The Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft continued on Tuesday.  The Cubs took Pope High School right-handed pitcher Duane Underwood in the third and righty hurler Ryan McNeil out of Nipomo High School in the third.  Both the Northsiders and Southsiders used nine of their 14 picks on pitchers.  The ChiSox nabbed Georgia Southern righty Chris Beck in the second and Arizona State second baseman Joey DeMichele in the third.  On Monday, the Northsiders selected 6-foot-1, 170-pound Mater Academy outfielder Albert Almora with the sixth overall pick.  The Southsiders took 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder Courtney Hawkins out of Carroll High School.

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Deere Plans $47-Million In Moline Plant

Deere and Co. plans to invest $47 million to expand manufacturing at its cylinder operations in Moline.

The Moline-based company made the announcement Monday. Deere says the investment will mean significant upgrades in machining tools at the facility but will not require an addition to the physical building. No jobs will be added.

The hydraulic cylinders are used in the company's agricultural, construction and forestry machines sold around the world.

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IDOT Gathering Comments On Transportation Plan

The state of Illinois wants public comment on transportation needs and how to make the most of limited money.

The Transportation Department plans a series of open-house events this week. The first is in Carterville on Tuesday, followed by events Wednesday in Springfield and Chicago.

The department is developing what it calls a "strategic framework for the future direction of transportation." It's supposed to address everything from highways and airports to railroads and bicycle trails. The framework is due by the end of the year.

IDOT wants people from different regions to help it with concerns like safety, the environment and planning for growth.

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Three Bulls Captured After Escaping Trailer

It's not the type of incident police are trained to handle, but officers from Bloomington, Normal and the McLean County sheriff's police were called to help capture a bull over the weekend.  It was one of three bulls that escaped their trailer after a rodeo at the Interstate Center on Saturday.  Bloomington Police spokesman Dave White says they received a call of an animal complaint at 11:15 p.m. Saturday.  White says the owner of the Decatur-based Havener Rodeo Company corralled two of the bulls very quickly but a third was a bit less compliant.  It was located in a field east of the Interstate Center.  A veterinarian was called in to tranquilize the bull and return him to the Interstate Center without further incident.  No injuries were reported.

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Bloomington Fighter Eliminated From Popular TV Show

A Bloomington MMA fighter isn't going to be the next Ultimate Fighter but Chris Tickle says he enjoyed his time on the FX reality show.  

[audio:rddMMA1.mp3] [/audio]

Tickle was eliminated in the sixth episode.  The Bloomington business owner was put in a house in Las Vegas with 15 other fighters.  They were split into two teams and would fight each other during each episode.  The winner continued on the show and the loser was eliminated.  The show's winner gets a six-figure contract with Ultimate Fighting Championship.

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Bloomington Teen Dies After Being Hit By Car

A Bloomington teen has died from the injuries he suffered when he was hit by a van while riding his bicycle.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says 16-year-old Jonathon Barkulis was taken off life support on Saturday at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. Ingersoll says Barkulis had been unresponsive since the accident a week earlier.

Burkulis was riding his bike through an intersection in Bloomington when the accident happened.

Ingersoll says the teen was riding down an incline and didn't stop at a stop sign before being hit. Police say the van's driver wasn't at fault and wasn't ticketed.

The coroner says Barkulis wasn't wearing a helmet and an autopsy Sunday showed he died of head injuries.

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Gov. Quinn Hints At Shooting Down Gambling Bill

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS HINTING HE PROBABLY WON’T SIGN THE GAMBLING BILL LAWMAKERS APPROVED INTO LAW.

THE MEASURE SETS UP FIVE NEW CASINOS IN ILLINOIS…AND ALLOWS SLOTS AT THE HORSE RACING TRACKS. BUT GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS HE STILL HAS CONCERNS THE BILL DOESN’T HAVE HIGH ENOUGH ETHICAL STANDARDS.

[audio:followup1.mp3] [/audio]

BUT GOVERNOR QUINN IS CONCERNED IT DOESN’T GO FAR ENOUGH TO PROTECT CONSUMERS AND HAVE HIGH ENOUGH ETHICAL STANDARDS.

[audio:followup2.mp3] [/audio]

GOVERNOR QUINN HAS SAID HE’D LIKE TO SEE A BAN ON CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS FROM CASINO OWNERS AND STRONGER REGULATIONS OVER THE INDUSTRY. GAMING SUPPORTERS ARE WORKING ON ADDITIONAL LEGISLATION TO TRY AND ADDRESS THOSE CONCERNS.

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Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS CROPS CONTINUE TO PROGRESS WELL AHEAD OF SCHEDULE.

CORN EMERGENCE NOW STANDS AT 99 PERCENT SAYS CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

AS FOR SOYBEANS…98 PERCENT HAS BEEN PLANTED.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

FOUR PERCENT OF OATS ARE TURNING YELLOW AND SEVEN PERCENT OF WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE IMPROVED TO ONE PERCENT SURPLUS…45 PERCENT ADEQUATE…40 PERCENT SHORT…AND 14 PERCENT VERY SHORT.

THE FIRST CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 95 PERCENT COMPLETE…AND SEVEN PERCENT OF WHEAT HAS BEEN HARVESTED. FOUR PERCENT OF OATS ARE TURNING YELLOW…AND 73 PERCENT OF SORGHUM HAS BEEN PLANTED.

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Drug Busts Made In McLean County

As a result of an investigation, Task Force 6, with assistance from the McLean County Sheriff’s Department arrested Joel Cardozo, 28, and Faith A. Elliott, 23, both of Bloomington, Illinois.  Cardozo was arrested on April 14, 2012 for unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver more than 500 grams but less than 2,000 grams, a class 2 felony.  Elliott was arrested on June 1, 2012, for two counts of unlawful delivery of cannabis, a class 3 felony and class 4 felony.  Cardozo posted $5,000 dollars bond and was released.  Elliott posted $ 2,000 dollars bond and was released.  If convicted of a class 2, 3, or 4 felony, the sentencing ranges from probation or one to seven years incarceration in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  

Also, Task Force 6, with assistance from the McLean County Sheriff’s Department arrested Kirk A. Druhan, 23, and Edgar Navarrete, 22, both of Bloomington, Illinois.  Druhan was arrested on May 24, 2012 for unlawful possession of a controlled substance more than 1 gram but less than 15 grams, a class 4 felony.  Navarrete was arrested on June 1, 2012 for several felonies, including unlawful possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver more than 1 gram but less than 15 grams, a class 1 felony and unlawful possession of cannabis with intent to deliver more than 30 but less than 500 grams, class 3 felony.  Druhan posted $500 dollars bond and was released.  Navarrete is held at the McLean County jail in lieu of posting $100,000 / 10% bond.  If convicted of a class 1, 2, 3, or 4 felony, the sentencing ranges from probation or one to fifteen years incarceration in the Illinois Department of Corrections.  

Task Force 6 is a multi-agency enforcement unit specializing in narcotics enforcement.  Task Force 6 is composed of officers from Bloomington Police Department, Clinton Police Department, DeWitt County Sheriff’s Department, McLean County Sheriff’s Department, Illinois State University Police Department, and the Illinois State Police.

The public is reminded that charges are merely accusations and criminal defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty.  Persons having information regarding illegal drugs are encouraged to contact the Task Force 6 tip line at www.taskforce6.com.

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DeWitt County Free Lunch Program Begins This Week

The Free Lunch Program kicks off this week at Webster Apartments Community Room in Clinton.

All students ages 18 and younger are encouraged to take part in this free program.  According to Youth Educator for the U of I Extension Office Sherry Fulton, this program is a great way for children to stay active in the summer and take part in a healthy lunch.

[audio:6412FreeLunchProgram1.mp3] [/audio]

All meals are provided by the Illinois Coalition for Community Services and will follow the Myplate meal plan, which Fulton says 50 percent of what a person consumes should be fruits and vegetables. She feels the Myplate is very easy to understand what a healthy meal should look like.

[audio:6412FreeLunchProgram2.mp3] [/audio]

Students 5 and younger must have an adult with them. Lunches will be served from noon to 1 p.m. with activities a half hour before and after the meals.

Students who need a transportation to the Webster Community Room can get a free ride from Show Bus by calling 800-525-5454.

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Clinton City Council Approves DJWH To Sell Ambulances

The Clinton City Council took care of some notable unfinished business items from their agenda on Monday evening.

A couple of items involving the Dr. John Warner Hospital were taken care of. The city owned hospital has announced they will be selling their ambulances as they will no longer be needing them. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains the item gives the hospital the permission to sell the ambulances to the non-profit ambulance service that is being worked on being formed, which gives them the first opportunity to make a bid on the ambulances.

[audio:6512councilreview1.mp3] [/audio]

The city has entered into an agreement with Habitat for Humanity to remove the white house adjacent to the DJWH. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains Habitat has been contracted to remove the house and will not be receiving compensation.

[audio:6512councilreview2.mp3] [/audio]

The Streets Department was approved for the purchase that will improve the rate of leaf clean up in the autumn months. Public Works Director Steve Lobb explains the leaf vac system they purchased was priced at a bid they received last year. Last year the streets department battled issues receiving the first system, this second purchase is a follow up of a planned purchase.

[audio:6512councilreview3.mp3] [/audio]

A lot of discussion Monday evening was focused towards the Clinton Fire Departments desire to upgrade two of their fire engines to what is considered basic life support.

In other business from Monday evening...

> The Council approved the establishment of a new TIF district.

> They approved a contract to sell the property at 523 East Julia Street.

> The purchase was approved for a new Mobile Police Radio for Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy's vehicle.

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Woods Up To Fourth In World Rankings

Tiger  Woods' dramatic win Sunday at the Memorial resulted in a five-spot jump to number-four in the world rankings.  Luke Donald, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood remained first through third in the rankings.  Woods got the rankings bump thanks to his performance Sunday, when he birdied three of his final four holes to earn a two-stroke victory.  The run was highlighted by the 16th hole, where he holed a 50-foot chip shot to take a share of the lead at Jack Nicklaus' event.  The win was the 73rd of his career, tying him with Nicklaus for second all-time.  Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan and Jason Dufner all slid down one place.  They hold the fifth through ninth spots, respectively.  Martin Kaymer rounds out the top-10.

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Kings Win Away From Stanley Cup Win; OKC Win Away From First Finals Birth

>>Kings Top Devils, Move Closer To Crown

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  The Los Angeles Kings moved to within one win of hoisting the Stanley Cup with a 4-0 victory over the New Jersey Devils.  Jonathan Quick turned back 22 shots for L.A., which will host Game Four on Wednesday with a chance to win its first Stanley Cup in franchise history.  Quick posted his third shutout of the postseason for the Kings, who improved to 15-and-2 in this year's playoffs.  Alec Martinez and Anze Kopitar found the back of the net in the second period before Jeff Carter and Justin Williams buried power-play scores in the third.  Kopitar and Williams each added an assist for the Kings.  Martin Brodeur made 17 saves for the Devils, who finished 0-for-6 on the power play in the loss.  Only the 1942 Toronto Maple Leafs recovered from a 3-0 series deficit to win a Stanley Cup Final when they did so over the Detroit Red Wings.

>>OKC Holds Off Spurs In Game Five

(San Antonio, TX)  --  Kevin Durant led a balanced attack with 27 points as the Thunder took down the Spurs, 108-103, in Game Five of the Western Conference finals.  Russell Westbrook added 23 points and 12 assists for the Thunder, who now hold a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven series.  James Harden drained 20 points off the bench in the win.  Manu Ginobili collected 34 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a starting role for the Spurs.  Tony Parker finished with 20 points for San Antonio, which will try to avoid elimination in Game Six in OKC on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Boston Celtics will clash with the Miami Heat in Game Five of the Eastern Conference finals Tuesday night.  The seven-game series is tied at two games apiece.  Tip-off is at 8:30 p.m. Eastern.

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NASCAR Suspends Busch For Pocono

NASCAR is suspending driver Kurt Busch for this weekend's Pocono 400.  The suspension comes as a result of threatening comments made to "Sporting News" reporter Bob Pockrass following Saturday's Nationwide Series race at Dover.  Busch, who was already on probation for an incident with driver Ryan Newman at Darlington last month, issued a statement to apologize.  Phoenix Racing owner James Finch told ESPN.com that he will have to meet with Busch before deciding whether he will remain with the team, saying, "If he's going to kill himself, I'm not going to be in the airplane with him.  If that's what he's planning on doing, I am going to get out."

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Mets' Santana NL Player Of Week

Mets pitcher Johan Santana was named the National League Player of the Week after no-hitting the Cardinals Friday in New York.  It was the first no-no in Mets' history, but came with controversy as Carlos Beltran's liner down the third base line in the sixth hit fair but was ruled foul.

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Cards, Cubs, Sox Draft Recap

>>Cubs Take Almora With Sixth Overall Pick

(Secaucus, NJ)  --  Day One of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft is complete.  The Chicago Cubs selected 6-foot-1, 170-pound Mater Academy outfielder Albert Almora with the sixth overall pick.  The Cubs selected a pair of right-handed pitchers in the Compensatory Pick round.  They took Missouri State's Pierce Johnson with the 43rd pick and Paul Blackburn out of California's Heritage High School with the 56th selection.

>>Sox Select Hawkins With 13th Pick

(Secaucus, NJ)  --  The Chicago White Sox selected outfielder Courtney Hawkins with the 13th overall pick in yesterday's Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft.  The 6-foot-2, 210-pound Hawkins is out of Carroll High School in Corpus Christi, Texas.  The Southsiders also took King High School first baseman Keon Barnum 48th in the Compensatory Pick round.

>>Cards Pick Five On Draft's First Night

(New York, NY)  --  The Cardinals picked a pair of college stars last night in the First-Year Player Draft.  St. Louis used the 19th selection to pick right-handed pitcher Michael Wacha from Texas A&M.  With the 23rd pick, the Redbirds drafted Florida State outfielder James Ramsey.  The Cardinals also had three selections in the first Compensation Round.  At 36th overall, St. Louis picked third baseman Stephen Piscotty out of Stanford.  With the 52nd pick the Cards picked up another third baseman in Patrick Wisdom out of St. Mary's.  Finally with the 59th choice, St. Louis drafted Steve Bean, a catcher out of Rockwall High School in Texas.

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Cards Salvage Series With Mets; Giants Sweep Cubs; Sox Host Jays Tonight

>>Cards Clip Mets To Salvage Series Finale

(Flushing, NY)  --  Allen Craig snapped a 3-all tie with a two-run homer in the top of the eighth inning and the Cardinals hung on to beat the Mets, 5-4.  Craig also had an RBI single for St. Louis, which salvaged the finale of the four-game series at Citi Field.  Matt Holliday had two hits and scored twice as the Redbirds snapped a five-game skid.  Mark Rzepczynski [[ zep-CHIN-skee ]] got the win in relief and Jason Motte his ninth save.  Jon Rauch took the loss in relief for New York.  Lucas Duda hit a solo homer and Scott Hairston added a pinch-hit, two-run shot for New York in the loss.

>>Giants Sweep Cubs

(San Francisco, CA)  --   Joaquin Arias plated the go-ahead run on a ground out in the seventh to back seven solid innings from Ryan Vogelsong as the Giants swept a four-game series with a 3-2 win over the Cubs in the finale.  Vogelsong allowed just two runs and struck out three to improve to 4-and-2 on the season.  Jeremy Affeldt tossed two perfect innings to register his first save for San Francisco, which has won seven of its last eight games.  Brandon Crawford knocked in the Giants' other two runs in the win.  Jeff Samardzija and Steve Clevenger each drove in a run for Chicago.  On the mound, Samardzija worked five frames of two-run ball in a no-decision.  Carlos Marmol was saddled with the loss for the Cubs, who have lost 16 of their last 19 games.

MLB NL
------
Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3
Colorado Rockies 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 0

MLB AL
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Minnesota Twins 10, Kansas City Royals 7
Seattle Mariners 8, LA Angels of Anaheim 6
Oakland Athletics 12, Texas Rangers 1

>>White Sox Host Jays

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox open up a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays this evening at The Cell.  Phillip Humber gets the nod opposite Ricky Romero in the opener.  The Southsiders took two-of-three against Seattle over the weekend to improve to 31-and-23 on the season.

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DeWitt County Employees Insurance Policies Changing

The DeWitt County Board recently approved changes for Insurance for County employees.

Hospital Insurance will be one of the changes employees will go through. County employees hospital insurance will become a "Point of Service Plan". Chair of the Finance Committee, Ed Young explains the changes will cause employees who utilize the insurance to pay a portion of just about everything they do.

[audio:6512insurancechanges1.mp3] [/audio]

Young adds the new plan will have a larger deductible but it will be significantly cheaper, which the Finance Committee felt was a big deal.

[audio:6512insurancechanges2.mp3] [/audio]

In the transition to the new insurance carrier, employees deductibles already paid for their current plan will not carry over to the new the plan. Young recognizes this is a weakness in the new plan, however, the company will continue to recognize claims made before the switch is made.

[audio:6512insurancechanges3.mp3] [/audio]

Another change county employees will notice is their life insurance policies will be bumped to $10-thousand. Right now county employees have a $5-thousand policy. Young says the increase per month will be minimal to go from $5-thousand to $10-thousand policies.

[audio:6512insurancechanges4.mp3] [/audio]

County employees also can choose to increase the amount of the life insurance policy.

The changes go in effect July 1.

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More Advanced Therapies Are Being Aimed At Cancer

New research shows a sharp escalation in the weapons race against cancer. Scientists are reporting success with several high-tech approaches long dreamed of but not possible or proven to work until now.

At a weekend conference of more than 30,000 cancer specialists in Chicago, researchers described new tools to make the immune system attack a broad range of cancers, new "smart bomb" drugs that target the disease while sparing healthy cells, and new ways to predict which patients will benefit from which treatments.

One of the best things about all of this: People feel better while going through treatment because the new approaches have fewer side effects.

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EIU To Build Clean Energy Research Center

A center dedicated to clean energy research and education will be built at Eastern Illinois University starting this fall. It will take about a year to complete the 4,300-square-foot Clean Energy Research and Education Facility. Bob Chesnut is director of the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs at Eastern. He says the facility will give students and faculty a place to do renewable energy research. Chestnut also says students in the community can learn about renewable energy at the center and it will provide a home to start-up businesses specializing in renewable energy. Chestnut says he hopes those businesses will help add jobs to the Coles County area.

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Sec. Of State's Office To Lay Off Almost 100 Employees

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White's office is laying off 90 employees.

White's spokesman, David Druker says the layoff notices were sent this week. The cuts will take effect July 1. That's the first day of the state's new budget year. Druker says the cuts affect all levels in the office and employees statewide.

About 3,700 employees work for the Illinois Secretary of State. Druker says the office also won't fill about 160 vacancies.

Druker says the office's $398 million budget will fall by 3% next year, or $8 million. He calls that a "significant hit."

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Champaign Starts Pilot Project For Food Trucks

The latest trend in mobile cuisine - food trucks - are now allowed in Champaign.

City officials will allow food trucks in select areas while they consider more permanent regulations on June 26. Current city rules treat food trucks as peddlers, so they have to move to a different location on public property every five minutes. Trucks are allowed on properly zoned private property.

Under the new pilot project food trucks can operate in four downtown areas and four campus zones. They can stay for up to two hours at most locations from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily.

Licenses will cost $50 and there is a $25 application fee.

Champaign Mayor Don Gerard says food trucks are "part of the cultural and culinary landscape."

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Peoria Police Investigating City's 6th Homicide

Police in Peoria are investigating the city's sixth homicide of the year.

19-year-old Kelin Drummond was shot Thursday afternoon while sitting in an idling car. Investigators say the vehicle's driver was also shot and was found after he fled the scene.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says Drummond died of multiple gunshot wounds.

Family members told the coroner that Drummond's cousin, 27-year-old Haywood Drummond, died May 9 after living with a bullet in his head since late 2008.

Kelin Drummond's aunt says family and friends were at a gathering to mourn Haywood Drummond's loss when they learned about the latest shooting.

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Underage Drinking Cost Billions In Illinois

Underage drinking in Illinois is a near three billion dollar problem.  Statistics show the money is spent on health, traffic crashes, crime, and other social and economic problems.  McLean County Sheriff Mike Emery says the issue isn't confined to any particular group.  In fact, it crosses socioeconomic boundaries in Central Illinois.  Students from public and private schools, all races and genders, rich and poor are represented at some point in the McLean County jail when it comes to underage drinking.  Emery says parents are sometimes part of the problem because they complain when their kids get busted, asking officers if they quote, "have anything better to do."  Emery said law enforcement is doing its best to stop the sale of alcohol to minors.  But, he hopes parents will do more to help combat the problem.

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Gun Owner Guilty Of Reckless Conduct

A St. Joseph man has been found guilty of reckless conduct, after a weapon was accidentally discharged at a Bloomington gun show last year.  Robert Rigdon is a pawn shop dealer in Urbana.  He reportedly failed to make sure guns he took to the show were unloaded.  The gun went off while a man was holding it and struck three others.  Rigdon could receive up to a year behind bars, probation or fines of over two thousand dollars.

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Spring One of Warmest On Record

STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL SAYS THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE MARCH THROUGH MAY IN ILLINOIS WAS 59 POINT ONE DEGREES. THE PREVIOUS RECORD WAS SET IN 1977 AND NEARLY TWO DEGREES LOWER. ANGEL SAYS ILLINOIS DIDN’T SEE THE RANGE OF TEMPERATURES AND RAINFALL THAT NORMALLY ACCOMPANY SPRING.

[audio:maywx1.mp3] [/audio]

ANGEL ADDS THE AVERAGE TEMPERATURE THIS SPRING THE HIGHEST SINCE 1895.

[audio:maywx2.mp3] [/audio]

ANGEL SAYS MAY IS USUALLY ONE OF THE WETTEST MONTHS IN ILLINOIS…BUT PRECIPITATION WAS WELL BELOW NORMAL LAST MONTH. HE SAYS FORECASTERS ARE PREDICTING MORE WARM DRY WEATHER OVER THE NEXT FEW WEEKS.

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Lawmakers Against Gun To Get Pension Reform Done

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SAYS HE AND LAWMAKERS ARE UP AGAINST THE GUN TO GET PENSION REFORM DONE IN ILLINOIS.

GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS HE WILL MEET WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS IN THE COMING WEEK TO TRY AND REACH A COMPROMISE ON A COMPREHENSIVE PENSION REFORM PACKAGE. HE SAYS HOW THEY PROCEEDS EFFECTS THE STATE’S FINANCES…AND IT’S CREDIT RATING.

[audio:geterdone1.mp3] [/audio]

WITH BOND AGENCIES CLOSELY WATCHING ILLINOIS…TO SEE IF ACTION IS TAKEN ON PENSION REFORM…AND STATE FINANCES SO DIRE…GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS THERE IS A LOT RIDING ON REACHING A COMPROMISE.

[audio:geterdone2.mp3] [/audio]

GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS HE WILL MEET WITH LEGISLATIVE LEADERS NEXT WEEK TO TRY AND REACH A DEAL. HE SAYS HE THINKS SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THE BENEFITS THEY NEGOTIATE WITH TEACHERS…BUT THE PROBLEM WILL BE FINDING A WAY TO DO THAT EVERYONE CAN AGREE ON.

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Illinois Herb Association To Host Special Event In Springfield This Weekend

A thriving, but little known, sector of Illinois' agricultural economy is being showcased at a special event this weekend in Springfield.  Jared White has more...

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

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McLean County Quilt Heritage Trail Begins Barn Quilt Displays In McLean County

The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail of McLean County has kicked off their barn quilt display.

Over the next five years, the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail of McLean County is looking to install 50 barn quilts throughout McLean County. They installed their first one in May at the Ropp Jersey Cheese Farm, northwest of Normal, Ill. and are getting to install two more at the Ronald and Betty Zook farm near Danvers, Ill. and the Rader Family Farms west of Normal, Ill.

According to co-chair Kay Henrichs, the barn quilts are 8 by 8 foot plywoods painted to look like a quilt square that will mounted on the side of barns and agriculture buildings. The quilts are meant to highlight McLean County's large agriculture and quilting communities.

[audio:6112McLeanQuilts1.mp3] [/audio]

Henrichs also sees the five year project as a look at the history of agriculture in McLean County. She explains that when a farmer enters their farm building to get a barn quilt, they provide history about the barn or structure.  

[audio:6112McLeanQuilts2.mp3] [/audio]

The farmers have to pay a fee to get a barn quilt, and they must let the weather-resistant piece be on display for at least five years.  The farmers do get to help design their barn quilts, and Henrichs adds that they can have traditional quilts or a specialized one.

[audio:6112McLeanQuilts3.mp3] [/audio]

The Barn Quilt Heritage Trail will also have youth groups paint small 2 by 2 quilts for businesses to display in McLean County towns.

[audio:6112McLeanQuilts4.mp3] [/audio]

Henrich adds that the Barn Quilt Heritage Trail would like to put up 10 barn quilts a year. The group is hoping they can focus on a section of McLean County each year. She says that so far the group has their ten for this year and six for next year ready.

For those interested in getting a barn quilt, contact Henrichs at 309-662-5883 or Karen Gottlieb at 309-663-4259.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Adapting To Ever Changing World of Law Enforcement

Believe it or not, the world of Law Enforcement changes on a daily basis.

Because of this, DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputies have recently begun going through daily training exercises. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner believes in a field like law enforcement, if police officers aren't constantly learning the new laws and regulations, they'll fall behind quickly.

[audio:6112PoliceTraining1.mp3] [/audio]

Because of the perpetual changes, Sheriff Shofner is having his Deputies take a quick three to five minute training session. After each training session, the Deputies must then answer a set of questions relating to what they just learned.

[audio:6112PoliceTraining2.mp3] [/audio]

Sheriff Shofner says this new advancement in law enforcement will be highly beneficial to his staff and how they serve the community. He adds something as slight as a different way of wording a law can make all the difference in what a police officer can do.

[audio:6112PoliceTraining3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheriff Shofner says sometimes the changes can be disheartening. He feels sometimes lawmakers can view the police a foe rather than a tool to maintain order in society.

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Kings Look For Commanding Lead Over Devils

The Los Angeles Kings will look to take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the New Jersey Devils tonight in Game Three of the Stanley Cup Final.  The Kings won both games in Newark to extend their road win streak to 10 games in the playoffs.  Both victories came by a 2-1 margin in overtime.  Los Angeles will also host Game Four on Wednesday.

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Tiger Wins Memorial

Tiger Woods birdied three of the final four holes to win the Memorial for the fifth time on Sunday.  Woods collected his 73rd career victory to tie Jack Nicklaus for second on the all-time wins list.  He carded a five-under 67 in the final round to close out the tournament with a nine-under-par 279, good for a two-stroke win over Rory Sabbatini and Andres Romero.  It marked Woods' second win of the PGA season after taking the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.

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J.J. Continues Dominance At Dover

Jimmie Johnson claimed his seventh win at Dover International Speedway with a dominating performance in Sunday's FedEx 400.  Johnson led 289 of the 400 laps in the 48-car and is now tied with Richard Petty and Bobby Allison for the most wins at the "Monster Mile."  It was also the second win of the season for Johnson and the 57th of his career.  Kevin Harvick finished in second followed by Matt Kenseth, Dale Earnhardt Jr., and Clint Bowyer.  Lap Nine featured a 12-car wreck, the biggest of the season thus far.  Defending series champion Tony Stewart made contact with Landon Cassill triggering havoc on the backstretch.  NASCAR stopped the race for 20 minutes to remove several damaged cars that clogged the backstretch.  There were no injuries in the incident.

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Celtics Get Even With Heat

The Eastern Conference Finals is now a best-of-three series.  The Boston Celtics notched a 93-91 overtime win over the Miami Heat in Game Four of the series.  The Celtics have won the last two games to even the best-of-seven set at a two games apiece.  The Heat will host Game Five on Tuesday.  Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs will host the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Five of the Western Conference Finals Monday night.  The seven-game series is also tied at two games apiece.  Tip-off is at 9:00 Eastern.

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Sale Named AL Pitcher Of The Month

Chicago White Sox pitcher Chris Sale was named American League Pitcher of the Month for May after going 4-and-1 with a league-leading 1.71 earned run average in five starts.  Sale struck out 35 batters and issued just nine walks over 31-and-two-third innings.  White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy won the award for the month of April, marking the first time that an American League club has won consecutive Pitcher of the Month awards to start a season since Pedro Martinez won in April, May and June of 1999 for the Boston Red Sox.

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Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Lose

>>Sale, ChiSox Sink Seattle

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chris Sale struck out eight and gave up two runs in a complete-game effort to guide the White Sox past the Mariners, 4-2.  Alex Rios drove in a pair of runs for Chicago, which has won 10 of its last 11 games.  Kevin Millwood gave up four runs in as many innings for the setback.  Miguel Olivo smacked a two-run homer for Seattle, which won the middle installment of this three-game series at The Cell.

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

>>Zito, Giants Blank Cubs

(San Francisco, CA)  --  Joaquin Arias and Melky Cabrera each knocked in a run to back eight-and-a-third scoreless innings from Barry Zito as the Giants blanked the Cubs, 2-0.  Zito fanned five and allowed just four hits with a pair of walks to improve to 5-and-2 on the season.  Sergio Romo recorded the final two outs to lock up his second save.  Travis Wood struck out seven through seven innings of three-hit, one-run ball to suffer the tough-luck loss for Chicago.  Ian Stewart and Reed Johnson had two hits apiece for the Cubs.

>>Mets Down Cards

(Flushing, NY)  --  Jon Niese tossed six scoreless innings to lead the Mets to a 6-1 win over the Cardinals.  Niese struck out a career-high 10 en route to improving to 4-and-2.  Kirk Nieuwenhuis homered and plated three for New York, which has won the first three games in the four-game set.  The Mets have won seven-of-nine overall.  Adron Chambers' RBI single in the eighth gave the Cards their first run in the series.  Jake Westbrook allowed five runs over five-plus innings to fall to 4-and-5.

MLB NL
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Atlanta Braves 3, Washington Nationals 2
Miami Marlins 5, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Houston Astros 5, Cincinnati Reds 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Milwaukee Brewers 5
Colorado Rockies 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, San Diego Padres 0

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Sox Broadcaster Harrelson Says He Won't Change Style; Reaches Out To Umpire

Chicago White Sox TV broadcaster Ken "Hawk" Harrelson says he snapped when he went on a tirade criticizing an umpire this week and will try not to let it happen again.

Harrelson spoke with baseball Commissioner Bud Selig and team owner Jerry Reinsdorf after the outburst. he said Friday he can't guarantee a repeat won't occur.

"I didn't talk to the commissioner. The commissioner talked to me. I didn't talk with Jerry, Jerry talked to me," Harrelson said Friday.

Without a warning, umpire Mark Wegner ejected Chicago rookie starter Jose Quintana in the fourth inning Wednesday in a game at Tampa Bay after he threw a pitch behind the Rays' Ben Zobrist. An inning earlier, White Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski had been hit by a pitch.

Harrelson ranted in the booth at Wegner.

Harrelson says he has reached out to the umpire he criticized so harshly on the air.

Harrelson said Saturday he thought about it and then left a message for Mark Wegner. Without a warning during Wednesday's game at Tampa Bay, Wegner ejected Chicago rookie starter Jose Quintana in the fourth inning after he threw a pitch behind the Rays' Ben Zobrist.

Harrelson ranted in the television booth about Wegner, saying umpires need to be held accountable and some don't know the game of baseball.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

June 2, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

June 3, 2012

 

Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 9

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

June 4, 2012

 

Jail Population: 86

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Brandon Dalton, 33, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Failure To Wear Seat Belt. Dalton promised to comply and was released.

 

Triston Balimore, 22, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (67 mph in a 45 mph zone). Baltimore posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Christopher Marquardt, 21, Gillespie, was issued a citation for Speeding (80 mph in a 65 mph zone). Marquardt posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Shawna Vineyard, 42, Argenta, was issued citations for Unlawful Possession Of Registration Sticker, Operating Motor Vehicle When Registration Suspended For No Insurance, Operating Vehicle With Expired Registration Sticker and Driving While License Suspended. Vineyard posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

David Cox, 27, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Cox posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.

 

Michael Welch, 30, La Grange Park, was arrested and charged with Driving On Revoked License. Welch posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

 

 

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

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

CITATION 6/2/12

RYAN P. GREER 22, CLINTON SPEEDING 71 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

ON 6/3/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED DARREN S. WHEELER 43, CLINTON FOR SPEEDING 41 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL WITH A B.A.C. GREATER THAN .08 WHEELER WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

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

 

On 05/31/12 at 11:16am, Clinton Police arrested Brian K. Charron, 40, of Clinton on a DeWitt County warrant for failure to appear. He was transported to DeWitt County jail and released to staff.

 

 

 

On 05/31/12 at 2:34pm, Clinton Police arrested Skylar R. Fox, 18, of Clinton on the charge of Domestic Battery. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to their staff.

 

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

 

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Blue Ridge Board of Education Seeking To Fill Board Vacancy

Blue Ridge Board of Education is currently taking applications for a board member vacancy.

Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson says the Board will be taking applications until June 13 for the position. She says the main qualifications are for the applicant to be 18 and live in the district, but she is looking for someone who is aware of all the issues the Board faces.

[audio:6412BlueRidgeOpening.mp3] [/audio]

The position opened up after one of the board member resigned. Wilson explains, Board Member Curt Homann resigned so he can become the assistant coach for the junior high basketball team. The Board of Education will look over the applications and make selections on who they will interview.

[audio:6412BlueRidgeOpening2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Wilson, the board will conduct interviews for the new member during the June 20th Board meeting. The deadline to apply is June 13.

Applications can be accessed at blueridge18.org.

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Friday's Scoreboard

FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Atlanta Braves at Washington Nationals, (PPD)
Philadelphia Phillies 6, Miami Marlins 4
New York Mets 8, St. Louis Cardinals 0
Cincinnati Reds 4, Houston Astros 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Milwaukee Brewers 2
Colorado Rockies 13, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
San Diego Padres 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
San Francisco Giants 4, Chicago Cubs 3

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

NBA Playoffs
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Boston Celtics 101, Miami Heat 91
(Heat lead best-of-seven Eastern final, 2-1)

NHL Stanley Cup Final
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No Game Scheduled

WNBA
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Minnesota Lynx 85, Connecticut Sun 72
San Antonio Silver Stars 85, Phoenix Mercury 66
Chicago Sky 65, Washington Mystics 63
Seattle Storm 76, Tulsa Shock 58

 

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Jackson Decides Against Joining Magic

Phil Jackson will not be joining the front office of the Orlando Magic.  According to the "Orlando Sentinel," the retired coach expressed interest in a job with the Magic but ultimately decided against it.  Former Magic guard Sam Vincent, who played under Jackson with the Chicago Bulls, acted as a go-between.  The 66-year-old Jackson retired as head coach of the Los Angeles Lakers last year.  He won a record 11 NBA championships as coach of the Lakers and Bulls.

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Giants Clip Cubs

Madison Bumgarner fired eight strong innings as the Giants held on to clip the Cubs, 4-3.  Bumgarner struck out 11 while allowing two runs on eight hits as he improved his mark to 6-and-4.  Javier Lopez recorded the final two outs to earn his first save.  Buster Posey drove in two runs and Ryan Theriot [[ TERRY-oh ]] finished 3-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and a walk for the Giants, who have won four of their last five.  Alfonso Soriano clubbed a three-run homer in the ninth for Chicago, which had won a season-high three straight coming in.  David DeJesus flied out with the tying run on third to end the game as the Cubs rally fell short.  Paul Maholm yielded four runs and eight hits in five-and-a-third frames as he fell to 4-and-4.

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Santana Throws Mets' First No-Hitter

 New York Mets pitcher Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history as they defeated the Cardinals, 8-0.  The lefty struck out eight and walked five on 134 pitches, surpassing his previous career-high of 125.  Lucas Duda drilled a three-run home run for New York, which has won five-of-seven overall.  Daniel Murphy added three RBI in the win.  Adam Wainwright gave up seven runs over six-and-a-third innings for the loss.  St. Louis has lost three straight.  The San Diego Padres are now the only team in baseball without a no-hitter.

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Congressman Pushes For Expedited Withdrawal From Afghanistan

U.S. Reps. Tim Johnson, Barbara Lee (Democrat from California), Walter Jones (Republican from North Carolina) and other Members of the House again pressed House leadership and the White House to expedite the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

A press conference and panel discussion Wednesday afternoon focused on analysis and assessment of a deteriorating situation in Afghanistan.  Members of the House received testimony from experts, including Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Davis, who provided an analysis of Afghanistan that is vastly different than the one received by Congress from the Obama Administration. 

Congressman Johnson says we seem bent on a protracted presence not only in Afghanistan but throughout the Middle East that is wasting lives of soldiers, citizens and wasting tax dollars at the same time. He adds we expanded into Libya without Congressional authority and now there are those seeking intervention into Syria. "This has to stop."

Rep. Johnson noted the costs of war are not limited to deaths, bullets, tanks and drones. Rep. Johnson is a sponsor of an amendment that would increase appropriations for the Veterans Administration for the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injuries and related research.

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Barickman Questions Measure To Tax For Services For Sexual Assault Victims

The Illinois House of Representatives Thursday approved a measure that will fund services for sexual assault victims by taxing adult entertainment venues.  The taxes established in the bill would apply to adult clubs that serve alcohol on a regular basis.  

While commending the sponsor on her efforts for a very noble cause, State Representative Jason Barickman asked the Democrat sponsor how the proponents of the measure could come up with an additional $50-million dollars in new spending just Wednesday but couldn’t find $2-million for this cause.  But now they are asking the taxpayers for more money.

[audio:53112BarickmanHB1645.MP3] [/audio]

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Weekly Weather Report

It was another dry week, with record breaking temperatures for the Memorial Day holiday. Early indications May was warmer than average and dryer than normal. We'll see mild conditions this weekend but warming back up next. State Climotologist Jim Angel has more...

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New USDA Microloan To Help Small Farm Operations

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a new microloan program to help small farm operations and other farmers avoid high interest rates with the credit they need. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack says part of the reason for this program is the trend among people in their late 20’s and early 30’s who want to get back into a rural life.
 
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The microloan program will provide up to 35-thousand dollars in credit and simplify the application process for farmers.

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But this program is aimed to encourage those farmers, meet their credit needs and effectively use Farm Service Agency resources. Vilsack says it’s a great opportunity for people who might not otherwise be able to get a loan to do so and continue - or begin - farming.

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White Sox Sink Mariners

Gordon Beckham hit a pair of homers and drove in three as the White Sox won their ninth straight game, 7-4, over the Mariners.  Adam Dunn also clubbed a solo homer while Alejandro De Aza roped a two-run single for Chicago.  Jake Peavy allowed two runs in six-and-a-third innings but it was Jesse Crain who picked up the win after blowing a save.  Addison Reed notched his seventh save in the victory.  Kyle Seager hit a two-run homer and added an RBI single for Seattle, which had its two-game winning streak ended.  Shawn Kelley gave up three unearned runs in one inning of relief work to suffer the loss.

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Peoria Fugitives Headed To Court

The Peoria man and woman accused of scamming investors out of nearly two million dollars are headed to court tomorrow.  Nelson and Janet Hallahan pled guilty to the crime more than a decade ago but fled before their court appearance.  They were captured in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona after spending 12 years on the run.  The arrest came after the two were featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted."

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New Private Illinois Nature Preserve Opening

A new 140-acre nature preserve in eastern Illinois will open to the public Saturday with speakers, bird-watching and other events.

The private group Grand Prairie Friends has organized the events at the site of the preserve south of Charleston.

The group bought the land formerly known as Dolan Woods earlier this year to set it aside as a preserve. The land is adjacent to Fox Ridge State Park.

Urbana-based Grand Prairie Friends bought the land in January for about $400,000.

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'85 Bears To Help With Blood Drive At ISU

A blood drive at Illinois State University is offering a special incentive just for Chicago Bears fans.

LifeSource is teaming up with members of the 1985 World Champion Chicago Bears for Saturday's blood drive at ISU.

Former Bear Shaun Gayle says there's an increased need for blood donations during the summer months, and he says the players want to inspire their fans to do something good for the community.

Gayle says anyone who gives blood will get a ticket to the ultimate football training camp some of the '85 Bears will be holding this summer. The football camp is scheduled for July 28 at ISU.

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Illinois Lawmaker's Outburst Creating Online Stir

An Illinois lawmaker screamed profanities and referenced the Bible during a videotaped tirade directed at the state's powerful House speaker. And it's creating a stir online.

Republican Rep. Mike Bost said Thursday he's been surprised by the mostly positive reaction he's received. He says his frustration has been building for years.

Bost's outburst came as House members were preparing to vote Tuesday on a contentious plan to overhaul Illinois' pension system without a chance for debate or amendment.

Bost says that's standard procedure in the Democrat-controlled House, but it shouldn't be.

In reference to House Speaker Michael Madigan, Bost yelled: "You should be ashamed!"

Madigan chalked up the outburst to late-session frustration.

Bost voted in 1995 for the rule now used to prevent debate. He says that was a mistake.

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Peoria Fugitives Headed To Court

The Peoria man and woman accused of scamming investors out of nearly two million dollars are headed to court tomorrow.  Nelson and Janet Hallahan pled guilty to the crime more than a decade ago but fled before their court appearance.  They were captured in a suburb of Phoenix, Arizona after spending 12 years on the run.  The arrest came after the two were featured on the television show "America's Most Wanted."

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Gov. Quinn Says Inaction On Pension Reform Not An Option

Gov. Pat Quinn says it's been a productive legislative session, but work on stabilizing the state's pension system must continue.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross said Thursday he couldn't find enough support to pass his version of the pension plan. That means he's shelving the legislation at Quinn's request.

Quinn will bring lawmakers back to Springfield this summer for more work on the issue.In a statement, Quinn says he's calling a meeting with top Democratic and Republican leaders in the coming week so they can come up with a pension reform agreement.

The Democratic governor says inaction on pension reform is not a choice.

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Legislative Leaders Reflect On Session Accomplishments

Speaker of the House Michael Madigan says it's easy to reflect on what lawmakers didn't get done during this year's Spring session.  But, he says there's a lot of legislation that shouldn't be overlooked. 

[audio:rddLegDone1.mp3] [/audio]

House Minority Leader Tom Cross says lawmakers accomplished a lot this year but they can't take their eyes off of what was left undone.

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Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says they've had some victories this year.

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Senate President John Cullerton says this has been a very successful year.

[audio:rddLegDone4.mp3] [/audio]

The leaders commended lawmakers and their staffs on what they call a very productive session.  They'll be back in Springfield during the summer months to hash out a deal on pension reform.

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Failing State Parks Issue Left Unresolved As Legislative Session Comes To End

Although state parks are falling into disrepair under painful budget cuts, efforts to replace lost funding for the Department of Natural Resources have met with resistance. Years of budget cuts have left the state underfunded and facing a $750 million backlog in park maintenance and repairs. Lawmakers proposed charging an entrance fee, as Illinois is among the few states that do not have fees to help with maintenance. That measure passed in the House but didn't get a vote on the Senate floor. As an alternative, lawmakers proposed raising the annual $99 license plate fee by $2, but it failed.

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Quilted Keepsakes Show Runs Through Month of June

The Dewitt County Museum's annual Quilted Keepsakes show is underway.

The Quilt Show is one of the museum's highly attended events next to the Apple and Pork Festival and Christmas, according to Larry Buss.  Buss explains that the event started over a quarter of a century ago.  People from all over the area send in their quilts to the museum in order for them to be displayed and judged.

[audio:6112quilts1.mp3] [/audio]

Buss says they have better than 50 quilts put up so far and that people can already come and view them if they wish to. He says for viewers to give themselves an hour to walk throught the displays. The quilts the public sees will be of a very high quality this year.

[audio:6112quilts2.mp3] [/audio]

While the show is nearly completed for 2012, Buss says it's never too early to start preparing quilts for 2013. There are several individuals who start preparing the day after.

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Most quilt shows tend to last a week or so, but Buss says that the museum's show lasts an entire month starting June 1st. Admission for adults is $3, 12-18 year olds get in for $1 and anyone under 12 gets in free. The hours for the event are 10-5 Tuesday- Saturdays and Sundays 1-5.

For more information, you can call Larry Buss at 935-6066.

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Simpkins Military Museum Hosts Annual Civil War Encampment

An annual event takes place this weekend to inform and educate on the history of the Civil War.

The annual Civil War Encampment takes place this Saturday at the Simpkins Military History Museum in Heyworth. Owner of the Museum, Gary Simpkins explains the focus the next few years will be on the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, and this year it will be 1862. Simpkins notes, during that year, the Union was primarily losing the war.

[audio:6112civilwar1.mp3] [/audio]

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