LEAF PICKUP: CITY CREWS WILL START IN ZONE 5 TODAY.          
Local News

Prayer For Rain Held In Western Illinois

The faithful in western Illinois are heeding Gov. Pat Quinn's request to pray for rain as the state suffers drought conditions.

Quincy-area residents gathered Sunday evening for a Pray for Rain event. Several religious organizations participated in the half-hour prayer service in a local park. The Rev. Patrick Smith of St. John's Anglican Parish said it was an opportunity to collectively ask God to do something that he can do.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor most of Illinois is in extreme or exceptional drought conditions. Agricultural specialist Sara Fernandez spoke between prayers about the drought in Illinois. The governor asked Illinoisans to pray for rain earlier this month.

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GOP Leaders Want Gov. Quinn To Take Leadership Role On Pension Reform

Republican leaders say they want Gov. Pat Quinn to take a leadership role in passing a comprehensive pension reform bill.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno issued a joint statement Monday after Quinn announced he's calling lawmakers to Springfield next month for a 1-day session on pensions.

In the statement, the Republicans say they're encouraged by the session and support comprehensive reform.

However, pension talks between legislative leaders have been fruitless after the General Assembly failed to approve a reform plan earlier in the year.

Quinn wants suburban Chicago and downstate school districts to pay their own pension costs. But Republicans have opposed it.

Quinn wants legislators to work with existing legislation to find a solution when they convene Aug. 17.

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School Officials And Lawmakers Discuss Pension Reform

School officials and lawmakers gathered in Mount Sterling for a roundtable discussion on pension reform yesterday.  State Senator John Sullivan organized the event because he wants to know how cost-shifting will impact would impact area school districts.

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He says the current funding system is not sustainable so it's clear that something needs to be done.

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Governor Quinn has called the Legislature back to Springfield to tackle the pension issue on August 17th.   He says lawmakers have had long enough to study the issue and now it's time to take a vote.

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Illinois Lawmakers Have Pension Special Session On August 17th

Illinois lawmakers are planning to head back to Springfield next month in hopes of getting pension reform finalized.  Governor Pat Quinn announced the August 17th special session yesterday, saying pension reform is the biggest challenge facing the state.

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Quinn says the special session on pension reform shouldn't take long.

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The governor believes the special session won't take long, saying pension reform should be done in one day.  Senate President John Cullerton wants Quinn to rescind the order to keep taxpayers from footing the more than 40-thousand-dollar a day bill.

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Weekly Crop Report

Little relief came this week for our drought stricken region.

Chief State Crop Statistician Brad Schwab explains corn is now almost 60% in the dough stage and almost 20% in the dent stage. Schwab notes corn harvest in the southwest region could begin any day now. The state's corn crop was rated at 38% very poor, 33% poor, 24% fair and only 5% good.

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Soybeans aren't fairing much better. Blooming advanced to 95%. Schwab says 61% of the crop is setting pods. 27% of the crop is rated very poor and only 9% as good.

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The third cutting of alfafa is at 33%, 51% of the sorghum crop has headed and 88% of oats have been harvested. Topsoil moistures declined to 85% very short, 15% short.

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Body Found After Fire In Pekin Home

Authorities in central Illinois are investigating after a body was found when firefighters responded to a fire that engulfed a Pekin home.

Several departments responded to the fire, which broke out late Saturday. Cincinnati Fire Chief Curtis Cornwell says the fire took several hours to control and by the time it was extinguished Sunday the home was a total loss.

Tazewell County Coroner Carl Powell isn't releasing any information about the body that was found. The victim hasn't been identified, and an autopsy is planned.

Several agencies, including the Illinois State Police and the Illinois State Fire Marshal's Office, are investigating.

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County-By-County Unemployment Figures For June

County by county June unemployment figures were released Thursday.

DeWitt County went up from 7.1 to 8%, and Piatt County rose to 8.4%.

Champaign and Christian Counties both jumped to 9.1% from 7.1 and 7.9% respectively.

Macon County is in the double digits again going from 9.6% in May to 11%.

Shelby County had a large jump from 7.8% in May to 9% in June.

Logan and McLean also saw rises with Logan reaching 8.6% and McLean at 7.6%.

Moultrie, Sangamon and Tazewell all remain under 8% but still rose to 7.7, 7.8 and 7.7 respectively.

Pulaski and Boone County have the highest unemployment rates in the state both rising to 11.7%. Boone County still  holds onto the claim of the lowest unemployment rate in the state, but they rose from 4.0 to 4.8% in June.

The state's overall unemployment rose from 8.4 to 9.3%. On a brighter note, this is one percent less than in June 2011.

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Red Cross Launches Ready Rating Program

The American Red Cross is offering a new way to make sure your house and company are disaster ready.

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross launched a ready rating program. It's a free assessment companies, schools, and homeowners can use to help see how prepared they are for disasters. The disasters being looked at range from power outages and medical emergencies to fires and floods. Mid-Illinois Chapter Executive Director Carl Baker says the Red Cross does not see any of the results, only the company sees what changes they can make.

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The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross is hoping that 50 companies take the assessment by  October. Tara Winters of the Red Cross says 42 percent of businesses do not go back into business after a disaster has hit. She adds the assessment will let companies know where they need to change their disaster plans.

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Baker says it's a free tool to help give back to the community. Recent studies have shown that only two out of ten Americans have disaster plans for their homes. Baker feels this number needs to change and hopefully the assessment will help.

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The ready rating program was started by the St. Louis chapter in 2008 and was picked up by nine other chapters such as Dallas and Chicago within the following years.

For more information on the ready rating program or to do the assessment, go to midillinoisredcross.org.

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Logan County Fair Kicks Off Today

The Logan County Fair kicks off today in Lincoln.

The fair will begin with the Fair Queen Pageant, harness racing, a fireman's water ball and many 4-H shows. Through Sunday Aug. 5th, the fair has many events lined up including tractor pulls, a demolition derby, cake and pie contests, and a performance by country music singer Jerrod Niemann. According to Logan County Fair Association Secretary, Mike Maske, there's plenty to do at the fair.

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Maske says people come up to him often to let him know they think the Logan County Fair is one of the nicest and cleanest fairs in Illinois. He adds without the help of the volunteers, the fair wouldn't be half the success it is.

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Even though many county fairs have had to cut back due to budget cuts, it's the Logan County Fair's goal to keep the fair as nice as possible. Maske says the community has established a foundation and he has witnessed people in the community raise money to make sure the fair doesn't have any financial issues. He adds the volunteer work and the support of the community is what helps keep the fair going.

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To reserve tickets to any event at the Logan County Fair, call 217-732-3311. For a full list of events, visit logancountyfairil.com.

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Bears Camp Notes

It's that time of year again, so of course the Chicago Bears are predicting a breakout season at receiver for Devin Hester as training camp began.

Receivers coach Darryl Drake sees a lot of improvement in a lot of areas.

It remains to be seen if Hester can finally deliver that breakout season as a receiver. The Bears have predicted big things in the past, but he hasn't quite come through.

The Bears started using him on offense at the end of the 2007 season and gave him a 4-year extension before the following season that runs through 2013 with the idea that he would become a focal point on offense. It hasn't quite worked out that way. Hester had just 26 catches last year, his lowest total since 2007.

It's no secret the Chicago Bears failed to create enough havoc up front last season even with Julius Peppers, and defensive end Israel Idonije really didn't need the reminder.

He understands that's one area that needs to improve.

It sure would help if the Bears are going to deliver on the high expectations they're bringing into this season. With the trade for Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall and the depth they added throughout the roster, they believe they're poised to contend in the NFC and make a big playoff run after being wrecked by injuries last season on the way to an 8-8 finish.

They still have some question marks, though, and their ability to get to the quarterback is a big one despite the presence of Peppers.

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Trade Deadline This Afternoon; Cubs Already Active

>>Report: Cubs Ship Soto To Rangers

(Undated)  --  "USA Today" reports the Chicago Cubs have agreed to trade catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers.  According to the report, the Cubs will receive pitching prospect Jacob Brigham in return.  Soto hit .199 with six homers and 14 RBI in 52 games with the Cubs this season.  Soto was an All-Star and named Rookie of the Year in 2008.

>>Cubs Make Deal With Braves

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs have traded pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.  Dating back to June 29th, Maholm is 5-and-0 with a 1.02 ERA.  For the season, Maholm is 9-and-6 with a 3.76 ERA.  Johnson is hitting .302 with three homers and 16 RBI this year.

>>Bucs Get Snider From Jays

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired outfielder Travis Snider from the Toronto Blue Jays in exchange for pitcher Brad Lincoln.  Snider hit .235 with three homers and eight RBI in nine games with the Blue Jays this season.  He hit .335 with 13 home runs and 57 RBI in 61 games in Triple-A this year.  Lincoln went 4-and-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 28 games with the Bucs.

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Cards Notes

>>Cards Open Series With Rockies

(Denver, CO)  --  The Cardinals begin a three-game series with the Rockies at Coors Field this evening.  Kyle Lohse [[ lowsh ]] will get the start on the mound for St. Louis.  Colorado will counter with Jeff Francis.  First-pitch is at 7:40.

>>Garcia Tosses Rehab Outing

(Jupiter, FL)  --  Cardinals pitcher Jaime [[ HIGH-me ]] Garcia made a rehab start yesterday.  Garcia tossed two-and-a-third scoreless innings for the Gulf Coast League Cardinals in Jupiter, Florida.  Garcia landed on the DL with a shoulder impingement in early June.

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Cubs Pound Pirates; Twins Stun Sox

>>Cubs Pummel Pirates

(Chicago, IL)  --  Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro each went deep during a nine-run fifth inning as the Cubs crushed the Pirates, 14-4, in the opener of a three-game series.  Darwin Barney added a three-run shot and four RBI in Chicago's third straight win.  Justin Germano went five innings to earn his first win in his first start with the Cubs.  Erik Bedard was tagged for nine runs, eight earned, in four-and-a-third innings to fall to 5-and-12.  Michael McKenry knocked in two runs in Pittsburgh's second straight loss.

MLB NL
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San Diego Padres 11, Cincinnati Reds 5
Atlanta Braves 8, Miami Marlins 2
Milwaukee Brewers 8, Houston Astros 7
Arizona Diamondbacks 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
New York Mets 8, San Francisco Giants 7 (10 inn)

>>Twins Trim White Sox

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Jamey Carroll's sac-fly RBI in the bottom of the ninth gave the Twins a 7-6 win over the White Sox in the first of a three-game series.  Ryan Doumit and Danny Valencia plated two runs apiece for the Twins, who have won four straight.  Glen Perkins was credited with his second win.  A.J. Pierzynski belted a three-run homer and Alejandro De Aza had four hits and two RBI for the White Sox.  Brett Myers was charged with the loss.

MLB AL
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Baltimore Orioles 5, New York Yankees 4
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 15, Texas Rangers 8
Boston Red Sox 7, Detroit Tigers 3
Oakland Athletics 4, Tampa Bay Rays 3 (15 inn)
Seattle Mariners 4, Toronto Blue Jays 1

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-31

 

July 31, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 7:48 p.m. on Monday, July 30, revealed that a vehicle driven by Jessica Alexander, 20, Kenney, was traveling eastbound on State Highway 54. As she descended the hill she noticed a white vehicle, driven by Doris Hawkins, 74, Clinton, stopped at the intersection of Park Road and State Highway 54. As Alexander approached the intersection Hawkins pulled out in front of her. This caused Alexander to swerve south to avoid a collision. While swerving Alexander’s tires caught some loose gravel cause her to continue sliding forward, sliding down the embankment and ultimately colliding with a tree. The airbags deployed, but no injuries were reported. Alexander’s vehicle was towed from the scene. Hawkins was issued a citation for Failure To Yield-Stop Or Yield Intersection. Hawkins posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

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

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Clinton Police Report for 7-31

CITATIONS

7/27/12

ASHLEY L. FORTUNE 28, CLINTON SPEEDING 42 MPH IN A 30 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

7/29/12

RAECHEL B. WEMPEN 32, PALMER SPEEDING 72 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

PABLO A. LOPEZ DOMONIC 23, BROOKFIELD SPEEDING 73 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

7/31/12

JOSHUA A. ROBERTS 36, MAROA SPEEDING 75 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

 

ON 7/29/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED MORRIS R. LOCKARD 46, CLINTON ON A DEWITT COUNTY WARRANT. LOCKARD WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 7/29/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED TRACEY E. DAWSON 36, CLINTON FOR DISOBEYED STOP SIGN, DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE, AND POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. DAWSON WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 7/29/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT IN THE 500 BLOCK W. MACON. A MINI BIKE DRIVEN BY CHRISTOPHER J. JONES 37, CLINTON WAS SOUTHBOUND IN THE ALLEY WHEN HE CROSSED OVER MACON STREET AND COLLIDED INTO THE GRASS EMBANKMENT ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE STREET. JONES WAS EJECTED OFF THE MINI BIKE. JONES WAS TRANSPORTED BY CLINTON AMBULANCE FOR TREATMENT. JONES WAS ISSUED CITATIONS FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED AND DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE. JONES WAS RELEASED ON A NOTICE TO APPEAR

 

 

 

 

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

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Clinton's Kid Konnection To Remain Open

Clinton and DeWitt County parents who thought they needed to find alternative child care  or their kids can breath a sigh of relief.

Last week, Kid Konnection in Clinton announced they would be closing their doors in August. However, a recent development is going to allow the child care center in Clinton to remain open. Current owner of Kid Konnection, April Harvey explains she planned to close the business simply because she was wanting to have a more personal role with the kids, which is something she has been less and less able to do.

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Someone has come in and asked to take over the business from Harvey. The person's name will be revealed later, however, Harvey said this person felt Kid Konnection was a real asset to the community, and wanted to see it remain open.

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When Harvey made the decision to close down the business, she didn't feel as though selling the place would be an option. She felt the state of the economy was not one for beginning a business, but she feels fortunate this opportunity has come forth and feels the community will be better off for it.

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Harvey will stay on staff for a short time and eventually will leave the business. While she does not have definite plans, she feels optimistic about the future. She currently has one foster child, and believes this may be an opportunity to allow her to open her home for more foster children.

An announcement of who the buyer of Kid Konnection is and plans for the future should be available soon for parents with children there.

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New Law Aims To Protect Elderly Seniors

New laws signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this weekend are aimed at protecting the elderly in Illinois by increasing oversight of caregivers and making it easier for authorities to respond to cases of abuse or neglect.

One of the new pieces of legislation allows prosecutors to ask a court to freeze a suspect's assets if he is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. That's meant to keep a defendant from spending stolen money before restitution is collected.

Another new measure allows police and fire departments access to reports of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation against the elderly. Previously, they could only access that information if a specific instance of abuse was reported to them.

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Thousands of Rural Illinois Residents To Get Access To Broadband

Thousands of residents in rural areas of Illinois will get access to high-speed Internet service for the first time under a federal government program.

More than a quarter of the state's rural population lacks access to high-speed Internet. Illinois has the 20th lowest rate of rural broadband availability in the country.

Nearly 16,000 residents will soon have access to affordable, robust broadband under a Federal Communications Commission program that has set aside $4.7 million in funds for Illinois.

The agency's Connect America Fund has an overall goal of connecting 19 million rural Americans by 2020.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski says "access to broadband means access to jobs and economic opportunity, in addition to better education and health care."

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Drought Making River Clean Up Easier

There's an upside to the drought in Illinois: it's made it easier for volunteers to spot and clear debris from rivers thanks to lower water levels.

This has led to cleanup bonanzas for groups aiming to keep waterways safer for canoeists and kayakers.

One recent cleanup netted 33 tires from a two-mile stretch of the Des Plaines River between the Independence Grove Forest Preserve and Oak Spring Road near Libertyville.

Gurnee resident and volunteer coordinator Paul Klonowski says it's a tremendous opportunity for us to get stuff cleaned up that we normally don't ever see.

He organizes river cleanups as often as once a week and says the river level is the lowest he's seen in his more than a decade.

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Contract Shows Treasurer To Pay $2-Million For Rebranding

Contracts statements show State Treasurer Dan Rutherford's office is paying a Chicago consulting firm nearly $2 million to rebrand the state's program for returning unclaimed property to residents.

The contract shows Henson Consulting will receive the money over three years to re-brand and market the Cash Dash program. The program was previously known as Cash Dash but was reintroduced this month as I-Cash. Last year it returned more than $100 million in unclaimed property to rightful owners or heirs. That's an increase of 23% from the year before.

The treasurer's office says the money used to fund the rebranding will come from unclaimed property funds. A spokesman says the treasurer wanted to do more with the program.

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Gov. Quinn Hires Special Investigator For DHS

Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed a special investigator for the Office of the Inspector General of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The appointment comes after an investigation revealed that, since 2003, the department's inspector general didn't investigate 53 cases about disabled adults living at home who were allegedly abused or neglected and later died. Quinn has appointed law enforcement veteran Michael McCotter to the position.

The governor's office says McCotter is in charge of reforming the inspector general's investigative operations. Quinn also named Daniel Dyslin as acting inspector general for the department until a permanent replacement is named. Dyslin has served as a senior deputy general counsel in the Department of Human Services.

Former DHS inspector general William Davis resigned earlier this month effective Aug. 1.

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Coalition Urging Gov. Quinn To Shoot Down Chicago Power Plant Bid

A coalition representing Illinois businesses, environmental, agricultural and consumer groups is urging Gov. Pat Quinn to veto a bill that would create a Chicago alternative power plant.

Citizens Utility Board Director of Government Affairs Bryan McDaniel says creating this new Leucadia plant will raise the price of natural gas from three dollars to ten or eleven dollars. Leucadia is wanting to sell the natural gas in areas of Illinois covered by Ameren Illinois and Nicro Gas. McDaniel believes downstate Illinois should not have to pay for something that will raise the cost of basic living.

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The coalition is asking for Leucadia to find another way to fund the plant. McDaniel says a project like this is right up Wall Street's alley, but since they're not wanting to fund it, it makes the project's future look bleak. McDaniel adds since downstate Illinois would pay for it, it adds risk to the consumer and when you add risk to a consumer, it is not a good deal.

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Leucadia says this will help economic development in south Chicago. McDaniel feels they are sympathetic to the hard hit south side of Chicago since this would be an economic advancement for them, but the rest of the state is also economically hard hit. He adds the entire state is in a hard economic time, and a company can't put economic pressure on other consumers to help one area out.

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Grain elevators and farmers in downstate Illinois use natural gas to drain corn, and it is predicted that if Leucadia gets their plant in southeast Chicago that on average, companies will have to spend $35,000 more to store corn. It is also estimated the average consumer will pay an extra $170 a year if this bill goes through.

Gov. Quinn has until Aug. 10 to act on this bill.

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Blue Ridge's Mansfield Facility Upgrade Underway

The Blue Ridge School District has started building the new extension to Blue Ridge Junior High.

The new extension will be used to replace the old Mansfield Elementary School. The new extension includes nine classrooms and all the bids are in for the extension. Blue Ridge Superintendent Susan Wilson says the project is very exciting.

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Wilson is pleased the bids came in below budget. She says the left over money can be used to help fund other projects in the school district. The school district will look at rolling the money over to help update computers and technology and add a new playground.

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With nine classrooms being built, the technology upgrades  needed include new smart boards and LCD projectors. The school district is also looking at adding in an amplifying system to help students who have hearing problems. She says the district is trying to find the most cost efficient way to keep their classrooms up to date.

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Wilson is hoping for the project to be done before the new school year. The school being replaced Mansfield Elementary is one of two buildings in the Blue Ridge School District without air conditioning.

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Extension's Summer Lunch Program Seeing Success; Kids Still Welcome

The University of Illinois Extension sponsored Summer Lunch Program has seen a great turn out so far this year, but it's not too late for your child to join.

Each day the program begins at 11:30 am at the Webster Housing Project. Youth Educator for the University of Illinois Extension in DeWitt County, Sherry Fulton explains after the opening activities, lunch is served from 1-2 pm courtesy of the Illinois Coalition for Community Services.

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Fulton feels there are several factors in the increase in numbers they've seen so far this year. She says economy on top of the convenient location are two key factors, but she also notes, the structured in environment is appealing to the kids as well.

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The kids take part in several unique projects. Fulton says around the 4th of July, they made a flag out of their lunch supplies. Each month they celebrate birthdays for each season of the year.

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Fulton says they are always looking for people to come in and share special hobbies or talk about a unique career with the kids. She says that is something the kids always have a good time with.

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The Summer Lunch program will continue until August 10. There is no registration required to be a part of the activities, and things get underway each day at 11:30 and run until 1:30. All children are welcome under the age of 18 and children ages 3-5 adult supervision is required for lunch and is open to anyone in DeWitt County.

To learn more about the program or volunteer your time, you can contact the U of I Extension office at 935-5764.

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Bears Camp Notes

For all the optimism, the Chicago Bears are facing some familiar questions.

Many center on the offensive line.

Tackle Chris Williams sees that as a challenge and says they will work hard every day.

The protection could go a long way toward determining whether the Bears meet their goals. They believe they have the talent to make a run to the Super Bowl after adding Pro Bowl receiver Brandon Marshall and depth throughout the roster, but the image of Jay Cutler being driven into the turf is difficult to shake.

So is the fact that the line has ranked among the league's worst the past few years. On a team with most starting spots set, Williams is competing with J'Marcus Webb at left tackle.

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Rams Ink DE Long To Extension

The Rams signed defensive end Chris Long to a four-year contract extension yesterday.  Long was the second-overall pick in the 2008 draft.  The 27-year-old had 13 sacks last season.

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Johnson Wins At Indy For Fourth Time

Jimmie Johnson captured his fourth victory at Indianapolis Motor Speedway by capturing the Brickyard 400 on Sunday.  Johnson led 99 of the 160 laps and crossed the finish line nearly five seconds ahead of runner-up Kyle Busch.  The win is Johnson's third of the season and the 58th of his career.  Johnson and Jeff Gordon are the only drivers with four Brickyard 400 wins.  Greg Biffle, Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Gordon rounded out the top-five.  Meanwhile, Earnhardt Jr. took over the points lead for the first time since September 2004.

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Olympics Notes

>>NBC Scores Ratings Gold For Olympic Opening, Complaints Scuff Gleam

(Undated)  --  NBC is boasting record ratings for its exclusive broadcast of the Opening Ceremony and first day coverage of the 2012 Olympic Summer Games.  Despite complaints of the delayed broadcast in the U.S., the network drew 40-point-seven-million viewers to Friday's opening in London.  NBC also said its primetime coverage of the Olympics on Saturday, drew 28-point-seven-million viewers, two million more than the audience that tuned in for the first day of competition for the 1996 Atlanta Games.

>>Durant Leads Team USA Rout Over France

(London)  --  Kevin Durant netted a game-high 22 points as the United States men's basketball team cruised to a 98-71 win over France in a Preliminary Group A contest.  Kevin Love added 14 points and Kobe Bryant finished with 10 for Team USA, which improved to 1-and-0 in group play.  The U.S. plays its next game on Tuesday against Tunisia.  Tony Parker scored just 10 points after shooting 4-of-11 from the field for France.

>>France Downs Lochte, U.S. In 400 Freestyle Relay

(London)  --  Yannick Agnel chased down Ryan Lochte in the last 50 meters on Sunday night and France beat the U.S. to win gold in the 400 freestyle relay.  Nathan Adrian, Michael Phelps and Cullen Jones had given the Americans a lead of half a body length after 300 meters and Lochte was still hanging on at the last turn, but Agnel quickly gained to beat him to the wall by .45 seconds.  Russia won bronze and the favored Australian team placed fourth.

>>American Vollmer Sets World Record To Win 100m Fly

(London)  --  American Dana Vollmer won the women's 100-meter butterfly Sunday night with a new world record.  Vollmer, who had set Olympic and American records in the heats Saturday, touched in 55.98 seconds to beat the old world mark of 56.06 set by Swede Sarah Sjostrom in 2009.  It was Vollmer's second Olympic gold medal.  She won her first as part of the women's 800-meter freestyle relay team as a 16-year-old at the 2004 Athens Games.  China's Lu Ying won silver and Australia's Alicia Coutts took bronze.

>>U.S. Lead At Women's Gymnastics Qualifier

(London)  --  Behind a score of 181.863, the U.S. women's gymnastics team grabbed the overall lead through three subdivisions of Sunday's qualifications at the North Greenwich Arena.  That has the Americans 11.207 points ahead of Great Britain.  Aly Raisman finished up her day atop the all-around leaderboard with a score 60.391.  U.S. teammate Gabby Douglas appears headed to the final of the event on Tuesday.  Expected medal contender Jordyn Wieber will not qualify for the event.  Expected medal contenders China, Russia and Romania are set to compete later in the evening.

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Cubs/Sox Deadline Notes

>>Cubs' Garza Out Until After Trade Deadline

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza is being shut down until after next week's trade deadline.  The right-hander is suffering from cramping in his triceps, with an MRI revealing slight fluid buildup in the area.  Garza has been the subject of trade speculation, with the non-waiver trade deadline on Tuesday.  The 28-year-old is 5-and-7 with a 3.91 ERA this season.

>>White Sox Acquire Liriano From Twins

(Undated)  --  The Chicago White Sox bolstered their pitching staff on Saturday by adding Francisco Liriano via trade with the division-rival Minnesota Twins.  The 28-year-old left-hander is just 3-and-10 this season with a 5.31 ERA in 17 starts for Minnesota.  Liriano threw a no-hitter last season against his new team.  The Twins received infielder Eduardo Escobar and left-handed pitcher Pedro Hernandez as a part of the deal.

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Cubs Take Cards; Sox Blanked

>>Cubs Drop Cards In Extras

(Chicago, IL)  --  Anthony Rizzo hit a walk off two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the Cubs a 4-2 win over the Cardinals.  It was his seventh homer of the season.  Paul Maholm allowed one run in six-and-two-thirds innings, while reliever James Russell improved to 5-and-0.  Chicago took two-of-three from St. Louis.  Carlos Beltran hit his 23rd home run, a solo shot that tied the game in the eighth inning for the Cards.  Reliever Trevor Rosenthal was tagged with his first loss.

>>SUNDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Miami Marlins 5, San Diego Padres 4 (10 inn)
Atlanta Braves 6, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Houston Astros 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 5
Washington Nationals 11, Milwaukee Brewers 10 (11 inn)
Cincinnati Reds 7, Colorado Rockies 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 4, San Francisco Giants 0
New York Mets 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

>>Rangers Blank White Sox

(Arlington, TX)  --  Scott Feldman dealt eight innings of shutout ball with five strikeouts to help the Rangers blank the White Sox, 2-0.  Feldman improved to 5-and-6 on the season, while Joe Nathan notched his 21st save.  Texas avoided a three-game sweep at the hands of Chicago with the win.  Nelson Cruz was 2-for-4 with a run scored and David Murphy was 3-for-4.  Gavin Floyd allowed both Ranger runs, only one of which was earned, in six-and-two-thirds innings to drop to 8-and-9.  Jordan Dans tallied two hits in the loss.

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 4, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Baltimore Orioles 6, Oakland Athletics 1
Minnesota Twins 5, Cleveland Indians 1
Tampa Bay Rays 2, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0
Seattle Mariners 7, Kansas City Royals 6
Boston Red Sox 3, New York Yankees 2 (10 inn)

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

July 28, 2012

 

Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

July 29, 2012

 

Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

July 30, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Alex Rempe, 24, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Rempe posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Amanda Beyers, 35, Pana, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle and arrested and charged with Possession Cannabis/2.5-10 Grams and Possession Drug Paraphernalia. Beyers posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Joshua McKinney, 28, Lovington, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). McKinney posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Erika Warner, 19, Lane, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Warner was issued a Notice To Appear and was released.

 

Dwayne Durbin, 24, Clinton, was issued a citations for Operating Motor Vehicle When Registration Suspended For Non-Insurance and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Durbin was issued a Notice To Appear and was released.

 

Nathan Robinson, 19, Weldon, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Robinson posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 07:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 28, revealed that a vehicle driven by Sreedevi Chandran, 29, Bloomington, was traveling north on County Highway 14 from Mascoutin State Park. As Chandran approached the curve on Springfield and Bloomington Street in DeWitt she went onto the grass on 100 Springfield Street curving around a pine tree. Chandran navigated her vehicle east in between the house and the garage. Chandran struck the ditch and came out onto the east shoulder of Bloomington Street. The underneath plastic guard of Chandran’s bumper was still lying in the ditch. Chandran said she was wearing her seatbelt at the time of the incident and the airbag did not deploy. No injuries were reported. The vehicle was driven from the scene. Chandran was issued a citation for Improper Lane Usage. Chandran posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

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

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Clinton Police Report for 7-26

 

On 07/24/12 at 7:46am, Clinton police arrested Eric W. Young, 32, of Clinton for driving while license is suspended. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

 

 

 

 

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

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Clinton Police Report for 7-25

On 07/23/12 at 11:20am, Clinton Police responded to a two vehicle accident at the intersection of East South St and South East St. A vehicle being driven by Vicky V. Craig, 69, of Atlanta IL and a vehicle being driven by Jeffery P. Dyer, 21, of Clinton collided in the intersection.

 

On 07/24/12 at 12:51pm, Clinton Police arrested Elliot J. Howard, 26, of Clinton on a DeWitt County Warrant for possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

On 07/24/12 at 7:45pm, Clinton Police arrested Blake E. Mariani, 22, listing no home address, on a DeWitt County Warrant for failure to appear. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to correctional staff.

 

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Recent Discussions Give Okaw Valley Conference Hope of Remaining Together

A recent meeting of Okaw Valley Conference school members held recently opened the door to the possibility of keeping the Okaw intact.

The recent gathering of school officials from the 12-team conference recently opened not only the door to keeping the conference together, but the possibility of expansion. Superintendent of Warrensburg-Latham Schools, Kristen Kendrick explains Warrensburg-Latham is taking a wait and see approach. Warrensburg-Latham is one of the seven Okaw schools considering leaving the conference.

[audio:73112okawexpand1.mp3] [/audio]

The proposal would add teams to the Okaw Valley Conference and thus creating two divisions. Kendrick notes the talks even went as far as how scheduling would work and who teams would play.

[audio:73112okawexpand2.mp3] [/audio]

The focus of the two divisions would be school size and record. Kendrick feels it would even out the playing field to have schools of similar size scheduled and playing each other.

[audio:73112okawexpand3.mp3] [/audio]

Although there are some issues with the proposal, Kendrick feels encouraged the schools are openly communicating and trying to find ways to keep the Okaw together.

The Warrensburg-Latham School board has not yet taken any action regarding leaving the conference. Kendrick notes they have kept their board members up to date and it was on their July agenda to address.

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Lincoln Heritage Committee Donates Book To Warner Library

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The Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County recently donated a copy of Abraham Lincoln Traveled This Way: The America Lincoln Knew by local professional landscape photographer and Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County member, Robert Shaw, and renowned Lincoln scholar, Michael Burlingame, to the Vespasian Warner Public Library.  The full-color, 274 page volume which contains photographic images by Shaw and narrative by Burligame is available for circulation at the library.  The book is also available for purchase through the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce office.  For each copy sold through the Chamber, Shaw will donate a portion of the purchase price to the Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County.  For information regarding  the Lincoln Heritage Committee of DeWitt County, please contact the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau at 217-935-3364 or visit www.lincolnheritageofdewittcounty.com


Pictured are Marian Brisard (LHC), Vespasian Warner Public Library Co-Director, Joan Rhoades who accepted the book, Joey Woolridge (LHC) and Dan Hauffe (LHC). 

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Clinton YMCA Strong Kids Campaign Meets Goal

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From Camp Osage to Y-Zone to swim team the Y in Clinton offers numerous programs to the community.

Through the support of generous community members the Y is able to deny no one the benefits of
the Y's programs based on financial limitations. It is called the "Strong Kids Campaign", and Jann
Martin Executive Director of the Y wants to thank corporate entities as well as individuals that
pledged this year and helped them surpass their goal of ninety-thousand dollars.

[audio:72912StrongKids1.mp3][/audio]

Martin especially wanted to thank Area Disposal, John Warner, Scott Baum, and Randy Anderson
for their generous pledges. She also appreciated the gifts they received from individuals and
community members.

[audio:72912StrongKids2.mp3][/audio]

The "Strong Kids Campaign" is a national program that provided nearly 1.2 million dollars in
scholarships and program subsidies last year allowing thousands of kids, otherwise unable to afford
the program, to attend. And each tax-deductible dollar contributed goes directly to making Y
programs and membership available to those in need.

Martin also announced that the Y will be closed from August 27 through September 3 for
shutdown, as they will be draining the pool for maintenance and waxing floors that wouldn't be able
to be done during normal operation. She also mentioned that after Labor Day they will be extending
some of their hours. To find out more or how you can become of member of the Clinton Y you can
call them at 935-8307.

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Olympics Underway

With tens of thousands of athletes and fans in attendance and a projected four
billion spectators expected to watch on TV, the London Games officially kicked
off  Friday night  with a celebration at the Olympic Stadium. The event, which
featured appearances by Queen Elizabeth II and Muhammad Ali, culminated in the
lighting  of  the  Olympic  cauldron  by seven  young  torchbearers  and  Paul
McCartney  leading the crowd in a singalong to the Beatles classic "Hey Jude."
One  fact  that did cause a  bit of controversy  was that the ceremony did not
include  a moment of  silence to mark 40 years since the killing of 11 Israeli
athletes  by  Palestinian guerrillas  at the 1972  Munich Olympics. The London
Games will conclude in 16 days with the closing ceremony on Sunday, Aug. 12.

>>U.S. Women's Basketball Seeks Fifth Straight Gold Medal

(London)  --  The U.S. women's basketball team begins its quest for a fifth straight Olympic gold medal today.  The Americans play Croatia in a Group A match at 11:45 a.m. Eastern.  The U.S. squad enters London with a 33-game Olympic winning streak dating back to their bronze medal triumph over Cuba in 1992.  Team USA is 50-and-3 with a record six gold medals since women's basketball became a medal sport in Montreal in 1976.  This year's team is anchored by WNBA leading-scorer Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream.  Fellow WNBA'ers Diana Taurasi, Tina Charles and Sylvia Fowles are also part of a roster that includes six former UConn players and head coach Geno Auriemma.

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NBA: Bulls Sign Mohammed; Three Team Deal Done

>>Bulls Sign Mohammed

The Chicago Bulls have signed free agent center Nazr Mohammed.  The 14-year NBA veteran played for the Oklahoma City Thunder last season. He appeared in 63 games, averaging 2.7 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.  Mohammed is a 35-year-old Chicago native who's also played for Charlotte, Detroit, San Antonio, New York, Atlanta and Philadelphia. Since being picked by Utah in the 1998 NBA Draft, he's been on eight playoff teams, including the 2005 NBA Champion Spurs.  He's averaged 6.6 points and 5.2 rebounds per game in 834 career games.  The Bulls didn't disclose terms of the contract Friday.

>>Suns, Hornets, Wolves Make Big Deal

The  Phoenix Suns,  New Orleans Hornets and Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed
on  a multi-player  trade that will send forward Wes Johnson from Minnesota to
Phoenix  and center Robin Lopez and forward Hakim Warrick from the Suns to New
Orleans. The swap also sends retiring center Brad Miller, and his $5.1 million
expiring  contract, and  guard  Jerome Dyson  from the  Hornets  to the  Suns.
Phoenix  also gets  a future first-round pick from Minnesota, while the Wolves
pick up a pair of second-round picks (2013 and 2016) from New Orleans.

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NASCAR: Sprint Cup Series Heads To The Brickyard

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to The Brickyard this weekend for Sunday's Crown Royal 400.  Paul Menard recorded his first ever Sprint Cup Series win last season after he conserved enough fuel to hold off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon in the closing laps to take one of the most prestigious events of the season.  With the win, Menard became the first driver to win his maiden Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis.  The Sprint Cup Series was off last weekend.  Kasey Kahne [[ Kane ]] won at New Hampshire two weeks ago.  Matt Kenseth holds a 16-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the Cup Standings.  Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin round out the top-five.

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MLB: Cards Club Cubs; Sox Romp Rangers; Greinke Traded

>>Five Homers Carry Cards Past Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Matt Carpenter's solo homer snapped a 6-all tie in the fourth inning as the Cardinals outslugged the Cubs, 9-6.  Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, Lance Berkman and Allen Craig also homered for St. Louis, which won its fourth in-a-row.  Despite allowing six runs in five innings, starter Lance Lynn moved to 13-and-4 with the win.  Jason Motte posted his 23rd save.  Anthony Rizzo went 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI for Chicago.  Travis Wood started and lost for the Cubs.

>>Cubs' Garza Out Until After Trade Deadline

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza is being shut down until after next week's trade deadline.  The right-hander is suffering from cramping in his triceps, with an MRI revealing slight fluid buildup in the area.  Garza has been the subject of trade speculation, with the non-waiver trade deadline at 4 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday.  The 28-year-old is 5-and-7 with a 3.91 ERA this season.

>>Brewers Trade Greinke To Angels

(Undated)  --  Starting pitcher Zack Greinke [[ GRAIN-kee ]] is joining the Los Angeles Angels.  The Milwaukee Brewers traded the former AL Cy Young Award winner to the Halos on Friday for shortstop Jean Segura and minor league pitchers Ariel Pena and Johnny Hellweg.  All three are considered top-10 prospects in L.A.'s farm system.  Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin told "USA Today" on Thursday they would trade Greinke.  The 28-year-old is 9-and-3 with a 3.44 ERA this season.

MLB NL
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St. Louis Cardinals 9, Chicago Cubs 6
San Diego Padres 7, Miami Marlins 2
Atlanta Braves 6, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Houston Astros 5
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Washington Nationals 0
Cincinnati Reds 3, Colorado Rockies 0
Arizona Diamondbacks 11, New York Mets 5
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, San Francisco Giants 3 (10 inn)


>>ChiSox Sink Rangers

(Arlington, TX)  --  Kevin Youkilis and Alexei Ramirez each lifted a two-run home run to help the White Sox sink the Rangers, 9-5.  Alex Rios added three runs batted in for Chicago, which has won four straight.  Chris Sale improved to 12-and-3 after giving up five runs in six-and-a-third frames.  Yu Darvish gave up six total runs in six-and-a-third innings for the loss.  Nelson Cruz belted a three-run homer for Texas, which has alternated wins and losses the last six games.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 10, Boston Red Sox 3
Oakland Athletics 14, Baltimore Orioles 9
Toronto Blue Jays 8, Detroit Tigers 3
Chicago White Sox 9, Texas Rangers 5
Minnesota Twins 11, Cleveland Indians 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3, Tampa Bay Rays 1
Seattle Mariners 6, Kansas City Royals 1

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Vote On State Employee Pensions Possible Next Month

(Springfield, IL)  --  It's still uncertain, but Illinois House members might take up a bill next month to restructure pensions for state workers and lawmakers.  They'll return to work on August 17th to vote on whether to expel indicted Representative Derrick Smith of Chicago.  The measure was passed by the state Senate before lawmakers adjourned on May 31st.

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Traffic Fatalities Increase In State

(Undated)  --  Fatal traffic crashes in the state are on an upswing.  More than 540 fatalities have been recorded so far this year.  That's just over 50 more deaths than last year at this time.  Some 159 of the fatal crashes were alcohol related.  That's about one-in-four of the fatalities.  Distracted driving, such as texting, account for ten-percent of the fatalities.

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Library Director To Spend Six Years In Prison

(Pontiac, IL)  --  A six-year prison sentence has been handed down to the former director of the Pontiac and Odell libraries.  Eric Colclasure pleaded guilty in May to four counts of theft.  Authorities say he stole over 30-thousand dollars from the Odell Library.  He's required to give the money back within two years of being released from prison.  Colclasure could be released from prison before his term is up, if he receives credit for good behavior.

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Woman Is Questioned After Man Is Shot Twice

(Sangamon County, IL)  --  Authorities are questioning a woman after a man was found shot twice this morning in Sangamon County.  Officials say Naomi L. Painter could be charged with aggravated battery with a firearm as well as aggravated discharge of a firearm.  Deputies were called to North Grand Avenue East, where they found the man with gunshot wounds.  His injuries were not considered life-threatening but he was taken to a hospital for surgery.

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Peoria Man Held On Bomb Charge

(Peoria, IL)  --  A South Peoria man is facing up to 15 years in prison after being charged with putting a homemade bomb on a house porch Wednesday night.  Thaddis Wilson was taken to the Peoria County Jail.  The resident of the house at 716 McBean Street told police she heard the doorbell ring just before the bomb went off.  A preliminary hearing will be held August 23rd.

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Man Arrested For Downloading Child Porn

(Decatur, IL)  --  A Mason County man is behind bars and charged with six counts of aggravated possession of child pornography.  Fred Tribbett, from Kilbourne, was arrested at his home on West Birch Street yesterday as part of Operation Glass House.  That's Attorney General Lisa Madigan's undercover sting which cracks down on those who download and trade child pornography online.  Investigators have tracked about 32-hundred IP addresses trading child porn in the past four months.  Thirty four people have been arrested for the crimes.  Tribbett, who is already a convicted sex offender, faces up to 90 years in prison. 

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Seniors Encouraged To Stay Cool

Senior citizens need to take special precautions to avoid overheating in hot weather.

The hot, humid weather is hard on everyone, but it is especially hard on senior citizens. Dr. Nichole Mirocha (Maroka), assistant professor of family and community medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains why hot weather can be harmful to the elderly.

[audio:siuhotseniors1.mp3][/audio]

Dr. Mirocha says to stay cool, seniors should stay in the shade, and use fans and air conditioning. If their home is not air conditioned, they should go to a mall, a cooling center, or a friend or family member’s home that has air conditioning. She says some health conditions cause even more concern in the hot weather.

[audio:siuhotseniors2.mp3][/audio]

Dr. Mirocha reminds family members and friends to check on seniors several times a day during heat waves to make sure they are okay. If someone has symptoms of overheating such as dizziness, a feeling that their heart is racing, or shortness of breath, they should be taken quickly to a primary care physician or hospital emergency department.

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Boil Water Order Is Lifted For Mechanicsburg-Buffalo Customers

(Mechanicsburg, IL)  --  A boil order has been lifted for Mechanicsburg-Buffalo Water Commission customers.  The order was removed today after it was set Wednesday due to two water main breaks.  Buffalo customers noticed the first break Wednesday morning east of Buffalo Mechanicsburg Road, south of Interstate 72.  The second break was in Mechanicsburg later, and it was fixed but more people were added to the boil order.

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Law Enforcement Agencies View Colorado Massacre As Reasons For Preparation

The tragedy of the Colorado theater massacre is certainly an unfortunate event, however, local law enforcement agencies do not wait on tragedy to strike to prepare.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains as he is watching footage of unfortunate events such as what happened in Colorado, there are several things he looks for. He says he looks to see how law enforcement in other places deals with these situations, their command structure and the ways each agency works together.

[audio:72712coloradoprepare1.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff believes the Columbine massacre and 9/11 are two events that have changed the way law enforcement responds to events such as these. He says post-Columbine, the planning of dealing with violent events is continuous.

[audio:72712coloradoprepare2.mp3] [/audio]

Earlier this week, Sheriff's deputies took part in a shooter training. Sheriff Shofner explains, a few months ago one of his deputies took part in training to train other officers in the preparedness. He notes this training is not in response to the recent Colorado shooting, as it was planned a month ago.

[audio:72712coloradoprepare3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheriff Shofner says the preparation for events like these is ongoing. He notes they hope the call never comes for these events, but according to the Sheriff, "hope is not a plan".

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Ex-NBA Player To Stand Trial For Incident In IL

(Danville, IL) -- An ex-professional basketball player accused of having a rifle in his Danville home will stand trial. Convicted felon Keon Clark will go on trial this November in Vermilion County Circuit Court. The "News-Gazette" says Clark faces charges including possession of a weapon while on parole. Clark could get up to 24 years behind bars if convicted of all charges. The former Utah Jazz player is already serving time for violating his parole while a drug charge in 2007 resulted in a two-year prison sentence.

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Controversial Health Screenings Coming Soon

(Springfield, IL) -- Health screenings some are calling controversial are now available at a Springfield-area hospital. Saint John's lent the name of its renowned heart programs to an Ohio firm's new type of cardiovascular screening. The screenings have met scrutiny from federal health officials and the American Heart Association. The series of five screenings will cost patients 150-dollars and will be offered at Saint John's Hospital in addition to YMCAs and municipal centers in Springfield and Petersburg on August 7th and 8th.

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'Honest Abe' Bust Returns To Lincoln Hall

(Urbana, IL) -- The bust of an Illinois icon is back where it belongs. University of Illinois iron workers spent parts of yesterday re-installing a bust of Abraham Lincoln on a marble staircase outside Lincoln Hall's ornate theater. The "News -Gazette" says the bust was removed from the theater for a year while crews finished a 58-million-dollar restoration project. For about seven-thousand-dollars the bust of "Honest Abe" was restored to remove any dings, nicks and something experts call "bronze disease."

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First Set Of Inmates Moved From Tamms

(Tamms, IL) -- The first set of Tamms inmates have been moved to a new facility. Thirty minimum security inmates were transferred to the Hardin County Work Camp at Cave-In-Rock yesterday. It's all a part of Governor Quinn's plan to close Tamms by the end of next month. Prison workers and union members are not happy about the move, claiming it will create dangerous situations for inmates and staff inside the prisons where inmates will be transferred.

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Possible Attempted First Degree Murder Charge For Burglar

(Pontiac, IL) -- Prosecutors say an attempted first degree murder charge is still possible for a Pontiac man accused of breaking into some residences and trying to shoot someone. So far, Andrew Fosdick has been charged with home invasion, aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, possessing a firearm without a FOID card and reckless discharge of a firearm. Authorities say Fosdick pointed a gun at a woman, telling her he would shoot if she called police. His gun reportedly clicked but would not fire. Livingston County Judge Robert Travers set Fosdick's bail at one million dollars, which means he must post 100-thousand to be released from jail.

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Tractors Join The Fight Against Cancer

(Flat Rock, IL) -- Tractors will take to the roads of Crawford County tomorrow in the Tractor Drive Against Cancer. Stephen Miller is organizing the event and he hopes it will grow in its second year. He says they had 51 tractors last year and raised about 30-thousand dollars. Participants will enjoy food, a concert, and a benefit auction to help raise money in the fight against cancer. They'll also have a shot at winning a 1943 tractor that's been restored with a grey and pink color scheme and signed by people touched by cancer.

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Lt. Gov. Touts Rural Report

A recent tour of rural areas by Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon has resulted in a report that shows residents expect their quality of life to improve.

The report from the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs at Western Illinois University was released Thursday. It details feedback Simon received from citizens during her spring rural listening tour.

Simon visited places like Freeport, Gibson City, Mattoon and Quincy. Citizens cited job creation, education funding and access to affordable health care as top issues.

More than 360 people attended Simon's meetings statewide. Their concerns include the ability of schools to prepare students for the workforce and high-speed Internet access

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Quinn Signs Environmental Laws

There's new environmental legislation on the books in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed three laws Thursday aimed at protecting ecosystems from invasive species, improving recycling and promoting green technology in plumbing.

The governor says the measures reflect a shared "responsibility to do what we can to protect our natural resources."

1 of the laws establishes a task force to review recycling and solid waste management practices. It will have two years to deliver recommendations for improvement to the governor and the General Assembly.

That measure also sets out recycling and composting standards.

Another new law requires aquatic plants and animals to be removed from the exteriors of seaplanes and watercraft before they move from one body of water to another. That's to protect aquatic ecosystems from invasive species.

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Champaign Co. Fair Brings Weekend Fun

(Champaign, IL) -- If you're looking for summertime fun this weekend check out the Champaign County Fair. A carnival opens along the Midway at 5 this evening while tonight's feature event is a monster truck rally at 7. Tomorrow is "Youth Day" at the fair and features tractor pulls at 11 a.m. and again at 5 p.m. when the Illinois Championship Semi-Truck Pull takes center stage.

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West Nile Cases Up

Hot, dry weather in the Midwest has created the perfect conditions for mosquitoes that carry West Nile Virus.

The Culex mosquito breeds in still-damp ditches and underground storm water basins.

Indiana, Ohio and Illinois are reporting higher rates of infected mosquitoes compared with past years. More infected mosquitoes means a higher West Nile risk for humans. Illinois and Oklahoma report earlier-than-usual cases of human infection.

What's more, the dry weather means the pesky floodwater mosquito is scarce. That makes people think mosquitoes aren't a problem and gives the Culex mosquito a chance to sneak up and bite.

Health officials urge people to wear insect repellent though they may not be noticing biting mosquitoes.

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Decatur Only IL Metro Area To See Unemployment Rise

The June unemployment rate saw a significant increase in only 1 of Illinois' 12 metro areas as Decatur's rate increased from 10.5% in 2011 to 11% last month.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security reported Thursday that the state's other metro areas essentially remained the same or saw decreases. The largest decline was in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area where the June unemployment rate dropped 1.5%age points to 9.4%.

The Kankakee-Bradley area dropped 0.9%age point to 11.2%, and Rockford also was down 0.9 of a point to 11.5%.

Employment Security Director Jay Rowell says manufacturing and other private-sector job growth are pushing the Illinois economy to "an uneven recovery." But he calls the steady progress in the state "encouraging."

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New Piatt County Museum Progressing

The Piatt County Museum is busy constructing their new building next to the Monticello Railway Museum.

The Piatt County Museum was able to purchase three acres of land from the Railway museum and is currently building an education center. Piatt County Museum's Director of Development Peg Bargone feels having the two museums close to each other will benefit both museums.

[audio:72712museum1.mp3][/audio]

Bargone says putting the two close together will also help attract new people to each museum. She hopes people will be interested in going to one museum, and then decide to go to the other since it's right there. She also sees the new location as a good thing, since there is a lot to do outside of the museums in that area.

[audio:72712museum2.mp3][/audio]

The new museum is being completely funded by members and donations. Bargone adds the museum gets no help from the state, and the entire museum is privately funded. She says the community has shown a lot of support.

[audio:72712museum3.mp3][/audio]

The museum will hold a fund raiser on Saturday, Sept. 8 with dinner and music. It will be the first time for people to see the inside of the new museum.

For more information on the museum, visit www.piattmuseum.org.

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DJWH Board Still Debating Overnight Ambulance Situation

The discussion of overnight ambulance coverage was heard once again by the Dr. John Warner Hospital Board of Directors.

Last year the hospital took a cost saving measure of reducing overnight ambulance coverage to having one ambulance overnight. Prior to that announcement, CEO of the Dr. John Warner Hospital Earl Sheehy explains the hospital had outside services come in and analyze their situation. The feedback was overwhelming, there was no need for two ambulances overnight.

[audio:72712overnightambulance1.mp3][/audio]

The data used to support the decision of having one ambulance overnight is holding true to this point. Sheehy says having one ambulance overnight is not an all the time occurrence. He points to this past Monday when the hospital saw some equipment failure, as a precaution they put an extra crew on overnight, however, neither crew left the hospital.

[audio:72712overnightambulance2.mp3][/audio]

Sheehy says if you look at the numbers, DeWitt County has three ambulances, including Farmer City, covering the county with a population of just over 16-thousand. He says if you look at Chicago, where they have 55 ambulances covering several million, the numbers certainly favor DeWitt County.

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NBA: 2012-2013 Schedules Released

>>Bulls Schedule Released

(Undated) -- The 2012-13 NBA schedule was released yesterday. The regular-season slate was revealed in a one-hour show on NBA TV. The Chicago Bulls kick off their campaign on Wednesday, October 31st against the Sacramento Kings at the United Center. They play their first road game on Friday, November 2nd at Cleveland. The Bulls wrap up their regular season slate on Wednesday, April 17th at home versus Washington.

>>Pacers Schedule Released

(Undated) -- The 2012-13 NBA schedule was released yesterday. The regular-season slate was revealed in a one-hour show on NBA TV. The Indiana Pacers kick off their campaign on Wednesday, October 31st at Toronto. They play their home-opener on Saturday, November 3rd against the Sacramento Kings. The Pacers wrap up their regular-season slate on Wednesday, April 17th at home versus Philadelphia.

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Sprint Cup Series Heads To The Brickyard

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to The Brickyard this weekend for Sunday's Crown Royal 400.  Paul Menard recorded his first ever Sprint Cup Series win last season after he conserved enough fuel to hold off a hard-charging Jeff Gordon in the closing laps to take one of the most prestigious events of the season.  With the win, Menard became the first driver to win his maiden Sprint Cup race at Indianapolis.  The Sprint Cup Series was off last weekend.  Kasey Kahne [[ Kane ]] won at New Hampshire two weeks ago.  Matt Kenseth holds a 16-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the Cup Standings.  Greg Biffle, Jimmie Johnson and Denny Hamlin round out the top-five.

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NFL: Rams & Colts Camp Update

>>Rams' Vets Report Saturday

(Earth City, MO) -- Veterans of the St. Louis Rams report to camp tomorrow. Rookies reported earlier this week. The Rams have 15 practices open to the public this season. The first is Sunday afternoon. A team scrimmage is also open to the public on August 4th at the Edward Jones Dome. The Rams open the preseason August 12th at Indianapolis.

>>Colts Report To Training Camp This Weekend

(Anderson, IN) -- The Indianapolis Colts are expected to report to training camp on Saturday at Anderson University. The team's rookies already reported to pre-training camp on Wednesday. Indianapolis plays its first preseason game on Sunday, August 12th against St. Louis at Lucas Oil Stadium.

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NFL: Bears Acquire Price; Put Knox On PUP; Camp Update

>>Bears Acquire DT Price

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Chicago Bears have acquired defensive tackle Brian Price from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for an undisclosed 2013 draft pick. Price, the 35th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, started 14 of the 15 games he played last season and 14 of the 20 in his career. The 6-foot-1, 303-pound UCLA alum registered 24 tackles and three sacks in 2011.

>>Bears Place Knox On PUP List

(Bourbonnais, IL) -- The Chicago Bears have placed wide receiver Johnny Knox on the physically unable to perform list as he continues to rehab from back surgery. Knox said there is still no timetable for his full recovery. Knox suffered a fractured vertebra which reacquired surgery on December 18th in a game against the Seattle Seahawks.

The Bears held their first training camp practice yesterday afternoon at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais. Chicago's first preseason game is on Thursday, August 9th in the Windy City against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

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MLB: Cards Win; Cubs & Sox Idle

>>Cards Dump Dodgers

(St. Louis, MO) -- David Freese and Tony Cruz plated two runs apiece as the Cardinals cruised to a 7-4 win over the Dodgers. Jake Westbrook struck out six over seven innings of four-run ball to improve to 9-and-8 on the season. Jason Motte [[ Mott ]] fanned the side in the ninth to nail down his 22nd save. Matt Holliday clubbed a solo homer, and Allen Craig and Matt Carpenter also knocked in runs, as St. Louis took three-of-four from Los Angeles at Busch Stadium.

>>Cubs Host Cards

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Cubs are back at the Friendly Confines this afternoon as they open up a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Travis Wood will toe the rubber against Lance Lynn in the opener. The Northsiders took two-of-three at Pittsburgh in their last series, but dropped Wednesday's finale to fall to 40-and-57 on the season.

>>White Sox In Arlington

(Arlington, TX) -- The Chicago White Sox are in Arlington this evening to kick off a three-game series against the Texas Rangers. Chris Sale gets the nod opposite Yu [[ You ]] Darvish in the opener. The Southsiders are coming off a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins to improve to 53-and-45 on the season.

MLB NL
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St. Louis Cardinals 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 4
Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Houston Astros 3
Washington Nationals 8, Milwaukee Brewers 2
New York Mets 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 1

MLB AL
------
Baltimore Orioles 6, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Toronto Blue Jays 10, Oakland Athletics 4
Cleveland Indians 5, Detroit Tigers 3
Seattle Mariners 4, Kansas City Royals 1

 

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New Light Bulb Regulations Coming In 2013

Big changes will be coming on a consumer's choice of light bulbs.

Many common light bulbs, such as the 65 watt incandescents, will no longer be manufactured by the end of next year. Ace Hardware Partner and Manager John Heap says there will be replacements and alternatives for all of the light bulbs that will no longer be manufactured. Heap encourages people to look around their houses and businesses and see if they want to stock up now on light bulbs or wait for the changes to happen.

[audio:72812bulbs1.mp3][/audio]

Some bulbs have already been stopped manufactured, and many will be stopped at the end of the year. There is a variety of bulbs that are being discontinued, and they include incandescents, fluorescents and flood lights.

[audio:72812bulbs2.mp3][/audio]

Heap says even though the alternative light bulbs will be more expensive now, companies have been working to lower the pricing of the new bulbs. He adds the new bulbs last longer and use less energy, so consumers won't have to purchase them as often and energy bills will go down.

[audio:72812bulbs3.mp3][/audio]

The changes are coming due to an energy saving movement by the government. The new light bulbs take up only a third or fourth of the energy today's standard bulbs use.

For more information on the light bulb changes and to figure out which light bulb replaces the one you currently use, call Ace Hardware at 217-935-9491 or visit the store on the corner of Madison and Washington in Clinton.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report For 7-27-12

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Department reports....

John Miller, 30, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with failure to appear. Miller posted the necessary bond and was released.

Devon Majors, 21, Cerro Gordo, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with failure to appear on two counts of aggravated battery. Majors, posted the necessary bond, and was released.

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Drought Conditions Allow for Haying and Grazing

As drought conditions worsen across much of Illinois, some local producers could be eligible for emergency haying or grazing of acres enrolled in the federal CRP program.  Jared White has more...

[audio:72312FSAEmergencyGrazingWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

And some breaking news on the Emergency Haying & Grazing of CRP lands....The FSA has now approved counties at a D2 level on the U.S. Drought Monitor for emergency haying and grazing to start IMMEDIATELY.  They don’t have to wait until August 2nd.  Also, producers are allowed to sell the hay.

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Farmer City Fair Names Pageant Queen

 width=The Farmer City Fair named a Blue Ridge Alum as pageant queen.

Danielle Burge won the Fair Queen title. She will have a lot of duties throughout the next year, including a state pageant next January. During this past week's Farmer City 4-H Fair, she tried to be present at as many events as possible.

Cut1: Queen1    :21    cue: very busy year.

Burge says the pageant judges tested her on how well she could handle pressure. She adds there were a lot of questions she was asked that she didn't know much about, but she was honest with the judges and gave the best answer she could.

Cut2: Queen2    :30    cue: best bet.

The soon to be Illinois State University student feels there's more that goes into pagents than people think. Burge says she attended sessions to help with poise and posture. She also had to prepare a speech, find a sponsor, and go through interviews to prepare for the pageant.

Cut3:Queen3    :19    cue: things like that.

Burge encourages all girls to participate in a pageant at some time in her life. She says she gained a lot of confidence in the two-month process.

Zoey McCartney was named the junior queen pageant.

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NBA Schedule To Be Released

The 2012-13 NBA schedule will be released today.  The regular-season slate will be revealed in a one-hour show on NBA TV at 7 p.m. Eastern.  That's when Opening Night and Christmas Day matchups will also be unveiled.

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Cubs, Dempster Loss; Cards Walk-Off; Sox Sweep, Youk Injured

Pirates Salvage Series Finale Against Cubs
(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Mike McKenry clubbed a game-tying solo home run in the fifth frame and Garrett Jones added a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth as the Pirates edged the Cubs, 3-2, yesterday afternoon at PNC Park.  Anthony Rizzo smacked a solo homer and added an RBI single for Chicago.  Ryan Dempster gave up all three runs through six frames of duty to suffer the loss.  The Cubs have dropped four of their last six games.  They are off today.  Chicago kicks off a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals tomorrow afternoon at Wrigley Field.

Braves No Longer Pursuing Cubs' Dempster
(Atlanta, GA)  --  The Atlanta Braves are no longer in pursuit of Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster.  Braves general manager Frank Wren says they are moving on and it's highly unlikely that a trade will happen.  Reports surfaced on Monday that the Cubs had traded Dempster to the Braves, but the veteran right-hander denied them via Twitter and said he would rather play for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The 35-year-old holds 10-and-5 rights in his contract and can veto any proposed deal.  He is 5-and-5 this season with a 2.25 ERA.  The trade deadline is Tuesday, July 31st.

Cards Walk-Off On Dodgers
(St. Louis, MO)  --  Rafael Furcal hit an RBI single to left in the bottom of the 12th to send the Cardinals to a 3-2 win over the Dodgers.  Starter Kyle Lohse [[ lowsh ]] knocked in a run with a sac fly.  He gave up two runs in seven innings for a no-decision.  Fernando Salas earned the win for St. Louis, which earned at least a series split with this victory.  Jake Westbrook gets the nod opposite Chris Capuano in this afternoon's series finale.

White Sox Sweep Twins
(Chicago, IL)  --  Dayan Viciedo [[ vee-see-AYE-doh ]] went 3-for-4 with a two-run homer and four RBI as the White Sox completed a three-game sweep of the Twins with an 8-2 win in yesterday afternoon's finale at The Cell.  Alex Rios smashed a two-run home run and Kevin Youkilis added an RBI single before leaving the game early with a sprained ankle.  Jake Peavy tossed six innings of two-run ball to improve to 8-and-7 on the season.  The Southsiders are off today.  They head to Arlington tomorrow evening to kick off a three-game series against the Texas Rangers.  Chris Sale gets the nod opposite Yu [[ You ]] Darvish in the opener.

Youkilis Leaves With Sprained Ankle
(Chicago, IL)  --  White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis left Wednesday's matinee against the Minnesota Twins in the fourth inning due to a sprained ankle.  He is listed as day-to-day.  Youkilis went 1-for-2 with an RBI single before leaving the game.  In 24 games with the White Sox since being acquired from Boston, Youkilis is hitting .272 with five home runs and 19 RBI.

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Bears Hold First Training Camp Practice

(Bourbonnais, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears have their first training camp practice this afternoon.  The team reported to camp yesterday at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais.  Chicago's first preseason game is on Thursday, August 9th in the Windy City against Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-25

July 26, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

 Nicole Terry, 25, Clinton, was arrested and charged with a Violation of Court Supervision. Terry being un-able to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Ashley Spriggs, 31, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Disorderly Conduct. Spriggs, being unable to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 0202 p.m. on Wednesday, July 25, revealed that a vehicle driven by Trystian Boring, 17, Lane, was traveling southbound on Regan Rd. at the intersection of Washington Road. Boring turned left onto Washington Road and spun out losing control. Boring left the roadway and entered the ditch, striking a sign. In an attempt to keep on the roadway, Boring overcorrected, turning into the ditch. Boring had no visible signs of injuries and did not report any on scene. Boring was issued a citation for improper lane usage and released.

 

 

 

 

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

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Sheriff Reports Four Hurt In Southern Illinois Oil Field Blast

A southern Illinois sheriff says four people were injured after an oil-field explosion perhaps sparked by a welding job.

White County Sheriff Doug Maier says injuries to three victims burned during the blast Tuesday near Norris City were "very serious." They were hospitalized. A spokeswoman for El Dorado's Ferrell Hospital, Heather Morris, says 1 of those victims was transferred to another hospital with burns over half of his body.

The fourth victim was treated at the El Dorado hospital and released.

The sheriff says a preliminary investigation shows welders were working on a tank when something ignited. Norris City firefighters quickly doused the blaze.

State fire investigators are assisting in the probe.

Norris City is a 1,000-resident village near the Illinois-Indiana state line, about 50 miles west of Evansville, Ind.

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Several Legislators Against Moving Inmates Out of Illinois

Several legislators are criticizing Gov. Pat Quinn's administration for considering moving some prison inmates out of Illinois.

Democratic state Rep. Brandon Phelps of Harrisburg says consideration of the plan indicates the Corrections Department does not believe Illinois' surviving prisons will be able to handle all the inmates moved from Tamms Correctional Center if it closes.

Quinn has said he wants to close Tamms and the all-female Dwight Correctional Center on Aug. 31 to save an estimated $48 million.

Documents obtained by the Journal Gazette & Times Courier show at least nine inmates could be sent to prisons outside of Illinois in exchange for prisoners from that state.

Jerry Buscher of the Illinois Department of Corrections says an agreement on a transfer plan hasn't been worked out with other states.

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Quinn Defends Tamms Closure

Governor Pat Quinn says he doesn't believe that closing prisons will have an impact on public safety.  The governor says the Tamms prison is only about half full and it costs three times more to house inmates there than any other prison in Illinois.  He says he plans to go ahead with closing down the prison despite the fact that others want to keep it open.

[audio:rdd0724QuinnTamms.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois prison guards have been opposed to the closure.  They say that moving the inmates to other prisons will just lead to more overcrowding and put the safety of guards and inmates in jeopardy.

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Tiger At Peoria Zoo Gives Birth To Four Cubs

A tiger at the Peoria Zoo has given birth to four cubs.

Zoo officials announced the births Tuesday and said they are the first tiger cub births at the Peoria Zoo in more than 30 years. Officials say Kyra, a female tiger, had the babies at the end of June. The cubs' father is the male tiger Vaska, who was brought in from the Minnesota Zoo last December to breed with Kyra.

There are two female and two male cubs. They weighed between 3½ and 5½ pounds on a July 10 checkup.

The mother and cubs will stay inside until the babies are old enough to safely navigate the outdoor exhibit. Zoo officials say that should be in several weeks.

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Bar Association Fines University of Illinois Law School

The American Bar Association has taken the unprecedented step of fining the University of Illinois' law school $250,000 for posting false entrance exam scores and grades in marketing materials to improve the school's image.

The Bar Association announced Tuesday that it is also censuring the College of Law and will require that it hire someone to monitor the admissions data for the 2012-13 and 2013-14 school years.

The university said in a statement it was disappointed and believes it has already taken adequate corrective action.

The university has said that former Admissions Dean Paul Pless inflated incoming students' grades and entrance-exam results for several years. That data are used to help determine the school's place in the influential U.S. News & World Report rankings.

Pless resigned last fall.

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Decatur Man Sentenced To 8 Years In Fatal DUI

A judge in central Illinois has sentenced a 31-year-old Decatur man to eight years in prison for driving drunk during an accident that killed a Bloomington man in December.

Brayone Murff pleaded guilty to being under the influence of alcohol and drugs when his 1999 Lexus struck a Chevrolet Impala. The crash killed Tony Buck, who was riding in the backseat of Murff's car. The accident also injured two people in the other car.

Murff on Monday also was ordered to pay more than $178,000 in restitution to cover the victims' medical costs.

McLean County Assistant State's Attorney Matthew Banach says Murff admitted to drinking brandy before the crash and also tested positive for the main chemical substance in marijuana.

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Bloomington Council Approves New Water Ordinance

The Bloomington City Council has approved a new drought ordinance that sets voluntary and mandatory water use restrictions.

The measure approved Monday night also doubles the fines for people who violate the ordinance during an extreme drought. A first offense will now carry a $100 fine, while a second offense carries a $200 fine and all subsequent offenses will bring a $500 penalty.

The ordinance specifies what lake levels trigger increased water use restrictions.

Voluntary restrictions begin when the combined level of Evergreen Lake and Lake Bloomington is 8 feet below normal. Mandatory restrictions kick in when those lake levels are 10 feet below normal.

Water Director Craig Cummings says the lake levels on Monday were 5.8 feet below normal.

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Quinn Wants Pension Reform In August

Governor Pat Quinn says he wants the Illinois House to take up pension reforms when they return to Springfield in August.  The House is going to convene August 17th and will decide the fate of indicted Representative Derrick Smith.  Quinn says they should also take up pension reform.

[audio:rdd0724QuinnPension.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says getting pension reform done will help the state's economy and help its bond rating. He believes they can reach a bipartisan compromise for pension reform.  Lawmakers have been studying how pensions would impact school districts.  Quinn believes that individual units of government should be responsible for retirement funding.

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Richland's HVAC Program Readies Technicians For Market In Demand

Richland Community College's Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC) has noticed a need for more certified technicians.

According to Program Director Lynn Hudson, certified HVAC technicians are becoming a need around the industry. He says the baby boomer technicians are getting ready to retire and with heating and air conditioning units being more popular than ever, there is a need for those positions to be filled. Hudson adds, its not the family business that it use to be and many companies are reaching outside of their families to hire technicians.

[audio:72312RCC1.mp3] [/audio]

Richland's HVAC program gives students two options to get their degrees. They have an option between a fast track program or a traditional program. The traditional program is primarily night classes, and a person usually has 2 certificates within 3 years, where as the fast track is day classes and can get a student 2 certificates in 9 months.

[audio:72312RCC2.mp3] [/audio]

Anyone who is just curious about the field and is looking for a career change would be good for the program. Hudson notes basic knowledge of tools is needed, but the program teaches a lot of hand  and analytical skills that are needed to be a technician.

[audio:72312RCC3.mp3] [/audio]

Hudson explains students vary in age and life experience. His students' ages  range from right out of high school to someone in their late forties. With this large variance in age, he makes it his goal to take students through step by step to learn how to fix appliances. Students can currently sign up for fall classes, which start on Aug. 20.

For more information on the program or to inquire about signing up, call Richland at 217-875-7200 and ask for a HVAC counselor.

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Lincoln, Logan County Residents Deadline For Low Electric Rates Decision Nearing

Logan County residents will have a choice to be making soon about their electric provider.

A decision that was approved by Logan County voters allows city governments to go out for bid for better electric rates. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains those bids have come back and they have approved to have Integrys Energy Services provide Lincoln and Logan County residents with their energy needs. All along in the process, Mayor Snyder has made clear residents can opt out of the program, however, the deadline to do so is nearing.

[audio:72512lincolnrates1.mp3] [/audio]

Mt. Pulaski, Emden, and Atlanta amongst other small Logan County communities and a small number of Fulton County towns approved the measure for their towns. Mayor Snyder explains it was a collaborative effort by the Mayors of the towns along with the Logan County Board to go out for bid. Thanks to their efforts, Mayor Snyder speculates they have the cheapest energy rates in the state.

[audio:72512lincolnrates2.mp3] [/audio]

Part of Integrys' energy supply will come from renewable energy sources. Mayor Snyder explains the state of Illinois has set some guidlines for energy sources in Illinois to come from renewable energy by 2025, this will help Lincoln in those requirements.

[audio:72512lincolnrates3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Sndyer speculates when other area cities and towns see the savings they can realize through electric aggregation, many more towns will begin to take part in the process.

Integrys Energy Services is a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, a Fortune 500 company that currently manages over $10 billion of assets within the energy industry headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.

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NASCAR Notes

>>NASCAR Suspends Allmendinger Indefinitely

(Charlotte, NC)  --  NASCAR has suspended Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger indefinitely after a "B" sample urine test came back positive.  The test backed up the original violation of NASCAR's substance-abuse policy.  Allmendinger has claimed that he did not knowingly take a banned substance.  NASCAR would not identify exactly what Allmendinger tested positive for.  Sam Hornish Jr. will take over in the number-22 Penske Racing Dodge this weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Hornish Jr. is expected to have the seat for the remainder of the season.

>>Crew Chief Changes For Smith, Labonte

(Charlotte, NC)  --  Furniture Row Racing and JTG Daugherty Racing have announced a crew chief change for their single-car teams in the Sprint Cup Series, beginning with this weekend's Brickyard 400 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.  Veteran crew chief Todd Berrier has left Bobby Labonte's number-47 team at JTG Daugherty and moved over to Furniture Row where he will replace Pete Rondeau in the role at Regan Smith's number-78 team.

Berrier was also the general manager at JTG Daugherty, but the team has hired former Stewart-Haas Racing competition director Bobby Hutchens to take over that position.  David Hyder will be the interim crew chief for Labonte at Indianapolis.  Berrier had served as Kevin Harvick's crew chief at Richard Childress Racing for 11 years.

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U.S. Men's Basketball Beats Spain In Final Olympic Tuneup

The U.S. men's basketball team will head into the Summer Olympics unbeaten.  Team USA pulled away in the second half for a 100-78 win over Spain in its final Olympic tuneup on Tuesday.  It was a rematch of the 2008 gold medal game in Beijing, also won by the U.S.  New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony scored 23 of his 27 points in the first half for the Americans, who finished 5-and-0 in exhibition play.  Miami Heat star LeBron James added 25 points in the win.  The United States will open Olympic play with a preliminary round game against France on Sunday.

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MLB Trade Action, Talks Continue

>>Cubs' Dempster Felt "Blindsided" By Trade

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster will not make a decision on where he is traded until just before next week's deadline.  MLB.com reports that Dempster was "blindsided" by Monday's report that he was traded to the Atlanta Braves.  Dempster denied the trade via his Twitter account and told reporters he would rather play for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The 35-year-old holds 10-and-5 rights in his contract and can veto any proposed deal.  He is 5-and-4 this season and has an MLB-best 2.11 ERA.  The trade deadline is Tuesday, July 31st.  Dempster is scheduled to start this afternoon's series finale at Pittsburgh.

>>Dodgers Acquire Ramirez, Choate From Marlins

(Undated)  --  The Marlins continue to sell prior to next week's non-waiver trade deadline.  FOX Sports reports Miami has dealt infielder Hanley Ramirez and left-handed pitcher Randy Choate to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Nate Eovaldi and minor league prospect Scott McGough.  Ramirez is hitting .246 with 14 homers and 48 RBI this season for the Marlins.  Choate carries a 2.49 ERA with one save and 15 holds in 44 appearances this season.  Eovaldi has made 10 starts this season for L.A., going 1-and-6 with a 4.15 ERA.  On Monday, Miami traded pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante to the Tigers for three minor leaguers.

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All Locals Win

>>Maholm, Cubs Cruise Over Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Alfonso Soriano smacked a two-run homer to back eight stellar innings from Paul Maholm as the Cubs cruised to a 5-1 win over the Pirates.  Maholm struck out seven and allowed just one run on four hits to improve to 9-and-6 on the season.  Starlin Castro added a solo homer and David DeJesus had a two-run double for Chicago, which has won back-to-back games on the heels of a three-game slide.  Garrett Jones' solo homer in the fifth frame accounted for Pittsburgh's lone run of the game.  James McDonald gave up all five runs in six innings of duty to suffer the loss.  The Pirates have lost two in-a-row after winning five straight.

>>Cards Crush Dodgers

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Allen Craig's two-run double capped off a six-run sixth inning as the Cardinals crushed the Dodgers, 8-2.  Rafael Furcal went 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored, while Adam Wainwright plated two runs and scored twice for the Cards, who have won four of their last five games.  On the mound, Wainwright struck out seven over seven-and-a-third innings of two-run ball as he improved to 8-and-10.  Juan Rivera and Luis Cruz both drove in a run for LA, which had its five-game winning streak snapped.  Clayton Kershaw was rocked for eight runs in five-and-two-thirds as he fell to 7-and-6.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 7, Milwaukee Brewers 6
Atlanta Braves 4, Miami Marlins 3
Washington Nationals 5, New York Mets 2
Cincinnati Reds 4, Houston Astros 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Colorado Rockies 2
San Francisco Giants 3, San Diego Padres 2

>>White Sox Storm Past Twins

(Chicago, IL)  --  Adam Dunn went 3-for-4 with a homer, three runs and four RBI as the White Sox scored nine unanswered runs to rally for an 11-4 win over the Twins.  Alexei Ramirez clubbed a two-run homer and Paul Konerko added a solo shot for Chicago, which will try to sweep the three-game set Wednesday.  Nate Jones picked up the win in relief.  Josh Willingham homered twice and knocked in three for Minnesota.  Casey Fien allowed two runs and three hits without recording an out to take the loss.

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

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Clinton High School Renovations Continue To Progress

Construction continues to plug along at Clinton High School as remodels and renovations take place throughout the building.

 width=The most significant upgrades are happening in the high school's commons area. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes is excited about the changes happening there. He explains basically the entire place has been gutted and now the remodel begins.

[audio:72612CHSRenovations1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Some major changes are also happening in the gym. Dr. Holmes says there will now be a two color paint system, along with some insulation which should bring the echo of the PA system down.

[audio:72612CHSRenovations2.mp3] [/audio]

The districts plans to have the gym floor replaced are being put off for a year. Dr. Holmes explains though, the company will keep the price the same as what they have to do the work this year. Dr. Holmes says he is very pleased with the company the school brought in to work with them for the gym floor.

[audio:72612CHSRenovations3.mp3] [/audio]

The high school library is being renovated with new carpet, lighting, and a new ceiling. Furniture will arrive for the new library by early August for a more comfortable environment. These renovations are targeted to be complete by August 10.

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EIU, Faculty Reach Tentative Contract

Eastern Illinois University and its faculty union have reached a tentative labor agreement that will go up for a vote after the faculty returns to campus for the fall semester.

The 4-year agreement includes a 1.5% annual salary increase. It also includes a proposal to make the pay scale more uniform for teaching summer classes.

Union negotiator Grant Sterling and EIU President William Perry say it's the first time in years that a tentative deal has been reached before the current contract expires. The faculty's current deal expires on Aug. 31.

The proposed contract is scheduled for a faculty vote in late August or early September. The deal would then be presented to the university's Board of Trustees for a Sept. 21 vote.

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Hogan Is U of I's Top-Paid Springfield Employee

Former University of Illinois President Michael Hogan's new $285,100 professor's salary makes him the highest paid employee on the school's Springfield campus.

Only one other University of Illinois-Springfield employee makes more than $200,000 a year. That is Vice President and Chancellor Susan Koch at $220,000.

Hogan resigned as president under pressure from faculty unhappy over his management style and plans for the university. He became a history professor when his resignation as president took effect at the end of June but is first spending a year on sabbatical.

Among his new colleagues in the UIS history department only two make more than $100,000.

Hogan will teach two classes a year when he begins teaching in 2013. Most of his colleagues teach six.

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Illinois Sees Boost In Tourism During 2011

Illinois had a record number of visitors in 2011, with more than 93 million tourists visiting the state.

The Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity said Monday the state saw an 8.4% bump in tourism last year. Visitors generated $31.8 billion for the state economy. The more than 93 million visitors break the previous record of 91 million visitors in 2006. About 1.2 million tourists visited Illinois from abroad. That's up 6% and at its highest level since 2008.

State officials attribute the boost to the tourism industry's recovery from the recession.

More tourists visited Chicago in 2011 too. The city saw an 11.2% tourism boost in 2011 with 42.4 million visitors.

Gov. Pat Quinn says it's "no surprise" Illinois has attracted so many tourists.

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Hultgren: Mental Health, Not Guns Should Be Focus After CO Shootings

Wheaton-area Congressman Randy Hultgren wants people to be focused on mental health and not gun control after the Colorado theater massacre.

[audio:chihultgren1.mp3] [/audio]

Speaking at a job fair in Addison yesterday, Hultgren mourned the dozen who were killed in Friday's mass shooting.  His comments were echoed by Congressman Peter Roskam who doesn't think tough gun control is the way to go.

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Governor Opposes Concealed Carry

Governor Pat Quinn says he does not support concealed carry guns in Illinois.

[audio:rdd0724QuinnGuns1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn also wants a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

[audio:rdd0724QuinnGuns2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says he also supports a ban on assault weapons in Illinois.  The governor also believes that high-capacity magazines need to be regulated and prohibited.  He wants Illinois to be a leader and show the way on the gun control measures. Quinn's comments came after talking about the shootings at a Colorado movie theater.  He says people should pray for the victims and the people recovering from their injuries.

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Quinn Signs Law Cracking Down On Abuse Of Handicapped Parking

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS SIGNING TWO NEW LAWS TO FURTHER CRACK DOWN ON DRIVERS ABUSING HANDICAP PARKING SPOTS.

ONE OF THE LAWS ESTABLISHES A MINIMUM FINE OF 25-HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR THOSE WHO USE A DECEASED PERSON’S DISABILITY PLACARD TO GET A GOOD PARKING SPOT. IT WAS HEAVILY SUPPORTED BY SECRETARY OF STATE JESSE WHITE.

[audio:pkg1.mp3] [/audio]

THE OTHER LAW IMPOSES FEES ON DOCTORS WHO LIE TO HELP A PATIENT GET A HANDICAP PARKING PERMIT. THE CHANGE IS SUPPORTED BY REPRESENTATIVE KAREN YARBROUGH OF BROADVIEW.

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BOTH TAKE EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

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Drought Leads Decatur To Restrict Water Use

Less than a week after asking local residents to cut water use, city officials in Decatur have decided they won't give them a choice.

On Monday the city said it will is impose water-use restrictions on homes and most businesses starting Wednesday. Last week, city officials asked residents to voluntarily cut back. The drought that's drying out the region has lowered the level of Lake Decatur.

Lawns can be watered only a few days a week and washing vehicles is prohibited except at commercial car washes. Other restrictions include limiting restaurants to only serve water to customers on request.

City officials are encouraging local residents to report violations to the police. They also say further restrictions on water use are possible.

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Weekly Crop Report

THE DRY, HOT WEATHER CONTINUES TO TAKE A HEAVY TOLL ON ILLINOIS CROPS.

CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS 38 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW IN THE DOUGH STAGE.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

84 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 40 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. SCHWAB NOTES NEARLY HALF THE CROP IS RATED IN POOR TO VERY POOR CONDITION.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

TOPSOIL MOISTURE IS DECLINING…WITH JUST ONE PERCENT STATEWIDE RATED ADEQUATE…19 PERCENT SHORT…AND 80 PERCENT VERY SHORT. AVERAGE TOPSOIL MOISTURE NOW STANDS AT ONE PERCENT ADEQUATE…19 PERCENT SHORT…AND 80 PERCENT VERY SHORT.

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Farmer City Fair Wraps Up With Saturday Activities

The Farmer City Fair took place this past weekend at the Farmer City Fair grounds.

The Saturday portion of the fair included a horse show, a goat show and a chili cook. Griffen Jodlowski from Atlanta says there is a lot of preparing that goes into showing a goat and making sure it can produce good milk.

[audio:72412farmer1.mp3] [/audio]
 
Goat herder Duane Menigoz says he enjoys goats because they have personalities that can't be beat. He started owning goats as just pets, but after a while he got to showing them and has never taken them to the state fair. He says they want to please just as much as a horse does, and the people he meets while showing are another reason why he likes to show them.

[audio:72412farmer2.mp3] [/audio]

Horses had a large turn out at the fair with 20 classes being shown.  Kayla O'Neal says its common to run into a lot of the same people at different fairs. She feels even though they are up against each other in competition, they're still friends at the end of the day, and they want each other to do their best.

[audio:72412farmer3.mp3] [/audio]  

Kaitlyn Perry says she enjoys showing horses, but its not always up to the owner to how long they show a certain horse. Perry has experienced watching a horse stop caring about preparing for shows, and when they stop caring is when you should stop showing them.

[audio:72412farmer4.mp3] [/audio]

Along with the horse and goat show, the DeWitt County Fair consisted of a sheep show, chili cookoff, beef cattle show, picture contests, textiles and arts, culinary, and tractor pull.

For a full list of results, pictures and other fair recaps, click on the WHOW Fair Tour tab.

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DCRA Continues Making Significant Progress At Magill Hotel

The Magill Hotel has come a long ways the last few months, but the DeWitt County Resoration Association still has a little ways to go and is seeking community support to get there.

The 1872 hotel has been getting a facelift the last few months, and according to Chairperson of the DCRA, Becky Adams, they need help paying for some of the changes they are wanting to make. An artist from St. Louis came up and painted fake windows, and right now, they are trying to find a way to pay for all the windows.

[audio:72312Magill1.mp3] [/audio]

Adams adds they are still looking for a developer to use the renovated hotel. Two developers have come forward since DCRA took over the building, but they both fell through. She believes any type of business could be put in the historic hotel, whether it's bed and breakfast or making it into a living area.

[audio:72312Magill2.mp3] [/audio]

Aside from those two hurdles, Adams points out that people in the community have donated to the hotel and volunteered their time and efforts to the hotel. Exelon donated money and sent a group of workers to help put in dry wall. She says this helped shrink the margin of time and money needed to finish the retail section of the Magill Hotel.

[audio:72312Magill3.mp3] [/audio]

Since taking over the Magill Hotel, the DCRA has torn down the west edition and has been actively renovating the eastern side and the square facing side. They are currently trying to finish the ceilings and put in windows.

For more information on the Magill Hotel or to donate, go to dewittcountyrestoration.org or call Becky Adams at 217-935-2044.

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NFL, NHL, NBA Off-Season Notes

>>Bulls Ink Hinrich

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Kirk Hinrich.  Terms were not released, but the "Sun-Times" reported in early July that it is a two-year contract worth approximately $6-million.  Hinrich spent the first seven years of his career with the Bulls.  He averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 assists in 48 games, including 31 starts, last season for the Atlanta Hawks.  The 31-year-old has averaged 12.5 points and 5.4 assists in his career with the Bulls, Wizards and Hawks.

>>Nash Heading To Big Apple

(New York, NY)  --  Rick Nash is heading to the Big Apple.  The Columbus Blue Jackets have traded Nash to the New York Rangers in exchange for Artem Anisimov, Brandon Dubinsky, Tim Erixson and a first-round draft pick.  The 28-year-old has spent his entire career with Columbus since being selected first overall in the 2002 Entry Draft.  He had 30 goals and 29 assists for the Jackets last season.

>>Raiders Deal WR Murphy To Panthers

(Oakland, CA)  --  The Oakland Raiders have traded wide receiver Louis Murphy to the Carolina Panthers for an undisclosed conditional draft pick.  Murphy was slowed by sports hernia surgery last year and made just 15 catches for 241 yards.  In 2010, Murphy led the Raiders' receivers with 41 catches for 609 yards and two touchdowns.  The Florida product caught 90 passes for nearly 14-hundred yards and six touchdowns in three seasons overall with Oakland.

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NCAA Lays Down Hammer On Penn State

>>NCAA Levies Penalties Against Penn State

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The NCAA came down hard on Penn State in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky child sex abuse scandal.  A four-year postseason ban, five years probation and a vacation of all wins dating to 1998 were among the significant penalties.  Penn State also must reduce 10 initial and 20 total scholarships each year for a four-year period.  The school was also hit with a $60-million fine.

>>Paterno No Longer Winningest Football Coach

(State College, PA)  --  The late Joe Paterno is no longer the winningest football coach in NCAA FBS history.  The former Penn State coach had 111 victories stripped from his record, dating back to 1998 due to NCAA sanctions over the Jerry Sandusky sex abuse scandal.

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Monday Big Moving Day In MLB

>>Cubs' Dempster Denies He's Been Traded To Braves

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster is denying reports that he has been traded to the Braves.  Dempster posted on his Twitter account, "THERE  IS NO TRADE dont know where this info came from!"  Multiple reports had Dempster going to the Braves in exchange for rookie pitcher Randall Delgado.

>>Yankees Acquire Ichiro Suzuki From Mariners

(Seattle, WA)  --  Ichiro Suzuki is the newest Yankee.  The Bronx Bombers acquired the 38-year-old Japanese outfielder and cash from the Seattle Mariners on Monday for minor league pitchers D.J. Mitchell and Danny Farquhar.  Ichiro, who is a ten-time All-Star, won both the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards in 2001.  He went 1-for-4 with a stolen base for the Yankees in their 4-1 win over the Mariners in Seattle Monday night.

>>Tigers Acquire Sanchez, Infante From Marlins

(Detroit, MI)  --  The Detroit Tigers have acquired starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez and infielder Omar Infante from the Miami Marlins.  The Marlins received pitching prospect Jacob Turner, fellow pitcher Brian Flynn and catcher Rob Brantly in return.  The teams swapped their competitive balance draft picks in the 2013 draft.  The 28-year-old Sanchez, who is a free agent after this season, was 5-and-7 with a 3.94 ERA with the Marlins.  Infante is hitting .287 with eight homers and 33 RBI this season.

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Cubs, Sox Win; Cards Stumped

>>Samardzija, Cubs Shut Out Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Jeff Samardzija tossed eight innings of one-hit ball to lead the Cubs in a 2-0 win over the Pirates.  Samardzija struck out five and allowed just one walk to improve to 7-and-8 on the season.  Carlos Marmol closed it out in the ninth to nail down his 12th save.  Alfonso Soriano had a pair of RBI doubles for Chicago, which snapped a three-game slide.  Erik Bedard fanned 11 through seven innings of two-hit, one-run ball to suffer the tough-luck loss for Pittsburgh.  The Bucs had won their last five games.

>>Dodgers Shuffle Cards

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Luis Cruz connected on a three-run homer to lift the Dodgers to a 5-3 win over the Cardinals in St. Louis.  Mark Ellis added a two-run double for Los Angeles, which has won five straight.  Chad Billingsley returned from the disabled list to toss six innings of one-run ball for the win.  Kenley Jansen notched his 19th save.  Joe Kelly gave up two earned runs in six innings to suffer the loss for St. Louis.  Carlos Beltran hit a two-run jack and Lance Berkman added an RBI single for the Cards, who had won their previous three contests.

MLB NL
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Philadelphia Phillies 7, Milwaukee Brewers 6
Miami Marlins 2, Atlanta Braves 1
Washington Nationals 8, New York Mets 2 (10 inn)
Cincinnati Reds 8, Houston Astros 3
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Colorado Rockies 3
San Francisco Giants 7, San Diego Padres 1

>>White Sox Split Twins

(Chicago, IL)  --  Paul Konerko went 3-for-4 and hit a three-run homer to power the White Sox to a 7-4 win over the Twins.  Alejandro De Aza went 3-for-4 with two runs scored while Adam Dunn and Alex Rios each clubbed two-run homers for Chicago.  Gavin Floyd surrendered three runs, two earned, over six frames to pick up the win.  Addison Reed notched his 16th save.  The Sox snapped a five-game slide.  Denard Span finished 3-for-5 with a run while Ryan Doumit jacked a solo homer for Minnesota.  Francisco Liriano allowed seven runs in just two-and-two-thirds innings for the loss as the Twins dropped their fourth game in six contests.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 3, Baltimore Orioles 1
Texas Rangers 9, Boston Red Sox 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Kansas City Royals 3
New York Yankees 4, Seattle Mariners 1

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-24

July 24, 2012

 

Jail Population: 72

Summons Served: 8

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Steven Stone, 20, Kenney, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Intimidation, Hate Crime and Disorderly Conduct. Stone 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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Clinton Police Report for 7-24

On 07/23/12 at 8:44am, Clinton Police arrested Jawan A. White, 35, of Decatur on a Macon County Warrant for failure to appear. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

On 07/23/12 at 11:27am, Clinton Police arrested Rodolfo Barrera, 42, of Clinton on the charge of violating an order of protection. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

On 07/23/12 at 4:28pm, Clinton Police arrested Amy L. Sago, 29, of Clinton on a McLean County Warrant for theft. She was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

On 07/21/12 at 1:10am, Clinton Police arrested Taylor K. Welchel, 20, of Clinton on charges of Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a minor. She was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to correctional staff.

 

On 07/21/12 at 4:48pm, Clinton Police arrested Eric W. Young, 32, of Clinton on a DeWitt county warrant for failure to appear. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

On 07/21/12 at 7:45pm, Clinton Police arrested Brandon G. Mitchell, 25, of Clinton on charges of possession of cannabis less than 2.5 grams, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

On 07/22/12 at 12:12pm, Clinton police arrested Tawanda A. Keyes, 34, of Indianapolis, IN for driving while license was suspended and speeding. She was transported to DeWitt County jail and released to the correctional staff.

 

On 07/22/12 at 3:18pm, Clinton Police arrested Melissa A. Cavins, 25, of Clinton on a DeWitt County warrant for failure to appear. She was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.

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Clinton Chamber Announces 'After Hours' Events For Rest of 2012

Periodically through the course of the year, the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce gives it's member businesses an opportunity to host an event called "After Hours".

The Chamber has those scheduled for the remainder of the year. Executive Director at the Chamber, Marian Brisard explains an "After Hours" event is not just for the business or their employees, it is something for all members of the community to be a part of. Brisard says each event is different because it is up to the business to plan for.

[audio:72512afterhours1.mp3] [/audio]

In the time leading up to the events, the Chamber will advertise the event in their window on the square and also on Clinton Cable Channel 13, however, they also encourage the business to invite their customers. Brisard says the more people show up to the events the better.

[audio:72512afterhours2.mp3] [/audio]

An after hours event can be a quick drop in, say hello to friends or co-workers, or it can be an opportunity to network yourself or your business to other business owners. Brisard says you never know who you will run into at events such as these.

[audio:72512afterhours3.mp3] [/audio]

The first "After Hours" takes place August 15 at La Tea Da Tearoom and Gift Shop. September  19, EMC Photography on the square will host an event. The DeWitt County Development Council will host on October 24. Grimsley's Flowers will host the event November 14, they are located on the square. And December 19, Brisard says those who come are in for a treat because the DeWitt County Museum will host the event during their Christmas time.

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Closer Look Shows Illinois Teacher-Training Program Costly

It sounds like something that would pop up on a math test: A teacher-training program gets $19 million in state aid. Over six years, it produces only 70 teachers. How much has the state spent for each teacher so far?

The answer: More than $271,000 each.

While that appears to be awfully expensive, advocates of the Grow Your Own Teachers program insist those numbers are misleading. The way they see it, Illinois put money into a long-term investment that's on the verge of paying off with highly motivated teachers.

The latest state budget includes $1 million for the program, down from $2.5 million a year earlier. But critics hope this is the last time it gets any state support. Rep. Chapin Rose calls the program a waste of money.

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Illinois Town Tries Longshot Romney Plea To Save Jobs

Cheryl Randecker has known since January 2011 that her job at Sensata Technologies in Freeport was doomed. The company told her so as it announced plans to move production to China by the end of this year.

But the 52-year-old woman and other employees are still trying to press Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to step in to save them.

Sensata is owned by Bain Capital. Romney once led that firm.

The situation has generated some national attention. Freeport Mayor George Gaulrapp has called for Romney to debate President Barack Obama in Freeport. Sen. Dick Durbin has weighed in.

So far neither Romney nor Obama has responded.

Randecker concedes the 170 jobs are likely gone. But she says their effort has at least given her and others a voice.

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Governor Signs Julie's Law

Governor Pat Quinn has signed a new law that's designed to improve road safety in Illinois. Jule's Law will crack down on people that excessively speed.

[audio:rdd0723QuinnJulie.mp3] [/audio]

Gorczysnski says this law honors her late daughter.

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The law will keep people from getting court supervision if you're going 30 miles per hour over the speed limit on highways or 25 miles per hour over the limit in urban areas. The law is named after Jule Gorczysnski, who was killed by a driver that was going 76 in a 40 mile per hour zone. He had been placed on court supervision seven times. Julie's Law goes on the books next July.

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Treasurer Rutherford To Hold Vault Tours And Auctions This Week

ILLINOIS TREASURER DAN RUTHERFORD SAYS HIS OFFICE WILL BE HOLDING VAULT TOURS AND AN AUCTION THIS WEEK.

DURING THE WEEK OF JULY 23RD THROUGH THE 27TH…TREASURER RUTHERFORD SAYS VISITORS TO THE STAT CAPITOL IN SPRINGFIELD CAN CATCH A GLIMPSE OF HIS OFFICE’S LARGE VAULT AND SEVERAL ANTIQUES.

[audio:vault1.mp3] [/audio]

TREASURER RUTHERFORD SAYS AN ONLINE AUCTION OF UNCLAIMED PROPERTY INCLUDING VALUABLE COINS AND STAMPS AS WELL AS JEWELRY AND MORE WILL BE HELD JULY 23RD THROUGH THE 27TH.

[audio:vault2.mp3] [/audio]

ALSO THAT SAME WEEK…TOURS OF THE TREASURER’S VAULT IN SPRINGFIELD WILL BE AVAILABLE. IT WAS BUILT IN THE 1940’S…AND THIS WILL BE THE LAST TIME YOU CAN CATCH OF GLIMPSE OF IT FOR AWHILE…SINCE CONSTRUCTION ON THAT PART OF THE CAPITOL BEGINS SOON.

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19 Accused of Stealing Unemployment Benefits

A nearly year-long investigation in Illinois has led to indictments against 19 people accused of stealing unemployment benefits worth between $11,000 and $40,000 each.

The indictments were announced at a news conference Friday by U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois Stephen Wigginton.

Two of the suspects were collecting benefits while serving prison time.

Wigginton says it's tough to investigate these types of thefts because most of the money in the federal program goes toward paying benefits, leaving little leftover for enforcement.

The 19 cases were investigated by the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General and other federal agencies, as well as the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

If convicted, each defendant faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

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Drunken Boaters Growing Problem On Illinois Waters

The number of boating deaths linked to alcohol on Illinois waterways has increased over the past five years.

Authorities are warning boaters to take the risks of drinking more seriously.

Nine people died last year in alcohol-related boating accidents. That's the highest number since 2004.

The U.S. Coast Guard says that nationally, Illinois ranked second in such fatalities, after Wisconsin.

Capt. Joe Morelock of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says drinking plays a role in almost all of the accidents they see. He says the department is struggling to maintain a police presence on waterways because of budget cuts.

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Boaters Struggling With Low Water

The drought and hot weather mean the rivers and lakes all across the state are down. Chris McCloud with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that could mean problems for boaters.

[audio:rdd0723McCloud1.mp3] [/audio]

McCloud adds getting your boat in the water could be tricky.

[audio:rdd0723McCloud2.mp3] [/audio]

McCloud says even getting your boat in the water can be tricky. He says the shallow water near boat ramps can make it difficult to get some boats in the water. Without more rain, McCloud says he expects water levels to keep falling.    

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Gov. Quinn Asks For Disaster Designation

Gov. Pat Quinn has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture for disaster designations for virtually all Illinois counties amid scorching temperatures and 1 of the state's worst droughts on record.

Quinn sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Thomas Vilsack making the request on Sunday.

A spokesman for the governor, Ryan Croke, explained that nearly 30 counties already have the designation. If Vilsack grants Quinn's latest request, nearly every 1 of the state's 102 counties would be eligible for special USDA grants and loan programs.

In his letter, Quinn says farmers in Illinois are experiencing significant losses due to "persistent" and "unprecedented" heat and drought.

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Nuisance Permits A Must For Trappers

The Department of Natural Resources wants to remind people to get a nuisance permit if they are planning to trap an animal disturbing their yards.

Conservation Officer Ray Wichus says it is common for animals to be out and about this time of year. It is against the law to try to trap an animal without a permit and Wichus says the biologists you will work with will give you other options on how to get rid of the animal. Wichus wants to make sure the animals are removed from the property properly.

[audio:71812permits1.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus says when a trapper does release their animal, to not release it in the state parks. He adds the biologists keep track of the animals in the parks and adding random animals could be hazardous. Many animals found in city limits have been rooting through trash, and there is a possibility they are carrying a disease.

[audio:71812permits2.mp3] [/audio]

The permits are free and valid for 90 days. At the end of the 90 days, trappers must return the permit and let them know how many animals they caught. The Department will give advice on how to properly dispose the animals and give different legal options on how to take care of your animal issue.

[audio:71812permits3.mp3] [/audio]

There are two different numbers to call to get the permits. If you just want a permit call 217-935-6860, but if you would like to talk to a biologist about your situation call the Gibson City office at 217-784-4730.

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools Updates Finishing Up

Warrensburg-Latham is hoping to finish phase two of the high school updates by the end of the month.

The high school is adding more rooms to its facility to complete a two phase update. The added classrooms and teacher's work rooms are undergoing finishing touches right now. According to Superintendent Kristin Kendrick,  the plan is to start moving teachers into their new rooms at the end of the month.

[audio:71112WLHighSchoolUpdates.mp3] [/audio]

Kendrick says she noticed a positive response to the updated science rooms that were completed during 2010 and was excited to finish the other rooms. She says its good to help improve the atmosphere for both the teachers and the students.

[audio:71112WLHighSchoolUpdates2.mp3] [/audio]

Kendrick says its updates like this that help the district expand and becoming ready for larger class sizes of the future. The updates also included moving the middle school into the old high school, which gave them access to labs.

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Historic Discovery Made In Clinton Last Week

A piece of Clinton history was uncovered this past week.

As contractors brought down the buildings on the 200th block of Washington Street, they made a very unique discovery. Clinton City Finance Commissioner, Tom Edmunds explains the foundation to the second building of the Clinton Presbyterian Church was uncovered. Based on records the church has, Edmunds explains they know it is the church's foundation because of the material of the foundation.

[audio:72312ClintonDiscovery1.mp3] [/audio]

Edmunds says the first church building is the building Abraham Lincoln was in. Edmunds says the current building they has a stone step from all three buildings. That step is on the "Looking For Lincoln" trail.

[audio:72312ClintonDiscovery2.mp3] [/audio]

Edmunds has taken several measures to certify the accuracy of the claim this is the foundation of the former church. He says he took the contractor to the church and he actually counted the bricks to approximate the width of the building to locate the foundation.

[audio:72312ClintonDiscovery3.mp3] [/audio]

Edmunds feels it's very unique to stumble upon a piece of history like this in Clinton and that it is still there.

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Els Wins British Open

Ernie Els won the 141st Open Championship after a major collapse from Adam Scott.  Els shot a two-under and finished the tournament at seven-under.  Scott was the first and third round leader and started the final round four strokes ahead Graeme McDowell and second round leader Brandt Snedeker.  The Australian long putter bogeyed the final four holes of the tournament.  Tiger Woods closed out the event tied for third with Snedeker at three-under.  McDowell was tied with Luke Donald in fifth at minus-two.

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NCAA To Announce Penn State Penalties Today

The NCAA will hold a news conference this morning to announce "corrective and punitive" measures for Penn State.  ESPN is reporting that this morning's announcement will be "significant."  Yahoo! reports Penn State will be hit with a multi-year bowl ban and will lose scholarships.  NCAA president Mark Emmert said last week that major sanctions, including the so-called "death penalty," were still on the table for Penn State.

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Team USA Holds Off Argentina

Kevin Durant had 27 points and six assists as Team USA managed an 86-80 win over Argentina in exhibition play.  Team USA never trailed and led by as many as 20, but faced a tough test down the stretch from an Argentina squad which features NBA veterans Manu Ginobili and Luis Scola.  Kobe Bryant scored 18 points in the win, while LeBron James finished with 15 points seven rebounds and five assists.  Team USA concludes it exhibition schedule on Tuesday when they take on their biggest threat in the Olympic Tournament, Spain.

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Rams Notes


(St. Louis, MO)  --  Rams defensive end Robert Quinn was charged with driving drunk after a traffic accident earlier this month.  The 22-year-old was arrested on July 10th and charged with DWI before posting bond as a condition of his release.  The Rams released a statement late last week saying they are aware of the issue and are letting the legal process take course before taking any action.

>>Rams Rookies Report To Camp Tomorrow

(Earth City, MO)  --  Rams rookies will report to camp at the ContinuityX Training Center tomorrow.  Veterans are set to report on Saturday.  The first preseason game for St. Louis is August 12th at Indianapolis against the Colts.  The Rams open the regular season September 9th in Detroit against the Lions.

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Deion Sanders Among Inductees Into College Football HoF

The College Football Hall of Fame held its 18th Annual Enshrinement Festival this weekend.  The ceremonies concluded Saturday evening with the induction of 18 players and five coaches into the Hall.  Former Florida State and NFL standout cornerback Deion Sanders was among the inductees, although "Prime Time" did not attend the ceremony.  Former Ohio State running back Eddie George, Miami defensive tackle Russell Maryland and Nebraska lineman Will Shields were also honored.  Former Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr was also inducted after winning 122 games with the Wolverines from 1995 through 2007.  It was the final ceremony to be held at the College Football Hall of Fame in South Bend as it will move to Atlanta and reopen in 2014.

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Tigers Sweep Sox; Cards Sweep Cubs

>>Tigers Top White Sox

(Detroit, MI)  --  Miguel Cabrera blasted a pair of solo homers to help the Tigers top the White Sox, 6-4.  They were the 299th and 300th home runs of his career.  Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch each had a two-run bomb for Detroit, which has won five straight.  Jacob Turner tossed five-and-a-third innings of three run ball for his first career win.  Joaquin Benoit recorded his second save.  Alex Rios' homer was ruled a double but was overturned for a two-run shot.  Kevin Youkilis added a solo jack for Chicago, which has lost five in-a-row.  Phil Humber allowed six runs in three innings for the loss.

>>Cards Romp Cubs

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals finished off a three-game sweep of the Chicago Cubs with a 7-0 win in the series finale.  St. Louis outscored Chicago 23-1.  Matt Holliday hit his 16th homer and Carlos Beltran cracked his 21st, while John Jay was 4-for-4 with two RBI.  Lance Lynn moved to 12-and-4, dealing six shutout innings with five strikeouts.  Bryan LaHair was 2-for-4 with a stolen base for the Cubs.  Travis Wood was tagged with the loss, allowing seven runs and nine hits in six innings.

>>Astros Trade Myers To ChiSox

(Detroit, MI)  --  The Chicago White Sox acquired right-hander Brett Myers from the Houston Astros on Saturday for a pair of pitching prospects and a player to be named later.  The White Sox gave up Matt Heidenreich and Blair Walters to get Myers, who has 19 saves in 21 opportunities this season.  Heidenreich is 9-and-4 with a 3.95 ERA.  Walters is 4-and-6 with a 3.96 ERA.  Heidenreich will be assigned to Double-A Corpus Christi and Walters will go to Single-A Lancaster.

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Larkin, Santo Inducted Into Hall Of Fame

Barry Larkin and  Ron Santo were inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday.  Larkin played 19 seasons with the Cincinnati Reds and won the MVP in 1995.  This was his third year on the ballot, and he earned over 86-percent from the Baseball Writers' Association of America.  Seventy-five-percent is needed to be enshrined in Cooperstown.  Santo finished his career with the White Sox after playing his first 14 with the Cubs.  He was selected to nine All-Star Games and won five Gold Gloves at third base.  Santo, who was selected by the Veterans Committee, passed away in December of 2010.  Tim McCarver and Bob Elliott were honored on Saturday in a ceremony.  McCarver received the Ford C. Frick Award for his contributions in broadcasting, while Elliott of the "Toronto Sun" was given the J.G. Taylor Spink Award for sports writing. Santo's widow Vicki says Santo had to deal with a lot in his life.

[audio:VickiSanto722bz.mp3] [/audio]

She says Ron will always have a special place in Chicago.

[audio:VickiSanto722cz.mp3] [/audio]

Vicki added Ron belongs in Cooperstown.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

July 21, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

July 22, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

July 23, 2012

 

Jail Population: 71

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Timothy Huston, 19, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Huston posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Neal Whittinghill, 34, Heyworth, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Whittinghill posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Glen Zogg, 21, Clinton, was issued a citation for Failure To Wear Seat Belt. Zogg 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 Office Investigating Monday Morning Burglary

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Office is seeking the  public's help in a recent burglary.

The incident happened Sunday night, it is believed to be after the hours of 1 am. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains the Power House Pub in DeWitt was burglarized during the night. He says it was discovered morning morning when employees arrived for work.

[audio:72412dewittburglary1.mp3] [/audio]

Sheriff Shofner is calling on the residents of DeWitt or anyone in the area early that morning that may have noticed anything out of the ordinary. The Sheriff says sometimes the smallest of details can lead them to an arrest.

[audio:72412dewittburglary2.mp3] [/audio]

Anyone with information can call the Sheriff's Department at 935-3196 or you can email your information directly to Sheriff Shofner at dewittsheriff.com.

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New Limits On Illinois Cellphone Use For Drivers

Illinois drivers are coming under more pressure to stay off their cellphones.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed four laws Friday aimed at making roadways safer.

3 of them confront the problem of drivers becoming distracted by talking and texting on their cellphones, something that U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has called a "national epidemic."

1 of the measures prohibits the use of cellphones by drivers in all roadwork zones. Previously, the restriction only applied to work zones with speed limit reductions.

It is also now illegal to use a mobile phone while driving within 500 feet of an emergency scene.

Another measure bars commercial drivers from any hand-held cellphone use.

The governor also signed a bill known as Julie's Law, which increases penalties for serious speed-limit violations.

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Special Committee Votes To Recommend Rep. Smith For Expulsion

A special House committee voted 11-1 Thursday afternoon to recommend the full Illinois House expel Representative Derrick Smith over federal charges that he took a $7,000 bribe.

The 12-member committee met behind closed doors to decide whether Smith should be punished and to what extent.  Representative Chapin Rose says the decision is now in the hands of the full House.

[audio:71912RoseSmith.MP3] [/audio]

No date has been set for the full House to make the decision, but Governor Quinn is considering calling a special session of the General Assembly to deal with the state pension crisis and handling the Smith situation.

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Richland Community College To Hold Dance Open House

Richland Community College will be holding an open house for their dance program on Tuesday, July 31 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. in the Shilling Lobby.

At the open house, participants will be able to meet professors, learn information about the classes, take a tour and sign up for classes.

Richland's dance classes range from beginners to advanced and accept students from ages 2 to adults. Classes include tap, ballet, jazz, hip hop, Irish dance, ballroom and creative movement.

For more information, call Richland's  Continuing and Professional Education Division at 217-875-7211, ext. 265.

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Weekly Weather Update

The dry conditions in Illinois persisted this week. While there was some small amounts of rainfall throughout the area, we could still see these drought conditions for the next couple months. State climatologist Jim Angel has more....

[audio:WX.mp3] [/audio]

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Friday's Scoreboard

MLB NL
------
Atlanta Braves 11, Washington Nationals 10 (11 inn)
San Francisco Giants 7, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Miami Marlins 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 7, New York Mets 6
Cincinnati Reds 3, Milwaukee Brewers 1
St. Louis Cardinals 4, Chicago Cubs 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 13, Houston Astros 8
San Diego Padres 9, Colorado Rockies 5

MLB AL
------
Baltimore Orioles 10, Cleveland Indians 2
Detroit Tigers 4, Chicago White Sox 2
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Seattle Mariners 3 (14 inn)
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Boston Red Sox 1
Minnesota Twins 2, Kansas City Royals 1 (11 inn)
Oakland Athletics 3, New York Yankees 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Texas Rangers 1

WNBA
------
No Games Scheduled  --  Olympic Break

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Tigers Double Up ChiSox

A three-run third frame lifted the Tigers to a 4-2 victory over the White Sox.  Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder each hit RBI singles before Delmont Young doubled in Cabrera.  Austin Jackson added an insurance run for Detroit, which won its third straight.  Justin Verlander tossed eight innings of two-run ball to improve to 11-and-5 and Jose Valverde registered his 18th save.  Alejandro De Aza hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which has dropped four-of-five.  Jake Peavy surrendered four runs over seven innings of duty to fall to 7-and-7 this season.

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Cardinals Tame Cubs

 A three-run first inning propelled the Cardinals to a 4-1 win over the Cubs.  Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina each singled in a run before Lance Berkman hit an RBI ground out.  Matt Holliday homered in the third as St. Louis improved to just 2-and-5 since the All-Star break.  Kyle Lohse [[ low-sh ]] improved to 10-and-2 after dealing seven innings of one-run ball while Jason Motte notched his 21st save.  Ryan Dempster's run of 33 scoreless innings came to a close as he surrendered all four runs in six frames to take the loss.  Darwin Barney's sac-fly in the second gave Chicago its only run.  The Cubs had won five of their previous six.

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Dealing With Headaches

Headaches are a common medical condition that affects nearly everyone at one time or another. It is estimated that more than 30 million Americans suffer from chronic, recurring headaches.

The majority of headaches last only a few hours, but some can persist for weeks. There are different types of headaches including migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches, says Dr. Alan Deckard, associate professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He describes the various types of headaches.

[audio:siuheadache1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Deckard says migraine headaches are more severe. They tend to begin gradually and often are accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can be triggered by certain foods and alcohol. He offers some treatments options.

[audio:siuheadache2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Deckard says for migraines most physicians recommend medications called triptans. Anyone who has a sudden serious headache that is accompanied by vomiting or vision problems should see their primary care physician or go to the hospital emergency room immediately. A sudden headache can signal a stroke.

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New Law Lets Illinois Jurors Turn Down Pay

People who serve on juries in Illinois are now required to accept small payments for their time, but that's about to change.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Friday that gives jurors the option of refusing the money if they don't need it. The law takes effect in January.

Current law requires counties to pay jurors from $4 a day to $17.20. They can also get money for mileage and child care.

But the lawmaker behind the change, Democratic Sen. Susan Garrett, says some people don't want to take the money, especially when local governments are struggling.

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Illinois Prison Guards Describe Violence, Expect More

Illinois prison guards are stepping up their efforts to keep Gov. Pat Quinn from shutting down two state penitentiaries.

A dozen guards spoke at the state Capitol on Thursday to describe attacks on staff and inmates in the already overcrowded correctional system. They predict even more violence if the prisons are closed.

Jake Dalton, a sergeant at the Pontiac prison, says Quinn has lit the fuse on a powder keg.

The union for Corrections Department employees says assaults on staff jumped by 46% between 2007 and 2011.

Quinn plans to close the "supermax" prison at Tamms and a women's prison at Dwight.

He says inmates there can be transferred safely to other prisons. Quinn says that will save money that can be used on other important services.

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Gov. Quinn Signs Legislation To Foster Government Openness

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation to improve the public's access to information about government meetings.

The law requires public bodies holding an open meeting to post information on the gathering and its agenda on the Internet 48 hours before the event.

Quinn signed the bill Thursday at the DuPage County building in Wheaton.

The governor says the law gives the public greater access to information and activities that impact their lives.

Quinn says the intent is to foster government openness and accountability. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

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Conflict Prompts University To Cut Contract

The University of Illinois has voided a $4.6 million contract with an architecture firm that raised concerns over potential conflicts of interest.

The contract with BLDD Architects was part of the renovation of the Natural History Building on the Urbana-Champaign campus. It came under scrutiny after it emerged the company is partly owned by the husband of a school administrator whose job includes construction-project oversight.

Bruce Maxey owns 8.9% of BLDD. His wife, Jill Maxey, is the university's associate director of planning and a former BLDD employee.

Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy said in a statement Thursday the public should have confidence that public funds are being spent without even the appearance of conflict

The Procurement Policy Board voted Tuesday to recommend university trustees void the contract.

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Conflict Prompts U of I To Cut Contract

The University of Illinois has voided a $4.6 million contract with an architecture firm that raised concerns over potential conflicts of interest.

The contract with BLDD Architects was part of the renovation of the Natural History Building on the Urbana-Champaign campus. It came under scrutiny after it emerged the company is partly owned by the husband of a school administrator whose job includes construction-project oversight.

Bruce Maxey owns 8.9% of BLDD. His wife, Jill Maxey, is the university's associate director of planning and a former BLDD employee.

Board of Trustees Chairman Christopher G. Kennedy said in a statement Thursday the public should have confidence that public funds are being spent without even the appearance of conflict

The Procurement Policy Board voted Tuesday to recommend university trustees void the contract.

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Denver-To-Chicago American Eagle Flight Makes Emergency Landing

A Denver-to-Chicago flight had to make an emergency landing after smoke was smelled in the cabin.  American Eagle Flight 3773 was diverted to Peoria last night after a flight attendant noticed the smell.  The plane landed safely, but one passenger hurt an ankle while using an emergency exit.  She's expected to be okay.  It's not known what caused the smell.

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Bankers Survey Suggests Drought Hurting Economy

A new survey of bankers suggests the economy is slowing down in rural areas of 10 Midwest and Western states because of drought conditions.

The overall economic index dropped into negative territory at 47.9 in June from May's 56.7. Any score below 50 on the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, suggests contraction in the months ahead.

The survey covers parts of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. It focuses on communities with 1,300 residents, on average.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the drought is hard on farmers, livestock producers and ethanol plants in the region.

The confidence index collapsed to 40.9 in June from May's strong 58.5. That suggests bankers aren't confident in the economy over the next six months.

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Beaman Lawyers Accused Of Not Reporting DNA Tests

McLean County prosecutors are accusing attorneys of a man who spent years in prison for murder of failing to report forensic test results.

Alan Beaman is seeking a certificate of innocence after his 1995 murder conviction in the death of his former girlfriend, Illinois State University student Jennifer Lockmiller. The Illinois Supreme Court vacated Beaman's conviction in May 2008, ruling evidence was suppressed.

In a court filing, former prosecutor Hannah Eisner and Assistant State's Attorney Pablo Eves contend defense lawyers violated a court order by not reporting findings in 2003 of DNA tests.

Defense lawyers Jeffrey Urdangen and Karen Daniel of Northwestern University's Center on Wrongful Convictions call the claims false and misleading. They note all DNA testing consumes evidence, but enough evidence remained for 2011 tests requested by prosecutors.

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Committee Recommends Expulsion For Lawmaker

A SPECIAL HOUSE COMMITTEE IS RECOMMENDING A CHICAGO LAWMAKER BE EXPELLED FROM THE ILLINOIS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.

REPRESENTATIVE DERRICK SMITH WAS ARRESTED BACK IN MARCH ON FEDERAL BRIBERY CHARGES. AND WHILE HE HAS NOT FACED TRIAL YET…A HOUSE COMMITTEE SAYS HE MUST FACE DISCIPLINARY ACTION. REPRESENTATIVE LOU LANG OF SKOKIE SAYS PART OF THE PROBLEM IS THAT SMITH HAS NEVER TESTIFIED AT ANY OF THEIR HEARINGS.

[audio:expel1.mp3] [/audio]

THE GROUP AGREED ON A VOTE OF 11 TO ONE THAT REPRESENTATIVE DERRICK SMITH SHOULD BE DISCIPLINED. REPRESENTATIVE BARBARA FLYNN CURRIE SAYS THEY DID NOT COME TO THIS DECISION LIGHTLY.

[audio:expel2.mp3] [/audio]

IN ORDER FOR ACTION TO BE TAKEN…79 OF THE HOUSE’S 118 MEMBERS WILL HAVE TO VOTE IN FAVOR OF EXPELLING SMITH FROM THE HOUSE.

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Maroa-Forsyth's New Scoreboard To Be Revenue Generator For School

 width=Those who have passed by the Maroa-Forsyth campus in Route 51 have undoubtedly noticed an upgrade on the school's football facility.

The district this summer renovated their football field with artificial turf and added a new track around the outside. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools Mike Williams explains the new scoreboard they recently put up will pay for itself in advertisements. He says in a few years the scoreboard will be a revenue generator for the district.

[audio:72012maroascoreboard1.mp3] [/audio]

Most schools around the area have wooden advertisement signs lining the fences of the field or the outlying areas, Williams explains the facility has done away with those and the advertisements will scroll across the screen throughout the game. Williams feels this is going to be more effective and professional.

[audio:72012maroascoreboard2.mp3] [/audio]

Williams notes several area schools have added scoreboards like the one Maroa-Forsyth has put up. Schools like Normal Community and Springfield Sacred-Heart Griffin and several Chicago and Metro-East schools. Williams believes Maroa may be ahead of their time with the scoreboard, but he feels more schools will become interested in it when they realize the advertising dollars it can create.

[audio:72012maroascoreboard3.mp3] [/audio]

Williams notes, the dollars generated from the scoreboard will go to help fund the school's athletic programs. Williams stresses it won't all go towards football, they will look to help offset costs in baseball, basketball and softball amongst others.

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Kelly Riggs Named To County Board

The DeWitt County Board has a new member.

Jay Wickenhauser recently stepped down because he had moved out of his district, and last night, Kelly Riggs was appointed as the newest member of the County Board.

[audio:72012riggs1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Riggs says this is the fulfillment of something he has wanted to do for some time. He previously attempted to run for office for the City of Clinton.

[audio:72012riggs2.mp3] [/audio]

Riggs explains his goal is to represent the people of his district. An issue of importantance to him is the landfill.

[audio:72012riggs3.mp3] [/audio]

Riggs is a member of WATCH and says he is opposed to PCB's being dumped in the landfill. Riggs will represent District D.

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Sprint Cup Series Off This Weekend

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is off this weekend.  The Nationwide Series heads to Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois for the STP 300 on Sunday.  Kasey Kahne won last weekend's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire.  Matt Kenseth holds a 16-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the Cup standings.  Greg Biffle, Jimme Johnson and Denny Hamlin round out the top-five.

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Colts Sign Top Pick Andrew Luck

Quarterback Andrew Luck is officially with the Indianapolis Colts.  According to the "Indianapolis Star," Luck signed a four-year deal worth $22-million.  Luck was the top overall pick in this year's draft out of Stanford.  He was the runner-up in the Heisman Trophy voting the past two seasons.  Last season as a redshirt junior at Stanford, Luck completed over 70-percent of his passes for 3,517 yards and 37 touchdowns.

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Report: Bulls Sign Radmanovic

The Chicago Bulls have signed forward Vladimir Radmanovic.  ESPNChicago is reporting the two sides are close to agreeing on a one-year deal.  Radmanovic averaged 4.5 points and three rebounds per game with the Atlanta Hawks last season.

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Team USA Dominates Great Britain

Deron [[ Darren ]] Williams and Carmelo Anthony had 19 points apiece to help Team USA handle Great Britain, 118-78, in Thursday's exhibition game at Manchester Arena.  Russell Westbrook added 15 points and eight assists, while LeBron James and Kevin Durant donated 14 and 13 points, respectively, in the victory.  The U.S. shot a sizzling 60.3-percent from the field and went 11-of-24 from beyond the arc.  They also scored 33 points off 27 Great Britain turnovers.

Since the "Dream Team" debuted in 1992, the U.S. has gone 40-and-1 in exhibition games.  The U.S. will resume its five-game exhibition schedule on Sunday against Argentina at Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona, Spain.  Team USA's first game at the Olympics is July 29th versus France.

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Cubs Notes

>>Dodgers Show Interest In Dempster

(Undated)  --  The Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in Chicago Cubs starter Ryan Dempster.  ESPNChicago.com reports the Dodgers have put together a trade for the Cubs.  It is unknown whether Zach Lee of the Dodgers' farm system is a part of the deal.  Lee was rated by MLB.com as LA's top prospect heading into the season.  Dempster leads the majors with a 1.86 ERA and has not allowed a run in 33 innings.

>>Cubs Acquire Germano From Red Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs acquired pitcher Justin Germano from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for cash considerations Thursday.  Germano had his contract selected by the Red Sox on July 4th and made one appearance with the club, allowing no runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts over five-and-two-third innings.  The 29-year-old righty went 9-and-4 with a 2.40 ERA in 17 games with Triple-A Pawtucket this season.  To make room on the roster, Chicago designated pitcher Jairo Asencio for assignment.

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Cards Notes

>>Cards Host Cubs

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals open up a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs this evening at Busch Stadium.  Kyle Lohse [[ Loash ]] gets the nod opposite Ryan Dempster in the opener.  The Cards dropped two-of-three at Milwaukee in their last series to fall to 47-and-45 on the season.

>>Carp Has Season-Ending Surgery

(St. Louis, MO)  --  St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter underwent neurogenic thoracic outlet surgery on Thursday in Dallas, Texas.  The anticipated time of rehabilitation is 2-to-3 months.  The 37-year-old has been sidelined since the start of the season with numbness and weakness in the right shoulder.  He began the campaign on the disabled list and had sat out for three months prior to beginning throwing sessions in mid-June.  In 34 starts last season, Carpenter was 11-and-9 with a 3.45 ERA.  He also went 4-and-0 with a 3.25 ERA in six playoff starts.

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Cubs Win; Sox Lose On Walk-Off Homer

>>Cubs Double Up Marlins

(Chicago, IL)  --  Paul Maholm tossed eight innings of one-run ball to lead the Chicago Cubs past the Miami Marlins, 4-2.  Maholm scattered five hits and a walk while striking out four to record his fourth straight winning decision and improve to 8-and-6 on the season.  Carlos Marmol allowed a run in the ninth but still earned his 11th save of the year.  Alfonso Soriano homered and Reed Johnson knocked in a pair of runs for the Cubs, who have won six of their last seven games.  Mark Buehrle allowed four runs on six hits over five frames to snap a personal four-start win streak for Miami.  Emilio Bonifacio and Greg Dobbs each knocked in a run for the Marlins, who have dropped three of their last five.

MLB NL
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Atlanta Braves 3, San Francisco Giants 2
New York Mets 9, Washington Nationals 5
Cincinnati Reds 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 6
San Diego Padres 1, Houston Astros 0

>>Ross Gives BoSox Walk-Off Win

(Boston, MA)  --  Cody Ross clubbed a three-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the ninth to give the Red Sox a 3-1 win over the White Sox in the finale of a four-game series.  Alfredo Aceves was credited with the win for Boston, which took three-of-four in the set.  Clay Buchholz struck out six over eight innings in a no-decision.  Alex Rios plated Chicago's only run on a sac-fly in the fourth.  Jose Quintana fired eight innings of five-hit, shutout ball.  Matt Thornton was charged with the loss.

MLB AL
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Tampa Bay Rays 6, Cleveland Indians 0
Detroit Tigers 5, LA Angels of Anaheim 1
Baltimore Orioles 4, Minnesota Twins 3
Seattle Mariners 6, Kansas City Royals 1
Oakland Athletics 4, New York Yankees 3

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-20

 

July 20, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Patty Smith, 47, Wapella, was issued a citation for No Valid Driver’s License. Smith was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Joshua Ramsey, 25, Farmer City, was arrested and charged with Contempt of Court. Ramsey 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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Social Security Offers Young Workers Opportunity To Keep Tabs On Account

Social Security urges young workers to keep taps on their Social Security accounts.

Even though retirement seems a long way away when a person is just starting to work, Social Security is encouraging all workers to keep tabs on their social security accounts. According to Jack Meyers of Social Security, even though a person may only associate Social Security with retirement, it also comes into the picture with disabilities and survivors.

[audio:7912SS1.mp3] [/audio]

There is a webinar called "Social Security 101: What's in it for me?" that let's people know exactly what all is in Social Security benefits. Meyers said it is mainly geared toward new workers who are paying the tax for the first time and want to know what all they will get out of it.

[audio:7912SS2.mp3] [/audio]

Meyers says he thinks it's good for people to start saving for retirement as soon as possible and to keep tabs on it. Workers never know when they are going to need to use their benefits and it nevers hurts to start early on saving up.

[audio:7912SS3.mp3] [/audio]

To get to the webinar, go to socialsecurity.gov.

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Former U of I President To Work In Springfield

Former University of Illinois President Michael Hogan will work at the school's Springfield campus after finishing a year on sabbatical.

University spokesman Tom Hardy says Hogan was allowed to choose which of the school's three campuses to work on after he announced his resignation in March. Springfield is much smaller than the campuses in Urbana-Champaign and Chicago.

Hardy said Hogan's role when he begins work in Springfield in the 2013-14 school year hasn't been decided. Hogan will be paid $285,000 a year.

Hogan is a historian by training.

He resigned under pressure after many faculty members complained about his management style and efforts they believed cut campus autonomy.

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Board Again Says U of I Should Void Contract

A state board has recommended that a $4.6 million contract the University of Illinois gave an architecture firm be voided because 1 of the company's owners is married to a key official at the school. The vote sends the deal to a state inspector general for further investigation.

The contract with BLDD Architects is part of the renovation of the Natural History Building on the Urbana-Champaign campus. Bruce Maxey owns part of BLDD. His wife, Jill Maxey, is the university's associate director of planning and a former BLDD employee.

The Procurement Policy Board voted Tuesday to recommend that university trustees void the contract. That follows a similar vote in April that was overridden by the state's chief procurement officer for higher education.

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Panel To Consider Charges Against Illinois Lawmakers

Illinois lawmakers are moving closer to deciding the fate of a Chicago legislator accused of taking a bribe.

The Select Committee on Discipline meets Thursday to hear the evidence for and against Democratic Rep. Derrick Smith. Afterward, the committee votes on whether to recommend punishment, which could range from nothing to expulsion from the House.

Ultimately, the full House would have to vote on whether to take action against Smith.

Federal prosecutors say Smith took a $7,000 bribe in exchange for promising to steer a state grant to a daycare center. He denies the allegation.

Whatever legislators decide will have no effect on the criminal charges against Smith.

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Corn Surpasses Eight Dollar Mark

The Chicago Board of Trade is inching toward eight dollar corn, but Cambridge Producer Mike Secymore [[see-more]] says that’ll hurt in the long run.

[audio:rddCornUp1.mp3] [/audio]

Secymore says he’s hoping to beat the market, at least for the time being, so it can suffice cattle and hog feeders.  He says corn has already surpassed the eight dollar mark at several locations in Henry County.  Secymore thought the bubble would burst at eight bucks but now he's not sure how high corn prices will go.

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Gov. Quinn Says Pension Reform Must Be Addressed This Summer

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SAYS LAWMAKERS NEED TO ADDRESS PENSION REFORM THIS SUMMER.

GOVERNOR QUINN AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MET LAST MONTH TO TRY AND REACH A COMPROMISE…BUT TALKS SEEMED TO STALL ON ONE MAJOR ISSUE: REQUIRING SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO HELP PAY FOR TEACHER PENSIONS. QUINN SAYS NOW THAT EVERYONE HAS HAD A CHANCE TO EXAMINE THE ISSUE CLOSELY…IT’S TIME TO WORK OUT A SOLUTION.

[audio:penreform1.mp3] [/audio]

WITH THE STATE’S UNFUNDED PENSION LIABILITY AT 85 BILLION DOLLARS AND GROWING EACH DAY…GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS IT’S TIME TO GET MOVING AND WORK OUT A DEAL ON PENSION REFORM.

[audio:penreform2.mp3] [/audio]

QUINN AND LEGISLATIVE LEADERS MET LAST MONTH TO TRY AND REACH A COMPROMISE…BUT THE BIGGEST STICKING POINT CONTINUES TO BE REQUIRING SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO PICK UP THE TAB FOR TEACHER PENSIONS.

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Gov. Quinn Signs Legislation Outlawing 'Cramming'

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN SIGNED LEGISLATION WEDNESDAY OUTLAWING THE PRACTICE OF “CRAMMING”.

CRAMMING OCCURS WHEN THIRD PARTY COMPANIES TACK CHARGES ONTO YOUR PHONE BILL…FOR SERVICES NEVER ORDERED. ATTORNEY GENERAL LISA MADIGAN SAYS IT’S A BIG PROBLEM…AND THAT MANY CONSUMERS DON’T EVEN KNOW IT’S HAPPENING.

[audio:cram1.mp3] [/audio]

 MADIGAN, WHOW PUSHED FOR THE NEW LAW, SAYS TOO MANY CONSUMERS ARE BEING RIPPED OFF BY THIRD PARTY COMPANIES PLACING CHARGES ON THEIR PHONE BILLS FOR SERVICES NEVER ORDERED.

[audio:cram2.mp3] [/audio]

ILLINOIS IS NOW THE SECOND STATE IN THE COUNTRY TO BAN CRAMMING. THE LAW TAKES EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

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ISU's College of Nursing Gets $1.1-Million Grant

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is giving a $1.1 million grant to the Mennonite College of Nursing at Illinois State University to help with efforts to diversify the nursing workforce.

Mennonite announced the 3-year grant Tuesday, and the dean of the nursing college says she's "thrilled."

The Nursing Workforce Diversity grant will use $370,000 each year to recruit, train and retain people from underrepresented groups to nursing.

Mennonite's plans include using the money to partner with middle schools to get minority children interested in nursing and starting future nurses' clubs among high school students.

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Decatur Officials Ask Public To Use Less Water

Officials in Decatur are asking the public to use less water due to an ongoing drought that lowers Lake Decatur levels by half an inch each day.

City Manager Ryan McCrady says Decatur could implement mandatory water conservation measures by the beginning of August if conditions don't improve.

McCrady says the area never really recovered from last year's drought and it is well below normal precipitation levels for the last year.

The city is encouraging residents to install water-efficient fixtures, repair leaky plumbing and opt for short showers instead of baths. Large industrial customers have also been asked to conserve water, and the city is warning boaters to be aware of shallow water levels on the lake.

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Penn State Scandal Bringing Child Sexual Abuse Issue To Forefront

As details of the Penn State scandal continue to become public, non-for profit groups aimed at child safety are taking the opportunity to raise awareness of child sexual abuse.

Recent research done with convicted sex offenders gives researchers, caregivers and parents new signs of sexual abuse. Judy Brucker is the Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center, she says the advice comes from the perspective of these sex offenders.

[audio:71912pennst1.mp3] [/audio]

Sex offenders can be any one of a number of people you know, and may know very well. Brucker says these individuals implore parents to be mindful of their kids' friends and family's. They also encourage parents to watch for children who like to spend alone with small children.

[audio:71912pennst2.mp3] [/audio]

Brucker believes this can be a very tough subject to talk about or even want to pay attention to, but she feels it is very important to the protection of your children. One aspect to the research she felt was worth noting was how these predators gain access to children. Their response was simply, they pay attention to kids.

[audio:71912pennst3.mp3] [/audio]

Brucker implores parents to trust their instincts and to continue to communicate with your kids. She feels this research is very much groundbreaking because it is coming from the minds of the predators after kids.

Brucker adds it is something parents need to mindful of at all times because it is the parents jobs to protect their kids, not the kids responsibility to protect themselves.

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Clinton's Summer Concert Series Back Until September

The Under the Prairie Stars Concert series with the Cattle Bandits will take place tonight on Mr. Lincoln's Square in Clinton at 7 p.m.

The series was delayed this year since Clinton Area Arts Resource Team disbanded, who was the series main sponsor. According to Executive Director of Clinton Chamber of Commerce Marian Brisard, Frontier Communications stepped up and is now sponsoring the event.

[audio:71912concert1.mp3] [/audio]

The concerts have had a good turn out the last few summers. Brisard says part of the goal of the concerts is to not only entertain, but to promote local talents and business. The Loft, Snappers and Sophie's will all be open during the concert, and the first two installments of the series are local bands.

[audio:71912concert2.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard encourages people to bring lawn chairs, since bench seating is limited on the Square.

The free concert series will be held the third Thursday of every month through September. The concert series will feature The Flying Nelson Brothers on Aug. 16 and the Jim Markum Swing Band on Sept. 20. For more information on the concert series, visit clintonilchamber.com or call 217-935-3364.

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British Open Tees Off At Royal Lytham & St. Annes

The third major of the golf season gets underway this morning with first-round play at the British Open.  Tiger Woods is paired with Sergio Garcia and Justin Rose for the first two rounds at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club.  The world's fourth-ranked golfer is seeking his fourth Claret Jug and 15th major championship overall.  Defending champion Darren Clarke is paired with Ernie Els and Zach Johnson for the first two rounds.  Clarke closed with a 70 to beat Americans Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson by a single stroke last year at Royal St. George's.  Mickelson will be paired with top-ranked Luke Donald and Geoff Ogilvy over the first two days.  David Duval won the last time the Open Championship was played at Royal Lytham & St. Annes Golf Club in 2001.

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MLB Notes

>> Two Cubs Minor Leaguers Suspended

Chicago Cubs right-handers Juancito De La Cruz and Antonio Encarnacion have been suspended 50 games each for violating baseball's minor league drug program.

The commissioner's office announced Wednesday that De La Cruz and Encarnacion both tested positive for metabolites of Stanozolol.

Both players are on the roster of the Dominican Summer League Cubs and their suspensions are effective immediately.

>>MLB Announces First Competitive Balance Lottery

(New York, NY)  --  Major League Baseball announced the results of the first-ever Competitive Balance Lottery on Wednesday.  The lottery, which was agreed to as a part of the 2012-2016 Basic Agreement between MLB and the MLB Players Association, gives clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets the opportunity to obtain extra picks.  The Kansas City Royals, Pittsburgh Pirates, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins will receive a draft pick following the first round of the First-Year Player Draft.  The San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians, Colorado Rockies, Oakland Athletics, Milwaukee Brewers and Detroit Tigers will receive a pick after the second round.

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Cubs Win; Cards, Sox Dropped

>>Cubs Beat Marlins In Rain-Shortened Game

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jeff Baker doubled in two runs during a four-run seventh inning as the Cubs beat the Marlins, 5-1, in a rain-shortened affair.  The game was called in the top of the eighth inning.  Starlin Castro popped a solo homer for the Cubs, who have won five-of-six.  James Russell was credited his third win.  Jose Reyes hit a solo homer in the third for Miami.  Josh Johnson allowed four runs in six-and-a-third innings to fall to 5-and-7.

>>Brewers Hold Off Cards

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Corey Hart hit a two-run single during a four-run first frame as the Milwaukee Brewers held on for a 4-3 win against the St. Louis Cardinals.  David Freese and Allen Craig both blasted solo home runs for St. Louis.  Adam Wainwright struck out nine, but gave up four runs, one earned, in seven innings of duty to suffer the loss.  The Cards have dropped five of their last six games.  They look to bounce back against the rival Cubs tonight with Kyle Lohse taking the hill opposite Ryan Dempster.

MLB NL
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Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Philadelphia Phillies 3 (12 inn)
Pittsburgh Pirates 9, Colorado Rockies 6
San Diego Padres 8, Houston Astros 4
Washington Nationals 4, New York Mets 3
San Francisco Giants 9, Atlanta Braves 4 (11 inn)
Arizona Diamondbacks 7, Cincinnati Reds 1

>>Red Sox Smash White Sox

(Boston, MA)  --  Cody Ross homered twice and knocked in six runs as the Red Sox hammered the White Sox, 10-1.  Adrian Gonzalez also went deep and plated the other four runs for Boston, which has won two-of-three in the four-game set.  Felix Doubront fired six innings of four-hit, one-run ball to improve to 10-and-4.  Paul Konerko smacked an RBI single in the first for Chicago.  Pedro Hernandez was shelled for eight runs and 12 hits in four-plus innings to take the loss in his MLB debut.

MLB AL
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New York Yankees 6, Toronto Blue Jays 0
Oakland Athletics 4, Texas Rangers 3
Detroit Tigers 7, LA Angels of Anaheim 2
Cleveland Indians 10, Tampa Bay Rays 6
Baltimore Orioles 2, Minnesota Twins 1
Kansas City Royals 8, Seattle Mariners 7

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Grass Fire In Rural Clinton Causes Minor Damage

 width=At approximately 10:10 am Wednesday morning, the Clinton Fire Department was called out to a grass fire at 5101 Brittany Lane in rural Clinton.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton explains, upon the arrival of his crews, the fire had spread to surrounding properties, and had begun to melt the siding on one of the homes. Chief Milton notes the cause of the fire was trash being burned.

[audio:72012grassfire1.mp3] [/audio]

The city of Clinton was already under a burn ban, and it was announced Thursday morning, the entire Clinton Fire District is under a burn ban. Chief Milton says under these conditions it does not take a lot for something small to spread very quickly, as evidenced Wednesday.

[audio:72012grassfire2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Last year the fire department had two grass fires, and Chief Milton estimates the department so far this year has seen four or five and anticipates having more to deal with.

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$3-Million of Settlement To Fund Foreclosure Help In Illinois

As much as $3 million from a national foreclosure settlement with major lenders will be set aside to fund mortgage foreclosure mediation programs in Illinois counties that don't have them.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan made the announcement Tuesday.

The money comes from a $25 billion national settlement in February with the country's five largest bank mortgage servicers. They are Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Bank.

The payout settles allegations of widespread "robo-signing" of foreclosure documents and other fraudulent practices involving loans to struggling homeowners.

Madigan says mediation programs give borrowers a "fighting chance to save their homes" through things like loan modifications.

The $3 million is available for multi-year grants to qualifying tax-exempt organizations. Applications are due by Aug. 15.

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Woman Accused Of Stalking Cubs' Theo Epstein

A Massachusetts woman is under arrest for allegedly stalking Chicago Cubs President Theo Epstein.  Forty-four-year-old Kathleen Kearney was nabbed last night on West Addison Street.  Cops say Kearney told investigators she wanted to invite Epstein and his family to go to church with her.  Epstein reportedly identified Kearney as a woman who he'd previously seen lurking near his property.  Kearney is expected to appear in court sometime today.  She's charged with two felony counts of stalking.

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Seven Charged In Bribery Scheme

Federal prosecutors are charging seven people with bribery conspiracy, including Dean Nichols, treasurer for former state Senator Ricky Hendon.  Prosecutors allege Nichols was willing to pay kickbacks to a fake federal agency official in return for receiving a 25-thousand dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  He allegedly claimed he could recruit others to apply for grants and provide kickbacks as well.  Nichols allegedly provided 31 completed grant applications.   Federal documents allege he planned on earning 100-thousand dollars out of the deal and would purchase "a big summer home" in Michigan if the grants worked out. It was all a part of an FBI undercover sting, similar to that of state representative Derrick Smith.  An actual scenario did not exist.  Two Cook County corrections officers and four others were charged as a result of the investigation.

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Quinn Sticking To Facility Closures

Governor Quinn says he's shutting down state facilities despite the fact that lawmakers are still pushing to keep them open.

[audio:rddClose1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says he's shutting down state facilities even if it is an unpopular move.

[audio:rddClose2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says the bottom line is the facilities need to be closed if the state is going to have money for schools, healthcare, and public safety.  A total of 62 facilities are being shut down including Dwight Prison, Tamms Prison, and youth detention centers in Joliet and Murphysboro.  Opponents of the plan say moving prisoners could contribute to current overcrowding and endanger the safety of inmates and workers.  Most facilities will shut down on August 31st.

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Groups Say No To Leucadia Plant

A representative from the Illinois Manufacturers' Association is rallying against a new coal gasification plant on Chicago's Southwest side.  IMA Vice President Mark Denzler says downstate homeowners and businesses will have to foot the tab for the plant.

[audio:rddLeucadia1.mp3]  [/audio]

Hundreds have rallied against the plant, along with a broad coalition of Illinois businesses, environmental, agricultural and consumer groups.  They're urging Governor Quinn to veto a bill to build the alternative power plant.  Denzler says the plant will be very costly to natural gas customers, forcing them to pay eight and a half billion dollars over the next 30 years to subsidize the project.  He says the price of synthetic gas is about three to four times more expensive than what natural gas costs now.

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State Department of Ag Encouraging To Buy Illinois

THE STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE IS URGING EVERYONE TO TAKE THE PLEDGE TO “BUY ILLINOIS.”

THE NEW “BUY ILLINOIS” CHALLENGE ENCOURAGES ILLINOIS HOUSEHOLDS TO SPEND 10 DOLLARS OF THEIR WEEKLY GROCERY BUDGET ON PRODUCTS MADE RIGHT HERE IN ILLINOIS. IT’S ESTIMATED THAT WOULD GENERATE MORE THAN TWO BILLION DOLLARS FOR THE STATE ECONOMY. JIMMY BESJAK WITH JIMMY B’S SUPER SALSA IN SPRINGFIELD URGES FAMILIES TO BUY LOCAL.

[audio:buyillinois1.mp3] [/audio]

JOE JANNAZZO WITH ONOFRIO’S PASTA SAUCES SAYS HE’D LOVE FOR MORE PEOPLE BUY LOCAL…AND SEE WHAT A QUALITY PRODUCT ILLINOIS CAN MAKE.

[audio:buyillinois2.mp3] [/audio]

THE STATE WILL BE USING A NEW ILLINOIS PRODUCTS LOGO TO SIGNIFY WHICH ITEMS AT THE GROCERY STORE WERE MADE RIGHT HERE IN THE LAND OF LINCOLN. TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ILLINOIS PRODUCTS AND TAKE THE “BUY ILLINOIS” PLEDGE…VISIT THE WEBSITE…BUY ILLINOIS CHALLENGE DOT COM.

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University of Illinois Plans To Offer Seven Free Online Courses

The University of Illinois plans to offer seven free online classes this fall.

The university is teaming up with an online education company called Coursera. The Urbana-Champaign campus is joining schools such as Princeton, Stanford and the University of Michigan, who already have partnerships with Coursera.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise says the U of I is the only land-grant university on the list and that means Illinois has expertise in areas that other schools don't.

The courses beginning this fall will include organic chemistry and microeconomics. They won't count toward a degree.

Coursera co-founder Andrew Ng (eng) says the courses his company hosts are free, but universities may get some revenue from charging students $30 to $80 for a certificate showing they completed a course.

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Study Shows Illinois Needs More Windfarms

A study from Illinois State University says wind-power generation has created more than 19,000 short-term construction jobs in the state and about 800 permanent jobs at wind farms. But Illinois is so far mostly missing out on potentially far more permanent jobs on the manufacturing side.

The study released Tuesday by Illinois State University and economist David Loomis highlights the economic benefits of wind power such as jobs and property taxes.

Loomis says wind power doesn't provide many permanent jobs at generation sites. But there are many more potential jobs in manufacturing. So far Illinois only has about 1,000 of those.

Fred Giertz at the University of Illinois is an economist not involved with the study. He points out that wind-power is heavily dependent on government subsidy.

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Monticello Man Pleads Guilty To 6th DUI

A Monticello man is headed to prison after receiving his 6th DUI conviction.  Jeffrey Allen admits he was drunk when he drove a van into a creek in Champaign County on May 2nd.  Authorities say his blood-alcohol level was zero-point 19, more than twice the legal limit.  Allen has three previous DUI convictions, plus two aggravated DUI convictions.  He pleaded guilty to the 6th charge in court yesterday and will spend the next 14 years behind bars.

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Drought Effecting Beef Producers

The extreme drought continues to take its toll across Illinois, but it's not just corn and soybean producers feeling the effects...livestock producers are also dealing with the adversity.  Jared White has more....

[audio:71612DroughtEffectsBeefWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Clinton Schools FY13 Budget Not Looking Good

As the Clinton School District prepares it's Fiscal Year 13 budget, it does not look good.

There are many concerning areas of the budget, and Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes says the revenues all around are significantly down. The lack of revenues coming in have resulted in a $1.9-million dollar deficit.

[audio:71812schoolfy13.mp3] [/audio]

On the state-side of the revenue, Dr. Holmes explains normally they are provided around $1.3-million, this year they will be down close to $200-thousand. He also notes several payments this year will not be made at all, because the state simply doesn't have the money to provide to the school.

[audio:71812schoolfy132.mp3] [/audio]

When the deficit for the upcoming year is added to the current balance owed by the state, Dr. Holmes says the school district is going to be short a million dollars.

[audio:71812schoolfy133.mp3] [/audio]

A majority of the districts education fund goes towards salaries, which Dr. Holmes says will lead to administrators taking a hard look at personnel and programs.

[audio:71812schoolfy134.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says not all of those funds will come from cuts. He notes the stability of the transportation fund could be transferable to the education fund. Another option the district has is to use some of the revenue bonds to help sustain the education fund. The tax rate on the bonds continues to show a favorable rate, which could result in the district being able to issue their working cash funds into the education fund.

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NASCAR Notes

>>Allmendinger's Second Sample To Be Tested July 24th

(Daytona Beach, FL)  --  Suspended driver A.J. Allmendinger will have his "B" sample tested next week.  Allmendinger was temporarily suspended by NASCAR on July 7th for violating its substance abuse policy and has missed two Sprint Cup races so far.  The 30-year-old driver from Penske Racing failed his initial drug test that he took the last weekend in June when the Sprint Cup Series competed at Kentucky Speedway.

NASCAR says it has been informed by the NASCAR Substance Abuse Policy Program that Allmendinger's second sample will be tested on July 24th in Nashville, Tennessee.  Allmendinger has elected to have a designated independent toxicologist present during the test.  If Allmendinger's "B" sample comes back positive, NASCAR will then place him on indefinite suspension, meaning he will have to successfully complete a drug treatment program before he can be reinstated.

>>Carl Edwards Gets New Crew Chief

(Undated)  --  NASCAR's Carl Edwards has a new crew chief.  Bob Osborne has stepped down from his post with Edwards and has been replaced by Chad Norris.  Osborne cited an undisclosed health issue as the reason for his decision.  He had been crew chief for Edwards since his Sprint Cup debut in 2004.  Osborne will remain with Roush Fenway Racing as a senior member of the management team and steering committee.  Edwards is currently 11th in the Sprint Cup standings.

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Bulls To Play Exhibition In Champaign; Phil Jackson Considering Return

>> Bulls Plan PreSeason Game At Assembly Hall

The Chicago Bulls plan seven preseason games this year, including a match-up with the Cleveland Cavaliers at Assembly Hall in Champaign on Oct. 12.

The Bulls also will take on the Indiana Pacers at Notre Dame's Purcell Pavilion in South Bend, Ind., on Oct 26th.

Chicago's preseason gets under way on Oct. 9, when the Bulls play the Memphis Grizzlies at the United Center.

The other games are at Minnesota on Oct. 13 and at the United Center versus Milwaukee on Oct. 16, Minnesota on Oct. 19 and Oklahoma City on Oct. 23.

>>Phil Jackson Interested In Role With Blazers

(Portland, OR)  --  Phil Jackson is apparently interested in returning to the NBA.  The "Oregonian" cites a source as saying the retired head coach is interested in a non-coaching role with the Portland Trail Blazers.  It's unclear whether the Blazers are interested in Jackson as an advisor.  The 66-year-old won a record eleven NBA titles as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers in addition to two as a player.  Jackson retired from coaching after the 2010-11 season.

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Bears Agree To Terms With RB Booker

The Chicago Bears have agreed to terms with running back Lorenzo Booker on a one-year contract.  Booker spent the last two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings, primarily as a kick returner.  During that time, Booker returned 37 kickoffs for 879 yards.  The Bears have also released running back Alvester Alexander.

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All Locals Lose; Sox Floyd To DL

>>Brewers Clip Cards

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Rickie Weeks' fourth-inning solo homer held up as the Brewers clipped the Cardinals, 3-2.  Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez also plated a run each for the Brewers, who have alternated wins and losses since the All-Star break.  Randy Wolf scattered eight hits and two runs over six-and-two-thirds innings as he upped his mark to 3-and-6.  Francisco Rodriguez closed it out for his second save.  Jon Jay doubled in a run and Carlos Beltran knocked in the other run on a sac-fly for the Cards, who have lost four-of-five since the break.  Joe Kelly yielded three runs, two earned, in six frames as he fell to 1-and-2.  Matt Holliday and Ryan Braun both left with injuries

>>Marlins Outslug Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Carlos Lee clubbed a grand slam as the Marlins outslugged the Cubs, 9-5, in the first of a three-game series.  Omar Infante went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI, while Hanley Ramirez added a solo blast.  Anibal Sanchez struck out seven over seven strong innings to improve to 5-and-6.  Jeff Baker hit a solo homer for Chicago, which had its winning streak stopped at four.  Travis Wood was lit up for eight runs and eight hits in four-and-two-thirds to fall to 4-and-4.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 5, New York Mets 4 (10 inn)
San Francisco Giants 9, Atlanta Braves 0
Cincinnati Reds 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Colorado Rockies 2
San Diego Padres 8, Houston Astros 2
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

>>Youkilis Helps White Sox Best Boston

(Boston, MA)  --  Kevin Youkilis hit a three-run homer against his former team to help the White Sox top Boston, 7-5.  Alejandro De Aza added a pair of RBI for Chicago, which has won three-of-five since the break.  Philip Humber allowed two runs across six innings to pick up the win and Addison Reed notched his 15th save.  Kelly Shoppach hit a two-run homer while Carl Crawford, Adrian Gonzalez and Will Middlebrooks each plated a run with a single for Boston.  Jon Lester allowed six runs in four frames to suffer the loss.  The Red Sox had won three of their previous four since the All-Star break.

MLB AL
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 13, Detroit Tigers 0
New York Yankees 6, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Cleveland Indians 2
Minnesota Twins 6, Baltimore Orioles 4
Seattle Mariners 9, Kansas City Royals 6
Texas Rangers 6, Oakland Athletics 1

>>Floyd Lands On DL; Humber Activated

(Boston, MA)  --  The Chicago White Sox have placed right-handed pitcher Gavin Floyd on the 15-day disabled list with right elbow tendinitis.  Floyd threw seven-and-two-third scoreless innings in his last outing on July 7th versus Toronto.  He is 7-and-8 with a 4.54 ERA and 91 strikeouts in 17 starts this season.  This is Floyd's first trip to the disabled list in his career.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-18

 

July 18, 2012

 

Jail Population: 71

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Craig Dejulius, 48, Clinton, was issued a citation for Improper Lane Usage. Dejulius 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 Ambulance Association To Make Bid For Ambulance Service

The DeWitt County Board will review the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee's Request For Proposal for ambulance service for much of the county.

Once that is approved, the Advisory Committee can send that out for bids. One recently formed local organization is expected to place a bid. The DeWitt County Ambulance Association, Inc. (DCAA) is headed by Terrance Hubbard. Hubbard explains they are a community centered non-for profit service, and they have mirrored what Logan County currently has.

[audio:71912dcaa1.mp3] [/audio]

As the Advisory Committee has plugged along in figuring out what they wanted in the Request for Proposal (RFP), Hubbard says he has kept tabs on what they are asking for and what they will expect. He notes once the DeWitt County Board approves the RFP, they will be ready to place their bid.

[audio:71912dcaa2.mp3] [/audio]

Some of the things the Advisory Committee will look for from the providers will be two ambulances on hand at all times, with a third on stand-by through various means. According to Hubbard, one aspect he felt was a good part of the RFP is having well trained personnel that are familiar with the area.

[audio:71912dcaa3.mp3] [/audio]

In each company's bids, there are going to be several things that are going to be the same, however, Hubbard says the biggest differences will be the costs. The costs will then be analyzed why they are there. Hubbard believes the cost will ultimately be the biggest factor in the process.

[audio:71912dcaa3.mp3] [/audio]

As the County prepares it's budget for the upcoming year, Hubbard feels once the RFP is approved by the County Board, the process should move rather quickly.

Once the Advisory Committee has received all the bids, each company will have an opportunity to come before them and give an oral presentation. The advisory Committee will make a decision on a provider, and recommend that provider to the County Board, who will have to approve them, they will agree to a contract, and the County will then have an ambulance provider.

The DeWitt County Ambulance Association, Inc. is a completely separate entity of Dr. John Warner Hospital.

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Illinois Again Helping Pay Summer Cooling Costs

A sizzling summer has persuaded Illinois officials to revive a program that helps poor families cool their homes.

Illinois has set aside $10 million for the financial aid, or enough to help about 60,000 households. People can apply until July 27 by calling 877-411-9276.

It's available to homes with senior citizens, young children or someone in poor health. A family of 4 can have an income up to $33,500 a year and still qualify.

Illinois offered this kind of aid in the past, but canceled it last year when federal funds were cut. Marcelyn Love of the state commerce department says this summer is so hot that officials decided to move some money around and help pay for cooling.

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Illinois Began New Budget Year Owing $7.5-Billion

Illinois began its new budget year staring at a huge stack of old bills.

State Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said Monday that Illinois had between $7.5 billion and $8 billion worth of old bills still left to pay when the new fiscal year began this month. That's slightly better than the total for the two previous years, when Illinois started out with about $8.5 billion in overdue bills.

When Illinois pays bills late, it means delays for the businesses and community groups that provide services to the state. They sometimes have to borrow money or cut staff to make ends meet.

It also means money from the new budget goes to paying old bills, leaving less cash for the future.

State revenues are up this year but so are costs.

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US Drought Grows To Widest Area Since 1956

A new report shows the drought gripping the United States is the widest since 1956.

The monthly State of the Climate drought report released Monday by the National Climatic Data Center says 55% of the continental U.S. is in a moderate to extreme drought. That's the most since December 1956, when 58% of the country was covered by drought.

This year, 80% of the U.S. is abnormally dry, and the drought expanded last month with the 14th warmest and 10th driest June on record going back to 1895.

The nation's corn and soybean belt has been especially hard hit. The report says Midwest has experienced its seventh warmest and 10th driest April-to-June period. And it says crops, pastures and rangeland have deteriorated at an alarming rate.

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Sentencing For Ex-Official Who 'Paid To Play'

A federal judge is set to sentence the former executive director of the Illinois Finance Authority in a 'pay-to-pay' scheme where he donated $50,000 to then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's campaign for the job.

Ali Ata is being sentenced Tuesday, two years after testifying at Blagojevich's first corruption trial.

That trial ended mostly deadlocked. But Ata's testimony helped convict the impeached governor on one count of lying to the FBI about fundraising. Ata didn't testify at Blagojevich's retrial.

The 60-year-old Ata has pleaded guilty to making false statements to a government agent and to filing a false income tax return.

Convictions on the two counts normally carry a maximum 8-year sentence. But Ata's plea agreement calls for a sentence of between one and 1.5 years because he cooperated with prosecutors.

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Farmer Goes 45 Days Without Rain

The extreme heat has caused damage to many farm fields across the state.  Charlie Bennett, who farms in Durand near the Wisconsin border, explains just how bad it’s been.

[audio:rddNoRain1.mp3] [/audio]

Bennett says the fields desperately need rain but it will take a large amount of it in order to save the crop.  Northwest Illinois got some spotty shower activity over the weekend, but another dry, 90-plus degree week is forecast for this week.  State and federal officials say farmers who experience loss may be eligible for assistance.

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Protestors Line Streets in Waltonville

Protestors lined the streets in Waltonville, Illinois, calling on Governor Quinn to reverse his decision to shut down Southern Illinois facilities.  Tamms Prison and the Murphysboro Youth Detention Center are slated to close at the end of August but some say that will kill the already struggling economy in Southern Illinois.  Some protestors are carried signs calling for Quinn to be recalled as a result of the closures.  Quinn was in Waltonville to unveil a plan to help farmers deal with crop loss as a result of the drought. The event was held on a private farm.

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Gov. Quinn Outlines Response To Drought

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS OUTLINING A DROUGHT RESPONSE PLAN FOR ILLINOIS.

ILLINOIS IS FIGHTING THROUGH THE SIXTH DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD SO FAR…WITH CROPS IN JEOPARDY AND WATER RESOURCES STRAINED. SEVERAL COUNTIES…ESPECIALLY IN SOUTHERN ILLINOIS…HAVE BEEN DECLARED STATE DISASTER AREAS BECAUSE OF THE DRAUGHT. STATE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE DIRECTOR BOB FLIDER SAYS THERE ARE SEVERAL OPTIONS FOR STRUGGLING FARMERS…SUCH AS LOW INTEREST LOANS AND DEBT RESTRUCTURING.

[audio:response1.mp3] [/audio]

THIS IS SHAPING UP TO BE THE SIXTH DRIEST YEAR ON RECORD IN ILLINOIS…AND EVERYONE IS FEELING THE HEAT. MARC MILLER HEADS THE STATE’S DROUGHT RESPONSE TASK FORCE AND SAYS THEY ARE CAREFULLY LOOKING AT WATER RESOURCES.

[audio:response2.mp3] [/audio]

THE STATE HAS LAUNCHED A NEW WEBSITE THAT LISTS INFORMATION ON THE DROUGHT…DISASTER ASSISTANCE AND OTHERRESOURCES FOR FARMERS. THE ADDRESS IS: DROUGHT DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

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Heat Advisory Issued For Illinois

The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory for Illinois.

The weather service is forecasting that temperatures on Tuesday could rise as high as 100 to 102 degrees, with heat indexes between 105 to 110 degrees.

People should check on the elderly and the disabled to determine their wellbeing.

The extreme heat comes as the Illinois' corn crop wilts due to drought conditions in the state.

The Illinois Farm Bureau says it's the six driest year on record so far. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering.

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Weekly Crop Report

THE CONDITION OF ILLINOIS CROPS CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE THANKS TO THE HOT…DRY WEATHER.

A FEW SHOWERS HERE AND THERE DIDN’T DO MUCH TO SATISFY THIRSTY CROPS THIS PAST WEEK. CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS 93 PERCENT OF CORN IS NOW SILKED AND 20 PERCENT IS IN THE DOUGH STAGE. BUT JUST 11 PERCENT OF THE CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

70 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING AND 15 PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. JUST 17 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

60 PERCENT OF OATS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED AND THE THIRD CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS NOW 28 PERCENT COMPLETE. AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE NOW STANDS AT TWO PERCENT ADEQUATE…25 PERCENT SHORT…AND 73 PERCENT VERY SHORT.

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Clinton Fire Department Wants To Bid On Ambulance Service

The Clinton Fire Department may be putting in a bid for providing DeWitt County with ambulance services.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton approached the Clinton City Council Monday evening about gathering numbers to put a bid forward to acquire the service.

[audio:71712cfdambulance.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Carolyn Peters asked Chief Milton to have that put on the agenda for their August 6 meeting, at which point the Council would have to approve it.

A quick meeting also included several other items:

>> Mike Mannix and Phil Vinson were appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

>> As another heat wave approaches the area, Clinton and DeWitt County will have two primary cooling centers during the day. The DeWitt County Friendship Center will be available for folks between the hours of 8 am and 3 pm Monday through Friday. And the Warner Public Library will be open 9 am to 9 pm Monday through Thursday and Friday 9 am to 5 pm.

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DeWitt County 4-H Fair Recap

The DeWitt County 4-H Fair was held last weekend in Clinton.

The 4-H Fair had high numbers this year all around. Sherry Fulton of the University of Illinois Extension Office says she saw a lot of children pulling through and doing all of their projects, they signed up for. She explains each year, some children don't present what they signed up for, but she noticed the fair looked full this year.

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Those numbers included a high rise in poultry, which had 54 submissions this year. Superintendent Connie Lovett says she hasn't seen numbers this high in poultry for 10 years.

 width=Lovett says she is pleased to see the high numbers since she finds 4-H very beneficial. She has put all four of her children through 4-H, and she believes it helps them develop skills that will help them tremendously in the future.

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Lovett's daughter Sadie is thankful for the skills she has developed because of 4-H. She has been able to use the skills she's gained in job interviews, and it has helped her with her horse boarding business.

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 width=Sadie says the 4-H Fair will be different for her next year since this is the last year she can present at the fair. Billy Blue, who also showed for the last time this year, feels the same way Sadie does. Blue has noticed he has gained numerous life skills that he can take with him when he goes to college.

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Blue encourages all children over the age of 8 to check out 4-H, since there are many categories to it that people don't realize. He says even though he came from a family that has been active in 4-H for decades, he didn't realize there was a home economics portion until he became active.

Results of the fair will be posted on dewittdailynews.com later this week.

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Forte Gets New Deal; Rams Top 50 Sports Franchise

>> Ravens' Rice, Bears' Forte Get New Deals

Ray Rice and Matt Forte got what they wanted Monday: long-term contracts that sometimes elude NFL running backs.

Neither Rice nor Forte was enamored of playing under the franchise tag tender in 2012, and negotiations went down to the wire. Then Rice scored big with the Baltimore Ravens, getting $40 million for five years, while Forte took a 4-year, $32 million deal with the Chicago Bears.

Also getting a longer contract just before the deadline was Jacksonville placekicker Josh Scobee, who will stay with the Jaguars for four years and $13.8 million.

Among the players who are stuck with their 1-year tenders are Chiefs receiver Dwayne Bowe, Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes and Lions defensive end Cliff Avril. None will be a pauper, however.

>>Rams Rank 44th In Forbes List Of Most Valuable Franchises

(Undated)  --  The Rams rank 44th in a Forbes Magazine list of the top-50 most valuable sports franchises.  The Rams are valued at $775-million.  Soccer clubs Manchester United and Real [[ ree-ALL ]] Madrid rank one-two.  The Cowboys and Yankees are tied for third place at $1.85-billion.

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USA Basketball Tops Brazil; President Obama Says '92 Team Better

>>Team USA Turns Back Brazil

(Washington, DC)  --  Team USA turned back Brazil yesterday in a pair of exhibition games in Washington, DC.  President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden were both on hand at the Verizon Center as the women's team and then the men's squad fought their way to victory.  
LeBron James scored 30 points as Team USA overcame a slow start to beat Brazil, 80-69.  After falling behind by 10 points in the first quarter, the Americans went on a 20-5 run in the second quarter to take control.  Kevin Durant netted 11 points, while Chris Paul added 10 points to help Team USA improve to 2-and-0 in exhibition play.  The women's team picked up a 99-67 win.  The Americans will continue tuning up for the Olympics by facing Great Britain in Manchester, England on Thursday.

>>Obama Thinks 1992 Dream Team Was Better

(Washington, DC)  --  President Obama believes the 1992 version of America's "Dream Team" was better than the current crop of NBA stars who will represent the U.S. this month in the Summer Olympics in London.  In an interview with ESPN during an exhibition game against Brazil, Obama said "I've got to go with the original Dream Team."  He followed up that statement with an immediate nod to the current men's basketball squad by saying they have "unbelievable talent" and "there's no reason we shouldn't bring home the gold."  This year's team includes superstars LeBron James and Kobe Bryant.  The 1992 team featured a slew of Hall of Famers like Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Patrick Ewing, and Charles Barkley.

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Hawks Acquire Korver From Bulls

Kyle Korver is heading to Atlanta.  The Hawks have acquired the veteran sharp-shooter from the Chicago Bulls in exchange for cash considerations.  Korver spent the last two years with the Bulls, averaging 8.1 points in 65 games last season.  His 43.5-percent three-point percentage ranked 10th in the league.  Korver has played nine NBA seasons with the Sixers, Jazz and Bulls.

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Cards Top Brewers; Red Sox Top White Sox; Greinke Scratched

>>Cards Rally Past Brewers

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Allen Craig's RBI single in the top of the ninth lifted the Cardinals to a 3-2 comeback win over the Brewers in the opener of a three-game series.  Craig's hit came after Matt Holliday delivered a game-tying two-run single in the frame.  Lance Lynn struck out 10 over seven innings in a no-decision.  Jason Motte was credited with his fourth win for St. Louis, which stopped a three-game skid.  Corey Hart clubbed a solo homer and Ryan Braun added an RBI double for Milwaukee.  Michael Fiers fired seven innings of four-hit, shutout ball.  John Axford blew his sixth save and dropped to 2-and-6 with the loss.

MLB NL
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Miami Marlins 5, Washington Nationals 3
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Cincinnati Reds 3
Colorado Rockies 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Houston Astros 2, San Diego Padres 0
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

>>BoSox Down White Sox

(Boston, MA)  --  Adrian Gonzalez homered and plated four runs as the Red Sox spoiled Kevin Youkilis' return to Fenway with a 5-1 win over the White Sox.  In his first game of the season, Carl Crawford went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run for the BoSox.  Aaron Cook allowed only an unearned run in seven innings, but Vicente Padilla was credited with his third win.  David Ortiz suffered an Achilles injury, but he said he does not expect it to be serious.  In his first game in Boston since being traded last month, Youkilis went 3-for-4 with a run for Chicago.  Adam Dunn knocked in Chicago's only run on a ground out in the first.  Leyson Septimo was charged with the loss.

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 8, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6
New York Yankees 6, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Boston Red Sox 5, Chicago White Sox 1
Cleveland Indians 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2
Minnesota Twins 19, Baltimore Orioles 7
Seattle Mariners 9, Kansas City Royals 4

>>Cubs Open Series With Marlins

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Cubs begin a three-game series with the Marlins at Wrigley Field tonight.  Travis Wood is slated to get the start on the mound for Chicago.  Miami will counter with Anibal Sanchez.  First-pitch will be at 7:05.

>>Brewers Scratch Greinke From Wednesday Start

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  The Milwaukee Brewers have scratched pitcher Zack Greinke from Wednesday's scheduled start against the St. Louis Cardinals.  The former American League Cy Young winner has been the subject of much trade speculation, but manager Ron Roenicke tells FoxSports.com that there is nothing physically wrong with Greinke, he simply needs to "recharge his batteries."  Tyler Thornburg will start Wednesday instead.  Greinke is 9-and-3 with a 3.57 ERA this season, but has allowed 14 runs over his last 14 innings pitched.

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City of Lincoln Looking To Purchase New Fire Truck

The city of Lincoln is currently faced with the challenging task of finding a new fire truck.

Lincoln is looking for a new pumper truck. According to Mayor Keith Snyder, their old pump has had some complications in the past and doesn't hold water the way it should. He adds with fires being abundant this summer, it's something the town really needs.

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Lincoln is believed to have the oldest running fire station in the state, which causes some problems when finding a new truck.  Not only, does the city need to find a truck that fits their needs, but it has to be small enough to fit in the fire station's small quarters. Snyder says they have to keep the structure of the building in mind when searching for the new truck.

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New firetrucks have computers in them that hold blue prints of buildings,  so firefighters can get to know the layout of the building before they arrive to the fire. One of Lincoln's firetrucks already has this feature, and Snyder believes this advancement in technology is very useful and beneficial.

[audio:71312LincolnTruck3.mp3] [/audio]

Snyder adds the lack of space in their current firehouse has led the city to investigate looking at either remodeling their current building or even building a new fire station to better suit newer trucks and the needs of today's equipment.

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IL Lieutenant Governor Blasts Ryan Budget

Lt. Governor Sheila Simon says Congressman Paul Ryan's proposed budget would be bad for students in Illinois.  Simon spoke outside the Uptown Normal Marriott, where Ryan headlined a GOP fundraiser this afternoon. Simon says Pell grants -- which help low-income students fund higher education -- would be slashed under the Ryan budget.

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Lt. Governor Simon says there are too many government cuts in Congressman Ryan's budget proposal.

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Members of Illinois People's Action also protested the Ryan Budget outside the hotel.

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Governor Quinn To Grant Pardons To 42 People

A Monmouth man who has been waiting seven years for a pardon from Illinois' governors has finally received one.

Robert Pinney was 1 of 42 people pardoned Friday by Gov. Pat Quinn.

Pinney was pardoned for acts taken at age 19 while attending Western Illinois University.

Pinney of Monmouth was pulled over for not wearing a seat belt. A search of his auto turned up an unloaded handgun. Pinney was later convicted of theft of the gun. The 37-year-old Pinney says he hopes now to get a master's degree in psychology.

Pinney applied for a pardon from then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, whose inaction on such requests created a backlog of more than 2,500 cases.

Quinn has acted on 2,068 clemency petitions since taking office in January 2009, granting 743 pardons.

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Illinois Universities Asked TO Save Money In Hiring

State universities in Illinois will no longer be able to use outside firms in most hiring searches.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Saturday to limit the practice as a way to save money.

Starting next year, public universities will have to rely on their own personnel to cast a net for top talent. Outside firms will only be allowed in the hiring of university presidents or when a current president and board of trustees can demonstrate a need for such services.

Search firms can charge hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Quinn says Illinois wants the best talent but that "recruiting should not come at the expense of the education of our students."

The law goes into effect Jan. 1. Universities have six months from that date to implement it.

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Officials Tout Normal Station As Economic Engine

A new station has opened for Amtrak trains as well as inter-city and local buses in Normal. State officials are touting it as an economic engine for central Illinois.

The $45 million Uptown Station opened Saturday in a ceremony attended by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

About $32 million in federal funds went toward the 2-year construction project.

The brick and limestone multimodal transportation center features a restaurant, retail space and municipal offices, and will provide free wifi.

It replaces a small Amtrak depot that had become overwhelmed by growing numbers of riders.

Amtrak service starts Sunday at the new station. Amtrak is planning higher speed trains on the Chicago-to-St. Louis route.

That 110 mph service will begin on one segment in September.

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Small Plane Lands In North Central Illinois Corn Field

Authorities say a small plane flying from the southern half of the state had to make an emergency landing in a north-central Illinois corn field after reported engine trouble.

Peru police Sgt. Ed DeGroot says there were no injuries.

He says the pilot was en route from southern Illinois and passing over the area. DeGroot says the plane landed with no problems Sunday.

Peru police and fire officials, along with Illinois State Police, were called to the scene.

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Farmers Eager To Hear Governor Quinn's Drought Plan

A southern Illinois farmer and rancher says his 300 acres of corn are a bust and he's eager to hear the governor's plan for dealing with drought.

Gov. Pat Quinn is set to visit 71-year-old James Laird's farm near Waltonville on Monday. It's about 80 miles east of St. Louis.Quinn isn't releasing his plans ahead of the scheduled visit.

Laird says he'll likely mow down all his corn, chop it up and feed it to his cattle. Almost a third of the nation's corn crop has been damaged by heat and drought.

Laird hopes his 300 acres of soybeans pull through.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture last week announced a streamline approach to getting drought-affected farmers and ranchers federal help that could include emergency loans with lower interest rates.

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Gov. Quinn To Address Drought Today

 Gov. Pat Quinn and farm officials say they'll have details on a plan to address Illinois' drought.

Quinn plans visit the southern Illinois farm of James Laird on Monday.

The Illinois Farm Bureau says that so far, it's the six driest year on record. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering. Farm officials say southern Illinois is experiencing the worst of it.

Quinn is expected to detail whatever government relief may be available to drought-affected growers and ranchers.

Drought is affecting much of the Midwest, where almost a third of the nation's corn crop has been damaged by heat and drought so severe that some farmers have cut down crops midway through the growing season.

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Relatives Want Access To Slain Family's Home

Relatives of the family killed nearly three years ago in their home in the central Illinois town of Beason are asking a judge to turn the house over to them.

Judge Thomas Harris said Friday in Lincoln that he will set a hearing in the next few weeks on the request from Nicole Gee.

Gee is the daughter of Rick Gee. He was killed in the home in September 2009 with his wife, Ruth, and 3 of their children.

Defense attorney Dan Fultz says Nicole Gee wants the home so that she and other family members can claim belongings.

Two brothers from nearby Armington, Chris and Jason Harris, have been charged with murder in the deaths. The brothers aren't related to the judge.

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Local Representative Getting To Know New District

Even though the spring legislative session may be over with, lawmakers are still busy trying to get to know their new districts this summer.

Districts are begin changed come January, and Representative Chapin Rose says he is taking the time to get to know the new counties he will be representing. Rep. Rose explains he spends his summer months traveling throughout his district going to local festivals and town hall and school district meetings.

[audio:71612RoseSummer1.mp3] [/audio]

Rose adds he is able to spend more time with his family in the summer since he has control over his schedule. From January to May, his schedule is set for him, but after the sessions, Rose is able to make the decision as to where and when he visits towns. He says he is able to work a lot of hours while also making sure he works in a family trip.

[audio:71612RoseSummer2.mp3] [/audio]

Rose hopes to have a town hall meeting in his district. He says it is something he enjoys and is a good way to get to know the new area.

Rose has already visiting some of the portions of his district he will be gaining. He was at the Farmer City 175th Celebration in early July.

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Potential Okaw Valley Conference Break Up Leaves Local Administrator Frustrated

As decision day comes for up to seven Okaw Valley Conference schools who want to leave the conference, the decision comes leaving one administator frustrated.

Superintendent of the Maroa-Forsyth school district, Mike Williams says these decisions are being dictated by football. Of the many issues expressed by the seven schools wishing to leave, Williams takes exception to a couple. He is calling for these schools to stop hiding behind the reasoning of enrollment size and travel distance, and say what the real reasoning is behind these decisions.

[audio:71612maroaokaw1.mp3] [/audio]

This has taken many administrators from the remaining five schools by surprise. Williams points to a reception held in May where many Okaw school administrators were present and talks were positive. Just weeks later, rumors swirled of schools discussing leaving the conference. Williams says he does not know where these talks came from.

[audio:71612maroaokaw2.mp3] [/audio]

Moving forward, the five remaining schools, Maroa-Forsyth, Tolono-Unity, Monticello, Decatur St. Teresa, and Clinton would still have the rights to the Okaw Valley name. Williams explains they will seek to add at least 3 schools to the conference, but five would be ideal.

[audio:71612maroaokaw3.mp3] [/audio]

The five remaining schools administrators have met and Regional Radio News has confirmed two schools being invited to the Okaw Conference, in St. Joseph-Ogden and Champaign St. Thomas More. Williams could not confirm the other three, however, he notes they travel to Sullivan and Shelbyville, which are one hour and ten minute trips for them. He says the schools they have talked with are in that same "ballpark" of travel.

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DJWH Foundation Awards Scholarships

Three local college students have been awarded significant scholarships by the Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation.

Jaimie Covey, Devon Severson, and Lizzy Gabel were each presented a 2-thousand dollar scholarship Friday by the Foundation as part of the Belinda Rittenhouse Memorial Scholarship program.  Dixie Walden, President of the Foundation, explains the program is in honor of longtime hospital employee Belinda Rittenhouse, and it utilizes funds donated by the now defunct Hospital Auxillary.

[audio:71612djwhscholar1.mp3] [/audio]

The scholarships are given out to area students pursuing a medical career.  All three of this year's recipients say past experiences have led them into a career in medicine.  Covey says the award will help her pursue a nursing degree at Millikin University.

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Severson is attending SIU-Carbondale for a degree in Radiology.

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Gabel is entering her second year at Rush Medical College in Chicago in pursuit of her MD.

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The DJWH Foundation is set to award another round of scholarships next year.  Applications should be available at local schools in March of 2013.

PHOTOS: Members of the DJWH Foundation and the Rittenhouse family present Covey, Severson, and Gabel with their scholarship awards in front of the hospital.

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Johnson Edges Matteson In John Deere Playoff

Zach Johnson edged third-round leader Troy Matteson in a one-hole playoff to win the John Deere Classic on Sunday.  Johnson posted a six-under 65 in the final round to get into the clubhouse at 20-under 264.  He then birdied the playoff hole to beat Matteson, who carded a two-under 69 Sunday.  Scott Piercy finished third at 18-under, while John Senden was fourth at minus-17.  Three-time defending champion Steve Stricker and Luke Guthrie tied for fifth place at 16-under 268.

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Kahne Takes Checkered Flag At Loudon

Kasey Kahne claimed his second win in the Sprint Cup Series this season by taking Sunday's Lenox Industrial Tools 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  The first-year Hendrick driver grabbed the lead out of a pit stop with 66 laps to go and never looked back.  Denny Hamlin dominated after leading 150 laps but a miscommunication on tire strategy caused him to drop back in the field.  Hamlin charged through the pack with less than 10 laps remaining but couldn't catch Kahne and finished second.  It was the 14th career Cup victory for Kahne and moves him into first in the wild card rankings for the championship Chase.  Clint Bowyer finished third followed by Dale Earnhardt Jr. and Brad Keselowski.  The series is off next weekend before its next race on July 29th at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

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C.J. Watson Joins Nets

The Brooklyn Nets have reached a two-year agreement with guard C.J. Watson.  The 28-year-old averaged just under 10 points in 49 games and 25 starts for the Bulls last season.  He joined Chicago for the 2010-11 season after playing three seasons with the Warriors.

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Forte Could Be Close To Deal With Bears

Today marks the deadline for NFL players who received a franchise tag to sign long-term deal and Bears running back Matt Forte says he's optimistic he'll ink a new contract.  Chicago has been working over the weekend to sign Forte rather than have him play under a one-year tender worth just south of eight-million-dollars.  The deadline to sign Forte to a long-term contract is today at 3 p.m. Central time.

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Sox, Cards Notes

>> Youkilis Won't Comment On Latest Valentine Barb

Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis won't comment on the latest criticism from Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine.

Valentine held Youkilis responsible for the rift between the two.

Before Sunday's game against the Kansas City Royals, Youkilis said, "I'm over all the Boston thing of this year."

The Red Sox traded Youkilis on June 24 to the White Sox, where he entered Sunday hitting .316 with 15 RBIs in 15 games. The White Sox open a 3-game series Monday at Boston.

Valentine says Youkilis never got over an April 15 comment, when the manager said, "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason."

>>Youkilis Makes Return To Fenway With White Sox

(Boston, MA)  --  Longtime Boston fan favorite Kevin Youkilis will make his return to Fenway Park in his new colored socks on Monday.  The Chicago White Sox visit the Red Sox for the start of a four-game series in Boston.  The 33-year-old Youkilis was dealt to Chicago last month in exchange for Brent Lillibridge and Zach Stewart.  Youkilis played his first eight big-league seasons in Boston, hitting .287 with 133 home runs and 564 for the Red Sox.  Since joining the White Sox, the third baseman has batted .316 with three jacks and 15 RBI in just 15 games.

>>Cards Add Fuentes

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  The Cardinals have added the services of reliever Brian Fuentes to a minor league deal.  Fuentes was released by Oakland last week.  He is 2-and-2 with a 6.84 ERA this season.  Fuentes led the league with 48 saves in 2009.

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Cubs Sweep, Cards Swept; Sale Dominant

>>Cubs Sweep D'backs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Matt Garza fired seven shutout innings as the Cubs completed a three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks with a 3-1 victory.  Garza struck out seven while allowing five hits and one walk as he improved his mark to 5-and-7.  Carlos Marmol recorded the final two outs for his 10th save.  Darwin Barney hit a two-run homer and Anthony Rizzo plated a run for the Cubs, who have won 10 of their last 13 games.  Aaron Hill homered in the eighth for Arizona, which had won three in-a-row before the All-Star break.  Trevor Cahill permitted three runs in five-and-a-third frames as he dipped to 7-and-8.

>>Reds Edge Cards With Late Runs

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Scott Rolen plated a pair with a single in the eighth as the Reds completed a three-game sweep of the Cardinals with a 4-2 victory.  Brandon Phillips added an RBI single and Joey Votto doubled in a run for Cincinnati, which moves a game ahead of Pittsburgh for first place in the NL Central.  Homer Bailey gave up one earned run over eight frames for the win.  Aroldis Chapman struck out the side in the ninth to lock up his 13th save.  Yadier Molina hit a solo homer and added an RBI double for St. Louis.  Jake Westbrook surrendered four runs over seven-and-a-third innings to take the loss.

MLB NL
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Washington Nationals 4, Miami Marlins 0
Atlanta Braves 6, New York Mets 1
Milwaukee Brewers 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
Philadelphia Phillies 5, Colorado Rockies 1
San Francisco Giants 3, Houston Astros 2
San Diego Padres 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

MLB AL
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10, New York Yankees 8
Toronto Blue Jays 3, Cleveland Indians 0
Detroit Tigers 4, Baltimore Orioles 0
Boston Red Sox 7, Tampa Bay Rays 3
Oakland Athletics 9, Minnesota Twins 4
Texas Rangers 4, Seattle Mariners 0

>>Sale, ChiSox Clip Royals

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Chris Sale tossed eight innings of one-run ball to pace the White Sox to a 2-1 win over the Royals.  Sale improved to 11-and-2 on the season, while Addison Reed recorded his 14th save.  Adam Dunn drilled a solo shot in the first for Chicago, which took two-of-three in the series.  Luis Mendoza gave up two runs in seven-and-a-third frames for the loss.  Chris Getz knocked in the lone RBI for Kansas City, which is 3-and-8 in July.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

ON 7/14/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED PRECILIANO HERNANDEZ 20, CLINTON ON A DEWITT COUNTY WARRANT AND POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, VALENTIN HERNANDEZ 22, CLINTON POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, AND BRITNY WEBB 20, CLINTON FOR POSSESSION OF CANNABIS AND POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. ALL 3 SUBJECTS WERE TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 7/14/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED ELLIOT J. HOWARD 26, CLINTON FOR POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. ELLIOTT WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 7/15/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED TAMI J. JUISTO 30, STOUGHTON, WI FOR SPEEDING 73 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE, OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE, AND DRIVING WHILE LICENSE REVOKED. JUISTO WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 7/15/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED AMY K. FORNSHELL 30, CLINTON FOR DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED AND OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE. FORNSHELL 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 7-12

 

July 12, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 2

 

Sephanie Beck, 36, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Battery/Cause Bodily Harm. Beck posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Heaven Moulden, 18, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Moulden being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Ariel Futrell, 21, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Battery/Cause Bodily Harm and Assault. Futrell posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 12:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 11, revealed that a vehicle driven by Michael Holcomb, 52, Mount Pulaski, was traveling northbound on Paintball Road in an Ameren maintenance truck, south of IL-10. Holcomb stated he was looking for a certain power pole. When he realized he passed the pole he was to work on, he back up, not realizing Sharon Henson, 48, Clinton, was behind him. Holcomb backed into Henson’s vehicle, pushing her vehicle backward several feet. There was damage to the front bumper and hood of Henson’s vehicle. There was minimal damage to the rear bumper of Holcomb’s vehicle. There were no injuries reported and both vehicles were driven from the scene.

 

 

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

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-13

 

July 13, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Kevin Brooks, 45, Dalton City, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear. Brooks posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Marissa Nanez, 20, Wapella, was arrested and charged with Aggravated Assault. Nanez 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 Weekend Report

 

July 16, 2012

 

Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Darrin Bateson, 40, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Bateson was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Eddie Davis, 29, Roberts, was issued citations for Driving Under Influence and Expired Registration. Davis posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Dennis Reynolds, 49, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Reynolds posted a bond card and was released.

 

Kameron Farrington, 23, Decatur, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Farrington was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Marcqui Apholone, 19, Decatur, was issued a citation for No Valid Driver’s License. Apholone was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Kevin Jarvis, 23, Waynesville, was arrested and charged with Battery. 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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Parks Remain Under Burn Ban

The Department of Natural Resources wants to remind campers that DeWitt County State Parks are under an open fire ban.

Conservation Officer Ray Wichus says Weldon Springs and Clinton Lake are both on the fire ban. He warns just because the ground looks green in certain areas, doesn't mean it isn't dry.  Grass near evergreens tends to be greener longer than grass in open areas.

The ban is meant for the safety of the public, since both camp grounds only have one entrance. Wichus says the ban helps make sure the fires don't spread and cause campers to stampede out of the parks.

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Those who are caught making fires will get a warning from the park staff first. If they are caught again, a Conservation Officer is called and the perpertator will receive a ticket for 120 dollars or a court date. Wichus says the ticket is along the same lines as a speeding ticket.

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Wichus adds the campfires would spread quickly, and if a wind picks it up, it has the possibility to spread  outside the parks. His biggest concern though is public safety. The fire's would cause a large amount of smoke, making it hard for some patrons to breathe, and the possibility of a stampede would create many chances for injuries.

[audio:71312Ban3.mp3] [/audio]

Most of DeWitt County is currently under a fire ban. The cities of Clinton, Waynesville and Farmer City have all made fire bans within the last few weeks.

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Relatives Want Access To Slain Family's Home

 Relatives of the family killed nearly three years ago in their home in the central Illinois town of Beason are asking a judge to turn the house over to them.

Judge Thomas Harris said Friday in Lincoln that he will set a hearing in the next few weeks on the request from Nicole Gee.

Gee is the daughter of Rick Gee. He was killed in the home in September 2009 with his wife, Ruth, and 3 of their children.

Defense attorney Dan Fultz says that Nicole Gee wants the home so that she and other family members can claim belongings.

Two brothers from nearby Armington, Chris and Jason Harris, have been charged with murder in the deaths. The brothers aren't related to the judge.

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Elder Abuse Month In Illinois

IT’S ELDER ABUSE AWARENESS MONTH…AND ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT ON AGING OFFICIALS ARE URGING EVERYONE TO “BREAK THE SILENCE”. (two stories, same lead).

IT’S ESTIMATED AS MANY AS 100 THOUSAND ILLINOIS SENIORS ARE VICTIMS OF ABUSE…BUT MOST CASES GO UNREPORTED. AGENCY SPOKESPERSON KIMBERLY PARKER SAYS ELDER ABUSE CAN TAKE MANY FORMS.

[audio:abuse.mp3] [/audio]

FAMILY MEMBERS…CAREGIVERS…AND SENIORS THEMSELVES CAN REPORT SUSPECTED CASES OF ABUSE TO THE ELDER ABUSE HELP LINE…24 HOURS A DAY AT 1-866-800-1409.

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Childhood Obesity Becoming A Serious Issue

Childhood obesity is a growing concern and it can lead to other serious health issues at a young age.

Currently about 17 percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. are obese. Children are considered to be obese if they are in the top five percent as measured by body mass index or BMI. Children who are obese are more likely to develop other health conditions, says Dr. Marthe (Marta) dela Cruz, assistant professor of pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. She explains some of the problems usually seen only in adults.

[audio:siufatkids1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. dela Cruz says the best treatment for overweight children is prevention. She recommends healthy eating and correct portion sizes. She also advises that children increase their amount of physical activity.

[audio:siufatkids2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. dela Cruz recommends that children spend no more than two hours of screen time per day, which includes watching TV and sitting at a computer or video games, and engage in one hour of physical activity. If children are overweight, they should see their pediatrician or family physician for an evaluation and possible treatment.

 

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Weekly Weather Update

It was another hot and dry week here in Illinois. A few places did get some quick relief from small amounts of rain, but it did little to relieve the drought. This week could see some more precipitation, but the forecast doesn't call for much. State climatologist Jim Angel has more....

[audio:wx.mp3] [/audio]

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Law Enforcement To Raise Money For Special Olympics

Representatives of five local law enforcement departments will square off in a pair of softball games Saturday, July 21, to benefit the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois. Officers from the Bloomington, Normal and Illinois State University Police Departments, along with McLean County Sheriff’s Office and Illinois State Police, will play in two law enforcement games before the CornBelters.

The law enforcement softball games, which begin at 3:30 p.m. at the Corn Crib, 1000 W. Raab Rd., Normal, are part of Hometown Heroes Night with the Normal CornBelters baseball team.. Tickets purchased for the July 21 game will include admission to the law enforcement games and the CornBelters game.

CornBelters players will be wearing special jerseys featuring the various police department, Torch Run and Special Olympics logos in their 6:30 p.m. game on the same day against the London Rippers. The jerseys will be auctioned off following the CornBelters game with all net proceeds going to the Torch Run’s fundraising efforts for Special Olympics Illinois.

Special Olympics athletes from the Bloomington-Normal area and law enforcement officers from the community will participate in various ways during the event. Sara Bernabei of the McLean County Sheriff’s Office will sing the National Anthem at 6:25 p.m.

$3 of each $11 ticket soldwill benefit Special Olympics Illinois. For more information or to purchase tickets, call Special Olympics Illinois at 309-888-2551.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Torch Run is the single largest year-round fund-raising vehicle benefiting Special Olympics Illinois. The intrastate relay and its various fundraising projects have two goals: to raise money and increase public awareness for the athletes of Special Olympics. Each year, more than 3,000 officers in Illinois run more than 1,500 miles carrying the Flame of Hope through the streets of their hometowns and deliver it to the State Summer Games in Normal in June.

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FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Chicago Cubs 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Washington Nationals 5, Miami Marlins 1
Cincinnati Reds 5, St. Louis Cardinals 3
Atlanta Braves 7, New York Mets 5
Milwaukee Brewers 10, Pittsburgh Pirates 7
Colorado Rockies 6, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Los Angeles Dodgers 2, San Diego Padres 1
San Francisco Giants 5, Houston Astros 1

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

WNBA
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Washington Mystics 70, New York Liberty 53
San Antonio Silver Stars 91, Atlanta Dream 70
Connecticut Sun 80, Chicago Sky 78 (OT)
Seattle Storm 83, Phoenix Mercury 64

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Reds Shuffle Cards

  Todd Frazier homered and Ryan Ludwick tripled in a run as the Reds downed the Cardinals, 5-3.  Brandon Phillips finished 3-for-4 with a pair of runs for Cincinnati, which has won four straight.  Alfredo Simon picked up the win in relief while Aroldis Chapman locked down his 12th save.  Skip Schumaker was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Matt Holliday drove in a run for St. Louis.  Adam Wainwright gave up four runs in six-and-a-third innings to take the loss for the Cards.  St. Louis has lost just three of its last nine contests.

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Cubs Crush D'Backs

After waiting out a three-hour-41-minute rain delay, the Cubs pasted the Diamondbacks, 8-1.  Alfonso Soriano led the hit parade going 4-for-4 with five RBI and three runs scored.  The left fielder connected on a solo and three-run homer for Chicago, which has won three-of-four.  Paul Maholm pitched seven innings of one-run ball to pick up the win.  Ian Kennedy was rocked for six runs over five-plus innings to suffer the loss for Arizona.  Jason Kubel left the game in the seventh inning with an apparent injury.

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Best Barbecue In Southern Illinois

 You'll find world championship barbecue down in Murphysboro, Illinois, where owners of two separate restaurants have teamed up to win dozens of titles.  Pat's BBQ owner Pat Burke says he and Mike Mills, at 17th Street Bar and Grill, imagined top 50 would be great for their first world championship in Memphis in 1989. 

                    [audio:rddBurke1.mp3] [/audio]

The two competed under the name Apple City Barbecue and later started their own businesses.   They won 67 contests together.  Burke says the key to their "Que" is the perfect combination of meat, heat, dry rub, and sauces.  And while he and Mills aren't cooking together anymore, Burke says they're still the best of friends.

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U.S. Lawmakers Upset Over Olympic Uniforms

There's bipartisan anger over word that the U.S. Olympic team's uniforms are being made in China.  Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid said the Olympic Committee should be ashamed of itself and embarrassed.

[audio:ReidOlympics.mp3] [/audio]

Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, quote, "They should be wearing uniforms made in America."  Republican House Speaker John Boehner  [[ BAY-ner ]] said, "You'd think they'd know better."  The red, white and blue Ralph Lauren outfits will be worn during the opening ceremonies in London.

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Quinn Launches Veterans Job Initiative

Governor Quinn wants to put 100-thousand veterans to work by the year 2020.  

[audio:rddVetJobs1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says there's no better way of thanking veterans for their service than by giving them a J-O-B.  Employers in Illinois get a five thousand dollar tax credit for hiring a veteran.  Veterans can register their skills and look for job opportunities at IllinoisJobLink.Illinois.gov.

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Veteran Researcher To Lead University of Illinois

A noted leukemia doctor and researcher has been named the new director of the University of Illinois at Chicago Cancer Center.

University of Illinois at Chicago officials say Dr. Howard Ozer will take over the job permanently.

He has served as interim director since January 2011. Ozer is known for his research involving leukemia and lymphoma, and joined the UIC faculty in 2010 as an oncology professor and chief of hematology/oncology.

Ozer previously was section chief of the hematology/oncology section at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

UIC officials say Ozer is uniquely qualified to help the center move forward, including helping to obtain a formal Cancer Center designation from the National Cancer Institute.

Officials say such a designation would help the university advance its scientific excellence and prestige.

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Former Illini Football Coach Zook 'Shocked' By Paterno Report

Former Illinois football coach Ron Zook says he has trouble squaring the Joe Paterno he knew and admired with the one depicted in a report that concludes the late Penn State coach helped cover up allegations of child abuse.

Zook said Thursday from his home in Florida he was shocked by the report. He said it was hard to imagine Paterno covering up the problem, but "obviously he did."

While he worked in the Big Ten, Zook was close to Paterno.

Zook said the two talked about Paterno's unique legacy at Penn State and how there would likely never be another such dynasty. But given how Paterno's place at Penn State played a role in the handling of allegations against former assistant Jerry Sandusky, Zook said that might be good.

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Corn Loss Won't Significantly Impact Food Costs

Illinois corn is not looking good this year and some say the loss could mean a rise in food costs.  But Illinois Farm Bureau senior economist Michael Doherty says the increase will be minimal.

[audio:rddFoodUp1.mp3] [/audio]

The cost of fresh meats could go up thanks to drought like conditions but Doherty says the increase won't be much.  He gives an example on purchasing a six dollar whole chicken.

[audio:rddFoodUp2.mp3] [/audio]

The drought is forcing Illinois farmers to mow down their corn fields and some say the loss will mean higher prices in the grocery store.  Doherty explains that's not necessarily the case.

[audio:rddFoodUp3.mp3] [/audio]

Doherty says most of the corn produced in Illinois is used for animal feed and ethanol, not human consumption.  And when it comes down to it, he says only a small percentage of the global corn crop and feed grain will be impacted by the drought.  The USDA projects a three to four percent increase on fresh meats in 2012 but that's not all related to the drought.  Doherty says there are several factors that must be taken into consideration when it comes to price increases, including processing and keeping fresh meat refrigerated until it reaches grocery store shelves.

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Illinois Drought Task Force Convenes

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS CONVENING THE STATE’S DROUGHT TASK FORCE.

ACCORDING TO THE U-S DROUGHT MONITOR…ALL OF ILLINOIS IS NOW IN A SEVERE TO MODERATE DROUGHT. GOVERNOR QUINN SAYS THE STATE’S DROUGHT RESPONSE TASK FORCE HAS BEEN MEETING…AND IS ESPECIALLY CONCERNED ABOUT THE IMPACT ON ILLINOIS FARMERS.

[audio:taskforce.mp3] [/audio]

THE GROUP IS ALSO DISCUSSING WATER SUPPLIES…PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES…AND OTHER NEEDS DURING THE VERY HOT, DRY WEATHER. SOUTHERN ILLINOIS IS FARING THE WORST…AND IS EXPERIENCING EXTREME DROUGHT CONDITIONS.

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Monticello Schools Prepare FY13 Budget; Thankful For News From Springfield

As school districts across the state prepare to accept their Fiscal Year 13 budgets, one district will do so thankful that a proposed idea in Springfield was shot down.

It was proposed earlier this year by Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan to eliminate the distribution of funds from the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax (CPPRT) to school districts that benefit from it. Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools explains the reaction to that was not received well, and as a result the action was never called for a vote. CPPRT makes up almost half of Monticello Schools yearly revenues, making it a major blow to the district had that been eliminated.

[audio:71312monticellobudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Monticello schools receive less than 10% of their total revenues from the state. Dr. Zimmerman explains when the state cuts general state aid from other districts, it will have a bigger impact on other districts than it would Monticello.

[audio:71312monticellobudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Just as many schools face challenges in relying on the state for their revenues, schools who rely on CPPRT face challenges as well. Dr. Zimmerman explains CPPRT moves with the flow of the economy. And in looking forward, he sees what large corporations in the state are doing and is optimistic CPPRT will at the least hold steady, if not increase.

[audio:71312monticellobudget3.mp3] [/audio]

Last year the district did well. Dr. Zimmerman says they budgeted for overspending, however, CPPRT was not what they had hoped for.

When preparing for budgets for a school district, Dr. Zimmerman explains expenses are the easy part to plan for, he says it's the revenue planning that makes it challenging.

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Ambulance Committee Approves RFP

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The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee has taken the next step towards it goal of finding a new ambulance service for the county.

Thursday night the committee unanimously approved a Request For Proposal, or RFP.  Chair Teresa Barnett explains the RFP lays out all of the requirements the committee has identified as essential for any county-supported ambulance service.  She says the main points covered are Advanced Lifesaving Service (ALS), community interaction, and use of county supported mapping systems.

[audio:71312ambulancerfp1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Barnett, the committee believes an ALS service - which is the type currently provided in DeWitt County - is non-negotiable.  She says the group doesn't want to see the service provided citizens go backwards, and notes there are many ways a vendor could provide ALS service.

[audio:71312ambulancerfp2.mp3] [/audio]

The Request For Proposal now goes to the full DeWitt County Board for approval on July 19th.  Barnett notes once the full board signs off on the RFP, the wheels will be set in motion for the committee to ultimately make its final decision on an ambulance provider in late August.

[audio:71312ambulancerfp3.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett congratulated the 9-member committee on accomplishing one of its major tasks in such a timely fashion.  The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee was formed earlier this year after voters overwhelmingly approved a tax referendum to support a county based ambulance service.  The Dr. John Warner Hospital currently provides the service for much of the county, however they will halt ambulance service at the end of the year citing financial concerns.

TOP PHOTO:  Ambulance Committee members hear from the public Thursday night.

BOTTOM PHOTO: A draft map of the area of DeWitt County that will be served by the chosen vendor.

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LENOX Industrial Tools 301 Set For Sunday

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to Loudon this weekend for Sunday's LENOX Industrial Tools 301 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway.  Ryan Newman started on the pole and won last year's July race at New Hampshire.  He has won at New Hampshire three times.  Tony Stewart won last weekend at Daytona to improve to fifth in the Cup Standings.  Matt Kenseth holds a 25-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. atop the standings.

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NBA, US Basketball Notes

>>Pacers Deal Collison To Mavs

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The Indiana Pacers have traded point guard Darren Collison to the Dallas Mavericks.  The Pacers also sent swingman Dahntay Jones to Dallas in a sign-and-trade deal that will ship free agent center Ian Mahinmi to Indiana.  Collison has one year left on his contract at $2.3-million.  He averaged 10.4 points, 4.8 assists and 3.1 rebounds per game last season with the Pacers.  Mahinmi averaged 5.8 points and 4.7 boards per game last season for Dallas.

>>Pacers Sign D.J. Augustin

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Multiple outlets report the Indiana Pacers will sign former Charlotte Bobcats point guard D.J. Augustin.  He will replace Darren Collison as the back-up point guard to George Hill.  Augustin was originally a restricted free-agent, but the Bobcats renounced his right to let him become unrestricted after they agreed to terms with Ramon Sessions.  The former lottery pick averaged 11 points and six assists last season in 48 games.  

>>Pacers Sign Gerald Green

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The Indiana Pacers have signed veteran swingman Gerald Green.  During his career, Green has played for Boston, Minnesota, Houston, Dallas, and the Nets.  Last season, he averaged a career-best 12.9 points and 3.5 rebounds in 31 games for the Nets.  Green was also the winner of the 2007 Slam Dunk Contest.

>>USA Crushes Dominican Republic

(Las Vegas, NV)  --  The USA Men's Basketball team crushed the Dominican Republic, 113-59, in their first exhibition game.  Kevin Durant led all scorers off the bench with 24 points to go along with 10 rebounds.  The starting lineup for Team USA was Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony and Tyson Chandler.  Melo added in 13 points, while Deron Williams led the team with 10 assists.  The second of the USA's five exhibition games is Monday against Brazil in Washington D.C.

>>Griffin To Miss Olympics

(Las Vegas, NV)  --  Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin is expected to miss the Olympics due to a knee injury.  Griffin hurt his left knee during a Team USA practice on Wednesday.  He underwent an MRI Thursday and was diagnosed with a medial meniscus tear.  Griffin will have arthroscopic surgery, but the Clippers said he will be ready for training camp this fall.  Griffin just signed a five-year extension with L.A. on Wednesday worth as much as $95-million.  He averaged 20.7 points, 10.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists last season.  Griffin has been replaced on the roster by rookie Anthony Davis.

>>Report: Rockets Making Big Push For Howard

(Undated)  --  ESPN reports the Houston Rockets are making a big push to acquire Dwight Howard from the Orlando Magic.  According to the report, the Rockets have reconstructed their trade proposal and they are willing to take back more long-term contracts in a deal.  If the Rockets use the amnesty clause on forward Luis Scola, they would likely be able to take the contracts of Jason Richardson, Glen Davis and Chris Duhon from Orlando.  The Rockets would reportedly have to ship Kevin Martin, Patrick Patterson, Marcus Morris and Chandler Parsons to Orlando.  The Magic would also reportedly get the draft rights to Jeremy Lamb, Royce White and Terrence Jones.  All three players were just selected in the first round of last year's draft.

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Bears Raise Ticket Prices

The Chicago Bears have significantly raised single-game ticket prices.  Last year, the cheapest ticket was $74.  This season, the cheapest single-game ticket is $101.  Every single game ticket will be $25 more expensive than a season ticket price.  Soldier Field has the smallest seat capacity in the NFL at around 61,500.

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Baseball's Second Half Opens Today

>> White Sox To Be Tested Right Out Of Break

 Featuring a slew of rookies and a first-year manager, the Chicago White Sox will open the second half of the season as the leaders in the AL Central.

They know the next 2 1/2 months will be even tougher with Cleveland and Detroit giving chase.

Manager Robin Ventura's low-key approach has gotten big approval ratings in the clubhouse and his team has played better than most expected. Ventura has repeated several times that the White Sox are not overachievers, rather a group playing to its capabilities.

Now comes the real test - a 10-game road trip and 16 of the next 19 games away from home.

>>Cardinals Start Second Half

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals are back on the diamond this evening as they kick off the second half of their season with a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.  Adam Wainwright goes up against Mat Latos in the opener.  The Cards finished the first half in third place in the NL Central at 46-and-40.  They are just two-and-a-half games behind Pittsburgh atop the division standings.

>>Cubs Kick Off Second Half

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs are back in action this afternoon as they open up a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Wrigley Field.  Paul Maholm gets the nod opposite Ian Kennedy in the opener.  The Northsiders ended the first half in fifth place in the NL Central at 33-and-52.  They are just a half-game ahead of Houston and 15 games back of Pittsburgh atop the division standings.

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Blue Ridge Schools Come Away Big Winners At State FFA Convention

The Blue Ridge School District came out big in the FFA State Convention.

State Vice President and Blue Ridge alum Jim Tobin chaired the convention and gave a fare well speech. Superintendent Susan Wilson says Tobin's experience as an officer was one he will never forget. As a State officer for FFA, Tobin got to attend national conventions and took a trip to China.

[audio:7912FFAConvention.mp3] [/audio]

Blue Ridge's chapter won the State Agricultural Marketing Team. Team members included Connor Builta, JJ Malone, Josh Plunk, Austin Maxwell and Kaityln Zelhart. Builta was named one of the top 4 state stars. Malone and Maxwell both won high individual awards, and Builta, Plunk and Maxwell all received state degrees.

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Quinn: People Have Heard Enough About Jackson Jr.'s Health

Governor Pat Quinn doesn't think Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. should release more information on his health.

[audio:chiquinnjackson1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn is hoping people will keep Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. in their thoughts and prayers.

[audio:chiquinnjackson2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn believes people should be keeping Jackson in their thoughts, saying today he prays for the Chicago Democrat "every day."  More information on Jackson's health could be released later today.  An aide tells the "Chicago Sun-Times" Jackson's doctors plan on releasing information on his condition "soon."  Jackson's office announced last week he was taking a medical leave of absence from Congress due to a serious medical issue.  He isn't expected to return to Washington DC until after Labor Day. 

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Five Retired State Employees Sue Over Illinois Law

Five retired state employees are suing over a new law that allows Illinois to begin charging some state retirees for health insurance.

The retirees are members of the State Employees Retirement System who all put in at least 20 years of state service.

Such SERS members had been entitled to premium-free state health insurance. But Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law last month that does away with that benefit.

The retirees contend the law is an invalid delegation of legislative authority to an administrative agency or officer because it allows the Department of Central Management Services to determine annually what retirees will pay for health care.

Retired appellate judge Gordon Maag has filed a separate lawsuit asking that the law be declared unconstitutional.

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Conference Looks At Illinois College Graduation Rates

Illinois educators and officials are looking for ways to boost the state's college graduation rate.

The goal is to get to the point where 60% of adults in Illinois have some sort of college degree or career certificate by 2025. Right now the figure is about 41%.

The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is promoting the goal under the label "College Changes Everything." The commission is organizing a conference Thursday in Tinley Park for college administrators, high school leaders, counselors and state officials.

They're studying how to prepare students for college and keep them once they enrolled.

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Cuts At Illinois Child Agency Hit Front-Line Workers

An investigation has found that job cuts at the state agency tasked with protecting children in Illinois have fallen most heavily on case workers and investigators.

The Department of Children and Family Services has added supervisors even as it has reduced the number of front-line employees they are supposed to be overseeing.

Faced with severe budget strains, Illinois lawmakers approved a $50 million cut in the agency's funding for the new fiscal year. That financial pressure has been cited for shortfalls in protecting abused children.

Still, the analysis found investigators and caseworkers were cut by nearly 14% from 2006 to 2011.

Agency Director Richard Calica (KAL'-ihk-uh) says he's already working to address what he calls "redundant levels of decision-makers."

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Some Corn Farmers Mow Fields As Drought Worsens

Some corn farmers are mowing down fields as the drought in the middle of the country worsens.

The most severe drought in nearly 25 years spreads from Ohio to California. Some of the hardest hit areas are in the corn belt, where the lack of rain has combined with unusual heat to damage plants.

David Kellerman says he and the neighbor he farms with cut down their corn near Du Bois, Ill., after more than a week of temperatures over 100 degrees.

Corn doesn't develop properly if temperatures rise above 95 during pollination.

Matt Johnson's popcorn fields in Redkey, Ind., have been burning up by day, and he expects his insurance adjuster to tell him to mow them over if no rain comes by next month.

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Southern Illinois Farmers Fear For Corn, Soybean Crops

Southern Illinois grain farmers say unless substantial rains fall soon and temperatures moderate, they will suffer a crop disaster.

Madison County farmers say while the corn crop could be wiped out by current conditions, the soybean crop is faring better. However, soybean yield will drop without relief from parched conditions.

Madison County farmers are suffering under what agronomists call "moderate" drought conditions. There has been no measurable rain in the county so far this month.

The National Agricultural Statistics office reported last week that 78% of the corn in Madison County has tasseled. However, Tom Gett of the Illinois Farm Bureau says corn doesn't pollinate when it's as hot as it is. Also, pollinated corn will need rain soon to fill out growing kernels.

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26 Illinois Counties Hit By Drought Can Get Aid

Farmers in 26 counties in southern Illinois can apply for drought-related disaster relief.

Under new rules announced Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, those counties automatically qualify for a disaster designation. No formal declaration is necessary.

The criteria include severe drought conditions for eight or more consecutive weeks during the growing season.

Bob Flider, the acting director of the Illinois Agriculture Department, says farmers in the more than two dozen affected counties may be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

They should contact their county Farm Service Agency office.

The state agencies that make up Illinois' Drought Response Task Force met Wednesday to discuss recommendations and assistance for those hurt by the dry, hot weather.

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Quinn: We Will Deal With Drought

Illinois farmers will likely take a big hit this year thanks to extreme weather conditions but Governor Quinn says he won't leave them out to dry.  

[audio:RddDrought1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says he's been in touch with the Drought Initiative Task Force and the Farm Bureau.  He says he'll unveil a plan on Monday on how the state plans to deal with the drought.  Illinois exports billions of dollars worth of food and other goods to nations all across the world.  Quinn says the drought presents a challenge but he'll do as much as possible to help farmers.

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Another Heat Wave In Store For Central Illinois

With another heat wave approaching central Illinois, local EMS wants to give advice on how to handle this scorcher.

Emergency manager Teresa Barnett says there are many signs to look for when out in hot temperatures. Signs to watch out for include headache, lack of sweating and confusion.

[audio:71212WeatherWarning1.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett adds DeWitt County is still under a drought and reminds people that most of the county is under a fire ban. She encourages people to be careful when using grills or fire of any sort. Waynesville, Farmer City, Clinton and the state parks have all banned open fires. The bans are to help stop tragic events such as barn and house fires.

[audio:71212WeatherWarning2.mp3] [/audio]

For more warning signs and advice, call EMS at 217-935-3922.

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Blue Ridge Schools Implementing New Teacher, Principal Evaluation Methods

The Blue Ridge School District will be implementing a new way of evaluating it's teachers and principals this coming school year.

There will be two different evaluations for teachers and principals. Superintendent of the Blue Ridge School District, Susan Wilson explains the teacher rubric will include very defined goals of what a good educator is and what needs improvements look like. Wilson notes this model is researched based and has been shown to impact student achievement.

[audio:71212blueridgeevaluation1.mp3] [/audio]

For principals, they will be evaluated based on the performance of students in their buildings. Wilson notes their evaluations will be very specific, and while the points of evaluation have always been considered for principals, she feels this will be a big change.

[audio:71212blueridgeevaluation2.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson feels these changes will be very good changes for the district. She feels having clear descriptions for teachers and clear goals for everyone will make a big difference.

The new evaluation methods start at the beginning of the upcoming school year.

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John Deere Classic Tees Off This Morning

Steve Stricker returns to Illinois to try for his fourth consecutive title at the John Deere Classic.  Stricker, the 13th-ranked player in the world, owns 12 PGA Tour titles, and three of them have come at this event.  Last year, Stricker rolled in a 25-foot birdie from off the 18th green to take the title.  Once again, the 2012 John Deere Classic falls the week before the British Open, the season's third major.  Stricker is one of five former John Deere champions in the field this week, while Ted Potter Jr. will tee it up fresh off his victory at the Greenbrier Classic last weekend.

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NFL Notes

>>Colts To Black Out Games If Tickets Don't Sellout

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Colts fans may not be able to watch their favorite team on television this season.  Colts officials say their games will be blacked out unless every ticket is sold.  The NFL is allowing teams to televise games where tickets are 85-percent sold, but teams that do that must give 50-percent of money taken in from ticket sales to the "visiting team pool," which is later distributed to every NFL team.

>>Saints' Brees Might Sit Out Training Camp

(New Orleans, LA)  --  New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees will not report to the team's training camp if he does not have a long term deal in place by Monday's deadline.  According to ESPN, Brees has no plans of signing his franchise tender for $16.371-million.  The Saints training camp starts on July 24th.  Under the NFL's CBA, Brees would have until the 10th regular season game to sign his tender if a new deal is not in place or he would be prohibited from playing the rest of the season.  New Orleans' season-opener is slated for September 9th against the Washington Redskins.  The 33-year-old signal-caller is seeking an average of $20.5-million per year and the club has offered him an average of $19.25-million per year.  Brees has been with the Saints for six years and led the franchise to their first Super Bowl title in 2009.  He was named the MVP of that game.

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Report: Nets End Pursuit Of Howard

The Brooklyn Nets are no longer trying to acquire Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard.  ESPN is reporting that trade talks have ended after a final attempt to work out a deal fell through on Wednesday afternoon.  The Nets final offer to the Magic was four future first-round picks, center Brook Lopez and power forward Kris Humphries in sign-and-trade deals.  Orlando rejected the offer.  The Houston Rockets and Los Angeles Lakers are still reportedly making a push to trade for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year.

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Annual ESPY Awards Held In Los Angeles

The 20th annual ESPY Awards show took place in Los Angeles Wednesday night.  The Arthur Ashe Courage Award was presented to legendary former Tennessee women's basketball coach Pat Summitt.  Summitt is battling early onset dementia, Alzheimer's type, and retired after this past season.  The Jimmy V Award for Perseverance was presented to former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who was paralyzed during a game in October 2010.

New York Knicks guard Jeremy Lin was named Breakthrough Athlete of the Year.  Tim Tebow was presented with the award for Best Moment for his 80-yard touchdown pass to Demaryius Thomas that gave the Denver Broncos an overtime playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.  The Best Comeback Athlete Award was given to Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford.  LeBron James took home three ESPYs, including Male Athlete of the Year.  The NBA champion Miami Heat were also named the Team of the Year.

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Interleague Rivalry Games To Be Reduced in 2013

The number of games between interleague rivals such as the Yankees and Mets, Cubs and White Sox, and Dodgers and Angels will be reduced under Major League Baseball's new schedule format for 2013.

Players' union head Michael Weiner said Tuesday that in most instances the rivalry games will be cut from six to either four or three. The new format was caused by next year's move of the Houston Astros to the American League, creating two 15-team circuits and the need for interleague play throughout the season.

Says Weiner: "The reduction of traditional rivalry games was a function of fairness. Whether we end off at 3 of 4 is a function of mechanics."

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Chicago Prospect Parker Names 10 College Choices

Basketball star Jabari Parker has named the 10 college programs he is considering with a year to go before he graduates from high school, and DePaul in his hometown of Chicago made the cut.

Parker tweeted his 10 schools on Wednesday night in no particular order: national champion Kentucky, Stanford, Michigan State, Kansas, Florida, Duke, BYU, Georgetown, DePaul and North Carolina.

Parker said he hopes to reduce his list to five by this fall, when he will start his senior year at Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, where he is an A student. He said geography would play a role in his eventual choice.

Last season, Parker averaged 19.5 points, 8.9 rebounds, 4.9 assists, 3.3 blocks and 1.4 steals in leading Simeon to its third consecutive Illinois state title.

He said this summer has been "kind of a setback in recruiting" because he hasn't been able to talk to many coaches since he was traveling overseas with the under-17 U.S. team.

Parker declined to talk about a major religious decision that awaits him when he turns 19 at the end of his freshman year in college. That's the age when Mormon men decide whether to go on a 2-year mission to spread the church's faith in the U.S. or overseas. Parker is part of a small segment of the U.S. population that is Mormon, and rarer still are the number of blacks like Parker who are Mormon.

Parker's inclusion of BYU among his college choices is clearly a nod to his faith.

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Clinton Junior High School Baseball Tryout Dates Set

Try outs for Jr. High baseball will be on July 30th at 4:00 on the Jr. High/JV baseball field between the high school and junior high school.  All athletes must have a current physical in order to try out.

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Increasing Number of Car Thefts Reported In Clinton

Car break-ins have become an increasing problem this summer throughout Clinton.

Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy explains break-ins are being reported between 11 at night and around four in the morning. He believes these burglars are looking for cash, cigarettes, or even expensive devices they can turn over quickly for cash.

[audio:71312carthefts1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy notes the thefts started in a small portion of town but are now spreading. He encourages residents to not leave any valuables in their vehicles, keep any outdoor lights on at night, and as always, lock your vehicles at all times.

[audio:71312carthefts2.mp3] [/audio]

It is believed these vandals are on foot and dressing in dark clothing to not be noticed. Chief Reidy encourages each resident to keep a watchful eye of their property and their neighbors. He says anything suspicious in the late hours of the evening and night should be reported.

[audio:71312carthefts3.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy notes the so far do not have many leads and because of the late hours of the night and homes being closed up due to the heat, many of these vandalisms are going unnoticed until after they happen.

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IDES Going After Inmates Collecting Unemployment Benefits

THE STATE IS GOING AFTER INMATES WHO ARE STILL COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT BEHIND BARS.

ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DIRECTOR JAY ROWELL SAYS THEY ARE CROSS-REFERENCING LISTS OF PRISONERS AGAINST THOSE WHO HAVE FILED FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS. HE SAYS IF YOU’RE LOCKED UP…YOU AREN’T ENTITLED TO A CHECK.

[audio:inmates1.mp3] [/audio]

TO RECEIVE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS…YOU NEED TO BE ACTIVELY LOOKING FOR WORK. ROWELL ADDS THEY HAVE IDENTIFIED OVER 400 INMATES COLLECTING UNEMPLOYMENT SO FAR.

[audio:inmates2.mp3] [/audio]

ROWELL SAYS THEY WON’T TAKE BENEFITS AWAY FROM SOMEONE WHO ONLY SERVES A FEW DAYS AND THEN ACTIVELY STARTS SEEKING WORK AGAIN.

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AgEngage Conference Preview

Things are shaping up for an early harvest this year, and producers are invited to an upcoming conference aimed at helping make sure everything is ready to bring the crop in.  Jared White has more....

[audio:7912AgEngageGrainConfPreviewWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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DeWitt County's Disaster Action Team Busy With Recent Fires

Due to recent fires, the American Red Cross' new Disaster Action Team (DAT) captain has been busy.

The American Red Cross DAT team of DeWitt County helped supply food and water for the firefighters who responded to the fires last month. New captain, Bob Reed explains his team was able to supply sandwiches from a local grocery store and water to the firefighters. He adds the Decatur office was able to respond as well and brought more support and supplies with them.

[audio:71112DAT1.mp3] [/audio]

In DeWitt County, there are 14 active members of the team. Reed says the teams main goal is to help first responders and give moral support to those who lost shelter. One member has the team's phone at all times, and at least two members of the team respond to each disaster.

[audio:71112DAT2.mp3] [/audio]

Reed believes it makes being captain of DeWitt County's team is very fulfilling and he has a good team of volunteers. He says in many cases when helping someone, they are just looking for someone to talk to.

[audio:71112DAT3.mp3] [/audio]

Reed recently was nominated as DeWitt County's Volunteer of the Year through the American Red Cross. Reed feels it's easy to be a captain of the Disaster Action Team because of the great people he works with.

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NASCAR Notes

>>Allmendinger Requests Second Drug Test

(Charlotte, NC)  --  Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger is petitioning NASCAR to test his "B" sample after being placed on "temporary suspension" for recently violating the substance abuse policy.  The 30-year-old driver failed his initial drug test for a June race at the Kentucky Speedway.  If Allmendinger's "B" sample comes back positive, NASCAR will then place Allmendinger on indefinite suspension, meaning he will have to successfully complete a drug treatment program before he can be reinstated.  Allmendinger is in his first year as driver of the number-22 Dodge for Penske Racing.  He replaced Kurt Busch in the car following the 2012 Sprint Cup season.

Allmendinger is the second Sprint Cup driver to be suspended since NASCAR revised its drug policy prior to the start of the 2009 season.  Jeremy Mayfield failed a drug test in May 2009 and has not competed in a NASCAR event since.

>>Patrick Completes 10-Race Schedule For 2012

(Charlotte, NC)  --  Danica Patrick says that Kansas Speedway will complete her 10-race Sprint Cup Series schedule in 2012.  Patrick, a former IndyCar competitor, is driving the number-10 Chevrolet, with GoDaddy.com as her team's primary sponsor, for Tommy Baldwin Racing and Stewart-Haas Racing in NASCAR's premier series this year.  The 30-year-old driver is also running a full-time Nationwide Series schedule for JR Motorsports this year.

Patrick is quite familiar with the 1.5-mile Kansas racetrack.  She scored her first career IndyCar pole there in July 2005 and her lone Nationwide Series race at this track came last October when she started and finished 15th.  The Sprint Cup race at Kansas is scheduled for October 21st.  Patrick is hoping to run a full-time Sprint Cup schedule in 2013.

>>Stewart Docked After Rules Violation

(Daytona Beach, FL)  --  Defending Sprint Cup champion Tony Stewart was docked six points by NASCAR on Tuesday for rules violations that occurred this weekend at Daytona.  Stewart's number-14 Chevrolet was issued a penalty for an unapproved open vent hose that was found during post-qualifying inspection.  Stewart's crew chief, Steve Addington, was fined $25-thousand and placed on probation until August 22nd.  Stewart won last Saturday night's 400-mile Sprint Cup race at Daytona after starting 42nd.

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Bulls Start Las Vegas Summer League Next Week

The Chicago Bulls will be in Sin City next week.  The Bulls open up their Las Vegas Summer League schedule on Tuesday against the Boston Celtics at Cox Pavilion.  Chicago also plays summer league contests versus Houston, Golden State, Los Angeles Clippers and Milwaukee next week.

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National League Pounds American League In Kansas City

>>National League Rolls In 83rd All-Star Game

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Pablo Sandoval laced a three-run triple during a five-run first inning as the National League cruised to an 8-0 win over the American League in the 83rd All-Star Game.  Ryan Braun and Dan Uggla also plated runs in the first, while Melky Cabrera hit a two-run homer in a three-run fourth.  Cabrera was named the Game's MVP.  NL starter Matt Cain picked up the win after tossing two innings of one-hit ball.  The NL captured home-field advantage in the World Series for the third straight year with the victory.  

Mike Trout went 1-for-1 with a walk and a stolen base for the American League.  AL starter Justin Verlander allowed all five runs on four hits and two walks in the first frame to suffer the loss.  The American League had only six hits.  The AL was shutout in the Midsummer Classic for the first time since 1996.  It marked only the eighth all-time shutout in All-Star Game history.

Carlos Beltran went 0-for-1 with a walk and a run scored.  Rafael Furcal was 1-for-3 with a run and David Freese struck out in his only at-bat.  Pitcher Lance Lynn did not appear in the contest. The Cards open up the second half of the season on Friday evening with the opener of a three-game series at Cincinnati.

Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and first baseman Bryan LaHair both went 0-for-1 off the bench.  Four Southsiders made the team, but just two played.  Pitcher Chris Sale gave up two hits and struck out one in a scoreless inning.  Paul Konerko did not have an at-bat but took over at first base for Prince Fielder for a few innings.  Adam Dunn and Jake Peavy did not make an appearance.

The Northsiders and Southsiders both start the second half of the season on Friday.  The Cubs open up a three-game series against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday afternoon at Wrigley Field.  The ChiSox stay in KC to kick off the second half of the season on Friday evening with the opener of a three-game set against the Royals.

>>Yankees' Cano Upset At Royals Fans

(Kansas City, MO)  --  New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano revealed that his family was the target of jeers from fans in Kansas City at Tuesday's All-Star Game.  Cano was booed during Monday's Home Run Derby and Tuesday's Midsummer Classic.  Royals fans felt he should have selected Kansas City All-Star Billy Butler to participate in the Derby.  Cano says members of his family were yelled at when using the restroom at Kauffman Stadium.  He added that he understands why fans booed him and has no hard feelings, but that the poor treatment of his family was crossing the line.

>>Erin Andrews Makes Debut For FOX Sports

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Sportscaster Erin Andrews made her debut for FOX at Tuesday night's MLB All-Star Game in Kansas City.  The 34-year-old interviewed Chipper Jones of the Atlanta Braves and Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels prior to the Game before covering the American League dugout during the contest.  Andrews' dugout duties included an interview with New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter.  Andrews left ESPN earlier this month after eight seasons with the "Worldwide Leader."  She's expected to help with FOX's coverage of college and NFL football this fall.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-11

July 11, 2012

 

Jail Population: 74

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Gage Benson, 18, Fisher, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Benson posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.

 

Edwin Burton, 48, Weldon, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Disorderly Conduct.

 

 

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

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Clinton Faces Tough Decision Regarding New Gambling Regulations

A recent bill through the state of Illinois regarding video gambling has only recently been enacted.

The result is eminent changes to many establishments in Clinton and DeWitt County, but also all over the state. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains the idea is for all gaming machines to be hooked up to where the state can monitor them.

[audio:71212localgambling1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Mayor Peters, under the imposed regulations, the proceeds from these video gambling machines will go towards the entity providing the machine, the establishment, the state and the town.

[audio:71212localgambling2.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton currently allows for 'coin operated amusement devices', however, they also do not allow gambling. Mayor Peters explains they will approach this as the devices are already in the community and they are going to have to decide if they want them regulated or removed completely. The city does hold the option of maintaining the ban they have on gambling machines, which would result in these machines being removed from every establishment.

[audio:71212localgambling3.mp3] [/audio]

The city will be meeting with owners of establishments to find out what effects the various options would have on their places of business. Mayor Peters feels gambling should not be allowed in Clinton, however, because the issue has not been monitored over time, it may be too far gone to remove them completely.

[audio:71212localgambling4.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor feels it would be easy to make this decision if these devices were not already in the community. She adds, she will be watching what other communities around the area do about this issue, because it will interesting to know if their circumstances mirror the circumstances in the Clinton community.

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Lawmakers Push To Keep Prisons Open

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle want to restore funding for Tamms and Dwight prisons.  Governor Pat Quinn slashed the money from the budget, but State Senator Gary Forby says that will hurt the state more than it helps.  

[audio:rddPrisonC1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn slashed funding for Dwight and Tamms prisons from the budget.  State Representative Brandon Phelps says closing Tamms removes the safety valve of the whole prison system.

[audio:rddPrisonC2.mp3] [/audio]

State Representative Jason Barickman says Quinn's actions demonstrate he's out of sync when it comes to state priorities

[audio:rddPrisonC3.mp3] [/audio]

The lawmakers are teaming up with the AFSCME labor union in a call to restore funding.  AFSCME represents 40-thousand state workers, including those at risk of losing their jobs.  Union officials say they've found over a dozen shanks and other weapons in inmate cells recently.  They say adding the toughest inmates to general population will increase dangers for inmates and workers.  Quinn says prisoners at both Tamms and Dwight will be moved by the end of the year.  He's already offered to sell Tamms to the federal government.

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U of I Plans Faculty Raises Despite State Cuts

University of Illinois leaders say the school is operating in a tough financial environment but they plan to give faculty merit-based raises this summer that will average 2.5%.

Christophe Pierre is the university's vice president for academic affairs. He says any raises will be questioned with the school's state funding dropping by $44 million this fiscal year. But Pierre and others gathered at a meeting Monday on the Urbana-Champaign campus said the university has to keep salaries competitive to draw and retain top talent.

Associate Vice President for Planning and Budgeting Randy Kangas says other Big Ten schools are planning raises of 1 to 3%.

Officials say the raises aren't automatic and some employees may not get them.

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Governor Quinn Signs Bill Giving The Go Ahead To Construction Projects

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS SIGNING A NEW LAW TO KICK OFF THE NEXT ROUND OF CAPITAL CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS IN ILLINOIS.

THE LAW AUTHORIZES ONE POINT SIX BILLION DOLLARS FOR MUCH NEEDED INFRASTRUCTURE IMPROVEMENTS LIKE ROAD AND BRIDGE REPAIR…AND RAIL UPGRADES SAYS GOVERNOR QUINN.

[audio:capital1.mp3] [/audio]

THE GOVERNOR ADDS EVEN THOUGH FINANCES ARE TIGHT…THE STATE CAN’T STOP INVESTING IN INFRASTRUCTURE.

[audio:capital2.mp3] [/audio]

QUINN SAYS THE CAPITAL PROJECTS WILL CREATE MORE THAN 18 THOUSAND JOBS IN ILLINOIS.

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University of Illinois Board To Keep Police Institute Open

The University of Illinois and the board that oversees police training academies in the state have reached a deal to keep the Police Training Institute at the school's Urbana-Champaign campus open.

The Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board and lawmakers from east-central Illinois say the board and the university will jointly operate the institute. The news release announcing the deal Monday comes less than two months after the university said it would close the institute.

Under the agreement, the institute will focus on training and academic research.

University leaders had complained about having to spend $600,000 a year on the institute given that it isn't part of the university's core mission. Financial details of the new agreement weren't discussed in the news release.

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Quinn Takes High Speed Train In Spain

Governor Quinn says Spain has one of the fastest high speed rail systems in the world and he got to see it first-hand last week.  

[audio:rddSpain1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn visited Spain in an effort to draw Spanish businesses to Illinois.  Plus he says it's always good to say, "Thank you" to those who already do business with you.  Illinois exports to Spain totaled more than 296-million dollars last year.

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Quinn Not Likely To Sign Gaming Bill

Governor Quinn says he'll review the gaming bill line-by-line but it appears he may not sign it.  

[audio:rddGaming1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn wants lawmakers to ban campaign contributions from the gaming industry.  He says without the ban, gaming could spin out of control in Illinois.  Illinois lawmakers have received half-a-million dollars from gaming interests in the past three years.  The bill under consideration would add five new casinos across the state plus slots at racetracks.  Proponents say more gaming will put thousands of people to work and generate more than 100-million dollars in new revenue for the state.

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Quinn Disputes Claims Of Competition Among Prison Sales

Governor Quinn shoots down reports that the sale of Tamms prison is in direct competition with the sale of Thomson prison.  

[audio:rddPrisons1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn proposed selling Thomson several years ago but the deal never went through.  Now Tamms is up for 165-million dollars.  Some Congressmen want Quinn to reduce the sale price but Quinn says he won't take any less than that.  The facility now holds Illinois' toughest criminals.  They'll be moved into other prisons by the end of the year.  Thomson prison is already empty.

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New Tax Credit for Businesses That Hire Veterans

 Illinois businesses now have more incentive to hire veterans that have served in Afghanistan and Iraq.  Governor Quinn says it's shameful that the vets haven't been able to find work.

[audio:rddVetsTax1.mp3] [/audio]

Congressman Danny Davis says Governor Quinn is keeping his promise to put veterans to work.

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Congressman Davis adds both large corporations and small businesses will benefit from a new tax credit when they hire veterans.

[audio:rddVetsTax3.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn signed a bill which gives employers up to five thousand dollars for hiring the post 9-11 vets, who face a 30-percent unemployment rate nationwide.  Officials say this is just the first step toward improving the lives of veterans.  The new law goes into effect immediately.

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Schilling May Back Farm Bill

Western Illinois Congressman Bobby Schilling says he'll go along with the House version of the 2012 Farm Bill as long as it cuts fraud, abuse and spending within the federal food stamp program. The first-term Republican says he wants more accountability within the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

[audio:rddSchillingFB1.mp3] [/audio]

He says right now the government gives handouts to people who may not need assistance.

[audio:rddSchillingFB2.mp3] [/audio]

Schilling says people who currently qualify for heating assistance automatically qualifies for other forms of free assistance.  He says they want to end that practice.  The House Ag committee member also favors streamlining and consolidating many programs.  Schilling says his staff continues to review the 557 pages of the bill, which should be voted on later this month.

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Parents Defend Putting Children To Work On Farms

Families and agriculture groups say farming can be dangerous but parents are in the best position to protect their children while helping them learn about the family business.

Agriculture organizations succeeded last spring in convincing the U.S. Labor Department to drop proposals that would limit farm work by children. Now they say the government should leave safety to parents.

John Myers, of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, says it's unfortunate the Labor Department dropped its plans because children working on farms are at greater risk than those with other jobs.

The push for tougher restrictions came as fewer children are being injured on farms.

For every 1,000 U.S. farms, agriculture-related injuries to workers younger than 20 dropped by nearly half from 2001 to 2009.

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USDA Reports Corn In 18 States Hurt By Drought

The condition of corn in the 18 states that produce most of it has deteriorated due to widespread drought.

The latest report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says 30% of the crop is now considered in poor or very poor condition. A week ago, it was 22%.

Indiana and Illinois have been particularly hard hit.

The USDA said Monday that Indiana's corn is now 61% poor or very poor compared to 50% last week.

In Illinois, 48% of the corn is rated as poor or very poor, compared to 33% last week.

The amount of corn rated good to excellent also is dropping, to 40% this week from 48% a week ago.

Corn surged 31 cents to $7.74 in afternoon trading.

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Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS CROPS CONTINUE TO DETERIORATE IN THE HOT…DRY WEATHER.

STATEWIDE AVERAGE TOPSOIL MOISTURE NOW STANDS AT JUST FOUR PERCENT ADEQUATE…29 PERCENT SHORT…AND 67 PERCENT VERY SHORT. CHIEF STATE CROP STATISTICIAN BRAD SCHWAB SAYS THE CORN DROP IS DEFINITELY THIRSTY.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

42 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING…AND SIX PERCENT ARE SETTING PODS. JUST 20 PERCENT OF THE SOYBEAN CROP IS RATED IN GOOD TO EXCELLENT CONDITION.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

AS FOR OTHER CROPS…24 PERCENT OF OATS HAVE BEEN HARVESTED…AND THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 94 PERCENT COMPLETE.

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Community Action Seeking Applicants For Early Head Start Program

Community Action is currently enrolling new applicants for their Early Head Start program.

According to Homebase Manager Shelly Lee, many of the students currently in the Early Head Start program are now old enough for the Head Start and they are looking for applicants to fill their spots. Early Head Start is a free year round program that brings teacher's into the children's home to help the child develop. Lee adds it is year round because at that age, it is crucial to continuously have them developing.

[audio:7512Early1.mp3] [/audio]

Lee explains the programs goal is to help parents provide for their children but they couldn't before due to low income. She adds the program's goal is to give the children what is necessary so they can transition into school.

[audio:7512Early2.mp3] [/audio]

Lee notes the program has gotten great results. She explains at the beginning of the program they do screenings on all the children, and they will throughout the year periodically assess the children's progress.

[audio:7512Early3.mp3] [/audio]

The program is open to low income children under the age of 4 in the counties of DeWitt, Piatt, Logan, Menard, Mason and Fulton. For more information call 877-588-7189 or go to www.capcil.org.

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DeWitt County 4-H Horse Show Recap

The DeWitt County 4-H horse show took place over the weekend.

The two day event had over 40 4-H members showing their horses. It started with classes on Saturday, and on Sunday, particpants competed in games. Classes include halter, showmanship, western pleasure and pattern riding. Horse show superintendent Dan Enos notices year after year that the members look forward to the games most.

[audio:71012HorseShow1.mp3] [/audio]

Enos adds the horse show has a family event atmosphere. Numerous relatives came out to watch and help their 4-H family member participate in the show. Buck Carter came out to support his grandson Jake Moore, who was showing his horse Scotch. Carter believes his grandchildren have developed people skills from their 4-H experiences.

[audio:71012HorseShow2.mp3] [/audio]

Moore, who also participates in welding, tractors and woodwork, thinks 4-H has helped him in many ways.  A member of the rebel riders, he sees his experience as a great learning experience. He plans on going to the state fair in August.

[audio:71012HorseShow3.mp3] [/audio]

Rachel Torbert, who was supporting a sibling, says she misses her time with 4-H. She has carried what she learned during her time with the organziation has transitioned into her work ethnic today. She thinks that it doesn't matter if you are focused on agriculture or not, what can be picked up from 4-H can help in any career.

[audio:71012HorseShow4.mp3] [/audio]  

Next weekend on the 14 and 15, the DeWitt County 4-H will have their general show.

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All-Star, Baseball Notes

>>Fielder Wins Home Run Derby

(Kansas City, MO)  --   Detroit Tigers slugger Prince Fielder won the 2012 Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City Monday night.  Fielder beat Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays in the final round, 12-7, to capture his second Home Run Derby title.  Fielder, who also won the event in 2009 as a member of the Milwaukee Brewers, hit a total 28 homers in this year's contest.  Bautista finished with 20.  Fielder joins Ken Griffey Jr. as the only players to win two Derbies and is the only player to win it as a member of both the American and National League.  Last year's champion, American League captain and New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano failed to hit a single homer in the opening round.  NL captain and Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp hit only one out in round one.

>>KC Hosts 83rd MLB All-Star Game Tuesday Night

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City will be the site of the 83rd MLB All-Star Game Tuesday night. San Francisco's Matt Cain will be on the mound for the National League.  Cain narrowly beat R.A. Dickey of the New York Mets for the starting nod.  Once again, the winner of the All-Star Game will give its league homefield advantage in the World Series.  The National League has won the last two All-Star games after snapping a 13-game winless streak in 2010.  First-pitch is scheduled for 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

>>La Russa Picks Cain As NL Starter

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa announced that Giants pitcher Matt Cain will start tonight's All-Star Game for the National League.  La Russa also revealed his starting lineup for the contest.  Carlos Gonzalez will be the designated hitter and lead off followed by Giants center fielder Melky Cabrera and Milwaukee left fielder Ryan Braun.  Reds' Joey Votto will bat clean-up and play first base followed by Cards right fielder Carlos Beltran and Giants catcher Buster Posey.  San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval will hit seventh followed by Braves second baseman Dan Uggla and St. Louis shortstop Rafael Furcal will hit ninth.

>>Verlander To Start For AL Tonight

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander will take the mound for the American League in the first All-Star Game start of his career tonight in Kansas City.  AL manager Ron Washington named Verlander his starter yesterday, while the National League will counter with San Francisco Giants pitcher Matt Cain.  Verlander is 9-and-5 this season with a 2.58 ERA and Cain is 9-and-3 with a 2.62 ERA with a perfect Game to his credit.  Verlander will be joined by Detroit first baseman Prince Fielder as a starter, while third baseman Miguel Cabrera is a reserve in the 83rd edition of the Midsummer Classic at Kauffman Stadium.

>>Cubs Sign Top-Pick Almora

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs have reportedly agreed to a deal with first-round pick Albert Almora.  The "Chicago Tribune" reports the sixth-overall selection agreed to a $3.9-million-dollar bonus. The 18-year-old outfielder from Mater Academy batted .603 with six homers and 34 RBI and also had 24 steals last season.

>>White Sox' Youkilis Wins AL Weekly Honor

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago White Sox third baseman Kevin Youkilis [[ you-KILL-is ]] has been named the top player in the American League for the last week of the first half.  Youkilis hit .478 with three home runs, 10 RBI and seven runs scored over six games in just his second full week with the White Sox.  Since being traded to Chicago on June 25th after spending his first eight seasons with the Boston Red Sox, the 33-year-old is batting .347 with three homers, 14 RBI and nine runs scored over 13 games.  It is the second career weekly award for Youkilis.

>> Phil Humber To Make Rehab Start

Chicago White Sox pitcher Phil Humber will make a rehab start for the AA Birmingham Barons.

Humber, who threw a perfect game against the Seattle Mariners on April 21, starts Wednesday night against the Tennessee Smokies.

He was placed on the 15-day disabled list on June 22 with a right elbow strain. Humber made two previous rehab starts with the Class AAA Charlotte Knights, going 0-1 with a 5.68 earned run average in six-plus innings.

The 29-year-old Humber is 3-4 with a 6.01 ERA with the White Sox.

>>Brock Given Robinson Legacy Award

(Kansas City, MO)  --  St. Louis Cardinals legend Lou Brock was given the 2012 Jackie Robinson Legacy Award for Lifetime Achievement on Monday.  Brock was presented with the award by the president of the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Bob Kendrick, in Kansas City.  The six-time All-Star was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.  In 19 seasons with the Cardinals and Cubs, Brock batted .293 with 3,023 hits and 938 stolen bases.  Brock retired as baseball's single-season and all-time leader in stolen bases.  His records were later broken by Rickey Henderson.

One of the Cardinals all time favorites stole the spotlight at the All Star Fan Fest in Kansas City.  Hall of Famer Lou Brock, who stole 938 bases in his career, made it to the big leagues with the help of a Kansas Citian.  Buck O'Neil, the Kansas City Monarch's Negro League legend, had become Major League Baseball's first black coach.  In 1962, as a Chicago Cubs scout, he signed and was roommates with Brock.  Brock was traded to the Cardinals in 1964 and helped lead St. Louis to the World Series that year and twice more over the next five years.  Brock's .391 World Series batting average remains the ninth best in baseball history.

>>Report: Yankees Tell Jackson To Stay Away From Team

(Bronx, NY)  --  ESPN reports the New York Yankees have told special adviser and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson to stay away from team events.  The move came after Jackson told "Sports Illustrated" that Alex Rodriguez's admitted use of performance-enhancing drugs, quote, "does cloud some of his records."  Jackson has since apologized to A-Rod for the remarks.  Rodriguez admitted in 2009 that he used PEDs for a three-year stretch from 2001-03.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 7-10

July 10, 2012

 

Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Joseph Blazek, 45, Weldon, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence. Blazek posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Brittney Purdue, 18, Clinton, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence. Purdue 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 School District Acts On Budget Deficit

As the state of Illinois falls farther and farther behind, the Clinton School District once again this year had to find areas in their budget to make up for the shortfall.

Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the district faced an approximate $700-thousand deficit, so the Clinton Board of Education has taken $2-million out of their working cash funds to put towards their education fund. Dr. Holmes compares the working cash funds to the districts savings money.

[audio:71112clintonbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Part of the $2-million will go towards balancing the budget that ended June 30, 2012. The rest , Dr. Holmes explains, will go towards offsetting the cost of planned technology upgrades. He notes the money will likely cover the districts plans of in a couple years, of having an iPad in the hands of each student.

[audio:71112clintonbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

In the past, the state has provided the district with 100% of their payments, however, not in the full amounts. The state this year has informed schools they will not be making all the payments they are owed, which Dr. Holmes feels is a good thing. He notes, the shortfalls being filled in by the school's savings is becoming common practice.

[audio:71112clintonbudget3.mp3] [/audio]

In addition, also becoming common practice is budgeting for the payments the district can be sure of they will receive from the state. Dr. Holmes feels the school district has been very responsible with their money, and they are always keeping on eye on what the state is doing in regards to changes geared towards schools.

The district is currently putting together it's Fiscal Year 13 budget.

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Illinois Man Jumps In River To Cool Off And Drowns

Authorities are investigating the apparent drowning of a 52-year-old Aurora man Friday in the Fox River.

The Aurora Police Department reported the death Saturday. Police say the victim, Gene Autry Pryor, had been drinking with three adult friends near Veterans Memorial Island when he jumped into the river to cool off.

The man's friends lost sight of him after a few minutes and then spotted him floating face down. They pulled him to shore where paramedics found him when they arrived.

Pryor was taken to Provena Mercy Medical Center in Aurora where he was pronounced dead Friday evening.

Police say the death does not appear suspicious. The Kane County coroner's office has set an autopsy for Monday.

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Child Abuse Hotline Callers Must Leave Messages

An investigation has found that most callers to the Illinois child abuse hotline don't reach a welfare specialist on their first try.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services took messages for more than 60% of those calls. The newspaper report says a delayed response can endanger children.

It was analyzed hotline calls over an 11-year period. In 2001, nearly 70% of hotline callers got a specialist on the first try. Today, it's less than 40%.

Department spokesman Kendall Marlowe says the hotline needs to be properly staffed to avoid messages.

State law requires the department to operate the hotline 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Illinois Investigates Planned Parenthood Billing

A published report says Illinois Medicaid's inspector general is investigating the billing practices of Planned Parenthood of Illinois' medical director.

The report shows more than $3 million in Medicaid funds went to Dr. Caroline Hoke in fiscal year 2009. The business journal says that made Hoke the Illinois program's second-highest-paid doctor. Payments to Hoke dropped to nothing by 2011.

A spokesman for the state's Medicaid agency says payments are being suspended to Hoke until billing issues are resolved.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois CEO Carole Brite denies wrongdoing and says the organization will have to repay the state an unspecified amount. Brite says the review began in 2010.

The Crain's report says it's routine for someone like Hoke to submit claims for the health providers she supervises.

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Airplane Crashes In Southern Indiana

An airplane has crashed in a farm field in southern Indiana, injuring two people.

Lawrence County Sheriff Sam Craig says the single-engine aircraft went down just south of Bedford early Sunday afternoon. Bedford is about 65 miles southwest of Indianapolis.

Craig says his department received a 911 call from 1 of the airplane's passengers about 1 p.m. and emergency medics were dispatched. Both of the airplane's occupants were taken to a hospital for treatment of their injuries, which were not believed to be life-threatening.

The sheriff says the men believed the plane went down due to a "fuel issue."

Craig says the plane had taken off from an airport in Illinois. He released no further details.

Federal aviation officials were expected to begin an investigation late Sunday.

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Quinn Signs Bill Spotlights Business Tax Breaks

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation requiring the publicizing of details of corporate tax breaks as soon as they're completed.

The legislation Quinn signed Friday is a watered-down version of a bill sponsored by Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat and critic of tax breaks.

Franks' original bill included a requirement that a committee of experts would review any tax-break deals, but that provision was deleted to improve its chances.

Franks on Friday called the legislation "a good start" to bringing transparency to the process of corporate tax credits.

Franks said he wants to "revamp entire process" to make sure the tax credits are getting the intended results; Illinois jobs. He called the $100 million tax credit given last year to Motorola Mobility, subsequently bought by Google, as particularly egregious.

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Quinn Signs Legislation Ditching Caps He Championed

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has approved a law that allows political candidates in certain cases to ignore the campaign finance caps the Democrat championed.

Quinn signed legislation Friday that lifts funding caps on political campaigns if super PACs pour money into a race. Super PACs are activist groups independent of candidates.

A spokeswoman conceded Quinn believes it's a short-term solution to ensure fairness.

Just three years ago Quinn signed into law the state's first campaign finance limits after taking over from two predecessors who went to federal prison for political crimes.

The Illinois Campaign for Political Reform says super PACs are ill-defined in the law and could coordinate with candidates. It wants more disclosure about super PACs.

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Motorists Are Warned About Pavement Buckling

The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning motorists to be on the lookout for buckled roads as they drive around the state.

Transportation department officials say the extreme heat is affecting roadway pavement around Illinois, resulting in buckling and potholes.

According to the department, there have been about 30 incidents of pavement failure on the state highway system due to high temperatures in the last two weeks. Maintenance crews are being dispatched to identify possible pavement blowouts to make any necessary repairs.

Transportation department officials say that while repairs are usually completed within a few hours, pavement breaks can cause driving hazards that can't be predicted.

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Illinois Agency Launches Traffic Safety Campaign

Illinois transportation officials are working to curb the number of roadway fatalities with the help of message boards.

Starting Monday, Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider is launching a statewide digital message board campaign that will feature traffic safety messages.

Officials say the message boards will feature the daily traffic fatality count and safety slogans such as: "Don't Drink and Drive," ''Don't Text and Drive" and "Save a Life, Buckle Up."

The state Department of Transportation reports that 479 fatalities have occurred on Illinois roadways as of July 5 this year. That's compared with 418 in the same time last year.

Messaging boards are primarily reserved for Amber Alerts, lane closings and construction notifications. Officials say traffic safety campaign messaging will be posted during times when such emergency messages aren't required.

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Temps Across US Slightly Cool, But It Is Still Hot

Americans in much of the country will be getting a slight break from the oppressive heat, one day after temperatures rose to above 100 degrees from the central states to the mid-Atlantic. Yet for many, the cooler temperatures won't exactly be comfortable, falling only into the 90s.

Cooler air is sweeping southward in the eastern half of the country on Sunday, bringing down some temperatures by 15 or more degrees from Saturday's highs. In St. Louis, the 13-degree drop still will leave residents baking in 93-degree weather - the high Saturday was a record 106.

Temperatures in Philadelphia, Washington, and Indianapolis will fall to the low 90s or upper 80s after crossing 100 on Saturday. Louisville residents can expect a high of 95, a day after hitting 105.

For many areas, the cooler temperatures were ushered in by thunderstorms that knocked out power to thousands.

At least 30 deaths have been blamed on the heat.

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Social Security Statements Now Online

Social Security is offering a new way for people to check their statements.

Social Security use to mail out statements annually to all people over 25, but due to cuts, they had to drop mailing the statements. Now, Social Security has a set up a way for people ages 18 and up to look at their statements on the internet. According to Jack Meyers of Social Security, all people have to do to access the statement is register for a free my social security account.

[audio:7912SS1.mp3] [/audio]

Meyers adds that Social Security goes through the credit bureau Experian to double check the person registering. He says it is a safety precaution to make sure the right person is accessing the account. For those who have trouble registering online, they can go through a social security office.

[audio:7912SS2.mp3] [/audio]

Over a million people have registered for my social security. Meyers says its exciting to see the great turn around the program has.

[audio:7912SS3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information about registering for my social security, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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Warrensburg-Latham Schools Introducing Literacy Initiative For Upcoming School Year

The Warrensburg-Latham School District is starting a new literacy initiative this summer.

The school district is trying to collect donations to put more books in classroom libraries. According to Superintendent Kristen Kendrick, the districts goal is to make each classroom library hold at least 300 books.  She says this will help younger students be more willing and eager to read.

[audio:7512literacy1.mp3] [/audio]

She says research shows the addition of more books plus an inviting enviroment will boost a student's willingness to read.  Kendrick adds that having more books in each classroom will also help widen the reading levels, so students can find books that are both improving their reading skills and entertaining.

[audio:7512literacy2.mp3] [/audio]

Kendrick's add that what makes the libraries successful is by adding more "just right books". These are books that a student can read, but is a little challenging for the student. Kendrick says if a student doesn't know five words or more on the page, its too hard for them, and they should go back and look for a different one.

[audio:7512literacy3.mp3] [/audio]

The literacy initiative is targeted to help students balance technology and picking up a book. Kendrick says students are exposed to technology almost 24/7, and she believes it is good for them to take a step back and pick up a book.

[audio:7512literacy4.mp3] [/audio]

The school district is currently accepting monetary and book donations at the districts office at 430 W. North St in Warrensburg. The school district will go through the books and donate them to whatever grade level they see fit.

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DJWH Debt Relationship Details With City of Clinton

The Dr. John Warner Hospital faces a good amount of debt, and administrators at the hospital stress most of it is not the City of Clinton's debt.

The only debt the city is responsible for is debt for air-handling and mechanical equipment upgrades from 2005, as a co-signer. CEO of the DJWH, Earl Sheehy explains everything else is on the hospital, in fact, several revenue bonds state the City of Clinton is not responsible for them.

[audio:7912djwhdebt1.mp3] [/audio]

The city owned hospital had nearly a million dollar operating deficit for the fiscal year that ended April 30, 2012. Sheehy notes the city is not responsible for that either. The hospital does receive money from the city for employee benefits through a levy imposed by the city of Clinton. Sheehy explains because hospital employees are considered city employees, a portion of the money from that levy goes to the hospital.

[audio:7912djwhdebt2.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy's previous facility was a county owned facility in Nebraska. He says the county was protected by state law that the hospital debt was not debt towards the county. He also says the hospital did not provide ambulance service, but rather the fire department did. And they only provided 9-1-1 service, which meant if patients needed transported, they would have to call outside help.

[audio:7912djwhdebt3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy continues to stress the DJWH will not be making a bid to the ambulance advisory committee that has been formed. He notes, if a service is ready to serve the community earlier than the hospital's withdrawal date of December 31, they will gladly turn over the service to the new provider.

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Wimbledon Winners

>>Serena Williams Wins Fifth Wimbledon

(Wimbledon, England)  --  Serena Williams claimed her fifth Wimbledon title on Saturday with a three-set win over Agnieszka Radwanska.  Williams won the first five games then stumbled in the second set before pulling it out with a 6-1, 5-7, 6-2 victory for her 14th career Grand Slam championship and first since capturing the title at the All England Club in 2010.  The 30-year-old American's other Wimbledon victories came in 2002, 2003 and 2009.  Radwanska was appearing in her first Grand Slam final and was the first Polish player in a major title match since 1939.

>>Federer Wins Record-Tying Seventh Wimbledon Title

(Wimbledon, England)  --  Roger Federer claimed his record-tying seventh Wimbledon title on Sunday with a four-set win over Andy Murray.  The third-seeded Federer rallied after dropping the first set to post a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 victory on Centre Court at the All England Club and capture his first Grand Slam title since the 2010 Australian Open and 17th of his career.  The super Swiss equaled the Wimbledon mark of seven titles first set by William Renshaw in the 1880s and matched by Pete Sampras.  Murray was trying to become the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936.  The 25-year-old Murray fell to 0-and-4 in Grand Slam finals.

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Stewart Drives From Last To First, Wins At Daytona

Tony Stewart drove his number-14 Chevy from the rear of the field to a victory in the Coke Zero 400 at Daytona International Speedway Saturday night.  "Smoke" passed points leader Matt Kenseth on the final lap and survived a huge wreck on the final frontstretch to earn his third win of the season.  The defending Sprint Cup champion qualified second but started 42nd after failing post-qualifying inspection for an illegal cooling hose.  Four of Stewart's 47 Cup wins have come at Daytona yet he's never won the Daytona 500.  Jeff Burton finished second while Kenseth's bid to become the first driver to score a season-sweep at Daytona came up short with a third-place run.  Joey Logano and Ryan Newman rounded out the top-five.

Just hours before the start of the race, NASCAR announced that Sprint Cup driver A.J. Allmendinger has been "temporarily suspended" from competition for violating the sanctioning body's substance abuse policy.  Sam Hornish Jr. replaced Allmendinger in Penske Racing's number-22 Dodge.  Hornish Jr. arrived in Daytona from Charlotte just in time to start the event and finished 33rd.

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Report: Hinrich Returns To Bulls

The Chicago Bulls have verbally agreed to a two-year contract with free agent guard Kirk Hinrich .  The "Chicago Tribune" is reporting the deal is worth around $3-million.  The deal cannot officially be signed until Wednesday.  Hinrich, who was drafted by the Bulls in 2003, averaged 6.6 points, 2.8 assists and 2.1 rebounds for the Atlanta Hawks last season.

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All-Star Week Notes

>> Peavy Named To All-Star Team

Chicago White Sox pitcher Jake Peavy has been selected to replace Los Angeles Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson on the AL roster for Tuesday night's All-Star game.

Peavy, who lost to Texas Rangers rookie Yu Darvish in online voting for the final spot on the AL team, is 7-5 with a 2.85 ERA for the AL Central-leading White Sox. The 31-year-old right-hander also has four complete games.

Wilson, a 2-time All-Star, has a blister issue on the middle finger of his pitching hand and is going to use the break to rest. Major League Baseball says Wilson plans to attend the All-Star festivities in Kansas City.

Wilson is 9-5 with a 2.43 ERA in 18 starts for the Angels this season.

The roster change was announced on Sunday.

>>Cardinals All-Stars Head To KC

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Five Cardinals are heading to Kansas City today for tomorrow night's MLB All-Star Game.  Shortstop Rafael Furcal and outfielder Carlos Beltran will get the start in tomorrow night's contest.  Pitcher Lance Lynn will be joined by reserves David Freese and Matt Holliday.  Catcher Yadier Molina was also named an All-Star but won't attend the game as he is on bereavement leave.

>>Cardinals Prospects Take Part In Futures Game

(Kansas City, MO)  --  A pair of Cardinals prospects got the chance to show their skills in yesterday's All-Star Futures Game from Kansas City.  Second baseman Kolten Wong started and hit second for the U.S. Futures, going 0-for-2 with a run scored.  Outfielder Oscar Taveras batted third for the World Futures and went 1-for-3 with an RBI while playing both right field and center field.  The USA squad defeated the World, 17-5.

>>KC Set To Host Home Run Derby

(Kansas City, MO)  --  The City of Fountains is abuzz with All-Star Fever.  It kicks into high gear tonight as Kansas City hosts the annual Home Run Derby at Kauffman Stadium.  Defending champion and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano captains the American League squad.  Joining him will be Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista and Angels infielder Mark Trumbo.  Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp triggers the National League squad.  His running mates are outfielders Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals, Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies, and the Pirates' Andrew McCutchen, who takes the place of injured Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.  Social media will be a prominent part of the event, with stations set up for players to instantly post messages and video on Twitter.  The players are also swinging for the fences to raise money for various charities.  More than 600-thousand dollars was raised last year.

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Lose Slugfest

>>Cubs Blank Mets In Dempster's Return

(Flushing, NY)  --  Starlin Castro clubbed a three-run homer to back five scoreless frames from Ryan Dempster in his return from the disabled list as the Cubs blanked the Mets, 7-0.  Dempster came back from a lat injury to fan four and allow just four hits to improve to 4-and-3 on the season.  Alfonso Soriano, Jeff Baker and Geovany Soto also knocked in a run for Chicago, which took two-of-three at Citi Field.  Jonathan Niese gave up all seven runs through seven innings of duty to suffer the loss for New York.  Daniel Murphy finished 3-for-4 in defeat.

>>Furcal Lifts Cards To Win Over Fish

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Rafael Furcal was the hero yesterday with a two-run single in the ninth that lifted the Cardinals to a 5-4 walk-off win over the Marlins.  Furcal finished 2-for-5 with three RBI for St. Louis, which closes the first half of the season at 46-and-40 and two-and-a-half games behind the first-place Pirates.  Mitchell Boggs earned the win in relief for the Cards after starter Joe Kelly threw six frames and allowed just one unearned run on two hits.  St. Louis resumes the season on Friday in Cincinnati for the start of a three-game set with the Reds.

MLB NL
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Atlanta Braves 4, Philadelphia Phillies 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 13, San Francisco Giants 2
Colorado Rockies 4, Washington Nationals 3
Milwaukee Brewers 5, Houston Astros 3 (10 inn)
Cincinnati Reds 4, San Diego Padres 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 7, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

>>Blue Jays Hold Off White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Colby Rasmus and Edwin Encarnacion both hit two-run homers in the first frame to lead the Blue Jays to an 11-9 win over the White Sox.  Kelly Johnson clubbed a two-run homer and Jeff Mathis added a solo shot for Toronto, which snapped a three-game slide to salvage the finale of a three-game series in the Windy City.  Jason Fraser was credited with the win and Casey Janssen locked down his 12th save of the season.  Alex Rios ripped a three-run homer and plated four runs for Chicago.  Alexei Ramirez knocked in a pair and Kevin Youkilis finished 3-for-4 with an RBI in defeat.  Dylan Axelrod gave up seven runs in just three innings of duty to suffer the loss.

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 7, Kansas City Royals 1
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Cleveland Indians 6
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Baltimore Orioles 0
Oakland Athletics 2, Seattle Mariners 1 (13 inn)
Texas Rangers 4, Minnesota Twins 3 (13 inn)
New York Yankees 7, Boston Red Sox 3

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

July 7, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

July 8, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

July 9, Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

Richard Dillman, 47, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Speeding (60 mph in a 45 mph zone). Dillman posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Bradley Morrow, 22, Wapella, was issued a citation for Screeching/Squealing Tires, Driving Under Influence, and Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Morrow 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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Clinton Police Weekend Report

 

CITATION 7/8/12

MICHELLE LEE-ELLIOT 34, NORTH CHICAGO SPEEDING 72 MPH IN A 55 MPH ZONE. BOND POSTED

JARED L. THRASHER 27, CLINTON FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELT. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

FRED D. THRASHER 31, CLINTON FAILURE TO WEAR SEAT BELT. BOND POSTED

 

ON 7/8/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED JESSICA N. PAXTON-SMITH 31, CLINTON FOR VIOLATION OF ORDER OF PROTECTION. PAXTON-SMITH WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ON 7/8/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED CRISTINA L. JUST 51, CLINTON FOR AGGRAVATED BATTERY. JUST WAS TRANSPORTED TO THE DEWITT COUNTY JAIL AND RELEASED TO CORRECTIONS.

 

ACCIDENTS

ON 7/8/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A PERSONAL INJURY ACCIDENT AT GRANT & VAN BUREN. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY MARY A. KREITLER 72, CLINTON WAS EASTBOUND ON VAN BUREN AND WAS STOPPED AT THE STOP LIGHT. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY JONATHAN M. THAYER 28, CLINTON WAS STOPPED BEHIND KREITLER. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY GREGORY A. OSGOOD JR 17, WAPELLA WAS EASTBOUND ON VAN BUREN AND COULD NOT STOP IN TIME AND COLLIDED WITH THAYER THAT CAUSED A CHAIN REACTION CAUSING THAYER TO COLLIDE WITH KREITLER. OSGOOD WAS ISSUED A CITATION FOR FAILURE TO REDUCE SPEED AND THAYER WAS ISSUED A CITATION FOR OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE. BOTH SUBJECTS WERE NOTICE TO APPEAR IN COURT. THAYER WAS TRANSPORTED BY CLINTON AMBULANCE FOR TREATMENT.

 

ON 7/8/12 CLINTON POLICE INVESTIGATED A 6 VEHICLE ACCIDENT AT VAN BUREN & MADISON. VEHICLES DRIVEN BY WILLIAM E. CHAMPION 60, CLINTON, ROBERT A. VOLKER 51, CLINTON, KATHERINE R. DORSEY 52, CLINTON, KEVIN M. LANE 26, CLINTON AND ROGER L. CYRULIK 66, CLINTON WERE STOPPED FACING EASTBOUND ON VAN BUREN STREET AT THE STOP LIGHT. A VEHICLE DRIVEN BY DYLAN J. SCOTT 16, CLINTON DID NOT STOP IN TIME AND COLLIDED WITH CYRULIK CAUSING A CHAIN REACTION. SCOTT AND DORSEY WERE TRANSPORTED BY AMBULANCE FOR TREATMENT. SCOTT WAS ISSUED A CITATION FOR FAILURE TO REDUCE SPEED TO AVOID AN ACCIDENT.

 

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Faith In Action Seeking Willing Volunteers

Faith in Action of DeWitt County is currently looking for volunteers to help serve the county's elderly community.

According to Faith in Action Coordinator, Silvia Comfort, volunteers of all ages are needed for everything from making a simple phone to taking a meal to a person. Comfort says it's Faith in Action's goal to bring back the neighbors helping neighbors mentality, so that those who want to keep their independence have a chance too.

[audio:71012FAI1.mp3] [/audio]

Being a volunteer with Faith In Action can be as in depth as the volunteer desires. Comfort notes volunteers pick the hours they want to work. She feels scheduling hours makes it seem more like a chore and less like a volunteer effort.

[audio:71012FAI2.mp3] [/audio]

Volunteers go through an application process that helps makes sure they are given tasks they are comfortable with. Comfort believes it is important to make sure you don't have someone who isn't good at conversations, making phone calls, or someone who is allergic to cats helping a cat owner.

[audio:71012FAI3.mp3] [/audio]

Volunteers of all ages are can be a part of Faith In Action. For more information about volunteering, call 217-935-2241 or visit Faith in Action at 803. W Leander Street in Clinton.

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ChiSox Double Up Blue Jays

Jake Peavy tossed seven-and-a-third frames of one-run ball to guide the White Sox to a 4-2 win over the Blue Jays.  He struck out seven in his seventh win of the year.  Addison Reed recorded his 13th save for Chicago, which has won four in-a-row.  A.J. Pierzynski lifted a solo homer in the win.  Kevin Youkilis added an RBI for the ChiSox.  Adam Lind belted a solo bomb for Toronto, which has lost two straight.  Aaron Laffey gave up four total runs in six innings for the loss.

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Marlins Clip Cardinals

Ricky Nolasco allowed only an unearned run over six innings as the Marlins nipped the Cardinals, 3-2.  Nolasco improved to 8-and-6 with the win.  Heath Bell allowed a run in the ninth, but escaped with his 19th save.  Logan Morrison hit a solo homer for the Marlins in the opener of the three-game set.  David Freese and Rafael Furcal plated the runs for St. Louis.  Jake Westbrook allowed two runs, one earned, over six-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 7-and-7.

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Logan County Fair Accepting Fair Entries

Fair entries for the Logan County Fair Chili Cook Off and Talent Show begin July 2, 2012 and the deadline is July 25, 2012.   All grandstand tickets are on sale at this time.

Contest and Demo Derby entries can be made in the office. Fair books are in and can be picked up at the office. 

The Logan County Fair Office is open Monday – Friday 8a.m. – 4:30p.m.

For further information you can visit our website at logancountyfairil.com.  

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FRIDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Atlanta Braves 5, Philadelphia Phillies 0
San Francisco Giants 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 5
Colorado Rockies 5, Washington Nationals 1
Chicago Cubs 8, New York Mets 7
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Houston Astros 1
Miami Marlins 3, St. Louis Cardinals 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 5, Los Angeles Dodgers 3
Cincinnati Reds 6, San Diego Padres 0

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 4, Kansas City Royals 2
Tampa Bay Rays 10, Cleveland Indians 3
New York Yankees 10, Boston Red Sox 8
Minnesota Twins 5, Texas Rangers 1
Chicago White Sox 4, Toronto Blue Jays 2
Baltimore Orioles 3, LA Angels of Anaheim 2
Oakland Athletics 4, Seattle Mariners 1 (11 inn)

WNBA
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San Antonio Silver Stars 78, Washington Mystics 73
Connecticut Sun 86, Tulsa Shock 75
New York Liberty 64, Chicago Sky 59

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Holliday To Replace Molina On NL All-Star Roster

St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday is headed to next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City.  National League manager Tony La Russa has named Holliday as a replacement on the NL roster for Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina.  Molina has been placed on the bereavement list.  It will be the sixth All-Star appearance for Holliday.

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Cubs Hold Off Mets

Anthony Rizzo went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer as the Cubs held off the Mets, 8-7, in the opener of a three-game set.  Reed Johnson and John Baker popped solo shots for Chicago, which held leads of 7-2 and 8-3.  Travis Wood went six-plus innings to improve to 4-and-3.  Lucas Duda and Jordany Valdespin hit solo homers for the Mets.  Johan Santana was lit up for seven runs and 13 hits in only four-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 6-and-5.

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Motorists Are Warned About Pavement Buckling

The Illinois Department of Transportation is warning motorists to be on the lookout for buckled roads as they drive around the state.

Transportation department officials say the extreme heat is affecting roadway pavement around Illinois, resulting in buckling and potholes.

According to the department, there have been about 30 incidents of pavement failure on the state highway system due to high temperatures in the last two weeks. Maintenance crews are being dispatched to identify possible pavement blowouts to make any necessary repairs.

Transportation department officials say that while repairs are usually completed within a few hours, pavement breaks can cause driving hazards that can't be predicted.

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How To Handle Fireworks Injuries

Thousands of people go to hospital emergency rooms with injuries from fireworks each year. Most of these injuries occur around the Fourth of July.

Fireworks and celebrations go together, especially this time of year. But fireworks can be dangerous, causing serious injuries if proper precautions are not taken. Dr. Jason Kegg, assistant professor of emergency medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains the most common injuries from fireworks.

[audio:siu4th1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Kegg says there are no safe fireworks and all fireworks are meant to be displayed at a distance. Most injuries occur when people get too close. In Illinois the only legal fireworks are sparklers, smoke bombs and little snakes that expand when they are lit. Dr. Kegg suggests some safety precautions if you choose to use fireworks.

[audio:siu4th2.mp3] [/audio]

By being cautious and following safety rules when using and watching fireworks, you can have a safe and happy Fourth of July. If anyone is injured by fireworks, they should go to a hospital emergency room as quickly as possible.

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Triple Digit Heat Expected To Continue

Organizers are canceling an architectural walking tour Thursday in Springfield because of the heat. But another event featuring restaurants and music will go on this weekend.

The National Weather Service has issued an excessive heat warning through 7 p.m. Saturday for Springfield, Peoria, Champaign, Decatur, Bloomington and other Illinois cities.

Victoria Ringer of Downtown Springfield Inc., an economic development group, says evening temperatures haven't cooled off enough for the walking tour of the Capitol complex to make sense, so it was canceled.

But Ringer say the Taste of Downtown fund-raiser Friday and Saturday is on. It usually draws 15,000 people. Misters and fans will be set up to cool the entertainers and attendees. Medical personnel will be on standby. Ringer says "maybe folks will drink more beverages" to cool off.

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Oppressive Heat From Midwest Inching Eastward

The record-setting heat that has gripped the Midwest is slowly moving eastward where the misery will be compounded by widespread power outages from damaging storms.

St. Louis, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Chicago and several other Midwest cities already have set record highs this week or are on the verge of doing so.

Southfield, Mich., resident Ashley Jackson says when her home's air conditioning failed, she was unable to sleep more than four hours a night.

The heat has been much worse than a mere inconvenience for some. St. Louis officials reported three heat-related deaths in recent days, and officials in the Chicago area say two people there may have died due to heat Wednesday.

Many cities have tried to help by opening cooling centers and extending the hours for their public pools.

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Business Leaders Urge Quinn To Veto Leaucadia Bill

Some Illinois business leaders are calling on Governor Quinn to help stop a possible eight-and a half-billion-dollar spike in natural gas prices.  Mark Denzler, with the Illinois Manufacturers Association, says Illinois citizens and businesses will be on the hook for the next 30 years if a new coal gasification plant is approved.

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Denzler says customers with Ameren and NiCor will be forced to pay higher rates if the Leucadia plant is approved.

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Denzler adds a plan to put a coal gasification plant in Chicago isn't going to benefit the people of Illinois.

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The business leaders say the Leucadia plant will have a severe impact on residents, businesses and schools in the Ameren service territory.  Denzler says the higher rates will hurt families and make it harder for businesses to compete.  He says Leaucadia officials are trying to circumvent the regulatory process at the Illinois Commerce Commission.  Members of IMA, the Sierra Club, the Chemical Industry Council, and the Ag industry are all against the deal.  They're are all asking Quinn to veto the bill.  He hasn't given any indication on what he plans to do with the bill.

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Gov. Signs Legislation To Make It Harder To Aid Fugitives

A new Illinois law is supposed to make it harder for fugitives to give authorities the slip.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Thursday that's designed to close a loophole in the state's criminal code that effectively exempts relatives from punishment if they aid a family member on the lam.

But the new law makes it a felony for immediate family members to help fugitives avoid arrest. A conviction could result in a maximum 3-year prison sentence and a $25,000 fine.

In a Thursday statement released by his office, Quinn said the legislation will help bring more fugitives to justice.

The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Quinn's office says Illinois had been among 14 states with similar laws offering the exemption to immediate family members.

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Gov. Quinn Makes Unannounced Trip To Spain

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn is visiting Spain to court investment in Illinois manufacturing, alternative energy and infrastructure.

Quinn has taken several overseas trips this year. This is the second trip his office did not announce before his departure.

Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says Quinn is in Madrid meeting with businesses, commercial associations and government representatives. He arrived Thursday and is scheduled to return Sunday.

She says Quinn is paying his own expenses. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity is paying the tab for two aides accompanying him who specialize in trade and foreign investment.

Anderson says Illinois exports to Spain in 2011 increased 29% over the previous year.

In March, Quinn took an unannounced trip to Toronto to the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association trade show.

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Deadline Approaching To Apply For EBT Machines

Illinois farmers' markets have until noon on Monday to apply for a federal grant that will pay for wireless machines that accept debit, credit and Link cards.  The project is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and aims to expand access to fresh produce for low-income residents.  It's also expected to increase the sale of locally grown food across the state by enabling farmers' markets to accept Illinois Link cards.  Money not earmarked for grant applicants by next week will be returned to the federal government.  Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon wants to avoid that and is urging market managers to take advantage of the opportunity now.  To apply for the Illinois EBT Wireless Project, visit Agr.State.IL.US or call 217-524-9129.

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Tips To Reduce Electric Bill During Hot Weather

These hot summer days could mean a bigger than normal electric bill.  Gary Hurley, with City, Water, Light, and Power, says keeping your thermostat on 78-degrees could help cut down on costs.

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Hurley adds a few tips on keeping your bill as low as possible.

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Hurley says you should also minimize your light usage.  That means turn them off when you're not using them.  Huley says following these simple steps could mean a noticeable difference on your utility bill.

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Decatur Marathon Still On Despite Heat

Organizers of a triathlon in central Illinois say the race will go on this weekend even if temperatures stay at or near 100.

Gene Mueller is director of the Rodney T. Miller Triathlon. Mueller says the kid races Saturday morning and the adult runs on Sunday morning will go on as planned.

But Mueller warns runners that they need to be working on hydration immediately. He says if they wait they may have problems on race day.

Mueller says the triathlon will have a misting tent and numerous water stations.

The National Weather Service says high temperatures should be near 100 Saturday in central Illinois and near 90 Sunday.

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4-H Dog Show This Past Saturday; Horse Show This Weekend

 width=The DeWitt County 4-H Fair kicked off Saturday with the annual dog show.

4-H club members and their dogs were able to compete in either obedience, showmanship, dog care or costume. According to dog superintendent Debbie Askins, many children participate in the costume section, but she notices that those who are in sections such as obedience work with their dogs everyday.

[audio:7412DogShow1.mp3] [/audio]

Dog presenters Tamsin Myers of Clinton and Gwendalyn Dannerduncan of Farmer City say training their dogs is a learning experience. Myers was a first time presenter this year, but Dannerduncan has shown in the past and she says the judges aren't the scariest part of showing your dog, its trusting that your dog will do what its suppose to do.

[audio:7412DogShow2.mp3] [/audio]

Dannerduncan says her goal is to make it to state, and some of DeWitt County's 4-H dog presenters have made it to state such as Rayanna Anderson of Clinton. She has qualified for state three years in a row in obedience and placed 8th in 2010. Anderson says if she qualifies, she will make the trip to state again.

[audio:7412DogShow3.mp3] [/audio]

The DeWitt County 4-H Fair will continue next Saturday with a two day horse show.

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Monticello Schools Facility Study Underway

One local school district the past few years has had minor maintenance projects, but some inspections this summer could lead the district to bigger decisions.

Students and alumni of Monticello schools know it is no secret their facilities are very historic, but beginning to age. Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman explains despite their age, the districts buildings have been very well maintained. The district recently has approved a facility study to be conducted on the districts buildings, which is underway.

[audio:7612monticellofacility1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman feels planning for the future needs to be a priority to allow the students to maximize their pontential. The study will reveal whether the district needs to do some major modifications to their buildings or build new facilities.

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The investigation is two-fold. The architects have toured the facilities and they will make notes of what else they find. Dr. Zimmerman says when they present to the board their findings, they will then compare what 21st Century facilities should be like. When the Monticello Board compares what the district currently has to what the district needs, they will then make their decision.

[audio:7612monticellofacility3.mp3] [/audio]

Part of this process will be community engagement. Dr. Zimmerman notes there are a lot of Monticello High School alumni still a part of the community. He feels they may be surprised by what they see if they come out to the school and take a look around.

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The cost of this study for Monticello schools was $25-thousand dollars. Dr. Zimmerman feels it was a worthy investment because when it is all done they will have a plan in place for their facilities that will allow them to make some decisions and look ahead five to ten years.

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Sprint Cup Series At Daytona This Weekend

The Sprint Cup Series makes its way back to Daytona International Speedway this weekend for Saturday's Coke Zero 400.  Last season, David Ragan captured the checkered flag in the Coke Zero 400.  The race ended under caution, with Ragan picking up his first Sprint Cup Series win in his 163rd start.  Matt Kenseth holds a slim 11-point lead over Dale Earnhardt Jr. in the Cup Standings.

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Bulls' Deng Only NBA Player On Britian's Olympic Team

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng is the only NBA player on a British Olympic basketball squad missing Charlotte Bobcats duo Ben Gordon and Byron Mullens.

Deng has recovered sufficiently from a left wrist injury to be included in the 12-man squad announced Thursday.

Deng says the team "plan to make Britain proud" and adds that he can't "wait to step on the court with my teammates at the games."

Gordon and Mullens were already out of contention for Britain's first Olympic basketball team since 1948. The London-born guard Gordon didn't commit to playing at the games and Mullens is injured.

Another London-born player, forward Pops Mensah-Bonsu of the Turkish club Besiktas, also has been included in the squad.

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Freese Voted To All-Star Game; LaRussa/Baker Drama Continues; All-Star Week Festiviites

>>2012 MLB All-Star Festivities Begin

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Baseball fans from around the world will begin descending on Kansas City for All-Star Weekend.  It all begins this morning with the start of MLB All-Star Fan Fest at the Kansas City Convention Center.  The interactive "baseball theme park" takes place inside Bartle Hall with interactive games, exhibits, trivia and clinics and runs through the All-Star Game itself on Tuesday.  Sunday features the Futures Game with top prospects divided into teams representing the U.S. and the World.  It's followed by the Celebrity Softball Game, which includes the likes of actor Jon Hamm of "Mad Men," "American Idol" alums David Cook and Haley Reinhar, "Modern Family" star Eric Stonestreet, "Desperate Housewives" actor James Denton and Chord Overstreet from "Glee."  Hall of Fame players such as George Brett, Ernie Banks, Rollie Fingers, Rickey Henderson, Ozzie Smith and Dave Winfield will also be part of the action.  A fireworks spectacular will cap off the night.

On Monday, top sluggers from the American and National Leagues take aim at the Kauffman Stadium fences in the annual Home Run Derby.  Defending champion Robinson Cano of the Yankees is captain of the AL squad and will be joined by the Tigers' Prince Fielder, Blue Jays' Jose Bautista and Angels' Mark Trumbo.  Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp is the NL captain and picked the Cardinals' Carlos Beltran, Rockies' Carlos Gonzalez and Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton to be his teammates.

The 83rd MLB All-Star Game is the main event and is set for Tuesday at 8 p.m. Eastern.  The best players from the American and National Leagues meet in the annual exhibition, with the winner determining which league will have home-field advantage in the 2012 World Series.  Current Tigers and former Brewers first baseman Prince Fielder hit a three-run homer to power the NL to a 5-1 win over the AL in last year's game in Phoenix.  It was the second straight win for the Senior Circuit, which had not won in 13 straight years prior to 2010.  The National League leads the American League 42-38-and-2 in the all-time series.

>>La Russa: Reds' Baker Betrayed Me

(Undated)  --  National League All-Star manager Tony La Russa says he feels "betrayed" by Cincinnati Reds manager Dusty Baker.  The retired St. Louis Cardinals skipper told the "Dan Patrick Show" that Baker has "stabbed him in the back" and he "won't soon forget it" after Baker suggested La Russa had malice in not picking Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips for next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City.  Baker said earlier this week that he feels bad blood between the Reds and Cardinals after a bench-clearing brawl two years ago may have impacted La Russa's decision.  La Russa said it's not easy picking the rosters and deserving players get left off every year.

>> Rangers' Darvish, Cards' Freese Win Final Fan Voting

Texas Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish and St. Louis Cardinals third baseman David Freese are headed to the All-Star game after fans voted them into Tuesday's showcase in Kansas City.

Darvish, 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA, is the eighth Rangers player on the AL team managed by Texas' Ron Washington. He beat out four other pitchers: Chicago's Jake Peavy, Baltimore's Jason Hammel, Kansas City's Jonathan Broxton and the Angels' Ernesto Frieri.

Freese emerged from an NL field that included Atlanta outfielder Michael Bourn, Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper and Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill. Freese is batting .285 with 13 homers.

Atlanta's Chipper Jones had been in the running before he was named as an injury replacement for Matt Kemp.

The online balloting for the final spots ended Thursday.

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Cards, Sox Win; Cubs Knocked Off

>>White Sox Sweep Rangers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Kevin Youkilis clubbed a tie-breaking solo homer in the sixth inning to back eight stellar innings from Jose Quintana as the White Sox clipped the Rangers, 2-1.  Quintana fanned eight and allowed just one run on two hits to improve to 4-and-1.  Addison Reed worked a 1-2-3 ninth to nail down his 12th save.  Alexei Ramirez knocked in the other run for Chicago, which swept the three-game set at U.S. Cellular Field.  Adrian Beltre's RBI single in the fourth accounted for Texas' lone run.  Matt Harrison gave up both runs in a complete-game effort to suffer the tough-luck loss.  It was the first time all season the Rangers have been swept in a series.  They have dropped four straight on the heels of a five-game winning streak.

MLB AL
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Detroit Tigers 7, Minnesota Twins 3
Cleveland Indians 3, Tampa Bay Rays 1
Kansas City Royals 9, Toronto Blue Jays 6
LA Angels of Anaheim 9, Baltimore Orioles 7

>>Cards Down Rockies

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Lance Lynn bounced back from three straight a dismal starts, dealing six innings of shutout ball to lead the Cardinals to a 6-2 win over the Rockies.  Lynn improved to 11-and-4 after giving up five runs or more in his previous three outings.  Carlos Beltran and Matt Holliday each knocked in two runs for St. Louis, who took three-of-four from Colorado.  Tyler Colvin hit his 11th home run of the season in the loss.  Christian Friedrich dropped to 4-and-6, giving up six runs across four-and-one-third inning.  

>>Braves Knock Off Cubs

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Jason Heyward and Brian McCann each cracked a two-run homer in the first inning to help the Braves beat the Cubs, 7-3.  Atlanta's three, four and five of Heyward, Freddie Freeman and McCann were a combined 6-for-10 with four runs scored, six RBI and three home runs.  Mike Minor grabbed the win after dealing six-and-two-thirds innings of three-run ball for the Braves, who split four games with Chicago.  Geovany Soto hit his sixth home run of the season, a solo shot, in the loss.  Matt Garza fell to 4-and-7, allowing five runs across four innings.  

MLB NL
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Miami Marlins 4, Milwaukee Brewers 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 2, Houston Astros 0
Washington Nationals 6, San Francisco Giants 5
New York Mets 6, Philadelphia Phillies 5
Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
San Diego Padres 2, Cincinnati Reds 1

Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster might return from the disabled list sooner than expected.  Dempster said on Wednesday that he could return from the DL on Sunday and start against the New York Mets at Citi Field.  Dempster has been out since June 18th with a sore right latissimus dorsi muscle.  The 35-year-old right-hander is 3-and-3 with a 2.11 ERA this season.

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DeWitt County's Animal Shelter Process Continues Slowly

DeWitt County's plans of getting a new animal shelter up continues to take baby steps towards completion.

The DeWitt County Board has received the preliminary plans, and according to DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley, mechanical plans are expected to be complete soon.

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The next step will be for the contractor to hire subcontractors, which Tilley notes should happen soon, and it is the next step in the process.

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Tilley explains they originally had hoped to have ground breaking this month, however, that appears to be unlikely. Tilley is holding out hope they could still have a building up by the end of the year.

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Tilley feels getting the plans developed has delayed the process, added on to the fact the busy season for contractors is the summer months. She says there was good progress made in meetings with Morton Builders.

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Big Rewards; Less Job Security For College Leaders

The sudden ouster and subsequent return of University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan has college leaders on alert that their campus careers are increasingly vulnerable.

A recent survey of more than 1,600 American college and university presidents shows their average tenure is 7 years, compared with an 8½-year average in 2006.

More college presidents are from outside academia - 1 in 5 in 2011. And nearly one-third of campus leaders in the American Council on Education's presidential survey never were faculty members.

At the same time, ACE surveys show that fewer chief academic officers are interested in becoming president of their institutions.

University presidents at Illinois, Oregon, Texas A&M and Wisconsin are among those who resigned or were forced out in the past year after brief stints.

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State Fair Adds Horseshoe Sandwich Contest

The Illinois State Fair is debuting four new culinary contests this year.

One contest honors a central Illinois favorite: the horseshoe. The Illinois State Fair horseshoe sandwich competition is Aug. 11. Contestants must make two horseshoe sandwiches, which will be judged on taste, creativity and appearance.

The fair now has a coffee contest too. The only requirement is to create a coffee drink using Seattle's Best Coffee and edible, non-alcoholic ingredients. First place gets $500, a year's supply of coffee and a trip to New York for a national competition.

The American Egg Board and the Illinois Department of Agriculture are sponsoring an egg dish competition. And also new this year is the Backyard Barbecue Pork Chop Contest.

Check the Illinois State Fair's website for contest details.

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Illinois Drought Good For Peach Crop

Dry conditions in Illinois have meant headaches for many Illinois farmers, but not those growing peaches.

Union County peach farmer Wayne Sirles of Rendleman Orchards says the lack of rain brings out the natural sweetness of peaches. Sirles say the peaches seem to be "extra sweet and even tastier than usual."

Sirles says the rain hasn't diluted the fruit's natural sugars. Rendleman Orchards is on Illinois 127 in Alto Pass, about 15 miles south of Carbondale.

The U.S. Drought Monitor has most of Illinois in drought conditions, with far southern Illinois rated in an extreme drought.

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Triple Digit Heat Expected To Continue

Scorching summer heat that has seared Illinois with triple-digit temperatures is expected to continue.

The National Weather Service has forecasted highs of more than 100 degrees in parts of central and southeastern Illinois through the end of the week. Highs in Chicago on Thursday are forecasted between 100 and 104 with heat indexes at between 110 and 115. The National Weather Service describes conditions as "intensely hot and humid."

The Fourth of July holiday saw record-breaking weather in at least one Illinois city. The National Weather Service says Rockford reached 102 degrees on Wednesday, breaking the city's previous record of 101 in 1911. Chicago's reading of 102 degrees at O'Hare International Airport matched its record temperature of 102 also set in 1911.

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June Hotter Than Normal

Temperatures began soaring over 100-degrees toward the end of June.  State Climatologist Jim Angel says more than 50 communities across the state set new heat records.   

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June was hotter than normal, but it wasn't the hottest on record.  When you add up temperatures for all the days of the month, you get 72-degress.  The record is 78-point-five, set back in 1934.  Only one point eight inches of rain fell across the state last month, which has taken a dangerous toll on crops.  That's less than half of what the state normally sees during the month of June.

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Bloomington Minor League Football In Jeopardy

A Bloomington businessman could be on the hook for a 30-thousand dollar penalty if the U.S. Cellular Coliseum’s indoor football team folds.   The future of the Bloomington Edge football team and the Central Illinois Drive basketball team is uncertain after owner Jim Morris announced he wants to sell all or some of the teams.  The announcement surprised both Coliseum and city of Bloomington officials.  Morris says he invested a lot of money in both teams but found that minor league sports “is a difficult business to succeed in.”  The Edge and Drive drew about 47-thousand fans to the Coliseum last year, about 16 percent of the venue’s total attendance in the fiscal year that ended April 30.  Morris is now actively looking for buyers and at least one group has already expressed interest.

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Farm Progress Show Preview

Plans are coming together for the 2012 Super Bowl of Agriculture.  Jared White has more...

[audio:7212FarmProgressShowPreviewWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

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Community Action Looking For Applicants For Head Start Programs

Community Action is currently recruiting for their Head Start program.

Head Start is a free program available to children ages 3 to 5 of low income families in the counties of DeWitt, Piatt, Logan, Menard, Mason and Fulton. This program gives them the opportunity to make sure they meet requirements kindergarten teacher's expect of their incoming students.

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According to homebase manager Shelly Lee, classes are up to 16 students and each one has 3 teachers. Not only is it a preschool, but teachers watch for potential health issues students have and address them.

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Head Start programs are targeted for families of low income. Community Action bases who gets into their programs by how much the family needs something like this program.

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All teachers in the Head Start program are required to have a bachelors degree and all teacher's aides are required to have an associates degree, which Lee says is not required for many preschool programs.

For more information call 877-588-7189 or go to. www.capcil.org.

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CCEF Fills Gap Where State Money Can't

The Clinton Community Education Foundation is keeping busy to raise money to help the school district.

Through various fund raisers, such as the Recognition Wall, CCEF raises money to help fund school items or projects that aren't funded through the state. According to member Claudine Wargel, with the state's budget being the way it is, the foundation is a way for the community to help give money to the school district. The foundation currently does classroom grants and scholarships.

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Each year, the foundation passes out $8-10 thousand in classroom grants, which are grants given to teachers to help pay for something they feel will help their students. Teachers submit projects or tools they would like for their classroom, and the foundation picks which ones they would like to support. Wargel says everything submitted has merit and can be useful for classrooms.

[audio:62912Foundation2.mp3] [/audio]

Recently, the foundation was able to start a scholarship. A local man left a portion of his money to the foundation for them to give as scholarships to Clinton High School graduates who were either going on to college or trade schools.

[audio:62912Foundation3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information about CCEF, go to clintonedfoundation.org.

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Bulls Notes

>> Bulls Introduce Guard Marquis Teague

Marquis Teague got a taste of big-time basketball last season, helping Kentucky win an NCAA title as a freshman. Now he's on an even bigger stage in Chicago with the Bulls, a step that will require him to pick his game up even more.

Teague, the Bulls' first-round pick and No. 29 overall, was formally introduced by the team earlier this week. He knows plenty about the pro game because his brother, Jeff, a point guard for the Atlanta Hawks, has filled him in.

General manager Gar Forman also made it clear that the team values restricted free agent center Omer Asik, who has agreed to a 3-year, $25 million deal with the Houston Rockets. Chicago has three days to match the offer or let him go.

>> Bulls' Noah Off French Olympic Team

Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah will not play for France at the London Olympics because of the left ankle injury sustained during the NBA playoffs.

Noah told L'Equipe he was "absolutely not ready. Not ready to run, not ready to jump."

The 12 players who will represent France are to be announced Thursday.

It's still unclear whether San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker will make the cut after a scratch to his cornea in a fight involving singer Chris Brown and members of hip-hop star Drake's entourage.

France's Olympics opener is against the United States on July 29.

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All-Star Game Notes

>>MLB Final Vote Ends Today

(Undated)  --  The 2012 All-Star Game MLB.com Final Vote ends at 4:00 p.m. Eastern today.  Texas Rangers starter Yu Darvish leads on the American League side.  He is ahead of White Sox starter Jake Peavy, Orioles starter Jason Hammel, Royals closer Jonathan Broxton and Angels closer Ernesto Frieri.  On the National League side, Cardinals third baseman David Freese has the lead.  Nationals rookie outfielder Bryce Harper, Braves outfielder Michael Bourn and Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill trail last year's World Series MVP.  Braves third baseman was added to the NL roster in place of Matt Kemp.

>> Rangers' Darvish To Skip Last Start Prior To All Star Game

Yu Darvish will not make his final scheduled start of the first half as the Texas Rangers attempt to get him some extra rest in his first season in the majors.

Both the team and Darvish said Wednesday there is nothing physically wrong with the 25-year-old right-hander.

Darvish was scheduled to start Friday, but rookie Martin Perez will take his place. Derek Holland will come off the disabled list and start Saturday, Rangers manager Ron Washington said.

Washington said Darvish will be eligible to pitch in next week's All-Star Game in Kansas City if he is selected in the final round of fan voting.

Darvish, a 5-time All-Star in Japan, signed a 6-year contract worth $56 million with Texas in the offseason. In 16 starts this season, he is 10-5 with a 3.59 ERA.

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All Locals Win; Sox Put Crain On DL

>>Cubs Down Braves

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Anthony Rizzo and Bryan LaHair each hit a solo home run to help the Cubs take out the Braves, 5-1.  The two combined to go 4-for-7 while Paul Maholm improved 6-and-6 by dealing six innings of one-run ball with five strikeouts.  Jeff Baker also hit a solo shot in the win.  Chicago has won five of its last six games.  Martin Prado knocked in the only run for the Braves and Michael Bourn went 3-for-4.  Randall Delgado was tagged with the loss after allowing three-runs across six innings.  Atlanta is 2-and-5 in its last seven games.

>>Cards Fly Over Rockies

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Matt Holliday was 3-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI as the Cardinals beat the Rockies, 4-1.  Adam Wainwright moved to 7-and-8 by striking out seven and allowing one run across six innings.  St. Louis has won three of its last four games.  Rockies pitcher Jeremy Guthrie knocked in their only run while dropping to 3-and-8 despite giving up only two runs in six innings.  Carlos Gonzalez was 2-for-4 for Colorado, which is 1-and-4 in its last five games.

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

>>ChiSox Slide By Rangers

(Chicago, IL)  --  Kevin Youkilis singled home Alejandro De Aza in the bottom of the 10th inning to give the White Sox a 5-4 win over the Rangers.  Gordon Beckham knocked in a pair of runs for Chicago, which has won the first two games of this series.  Addison Reed picked up the win out of the bullpen.  Josh Hamilton belted a solo shot and scored twice for Texas, which has lost three in-a-row.  Michael Young added two RBI and a run in the setback.  Mike Adams suffered the loss in relief.

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

>> White Sox Put Crain On DL

The Chicago White Sox placed right-hander reliever Jesse Crain on the 15-day disabled list Wednesday with a right shoulder strain, retroactive to June 24.

The White Sox recalled right-hander Deunte Heath from AAA Charlotte to replace Crain, who is 2-1 with a 2.38 ERA in 24 games this season. Crain was also on the disabled list April 27 to May 14 with a strained oblique.

Heath was 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and one save in 22 relief appearances with Charlotte. Signed by the White Sox as a free agent on April 22, 2010, he also started two games and will be a possible option to start Sunday's game against the Toronto Blue Jays as the White Sox give Chris Sale an extended break.

With the roster move, the White Sox have 10 rookies on their 25-man roster, including 8 of the 12 pitchers.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Holiday Report

July 4, 2012

 

Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

July 5, 2012

 

Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Skye Bray, 20, Clinton, was issued citations for Driving While License Suspended and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Bray posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Cade Bray, 35, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (77 mph in a 55 mph zone). Bray posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

 

Darielle Lee, 23, Decatur, was issued citations for Driving While License Suspended/Revoked and Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Lee 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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CHS Class of 73 Eyes Finish of Peace Park Project This Summer

The Clinton High School Class of 1973s work on the Roque Court Peace Project in Clinton is nearing completion.

Member of the Class of 73, Cris Rogers explains the Court is very close to completion and they can see the finish line, however, there are still some small things yet to be done. Resurfacing will need to take place on the roque court, they also are working to install a recently acquired fence, and they are looking to install a flagpole.

[audio:7612peaceparkupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

As the group seeks to finish things off at the park, they have met somewhat of a roadblock. Rogers explains the group is running short on funds. He feels even though the economy is tough, the community should view this as something to be proud of because of what the park was destined to be had he and his classmates not stepped up.

[audio:7612peaceparkupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

Despite the lack of funds coming in, Rogers says it has not slowed the group down. He explains they have been working on things at the park that require no money to spruce up or get together. He says one final push from the community would get them where they need to be.

[audio:7612peaceparkupdate3.mp3] [/audio]

Provided the Class of 73 is able to secure enough funding to finish this endeavor, he is hoping for a late July, middle August opening of the park. Last year his hope was to have the park together for the Apple n Pork festival, he is hoping it will be up in advance of that this year.

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Celebrate Clinton Hosting 4th Of July Activities on Downtown Square

The Celebrate Clinton Association is putting on a number of 4th of July activities.

The day starts out with a free breakfast served by the Clinton Fire Department and Police Department at 8 am. Sissy Leggett is the chair of the Celebrate Clinton Association, she notes a kids playtime will follow and a bike decorating contest will take place after that.

[audio:74124thcelebration1.mp3] [/audio]

This year's festivities include the always-popular dunk tank, which will be set up for takers around 11 am.  Leggett notes other attractions on the square this year will include an old style photo booth, face painting, and a balloon hat maker.

[audio:74124thcelebration2.mp3] [/audio]

Activities will occupy the square all the way to 6 pm. Leggett says a pie eating contest will take place on the square at 1 pm and at 4 pm a special concert by the remaining members of the popular group, The Havana Ducks.

[audio:74124thcelebration3.mp3] [/audio]

Leggett hopes the heat does not hinder those wishing to make an appearance at the activities. She says they plan to have pleny of tents to get out of the sun and lots of stations with water. Various groups and vendors will be downtown as well with lots of food and beverages.

For more information on the activities, you can find the Celebrate Clinton Association on Facebook.

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TUESDAY'S SCOREBOARD

MLB NL
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Milwaukee Brewers 13, Miami Marlins 12 (10 inn)
Washington Nationals 9, San Francisco Giants 3
Pittsburgh Pirates 8, Houston Astros 7
Atlanta Braves 10, Chicago Cubs 3
New York Mets 11, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Colorado Rockies 3, St. Louis Cardinals 2
San Diego Padres 9, Arizona Diamondbacks 5
Los Angeles Dodgers 3, Cincinnati Reds 1

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 9, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5
Minnesota Twins 8, Detroit Tigers 6
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Kansas City Royals 3
Tampa Bay Rays 7, New York Yankees 4
Chicago White Sox 19, Texas Rangers 2
Oakland Athletics 3, Boston Red Sox 2
Baltimore Orioles 5, Seattle Mariners 4

WNBA
------
San Antonio Silver Stars 82, Phoenix Mercury 81

 

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White Sox Rout Rangers

 Kevin Youkilis homered, plated four and scored three times as the White Sox embarrassed the Rangers, 19-2.  Alex Rios also went deep, scored three runs and knocked in three more for Chicago in the opener of the three-game set.  A.J. Pierzynski popped a three-run homer, while Adam Dunn added a solo shot and two RBI.  Chris Sale tossed seven-and-a-third innings of one-run ball to improve to 10-and-2.  Dylan Axelrod goes up against Scott Feldman tonight live on ESPN.

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Chipper, Braves Crush Cubs

Chipper Jones finished 5-for-5 with four RBI as the Braves crushed the Cubs, 10-3, in the second installment of a four-game series.  Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger drove in a run each for Chicago, which had its season-high four-game winning streak snapped.  Chris Volstad was rocked for six runs in just four-and-a-third innings as he fell to 0-and-7 with the loss.  Paul Maholm gets the start against Randall Delgado in tonight's contest.

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Freese Still In Running For All-Star Game

 Cardinals third baseman David Freese is still in the running to make the National League All-Star roster.  Freese trails Braves third baseman Chipper Jones by a slim margin in the voting for the final spot.  However, Jones was named to the roster yesterday as an injury replacement for Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp.  Freese's remaining competition includes Nationals rookie Bryce Harper, Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill and Braves outfielder Michael Bourn.  Voting ends tomorrow.

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Cardinals' Carpenter Done For The Season

  Cardinals pitcher Chris Carpenter will not return this season.  According to FOXSportsMidwest.com, the Cards have shut down the veteran right-hander for the year.  "Carp" was previously diagnosed with Thoracic Outlet Syndrome and will undergo surgery due to the lingering nerve-related shoulder issues.  The 37-year-old was 11-and-9 with a 3.45 ERA last season and helped the Cardinals win the 2011 World Series.

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Rockies Edge Cards

Rafael Betancourt survived a walk and a hit in the ninth to record his 13th save as the Rockies defeated the Cardinals, 3-2.  Tyler Colvin hit a three-run homer in the third to give the Rockies the lead.  Colvin's blast came after Matt Holliday gave the Cardinals a two-run lead in the first with his 14th roundtripper of the year.  Joe Kelly pitched six innings and was charged with two of Colorado's three runs to suffer the loss.  St. Louis had won its previous two contests.  Adam Wainwright takes the mound tonight against Jeremy Guthrie in the third test of four at Busch Stadium.

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Former Hogan Chief of Staff Leaves U of I

The woman who served as former University of Illinois President Michael Hogan's chief of staff has resigned a faculty job.

The university said Tuesday that Lisa Troyer has resigned her tenured psychology professor's position and will be paid $175,000 as part of a separation agreement.

Troyer was a key figure in the dispute with faculty that led Hogan to resign in March.

Last December anonymous emails were sent to faculty leaders aimed at swaying their opposition to an enrollment management plan that Hogan favored. Those emails were eventually traced to Troyer's computer.

Troyer on Tuesday issued a statement through an attorney denying she sent them.

Troyer resigned as chief of staff in January and took the $109,000-a-year faculty job.

Hogan is now a professor at the university.

 

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Lack Of Power Puts A Damper on 4th of July Celebrations

Hundreds of thousands from the Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic are preparing to spend the Fourth of July like America's founders did in 1776, without the conveniences of electricity and air conditioning.

Power outages from Friday's storm altered planned celebrations in a host of ways and left powerless residents grumbling that America's birthday will hardly be a party. Cookouts were cancelled or moved to homes with power. Vacation plans were altered. Some residents without power said they weren't in a holiday mood. And even some whose power had been restored said they had run out of steam to celebrate in the way they'd planned.

Friday's storm arrived with little warning and knocked out power to 3 million homes and businesses in states from West Virginia to Ohio and Illinois.

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Jule Is 'Senior Celebration' at Farmers Market

July is "Senior Celebration Month" at the Illinois Products Farmers' Market in Springfield.

Health screenings, musical entertainment, senior discounts and "Illinois Products Bingo" will be featured at the market beginning Thursday.

The event is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Agriculture, Springfield Clinic and AARP.

Those 60 and older may register for the senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday. July 19 will be "Illinois Products Bingo" and open to all participants.

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Some IL Towns Face July 4th With No Fireworks

Dry heat will be the rule across Illinois July 4th and many towns have decided it's too big a risk to hold fireworks displays that are usually a highlight of the holiday.

Towns from Paris in southeastern Illinois to Freeport near the Wisconsin border have called off fireworks. Local officials have said they're worried a stray spark could ignite dry grass or something else and lead to a dangerous fire.

In Plainfield just outside Joliet, Deputy Fire Chief Jon Stratton said as the show was being called off last week that the field that would have hosted the event lacks water that would allow firefighters to quickly stop a fire.

Freeport has rescheduled fireworks for Sept. 2 and some others have said they hope to reschedule displays when weather permits.

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Woman Pleads Guilty To Changes In Fatal Accident

A central Illinois woman has pleaded guilty to charges filed after an accident that left three girls dead.

Sandra M. Ross of Mattoon was charged with aggravated driving under the influence after it was determined she had marijuana in her system the morning of June 1, 2011 when she lost control of the van she was driving on Illinois Route 316 and collided with a grain truck. Killed were siblings, 15-year-old Harley Jo Madigan and 12-year-old Tanisha Madigan, and 3-year-old Keisha Person.

Coles County Circuit Judge James Glenn on Monday told the 27-year-old Ross her plea could lead to an 80-year prison sentence.

Assistant State's Attorney Rob Scales said there's no indication Ross ever had a driver's license.

 

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Liberty Village Giving Advice To Help Protect Your Skin

Liberty Village wants to remind people to stay safe this summer and wear sun protection.

According to marketing director Alison Skelton, each year a million adults are diagnosed with skin cancer. It is a preventable disease, and there are many ways for people to take precautions. The center for disease control urges people to wear sunscreen with at least a sun protection factor of 15. Skelton adds that you should avoid being out during mid day, but if you can't avoid it to make sure you cover up.

[audio:7412Sunprotection1.mp3] [/audio]

Skelton also says people should avoid wearing straw hats. It is encouraged that people do wear hats, but if they do, they should opt for a baseball cap or a hat with a four inch brim on it. These offer the most protection against the sun.

[audio:7412Sunprotection2.mp3] [/audio]

More advice to protect your skin is to wear long sleeve dark loose fitting clothes, and to make sure that your sunscreen protection isn't expired. If your sunscreen doesn't have an expiration date on it, they normally last three years.

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Illinoisans Drinking Less Beer

A new report indicates people in Illinois are drinking less beer.  Bill Olson, with the Associated Beer Distributors in Illinois, says consumption was down in 2011, but he wants to clear up a report by another media outlet that hard liquor advertisements may be one reason for the dip in sales.  

[audio:rddOlson.mp3] [/audio]

Olson adds consumption was down in 2011, but he that trend may not last long.  

[audio:rddOlson2.mp3] [/audio]

The Beer Institute in Washington, D.C. reports each beer drinker in Illinois consumed 56-six packs in 2007 but by the end of 2011, they were down to only 53-packs per year.

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Quinn's Dispute With Union Back To Arbitration

A dispute between Gov. Pat Quinn and a union over raises is going back to arbitration under a judge's ruling.

Quinn has refused to pay most of the wage increases for fiscal year 2012 that he agreed to in a contract with the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The governor argues the Legislature didn't appropriate sufficient funding to cover the raises, so he can't pay them. But the union contends that sufficient funding was made available.

Judge Richard Billik Jr., sided with some of the administration's arguments, including that Quinn can't spend money that hasn't been appropriated even if bound by a contract. But the judge says the administration must prove that it lacked the funds, and he ordered the matter sent back to an arbitrator.

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Quinn Changes Mind On Closing Transition Centers

Illinois officials say Gov. Pat Quinn has decided three state facilities helping former prison inmates transition into society will remain open, a reversal of plans to close them because of budget constraints.

Illinois Department of Corrections spokesman Stacey Solano said Monday the governor plans to keep the Fox Valley Adult Transition Center open. Kelly Kraft of Quinn's budget office also said the Peoria and Chicago's North Lawndale adult transition centers were also saved.

According to Kraft, the decision to keep the Fox Valley ATC open was based on a performance review. Kraft said the Fox Valley and Peoria centers had the highest job placement per capita of any Department of Corrections facilities.

The Aurora center has provided education, counseling and workforce training to 2,250 women since August 2000.

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Four Champaign Area Companies To Get State Help

There's good news for four Champaign-Urbana area startup companies.

The companies have been approved to receive investments from the Invest Illinois Venture Fund that was set up last year.

Under the program, companies can receive up to 25% of their own lead investments from the state.

The companies that have been approved but haven't yet received any money from the state are Caterva, ANDalyze, Diagnostic Photonics and Nuvixa.

The goal of the fund is that it will replenish itself.Once a company is viewed as self-sustaining, the state could stop investing and the proceeds from its investment will be used to help other companies.

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New U of I President Takes Over

New University of Illinois President Robert Easter says his top tasks will be trying to create a sense of stability on the school's three campuses, working on the university's budget and doing what he can to keep higher education affordable.

Easter was picked to take over for departing President Michael Hogan. Monday was Easter's first day on the job.

Hogan resigned in March after some faculty leaders called for his ouster over his leadership style. Easter was a popular choice after Hogan's rocky tenure, but he's agreed to keep the job only two years.

The university continues to see dwindling state support. That makes the budget a key issue. But the university has also pledged to raise tuition no more than increases in the cost of living.

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Weekly Crop Report

ILLINOIS CROPS CONTINUE TO MATURE RAPIDLY BUT THEIR CONDITION IS DECLINING BECAUSE OF THE LACK OF RAIN.

46 PERCENT OF THE CORN CROP IS NOW SILKED…WITH SEVEN PERCENT IN THE DOUGH STAGE SAYS STATE CROP STATISTICIAN MARK SCHLEUSENER.

[audio:crop1.mp3] [/audio]

SCHLEUSENER ADDS 25 PERCENT OF SOYBEANS ARE BLOOMING.

[audio:crop2.mp3] [/audio]

AVERAGE STATEWIDE TOPSOIL MOISTURE NOW STANDS AT 11 PERCENT ADEQUATE…37 PERCENT SHORT…AND 52 PERCENT VERY SHORT. WHEAT HARVEST IS NEARLY FINISHED…AND THE SECOND CUTTING OF ALFALFA IS 88 PERCENT COMPLETE.

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Illinois Receives Grant To Allow More Access To Farmer's Markets

The state of Illinois is accepting applications for farmer's markets that want free wireless money card swiper machines as part of the Illinois EBT Wireless Project.

The state received a grant to give up to 150 different farmer's markets a free wireless money money card swiper device, and applicatoins are due July 9. Farmer's markets that receive this device through the Illinois EBT Wireless Project will be able to accept Link and debit cards.  Lt. Governor Sheila Simon says these devices give people the ability to purchase more fresh produce. Right now in Illinois, there are around 300 farmers markets and 50 of them have similar devices.

[audio:7312EBT1.mp3] [/audio]

Simon says the state has been working on this project and have talked with the US Department of Agriculture. On federals terms, the grant, being only $182,000, is small, but Simon says it will have a huge impact on the state and the communities that receive the devices.

[audio:7312EBT2.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Area Farmer's and Artisans Market is one of the markets that has applied for a machine. Elizabeth Burns says the market has looked into buying one, but due to its high cost, it would take up to a third of the market's money. She says the addition of the device would help the market tremendously.

[audio:7312EBT3.mp3] [/audio]

Overall, Simon views the grant as a complete win. Sales in markets with the devices already have almost doubled and Simon adds it keeps money in the state, helps people be able to buy fresh produce and helps our local economies.

[audio:7312EBT4.mp3] [/audio]

All farmers markets who receive a device will go through training on how to properly use it. The grant also covers 1 year of free service.

For more information about the grant and Illinois EBT Wireless Project go to www.agr.state.il.us or call 217-524-9129.

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Clinton City Officials Ask For Water Conservation; Cooling Centers Open

With this major heatwave and major drought conditions continuing on for the foreseeable future, Clinton city officials have a few reminders and recommendations for residents.

Clinton has not had to ration water for some time. And while things are not bad enough for those measures yet, Commissioner of Public Property John Wise is asking residents to conserve water as much as possible with the lack of rain and extreme heat currently dominating the weather patterns recently.

[audio:7312clintonreminders1.mp3] [/audio]

The relentless heat wave over the past week has forced city officials to look into additional cooling centers. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy notes the DeWitt County Friendship Center should be the first stop. Those seeking to use the library as a cooling center are going to have to find an alternative cooling center as Monday their air conditioning went down and they will be closed until Thursday.

[audio:7312clintonreminders2.mp3] [/audio]

Residents needing transportation can contact Show Bus for a ride and information about rates. Chief Reidy notes once the library opens back up Thursday, it is a good spot to give those without air condition a spot to be through the heat of the day. He does not anticipate needing any overnight shelters at this point in time.

In other business from the Monday Clinton City Council meeting:

> The Council approved the appointments of Karren Osborne and Brian Ennis to the DJWH Board of Directors to replace Julie North and Harold Weinberg's openings.

> Harold Allen was appointed to the Tree City Commission.

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Parise Decision Still Looming

Free-agent winger Zach Parise is still unsure where he will play next season.  The 27-year-old told reporters in Toronto on Monday that he has not yet made a decision on which team he will sign with and will not set any deadlines.  Parise is expected to re-sign with the New Jersey Devils, but the Pittsburgh Penguins and Chicago Blackhawks have also made a strong push to sign him.  Parise, who has spent his entire seven-year career with the Devils, scored 31 goals and handed out 38 assists this past season as the Devils reached the Stanley Cup Final.

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All-Star Week Notes

>>Reds' Cueto Threatens Grievance Over All-Star Snub

(Undated)  --  Cincinnati Reds pitcher Johnny Cueto [[ KWAY-toe ]] isn't taking his snub from the National League All-Star roster too well.  Cueto claims that NL manager and former St. Louis Cardinals skipper Tony La Russa left him off the roster for personal reasons.  The Reds hurler has the backing of his manager Dusty Baker, who told the "Cincinnati Enquirer" the move could be related to an on-field brawl the two teams had in 2010.  According to the "Post-Dispatch," Cueto's agent Bryce Dixon has emailed MLB Players Association executive director Michael Weiner threatening to file a grievance about the issue.

>>Cano Picks Trumbo, Fielder, Bautista For AL Squad

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  The Home Run Derby squads are set.  New York Yankees second baseman and American League captain Robinson Cano [[ cah-NO ]] has picked his teammates for next Monday's competition in Kansas City.  The reigning Derby champ has selected Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim slugger Mark Trumbo and Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista.  Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder and National League captain Matt Kemp made his picks on Sunday.  The NL squad will also include St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Carlos Beltran, Colorado Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez and Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Open Series With Rangers

>>Samardzija, Cubs Shut Down Braves

(Atlanta, GA)  --  Luis Valbuena ripped a tie-breaking three-run double to back seven stellar innings from Jeff Samardzija as the Cubs cruised to a 4-1 win over the Braves.  Samardzija struck out 11 and allowed just one run on four hits to improve to 6-and-7 on the season.  James Russell closed it out in the ninth to nail down his second save.  Anthony Rizzo added a solo home run for Chicago, which has won four straight and six of its last seven games overall.  Martin Prado's RBI single in the sixth inning accounted for Atlanta's lone run of the game.  Tommy Hanson fanned eight, but gave up all four runs during seven innings of duty to suffer the loss.  The Braves have dropped four-of-five.

>>Cardinals Rip Rockies

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Allen Craig homered twice and plated three as the Cardinals routed the Rockies, 9-3.  Matt Holliday also went deep and knocked in two for the Cards in the opener of the four-game set.  Kyle Lohse tossed seven-and-a-third innings of two-run ball to improve to 8-and-2.  Tyler Colvin launched a two-run homer, while Wilin Rosario added a solo blast for Colorado, which has dropped three straight.  Tyler Chatwood allowed four runs in two-and-a-third innings to take the loss.

MLB NL
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Pittsburgh Pirates 11, Houston Astros 2
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Miami Marlins 5
San Diego Padres 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
Cincinnati Reds 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 2

MLB AL
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Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3, Cleveland Indians 0
Minnesota Twins 6, Detroit Tigers 4
Kansas City Royals 11, Toronto Blue Jays 3
Tampa Bay Rays 4, New York Yankees 3
Oakland Athletics 6, Boston Red Sox 1
Seattle Mariners 6, Baltimore Orioles 3

>>White Sox Host Rangers

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox open up a three-game homestand against the Texas Rangers at The Cell.  Chris Sale will go up against Roy Oswalt in the opener.  The Southsiders split a four-game set with the New York Yankees over the weekend, but dropped their last two to fall to 42-and-37 on the season.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

 

June 30, 2012

 

Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0

 

July 1, 2012

 

Jail Population: 82

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

July 2, 2012

 

Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1

 

Mark Stone, 41, Kenney, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence and Improper Lane Usage. Stone was issued a notice to appear and was released.

 

Christopher Tatro, 22, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (60 mph in a 45 mph zone). Tatro promised to comply and was released.

 

Jayson Diehl, 30, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Obstructing Justice/Destroy Evidence, Criminal Trespass to Vehicle, Criminal Damage Property <$300, Theft/Stolen/Intent/>$100K, Driving Under Influence/Alcohol. Diehl being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

 

Jennifer Gaden, 20, Bloomington, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Gaden posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Louis Gill, 21, Bloomington, was arrested and charged with Contributing Delinquency Minor. Gill posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Olivia Venecia, 20, Bloomington, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Venecia posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Nathan Robinson, 19, Weldon, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Robinson posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Tabitha Spelde, 20, Mazon, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Spelde posted the necessary bond and was released.

Ashley Toberman, 20, Decatur, was arrested and charged with Consumption Of Liquor/Minor. Toberman posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 08:45 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, revealed that a vehicle driven by Nikki Eades, 20, Clinton, was traveling southbond on US 51 and was attempting to turn into Clinton on US Business 51. While turning, Eades lost control of her motorcycle and laid down on its left side causing damage to the left handle bar and slight scratches on the plastic cover. Eades received slight scratches to her back and left elbow, but nothing major. Eades was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. The motorcycle was towed from the scene.

 

 

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

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Clinton Implements Open Fire Ban

With the 4th of July holiday upon us, the hot and extremely dry conditions have local authorities concerned this year.

Many other communities are prohibiting open fires, and Clinton is doing the same. Fire Chief Shawn Milton explains the Clinton City Council put a ban on those recreational fires. He says while enforcing it will be difficult, he encourages anyone that has a fire going to have a garden hose nearby.

[audio:7412fireban1.mp3] [/audio]

The extremely dry weather has crews very concerned. Chief Milton explains the fire department has already this year seen small grass fires flare up because of how dry things are getting.

[audio:7412fireban2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton reminds those planning to use various fireworks, the consumer fireworks can be a hazard to your neighbors and the community as a whole. He says with the dry conditions they could see multiple events happen. And he says the so-called harmless sparklers can burn at 16-hundred degrees Fahrenheit. He says that is more than enough heat to ignite wood or dry brush.

[audio:7412fireban3.mp3] [/audio]

The chief also notes the fireworks display set for tomorrow night is conducted by professionals and the fire department does stand by in the event of an incident. The grass where the fireworks will be set off is green thanks to watering from the pond in front of Sunset Inn when it was drained.

Chief Milton encourages residents to contact the fire department at 935-3712 for questions or concerns.

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Governor Quinn Disturbed By Failure To Investigate Abuses

Gov. Pat Quinn says he was disturbed by a report that found that dozens of cases of alleged abuse against disabled people went uninvestigated by the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The agency announced Friday that it is "re-evaluating the role" of its Office of the Inspector General..

It was found that since 2003, the inspector general failed to investigate 53 cases called into the agency's hotline. Callers told of disabled adults who were abused or neglected by caregivers and later died.

On Saturday, Quinn said he was "disturbed to read that" and that he is looking into the issue. He indicated some cases could be reopened, saying "whatever's necessary to get to the truth is what ought to be done."

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To Tamms, Prison Clsoure Means Pain, Betrayal

There's anger at Gov. Pat Quinn in the Alexander County community of Tamms over his decision to mothball the state's only "supermax" facility.

Despite Quinn's proposal to keep the prison open by selling it to the federal government, many in this county - 1 of only four to vote for Quinn when he won office two years ago - see his decision as evidence that he doesn't care much about residents who live outside Chicago.

They're also angry because closing the prison means losing hundreds of jobs in a county that in May had the highest unemployment rate in Illinois.

The state's budget crisis has prompted lawmakers to make painful spending decisions and Quinn aides say the prison is half empty and far more expensive to run than other facilities.

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Hot, Dry Weather Leads To Fireworks Cancellations

As hot, dry weather settles over most of Illinois more towns are putting the brakes on holiday fireworks.

A handful of towns have cancelled public fireworks shows and Belleville Mayor Mark Eckert is checking to see if he can issue an executive order banning the use of fireworks. He says a City Council ordinance would take too long to take effect.

Harrisburg in bone-dry southern Illinois and Plainfield southwest of Chicago both have cancelled fireworks shows scheduled for next week. Officials in the southeastern Illinois town of Paris say that unless heavy rains fall before the holiday its fireworks are off, too.

The forecast calls for nothing but hot, dry weather.

Most of Illinois is in at least a moderate drought after weeks with little rain.

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Quinn Signs New Budget, Vows To Close Facilities

Governor Quinn is shutting down 57 state facilities, despite the fact that lawmakers fully funded them for the next year.  Quinn says it's not an easy decision but there are some things that have a higher priority.  

[audio:rddQClose1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn has the authority to veto funding from the budget but he can't just shift it toward something else.  He wants to convince lawmakers to reallocate the money he cut from the facilities into the DCFS budget.  Quinn signed the 33-point-seven-billion-dollar budget over the weekend and praised lawmakers for their efforts to reverse the state's debt.  The new budget dedicates about one-point-three-billion dollars toward paying down debt.  Quinn says the only thing left in hanging in the balance is pension reform.

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Governor Signs Bill Banning Possession and Sale of Shark Fins

GOVERNOR PAT QUINN IS SIGNING A NEW LAW BANNING THE SALE OF SHARK FINS IN ILLINOIS.

THE FINS ARE USED TO MAKE SHARK FIN SOUP...AND ARE TYPICALLY SLICED OFF AND THE SHARKS ARE THROWN BACK IN THE WATER TO BLEED TO DEATH OR DROWN. THIS IS SERIOUSLY DEPLETING THEIR NUMBERS SAYS SHEDD AQUARIUM SHARK EXPERT HEATHER THOMAS.

[audio:fins1.mp3] [/audio]

IT’S ESTIMATED THE WORLDWIDE POPULATION OF SHARKS HAS DROPPED BY ABOUT 90 PERCENT OVER THE PAST 50 YEARS…IN PART BECAUSE OF SHARK FINNING. THE FINS ARE USED IN SOUP AND SOME ASIAN CUISINE SAYS SHEDD AQUARIUM SHARK EXPERT HEATHER THOMAS.

[audio:fins2.mp3] [/audio]
 
THE LAW OUTLAWS THE POSSESSION…SALE OR TRADE OF SHARK FINS IN ILLINOIS AND TAKES EFFECT JANUARY FIRST.

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Lawmakers Praise Transportation Bill

Members of Congress from Illinois are praising passage of legislation to extend federal funding for highways and transit programs.

It's a key issue for Illinois as 1 of the nation's important transportation crossroads.

The legislation will provide $4.1 billion for highways in Illinois over the next three years. It also sets aside $1.5 billion for mass transit in the state, representing an 11% increase.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says it will ensure "states, cities and local transit agencies will have the confidence to plan and build big projects."

The Democrat said Friday it would provide money for projects like the I-74 bridge in the Quad Cities and the relocation of rail lines through Springfield.

Congressman Dan Lipinski says it will create jobs, relieve congestion and promote long-term economic growth.

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Quinn Signs 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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Champaign County Murder Trial Ends In Hung Jury

The trial of a central Illinois man charged with a fatal shooting in Rantoul has ended in a hung jury - again.

A jury deliberated for about nine hours Thursday before telling Judge John Kennedy that they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict in the case of 28-year-old Steven Monroe. Monroe is charged with murder in the January 2011 shooting of 21-year-old Marcus Brown.

It was the third trial for Monroe. 1 of his earlier trials also ended in a mistrial because the jury couldn't reach a verdict. In the other case, the judge dismissed the jury after some jurors expressed unhappiness that their names had been read aloud in court during jury selection.

Prosecutors say they'll decide later if they'll retry Monroe.

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Illinois Heat Creating Conditions For Fish Kill

The extreme heat and lack of rain throughout Illinois are creating the right conditions for fish kills in ponds and backwater lakes.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says it is already responding to reports of fish kills from private pond owners.

The die-off of fish is caused by oxygen levels that decrease as a result of less rain and evaporation caused by high temperatures. Algal blooms also decrease oxygen levels.

The state agency says nearly all fish kills are the result of natural causes, not chemical contamination.

It says there is little that pond owners can do to prevent them.

But it does recommend that farmers and others handling chemicals or manure take care not to contaminate ponds and streams, especially after rain storms.

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Electric Aggregation Process Underway In Lincoln

The City of Lincoln is in the process of seeking out suppliers bids for the aggregation of electricity suppliers.

Lincoln voters along with several other small Logan County communities approved the measure for the city governments to move forward with that. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains those communities are now working cooperatively to bring back the best bids for their residents and small businesses. A firm has been hired to investigate the validity of the suppliers they receive bids from. Mayor Snyder notes, soon residents should be receiving information on who the city will go with and the savings they can realize.

[audio:7212lincolnelectric1.mp3] [/audio]

The referendum in March passed by an approximate 60/40 split. Mayor Snyder felt some voters may have viewed the process as too good to be true. The Mayor estimates depending on the bids that come in and electrical rates when they receive those bids, residents could see an approximate 10% to 20% savings in their electrical bills.

[audio:7212lincolnelectric2.mp3] [/audio]

The city will likely lock into a short one-year contract for the first year, they then are able to go back out for bids this time in 2013. Mayor Snyder says, if Ameren's rates by then become lower than the competitive market elsewhere, the communities then go back to Ameren as their electric supplier.

[audio:7212lincolnelectric3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Snyder explains this past March was the first time this system was able to be voted on by voters of down state Illinois. This was first available in the suburban areas of Illinois, and Mayor Snyder feels, many communities are just now hearing about it. The state does mandate the issue be taken to referendum. The next opportunity voters of other communities can take advantage of electric aggregation will be in November.

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DeWitt County Board Approves Patrick Engineering For Landfill Reviews

The DeWitt County Board recently approved to hire Patrick Engineering to review Clinton Landfill Permit Modifications.

The contract would be on an as needed basis and according to DeWitt County Board Chair, Melonie Tilley, the landfill provides a variety of updates to the Environmental Protection Agency. Tilley notes they may be changes, or quarterly reports or testing of wells and the County gets a copy of those. Patrick Engineering would act as an aid in the event the County Board would need additional information on those permit modifications.

[audio:7212countypeterson1.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley notes representatives from AREA do come to the Land Use Committee meetings to provide updates of their permit modifications.

Because the cost will be on an as need basis, the cost is not an annual fee. Tilley explains the Land Use Committee sent Patrick Engineering a handful of permit modifications to get an estimate of what their services would have cost. Land Use Committee Chair, Terry Ferguson said the most expensive quote was around $2-thousand. Tilley explains the financing for this firm will come out of $35-thousand dollars that was set aside for inspection purposes at the landfill.

[audio:7212countypeterson2.mp3] [/audio]

Tilley stresses Patrick Engineering's services will be used on an as needed basis. They will serve as a safety net in the event they need the expertise of the firm. She adds it could end up where the County doesn't even utilize the services of the firm.

[audio:7212countypeterson3.mp3] [/audio]

If Patrick Engineering is need and they do find something questionable in a permit modification from the landfill, they could approach the EPA with a public comment.

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Landfill Foes Want More Say In Toxic Waste Plan

A plan to store toxic waste at a central Illinois landfill is stirring debate over how much say people who get drinking water from the aquifer beneath the dump should have in what's dumped there.

Activists are pushing for new legislation that could help them stop a company's plans to store PCBs in a private landfill near Clinton. The landfill sits over the Mahomet Aquifer that provides water to roughly 750,000 Illinoisans.

A company called Area Disposal says its plan includes a resilient liner that is unlikely to leak. But skeptics like George Wissmiller of nearby DeWitt aren't convinced.

The bill would give neighboring communities more say in what is buried in landfills. But even advocates expect a court challenge if it is approved by the legislature.

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Clinton High School Renovations Well Underway; Some Projects Under Gun

Remodeling of several key areas in Clinton High School is well underway and making great progress.

As you make your way past the high school you probably have noticed the work being done on the roof, however, a lot of work is underway inside the building. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes says the main commons area and restrooms are being worked on currently, and in fact, so much progress has been made, the restrooms are just bare rooms as everything has been removed.

[audio:7212highschoolrenovations1.mp3] [/audio]

The gym is also receiving some attention this summer. As crews work to get air conditioning put into the gym, they are up against the clock. Replacement the gym floor requires eight weeks work to complete. Dr. Holmes says that eight week timeline puts them up against the annual Clinton Volleyball Tournament held at the high school each year. He says if the A/C is not installed very soon, the gym floor replacement may have to wait until next summer.

[audio:7212highschoolrenovations2.mp3] [/audio]

Renovations and upgrades are also taking place in the high school's library. Dr. Holmes feels the upgrades to the library's will allow students to maximize the use of their iPads, when they get them. Additions to the library will include new lighting and more comfortable seating.

[audio:7212highschoolrenovations3.mp3] [/audio]

Work on the roof is being considered Health, Life & Safety upgrades. The work should be nearly wrapped up this week, as just some final touch ups on it will have to be taken care of later. Dr. Holmes says with the work on the high school roof, all the roofs of the district are now in 'great shape'.

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Tiger Woods AT&T National

Tiger Woods closed with a two-under 69 on Sunday to earn a two-stroke win at the AT&T National.  Woods finished at eight-under-par 276 at Congressional Country Club.  The victory was the 74th on the PGA Tour for Woods, moving him into second place, one ahead of Jack Nicklaus.  Woods moves within eight victories of all-time wins leader Sam Snead.  The win was the third of the season for Woods.  He also won at Bay Hill and Muirfield Village.

Bo Van Pelt bogeyed the final three holes to end two back at minus-six after an even-par 71 in the final-round.  Adam Scott matched the low round of the day with his four-under 67.  He took third place at 5-under-par 279.  Robert Garrigus, Jhonattan Vegas, Billy Hurley the Third and Seung-Yul Noh shared fourth place at minus-four.

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Keselowski Takes Checkers In Kentucky

Brad Keselowski won his third race of the season by taking Saturday's Quaker State 400 at Kentucky Speedway.  Keselowski was in a backup car after wrecking his primary vehicle in Friday's practice.  The Penske Racing driver was able to hold off Kasey Kahne by four-and-a-half seconds down the stretch.  Denny Hamlin finished third followed by Hendrick Motorsports drivers Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jeff Gordon and Jimmie Johnson.  Kyle Busch finished 10th after winning last year's inaugural Sprint Cup event at Kentucky.  Keselowski's three wins are the most in the series so far this season.  He won in March at Bristol and May at Talladega.

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Goodell Interested In State Of LA Football

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell sent a memo to the league Friday on the state of football in Los Angeles.  NFL.com obtained the letter which stated the development of a stadium in the City of Angels is in the near future.  Goodell continued to lay guidelines for a potential move.  A franchise must state its intent to relocate between January 1st and February 15th of 2013.  The "LA Times" says the Rams, Raiders, Jaguars and Chargers are among those that may relocate.  Los Angeles has not been home to the NFL since 1994 when the Rams and Raiders left town for St. Louis and Oakland, respectively.

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Yankees Hold 66th Old-Timers' Day

The New York Yankees held their 66th-annual Old-Timers' Day in the Bronx on Sunday.  Nearly 50 former members of the Yankees were in attendance, including Hall of Famers Yogi Berra, Whitey Ford, Rickey Henderson, Reggie Jackson and Rich "Goose" Gossage.  Current manager Joe Girardi and former manager Joe Torre were also in attendance at Yankee Stadium.  After the ceremonies, the current Yankees beat the Chicago White Sox, 4-2, in the finale of a four-game series.

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MLB All-Star Notes

>>Four Cards Land On ASG Roster

(New York, NY)  --  Four Cardinals made the National League All-Star roster including two starters.  Rafael Furcal will make his third appearance in the All-Star Game and start at shortstop while Carlos Beltran makes his seventh appearance in the outfield.  Catcher Yadier Molina made the team for the fourth time as a reserve while pitcher Lance Lynn will be at his first All-Star Game.  The NL will face the American League on July 10th from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.

>>Two Cubs Make All-Star Game

(Chicago, IL)  --  Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro and outfielder Bryan LaHair were both named to the National League All-Star team.  Both players were reserved with Castro making it for a second straight season, while LaHair is making his first appearance.  The All Star Game is July 10th in Kansas City.

>>Three White Sox Make All-Star Team

(Chicago, IL)  --  Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn and Chris Sale were named to the American League All-Star team.  Neither of the position players are starters and it is not yet known if Sale will be given the nod as the starting pitcher.  Jake Peavy could still make the team for the final spot fan vote.  A.J. Pierzynski was also left off the roster.

>>Lineup Announced For All-Star Game Final Vote

(New York, NY)  --  Fans will once again have the ability to select one more player to the All-Star Game for each team in the Final Vote.  The American League players on the ballot are all pitchers, Jonathan Broxton of  the Royals, Yu Darvish of the Rangers, Ernesto Frieri of the Angels, Jason Hammel of Orioles and Jake Peavy of the White Sox.  National League contenders are St. Louis third baseman David Freese, Arizona second baseman Aaron Hill, Washington rookie Bryce Harper, Atlanta outfielder Michael Bourn and retiring Braves third baseman Chipper Jones.  The Final Vote results will be announced on Thursday.

>>Kemp Makes NL Derby Selections

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp selected the National League participants for the Home Run Derby on Sunday evening.  The NL Derby captain selected Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton, Carlos Beltran of the Cardinals and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies.  Kemp is expected to participate in the event at Kaufmann Stadium in Kansas City despite being on the disabled list with an injured hamstring.  American League captain and Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano is expected to announce his selections on Monday.  The Derby will be held July 9th.

>>Baker Takes Issue With La Russa's ASG Picks

(San Francisco, CA)  --  The four All-Star Game selections the Cardinals received did not please everyone.  Reds manager Dusty Baker told the "Cincinnati Enquirer" that his second baseman Brandon Phillips and starter Johnny Cueto were snubbed from the team.  He took issue with the two being left off the team and indicated that it was former Cards manager Tony La Russa's fault.  La Russa will manage the National League squad after leading St. Louis to the World Series title last season.  Baker added that it may have something to do with a skirmish between the two teams in 2010.

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Cubs sign Cuban OF Soler to 9-year, $30M deal

The Chicago Cubs have signed Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler to a 9-year, $30 million deal.

The Cubs announced the deal before Saturday's game against the Houston Astros.

The 20-year-old Soler was sought after by several teams and is considered a five-tool player who will require some minor league seasoning. He will report to the team's spring training and minor league facility in Mesa., Ariz.

Earlier this year the Cubs signed Cuban left-hander Geraldo Concepcion. The Oakland Athletics made a big splash by signing another Cuban outfielder, Yoenis Cespedes, to a 4-year, $36 million contract in February. And on Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig to a 7-year, $42 million deal.

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Cubs, Cards Win; Sox Split 4-Game Set With Yanks

>>Cubs Sweep 'Stros

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Cubs scored three runs in the sixth inning to back seven-and-two-third scoreless frames from Travis Wood en route to a 3-0 win over the Astros.  Wood fanned four and allowed just three hits to improve to 3-and-3 on the season.  Carlos Marmol closed it out to lock up his eighth save for Chicago, which swept the three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Anthony Rizzo had an RBI single and Jeff Baker added a two-run double in the decisive inning.  Wandy Rodriguez gave up all three runs in seven innings of duty to suffer the loss for Houston.  The 'Stros have dropped four games in-a-row.

>>Cards Clip Bucs

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Matt Holliday and Shane Robinson each plated a run during a decisive fifth frame to lift the Cardinals in a 5-4 win over the Pirates.  Allen Craig clubbed a two-run homer and Yadier Molina added a solo shot for St. Louis, which snapped a three-game slide to salvage the finale of this three-game set at Busch Stadium.  Jake Westbrook tossed six innings of four-run ball to get the win.  Jason Motte closed it out to lock up his 17th save of the season.  Clint Barmes had an RBI single and Michael McKenry popped a three-run homer in the fourth inning for Pittsburgh.  Erik Bedard gave up five runs in four-and-two-third frames to absorb the loss.

MLB NL
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Miami Marlins 5, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Washington Nationals 8, Atlanta Braves 4
Milwaukee Brewers 2, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
San Diego Padres 2, Colorado Rockies 0
San Francisco Giants 4, Cincinnati Reds 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 8, New York Mets 3

>>Yankees Double Up ChiSox

(Bronx, NY)  --  Eric Chavez and Robinson Cano each clubbed a two-run homer to lead the Yankees in a 4-2 win over the White Sox.  Phil Hughes struck out eight through eight innings of two-run ball to improve to 9-and-6 on the season.  Rafael Soriano closed it out to nail down his 18th save for New York, which split the four-game set in the Bronx.  Kevin Youkilis and Alex Rios both knocked in a run for Chicago.  Gavin Floyd was saddled with the loss after allowing all four runs in five-and-a-third frames of duty.

MLB AL
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Cleveland Indians 6, Baltimore Orioles 2
Detroit Tigers 5, Tampa Bay Rays 3
Minnesota Twins 10, Kansas City Royals 8
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 10, Toronto Blue Jays 6
Boston Red Sox 2, Seattle Mariners 1 (10 inn)
Oakland Athletics 3, Texas Rangers 1

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

CITATIONS

6/29/12

JESSE L. BEECHLER 22, SPRINGFIELD OPERATING UNINSURED MOTOR VEHICLE. NOTICE TO APPEAR ISSUED

 

07/01/12

KATHY F. VINSON 55,CLINTON FAILURE TO SECURE CHILD IN SEATBELT/CHILD RESTRAINT. BOND POSTED

 

ON 6/30/12 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED DERRICK L. PEIFER 32, WAYNESVILLE FOR DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL. PEIFER 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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Okaw Valley Future Still Up In Air; Clinton's Too?

Last week Athletic Directors met from the five schools expected to remain in what is likely to become a split Okaw Valley Conference.

The meeting was geared towards discussion of how the expected remaining five wanted to proceed forward. Clinton High School Athletic Director, Karl Parrish noted there was also discussion towards re-expansion and inviting new schools in.

[audio:7312OkawShuffle1.mp3] [/audio]

While he could not give out many details, Parrish confirms speculation of St. Joseph-Ogden and Champaign St. Thomas More being invited to the Okaw is indeed true.

[audio:7312OkawShuffle2.mp3] [/audio]

As far as number of schools officials would seek out, Parrish says it all hinges on the number of teams that leave. He says if seven teams are to leave, as of right now it appears seven will, they would like to rebuild the conference to a ten school league.

[audio:7312OkawShuffle3.mp3] [/audio]

Location will certainly play a key role in who these schools invite. Parrish notes they have addressed schools to the north and to the east of Clinton. While Clinton remains one of the five expected to be a part of the future of the Okaw, Parrish says Clinton's future is very much undecided currently.

[audio:7312OkawShuffle4.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton has not been approached by any other conferences to join, however, Parrish says if that were to happen, they would seriously consider the possibility.

A couple schools in the Corn Belt Conference may be possibly invited to join the Okaw.

Parrish also stresses that nothing is for certain as to the number of schools or even which schools are leaving the Okaw Valley Conference. He speculates things could become final within a few weeks.

 

Karl Parrish On Okaw Valley Conference Future:

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

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