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Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Advisory for the Weekend

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The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the Regional Radio listening area, from 6pm Saturday thru 6pm Sunday.

The Weather Service says a storm system is expected to bring snow back into our area Saturday afternoon and continue through Sunday afternoon or evening. By the time the storm shifts away from our area late Sunday, we could see snowfall totals in the 4 to 6 inch range by Sunday afternoon, with locally higher amounts possible, especially along and south of a Springfield to Champaign line which is further south than what we saw with the model data yesterday at this time.

Winds will not be much of a factor with this storm with wind speeds of 10 mph or less expected through Sunday.

Afternoon temperatures on Sunday will climb to around freezing along and especially south of I-72 which should help melt some of the snow during the afternoon.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio for the latest weather information, and for weather along with cancellations and road conditions, go to dewittdailynews.com.

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Current Fiscal Year Appropriations Still Elusive

 

Illinois is inching closer to a resolution to solve the budget problems in the current fiscal year, but Senate democrats still have some looming questions. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:2281594917-CURRENTFYFUNDING.mp3] [/audio]

Several vital programs, including the Child Care Assistance Program, court reporters and the Department of Corrections have indicated they are short hundreds of millions of dollars with several months left in the current fiscal year that ends at the end of June.

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23 Locations in Illinois Added To National Register of Historic Places

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency is celebrating the addition of a number of Illinois landmarks to the National Register of Historic Places.

Thirteen buildings, eight historic districts and two archaeological sites made the cut.

While many people think a building has to have a role in history to be added, spokesman Chris Wills notes the register's addition features a mix of family homes, warehouses and government buildings.

[audio:2281594912-Wills.mp3] [/audio]

The building where President Abraham Lincoln made his farewell speech to Springfield, the Great Western Depot, is among the honorees.

The locations added are below:

COLLAR COUNTIES
David Hall House, Lake Villa
The David Hall House, designed by Chicago architect Ralph Wesley Varney, is an inventive melding of early 20th century revival and Art Deco styles. Art Deco was rarely employed for residential architecture, particularly since the style’s popularity generally shadowed the Great Depression when fewer new homes were constructed.

Elgin Downtown Historic District, Elgin
This area served as the community’s first major business center, from early shops of the 19th century to department and chain stores of the 20th. It also was the transportation and government heart of the community. The district contains a significant number of historic commercial structures.

William and Helen Coffeen House, Hinsdale
The Coffeen House and its coach house are outstanding works by master architect George W. Maher. Designed in 1899, they represent a pivotal period in the evolution of his Prairie School design. The house displays the simple unadorned forms and complex details in stained glass and carved wood that Maher was developing as hallmarks of his work.

COOK COUNTY
Oak Park Village Hall, Oak Park
Oak Park Village Hall played a key role in the village’s struggle to halt white flight. Oak Park received national attention for the way it inspired and sustained racial integration and demonstrated to other communities how to achieve a diverse mixture of white and black residents.

Portage Park Bungalow Historic District, Chicago
The Portage Park Bungalow Historic District is particularly notable for its high percentage of intact brick bungalows and beautifully cohesive streetscapes. This was one of the first areas in the neighborhood to be developed for single-family residences. A vast majority of the houses in the district were built in the 1920s, making this district particularly important as a reflection of single-family housing of that era.

Jesse L. Strauss Estate, Glencoe
The Jesse L. Strauss Estate is an excellent example of French Revival architecture. The house and historic garage/apartment were designed in 1921 and 1924 by David Adler, generally regarded as the region’s foremost country-house architect of that period. The Strauss House is Glencoe's only French Revival estate.

Polish National Alliance Headquarters Chicago
PNA Headquarters is an excellent and well-preserved example of an ethnic fraternal building and is important for the role it played in the social, cultural and political development of Chicago’s Polish community. The building served as headquarters for the nation’s largest Polish fraternal organization from 1938 until 1976.

DOWNSTATE
Heimberger House, Springfield
Built in 1915, the Heimberger House is a good example of an Arts and Crafts double-house. Even though it was a two-family home, it was built to resemble a single-family home with carefully disguised front and rear entrances. It boasts some of the most stylish features of the period, including multiple skylights and high-end Craftsman features, with an alluring street and interio

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Bill protects teens from prosecution if they seek medical help for alcohol poisoning.

STATE LAWMAKERS ARE WORKING ON LEGISLATION TO HELP PROTECT TEENS AND THEIR FRIENDS WHO MAY HAVE ALCOHOL POISONING.

IT’S CALLED THE "LIFELINE" BILL, AND AIMS TO ELIMINATE THE THREAT OF PROSECUTION IF A TEEN OR A FRIEND DRINKS WAY TOO MUCH AND SEEKS IMMEDIATE MEDICAL HELP. IT’S SPONSORED BY REPRESENTATIVE SCOTT DRURY OF HIGHWOOD.

[audio:2281594852-lifeline.mp3] [/audio]

ILLINOIS ALREADY HAS A SIMILAR LAW ON THE BOOKS THAT APPLIES TO HEROIN OVERDOSES.

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New Farm Bill Deadline Extended to March 31st, 2015

The USDA has extended the deadline to update base acres and yields under the new farm bill until march 31st. The original deadline for landowners to make initial decisions related to the new farm safety net was friday. 

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the announcement saying it is an important decision for producers, because the programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace. 

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31st, 2014, the farms current yield and base will be used. A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by that same date or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year. 

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Clinton Y 'Pay The Day' Campaign Highlights March

 

As we usher in the month of March, a local organization is beginning a drive that annually significantly bumps their membership.

The Clinton YMCA's 'Pay the Day' campaign allows those who are considering or want to join the YMCA, to do so at a discounted rate. According to Executive Director Rennie Cluver, the joiner fees that members pay up front, is reduced to the day of the month.

[audio:2281594850-22815paytheday1.mp3] [/audio]

Memberships at the Y get you access to a variety of services. According to Cluver, you have access to the gym, fitness room and child care among other services.

[audio:2281594851-22815paytheday2.mp3] [/audio]

The many programs the YMCA offers their members a discount to participate. The YMCA has dozens of fitness programs, youth centered activities and family events that are significantly reduced if you are a member of the Y.

To get further information on the 'Pay The Day' campaign, contact the Y at 217-935-8307 or stop in at 417 South Alexander Street.

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Current Fiscal Year Appropriations Still Elusive

Illinois is inching closer to a resolution to solve the budget problems in the current fiscal year, but Senate democrats still have some looming questions. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:2271563846-CURRENTFYFUNDING.mp3] [/audio]

Several vital programs, including the Child Care Assistance Program, court reporters and the Department of Corrections have indicated they are short hundreds of millions of dollars with several months left in the current fiscal year that ends at the end of June.

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Rauner Urging Cabinet To Bring Problems Forward

Illinois’ new Governor is sending a strong message to his cabinet, saying they have a moral obligation to report problems to his office. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:2271563849-RAUNERCABINET.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor says his job is to make his cabinet more effective and that in two years the state will be on a different trajectory.

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Teacher's Union Support Millionaire Surcharge Proposal

A group of Illinois Teachers’ unions and other special interest groups are coming out in support of a proposal to place an additional three percent tax on the incomes of people who make over one-million dollars.

But, the tax could backfire, according to the Reason Foundation. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:2271563843-MILLIONAIRESURCHARGE.mp3] [/audio]

The proposal would put a constitutional amendment adding the surcharge to Illinois’ tax structure to fund education on the 2016 ballot.

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Preventing the Flu Easy During This Flu Season

The flu season is still among us and there are several ways to prevent sickness in your everyday life.

There are many cost effective and natural ways to help prevent the flu out there and Pharmacist David Foreman recommends probiotics as a great way to keep the sickness at bay. He explains the probiotic called Insync will aid in keeping your immune system healthy.

[audio:2271564140-22715flu1.mp3] [/audio]

Water is also a great solution to keep healthy during flu season. Foreman says cold weather usually dries out the skin and sinuses which greatly increases the likelihood of getting the flu and other sicknesses.

[audio:2271564142-22715flu2.mp3] [/audio]

It's also imperative to keep a distance from people who are sick during flu season. Foreman emphasizes the importance of washing your hands especially in public restrooms.

[audio:2271564145-22715flu3.mp3] [/audio]

Foreman cautions those who work around a group of people daily to keep their hands washed and not to share food or drinks.

He notes with the flu vaccine being very susceptible this year, these steps could not be more imperative to implement in your homes.

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Mandatory Meetings Set For Bloomington Zoo's Popular Internship Program

Next week, youth interested in being a part of an award winning program through the Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington will need to attend an informative meeting next week.

Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says their award winning Jr. Zookeeper program will be hosting three meetings next week that will be required for youth to participate in the program this year. He calls the program a unique opportunity.

[audio:2271564148-22715jrzoo1.mp3] [/audio]

For first time applicants, it is not guaranteed they will get in, however, Tetzloff notes, the first time entrance rate has increased in recent years. Around 100 students are currently a part of the Jr. Zookeeper program.

[audio:2271564151-22715jrzoo2.mp3] [/audio]

While the program is a great opportunity for future veterinarians or zoology majors, Tetzloff stresses the program isn't necessarily just for them. He explains their youth in the past have gone on to a lot of different fields of study. He feels the program is simply a great learning experience for anyone.

[audio:2271564155-22715jrzoo3.mp3] [/audio]

Students exiting fifth grade this school year or older are eligible to be a part of the Jr. Zookeeper program. Tetzloff notes the meetings next week are Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 7 pm to 8 pm at the zoo.

He notes, attending only one meeting is required as the same information is presented at each.

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Clinton Athletic Boosters Gearing Up For Maroon Madness

 width=The Clinton Athletic Boosters are gearing up for their biggest even of the year next weekend.

The fifth annual Athletic Booster's Maroon Madness event has become extremely popular and according to Booster President, Brian Ennis, at the end of the night, $10-thousand is given away.

[audio:2271564157-22715maroonmadness1.mp3] [/audio]

The event is a reverse raffle that takes place throughout the night. Ennis notes the event is open to anyone graduated from high school. They will have horderves and drinks available as well as live entertainment.

[audio:2271564201-22715maroonmadness2.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton Athletic Boosters is the fundraising arm for the athletic programs at the junior high and high school level. Ennis says they've put a lot back into the programs from wrestling to football to cheerleading.

[audio:2271564203-22715maroonmadness3.mp3] [/audio]

The event is Saturday evening March 7 starting at 5:30 at the Clinton Elks Club. Ennis says they have a limited amount of space left and encourages anyone interested to contact the Clinton Athletic Department to get more information.

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Low-Carbon Bill Could Help Three Exelon Nuclear Plants

 width=Illinois lawmakers are considering clean-energy legislation backed by Exelon Corp. to keep three unprofitable nuclear plants afloat.

The idea proposed Thursday would require utilities to reward producers of low-carbon power for being environmentally friendly. That would include wind, solar, water and clean-burning coal as well as nuclear.

Exelon's Joseph Dominguez (doh-MIHN'-ghez) says the company supports the plan and that any low-carbon source could compete.

Labor and political leaders say it would help Exelon keep open nuclear plants in the Quad Cities, Byron and Clinton. The company says they're unprofitable because of competition from natural gas and wind.

A group called Illinois Clean Jobs Coalition says another energy bill introduced last week would better expand renewable energy sources and encourage energy efficiency.

The bills are HB3293 and HB2607.

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Herman Leads Wild First Day At Honda Classic

 width=Jim Herman fired a 5-under 65 during a windy first round on Thursday and he holds a 1-shot lead at the Honda Classic.

Herman has one career victory on the Nationwide Tour, now the Web.com Tour, at the 2010 Moonah Classic in Australia.

Martin Flores, and the trio is tied for third.

European Ryder Cup teammates Martin Kaymer and Jamie Donaldson are three shots back of the lead and tied for sixth at 2-under 68 along with Daniel Berger, Scott Piercy, Rory Sabbatini, Sung Joon Park and David Lingmerth.

World No. 1 Rory McIlroy, making his season debut on the PGA Tour, struggled with the windy conditions at times on his way to a 3-over 73. He is tied for 79th alongside defending champion Russell Henley and 21 others.

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Baseball Notes

>>Report Indicates Angels' Hamilton Had Drug, Alcohol Relapse

Former American League MVP Josh Hamilton reportedly suffered a cocaine and alcohol relapse.

The Angels outfielder met with Major League Baseball officials on Wednesday in New York for what was termed a "disciplinary issue."

 width=On Thursday, the New York Daily News cited a source as saying Hamilton had a relapse with his previous drug problems.

Hamilton had been spending the offseason in Houston recovering from surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder. He undergoes regular drug testing as a condition of his reinstatement into baseball in 2005. The veteran was suspended for three seasons between 2003-05 for well-documented issues of substance-abuse.

The 33-year-old veteran went on to beat his addiction and become one of the game's most feared hitters over a five-year span with the Texas Rangers from 2008-12. Hamilton was named an AL All-Star in each of those seasons and captured the league's MVP award in 2010 when he batted .359 with 32 homers and 100 RBI and helped the Rangers to the World Series.

Hamilton signed a five-year, $125 million contract with the Angels in December of 2012, but had a disappointing first season with the club and was limited to just 89 games by injuries this last year.

Hamilton admitted to having brief relapses with alcohol in both 2009 and 2012, though those incidents were not punishable under MLB's current drug policy.

>>Blue Jays Sign Former Cy-Young Winner Santana

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed pitcher Johan Santana to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Santana hasn't pitched in the majors since August 2012 as a member of the Mets. The left-hander missed all of 2013 due to a torn anterior capsule in his pitching shoulder.

His comeback attempt with the Orioles came to an end last June due to a torn Achilles tendon. He rehabbed the injury in order to showcase himself in the Venezuelan Winter League, but he was eventually shut down due to shoulder discomfort.

A two-time AL Cy Young Award winner, Santana has a career record of 139-78 with an ERA of 3.20 and 15 complete games (10 shutouts) over 360 games (284 starts) with the Twins (2000-2007) and Mets (2008-2012).

The 35-year-old native of Venezuela pitched the first no-hitter in Mets history on June 1, 2012, in an 8-0 win over St. Louis.

>>Brewers Bring Back K-Rod

The Milwaukee Brewers have reportedly re-signed reliever Francisco Rodriguez.

CBSSports.com is reporting the deal is for two years with a club option for a third season.

Rodriguez, 33, appeared in 69 games last season for the Brewers and went 5-5 with a 3.04 ERA with 44 saves, earning All-Star honors for the fifth time.

For his career, the 13-year veteran is 46-41 with a 2.73 ERA and 348 saves, which is good enough for second among active players (Joe Nathan, 376).

Rodriguez re-signed with Milwaukee last February after being dealt from the Brewers to the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2013 trade deadline. He first joined Milwaukee in a July 2011 trade with the New York Mets.

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Vikings' Peterson Reinstated

 width=A federal judge on Thursday overturned an appeal ruling made against suspended Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, potentially opening the door for him to be reinstated earlier than expected.

The NFL, following another public rebuke over the discipline of one of its players, said it will appeal the decision made by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty, sending the case to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The NFL returned Peterson to the commissioner's exempt list pending further proceedings with the arbitrator who ruled against the running back in December or a determination by the 8th Circuit Court.

Peterson was initially placed on the exempt list after he was charged with hitting his 4-year-old son with a tree branch in May.

After reaching a plea agreement in the case, Peterson was suspended by NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in November for violating the league's personal conduct policy.

The suspension was based on a more stringent player conduct policy that was agreed upon after the actions that led to the charges against Peterson.

The union then filed a federal lawsuit, leading to Doty's ruling on Thursday to have Henderson's ruling vacated.

The union called the decision "a victory for the rule of law, due process and fairness."

Under terms of his suspension, Peterson will be considered for reinstatement as of April 15. His future with the Vikings is considered unclear, though the team said in a statement on Thursday that its focus is on welcoming him back when he's eligible to return.

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Lebron Leads Cavs Past West-Leading Warriors

In a possible NBA Finals preview, the Cleveland Cavaliers avenged an earlier loss to the Golden State Warriors and made a statement thanks to a huge performance from LeBron James.

 width=James recorded a season-high 42 points with 11 rebounds and five assists as the Cavs continued their hot play with a 110-99 win over the Warriors on Thursday night.

Cleveland, which has won four straight and 18 of its last 20, dropped a 112-94 decision against Golden State in early January that was the fourth loss of a season-high six-game losing streak.

James did not play in that game and it proved to be a huge difference in the rematch.

Kyrie Irving chipped in 24 points and Kevin Love posted 16 points and eight rebounds in the win.

Irving injured his shoulder and is listed as doubtful for Friday's game at Indiana.

David Lee paced the Warriors with 19 points and Draymond Green added 16 points and eight rebounds. Stephen Curry was locked down for most of the night, scoring 12 of his 18 points in the first quarter in the Warriors' second loss in their last three games.

NBA Scoreboard
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Oklahoma City 113, Phoenix 117 (OT)

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Blues, Blackhawks Win

 width=>>Crawford, 'Hawks Blank Panthers

Corey Crawford made 20 saves for his second shutout of the season and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Florida Panthers 3-0 to sweep a home-and-home set.

The player called up to take the injured Patrick Kane's place on the roster, 20-year-old prospect Teuvo Teravainen, scored just over three minutes into Thursday's game to give the Blackhawks the only goal they needed.

Saad scored 3:07 into the second period despite mostly whiffing on a one-timer from the right circle. Though he didn't get all of Duncan Keith's pass, Saad caught enough of it to flutter a shot over Luongo, who had gone down in the crease, guessing wrong.

Toews scored into an empty net in the final minute.

The Blackhawks have won seven consecutive meetings with the Panthers, whose last win in the series was March 8, 2011. Chicago stays in Florida to play Tampa Bay on Friday.

 width=>>Blues Down Winnipeg In Shootout

Alexander Steen scored in the third round of the shootout to lift the St. Louis Blues over the Winnipeg Jets, 2-1, on Thursday.

Vladimir Tarasenko put St. Louis ahead in the second round of the shootout. Andrew Ladd briefly kept Winnipeg alive, but Steen snuck a backhander past Hutchinson to win it.

Patrik Berglund scored in regulation for the Blues, who have won six in a row against the Jets. Brian Elliott made 30 saves.

Berglund broke a scoreless tie at the 18:11 mark of the second period, finishing off a 2-on-1 rush.

Scheifele tied things up at 3:14 of the third when he scored off Ladd's pass from behind the net.

Mark Scheifele lit the lamp for the Jets, who have dropped three of four. Michael Hutchinson stopped 28-of-29 shots.

NHL Scoreboard
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Vancouver 3, Buffalo 6
Arizona 3, NY Rangers 4
Montreal 5, Columbus 2
Philadelphia 2 Toronto 3
Minnesota 4 Nashville 2
Detroit 3 San Jose 2
Ottawa 1 Los Angeles 0

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Monticello Goes For Second Regional Title In Three Years

 width=The Monticello Sages will go for their second Regional Title in three years tonight when they host the Argenta-Oreana Bombers at Monticello High School.

As the host of this year's Regional, the Sages were able to down Clinton Tuesday night 65-48 while Argenta outlasted Champaign St. Thomas More 86-74 Wednesday.

Tonight's game is set for a 7 pm start time. Hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Class 2A Regional Finals tonight...

At Bloomington Central Catholic

Bloomington Central Catholic 7:00pm
Tremont

At Decatur St. Teresa

Decatur St. Teresa 7:00pm
Warrensburg-Latham

At Midwest Central

Petersburg PORTA 7:00pm
Williamsville

At Paxton-Buckley-Loda

St. Joseph-Ogden 7:00pm
Paxton-Buckley-Loda

Class 1A Regional Finals tonight...

At Chrisman

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 7:00pm
Arcola

At LeRoy

Ridgeview 7:00pm
LeRoy

At Mason City

Springfield Lutheran 7:00pm
Mt. Pulaski

At Moweaqua Central A & M

Decatur Lutheran 7:00pm
Central A & M

>>Illinois Hosts Northwestern Saturday Night

The Illinois Fighting Illini will look to keep their NCAA tournament resume in tact Saturday night when the Wildcats of Northwestern visit the State Farm Center.

Currently on the bubble according to most projections, the Illini can ill afford anymore losses with their two final games at home against non-tournament teams.

Northwestern enters action tomorrow night at 14-14 while Illinois enters action at 17-11 and 7-8 in the Big Ten.

In mid-January, Illinois downed Northwestern 72-67.

Game time Saturday from Champaign is 6 pm.

NCAA Top-25 Scoreboard
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#3 Gonzaga 59, San Diego 39
#7 Arizona 82, Colorado 54
#13 Utah 83, Arizona State 41

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-27

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 3

Todd Laesch, 44, Weldon was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Aggravated DUI/ Revoked. Laesch unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Zachary Benson-Webb, 18, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Indirect Criminal Contempt. Benson-Webb posted the necessary bond and was released.

Beverly Clymer, 38, Wapella was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Failure to Appear. Clymer posted the necessary bond and was released.

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Farm Bill Sign Up Extended

USDA has extended the deadline to update base acres and yields under the new farm bill until March 31st. The original deadline for landowners to make initial decisions related to the new farm safety net was today.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack made the  announcement this morning saying it is an important decision for producers, because the programs provide financial protection against unexpected changes in the marketplace.

The Secretary says USDA is working to ensure landowners and farmers have the time, the information, and opportunity to review their data, and to visit the Farm Service Agency to make solid informed farm bill decisions.

If no changes are made to yield history or base acres by March 31, 2015, the farm's current yield and base will be used. A program choice of ARC or PLC coverage also must be made by that same date or there will be no 2014 payments for the farm and the farm will default to PLC coverage through the 2018 crop year.

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In A Fight to the End, Monticello Sages Become Regional Champions

 width=As heard on 95.9 WEZC and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages defeated the 

Argenta-Oreana Bombers 65-60 Friday night in Regional Finals action.

For the Sages (21-5), Zach Fisher lead the way with 11 points, with Noah Freemon behind him with 6 points.

For the Bombers (14-15), Keegan McHood and Max Boland both shared 6 points, leading their team

With the win, the Monticello Sages will move on to Sectionals in Maroa-Forsyth to take on St. Joseph Ogden on Wednesday. Approximate start time is 7 pm.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-25

Jail Population: 40

Paper Services: 8

Warrants: 1

Lindsey Rogers, 21, Decatur was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Consumption of Liquor/Minor. Rogers posted the necessary bond and was released.

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Brady Sees Priority For Critical Funding Needs

State Representative Dan Brady says before work can be done on Gov. Rauner's budget proposal, the governor and the legislative leaders must first come to agreement to help three key areas that could run out of money. Child care agencies, the Department of Corrections and court reporters are all caught in the crosshairs of a $1.6 billion shortfall.

[audio:2261563414-DanBradyShowdown.mp3] [/audio]

Brady says these financial shortfalls are the first real crisis signs for the budget that Rauner wants to cut. Rauner wants to trim spending for Medicaid, higher education and local governments.

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Social Security Tax Forms Now Available Online

With tax season upon us, Social Security is providing helpful tools for its beneficiaries.

The Social Security website has made it possible for replacement SSA 1099 forms to be printed out. Jack Myers, with Social Security, explains those with online accounts can replace lost forms without making a phone call or visiting their local office.

[audio:2261563724-21815ssforms1.mp3] [/audio]

SSA 1099 forms are mailed out in January and summarizes the prior year's Social Security benefits. Myers says some benefits are taxable and need to be recorded when filing taxes. He notes though, if your combined income exceeds twenty-five thousand dollars, there may be taxes to pay on them.

[audio:2261563728-21815ssforms2.mp3] [/audio]

Myers notes the online forms are way to make Social Security more accessible to those who use their services. For more information, you can visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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MLB Notes

>>Angels' Hamilton Faces Discipline From MLB

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim announced that former American League MVP Josh Hamilton met with Major League Baseball officials on Wednesday over a disciplinary issue.

The team declined to give any details of the meeting, which took place in New York and was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.

 width=Hamilton, who has been spending the offseason in Houston recovering from surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder, undergoes regular drug testing as a condition of his reinstatement into baseball in 2005. The veteran outfielder was suspended for three seasons between 2003-05 for well-documented substance-abuse issues.

>>O's Sign INF Cabrera

The Baltimore Orioles signed infielder Everth Cabrera to a one-year contract on Wednesday.

Cabrera, 28, joins the Orioles after spending the previous six seasons with the San Diego Padres. He batted. 232 with three home runs and 20 RBI in 90 games last year.

The switch-hitter was batting a career-best .283 in 2013 when his season ended because of a suspension. He was banned 50 games for using performance- enhancing drugs in connection with the Biogenesis scandal.

In 481 career games, Cabrera has hit .248 with 12 homers, 128 RBI and 136 stolen bases.

To make room for Cabrera on the 40-man roster, outfielder Alex Hassan has been designated for assignment.

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Packers Release Hawk; Bears Sign CB

 width=>>Packers Release LB Hawk

The Green Bay Packers released linebacker A.J. Hawk on Wednesday after a nine-year tenure with the team.

Hawk, 31, underwent ankle surgery in January and was set to enter the last year of his contract. He was previously released after the 2011 season but was quickly re-signed to a new deal.

In nine seasons after being selected fifth overall in the 2006 NFL Draft, Hawk accumulated 1,118 tackles and 19 sacks in 142 regular-season games. He won Super Bowl XLV with the Packers and was an alternate selection for the Pro Bowl in one season.

 width=>>Bears Sign CB Hurst For Two Years

The Chicago Bears announced a two- year contract extension for cornerback Demontre Hurst on Wednesday.

The Oklahoma product completed his first on-field campaign by posting 39 tackles and one interception over 15 games, two of those starts. Hurst was a 2013 draft pick of Chicago, but spent his first NFL season on the practice squad.

Hurst was an exclusive-rights free agent and was only permitted to negotiate and sign with the Bears.

>>Lions Release RB Bush

The Detroit Lions released Reggie Bush on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Bush, who turns 30 next month, was due $3.25 million and coming off a disappointing season in which he battled an ankle injury for three months.

He gained 297 yards and two touchdowns rushing last year, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. The USC product caught 40 passes for 253 yards, his second lowest receiving yardage total of his nine-year career.

Bush had a promising start with Detroit. He totaled 1,006 yards on the ground and averaged 4.5 yards per tote in 2013, his first season with the club. It was the Lions' first 1,000-yard rusher since Kevin Jones in 2004.

The move frees up more cap room in an attempt to re-sign All-Pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Detroit is left with Joique Bell, Theo Riddick and George Winn under contract at the running back position.

>>Ravens Cut WR Jones

The Baltimore Ravens released wide receiver and return man Jacoby Jones on Wednesday.

The two sides agreed to a four-year contract last March.

Jones was primarily used on specials teams this past season, finishing with only nine receptions for 131 yards. He averaged 30.6 yards on 32 kickoff returns and 9.2 yards on 30 punt returns.

The 30-year-old veteran shined in the Ravens' win over the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII, scoring two touchdowns, a 56-yard catch and a 108-yard kickoff return.

>>Giants Release Veteran RB Hillis

The New York Giants released running back Peyton Hillis on Wednesday.

Hillis, 29, ended last season on injured reserve after suffering a concussion on Nov. 9 in Seattle. He played in the first game nine games and finished with 115 yards on 26 carries.

The Arkansas product's numbers have significantly declined since rushing for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns with the Cleveland Browns in 2010. He has amassed just 1,258 yards on the ground over the last four seasons.

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Kane To Longterm IR

 width=Chicago Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane was placed on long-term injured reserve after suffering an upper-body injury in Tuesday's 3-2 shootout win over the Florida Panthers.

Kane was cross-checked in the lower back by Panthers defenseman Alex Petrovic at 7:49 of the first period, stumbled and fell awkwardly into the boards, with his left shoulder appearing to absorb most of the impact.

Petrovic, who received a two-minute minor penalty, will not have a disciplinary hearing for the hit.

Kane is tied for the NHL lead with 64 points and leads the Blackhawks with 27 goals and 37 assists in 61 games this season.

The Blackhawks also recalled forward Teuvo Teravainen from Rockford of the American Hockey League and assigned defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to the AHL on Wednesday.

Teravainen, 20, has two goals and two assists in 15 games for the Blackhawks this season.

Van Riemsdyk has been recovering from surgery to repair a left patella fracture suffered in mid-November.

>>Penguins Edge Caps

Chris Kunitz scored the winner in the third period and Evgeni Malkin added three assists, as Pittsburgh avoided a season-series sweep thanks to a spirited 4-3 victory over Washington at Verizon Center.

Brandon Sutter, Patric Hornqvist and Sidney Crosby also lit the lamp for the Penguins, who have won three in a row and were aided in their latest triumph by a glut of power-play chances in the middle frame.

Marc-Andre Fleury picked up the win thanks to a 21-save effort.

John Carlson, Troy Brouwer and Alex Ovechkin tallied for the Capitals, who had outscored their rivals by a 10-1 count in winning the first three games between the clubs.

NHL Scoreboard
------------------------
Calgary 3, New Jersey 1
Ottawa 3, Anaheim 0

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Charlotte Downs Chicago In First Game Without Rose

 width=Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had 18 points and 12 rebounds in the Charlotte Hornets' 98-86 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday.

Mo Williams added 17 points and five assists for the Hornets, who snapped a five-game skid. Al Jefferson contributed 16 points and seven rebounds.

The Bulls started life without former MVP Derrick Rose again. Chicago announced late Tuesday night that the oft-injured point guard will undergo surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee. Rose will have surgery on his right knee for the second straight year -- on the heels of a season he missed entirely following a torn left ACL. There is no timetable for his return.

NBA Scoreboard
-----------------------
Miami 93 Orlando 90
Dallas 87 Atlanta 104
New York 94 Boston 115
LA Clippers 105 Houston 110
Philadelphia 88 Milwaukee 104
Washington 77 Minnesota 97
Brooklyn 96 New Orleans 102
Phoenix 110 Denver 96
LA Lakers 100 Utah 97
Memphis 90 Sacramento 102
San Antonio 95 Portland 111

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Illinois Loses At Iowa; ISU Tops Southern Illinois

 width=>>Iowa Downs Illinois

Aaron White pumped in a game-high 29 points as the Iowa Hawkeyes held off the Illinois Fighting Illini for a 68-60 win in a Big Ten Conference matchup at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.

White knocked down 8-of-13 shots from the floor for Iowa (18-10, 9-6 Big Ten) as it picked up its third victory in a row. Jarrod Uthoff led all players on the glass with 10 rebounds.

Rayvonte Rice paced the Fighting Illini (17-11, 7-8) with 20 points and nine boards. Ahmad Starks chipped in 19 points on 7-of-15 shooting from the field for Illinois, which has now lost three consecutive outings.

White scored 20 of his points and converted 8-of-9 free-throw tries after the break. Iowa limited the visitors to 25 percent efficiency from the floor and led by as many as 12 in the second period. The Fighting Illini assisted only three of their seven makes from the floor after halftime.

Illinois finished 7-of-21 from 3-point range. Iowa outscored the Fighting Illini, 20-15, at the charity stripe.

>>Akoon-Purcell Leads Illinois State Over Southern Illinois

 width=DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell hit four 3-pointers and scored a career-high 24 points to lead Illinois State over Southern Illinois 73-56 on Wednesday night.

Daishon Knight added 11 points and MiKyle McIntosh 10 for the Redbirds (18-11, 10-7 Missouri Valley), who won their third in a row and are tied for third place in the MVC.

Anthony Beane scored 24 points for the Salukis (10-20, 3-14), who have lost five straight with their last victory coming at home over Illinois State, 65-59, on Feb. 7.

The Redbirds opened the second half with nine unanswered points, six from Akoon-Purcell, to snap a 36-all tie. A 3-pointer by Akoon-Purcell started an 8-0 run to boost the Redbirds to a 14-point lead, 55-41, with 12:12 left. The Salukis cut their deficit to eight on two baskets by Beane with 7 minutes remaining before Justin McCloud made a pair of 3-pointers in a 14-5 game-ending run.

 width=>>Missouri State Outlasts Bradley In Triple-Overtime

Christian Kirk had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead Missouri State past Bradley 80-77 in triple-overtime Wednesday night.

Chris Kendrix and Loomis Gerring each hit a pair at the line in the final :23 to push the Missouri State lead to five and the Bears held on.

Austin Ruder had 20 points, including five 3s and Kendrix added 14 points and eight rebounds for the Bears (11-18, 5-12 Missouri Valley).

Bradley scored the first seven points of double overtime, but Missouri State scored seven of the next eight points capped by a tying 3-pointer from Gavin Thurman with 1:16 left.

After three free throws from Sutherland put Bradley up three, Ruder hit a tying 3-pointer with 6 seconds left to force a third overtime.

Josh Cunningham had 15 points and a career-high 21 rebounds, 11 on the offensive end, and Tramique Sutherland added 20 points for the Braves (8-22, 3-14).

Top 25 Men's Basketball Scores
--------------------------------------------

2 Virginia 70, Wake Forest 34
#1 Kentucky 74, Mississippi State 56
4 Duke 91, Virginia Tech 86 (OT)
#10 Northern Iowa 68, Evansville 57
#11 Wichita State 63, Indiana State 53
#19 Baylor 79, #12 Iowa State 70
Richmond 67, #22 VCU 63 (2-OT)
#23 Butler 73, Marquette 52

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Monticello Regional Final To Be Heard on WEZC

The Argenta-Oreana Bombers outlasted the Champaign St. Thomas More Sabres Wednesday night 86-74 and advanced to a Regional Final Friday night at Monticello.

 width=The Bombers will take on the host and top-seeded Sages, who downed Clinton 65-48 Tuesday night. The two squads met the first day of the annual Monticello Holiday Hoopla, and the Sages took the victory 57-52 in late December.

Game time Monday is 7 pm. and can be heard on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Scores in Class 2A Regional action...

At Bloomington Central Catholic

Tri-Valley 51
Tremont 62

Class 1A Regional scores from Wednesday:

At Armstrong

Milford 57
Champaign Judah Christian 40

Fisher 32
Cissna Park 40

At Mason City

Springfield Lutheran 54
Concord Triopia 23

Mt. Pulaski 68
Springfield Calvary 51

At Moweaqua

Decatur Lutheran 58
Buffalo Tri-City 55

Central A & M 65
Bethany Okaw Valley 61

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Kinzinger Disagrees With Republican Party

Congressman Adam Kinzinger says he disagrees with his party's attempt to hold Homeland Security funding in limbo to try to block President Obama's order on immigration.

That fight is ongoing even after a judge blocked the president's order which would have helped up to 5 million undocumented immigrants avoid deportation. Kinzinger says, linking immigration to homeland security funding might not be the best way to go, but Congressional Republicans were left with few options.

[audio:2251563546-KINGZINGER1.mp3] [/audio]

Kinzinger says the President overstepped in bounds in isuing the order that would give 5 million illegal immigrants - a work permit and temporary relief from deportation.

[audio:2251563547-KINGZINGER2.mp3] [/audio]

Even if homeland security funding is stripped, D-H-S employees would still go to work as 'essential employees' - they just wouldn't get paid.

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Two Nominated To University of Illinois Board of Trustees

Two open seats on the University of Illinois Board of Trustees are close to being filled.

Yesterday Governor Bruce Rauner nominated Ramon Cepeda and Jill Smart for a pair of openings.

Cepeda is a University of Illinois Chicago graduate and senior vice president at Northern Trust. Cepeda overseas commercial real estate group and is the managing director or the wealth management division.

Smart, a U of I graduate worked as an adjunct professor and a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Smart retired from Accenture in 2014 as chief human resources officer.

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Remodel At CENCOM Office Looking To Future

One DeWitt County office is currently undergoing a much needed remodeling project.

The DeWitt County CENCOM office, located in the County Building, secured a grant thanks to the efforts of EMA Director Teresa Barnett. CENCOM Director Tony Harris says the grant is allowing them to replace outdated furniture in their dispatch room.

[audio:2251563921-22515cencomgrant1.mp3] [/audio]

While the grant pays for the furniture, CENCOM has an agreement with the DeWitt County Maintenance Department to work on further remodeling. Harris explains the 911 board has also replaced the phone system to move forward in future 911 plans.

[audio:2251563923-22515cencomgrant2.mp3] [/audio]

The remodel has also jump started CENCOM into keeping up with current technology needed for the 911 system. Harris indicates technology always changes and 911 is attempting to keep up with the many devices that could possibly call for emergency help.

[audio:2251563925-22515cencomgrant3.mp3] [/audio]

Once the remodeling project is completed, CENCOM plans to work on the adaptation of the new phone system while breaking in the new furniture.

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Giants Release Longtime DE Kiwanuka

The New York Giants released veteran defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka on Tuesday.

 width=The 31-year-old Kiwanuka had spent his entire nine-year NFL career with the Giants and was part of two Super Bowl championships. The move saves the Giants $4.825 million against the salary cap.

Kiwanuka started each of the first 11 games at left defensive end last season, but he suffered a knee injury against Dallas on Nov. 23 and was placed on injured reserve. He ended with 28 tackles and 2 1/2 sacks.

The Boston College product was the 32nd overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in 120 games with 82 starts -- 52 at defensive end, 29 at strongside linebacker and one at weakside linebacker. Kiwanuka recorded 464 tackles, 38 1/2 sacks and three interceptions.

Kiwanuka also played in six postseason games with three starts. He was a member of the Giants' Super Bowl XLII and XLVI championship teams.

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Kyle Busch Injury Update

>>Kyle Busch Transferred To NC Hospital For Further Treatment

Kyle Busch has been released from Halifax Medical Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. and transferred to a North Carolina hospital where he will continue treatment for injuries he suffered during a crash last Saturday at Daytona International Speedway.

 width=Busch, 29, sustained a compound fracture of his right lower leg and a mid-foot fracture of his left foot when he slammed head-on into the inside retaining wall during a big multi-car accident on the frontstretch in the Xfinity race at Daytona. He underwent surgery on his right leg just hours after the accident occurred and remained in the Daytona Beach hospital for three days.

On Tuesday, just before noon (ET), Busch's wife, Samantha, posted on Twitter a photo of him on a stretcher being loaded onto a private jet at Daytona Beach International Airport. She tweeted, "Off to NC! Thank u to everyone at Halifax for taking such good care of Kyle n to all of U for the continued prayers!"

Officials from Joe Gibbs Racing confirmed that Busch is continuing his treatment at a North Carolina hospital. He drives the No. 18 Toyota in the Sprint Cup Series and the No. 54 car in the Xfinity Series for JGR.

>>Ragan To Fill In For Busch In Atlanta

Joe Gibbs Racing announced on Tuesday that David Ragan will drive the No. 18 Toyota in place of the injured Kyle Busch for the next several Sprint Cup Series races, beginning with this weekend's 500-mile event at Atlanta Motor Speedway.

Busch fractured his right leg and left foot during an accident in last Saturday's Xfinity Series race at Daytona International Speedway. The 29-year- old driver is out indefinitely.

Ragan, who has been competing in NASCAR's premier series full-time since 2007, currently drives the No. 34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports. According to JGR, Front Row Motorsports and its team sponsor, CSX, accommodated Ragan's move, and he is expected to return to Front Row later in the season.

Ragan has scored two wins (Daytona in July 2011 and Talladega in May 2013), 14 top-five finishes, 35 top-10's and two poles in 291 career Sprint Cup starts. He finished 17th in Sunday's Daytona 500.

Front Row Motorsports did not immediately name a replacement driver for Ragan in the No. 34 car at Atlanta.

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Kane Injured In 'Hawks Win; Blues Continue To Struggle

 width=>>Kane Injured As 'Hawks Down Panthers

Jonathan Toews and Patrick Sharp each scored during the shootout in Chicago's 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers, but the Blackhawks lost star forward Patrick Kane during the game.

Kane exited midway through the first period with an upper-body injury after being cross-checked by Florida defenseman Alex Petrovic. He got up under his own power after falling into the boards awkwardly, but skated straight to the dressing room.

Kris Versteeg and Toews each lit the lamp during regulation for the Blackhawks, while rookie Scott Darling made 34 saves and stopped both Florida skaters in the shootout to earn the win.

Jussi Jokinen and Vincent Trocheck each scored late goals for the Panthers and Roberto Luongo turned aside 36 shots in the loss.

Florida has now lost six straight games to the Blackhawks and has not won in Chicago since Dec. 16, 2007.

 width=>>Montreal Tops Struggling Blues

Alex Galchenyuk posted two goals and an assist to lead the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-2 win over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday.

Brendan Gallagher had two goals while Michael Bournival also scored for the Canadiens, who have won their past two. Carey Price turned away 27 shots in the win.

T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist and David Backes also scored for the Blues, who have lost three of four. Jake Allen allowed all five goals on 23 shots in the loss.

St. Louis plays its next five games on the road starting in Winnipeg on Thursday.

NHL Scores Tuesday
---------------------------------
Vancouver 2 Boston 1
Arizona 1 NY Islanders 5
Calgary 0 NY Rangers 1
Philadelphia 1 Carolina 4
Buffalo 4 Columbus 2
Colorado 2 Nashville 5
Edmonton 2 Minnesota 1
Dallas 2 Winnipeg 4
Detroit 0 Los Angeles 1

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Illini At Iowa Tonight

 width=The Illinois Fighting Illin are in Iowa City tonight as they take on the Iowa Hawkeyes in a matchup of two Big Ten teams needing victories.

Both teams come in at 17-10 overall. Iowa has a full game lead on the Illini in the Big Ten at 8-6. Illinois is 7-7 and needing another signature win to improve their resume as Selection Sunday inches closer.

Illinois is coming off a 60-53 loss Sunday to Michigan State. Iowa crushed Nebraska, 74-46, in Lincoln Sunday.

Game time tonight is 8 pm.

>>Maryland Tops Wisconsin in College Park

The Big Ten rookies are making their move, but still need a lot of help.

Dez Wells helped Maryland take a huge step Tuesday night.

Wells had 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists as the 14th-ranked Terrapins climbed back into the Big Ten race with a 59-53 win over No. 5 Wisconsin.

Maryland (23-5, 11-4 Big Ten) trails Wisconsin (25-3, 13-2) by two games for first place in the conference with three to play for each team.

Unless Wisconsin loses the rest of the way, the Terps would have to win out against Michigan at home and at Rutgers and Nebraska, while the Badgers would have to lose two of their last three to forge a tie. They play Michigan State at home before closing the regular season with road tilts against Minnesota and Ohio State.

Melo Trimble added 16 points for Maryland, which has won four straight games.

Frank Kaminsky provided 18 points and eight rebounds for the Badgers, who had their 10-game winning streak snapped, while Dekker supplied 14 points and nine boards

NCAA TOP 25 BASKETBALL SCORES
---------------------------------------------------
#6 Villanova 89, #25 Providence 61
Syracuse 65, #9 Notre Dame 60
North Carolina State 58, #15 North Carolina 46
#18 Arkansas 81, Texas A&M 75

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Rose Headed For Knee Surgery For Third Straight Year

 width=Another season and yet another knee problem for Derrick Rose.

The Chicago Bulls' oft-injured point guard will undergo surgery to repair a medial meniscus tear in his right knee, the team announced Tuesday night.

Rose will have a third knee procedure in three years. The 2011 NBA MVP previously missed the entire 2012-13 season recovering from a torn ACL in his left knee, an injury that occurred in Game 1 of the Bulls' Eastern Conference quarterfinals series against Philadelphia.

He made a long-awaited return to the court last season, but had it cut short after just 10 games after tearing the meniscus in his right knee.

Rose had been generally healthy this season, having appeared in 46 of Chicago's 57 games. The three-time All-Star told the team earlier Tuesday he was experiencing pain in the surgically repaired knee, and an MRI taken afterward revealed the tear.

The Bulls said in a release that a timetable for Rose's return will be determined following this latest surgery.

Rose' latest knee issue comes with Chicago clinging to a half-game lead on the charging Cleveland Cavaliers for first place in the Central Division. The Bulls currently sit third in the Eastern Conference with a 36-21 record, but are just one game back of Toronto for second place.

>>Love Leads Cavs Past Detroit

Kevin Love tied a career high with eight 3-pointers to help the Cleveland Cavaliers top the Detroit Pistons 102-93 on Tuesday.

Love had 24 points on 8-of-14 shooting from deep and added nine rebounds in the Cavs' third straight win. LeBron James added 19 points, 11 assists and seven rebounds, while Kyrie Irving scored 18.

James also surpassed Scottie Pippen for the most assists by a forward in NBA history.

The Pistons led by as many as 14 early in the third quarter but had their two-game winning streak stopped. Reggie Jackson paced Detroit with 22 points and added nine assists and eight rebounds.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope contributed 21 points, Andre Drummond scored 17 with 10 boards, and Greg Monroe finished with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

NBA Scoreboard
----------------------------------
Golden State 114, Washington 107
Cleveland 102, Detroit 93
Indiana 92, Oklahoma City 105
Toronto 92, Dallas 99

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Manny, Kevin Youkilis Join Cubs As Consultants

On the day position players had to report to spring training, the Chicago Cubs announced the hiring of Manny Ramirez as a hitting consultant and Kevin Youkilis as a scouting and player development consultant.

Both players have ties to Cubs president of baseball operation Theo Epstein, who was general manager of the Boston Red Sox when both players were there. Additionally, Ramirez served as a player-coach at Triple-A Iowa last season for the Cubs.

 width=A two-time world champion and 2004 World Series MVP, Ramirez will continue to work with the club's major and minor league hitters on the fundamental and mental aspects of hitting in his new role.

Ramirez played 19 major league seasons with the Cleveland Indians (1993-2000), the Boston Red Sox (2001-08), Los Angeles Dodgers (2008-10), the Chicago White Sox (2010) and Tampa Bay Rays (2011). He batted .312 with a .411 on-base percentage and a .585 slugging percentage, good for a .996 OPS.

Youkilis' new role will see him assist the front office by scouting amateur and professional hitters in Northern California and will work with hitters in the minor league system under the direction of the hitting coordinator.

Youkilis recently retired from an 11-year major league career with the Boston Red Sox (2004-2012), Chicago White Sox (2012) and New York Yankees (2013). He played briefly in Japan in 2014.

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Monticello Pulls Past Clinton in Regional Semis

As heard on both 92.3 FM WHOW and 95.9 WEZC and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com, the Monticello Sages defeated the Clinton Maroons 65-48 Tuesday night in boys regional action.

 width=For the Maroons (9-19), Peyton McCubbin lead the team with 18 points, Tanner White had 11 points.

For the Sages (20-5), Noah Freemon lead the team with 11 points, Daniel Peterson and Zach Fisher each had eight points a piece. Daniel Caldwell and Isiah Florey both had seven points.

With the loss, the Clinton Maroons will end their season. With the win, the Monticello Sages will move on to play Friday in the Regional Finals Friday and play the winner of Champaign St. Thomas More and Argenta-Oreana tonight. Approximate start time is 7 pm. Hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Scores in Class 2A Regionals Tuesday...

At Bloomington (Central Catholic)

Bloomington Central Catholic 59
Olympia 41

At Decatur St. Teresa

Decatur St. Teresa 51
Sullivan 32

Warrensburg-Latham 59
Meridian 48

At Paxton-Buckley-Loda

St. Joseph-Ogden 59
G.C.M.S.. 37

P-B-L 56
Fithian Oakwood 37

At Tuscola

Tuscola 39
Westville 46

Tolono Unity 80
Broadlands Heritageq 97

Class 1A Regional Scores From Tuesday...

At Armstrong

Fisher 69
Buckley Christ Lutheran 19

Cissna Park 62
Armstrong 35

At Chrisman

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 68
Chrisman 41

Hume Shiloh 36
Arcola 37

At LeRoy

LeRoy 81
DeLand-Weldon 46

Blue Ridge 74
Lexington 41

At Mason City

Mt. Pulaski 67
Illini Central 43

Springfield Calvary 72
Hartsburg-Emden 55

At Moweaqua

Central A & M 78
Forsyth Decatur Christian 29

Bethany Okaw Valley 71
Windsor 50

Class 2A Regional Semi-Final Games tonight...

At Bloomington Central Catholic

Tri-Valley 7:00pm
Tremont

At Monticello

Champaign St. Thomas More 7:00pm
Argenta-Oreana

Class 1A Regional Semi-Final Games tonight...

At Mason City Illini Central

Springfield Lutheran 6:00pm
Concord Triopia

Mt. Pulaski 7:30pm
Springfield Calvary

At Moweaqua

Decatur Lutheran 6:00pm
Buffalo Tri-City

Central A & M 7:30pm
Bethany Okaw Valley

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After Nine-Win Season, Maroons Basketball Coach Optimistic About Future

 width=After a 65-48 loss to Monticello in Class 2A Regional Semi-Final action Tuesday night, Clinton Maroons head basketball coach Clay Haurberg is optimistic about the future.

The second year Maroons head coach spoke after Tuesday night's loss and says prior to this year, he and his coaching staff sat down and outlined several goals they wanted to achieve this year, and were able to reach all of them.

[audio:2251571616-22515haurberg1.mp3] [/audio]

The Maroons lack of rebounding and turnovers were the difference Tuesday night and Coach Haurberg says his team needs to get stronger in the offseason. He wants the kids to take some time away from basketball, but he hopes they will get after it this summer.

[audio:2251571618-22515haurberg2.mp3] [/audio]

After matching the improvements the team had set, Coach Haurberg says things are only going to get better. He points to the success of younger levels and hopes to continue to develop the youth leagues in the future.

[audio:2251571621-22515haurberg3.mp3] [/audio]

Coach Haurberg deflected any credit for success the kids have achieved. He attributes their hard work and commitment along with his assistant coaches for their hard work in this year's turnaround. He feels the atmosphere at high school basketball games is turning around and thanks the community for getting behind this year's team and hopes to continue to build on that momentum.

He adds it's time for the kids to take time off and enjoy being teenagers. The coach says he will also be taking some time off before gearing up for the spring and summer workout season.

He tips his hat to Monticello who picked up their 20th win Tuesday, and will go for a second Regional Title in three years, and expressed a great deal of respect to the Sages Head Coach Kevin Roy. Haurberg and Roy have a unique connection as Coach Roy's brother was an assistant at Neoga High School when Coach Haurberg served as their head coach.

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DeWitt County SWCD Hosting Annual Meeting

The Dewitt County Soil & Water Conservation District annual meeting is right around the corner.

This year's event is Friday at the Clinton Country Club with breakfast served and the annual meeting.

Topics at this week's meeting include the new Farm Bill, the Nutrient Reduction Strategy that is coming out soon, and funding to continue helping their customers. The SWCD will hold their annual elections.

To reserve your place at this year's meeting, contact Sondra Baker at 217-935-6504.

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DeWitt County 708 Board Continuing To Support Children's Advocacy Center

The DeWitt County 708 Mental Health Board is once again stepping up to help out a local group aimed at providing abused kids with the care they need.

The Children's Advocacy Center, or CAC, which serves DeWitt, McLean and Livingston Counties, was the recipient last year of a grant through the 708 Board to provide the community with a Counselor after hours. According to Judy Brucker, Executive Director of the CAC, they found the grant and Counselor's presence to be a big success.

[audio:22515121614-22615708counsel1.mp3] [/audio]

The CAC provides counseling to all their clients, but for families in DeWitt or Livingston and even rural parts of McLean County, they would have to travel to Bloomington. Brucker indicates her initial hesitance was quickly eased by the response from DeWitt County to having a Counselor in the community.

[audio:22515121616-22615708counsel2.mp3] [/audio]

The cases the CAC has dealt with in recent months have been difficult and Brucker feels without the support of the 708 Board, the kids in those situations may not have been able to have adequate access to the counseling they need.

[audio:22515121620-22615708counsel3.mp3] [/audio]

The Children's Advocacy Center is a non-profit group that provides children who have been in some sort of abusive situation with counseling and advocacy through the legal process.

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School Violence Task Force Formed

Lawmakers want to take a new look at school violence.

A taskforce has been assembled to take a top to bottom examination of problems including bullying and if school shootings are preventable. State representative Greg Harris says police, health professionals and others in the field have given the panel plenty to consider.

[audio:2241564730-schoolviolence.mp3] [/audio]

A few of the recommendations included making sure classrooms can lock from the inside and that work needs to be done to better identify troubled kids.

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Sled Dog Events Coming To Starved Rock

If you're interested in the dogs that run in the Iditarod race, you may want to visit Starved Rock State Park on the first day of March. Rick Koshko reports.

[audio:2241564732-SLEDDOG.mp3] [/audio]

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Heyworth Schools Looking To Introduce New Teacher Evaluations

One local school district is changing the way it evaluates its teachers.

The State of Illinois recently mandated that student growth be part of the teacher evaluation process. Heyworth Schools believes great teachers allow for the greatest student progress. Superintendent Dr. Ty Wolf explains Heyworth is creating a new evaluation process to be put into practice for the next school year.

[audio:2241565222-22015heywortheval1.mp3] [/audio]

The new evaluation process allows teacher to focus on assessments that are classroom specific. Wolf notes subjects such as art will now be evaluated for the traits that are appropriate to their curriculum.

[audio:2241565225-22015heywortheval2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolf approves of the new evaluation system because it focuses on how each student's unique skills can be developed through a teacher's curriculum. He adds education has had too narrow of a focus for the last couple decades and has needed to expose kids to a wider scope of information.

[audio:2241565228-22015heywortheval3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolf praises teachers in the Heyworth district for diligently planning what they want to teach and always keeping their students in mind.

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So Far So Good For DJWH Budget

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Hahn Moves Up World Golf Rankings After Weekend Win

James Hahn outlasted Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey in a playoff to win the Northern Trust Open on Sunday, moving him up to No. 86 in the world rankings, while Johnson vaulted six spots to No. 15 this week.

 width=Hahn, who birdied the third playoff hole to beat Johnson, jumped 211 spots from 297 to 86. Johnson was No. 21 before breaking back into the top 20. Casey, who was eliminated on the second playoff hole, improved 20 spots to No. 65 this week.

While he was not in action last week, Rory McIlroy remained in firm control of the No. 1 ranking. Bubba Watson, the 2014 Northern Trust Open winner, tied for 14th this year and that was good enough to move him up one to No. 2. Henrik Stenson dropped a spot to No. 3.

Australians Jason Day and Adam Scott stayed put at Nos. 4 and 5, while Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk swapped spots, with Garcia improving to six and Furyk falling one to seven. Justin Rose and Jordan Spieth remained Nos. 8 and 9.

Martin Kaymer and Matt Kuchar traded places as Kaymer jumped one to 10. Following Kuchar at 11, Rickie Fowler, Jimmy Walker and Hideki Matsuyama stayed put from No. 12.

With Johnson improving six spots to 15, Patrick Reed, Victor Dubuisson, Billy Horschel, Phil Mickelson, Brooks Koepka and Graeme McDowell each fell one spot. They are now Nos. 16-21, respectively.

Anirban Lahiri won his second European Tour tournament in three weeks at the Hero Indian Open on Sunday. He vaulted five spots from 39 to 34 in the rankings.

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K-State Upsets Kansas; Louisville Escapes Georgia Tech

 width=>>Kansas State Upsets #8 Kansas

Nigel Johnson poured in a career high 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting, including 4-of-5 from long range, and Nino Williams added 15 as Kansas State upended No. 8 Kansas by a 70-63 count at Bramlage Coliseum.

Thomas Gipson contributed 12 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats (14-15, 7-9 Big 12), who had dropped seven of eight prior to Monday.

Perry Ellis picked up a game-best 24 points to go with nine rebounds for the Jayhawks (22-6, 11-4), who were coming off a win against TCU but have lost two of the last three meetings with their in-state rivals.

Kelly Oubre, Jr. totaled 14 and seven boards in defeat.

 width=>>#Louisville Escapes Georgia Tech

Terry Rozier scored 22 points and led a late rally as No. 17 Louisville survived its first game without Chris Jones, beating Georgia Tech 52-51 on Monday.

Georgia Tech led by as many as 13 points in the second half, but Rozier led a 14-2 run to make things interesting.

With 59 seconds to play, Rozier drove in for a scoop layup to give Louisville its first lead since it was 10-8 eight-plus minutes into the game.

Marcus Georges-Hunt went coast- to-coast for a layup to tie it after Chinanu Onuaku missed the front end of a 1-and-1, but Rozier countered with his own layup in response.
Onuaku then denied Travis Jorgenson at the rim, and Blackshear put the game away with a pair of free throws in the final seconds.

Blackshear finished with 10 points, Montrezl Harrell scored eight and the duo each pulled down eight rebounds for Louisville (22-6, 10-5 ACC), which avoided its first three-game road losing streak since 2011.

 width=>>Kentucky Remains Unanimous #1

Kentucky is a unanimous choice as the No. 1 team in the Associated Press men's college basketball poll for a fourth straight week.

The Wildcats are the only unbeaten team in Division I men's play and again received all 65 first-place votes for a total of 1,625 points from a nationwide media panel.

Virginia, Gonzaga, Duke, Wisconsin, Villanova, Arizona and Kansas held their respective positions from second through eighth. Notre Dame moved up one spot into ninth and Northern Iowa rose one place to 10th.

The second 10 features Wichita State, Iowa State, Utah, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisville, Arkansas, Baylor and West Virginia. Utah dropped four places from ninth after Sunday's loss to Oregon, while Louisville tumbled five spots from 12th after a loss at Syracuse and a narrow win over Miami-Florida. The Cardinals also dismissed point guard Chris Jones from the team on Sunday.

SMU, VCU, Butler and newcomers San Diego State and Providence are the last five teams ranked. Butler dropped four spots from 19th after a Saturday loss at Xavier.

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NFL Notes

>>Colts Release DT Francois

 width=The Indianapolis Colts released defensive tackle Ricky Jean Francois on Monday.

Jean Francois started 23 regular-season games for the Colts over the last two seasons, registering 54 tackles and 5 1/2 sacks. He added nine tackles and 1 1/2 sacks in five postseason games.

The 28-year-old LSU product spent the first four seasons of his career with San Francisco after being selected by the 49ers in the seventh round of the 2009 draft.

>>Panthers Cut RB Williams

DeAngelo Williams says he's being released by the Carolina Panthers after nine seasons.

Williams, who will turn 32 in April, told Charlotte's WBTV that he was told he'd be cut by the team last week during a meeting with Panthers coach Ron Rivera.

According to Williams, Rivera said the Panthers "don't run the ball enough" to keep both him and Jonathan Stewart on the team.

Panthers spokesman Steven Drummond said in an email that Williams has not been released.

Williams appeared in only six games this past season, missing the last four regular-season contests because of a broken hand. The Panthers went 4-0 in those games with Stewart as the starter and won a second consecutive NFC South title despite a 7-8-1 record.

Stewart, 27, rushed for 809 yards and three touchdowns in 13 games. Williams rushed for a career-low 219 yards and failed to score for the first time since he was drafted by the Panthers No. 27 overall in 2006.

The former Pro Bowl selection had just eight touches in two playoff games -- six runs and two catches.

Williams rushed for a career-high 1,515 yards in 2008, leading the league with 18 touchdowns that season. He gained 6,846 yards in 117 games for Carolina with 46 touchdowns on the ground and another seven through the air.

>>Cardinals Release WR Ginn

The Arizona Cardinals released wide receiver and return specialist Ted Ginn, Jr. on Monday.

Ginn played in all 16 games last season for the Cardinals, playing mostly on special teams. He returned 22 kickoffs for 417 yards and 26 punts for 277 yards and a score, adding 14 receptions for 190 yards.

The 29-year-old Ohio State product, who was selected ninth overall by Miami in 2007, has compiled 211 catches for 2,794 yards and 11 touchdowns and seven return scores in 120 career games with the Dolphins, 49ers, Panthers and Cardinals.

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Baseball Notes

 width=>>Latest Cuban Prospect Headed To Red Sox

Cuban prospect Yoan Moncada is reportedly heading to the Boston Red Sox.

According to MLB.com, the 19-year-old shortstop has agreed to a contract for about $30 million.

However, the deal would then actually cost the Red Sox a total of $60 million because the team will be penalized for exceeding Major League Baseball's bonus pool for international signings.

Boston had already surpassed the bonus limit before the agreement with Moncada, thus incurring a penalty of a 100-percent tax.

Moncada reportedly worked out for numerous teams over the past few weeks. He began playing for Cienfuegos of Cuba's Serie Nacional team at age 17 and hit .277 over parts of two seasons.

>>Ranger Pick Up Option on Beltre

The Texas Rangers announced Monday they have formally extended All-Star third baseman Adrian Beltre's contract through the 2016 season.

The Rangers picked up the option for the final year of a six-year, $96 million deal Beltre signed on Jan. 5, 2011.

According to MLB.com, the Rangers had the right to void the last year of the contract if Beltre failed to get a combined 1,200 plate appearances in 2014-15 or 600 in 2015. He had 614 place appearances last season.

Beltre, 35, tied for the major league lead in hits two seasons ago with 199. He batted .324 with a .388 on-base percentage, 19 home runs and 77 RBI over 148 games last year.

The four-time Gold Glove winner has played for Texas since 2011, hitting .315 with a .369 on-base percentage, 117 homers and 376 RBI in 589 games.

He ranks fifth among active players with 395 homers and third with 2,604 hits in 17 seasons with the Dodgers, Mariners, Red Sox and Rangers.

>>Arod Reports To Yankees Camp

Alex Rodriguez might be trying to show a less combative side, as the most controversial player currently on a major league roster reported to New York Yankees spring training -- three days before position players are required to report.

The 39-year-old veteran arrived at the Yankees minor league facility in the early afternoon on Monday and was later fielding grounders at third base, a position that will likely be filled by Chase Headley, who re-signed with New York in the offseason.

The three-time AL MVP also took batting practice and later spoke to the media in an informal session and said he is not currently on any illegal performance enhancing drugs.

Rodriguez was suspended for the 2014 season for his role in the Biogenesis scandal and retaliated by suing Major League Baseball and the Yankees. He has since dropped his lawsuits.

At the time of his suspension, which was the longest in league history for PED use, and during his appeal, he denied any wrongdoing. However, last week he met with team officials and later issued a hand-written apology for his actions.

Now back, he anticipates needing time to get back into game shape and get his timing at the plate, but noted that the time off benefited him because he got a chance to train as opposed to rehab.

Rodriguez has three years and $60 million remaining on his contract. In the 2013 season, he played in just 44 games due to injury and hit .244 with seven homers and 19 RBI. Since the start of the 2011 campaign, Rodriguez has just 41 homers and he hasn't hit over .280 since 2009.

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Blues, Blackhawks Back Tonight

 width=The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks return to the ice tonight as both look to rebound from a tough weekend.

The Blackhawks were crushed by Boston 6-2 at the United Center Sunday after being blasted by 4-1 by Colorado Friday night. The 'Hawks host Florida tonight with a puck drop time of 7:30.

For St. Louis, a Friday 5-1 win over Boston was followed by a 4-2 loss Saturday to Pittsburgh. Puck drops tonight from the Scottrade Center at 7 pm.

Scores in the NHL Monday..

Arizona Coyotes 0, New Jersey Devils 3
Detroit 3, Anaheim 4 (SO)

>>Quick Headlines NHL's Weekly Honors

Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick took top billing when the NHL named its weekly Three Stars on Monday.

Quick earned the First Star after going 3-0-0 with a 1.33 goals-against average and a .959 save percentage. He registered his 200th career win Saturday night, stopping 31 shots as the Kings edged the San Jose Sharks 2-1 at Levi's Stadium.

Vancouver Canucks center Henrik Sedin claimed the Second Star after posting four consecutive multi-point games and sharing the league lead with eight points (3 goals, 5 assists).

The Third Star was Montreal Canadiens left wing Max Pacioretty, who finished with four goals, two assists and a plus-6 rating in four games.

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Snell Leads Bulls Past Bucks

 width=Tony Snell scored 20 points off the bench and the Chicago Bulls dominated on the glass in their 87-71 win over the offensively challenged Milwaukee Bucks on Monday.

Snell posted his third 20-point game over his last five after just one such previous game in his career. Nikola Mirotic also played well as a reserve, tallying 16 points and 14 rebounds. Both players got extended minutes with sixth man Taj Gibson sitting with an illness.

Pau Gasol went for 15 points and 10 rebounds, Jimmy Butler netted 11 with nine boards and Joakim Noah grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds.

Chicago won the rebounding edge, 62-41.

Khris Middleton paced Milwaukee with 17 points and Ersan Ilyasova had 15 and 11 boards in a rare start. The Bucks shot 33.7 percent (30-for-89) from the floor and missed all but four of their 18 tries from behind the arc.

Chicago is 16-3 in its last 19 trips to Milwaukee and have won six of seven games overall.

Scores in the NBA Monday:

Philadelphia 108, Miami 119
Minnesota 102, Houston 113
Toronto 97, New Orleans 100
Brooklyn 110, Denver 82
Boston 115, Phoenix 110
San Antonio 81, Utah 90
Memphis 90, LA Clippers 87

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DeWitt County Board Member Files Suit Against County, Sheriff's Office

A DeWitt County Board Member has filed a lawsuit in US District Court, Central District of Illinois, Springfield Division, for almost $1-million in damages.

The suit filed by Terry Hoffman sites DeWitt County, DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shoffner, three of his deputies and Teresa Barnett, DeWitt County's EMA Director as defendants.

According to the 20-page document, Hoffman alleges he was falsely arrested and imprisoned as a result of a December 2012 incident at the DeWitt County Courthouse with Barnett. The suit also claims his arrest as motive of "suppression of Hoffman's right to speech in opposing hazardous waste being placed in the landfill".

Hoffman's suit also sites nearly $25-thousand dollars in attorney's fees as a part of the charges. He claims he is entitled to restitution.

In addition, he is suing for $850-thousand as compensatory damages from "unreasonable searches and seizures" and "suffered loss of reputation, mental anguish from imprisonment and the threat of additional imprisonment".

Hoffman was acquitted of charges of battery on May 21, 2014.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-24

Jail Population: 40

Paper Services: 4

Warrants: 0

Dillon Ivey, 30, Clinton was issued Citations for Driving Under Influence, No Registration Light and Improper Lane Usage. Ivey was Arrested and Charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Ivey posted the necessary bond and was released.

Eric Williams, 30, Broken Arrow, OK was issued a Citation for Driving While License Suspended. Williams was issued a Notice to Appear and was released.

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Sen. Rose Wants Fireworks To Be Legal

An Illinois lawmaker wants to make it legal to sell fireworks such as Roman candles and rockets in the state.

Sen. Chapin Rose introduced legislation Friday to allow the sale of so-called "consumer" fireworks.

The Mahomet Republican says taxing fireworks sales could generate at least $10 million each year.

A Consumer Products Safety Commission report found Illinois is one of 10 states that don't allow the sale of consumer fireworks. Illinois does allow sparklers and other novelties.

Rose says he drove through Kentucky, Wisconsin and Indiana last summer. Near each state's border with Illinois he saw signs promoting fireworks sales. He says when he stopped "every car" had an Illinois license plate.

Rose says he's "sick and tired of (Illinois') nanny state stuff."

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Organizers Already Gearing Up For 2015 Relay For Life In DeWitt County

 width=Organizers for the 2015 DeWitt County Relay For Life are well underway with plans for this year's event as teams have already begun to form.

Relay For Life is a national, yearly event dedicated to those who are fighting cancer, to those who have fought and won the battle, and to honor those who have passed on from the evil disease. Alison Ooms, with Relay For Life, notes each team walks around the track of Clinton High School to represent the journey of someone with cancer.

[audio:2231564058-22015relayteams1.mp3] [/audio]

Planning for this year's event is well and underway and they encourage their participants to take an active role in the planning. Ooms explains anyone can attend their planning meetings leading up to the event, even if you are not yet a part of this year's Relay For Life.

[audio:2231564102-22015relayteams2.mp3] [/audio]

The event is essentially a fundraiser and team's also take an active and creative role in raising funds during the event itself. Ooms adds they have seen very creative ideas over the years.

[audio:2231564104-22015relayteams3.mp3] [/audio]

This year's event takes place Saturday June 6. The twelve hour event this year will change in time. Oom's notes this year they have decided to go from midnight until noon the next day. We'll have more on this year's event later this week on Regional Radio News.

For anyone wishing to start up a team of acquire more information, you can visit www.relayforlife.org/dewittil.

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Local Superintendent Pleased With Gov. Rauner's Proposals

 width=Local Superintendents are reacting positively to Governor Bruce Rauner wanting to increase funding to K-12 education.

Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes (right) says he is pleased with the proposals to increase funding to the general state aid formula and also bringing back preschool programs. Dr. Holmes says while Clinton has been able to maintain theirs, he feels every district should grant this opportunity to it's residents.

[audio:2231564106-22315schoolbudgetadd1.mp3] [/audio]

If Dr. Holmes has one concern, it was the mandated categoricals. He hopes the Governor and his staff will work with the legislator to at the minimum, maintain funding for things such as school transportation.

[audio:2231564108-22315schoolbudgetadd2.mp3] [/audio]

While the leader of Clinton schools is optimistic, one school leader says she's apprehensive. Blue Ridge Schools Superintendent Susan Wilson is interested to see how it will all play out as a proration rate of 95% is being tossed around.

[audio:2231564110-22315schoolbudgetadd3.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson believes a lot of the proposals Governor Rauner is bringing to the table are just a starting point for negotiations and his budget won't be the finished product.

[audio:2231564112-22315schoolbudgetadd4.mp3] [/audio]

Both leaders say they are less concerned by the split Government, as Governor Rauner is a Republican yet the House and Senate are controlled by the Democrats. They feel education is something both parties are behind.

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James Hahn Takes Northern Trust Open

James Hahn birdied the third playoff hole on Sunday to win the Northern Trust Open.

Hahn, Dustin Johnson and Paul Casey all finished at 6-under-par 278. Hahn and Johnson, who played together in the final round, carded 2-under 69s, while Casey shot 3-under 68 to get into the playoff.

 width=The group returned to the 18th at Riviera Country Club for the first playoff hole. Hahn and Johnson found the green with their approach shots, while Casey came up short with his second. After Casey chipped to three feet, Hahn and Johnson 2-putted for their pars. Casey kicked in his par and they were off to the short, but difficult par-4 10th.

Johnson and Hahn found the left rough off the tee and Casey's tee ball landed in the short grass. Casey chipped to about 15 feet. Hahn and Johnson both hit stellar chip shots, Hahn to 12 feet and Johnson to four feet.

Casey's birdie effort slid by the hole and he marked. Hahn drained his birdie putt, and Johnson dropped his birdie try in as well. Casey was eliminated, while Hahn and Johnson moved to the par-3 14th.

Johnson dropped his tee shot 11 feet from the hole. Hahn followed by hitting his tee ball to 17 feet. Hahn poured in his birdie putt.

Johnson's birdie effort missed on the left side to give Hahn his first PGA Tour victory.

Last year's winner Bubba Watson tripped to a 2-over 73 and fell into a share of 14th at 2-under-par 282 ... The PGA Tour kicks off the Florida swing next week with The Honda Classic, where Russell Henley will defend his title against a field that includes world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

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Logano Takes Eventful Daytona 500

Joey Logano won the Daytona 500 for the first time after holding off the field in a
green-white-checkered finish on Sunday at Daytona International Speedway.

Logano, the driver of the No. 22 Ford for Team Penske, claimed his ninth career victory in the Sprint Cup Series. His previous best finish in the Daytona 500 was ninth, which occurred in the 2012 race. Logano became the first driver this season to be virtually
guaranteed of a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship field.

 width=This year's Daytona 500 featured one of the most thrilling conclusions in the 57-year history of this prestigious race, with drivers battling three-wide for the lead during the closing stages. Logano moved to the front on lap 191 and then held the lead for the final 13 laps around this 2.5-mile superspeedway.

An accident involving Justin Allgaier and Ty Dillon on the frontstretch on lap 197 forced a caution and therefore led to the two-lap overtime finish. NASCAR briefly halted the race to allow track workers to remove Allgaier's damaged car from the track.

After the final restart, Logano got pushing help from Clint Bowyer to put him ahead of the pack. Kevin Harvick, the defending Sprint Cup champion, and Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won the Daytona 500 last year, mounted a charge towards Logano just before the field crossed
the line to complete the penultimate lap.

At age 24 years, 8 months and 29 days, Logano also became the second-youngest driver ever to win the Daytona 500. Trevor Bayne set the record when he won this event one day after he turned 20 years old in 2011.

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Bulls Battle Bucks Tonight

 width=The Bulls will battle the Bucks at the United Center tonight. Chicago opened its seven-game homestand with a 112-107 win over the Suns on Saturday. The Bulls also upped their record to 35-and-21 with the win. Tip-off is at 7:00.

>>Pacers Knock Off Warriors

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The Warriors weren't able to overcome the absence of Steph Curry in a 104-98 loss to the Pacers at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. Rodney Stuckey exploded off the bench leading Indiana with 30 points, five assists and four rebounds. After tailing by 12 at the end of the first quarter, the Pacers outscored Golden State 78-60 the rest of the way. Indiana has won three in-a-row and six of seven. Curry missed the game with a sore right ankle. Klay Thompson had a game-high 39 points on 12-of-28 shooting in the loss.  width=The Warriors had a four-game winning streak snapped.

NBA
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Cleveland Cavaliers 101, New York Knicks 83
Atlanta Hawks 97, Milwaukee Bucks 86
Detroit Pistons 106, Washington Wizards 89
Orlando Magic 103, Philadelphia 76ers 98
Oklahoma City Thunder 119, Denver Nuggets 94
Dallas Mavericks 92, Charlotte Hornets 81
Memphis Grizzlies 98, Portland Trail Blazers 92
Los Angeles Lakers 118, Boston Celtics 111 (OT)

>>Pelicans' Davis Out 1-2 Weeks With Shoulder Injury

(New Orleans, LA) -- New Orleans Pelicans forward Anthony Davis is expected to miss one to two weeks with a sprained right shoulder. Davis re-injured the shoulder in Saturday's win over Miami when he collided with Heat center Hassan Whiteside. The 21-year-old missed two games earlier this month as well as the All-Star Game with the same injury. He is averaging 23.9 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.7 blocks in 48 games this season.

>>Durant Out After Second Foot Procedure

(Oklahoma City, OK) -- Oklahoma City Thunder star Kevin Durant will be sidelined for at least a week after having another procedure on his right foot. According to the team, the latest procedure was done to alleviate soreness from a screw that was inserted when Durant had surgery in October to repair a fracture in the foot. He will be re-evaluated in a week to determine when he will return. Durant, who has already missed 28 of Oklahoma City's 55 games this season, is averaging 25.4 points and 6.6 rebounds per contest.

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Bruins Blow Out Blackhawks

 width=The Bruins put an end to their six-game losing streak with a 6-2 blow out of the Blackhawks in Chicago. Patrice Bergeron and Loui Eriksson scored in the first, while Milan Lucic, Gregory Campbell, Dougie Hamilton and Reilly Smith all lit the lamp in the second for Boston. Tuukka Rask made 26 saves in the win. Jonathan Towes [[ taves ]] and Bryan Bickell had the goals for the Blackhawks, who have dropped three in-a-row. Corey Crawford allowed four goals on 14 shots before being lifted for Antti Raanta, who permitted two more goals on 16 shots the rest of the way.


NHL
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Philadelphia Flyers 3, Washington Capitals 2
Nashville Predators 2, Buffalo Sabres 1 (SO)
Vancouver Canucks 4, New York Islanders 0
Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Florida Panthers 1
Colorado Avalanche 5, Tampa Bay Lightning 4
New York Rangers 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (SO)
Minnesota Wild 6, Dallas Stars 2

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Illinois Falls To Michigan State; IWU Dominates Elmhurst On Special Night

 width=>>Illinois Wesleyan Dominates Elmhurst On Eventful Night

Illinois Wesleyan gave an impressive performance on the night when the seniors were honored and "Dennie Bridges Court" was christened, beating Elmhurst 96-66 at the Shirk Center on Saturday.

Pat Sodermann poured in a game high 18 points. Mike Marietti and Dylan Overstreet added 15 apiece and Marietti pulled down a game high 8 rebounds.

Brady Rose contributed a new career-high 13 points and Trevor Seibring added 11 points and five boards.

Elmhurst was led by Bryant Ackerman with 14 points. Brandon Schwebke added 12 points and Kyle Wuest had 10 in the setback.

The Titans improved to 18-7 overall and 10-4 in the CCIW while the Bluejays slipped to 19-6 overall and 9-5 in the conference.

The Titans are the No. 2 seed in the CCIW tournament and will play Elmhurst again Friday at Rock Island. Augustana is the No. 1 seed and won their final regular season game 89-55 at Wheaton.

 width=>>Illinois Can't Keep Up With Michigan State

Travis Trice scored 18 points off the bench, including a pair of late free throws, to help Michigan State seal a win over Illinois Sunday night, 60-53.

Michigan State (19-8, 10-4 Big Ten) ran its winning streak to four games in a physical, sometimes chippy road victory.

The Spartans led by as many as 11 with less than five minutes to play. But Illinois (17-10, 7-7) closed to within three points and with 38 seconds to play had a chance to tie, but Kendrick Nunn missed a 3-pointer.

Trice brought down the rebound, drew a foul and hit the free throws.

Denzel Valentine led Michigan State with 20 points and nine rebounds. Branden Dawson added 13 points and seven boards. Matt Costello fouled out late.

Malcolm Hill led Illinois with 17 points and Rayvonte Rice added 15. The Illini have lost two straight.

 width=>>Redbirds Down Loyola (IL)

Daishon Knight scored 21 points to lead Illinois State to a 67-60 victory over Loyola of Chicago on Saturday night.

Illinois State (17-11, 9-7 Missouri Valley) has won back-to-back games and is guaranteed at least at fifth place finish in the conference.

Knight was 7 of 12 from the field and made all six of his free-throw attempts. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell had 14 points and MiKyle McIntosh finished with 10 for the Redbirds, who shot 25 of 48 (52 percent) from the floor.

Loyola's Devon Turk hit a 3 to pull the Ramblers within 51-49 with 4:20 to play. Reggie Lynch answered with a layup, sparking a 9-1 surge to give the Redbirds a 10 point lead with 1:53 left. Knight hit a jumper and the Redbirds made 5 of 6 free throws down the stretch to seal it.

Christian Thomas scored 14 points to lead Loyola (16-12, 6-10).

 width=>>Northern Iowa Rolls Bradley

Nate Buss and Wes Washpun each scored 11 points off the bench and 11th-ranked Northern Iowa rolled past Bradley 56-39 on Saturday, matching a school record with its 15th straight win.

Seth Tuttle added nine points and eight rebounds for the Panthers (26-2, 15-1 MVC), who also took their seventh straight by at least 10 points.

Northern Iowa led by just four at halftime. But its defense allowed just seven points in the opening 12:37 of the second half, helping turn a tight game into yet another blowout in favor of the surging Panthers.

Josh Cunningham and Nate Wells each had six points for Bradley (8-21, 3-13). The Braves are the fourth team that Northern Iowa has held to 40 points or less during Valley play.

 width=>>Michigan Weathers Furious Ohio State Comeback

Spike Albrecht scored 16 points and dished out five assists in the Michigan Wolverines' 64-57 win over the 24th-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes on Sunday.

Zak Irvin added 15 points and seven rebounds for the Wolverines (14-13, 7-8 Big Ten), who snapped a five-game skid and avenged a 71-52 loss to Ohio State on Jan. 13.

D'Angelo Russell ended with 16 points for the Buckeyes (19-8, 8-6), who have lost two in a row. Keita Bates-Diop and Sam Thompson contributed 12 and 11 points, respectively.

Trailing 49-32, Ohio State used a 14-0 run to make things interesting. Russell tallied eight points during the burst and Bates-Diop's jumper cut the gap to 49-46 with 6:59 to play.

Irvin stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer and Michigan led by at least four the rest of the way.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#3 Virginia Cavaliers 51, Florida State Seminoles 41
Oregon Ducks 69, #9 Utah Utes 58
#13 Wichita State Shockers 62, Evansville Aces 43

Big Ten Scores from Sunday:

Indiana 84, Rutgers 54
Iowa 74, Nebraska 46

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Maroons Open Postseason Play Tonight Against Maroa-Forsyth

 width=It's playoff time in high school basketball and local teams from across the area are hoping to make a run that lasts into the month of March.

Tonight in Monticello, the Clinton Maroons will hope to end a run of one-and-dones in postseason play as they will take on Maroa-Forsyth from the Monticello Regional.

The Maroons finished the season 8-18 overall and 2-5 in the first year of the new Central Illinois Conference. Under second year head coach Clay Haurberg, the Maroons come into tonight's game on a five game losing streak but hope to advance to a Tuesday matchup with the Regional's top seed and host Monticello.

Tonight's game gets underway at 7 pm and can be heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other class 2A regional quarter-final action tonight...

At Bloomington Central Catholic

Olympia 6:00pm
Heyworth

Tremont 7:30pm
Dee-Mack

At Decatur St. Teresa

Sullivan 7:00pm
Cerro Gordo

At Paxton (P.-Buckley-Loda)

G.C.M.S 6:00pm
Bismarck-Henning

Class 1A action tonight:

At Armstrong

Champaign Judah Christian 7:00pm
Urbana University

At LeRoy

Normal Calvary Christian Academy 7:00pm
Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy

At Moweaqua (Central A & M)

Sangamon Valley 7:00pm
Buffalo Tri-City

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Fire Claims Life of Clinton Man

A fire in Clinton Sunday afternoon claimed the life of a 52-year old Clinton man.

52-year old Scott Miller of Clinton was pronounced dead just before 2 pm on Sunday at the Dr. John Warner Hospital. Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton indicates crews were dispatched to 925 North George Street in Clinton just before 1 pm Sunday afternoon. Upon arrival they found part of the home with heavy smoke but no fire. He says they were able to quickly extinguish the fire.

[audio:22315103043-22415sundayfire1.mp3] [/audio]

The only smoke detector in the home did not have a battery. The Chief sends his condolences to the family and hopes residents will use this tragedy to heed the advice he gives frequently. Chief Milton notes fire alarms are proven to save lives.

[audio:22315103045-22415sundayfire2.mp3] [/audio]

An autopsy on Miller will be performed according to DeWitt County Coroner Randy Rice. Rice's office, the Clinton Police Department, State Of Illinois Fire Marshall and Illinois State Police are investigating the fire. Chief Milton indicates they do not believe the fire to be intentional.

Chief Milton encourages residents who may not be able to afford smoke detectors to contact the Fire Department. They issue at least two devices per household free of charge.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

ON 02/22/15 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED BRYCHE D. JACKSON 18, DECATUR ON A MACON COUNTY WARRANT. JACKSON 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 2-20

Jail Population:         42

Summons Served:    12

Warrant Arrests:        3

 

Lorrie Stevens, 22, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Contempt of Court.  Stevens posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Jonathan Bateson, 26, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Criminal Trespass to Land.  Bateson posted the necessary bond and was released.

 

Genaro Hendrix, 22, Decatur, issued a citation for Driving while License Suspended.  Hendrix posted the necessary bond and was released.

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Maroons Advance Past Maroa-Forsyth

Four Clinton Maroons players scored in double-figures, Bowe Carter dominated in the post, and Clinton rolled to a Regional Quarterfinal win by a score of 71-58 on Monday night.

Jacob Overton led the way with 21 points. Carter made his six-foot-six presence felt with 20 points and 16 rebounds. Peyton McCubbin added 17 points and Tanner White finished with 11.

The Maroons shot free throws very well Monday, finishing at 14-16 and shot 56% from floor, including 7-13 from three point range.

The defense Monday for the Maroons was excellent as well, as they outscored the Trojans 42-26 in the second half.

The Trojans were led by Parker Barret with 17 points. Senior Blake Bryan added 15 points.

With the win the Maroons improve to 8-18 while the Trojans end their season at 2-22.

Tune in tonight as the Maroons take on the Monticello Sages, the Region's top seed. You can hear the game live on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Scores from Monday Regional action in Class 2A...

At Bloomington (Central Catholic)

Olympia 63
Heyworth 53

Tremont 54
Dee-Mack 38

At Decatur (St. Teresa)

Sullivan 73
Cerro Gordo 53

At Paxton-Buckley-Loda

G.C.M.S. 50
Bismarck-Henning 33

Fithian Oakwood 51
Hoopeston 44

Class 1A regional scores from Monday...

At Armstrong

Champaign Judah Christian 83
Urbana University 71

At LeRoy

Normal Calvary Christian Academy 45
Bloomington Cornerstone Christian Academy 39

At Illini Central

Greenview 41
Concord Triopia 44

At Central A & M

Niantic Sangamon Valley 62
Buffalo Tri-City 64

At Peoria Heights

Delavan 61
Illini Bluffs 45

Class 1A Regional Action Tonight...

At Armstrong

Fisher 6:00pm
Buckley Christ Lutheran

At Armstrong

Cissna Park 7:30pm
Armstrong

At LeRoy

LeRoy 6:00pm
DeLand-Weldon

Blue Ridge 7:30pm
Lexington

At Illini Central

Mt. Pulaski 6:00pm
Illini Central

Springfield Calvary 7:30pm
Hartsburg-Emden

At Central A & M

Central A & M 6:00pm
Decatur Christian

Bethany Okaw Valley 7:30pm
Windsor

Class 2A Regional Action Tonight...

At Bloomington Central Catholic

Bloomington Central Catholic 7:00pm
Olympia

At Decatur (St. Teresa)

Decatur St. Teresa 6:00pm
Sullivan

Warrensburg -Latham 7:30pm
Meridian

At Paxton-Buckley-Loda

St. Joseph-Ogden 6:00pm
G.C.M.S.

Paxton-Buckley-Loda 7:30pm
Fithian Oakwood

At Tuscola

Tuscola 6:00pm
Westville

Tolono (Unity) 7:30pm
Broadlands Heritage

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Executive Director of Get Covered Illinois Resign

A key government leader in Illinois' health insurance enrollment efforts over the past two years has resigned.

Jennifer Koehler (KOH'-ler) was executive director of Get Covered Illinois and part of former Gov. Pat Quinn's administration. She oversaw federal grant programs promoting insurance coverage, including advertising and in-person outreach.

Koehler says she's resigning to pursue other professional opportunities.

More than 347,000 Illinoisans enrolled or re-enrolled in private health insurance before last Sunday's deadline, far surpassing enrollment in the first year. Another 572,000 lower-income Illinoisans qualified for Medicaid under the health care law's expansion.

The enrollment numbers have been good this year. But in the first enrollment season, the private insurance marketplace sign-ups fell short of an internal goal, in part because of troubles with HealthCare.gov.

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Clean Jobs Bill Proposes Bump In Renewable Energy Purchase

Lawmakers want to increase the share of clean energy purchased in Illinois with a bill they say will bring jobs to the state.

The clean jobs bill also establishes a strategy for reducing carbon pollution from Illinois power plants. It would bring Illinois in line with new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards.

Proponents announced the measure Thursday. They say the bill creates jobs by promoting the use of clean energy sources, such as wind and solar.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz says the bill "sets Illinois energy policy" and calls for increasing state renewable energy standards to 35 percent by 2030. The current standard is 20 percent by 2025.

The Democrat from Northbrook says the change will bring 32,000 jobs to Illinois after standards are implemented.

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Arguments Set In Illinois Pension Case

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced it will hear oral arguments in the state's landmark pension-overhaul case on March 11.

Arguments will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the high court chamber in downtown Springfield.

The Illinois General Assembly and former Gov. Pat Quinn adopted a plan in late 2013 designed to cut into the $111 billion deficit in four state pension programs built by years of underfunding.

Several beneficiaries - state workers, retired teachers, and others - filed a lawsuit and a Sangamon County circuit judge found the law unconstitutional last fall. The judge ruled that the law violated a provision prohibiting reducing or impairing pension allowances. The law slightly reduced retirement-fund contributions but also decreased benefits.

The case is In re Pension Reform Litigation v. Quinn.

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Lawmaker Wants E-Cigarette Smokers Outside

 

Electronic cigarettes have been an answer for those who don't want to go outside to smoke. But if one state representative has her way, E cigarette buyers will also be left out in the cold.

The bill from Democrat Kathleen Willis of Addison would ban so called vaping indoors. She believes the product has second hand effects like the impact of second hand smoke from regular cigarettes.

At this point, anti smoking groups say more information is needed to determine what the long term health impact is.

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Farmers Market Study Underway

Northern Illinois University is beginning a two-year study of farmers markets and how to make them more popular. Meg Skelly with the Ottawa Area Chamber of Commerce says there are usually only about 15 vendors at Ottawa’s farmers market, and she’d like to see a lot more.

[audio:2211594954-market1.mp3] [/audio]

Ottawa is one of four communities in the study. The others are Beardstown, Sterling, and Dixon.

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THE STATE?S ADULT REDEPLOY ILLINOIS PROGRAM SAVED TAXPAYERS NEARLY 50 MILLION DOLLARS OVER THE LAST FOUR YEARs.

PROGRAM DIRECTOR MARY ANN DYAR SAYS PARTICIPATING ILLINOIS COUNTIES RECEIVE STATE GRANTS TO FUND EFFORTS TO KEEP LOW LEVEL, NON VIOLENT OFFENDERS OUT OF PRISON. SHE SAYS WITH OVER TWO THOUSAND PEOPLE GOING THROUGH THE PROGRAM SINCE 2011…THAT’S YIELDED SIGNIFICANT SAVINGS.

[audio:2211594949-redeploy.mp3] [/audio]

THE GOVERNOR HAS ALREADY SUNG THE PRAISES OF THE REDEPLOY PROGRAM, SAYING IT’S AN IMPORTANT TOOL TO EASE PRISON OVERCROWDING.

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Healthcare Cuts On Table After Budget Proposal

nother major area that will see the state spending less in the new budget proposed by Illinois’ Republican Governor is Medicaid and other health services. Governor Bruce Rauner says reinstituting the Save Medicaid Access and Resources Together Act, or SMART Act, can help save three-hundred-twenty-million dollars. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:2211594943-HEALTHCARECUTS.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Rauner say his health care plans leave intact health and human service programs for children and minimizes services reductions to adult populations.

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Local Lawmakers React To Governor's Budget Address

After the Governor's budget address this past Wednesday, local lawmakers are praising the new Governor for, among other things, his honesty.

State Senator Chapin Rose says Illinois has to start doing more with less. The Senator says unlike previous years, Gov. Bruce Rauner gave the assessment of all is not well.

[audio:2211594933-21915budgetaddress1.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Bill Brady calls the address "short and to the point". He says Gov. Rauner's proposed budget balances expenses with revenue and prioritizes what the state needs to do.

[audio:2211594940-BudgetReactSenBrady.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Dan Brady has some concerns with the budget Gov. Rauner has proposed. He likes the additional funding towards education but calls the cuts proposed "aggressive".

[audio:2211594938-21915budgetaddress2.mp3] [/audio]

Monday on Regional Radio News we'll have reaction from education leaders, as education was the only area of the budget with a proposed increase.

Get a full recap of the Governor's budget address at dewittdailynews.com.

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National Weather Service Reports Snow Totals

 width=

The Regional Radio listening area received from a little to a lot of snow Friday night into mid-morning on Saturday.

The biggest snowfall total was in Springfield where some eleven inches fell. The Christian-Shelby County area received anywhere from 7 to 9 inches, while significantly less snow—in the one to 4 inch range—fell from Bloomington to Decatur.

The National Weather Service in Lincoln says the heaviest snow was centered near the I-72 corridor, with heavy totals extending south towards I-70.  5 to 10 inch totals were common within this band, with locally higher amounts up to one foot. 

From I-70 to the south, a wintery mix of snow, sleet, and freezing rain fell.  This kept snow totals generally under a couple of inches, but ice accumulations of one tenth, to one quarter inch were reported. 

There was a very sharp cutoff to the northern edge of the snowfall.  Little to no snow was reported north of a Havana to Bloomington line. 

While little or no snow is expected this week, extremely cold temperatures will be back as a result of a Jet Stream that is now over the southern United States, allowing bitterly cold air to move south from Canada.

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Sen. Andy Manar Says Rauner's Tone Still Not Bi-Partisan

It’s not just about the numbers, it’s about the tone. Illinois News Network has more.

[audio:2201561849-MANARTONE.mp3] [/audio]

Manar has proposed half-a-billion dollars more with his revamped school funding formula measure in the Senate.

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SB1 Supports Have Mixed Reaction To Governor's Pension Reforms

One of the major issues Illinois’ new governor addressed in his first budget proposal were changes to the state’s pensions.

Governor Bruce Rauner says his pension reform plan will save taxpayers over two-billion dollars in fiscal year 2016, and over one-hundred-billion over thirty years. The governor says his plan is constitutional by keeping promises of the past but changing things moving forward. Illinois News Network has more.

[audio:2201561945-PENSIONPROPOSAL.mp3] [/audio]

Rauner’s plan eliminates pension spiking, eliminates using overtime to determine pension benefits, and gives employees hired before 2011 a buyout option in return for a voluntary reduction in cost-of-living adjustments.

The Governor says his pension reform proposal excludes police officers and fire fighter.

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Speaker Not Comfortable With Proposed Pension Plan

The state’s highest court is ready to hear arguments about changes to the state’s pension system under former Governor Pat Quinn. And eventually it might be another court battle over a second way to close the hundred billion dollar pension budget gap.

House Speaker Mike Madigan says as he sees it, the plan is a reduction of benefits and he isn’t comfortable with spending that expected savings in next year’s budget.

[audio:2201562058-MADIGANSAVINGS.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Bruce Rauner proposed yesterday to take all current workers this summer move them into the Tier 2 Pension plan. In effect freezing benefits earned over the previous formula that had determined retirement benefits. Rauner says this year that will save the state $2.2 billion.

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Despite Budget Proposal, Current Fiscal Year Has Funding Problems

Event without the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, there are significant budget shortfalls in the current fiscal year with a few more months remaining.

How lawmakers and the Governor deal with the current shortfall is still unknown. Illinois News Network.

[audio:2201562454-CURRENTFY.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Rauner has been in negotiations with legislative leaders for weeks saying they don’t want to go from crisis to crisis. Several programs have indicated they are short hundreds of millions of dollars in the current fiscal year that wraps up at the end of June.

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Illinois Beef Expo Underway In Springfield

The 2015 Illinois Beef Expo is under way at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

The annual event, which runs through Sunday, includes a performance tested bull sale and 75 indoor and outdoor vendors. There is also a number of activities for youths, including a quiz bowl and judging contest.

Acting Agriculture Department Director Philip Nelson says the event is an opportunity for the industry to get together and celebrate a year of success and prepare for the future.

The Illinois beef industry is a strong component of Illinois agriculture, particularly in the area of export markets. Department officials say Illinois exported $195.5 million in beef products in 2014.

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Arguments Set In Illinois Pension Case

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced it will hear oral arguments in the state's landmark pension-overhaul case on March 11.

Arguments will begin at 2:30 p.m. in the high court chamber in downtown Springfield.

The Illinois General Assembly and former Gov. Pat Quinn adopted a plan in late 2013 designed to cut into the $111 billion deficit in four state pension programs built by years of underfunding.

Several beneficiaries - state workers, retired teachers, and others - filed a lawsuit and a Sangamon County circuit judge found the law unconstitutional last fall. The judge ruled that the law violated a provision prohibiting reducing or impairing pension allowances. The law slightly reduced retirement-fund contributions but also decreased benefits.

The case is In re Pension Reform Litigation v. Quinn.

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Miller Park Zoo Hosting Free Fridays in February

Despite the frigid temperatures of late, a local entity is hoping you will pay them a visit with the cost paid for.

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington is again this February offering free Friday admission. According to Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff, it's their way of giving back to those who may not get the opportunity regularly.

[audio:2201562627-22015freefriday1.mp3] [/audio]

Within the last five years, the zoo has started this and Tetzloff recognizes February isn't the most ideal month to have such a promotion, however, he says the turnout has been very good the first two Friday's of this month.

[audio:2201562629-22015freefriday2.mp3] [/audio]

Tetzloff notes the zoo recently received a pair of red wolves beleives they should be very active right now because it is their breeding season.

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Missing 14-Year Old Girl Found Dead In Heyworth

A reported missing 14-year old girl was found dead on a farm near Heyworth Wednesday.

According to the McLean County Sheriff Jon Sandage, Kalie Easton's body was found at approximately at 10:45 a.m. Wednesday after being reported missing Tuesday evening.

The McLean County Sheriff says the death appears suspicious and does not believe the weather was an element in her death.

Easton was last seen at about 6 a.m. Tuesday at her home.

Authorities believe Easton walked away from her home and hope anyone who may have seen a female walking Tuesday near U.S. 51 or South Morris Avenue to contact the Sheriff's Office at 309-275-8389.

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Hendrick Sweeps Duels

 width=Jeff Gordon, Jimmie Johnson and defending champion Dale Earnhardt Jr. will lead the pack in Sunday's Daytona 500.  Earnhardt won the first Duel Race to secure his spot in front.  Johnson cruised to a win in the second duel, while Gordon finished second in the first duel and had already secured the second starting position in last Sunday's qualifying.  The headline of the day was Danica Patrick barely making the field.  Patrick wrecked on Wednesday, after an incident with Denny Hamlin and the same happened Thursday in her backup car.  The two had words after the race, but the situation was civil.

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Northern Trust Open Day One Recap

Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen both fired 5-under 66s on Thursday and they share the lead
with round one of the Northern Trust Open suspended due to darkness.

Singh, who will turn 52-years-old on Sunday, and Goosen, 46, were joined atop the leaderboard at Riviera Country Club by last week's runner-up Nick Watney, James Hahn, Derek Fathauer and Daniel Summerhays.

Carlos Ortiz is alone in seventh place at minus-4. Justin Thomas, Alex Cejka, William McGirt and Geoff Ogilvy are one stroke back at 3-under 68.

Jordan Spieth opened to a 2-under 69 and he headlines a group of five players that share 12th place.

Defending champion Bubba Watson birdied the 18th for a 1-under 70. He is among a large group tied for 17th.

The final group to tee off the 10th hole - David Lingmerth, Jim Herman and Drew Scott - were the only three players that did not complete their rounds. They will complete their rounds starting at 10:45 a.m. ET on Friday. The second round will begin as scheduled at 9:40 a.m.

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Seahawks' GM: No Idea What Lynch Will Do

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Baseball Notes

 width=>>Giants' Bochy Admitted To Hospital

(Scottsdale, AZ) -- The San Francisco Giants have announced that manager Bruce Bochy was admitted to a local hospital in Scottsdale, Arizona. He underwent a heart procedure on Thursday in which two stents were inserted after he experienced discomfort during his physical exam on Wednesday. Bochy is currently resting comfortably and will be released from the hospital Friday.

>>Rangers' Profar To Undergo Shoulder Surgery

(Arlington, TX) -- Texas Rangers infielder Jurickson Profar is in jeopardy of missing a second-consecutive full season. FOX Sports Southwest reports Profar is set to have surgery to repair a torn labrum. The former top prospect, who turns 22 on Friday, missed all of last season after twice tearing a muscle in his shoulder. Doctors reportedly recommended surgery as far back as September. Rougned Odor likely will be the Rangers' every day second baseman this season.

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Blues, Blackhawks In Action Tonight

 width=>>Blackhawks Resume Homestand Tonight Against Avs

(Chicago, IL) -- The Blackhawks resume their eight-game homestand tonight against the Colorado Avalanche at the United Center. The 'Hawks are 2-0-and-3 so far on the stand after Wednesday's 3-2 shootout loss to Detroit. They sit in third place in the Central Division with 75 points. The Avs are last in the division with 59 points.

 width=>>Blues Host Bruins Tonight

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues host the Bruins tonight at Scottrade Center. It's the second of a four-game homestand for St. Louis. The Blues saw their three-game winning streak end with a 4-1 loss to Dallas on Tuesday. This is the fourth of a five-game road trip for Boston, which has lost five in-a-row.

>>Canucks Sink Rangers In Shootout

(New York, NY) -- Alexandre Burrows and Radim Vrbata [[ ruh-DEEM ver-BOT-uh ]] each scored in the shootout as the Canucks beat the Rangers, 5-4, at Madison Square Garden. Vancouver trailed 4-3 in the third period when Henrik Sedin scored with two minutes left to tie the game. It was Sedin's second goal. Ryan Miller stopped 30-of-34 shots for the Canucks, who have won four of five. Rick Nash tallied his 36th goal of the season in the defeat. New York took a 4-3 lead in the third when Martin St. Louis and Carl Hagelin lit the lamp 21 seconds apart. Cam Talbot gave up four goals on 28 shots as the Rangers had a four-game winning streak come to an end.

NHL
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New York Islanders 5, Nashville Predators 2
Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
Washington Capitals 5, Winnipeg Jets 1
Florida Panthers 3, Montreal Canadiens 2 (SO)
Buffalo Sabres 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (SO)
San Jose Sharks 5, Dallas Stars 2

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Bulls Consider Health, Continuity Acquisition At Trade Deadline

 width=The Chicago Bulls are healthy and have a chance to build some continuity.

Consider that their big acquisition.

The Bulls stood pat at Thursday's trade deadline and geared up for the stretch run with all their pieces in place.

It hasn't been an easy season for the Bulls, who came in aiming high with the return of Derrick Rose from a second season-ending knee injury and the signing of All-Star Pau Gasol.

They're 13-3 when they have their projected starting five. But they've been banged up, with players shuffling in and out of the rotation.

>>Bulls Battle Pistons Tonight

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls open up the unofficial second half of the season tonight in Motown against the Detroit Pistons. Chicago currently sits in third place in the Eastern Conference at 34-and-20, two-and-a-half games behind Toronto for the two-seed. The Pistons are two games out of the final playoff spot at 21-and-33.

>>NBA Trade Deadline Wrap Up

(Undated) -- It was a wild and crazy day with the NBA's trade deadline passing by. In total there were 11 trades and 37 players dealt on Thursday. The Phoenix Suns were in the middle of everything, shipping guard Goran Dragic to the Heat and Isaiah Thomas to Boston. Brandon Knight landed with Suns via the Bucks. The 76ers were back at it again sending Michael Carter-Williams to Milwaukee and rookie wing K.J. McDaniels to the Rockets. Kevin Garnett made his way back to the Timberwolves with Minnesota shipping Thad Young to the Nets.

Reggie Jackson finally got out of Oklahoma City and landed with the Pistons with Enes Kanter getting re-routed from the Jazz to the Thunder. OKC also acquired D.J. Augustin and Kyle Singler from the Pistons and Steve Novak from the Jazz. The Trail Blazers boosted their depth snagging Arron Afflalo in a trade with Nuggets including spare parts and a protected first round pick that could potentially turn into a second-round pick by 2018.

>>Westbrook Leads Thunder Past Mavs

(Oklahoma City, OK) -- Russell Westbrook put up 34 points and dished out 10 assists to guide the Thunder to a 104-89 win over the Mavericks at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Serge Ibaka grabbed 22 rebounds to go along with 21 points while Kevin Durant scored just 12 on 4-of-14 shooting. The victory puts Oklahoma City in eighth place in the Western Conference after being on the outside of the playoff picture all season long. The Mavs shot just 36-percent from the field as they slipped to 36-and-20 on the year. Dirk Nowitzki [[ nuh-VIT-skee ]] scored 14 points and Tyson Chandler logged a 10 point, 13 rebound double-double in the loss.

NBA
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Los Angeles Clippers 119, San Antonio Spurs 115

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Illinois Hosts Michigan State Sunday

 width=Illinois hosts Michigan State Sunday night. Tip-off is at 6:30 p.m. The Fighting Illini had their four-game winning streak snapped with a 68-49 loss at fourth-ranked Wisconsin this past Sunday. Illinois is 17-and-9 overall and 7-and-6 in the Big Ten. The Spartans are 18-and-8 and 9-and-4.

>>Maryland Clips Nebraska

Melo Trimble scored 11 of his 26 points in the final 3:41 to lift the 16th-ranked Maryland
Terrapins over the Nebraska Cornhuskers, 69-65, on Thursday.

Trimble, who went 7-of-9 from the field, also had six rebounds and five assists for the Terrapins (22-5, 10-4 Big Ten), who have won three in a row. Jake Layman and Dez Wells tallied 14 points apiece.

Walter Pitchford made five 3-pointers en route to 19 points for the Cornhuskers (13-13, 5-9), who have dropped four straight. Shavon Shields and Nick Fuller contributed 13 and 12 points, respectively, while leading scorer Terran Petteway shot just 2-for-14 from the floor but contributed a career- high nine assists.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#2 Gonzaga Bulldogs 86, Pacific Tigers 74
#7 Arizona Wildcats 87, USC Trojans 57
#9 Utah Utes 47, Oregon State Beavers 37
#21 SMU Mustangs 67, Temple Owls 58

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Maroons Wrap Up Regular Season on Senior Night

 width=In their final tune up before Regionals get underway next week, the Clinton Maroons will host the Sullivan Redskins on senior night tonight at 7:30 pm.

The Maroons have had a week off after a tough loss at Meridian last Friday night.

Coming in at 8-17 overall and 2-4 in the Central Illinois Conference, the Maroons host a Shelbyville team that is 15-9 overall and also 2-4 in the CIC.

The Maroons will go to the Monticello Regional and take on Maroa-Forsyth Monday night, with the winner to take on Monticello Tuesday night at 7pm.

Game time tonight is at 7:30 pm and can be heard live on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Maroons Can't Top Redskins in Overtime

As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com, the Sullivan Redskins defeated the  width=Clinton Maroons Friday night in overtime 58-53 on Senior Night in Clinton.

For the Maroons (8-18), Tanner White lead the team with a total of 19 points, followed by Jacob Overton who had scored 13 points.

For the Redskins (16-9), Ty Molzen lead the game with 23 points, followed by teammates Zac Hrvol and Nick Fericvhs, with 14 and 13 points.

Tune into 92.3 FM WHOW and stream live on dewittdailynews.com Monday as the Clinton Maroons will host the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans. Approximate start time is 7pm.

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DJWH Accepting Applications for Annual Scholarship

The Dr. John Warner Hospital Foundation, the fundraising arm of the city-owned hospital, is once again offering local students the chance at additional funding for their next step in education.

The Foundation's Belinda Rittenhouse Scholarship is now open to be applied for and it goes to qualified applicants in DeWitt County interested in a career in the medical field.

Applicants must be high school senior and enrolled in accredited college.

Completed applications must be returned no later than May 8th, 2015. Applicants will be considered on the basis of their need, scholastic ability and enthusiasm in pursuing a career in healthcare.

Further information and application forms are available at the front reception/admitting desk of the hospital or by calling the hospital at 935-9571, ext. 3202.

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Chamber Gearing Up For Annual Agri-Business Banquet

Leaders and professionals from across the area annually attend an event in Clinton that highlights the agriculture industry and issues relevant to the day.

The Clinton Chamber's annual Agri-Business banquet is right around the corner and Marian Brisard, Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber, says the night is full of good information for not just farmers, but agriculture professionals and leaders.

[audio:2191562109-21915agbanquet.mp3] [/audio]

The night features dinner and a presenter, and this year's guest speaker is Bob Utterback of Utterback marketing services. According to Brisard, a couple local business leaders have stepped up to purchase a large door prize as a part of the night.

[audio:2191562109-21915agbanquet2.mp3] [/audio]

The Agri-Business Banquet is February 28 and tickets can be purchased through the Clinton Chamber of Commerce by calling 217-935-3364.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-19

Jail Population: 42

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 1

Jessica Crow, 36, Farmer City, was arrested on a Piatt County Warrant charging her with Failure to Appear.  Crow posted the necessary bond and was released.

James Fry, 27, Clinton was issued citations for speeding (80 mph in a 65 mph zone) and Operating Uninsured Vehicle.  Fry was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Joshua Dubson, 32, Clinton was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle.  Dubson posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.

Katherine Smith, 34, Clinton was issued a citation for Failure to Wear Seat Belt.  Smith was issued a promise to comply and was released.

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DeWitt County Treasurer Announces Resignation

 width=A long time DeWitt County official's resignation announcement left many in attendance of the Thursday night DeWitt County Board meeting upset.

DeWitt County Treasurer Christy Long announced her resignation via a letter read before the Board by Dana Smith (standing right), the County's Clerk and Recorder. A shaken Smith read the letter that thanked the County residents and those in her office.

[audio:2191583622-22015longresignation1.mp3] [/audio]

Board Chair David Newberg, also visibly upset with the news, calls Long a "treasure" of the County. He thanked her for her many years of service to the County.

[audio:2191583624-22015longresignation2.mp3] [/audio]

Long has announced her final day as Treasurer will be February 28. Gloria Willis was named the interim Treasurer effective March 1.

The Republican Central Committee will be charged with naming her replacement.

In other news from the Thursday Night DeWitt County Board meeting...

>>The County approved the development of a multi-jurisdictional all hazards mitigation plan to be done by Johnson, Depp and Quisenberry.

>>The Board approved participation in the State of Illinois Federal Surplus Property Program for the Sheriff's Department. We'll have more on this next week on Regional Radio News.

>>Robert's Rules of Of Order was re-established by the Board at Thursday's meeting.

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Lawmaker Wants E-Cigarette Smokers Outside

Electronic cigarettes have been an answer for those who don't want to go outside to smoke. But if one state representative has her way, E cigarette buyers will also be left out in the cold.

The bill from Democrat Kathleen Willis of Addison would ban so called vaping indoors. She believes the product has second hand effects like the impact of second hand smoke from regular cigarettes.

At this point, anti smoking groups say more information is needed to determine what the long term health impact is.

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Amid Budget Prep, DCDC Funding Up For Discussion

As the City of Clinton begins to prepare for their next fiscal year, the entity charged with bringing economic development to the area is making their yearly request for funding.

Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting, leaders of the DeWitt County Development Council presented their proposal for funding for 2015-16. According to Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters, the DCDC is funded by the City of Clinton, Farmer City and the DeWitt County Board, with the city's portion of their funding being $47-thousand.

[audio:21815dcdcfunding1.mp3] [/audio]

The DCDC operates on a limited budget and the Mayor says there are grants they have to support other businesses in the community that cannot be used on their general operating budget. She supports the efforts of the DCDC and feels the city's funding portion is very important to their existence.

[audio:21815dcdcfunding2.mp3] [/audio]

Legislators are warning communities to hold on tight for big changes coming to their funding. While the Mayor would not say cuts to the DCDC are coming, she is holding out hope the cuts to individual communities may not be as great as some perceive.

[audio:21815dcdcfunding3.mp3] [/audio]

While the revenues from the state are remaining consistent, the Mayor points out the cost of supplies and the cost of services to the community are rising. Because of that, she feels it is going to be tough to maintain a balanced budget going forward.

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Measles, Other Diseases Of Concern For Local Health Official

A small outbreak of measles in pockets of the country have health officials baffled because of the refusal of parents to get their kids vaccinated and one local health official says the reasoning is unfounded.

Dave Remmert is the Director of the DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department and says locally they are not battling measles, but pertussis, or the whooping cough. Remmert says it not only falls on the parents who refuse to have their kids vaccine, but also the schools.

[audio:21815vaccines1.mp3] [/audio]

The fears of the measles vaccines specifically, according to Remmert, are unfounded. He explains the uproar is over an article published in a British Health Journal, and the study done by the doctor was not only found to be unethical, but criminal.

[audio:21815vaccines2.mp3] [/audio]

So if a child is not vaccinated, should they be allowed in public places like schools and playgrounds and restaurants? Remmert says, absolutely not.

[audio:21815vaccines3.mp3] [/audio]

Remmert says the cycle of vaccinations is set for children as they continue to go through the school system, he says it is vital parents be in regular contact with their pediatrician to make sure their children meet the requirements to be in school.

To contact the DeWitt-Piatt Bi-County Health Department about any questions regarding vaccinations, contact them in DeWitt County at 217-935-3427 or in Piatt County at 217-762-7911.

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Clinton BOE Gives Nod of Support To Vision 2020

 width=The voices supporting a measure in Illinois to bring major reforms to Illinois schools received another addition Tuesday night.

Vision 2020 has been widely praised and supported by area schools and Tuesday night, the Clinton Board of Education voiced their approval of the measure. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes outlined a few of the four pillars of the movement, and among them is the elimination of what he calls "burdensome" mandates.

[audio:218152020tues1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes discussed the funding mechanism of Vision 2020 quite extensively Tuesday night. Sen. Jason Barickman and Sen. Andy Manar have come together to co-sign a bill that the Superintendent calls "big".

[audio:218152020tues2.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Bill 16, now titled Sen. Bill 1, has been combined with the legislation Sen. Barickman is proposing. Dr. Holmes points out Clinton schools would lose almost $2-million.

[audio:218152020tues3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says he is interested to hear more about what Gov. Bruce Rauner has in store for Illinois in his budget address set for Wednesday at noon. He points to Rauner's comments in the State of the State about increasing education funding and hopes the Governor elaborates.

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Report: Love III To Be Named Ryder Cup Captain

 width=Davis Love the Third is returning to the role as U.S. captain in the 2016 Ryder Cup.  The Golf Channel reports the PGA of America has selected Love as captain for the matches at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.  He's expected to be introduced on February 24th at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.  The 50-year-old was captain in 2012 when the U.S. relinquished a 10-6 lead and fell to Europe 14.5-13.5, which matched the greatest comeback in the history of the event.  The Europeans defended the Cup last September in Scotland for their third win in-a-row and eighth in 10 tournaments.  Following the loss, five-time major winner Phil Mickelson questioned American captain Tom Watson and praised 2008 captain Paul Azinger's winning formula.  Love played in six Ryder Cups as a player and also served as an assistant captain to Corey Pavin in 2010 in Wales.  He has 36 career pro wins, including one major championship.

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Baseball Notes

>>Dodgers' Jansen Out Eight-To-12 Weeks

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The Dodgers bullpen is going to be short for part of the regular season. The team announced closer Kenley Jansen is out eight-to-12 weeks after having surgery "to remove a growth from a bone in his left foot." That timetable puts him out at least the first month of the regular season. Jansen had 44 saves with a 2.76 ERA and 1.13 WHIP last season.

 width=>>Arod Apologizes To Fans With Hand Written Letter

Alex Rodriguez has released an apology to fans as he prepares to return to baseball after a year-long suspension for his role in the Biogenesis scandal.

In a hand-written letter, posted on MLB.com and various other outlets, Rodriguez said he was responsible for his actions and was ready to resume playing baseball with the New York Yankees.

Rodriguez had met with Yankees officials earlier this month and apologized. He was apparently offered a chance to make a public apology, but declined and instead released the letter.

>>Tony Bosch Sentenced Tuesday

Former Biogenesis of America owner Tony Bosch was sentenced to four years in prison by a federal judge on Tuesday.

Bosch pleaded guilty in October to a charge of conspiracy to distribute illegal drugs, including steroids and testosterone to Major League Baseball players.

U.S. District Judge Darrin Gayles sentenced Bosch and ordered him to surrender immediately.

Bosch ran a now-defunct anti-aging clinic in Florida that was at the center of an extensive investigation by MLB in the summer of 2013. The probe led to the suspensions of 15 players for using performance-enhancing substances, most notably Alex Rodriguez, who
sat out the entire 2014 season as a penalty for his role in the scandal.


>>A's Ink Barry Zito To Minor League Deal

(Oakland, CA) -- After not pitching in 2014, veteran left-handed pitcher Barry Zito is returning to the Oakland A's on a minor league deal. The "San Francisco Chronicle" reports the contract is worth one-million-dollars and includes an invitation to spring training. Zito was originally drafted by Oakland in 1999 and spent his first seven seasons with the Athletics. Zito signed a seven-year, 126-million-dollar contract with the San Francisco Giants in 2006, and helped them win two World Series titles.

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NFL Notes

>>Chiefs Part Ways With WR's Avery, Jenkins

(Kansas City, MO) -- The Kansas City Chiefs are parting ways with wide receivers Donnie Avery and A.J. Jenkins. KC has released Avery, who played in just six games this past season after missing time recovering from surgery for a sports hernia. He had just 15 catches for 176 yards after finishing third among Chiefs' receivers in 2013 with 596 yards.  width=Jenkins was put on waivers after he had just nine catches for 93 yards in nine games.

>>Cowboys Leaning Toward Using Franchise Tag On Dez

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The Dallas Cowboys are prepared to use the franchise tag on wide receiver Dez Bryant. Executive Vice President Stephen Jones says "right now, I'd say we'd probably be leaning that way, but it doesn't mean it won't change." Jones added that the team is "still working through everything" and that they are not in a hurry to use the tag too soon. In other team news, the 'Boys re-signed guard Ron Leary and offensive tackle Darrion Weems. Both were exclusive rights free agents. Leary started in 15 games at left guard last season and has started in all 31 appearances over his two years with the 'Boys. Weems missed all of 2014 with a shoulder injury.

>>Winston And Mariota To Throw At Combine

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The NFL Scouting Combine is getting a little more interesting. The two top quarterbacks will throw when they take the field on Saturday. According to ESPN, Oregon QB Marcus Mariota will show off his arm, while NFL.com said Florida State QB Jameis Winston will do the same. Often times, the top quarterbacks will skip out on the throwing portion of the combine.

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NBA Notes

 width=>>Report: Dragic Wants Out Of Phoenix

(Phoenix, AZ) -- It sounds like the Suns will be trading Goran Dragic a second time. Multiple outlets have reported Dragic's preference is to be dealt before Thursday's trade deadline and he won't re-sign with the team this summer. According to Yahoo Sports, Dragic's preferred destinations are the Lakers, Knicks and Heat. The Pacers are also in the mix. Dragic doesn't want to share a backcourt with Isaiah Thomas and Eric Bledsoe. He is averaging 16.2 points, 4.1 assists and 3.6 rebounds this season.

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Stars Roll Blues; Blackhawks Back Tonight

 width=Jamie Benn recorded a hat trick in the first two periods as Dallas cruised to a 4-1 win over St. Louis at the Scottrade Center. Benn scored twice in the first period and again on a power play in the second with Jason Spezza assisting on all three goals. Cody Eakin added a score in the first and Kari Lehtonen recorded 27 saves to give the Stars their fourth win in five contests. Patrik Berglund scored the lone goal for the Blues. Brian Elliott was yanked after just eight-plus minutes after allowing three goals on six shots. Jake Allen made 15 saves in relief as St. Louis saw its three-game winning streak end.

NHL
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Columbus Blue Jackets 5, Philadelphia Flyers 2
Washington Capitals 3, Pittsburgh Penguins 1
New York Islanders 4, Carolina Hurricanes 1
New Jersey Devils 2, Buffalo Sabres 1 (SO)
Florida Panthers 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Nashville Predators 5, San Jose Sharks 1

 width=>>Blackhawks Battle Red Wings

(Detroit, MI) -- The Blackhawks will be back in action tonight against the Red Wings at the United Center. Chicago captured a 2-1 shootout win over Pittsburgh its last time out on Sunday. The 'Hawks have won their last two overall. Tomorrow's game is at 6:30.

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Wichita State Routes Southern Illinois; Illinois Off Until Sunday

 width=Shaquille Morris scored a career-high 17 points to lead No. 13 Wichita State to an 84-62 over Southern Illinois on Tuesday night.

Morris made 7 of his 8 shots for the Shockers (25-3, 14-1 Missouri Valley), who have won five straight.

Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker each scored 13 and Tekele Cotton added 10.

Deion Lavender's 15 points led Southern Illinois (10-18, 3-12). Anthony Beane added 14 points and Jordan Caroline scored 10.

The Shockers led by 13 at the half and used a 9-0 run early in second half to put the game away. They made 10 of 19 3-pointers and had 18 assists on 28 baskets.

Wichita State started quickly in its fourth road game in its last six, hitting its first five shots on the way to an 11-2 lead.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#1 Kentucky Wildcats 66, Tennessee Volunteers 48
#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 88, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 75
#13 Wichita State Shockers 84, Southern Illinois Salukis 62
#17 Oklahoma Sooners 71, Texas Longhorns 69
#20 Baylor Bears 54, Texas Tech Red Raiders 49

 width=>>Illinois Hosts Michigan State Sunday

(Champaign, IL) -- Illinois is off until Sunday when the Fighting Illini host Michigan State. Illinois had its four-game winning streak stopped with a 68-49 loss at fourth-ranked Wisconsin this past Sunday. The Illini are 17-and-9 overall. The Spartans are 18-and-8 after beating Michigan last night.

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HSBB: Monticello Holds On For Win Over St. Thomas More

St. Thomas More made a late charge after trailing by eight, but could not overcome a sharp shooting attack by the Monticello Sages, as Monticello took down the Sabres 63-60.

The Sages were on point from long distance as they shot 48 percent from three, draining 10 of 21 attempts and shot 40 percent from the floor.

 width=Noah Freemon paced the Sages with 23 points and Zach Fisher chipped in with 21.

Clay Becker snatched eight boards in 18 minutes and Isiah Florey added six points and seven rebounds off the bench.

Doug Wallen led the 11-14 Sabres with 16 points and David Horn added 15 points. St. Thomas More drops to 4-5 in the Okaw Valley Conference.

Monticello, who moves to 17-5 overall and 7-2 in the Okaw Valley Conference, has now won three straight after dropping two straight earlier this month.

The Sages finish off their regular season Friday night at home taking on St. Joseph Ogden.

Kincaid South Fork 42
Macon Meridian 78

Decatur St. Teresa 49
Mt. Zion 52

Tuscola 53
Neoga 44

St. Elmo 39
Shelbyville 54

Stewardson-Strasburg 38
Sullivan 52

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HSGBB: Lady Sages End Season At Sectionals

The St. Thomas More Lady Sabres used a 13-0 second quarter run to overcome a slow start as they raced paced Monticello 55-41 in Class 2A Sectional action from Hoopeston.

Despite leading 28-26 at the break, the Lady Sages could not overcome the Lady Sabres, who qualified for the state tournament last year.

 width=Marissa McPike led the Lady Sages with 15 points and Janessa Pankey added 10 for Monticello, who has claimed regional titles in consecutive seasons.

STM was led by Lexi Wallen with 19 pts. Elizabeth Bristow added 14.

St. Thomas More will take on Bloomington Central Catholic Thursday for the Sectional title.

Girls Class 1A Sectional scores from Tuesday:

At Effingham St. Anthony

Central A & M 53
Effingham St. Anthony 34

At Iroquois West

Lexington 51
Iroquois West 52

LeRoy 25
Cissna Park 49

At Brown County

Illini Central 23
Abingdon-Avon 36

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-18

Jail Population: 44

Paper Services: 2

Warrants: 1

Jessica Crowe, 36, Farmer City was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Battery/ Makes Physical Contact/ Failure to Appear. Crowe posted the necessary bond and was released.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

Jail Population: 47

Paper Services: 3

Warrants: 0

Dianna Gulley, 57, Clinton was issued a Citation for Speeding 101 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone. Gulley was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Kevin Quisen Berry, 24, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Quisen Berry was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Sergio Gloria, 44, Bloomington was issued a Citation for Speeding 74 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Gloria was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Codilee Snow, 22, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Snow was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Dorothy Porzelius, 59, Gridley was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Porzelius was issued a promise to comply and was released.

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Education, Pension System Winners In Proposed Budget

Governor Bruce Rauner's Budget Address Wednesday afternoon sent a message the Governor is serious about reforms and bringing Illinois back.

Gov. Rauner says pension reform must be the top priority in reforms. He says government cannot continue to tax Illinoisans to fund retirement benefits for a small fraction of the population. He calls it unfair and unsustainable.

[audio:2191513532-21915budgetaddress1.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor addressed local government as well. He says while the state tightens it's belt, local governments must do the same. He explains their budgets have increased 42% over the past decade.

[audio:2191513537-21915budgetaddress2.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor briefly touched on Medicaid reforms saying they are going to bring back the SMART Act and other measures that were done away not long ago.

[audio:2191513539-21915budgetaddress3.mp3] [/audio]

As hinted at in recent speeches, the Governor is proposing big changes to education. Gov. Rauner wants to increase funding to early-childhood education and increase K-12 education by $300-million.

[audio:2191513543-21915budgetaddress4.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor also introduced reforms to freeze property taxes, end what he calls corrupt bargains and conflicts of interest, and to give the people of Illinois a choice on term limits.

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Clinton Police Weekend Report

ON 02/14/15 CLINTON POLICE ARRESTED BRANDON R. HIERONYMUS 23, CLINTON FOR THEFT, DRIVING WHILE LICENSE SUSPENDED, POSSESSION OF CANNABIS, AND POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA. HIERONYMUS 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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Warner Public Library Hosting 'After Hours' Wednesday

The interior of the Warner Public Library has undergone some changes that their patrons are likely to find more convenient.

Sections of books and movies being moved along with added furnishings are just a few of the changes regular visitors of the library may notice. Librarian Janet Ward explains they've moved the periodicals and movies to the main floor.

[audio:21715librarychange1.mp3] [/audio]

Patrons who may be looking to spend substantial time reading or working in the library will find more comfortable seating options. Ward and fellow Librarian Bobbi Perry fell adding comfortable furniture to their main level will provide their patrons a more inviting atmosphere.

[audio:21715librarychange2.mp3] [/audio]

Patrons, business leaders and community members are encouraged to stop in tomorrow afternoon to check out all the changes. The Clinton Chamber's 'After Hours' event will be coming to the library and Executive Director of the Chamber, Marian Brisard, says there will be giveaways and for those who haven't yet seen the changes, they can do a brief walk through and see all the new additions and changes.

[audio:21715librarychange3.mp3] [/audio]

The 'After Hours' goes from 5-6:30 pm and is open to the public.

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Social Security Reminds You To Register Name Changes With Them

Among the organizations that should be notified in the event of a name change, Social Security hopes to be toward the top of the list.

Most individuals will provide name-change information to their employers after an event such as marriage, but will neglect the Social Security office. Jack Myers, with Social Security, explains their office needs documents that will provide proof of the change. They will also need to see proof of ID.

[audio:21715namechange1.mp3] [/audio]

Another important reason to inform Social Security of a name-change is due to tax purposed. The name on one's W-2 needs to match what Social Security has in order to receive all benefits. Not reporting a name change may also involve trouble with the IRS and DMV later on as well.

[audio:21715namechange2.mp3] [/audio]

Any event besides marriage that also produces a name change should be reported to Social Security also.

For more information regarding any Social Security topic, Myers encourages you to visit www.socialsecurity.gov.

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Rauner Grapples with Budget Issues

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner faces an unprecedented fiscal crisis as he prepares to present his state budget on Wednesday.

He's required by law to develop a plan based on currently available funds. But the recent expiration of the state's temporary income tax increase means a multi-billion dollar drop in revenue for the remainder of this fiscal year and next year.

The Republican says he doesn't want to raise income taxes, setting the stage for spending cuts and a battle with Democrats, who control the Legislature and support an increase.

Rauner's administration has been tight-lipped about his plan. But he hinted in his State of the State address, and at recent stops around Illinois, that his proposal may include higher-education cuts, consolidating units of government and increasing early childhood education fundin

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Police Arrest Tenant Following Fire at Bloomington Apartment

A 56-year-old Bloomington woman has been arrested following an apartment fire that injured two people on the city's west side.

Firefighters responded to a report of a blaze at the three-story building early Sunday. The fire was confined to a living room in one of the units and was extinguished in about 10 minutes.

According to authorities, at least six of the people who live in the building were home during the fire and were able to escape. They say two people were taken to a hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening.

Officials say a woman who lives in the building was arrested several hours later on aggravated and residential arson charges.

An investigation into the cause of the fire is ongoing.

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Illinois' Plan to Join Voter Registry Raises Questions

Illinois' plan to join a national voter registration database is raising questions about potential security issues.

The state will become part of the Electronic Registration Information Center program in 2016 under a plan former Gov. Pat Quinn signed. It's part of a law allowing Election Day voter registration.

Roughly a dozen states use the program known as ERIC to make registration more cost efficient and clean rolls.

Officials in Maryland, Washington and Utah say they haven't had problems and the system works well. ERIC officials say they follow "above normal" security protocols.

However, experts are raising concerns about security breaches.

Tom Imboden is a Southern Illinois University professor of information systems technologies. He questions what consequences will be if the program is hacked.

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Richland Offers Showcase Tours for Prospective Students

Richland Community College will be featuring several student and faculty based tours for their spring semester.

The College is looking to showcase the various programs offered through interactive tours and presentations. Janean Garrett, Admissions Specialist with Richland, explains the tours will begin this week with the history department illustrating the various career goals that can be achieved in this field of study.

[audio:21315rcctours1.mp3] [/audio]

Richland usually holds several open houses throughout the year, yet Garrett stresses the showcase tours have a different tone. Faculty will usually run mock classrooms in order to give potential students the full experience. Garrett also notes the low student/faculty ratio that gives Richland a more personal feel.

[audio:21315rcctours2.mp3] [/audio]

Many community colleges feature transfer programs that continue on to larger universities. Garrett says the tours will have discussions of the many majors that are transferable. She notes there are also some career-based programs that don't transfer as well.

[audio:21315rcctours3.mp3] [/audio]

One popular program that will also feature its own tour in Richland's Culinary school with a hands-on showcase on February 25th.

For more information on all tour dates, you can visit www.richland.edu/tour.

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CCEF Provides New Scholarships for Vocational Interests

As high school seniors begin to determine the college of their choice, now is the time to think about funding for school.

Many local organizations offer financial assistance to college students through various scholarships and one of these local groups is the Clinton Community Educational Foundation. Claudine Wargel, with CCEF, explains they are offering their annual scholarship along with a new one dedicated to helping those in technical or vocational schools.

[audio:21615ccefschol1.mp3] [/audio]

The CCEF has been offering scholarships for a number of years available to students will all types of interests. Yet, Wargel notes they haven't seen any interest from those going to community colleges or technical schools. The new scholarship will hopefully attract those wanting to enter vocational education according to Wargel.

[audio:21615ccefschol2.mp3] [/audio]

The scholarship will be in the amount of $2500 and may be given out to more than one student depending on their applications. Wargel explains the CCEF hopes this will encourage the students to work hard through their college careers.

[audio:21615ccefschol3.mp3] [/audio]

Applications for the scholarships can be obtained in the guidance office of Clinton High School. More information can also be found at clintonedfoundation.org.

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Local Leaders Respond To Rep. Mitchell's Exelon Efforts

Friday morning, Rep. Bill Mitchell started a petition to not only allow the Clinton and DeWitt County community to show support for it's largest employer, but to show lawmakers the support behind it.

Local leaders on hand unanimously stated their support for the Clinton Exelon Nuclear Power Station. According to County Board Chair David Newberg, a potential loss of the power station would put the County into devastating circumstances.

[audio:21615localexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

Ruth Stauffer is the Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council. She says it's not about Exelon getting an edge on their competition, but rather bringing balance to the playing field so they can fairly compete.

[audio:21615localexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

The biggest benefactor of the power station's presence in the community is the Clinton school district. According to Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes, if the power plant was to leave, they would have to cut back very popular and successful programs, and have serious discussions about raising taxes to make up for the shortfall in their budget.

[audio:21615localexelon3.mp3] [/audio]

In recent years, the district and Exelon have been unable to come to an agreement on the assessed value of the power plant, despite that, Dr. Holmes says having the power plant in the community is better than no power plant. He says it is not option to have the power plant close and is always going to support keeping it open.

To sign the petition that Rep. Mitchell has started, you can visit a number of local establishments, including the DeWitt County Development Council in Warner Court in Clinton. You can also stop by the Chamber of Commerce in Clinton.

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Northwestern beats Iowa 66-61 in OT, snaps 10-game slide

Bryant McIntosh scored 18 points and Northwestern ended a 10-game losing streak with a 66-61 overtime victory over Iowa after the Hawkeyes' Jarrod Uthoff nailed a 3 at the end of regulation on Sunday afternoon.

Tre Demps scored 16 and Alex Olah had 11 points, 13 rebounds and five blocks for the Wildcats (11-14, 2-10).

Uthoff, who scored a career-high 25 points for Iowa (15-10, 6-6 Big Ten), nailed an off-balance 3 from the wing at the end of regulation even though Vic Law was all over him. But the Wildcats scored seven straight in overtime, ending their longest slide since they dropped 12 in a row in the 1999-2000 season

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Grady leads Cleveland State past Illinois-Chicago 67-59

Anton Grady matched a career-high with six blocks, and added nine points with 13 rebounds to help Cleveland State beat Illinois-Chicago 67-59 on Sunday.

Cleveland State (16-11, 10-3 Horizon League) bounced back after a one-point loss at Detroit on Friday night to remain in second place in the league, a game back of Valparaiso (24-4, 11-2).

Trey Lewis scored 18 points and Marlin Mason added 11, and Charlie Lee dished out eight assists for Cleveland State.

Ahman Fells drained three consecutive 3-pointers to pull the Flames within 60-56 with 2:22 remaining. Cleveland State answered with a pair of Lee free throws and a Mason dunk to give the Vikings an eight-point lead with 1:33 to play, and the Flames then missed six of their last seven field goals.

Fells scored 17 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Paris Burns finished with 17 points and five assists for Illinois-Chicago (7-20, 3-9).

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SUNDAY'S SCOREBOARD

NBA
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Western Conference 163, Eastern Conference 158
NBA All-Star Game (at New York, NY)

NHL
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Chicago Blackhawks 2, Pittsburgh Penguins 1 (SO)
St. Louis Blues 2, Florida Panthers 1 (SO)
Philadelphia Flyers 2, Buffalo Sabres 1
Washington Capitals 5, Anaheim Ducks 3
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, San Jose Sharks 2

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
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#4 Wisconsin Badgers 68, Illinois Fighting Illini 49
#7 Arizona Wildcats 86, Washington State Cougars 59
#10 Utah Utes 76, California Golden Bears 61
#12 Northern Iowa Panthers 68, Missouri State Bears 57

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Redbirds Go 1-2 In Weekend Series At Arkansas State

The Illinois State baseball team's game at Arkansas State scheduled for Sunday afternoon was canceled due to expected low temperatures.

Sunday's forecast in Jonesboro called for a high of 24 degrees and a low of 21 degrees.

The Redbirds won the first game of the series Friday night, 3-0, as Will Headean and Steve Heilenbach combined on a two-hit shutout.

The Redbirds then dropped both games of a doubleheader against host Arkansas State at Kell Field Saturday afternoon. The Red Wolves won by scores of 13-4 and 11-5.

Paul DeJong homered in both games for the Redbirds while Mason Snyder homered in the opener. Daniel Dwyer tallied two hits apiece in both of Saturday's contests.

The Redbirds are in Cape Girardeau, MO next weekend for a three game set with Southest Missouri State.

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Illini Baseball Trounces Lamar

Junior Tyler Jay dazzled in his first career start and the offense dominated the day with 19 hits in a 9-3 win over Lamar as Illinois swept its opening weekend at the Lamar Cardinal Classic to begin their season 4-0.

Illinois backed Jay with eight runs over the first four innings. Second basemen Reid Roper and third basemen Ryne Roper collected three hits apiece. Reid collected three RBIs and two runs scored. Adam Walton, Ryan Nagle, Casey Fletcher, David Kerian and Pat McInerney each had a pair of hits.

Illinois hit .357 and outscored its opponents 26-7 on the weekend. The Illini pitching staff posted a 1.46 ERA with a .130 opposing average.

Four Illini starting pitchers, Drasen Johnson, Rob McDonnell, John Kravetz and Jay, combined for a 0.34 ERA over 26.1 innings pitched with 25 strikeouts and only eight hits and three walks. Their only run allowed was a solo home run in the third game.

Illinois will be back in action next weekend in Fort Myers, Fla., with two games against Florida Gulf Coast and one against Fordham.

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Governor Bruce Rauner is Putting Together a Commission to Reform the States Criminal Justice System

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS THE GROUP WILL BE MADE UP OF LEGISLATORS, CORRECTIONS OFFICIALS, VICTIMS RIGHTS GROUPS, LAW ENFORCEMENT AND OTHERS. HE’S ASKING THEM TO COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS FOR IMPROVING THE SYSTEM FROM THE FIRST ARREST TO INTEGRATING AN OFFENDER BACK INTO SOCIETY.

[audio:crim1.mp3] [/audio]

RAUNER SAYS STATE PRISONS ARE VERY OVERCROWDED AND ABOUT HALF OF THOSE WHO SERVE TIME END UP COMMITTING ADDITIONAL CRIMES.

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HE WANTS THE GROUP TO LOOK OVERHAULING THE SYSTEM STARTING WITH THE INITIAL ARREST…TO WHEN AN OFFENDER IS RELEASED FROM PRISON AND INTEGRATED INTO SOCIETY. WITH STATE PRISONS SEVERELY OVERCROWDED AND THE RECIDIVISM RATE AT 50 PERCENT…HE SAYS SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE.

[audio:crim2.mp3] [/audio]

THE COMMISSION WILL BE MADE UP OF LEGISLATORS, LAW ENFORCEMENT, VICTIMS ADVOCATES, CORRECTIONS STAFF AND OTHERS. RAUNER IS GIVING THE GROUP UNT

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Attorney General Madigan & Others are Asking Oil Companies to Help Stop the Sale of Synthetic Drugs

SYNTHETIC DRUGS…ALSO KNOWN AS BATH SALTS, ARE ILLEGAL IN ILLINOIS…BUT INVESTIGATORS ARE STILL FINDING GAS STATIONS AND CONVENIENCE STORES SELLING THEM SAYS MADIGAN SPOKESPERSON NATALIE BAUER.

[audio:syn1.mp3] [/audio]

MADIGAN AND ATTORNEYS GENERAL IN 41 OTHERS STATES SENT A LETTER TO COMPANIES LIKE EXXON, SHELL AND CITGO, URGING THEM TO WORK WITH THEIR FRANCHISES SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE LAW AND REPORT THE SALE OF ANY SYNTHETIC DRUGS.

MADIGAN AND 41 OTHER ATTORNEYS GENERAL HAVE SENT A LETTER TO COMPANIES LIKE SHELL AND EXXON…URGING THEM WORK WITH THEIR FRANCHISES ON THE ISSUE. MADIGAN SPOKESPERSON NATALIE BAUER SAYS THE SALE OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS LIKE BATH SALTS IS ILLEGAL…BUT IT’S STILL HAPPENING IN SOME STORES.

[audio:syn2.mp3] [/audio]

THE LETTER URGES THE OIL COMPANIES TO MAKE SURE FRANCHISE EMPLOYEES UNDERSTAND THE LAW…AND APPOINT A SPECIFIC PERSON IN THEIR CORPORATE OFFICE SHOULD RETAILERS HAVE ANY QUESTIONS.

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The States Foid Mental Health Reporting System Has Received Thousands of Reports in the First Year

 

 

THE CONCEALED CARRY LAW REQUIRES CLINICIANS AND OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO REGISTER WITH THE STATE SYSTEM…AND REPORT PATIENTS WHO ARE A DANGER TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS SAYS ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES SPOKESPERSON VERONICA VERA.

[audio:dhsfoid1.mp3] [/audio]

SO FAR…NEARLY 1300 CLINICIANS HAVE REGISTERED IN THE PROGRAM…AND REPORTED MORE THAN FOUR THOUSAND CASES. HOSPITALS AND MENTAL HEALTH FACILITIES REPORTED ANOTHER 138 THOUSAND TO THE FOID SYSTEM.

THE STATE’S CONCEALED CARRY LAW REQUIRES MENTAL HEALTH CLINICIANS AND OTHER HEALTH PROFESSIONALS TO REPORT TO AN ONLINE DATABASE WHEN A PATIENT PRESENTS A DANGER TO THEMSELVES OR OTHERS. ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES SPOKESPERSON VERONICA VERA SAYS THE DATABASE IS THEN ACCESSED BY THE STATE POLICE IN DETERMINING WHETHER OR NOT TO ISSUE A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT.

[audio:dhsfoid2.mp3] [/audio]

IN THE FIRST YEAR…CLINICIANS, HOSPITALS AND OTHER MENTAL HEALTH TREATMENTS CENTERS HAVE REPORTED NEARLY 143 THOUSAND CASES TO THE DATABA

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Governor Bruce Rauner Is Signing an Executive Order That Lets Government Workers Opt Out Of Paying Union Dues

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HE’S HEARD TOO MANY STORIES FROM STATE WORKERS WHO WERE FORCED TO JOIN A UNION AND SUBSEQUENTLY HAVE DUES DEDUCTED FROM THEIR PAYCHECK.

[audio:fairshare1.mp3]comment here[/audio]

RAUNER SAYS HE’S ASKED FORMER U-S ATTORNEY DAN WEBB AND HIS LAW FIRM, WINSTON AND STRAWN TO PURSUE THE ISSUE THROUGH THE COURTS AS WELL.

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS STATE WORKERS SHOULD NOT BE FORCED TO JOIN A UNION AND THEN HAVE HEAVY DUES DEDUCTED FROM THEIR PAYCHECK.

[audio:fairshare2.mp3]comment here[/audio]

RAUNER SAYS THEY ARE WORKING PRO BONO ON THE ISSUE.

 

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The Illinois Department of Revenue Has Begun Processing Individual Income Tax Returns

REVENUE SPOKESPERSON TERRY HORSTMAN SAYS THEY TOOK A LITTLE EXTRA TIME THIS YEAR, SAFEGUARDING THE STATE’S SYSTEM TO PREVENT FRAUD. HE SAYS THEY ARE NOW PROCESSING RETURNS FILED THROUGH TAX PREPARERS AND TAX SOFTWARE, AND WILL SOON START ACCEPTING RETURNS FILED VIA THEIR OWN FREE FILING SYSTEM.

[audio:processing1.mp3] [/audio]

LAST YEAR, MORE THAN 80 PERCENT OF TAXPAYERS FILED THEIR RETURNS ELECTRONICALLY. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT REVENUE’S WEBSITE AT: TAX DOT ILLINOIS DOT GOV.

AFTER IMPLEMENTING EXTRA SAFEGUARDS…TAX SEASON IS NOW UNDERWAY AT THE AGENCY. HORSTMAN SAYS THEY ARE ENCOURAGING TAXPAYERS TO FILE ELECTRONICALLY, BUT FIRST WANTED TO MAKE SURE IT WAS SAFE TO DO SO.

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THE STATE IS ALREADY PROCESSING RETURNS FILED BY TAX PREPARERS AND THRU TAX SOFTWARE, AND WILL SOON BEGIN ACCEPTING RETURNS THROUGH IT'S OWN FREE FILING SYSTEM.

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Monticello Uses Huge Second Half To Get By Maroa-Forsyth

The Monticello Sages outscored Maroa-Forsyth by 20 points in the second half en-route to a 68-52 win Friday night in Maroa.

 width=After trailing by as many as 11 in the first half, Monticello mounted a 21-0 run that spanned the midway point of the second quarter to the midway point of the third. The run turned the 11-point deficit into a 40-30 lead, and from there it was all Sages.

Noah Freemon poured in a game high 24 points and shot 7 of 10 from the floor and the free throw line.

Zach Fisher added 21 points with six rebounds.

Blake Bryan led the way with 16 points and nine rebounds and Parker Barrett added 16 points for the Trojans. Austin Mandrell added nine points.

With the loss, Maroa-Forsyth remains winless in Okaw Valley Conference play at 0-8 and are 4-20 overall.

The Sages improve to 16-5 and move to 6-2 in Okaw play.

Monticello hosts Champaign St. Thomas More Tuesday night at 7:30.

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Lawmakers Trying To Purge Red Light Cameras

Some Illinois lawmakers try to put a stop to red-light cameras.

Critics in the General Assembly dismiss the cameras as dishonest and unhelpful to driver safety. One Illinois House proposal would slap a moratorium on red light cams in Chicago, another would seek a statewide ban.

Seven other states have made similar moves.

Supporters continue to say the red light cameras continue to make intersections safer.

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Driver's Licenses May Not Be Flyer Friendly Starting Next Year

As if flying today didn't bring enough headaches, Illinoisans could see the hassle surge at the likes of O'Hare, Midway and even smaller regional airports.

Don't blame the airlines, local officials or TSA though.

Reports find residents may not be able to use driver's licenses as identification to fly starting next year. Because a birth certificate isn't required to obtain a license, Illinois licenses don't comply with a 2005 federal ID law. The Secretary of State's office says it's up to lawmakers to approve 100 to 150 million dollars in funding to make that change.

In 2016, Homeland Security officials could force Illinoisans to use a passport or military ID.

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DeWitt County Friendship Center Eyeing Acquired Property For Parking, Green Space

The DeWitt County Friendship Center has acquired a small parcel of land to their south and they are hoping by this summer, that area could be green space and additional parking.

According to Executive Director Sissy Leggett, their parking lot is very small and they are in great need of additional parking. She explains thanks to the acquisition of property behind their building, additional parking and even green space could be a reality by as soon as this summer.

[audio:21315friendshippark1.mp3] [/audio]

A grant opportunity is what Leggett and Friendship Center leaders are hoping can carry the weight of the cost for such a project. Leggett explains local leaders are aiding them applying for the grant.

[audio:21315friendshippark2.mp3] [/audio]

Without the grant opportunity from the State of Illinois, the Friendship Center may not be able to see their dream of the property behind them. According to Leggett, the Center does not receive any state or federal funding and only receives limited support through donations. She says fundraisers are the biggest source of revenues that allow them to keep their doors open.

[audio:21315friendshippark3.mp3] [/audio]

Leggett compares the dream of transforming their adjacent property into parking and green space to their kitchen project and points out, the cost for each is very similar, which is why the grant opportunity becomes even more important.

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NCAA To Investigate Further Technology Use

 width=Technological advances are at the forefront of proposals being considered by the NCAA Rules Committee for the 2015 college football season.

According to a release from the NCAA, the committee will consider how the use of various technologies would impact the sport. They include the use of tablets and computers by coaches, allowing players to wear helmets with cameras and wireless communication
from a coach to a player.

After several conferences proposed experimenting with the technologies, the rules committee formed a subcommittee to further explore them.

Troy Calhoun, the Air Force football coach and chair of the committee says the committee wants to incorporate the modern forms of technology and innovation that will advance the quality of instruction for the game.

All football rules recommendation will be discussed by the NCAA Playing Rules Oversight Panel on March 5.

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Pebble Beach Pro-Am Day 1 Recap

 width=Four days after losing a playoff, J.B. Holmes fired the best first-round score of his career
on Thursday to share the lead with Justin Hicks at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

A lineup of familiar faces was stacked up behind them after a warm, sunny day on the California coast.

Jim Furyk and Brandt Snedeker you might expect.

Then there was 48-year-old John Daly, playing without status on tour and making a rare appearance near the top of the leaderboard.

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MLB Notes

>>Astros Ink Hernandez To Minor League Deal

(Houston, TX) -- The Houston Astros are adding veteran pitcher Roberto Hernandez to the mix. They have signed the 34-year-old to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. Hernandez went a combined 8-and-11 with a 4.10 ERA in 32 games last season between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers.  width=Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, Hernandez was a 19-game winner with Cleveland in 2007 and was an American League All-Star with the Indians in 2010. He owns a career mark of 67-and-93 with a 4.60 ERA in nine big league seasons with the Indians, Tampa Bay Rays, Phillies and Dodgers.

>>Royals Agree To Terms With Fireball Reliever

Reliever Kelvin Herrera, a key part of the Kansas City Royals' surprising run to the 2014
World Series, agreed to a two-year contract with the reigning American League champions on Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed, though the Kansas City Star reported the deal, which will cover Herrera's first two arbitration years, will be worth $4.15 million.

Herrera is coming off a breakthrough 2014 campaign as the seventh-inning man in what was the most dominant bullpen in the majors. The hard-throwing right- hander posted a stellar 1.41 ERA over 70 appearances, did not allow a home run in 70 innings pitched, and held opposing hitters to a .214 average.

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Rams, NFL Notes

 width=>>Rams Promote Cignetti, Boras

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Rams are promoting from within to fill vacancies on the coaching staff. They have named quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Rob Boras assistant head coach in charge of the offense. Cignetti replaces the departed Brian Schottenheimer and will call plays and lead the coaches through game planning and installments. Boras will continue to coach the tight ends, but will also oversee the entire offense with an emphasis on the running game. Schottenheimer left the Rams after the season to become offensive coordinator at the University of Georgia.

>>Vikings' Warren: We Would Welcome Peterson Back

(Minneapolis, MN) -- New Minnesota Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren says he would welcome back suspended running back Adrian Peterson once he's reinstated by the NFL. Warren was promoted from general counsel on Thursday and said he feels the same as team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf, GM Rick Spielman [[ SPEEL-min ]] and head coach Mike Zimmer, who previously expressed the same sentiment. ESPN's Adam Schefter reported last November that Peterson felt Warren was someone in the organization who didn't support him after his child-abuse case.

The NFL suspended Peterson until at least April 15th after he pleaded no contest to charges stemming from disciplining his four-year-old son with a tree branch last May. Peterson's appeal was denied by the league and the Players Association sued the NFL on his behalf seeking his immediate reinstatement. The 29-year-old played just one game last year. Peterson was drafted by Minnesota in 2007.

>>Anti-Bully Activists Unhappy With Incognito Signing

(Buffalo, NY) -- A group of anti-bullying activists in Buffalo is less than thrilled that the Bills signed embattled offensive lineman Richie Incognito. The "Buffalo News" reports local advocates are calling it a "slap to the face" that the guard is getting an opportunity to play again with the Bills. The 31-year-old has played nine NFL seasons, but did not suit up at all last year following a bullying scandal that engulfed the Miami Dolphins organization. Incognito was suspended the final eight games of the 2013 season for his role. He was free to sign with any team last season, but failed to catch on with any of the 32 clubs.

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Blues Double Up Lightning; Blackhawks Host Devils

 width=Alexander Steen tallied a goal and two assists as the Blues doubled up the Lightning 6-3 at Amalie Arena. David Backes [[ BACK-es ]] and T.J. Oshie both had a goal and a helper, while Dmitrij Jaskin [[ dih-MEE-tree YASH-kin ]], Paul Stastny [[ STAZ-nee ]] and Vladimir Tarasenko [[ tare-uh-SANK-oh ]] also lit the lamp for St. Louis, which has won two in-a-row and nine of its last 11 overall. Brian Elliott made 26 saves in the victory. Tyler Johnson, Brett Connolly and Steven Stamkos scored for the Bolts, who have dropped three of four. Ben Bishop allowed five goals in the first two periods for the loss.

NHL
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New York Islanders 3, Toronto Maple Leafs 2
Anaheim Ducks 2, Carolina Hurricanes 1
Edmonton Oilers 4, Montreal Canadiens 3 (OT)
Pittsburgh Penguins 5, Ottawa Senators 4 (SO)
Nashville Predators 3, Winnipeg Jets 1
Minnesota Wild 2, Florida Panthers 1
New York Rangers 6, Colorado Avalanche 3
Los Angeles Kings 5, Calgary Flames 3

 width=>>Blackhawks Resume Homestand Tonight Against Devils

(Chicago, IL) -- The Blackhawks resume their eight-game homestand tonight against the New Jersey Devils at the United Center. Chicago has lost the first two games on the stand following a shootout loss to Arizona on Monday and an overtime setback to Vancouver on Wednesday. The 'Hawks are currently third in the Central Division with 70 points. The Devils have just 51 points.

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Rose Explodes To Lead Bulls Past Cavs; Bulls Head To All-Star Break

 width=Derrick Rose scored 30 points, and the Chicago Bulls handed Cleveland just its second loss in 16 games, beating the Cavaliers 113-98 Thursday night.

Pau Gasol added 18 points and 10 rebounds. Tony Snell scored 22, helping offset a 31-point performance by LeBron James, and Bulls sent another strong signal that their recent struggles might be behind them.

They won their fourth straight after dropping 10 of 15 and entered the All-Star break with a 1 1/2-game lead in the Central division over the Cavaliers.

Chicago led most of the way against the NBA's hottest team and pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Nikola Mirotic will represent the Bulls in tonight's Rising Stars Challenge at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Tomorrow, Elena Delle Donne of the Sky and former Bull Scottie Pippen will play in the Shooting Stars Challenge. Jimmy Butler has dropped out of the Skills Challenge after aggravating his strained right shoulder on Tuesday. He still plans to play limited minutes in Sunday's All-Star Game, with teammate Pau Gasol starting for the Eastern Conference.

>>NBA All-Star Weekend Begins Tonight In NYC

(New York, NY) -- NBA All-Star Weekend is here. The Celebrity Game is tonight at MSG, while the Rising Stars Challenge is tonight at the Barclays Center. The slam dunk and three-point contests highlight the skills competition tomorrow in Brooklyn, with the All-Star Game itself Sunday at The Garden.

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Rice Returns For Illini, Illinois Storms Back To Stun Michigan

Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points and Illinois dominated in overtime Thursday to beat Michigan, 64-52.

The win was the fourth straight for the Illini (17-8, 7-5 Big Ten).

Illinois trailed the Wolverines (13-12, 6-7) much of the night but scored the final seven points of regulation and willed the game to overtime with tough defense.

 width=From there Nunn scored four of Illinois' first six overtime points. The first two gave the Illini their first lead since the first half, 52-50. The second two all but put the game out of reach of the reeling Wolverines, 56-50.

Illinois closed the game on a 21-2 run.

Illinois guard Rayvonte Rice played for the first time since Jan. 3. He had been out with a broken hand and a suspension for a violation of team rules. He scored just 4 points but had a key steal to send the game to overtime.

Before the game, Illinois basketball coach John Groce announced Rice would return from suspension against Michigan, but guard Aaron Cosby will not.

Groce said he was pleased with Rice's progress but added he told Cosby to "take some time away from basketball."

Rice last played for Illinois on Jan. 3 against Ohio State. He broke his hand in practice the following week, but was suspended along with Cosby before the Jan. 31 game against Penn State for unspecified rules violations.

Without Rice Illinois has gone 6-3.

Rice is Illinois' leading scorer with 17.2 points a game.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#2 Gonzaga Bulldogs 80, Loyola Marymount Lions 51
#10 Utah Utes 75, Stanford Cardinal 59
#25 SMU Mustangs 75, Houston Cougars 69

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Local Lawmaker Hopes To Rally Public Around Exelon Power Station

 width=A local lawmaker was in Clinton Friday morning promoting a petition he's starting to hopefully bring stability to one of the areas top employers.

Rep. Bill Mitchell has started a petition to show leaders in Springfield the support the Clinton Nuclear Power Station has in the community. Rep. Mitchell says he's remained in contact with representatives from Exelon and will be meeting with them in the near future.

[audio:21415mitchellexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

The power plant has come under the microscope recently as threats of them closing as they battle trying to keep up with other energy providers and their decreasing costs. According to Rep. Mitchell, he is going to sit down with Exelon leaders and hear what things they are wanting.

[audio:21415mitchellexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Mitchell will be meeting with Exelon leaders next week. He says he remains in contact with supporters of the measure as well, including lawmakers that represent districts with other nuclear power plants.

He hopes to have a proposal brought before the legislature this spring.

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Maroons Fall At Meridian

The Meridian Hawks used a 19-10 advantage in the 4th quarter to storm back and beat the Clinton Maroons 64-57 on Friday night from Meridian High School.

 width=After leading 15-14 after one quarter, the Maroons trailed going to the half 31-26. A 15-4 run to start the third quarter put Clinton up 41-35, but Clinton could not finish as Meridian picked up their offense to close out the Central Illinois Conference victory.

Jacob Overton led the way for the Maroons with 19 points. Peyton McCubbin added 17, all in the first three quarters as he was held scoreless in the final period. Tanner White chipped in with nine points.

For Meridian, three players scored in double-figures. Judah Renfro led the way with 21 points. Drake Baker added 11 and Dalton Collins chipped in with 10.

For the Maroons, they drop to 8-17 overall and 2-4 in the CIC.

Meridian moves to 16-9 and 4-2 in CIC action.

Tune in to 92.3 FM WHOW and dewittdailynews.com next Friday as the Maroons host Sullivan at 7:30 pm for their final game of the regular season.

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Deadline Upcoming For Farm Programs

February 27th is the deadline for landowners to file the first two farm program decisions.

Ag law and policy specialist at the University of Illinois Jonathan Coppess says the time is now short, but fortunately for most corn farmers the decisions should be pretty easy.

Everyone is encouraged to get these decisions made. It is not final program decision, and there is nothing to wait on at this point. Ag leaders say the payment yields is an easy decision. Take the highest yield number.

Base acres is a matter of taking a look at the allocations and deciding what value each crop has under the programs. When talking about Illinois is about how much corn base you start with and how much do you end with. If it increases the corn base, typically that allocation is going to make sense for the farm.

The yield-update and base-acre decisions can be made now. These are due to the Farm Service Agency (FSA) February 27th.

The final farm program decision, the choice between ARC and PLC, is due March 31st.

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Monticello Bracing For Uncertaintity Ahead

Despite having a positive budget in the current fiscal year, the leader of one local community is not holding his breath that will continue.

Earlier this week Monticello Mayor gave a positive outlook for the community's 2015 fiscal year, however, he believes rough times are ahead. With the change in leadership in the Governor's Mansion in Springfield, Mayor Chris Corrie says it is a guarantee everyone will suffer.

[audio:21215corriesuffer1.mp3] [/audio]

The projected recovery time in Illinois is being predicted as short lived, however, the long time Mayor isn't buying in. Mayor Corrie says he's seen this before, he feels it's the same bed but a different pillow.

[audio:21215corriesuffer2.mp3] [/audio]

Despite the long term outlook to the community's finances, Mayor Corrie feels the city is in excellent shape. He explains the Council is dilligent in their analysis of the financial aspects of the city and feels comfortable with the way they have decided to use prosperity in perhaps their last good chance in a while.

[audio:21215corriesuffer3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Corrie points to a project like their 30-acre outdoor recreation facility as a major undertaking that will likely take much longer than originally anticipated. The Mayor says the focus over the coming years for the Council is going to have to shift to only critical projects or improvements.

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Residents Encouraged To Sign Petition Supporting Clinton Nuclear Power Plant

A local lawmaker is hoping to garner up local leaders and residents to support the Exelon Nuclear Clinton Power Station.

Rep. Bill Mitchell has organized a petition to support Exelon and their presence in the community. According to Marian Brisard, Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Rep. Mitchell will be stopping by the DeWitt County Building Friday to rally support from local leaders and citizens around the Exelon Nuclear Power Station.

[audio:21315mitchellexelon1.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard indicates the presence of Exelon in the Clinton community is very important. She explains they provide hundreds of jobs to local residents and the dollars those residents and employees spend in Clinton is vital to the local economy.

[audio:21315mitchellexelon2.mp3] [/audio]

Not only is Exelon a major economic driver to the local economy, but Brisard calls Exelon a "great friend to the chamber". Exelon employees help out in dozens of efforts across the city and the company lends its financial support to many more efforts within the community.

Rep. Mitchell has invited local leaders and residents to the DeWitt County Building at 11 am Friday morning to sign the petition. There are also electronic versions of the petition available through the Clinton Chamber's Facebook page.

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UPDATED: With Loss of Ginger, Lady Maroons Couldn't Rally Back Against Lady Sages

 width=As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com, the Clinton Lady Maroons fell to the Monticello Lady Sages 46-27 Thursday night in Regional final basketball action.

For the Lady Maroons (12-16), Peyton Bieber lead the team 16 points, with Megan Tool chipping in with six points. The Lady Maroons lost Haley Ginger in the middle of the 2nd quarter to an injury, and her absence was felt.

For the Lady Sages (19-6), Layne Buzan lead the game with 22 points. Janessa Pankey and Megan Magsamen each added seven points apiece.

With this loss, the Lady Maroons end their season, but tune in tommorrow night as the Clinton Maroons will travel to take on Meridian. Approximate start time is 7:30 pm.

The Lady Sages move on to sectionals to take on Champaign St. Thomas More next week.

Scores in IHSA Regional Finals Action:

Class 1A:

At Casey-Westfield

Neoga 36
Arcola 52

At Fisher

LeRoy 42
Fisher 21

At Flanagan-Cornell

Roanoke-Benson 37
Flanagan-Cornell 26

At Lexington

Lexington 42
Ridgeview 30

At Mason City (Illini Central)

Lewistown 29
Illini Central 50

At Moweaqua (Central A & M)

Central A & M 49
Nokomis 33

At Princeville

Brimfield 52
Peoria Christian 55

At Bloomington (Central Catholic)

Bloomington Central Catholic 60
Tri-Valley 45

At Macon Meridian

Tuscola 50
Cerro Gordo 46

At Pana (H.S.)

Sullivan 54
Teutopolis 56

At Tolono (Unity)

Champaign St. Thomas More 55
St. Joseph-Ogden 30

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Clinton Police Dept. Makes Arrests In Recent Vehicle Burglaries

The Clinton Police Department dealt with a series of unusual crimes this past weekend.

After a series of vehicle burglaries, the Clinton Police have apprehended a pair of suspects in a rash of crimes. According to Clinton Police Chief Ben Lowers, their night patrol officers caught the thieves in the act this weekend and notes the crimes are unusual given the time of year.

[audio:21215carthefts1.mp3] [/audio]

Anthony F. Collins, 19, Clinton, was arrested for criminal trespass to vehicle, burglary, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and possession of drug paraphernalia. A 17-year juvenile old was also taken into custody and released to corrections pending a court appearance. 

 

 

As with many of the car thefts officers deal with, the Chief points out they were burglaries to unlocked vehicles. Chief Lowers explains more often than not, burglars are after unlocked cars that provide them with easy access.

[audio:21215carthefts2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Lowers points out this weekend was warmer than normal for central Illinois and continues to encourage locking vehicles no matter the time of year.

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Attorney General Leads Charge To Eliminate Synthetic Drugs From Gas Stations

ATTORNEY GENERAL MADIGAN AND HER COUNTERPARTS IN SEVERAL OTHER STATES ARE ASKING OIL COMPANIES TO HELP STOP THE SALE OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS IN THEIR GAS STATIONS.

SYNTHETIC DRUGS…ALSO KNOWN AS BATH SALTS, ARE ILLEGAL IN ILLINOIS…BUT INVESTIGATORS ARE STILL FINDING GAS STATIONS AND CONVENIENCE STORES SELLING THEM SAYS MADIGAN SPOKESPERSON NATALIE BAUER.

[audio:syn1.mp3] [/audio]

MADIGAN AND ATTORNEYS GENERAL IN 41 OTHERS STATES SENT A LETTER TO COMPANIES LIKE EXXON, SHELL AND CITGO, URGING THEM TO WORK WITH THEIR FRANCHISES SO THAT THEY UNDERSTAND THE LAW AND REPORT THE SALE OF ANY SYNTHETIC DRUGS.

[audio:syn2.mp3] [/audio]

THE SALE OF SYNTHETIC DRUGS LIKE BATH SALTS IS ILLEGAL…BUT IT’S STILL HAPPENING IN SOME STORES.

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Pension Case Outcome Could Cost More Than Half-Billion Dollars A Year

If Illinois pension reform law being heard in the state Supreme Court next month is struck down, it will mean even more money being taken away from essential state services, according to one of the chief architects of the measure. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:NEKRITZ.mp3] [/audio]

Attorneys representing the plaintiffs group are expect to respond to the state’s filing next week. The state Supreme Court’s expedited hearing is expected in March.

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Rauner Goes After Fair Share Dues

The Governor is taking another shot at unions inside of government.

On Monday Bruce Rauner is ended the practice of “fair share” union dues. Fair share workers are those who opt out of joining a union but pay fair share dues. Rauner says those workers on average pay $577 a year to the union. Fair share members still benefit from the union, including job protection and labor negotiations.

Rauner says this isn’t about weakling unions, rather giving workers the right to exercise their freedom of choice.

[audio:RAUNERSHARE1.mp3] [/audio]

Rauner isn’t stopping with the order – he will have a team of lawyers mounting a case in federal court to have the US Supreme Court rule on fair share union dues and their constitutionality.

Rauner says that the case will be handled at no cost to taxpayers. The case will be handled by former U.S. Attorney Dan Webb and his Winston & Strawn law firm.

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West Central Illinois Struggling With FutureGen News

Mattoon and Jacksonville have something in common they aren't exactly celebrating.

Like the Eastern Illinois town before it, Jacksonville officials learned last week that federal officials pulled the plug on the proposed clean energy FutureGen plant. Jacksonville Mayor Andy Ezard is still struggling with the news.

[audio:Futuregen1.mp3] [/audio]

Ezard is holding out some hope that officials could put the FutureGen proposal back in play.

[audio:Futuregen2.mp3] [/audio]

FutureGen called for the conversion of a former Ameren plan in Meredosia to clean energy technology.

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Local Historian Focusing Presentations on Ronald Reagan

 width=As we celebrate President's Day this month, one local historian is shedding light on US Presidents with ties to Illinois.

Illinois lays claim to having four Presidents call the state their home at some point but among the four, only Ronald Reagan is distinctive due to being the only one born here. Joe Alexander's new speaking series highlights Reagan's life was full of many ups and downs.

[audio:21015reagan1.mp3] [/audio]

"Ronald Reagan on Adversity" details the struggles the president' dealt with throughout his life. Alexander explains not everyone knows Reagan's childhood was difficult because to his father's alcoholism. The speech also touches on the more well known struggles as well, like the assassination attempt on Reagan's life and his battle with Alzheimer's.

[audio:21015reagan2.mp3] [/audio]

The presentation will also feature words about Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and Barack Obama, who all once called Illinois home.

Alexander has presented in Lincoln and Pontiac so far and will soon be in Forsyth, Springfield and Bloomington. For information on his speaking schedule, you can follow him on Facebook or find him on Twitter @Joe_Speaker.

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Warner Library Digitizing Historic Collection

 width=The Warner Public Library is in the midst of putting their records of from the early 1900s into an electronic format.

Librarian Bobbi Perryman explains they have an extensive collection of World War I letters and explains they are in the midst of taking that collection and turning it into an electronic format. Perryman notes digitization is a big trend right now and they are joining the movement.

[audio:21115archivedigit1.mp3] [/audio]

The library has taken advantage of a grant opportunity through the state library. According to Perryman, the process of digitizing a collection is not only expensive, but time consuming. Thanks to the grant, they can have it done with minimal resources expended.

[audio:21115archivedigit2.mp3] [/audio]

The library will have one of their staff members take the time to put together transcripts of the materials because Perryman says the handwritten materials are very hard to read. She adds, once the process is complete, the whole collection can be accessed anywhere, and they will have it up on the library's website at vwarner.org.

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NCAA Basketball Notes

 width=>>Kentucky Survives LSU

Karl-Anthony Towns posted his fourth double-double of the season and hit a late jumper to help No. 1 Kentucky survive another stiff SEC test.

Towns tallied 12 points and 13 rebounds and the Wildcats overcame a furious second-half rally by host LSU to beat the Tigers, 71-69.

A near-miraculous 21-2 run gave LSU not only life, but a real chance at handing Kentucky its first loss of the season. Keith Hornsby, who scored 17 points, capped the flurry with a pair of layups.

Willie Cauley-Stein scored 15 points and Devin Booker gave 14 for the Wildcats (24-0, 11-0 SEC), who are one win shy of matching the best start in program history.

LSU's dynamic frontcourt played superb on Tuesday despite the loss. Jarell Martin had 21 points and 11 rebounds, and Jordan Mickey scored 16 points with seven rebounds and four blocks.

The Tigers (17-7, 6-5) fell to 1-8 in the last nine matchups against Kentucky.

 width=>>Wisconsin Gets Road Win Over Nebraska

Sam Dekker scored 21 points and No. 5 Wisconsin survived a late push from host Nebraska, edging the Cornhuskers 65-55 to improve to the best start in program history.

Frank Kaminsky and Bronson Koenig netted 13 points apiece for the Badgers (22-2, 10-1 Big Ten), with the National Player of the Year candidate Kaminsky also pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Dekker and Josh Gasser had eight boards apiece.

Wisconsin swept the season series with Nebraska and has won seven straight games overall since a loss at Rutgers on Jan. 15. Kaminsky missed that game with a concussion.

Terran Petteway dropped 21 points and Shavon Shields added 12 for Nebraska (13-11, 5-7), losers in four of five.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#9 Kansas Jayhawks 73, Texas Tech Red Raiders 51
#11 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 60, Clemson Tigers 58
#23 Arkansas Razorbacks 101, Auburn Tigers 87

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Baseball Notes

 width=>>Campana Tears ACL

(Chicago, IL) -- White Sox outfielder Tony Campana has reportedly torn his ACL. According to ESPN.com, Campana suffered the injury while working out in advance of spring training. The 28-year-old Campana was with the team on a minor league deal that included an invite to spring training.

>>Rodriguez Apologizes To Yankees

(Bronx, NY) -- Alex Rodriguez issued an apology to the New York Yankees during a meeting with team brass on Tuesday. According to a joint statement, Rodriguez met with general partner Hal Steinbrenner, team president Randy Levine, general manager Brian Cashman and others at Yankee Stadium. During the meeting, which was initiated by Rodriguez, he apologized to the club for his "actions over the past several years." The 39-year-old Rodriguez is returning this year after being suspended for the entire 2014 season for using performance-enhancing drugs.

>>Report: Marlins Tabbed As 2017 All-Star Host

(Undated) -- Baseball's best players will be on display in Miami in 2017. The "Miami Herald" reports Major League Baseball is expected to tab Marlins Park as the host site for the 2017 All-Star Game. It will be the first Midsummer Classic played in Florida. The Marlins were originally given the All-Star Game in 2000, but due to uncertainty with the franchise it was awarded to the Braves. The Reds are set to host the All-Star Game this season.

>>Tigers Hoping "V-Mart" Ready By Opening Day

(Detroit, MI) -- The Detroit Tigers are hopeful slugger Victor Martinez will be ready for Opening Day after having knee surgery on Tuesday. The 36-year-old designated hitter had a torn left meniscus repaired and is expected to resume full activity in four-to-six weeks. "V-Mart" was hurt during offseason workouts late last month. The American League MVP runner-up signed a four-year, 68-million-dollar contract this offseason to remain with Detroit. In his third season with the Tigers last year, Martinez hit .335 with a career-high 32 home runs as the Tigers captured their fourth consecutive American League Central Division title.

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Rams Future Still Uncertain; NFL Notes

 width=>>Governor Announces Deals That Could Lead To New Rams Stadium

(St. Louis, MO) -- In an effort to keep the Rams in St. Louis, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is unveiling plans that could lead to a new stadium. The city has reached deals with a power company and railroad for a potential site north of the Edward Jones Dome to build a 64-thousand-seat, open-air stadium.

>>NFL Forms Los Angeles Committee

(Los Angeles, CA) -- With the Rams a candidate to relocate back to Southern California, the NFL is forming a committee to focus on the Los Angeles market. The "LA Times" says a memo about the committee was sent to all 32 teams. The Rams, Raiders and Chargers are all on year-to-year stadium leases.

>>Steelers GM: Roethlisberger Contract Talks Have Begun

(Pittsburgh, PA) -- Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert says the team is making it a priority this offseason to sign quarterback Ben Roethlisberger [[ ROTH-liss-ber-ger ]] to a new contract. Colbert tells reporters that there is no timetable, but the Steelers have begun discussions. "Big Ben" is entering the final year of his deal and is due to make 11.6-million-dollars this season. If Pittsburgh were to franchise tag him next season it would cost the Steelers more than 22-million-dollars. Roethlisberger threw for over 67-percent, nearly five-thousand-yards, 32 touchdowns and nine interceptions in his 11th NFL season in 2014.

>>Seahawks GM Focused On Wilson, Lynch Contracts

(Seattle, WA) -- Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider is focused on contracts for quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Marshawn Lynch. He tells 710 ESPN Radio in Seattle that negotiations for a new deal with Wilson are underway and that he's open to discussing an extension with Lynch as well. "Beast Mode" is entering the final year of a four-year contract that will pay him seven-million-dollars in 2015. Schneider says he's not even sure Lynch wants to play next season, noting that his running style is very taxing on the body. He adds that they need to know his plans so they can make decisions going forward.

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Blues Clip Coyotes

 width=Dmitrij Jaskin's [[ dih-MEE-tree YASH-kin ]] second-period goal held up as the Blues clipped the Coyotes 2-1 at Scottrade Center. Alexander Steen scored in the first period for the Blues, who outscored the 'Yotes 14-2 while sweeping the three-game season series. Jake Allen kicked aside 25 shots in the victory. Sam Gagner [[ GAHN-yay ]] tallied the lone goal for Arizona, which has lost three of four. Mike Smith allowed two goals on 36 shots in defeat.

NHL
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Dallas Stars 5, Boston Bruins 3
Ottawa Senators 2, Buffalo Sabres 1
New York Islanders 3, Edmonton Oilers 2
New York Rangers 5, Toronto Maple Leafs 4
Montreal Canadiens 2, Philadelphia Flyers 1 (OT)
 width=Florida Panthers 6, Anaheim Ducks 2
Nashville Predators 3, Tampa Bay Lightning 2 (OT)
Winnipeg Jets 2, Minnesota Wild 1 (OT)

>>Blackhawks Host Canucks

(Chicago, IL) -- The Blackhawks will clash with the Canucks at the United Center tonight. Chicago suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Coyotes its last time out on Monday. The 'Hawks have dropped three of their last five overall. The puck drops at 7:00.

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Bulls Dominate Kings

 width=Tony Snell hit 9-of-11 shots on his way to a career-high 24 points helping the Bulls crush the Kings, 104-86, at the United Center. Pau Gasol had a double-double with 26 points and 16 rebounds, while Derrick Rose chipped in 23 points with seven assists. Chicago has answered a three-game losing streak with two consecutive wins. DeMarcus Cousins shot 5-of-15 from the field, but still finished with 15 points, eight boards and eight helpers. Rudy Gay had a team-high 24 points for the Kings, who have lost four of five.

NBA
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Detroit Pistons 106, Charlotte Hornets 78
Houston Rockets 127, Phoenix Suns 118
Memphis Grizzlies 95, Brooklyn Nets 86
Denver Nuggets 106, Los Angeles Lakers 96

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Sages Top Tolono Unity In Okaw Action Tuesday

Zach Fisher and Noah Freemon exploded in the second half Tuesday night and the Monticello Sages went for 48 second half points en route to a 72-62 victory of Tolono Unityfrom the Rocket Center.

The Rockets held the two dynamic Sages guards to a combined seven points in the first half, maintaining a 25-23 advantage, but could not hold them down for 32 minutes.

 width=Fisher scored 16 points in the second half and Freemon added 15 and Monticello used a huge second half to down archrival Tolono-Unity.

Fisher finished with 20 and Freemond with 18. Isiah Florey finished a rebound short of a double-double with 17 points and nine boards.

For the Sages, they improve to 16-4 overall and 5-2 in the Okaw Valley. Unity drops to 14-7 and just 2-5 in league play.

Monticello hits the road Friday night to take on Maroa-Forsyth at 7:30 pm.

Tuesday boys basketball scores:

Warrensburg-Latham 59
Clinton 35

Shelbyville 47
Sullivan 60

Decatur St. Teresa 64
Tuscola 26

Meridian 60
Central A&M 57

Sangamon Valley 83
Cerro Gordo-Bement 76

LSA 66
Argenta-Oreana 46

Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond 60
Okaw Valley 37

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Lady Maroons, Lady Sages Route in Regionals, To Meet For Regional Title

 width=>>Lady Maroons Route Maroa-Forsyth In Regional Action

As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans 61-38 Tuesday night in Regional basketball action.

After a first quarter bucket by Maroa-Forsyth, an early nine point lead was trimmed to 11-7 by the Lady Trojans, but the Lady Maroons defense was in lockdown mode the rest of the half, limiting Maroa-Forsyth to just 5 points the rest of the quarter and shut out the Lady Trojans for the first seven minutes of the second quarter stretching their halftime lead to 33-17.

For the Lady Maroons (12-15), Megan Tool scored a game high with 22 points. Haley Ginger added 13 and Peyton Bieber chipped in with 10 points.

For the Lady Trojans, they were playing without leading scorer Brenna Finck, who tore her ACL last week. In her absence, Tori Weis and Caroline Beckman had seven points apiece, with Payton Hoffman added five points.

With this win, the Lady Maroons will meet the Monticello Lady Sages in the Regional Championship on Thursday night at around 7 pm. We will have the action on 92.3 FM WHOW and streaming live on dewittdailynews.com.

 width=>>Lady Maroons Dominate Warrensburg-Latham in Regional Action

Layne Buzan scored 22 points and the Monticello Lady Sages defense was lights out against the Warrensburg-Latham Lady Cardinals Tuesday night as Monticello routed W-L 55-17.

The Lady Sages defense was so suffocating Warrensburg-Latham never scored in double-figures in any quarter, and the Lady Sages move on to take on the Clinton Lady Maroons in a terrific Regional final matchup Thursday night from Maroa-Forsyth High School at 7pm.

Hear the action on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Girls Class 1A Regional scores:

Arcola 51
Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond) 48

LeRoy 77
Blue Ridge 19

Fisher 59
Urbana (University) 23

Lewistown 62
Mt. Pulaski 14

Illini Central 32
Springfield Lutheran 30

Class 2A Regional scores:

Bloomington Central Catholic 41
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley 32

Tri-Valley 51
Heyworth 32

Tuscola 51
Meridian 31

Cerro Gordo 56
Decatur St. Teresa 50

Sullivan 66
Shelbyville 24

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Governor Rauner Signs Executive Order To Stop Paying Fair Share Dues

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER IS SIGNING AN EXECUTIVE ORDER THAT LETS GOVERNMENT WORKERS OPT OUT OF PAYING UNION DUES.

GOVERNOR RAUNER SAYS HE’S HEARD TOO MANY STORIES FROM STATE WORKERS WHO WERE FORCED TO JOIN A UNION AND SUBSEQUENTLY HAVE DUES DEDUCTED FROM THEIR PAYCHECK.

[audio:fairshare1.mp3] [/audio]

RAUNER SAYS HE’S ASKED FORMER U-S ATTORNEY DAN WEBB AND HIS LAW FIRM, WINSTON AND STRAWN TO PURSUE THE ISSUE THROUGH THE COURTS AS WELL.

[audio:fairshare2.mp3] [/audio]

HE SAYS THEY ARE WORKING PRO BONO ON THE ISSUE.

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Rauner Seeking Broad Authority to Address Current Fiscal Year Budget Fixes

The funding shortfall for the Child Care Assistance Program, or C-CAP, to the tune of three-hundred-million dollars isn’t the only crisis facing the state in the current fiscal year.

Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:CCAPFUND2.mp3] [/audio]

To solve the problem, Rauner administration officials say they’re seeking a general agreement with the legislature to allow the Governor to move funds around in an effort to ensure essential services like C-CAP are fully funded in the current fiscal year, but those negotiations are ongoing.

Appropriations Chair Democratic Senator Heather Steans says she worries about handing over broad appropriation authority meant for the legislature to the executive.

The current fiscal year ends this July.

Rauner delivers his Budget Address for the next fiscal year February 18th.

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Social Services To Be Negatively Impacted By Minimum Wage Increase

Increased the state’s minimum wage won’t just be a jobs killer for businesses, it will also negatively impact rehabilitation facilities that are funded through Medicaid dollars.

That’s according to an association that represents organizations that care for patients with developmental disabilities and mental illnesses. Illinois News Network has more:

[audio:MINWAGE2.mp3] [/audio]

SB 12 is scheduled for a second reading in the Senate later this month.

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National Personality Says No Excuse Not To Get Measles Vaccine

An outbreak of an early childhood illness has led to much debate about whether a vaccine should be administered to children.

National talk show host Jim Bohannon, heard weeknights on WHOW and dewittdailynews.com, calls the entire debate is "squirly nonsense". He tells Regional Radio study after study shows there are no links betweent the vaccine and autism, the primary argument for parents no vaccinating their children.

[audio:21015jimbomeasles1.mp3] [/audio]

According to Bohannon, anyone who doesn't have their kids vaccinated for the measles should be banned from nearly every public place. He also calls on the government to make this a mandatory vaccine for everyone.

[audio:21015jimbomeasles2.mp3] [/audio]

Only a few outbreaks have actually been discovered, however, Bohannon speculates you may find a connection in the not so distant future as it relates to illegal aliens coming into the country who have no vaccines of any type.

[audio:21015jimbomeasles3.mp3] [/audio]

Jim Bohannon's talk show can be heard weeknights from 9 pm to midnight on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

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Registration Underway For Conservation Stewardship Program

Agricultural producers and forestland owners have the opportunity to enhance natural resources and agricultural productivity through the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP) as administered by the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The program provides funding to maintain existing conservation activities while implementing at least one new activity on some cropland, pastureland and/or forestland acres.

Applicants will document existing conservation efforts on your operation and choose one or more new practices to implement during the life of the five-year contract.

If an application is selected for funding, the applicant will receive one annual payment for five years as determined by an applicant’s existing conservation, new activities and the acres enrolled. Payments come in a variety of ranges depending on your land type and there are also many new activities from which to choose, so contact your local NRCS Office for more information.

The program has been popular and successful in De Witt County, where 36,000 acres are enrolled in 34 contracts obligating nearly $1.7 million in payments.

The first CSP deadline is Friday, February 27, 2015. By April 10, applicants must document existing conservation activities and select new activities.

Contracts will be finalized by June 12.

Contact the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service or De Witt SWCD at 217-935-6504 EXT. 3 for more information.

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DeWitt County Board Hoping To Make Amends With Landfill

 width=In November of 2013, the DeWitt County Board voted on a resolution that was a breach of contract with the Clinton Landfill. Now, the new County Board is hoping to set aside the vote by the former board to restore their relationship with Peoria Disposal Company.

The vote in 2013 was the former County Board taking a stance on the landfill, thus allegedly breaching the contract with the landfill, which states they would remain neutral. According to Board Chair David Newberg, the County is taking steps they hope will make amends with the legal representatives of the Peoria Disposal Company, the parent company of the Clinton Landfill.

[audio:21015countylandfill1.mp3] [/audio]

The former Board reneging on that contract has had major repercussions for the County to this point. According to Newberg it has been a major loss in revenue, between $1.2 and $1.3-million, and is the major driver in the Board approving a deficit budget.

[audio:21015countylandfill2.mp3] [/audio]

Newberg says since the County backed out of their contract, the relationship with the Board and the landfill has been quiet, however, he is optimistic they can begin to restore things now that "the atmosphere is a little different right now".

He hopes the landfill representatives will be willing to sit down with the State's Attorney to begin restoring their relationship and avoid a long, drawn out court process.

Many of the County Board members that voted in favor the original motion to take a stance on the landfill issue are no longer serving on the County Board.

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Jeb Burton Lands Ride With BK Racing in Sprint Cup

 width=Jeb Burton will drive the No. 26 Toyota for BK Racing full-time during the 2015 Sprint Cup Series season, the team formally announced on Monday.

Burton, the 22-year-old son of former Sprint Cup driver Ward Burton, ran a full schedule in the Camping World Truck Series the past two seasons. He has scored one victory (Texas in June 2013), seven top-five finishes and 19 top-10s as well as seven pole wins in trucks.

The upcoming Sprint Cup season begins with the Feb. 22 Daytona 500. Ward Burton won NASCAR's most prestigious race of the season in 2002.

BK Racing also revealed that Burton's father will serve as a "team ambassador." He will join his son in select appearances throughout the season.

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Duke Survives, NCAA Basketball Notes

 width=>>Duke Survives Florida State Scare

Quinn Cook scored 26 points and No. 4 Duke held on to beat Florida State 73-70 on Monday night.

The Blue Devils have been upset often by Leonard Hamilton's Seminoles in the last 12 years and nearly let this one slip away, too.

They coughed up a 14-point lead early in the second half but made enough free throws down the stretch to secure a fourth consecutive win.

Tyus Jones added 16 points for Duke (21-3, 8-3 ACC), Jahlil Okafor scored 13 and Justise Winslow had 10.

Devon Bookert scored 17 of his career-high 23 points in the second half for the Seminoles (13-12, 5-7), who have beaten Duke six times since Hamilton took over in 2002, each time when the Blue Devils were ranked in the top 10.

>>Oklahoma State Tops Baylor

Le'Bryan Nash led the way with 22 points as No. 21 Oklahoma State defeated 16th-ranked Baylor 74-65 on Monday.

Phil Forte netted 18 points, Jeff Newberry scored 16 with six assists and Anthony Hickey supplied 12 points and seven helpers for the Cowboys (17-7, 7-5 Big 12), who completed their first season sweep of Baylor since 2006-07.

Taurean Prince finished with 20 points and Rico Gathers had 16 points on 6- of-9 shooting with 16 rebounds as the Bears (18-6, 6-5) had their three-game winning streak come to an end.

>>Oklahoma Drops Struggling Iowa State

TaShawn Thomas had 22 points, 11 rebounds and five assists as No. 17 Oklahoma defeated No. 14 Iowa State 94-83 on Monday night.

Ryan Spangler posted 14 points and 12 boards, Isaiah Cousins netted 19 points and Buddy Hield added 17 for the Sooners (17-7, 8-4 Big 12), who have won five straight on the heels of a 1-4 stretch.

The victory moved OU into sole possession of second place in the Big 12.

Dustin Hogue provided 19 points and Jameel McKay supplied 16 points and nine rebounds for Iowa State (17-6, 7-4), which has dropped two of its last three games.

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Bulls Host Kings

 width=(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls begin a brief two-game homestand against the Kings this evening. Chicago is coming off Sunday's 98-97 victory over the Magic in Orlando. The Bulls have won their last two and enter tonight's game 32-and-20 on the season. Tip-off is at 7:00.

>>Spurs Beat Pacers For Popovich's 1,000th Win

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich became the ninth NBA coach to win 1,000 games when the Spurs beat the Pacers, 95-93, at Bankers Life Fieldhouse Monday night. Popovich's career record is 1000-and-462. He joins Don Nelson, Lenny Wilkens, Jerry Sloan, Pat Riley, Phil Jackson, George Karl, Larry Brown and Rick Adelman. The only coach in the group with a higher winning percentage is Jackson.

NBA
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Golden State Warriors 89, Philadelphia 76ers 84
Washington Wizards 96, Orlando Magic 80
Miami Heat 109, New York Knicks 95
Atlanta Hawks 117, Minnesota Timberwolves 105
Milwaukee Bucks 103, Brooklyn Nets 97
Utah Jazz 100, New Orleans Pelicans 96
Los Angeles Clippers 115, Dallas Mavericks 98
Oklahoma City Thunder 124, Denver Nuggets 114

>>Ray Allen To Make Decision After All-Star Break

(Undated) -- Veteran NBA sharpshooter Ray Allen plans to decide his playing future after All-Star Weekend. ESPN.com reports the 39-year-old has not decided whether he will return for his 19th season, but has been staying in playing shape. Several contending teams reportedly have Allen on their radar, including the Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Washington Wizards, Los Angeles Clippers, Atlanta Hawks and Allen's former team, the Miami Heat. Allen is averaging 18.9 points, 4.1 rebounds and 3.4 assists in his career.

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Cardinals Sign OF Jay To Two-Year Contract

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Coyotes Clip Blackhawks In Shootout

 width=Antoine Vermette [[ ANN-twan ver-MET ]] scored the winning goal in the shootout as the Coyotes clipped the Blackhawks 3-2 at the United Center. Vermette and Shane Doan tallied in regulation for Arizona, which has earned at least a point in four of its last five games. Mike Smith made 36 saves plus denied two-of-three shootout attempts for the win. Marian Hossa [[ HOE--suh ]] scored twice and Jonathan Toews [[ taves ]] posted two assists for the 'Hawks, who had won their previous two. Antti Raanta [[ AHN-tee RAHN-tuh ]] stopped 27 shots in the loss.

NHL
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Edmonton Oilers 2, New Jersey Devils 1
Los Angeles Kings 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3
Minnesota Wild 5, Vancouver Canucks 3
Calgary Flames 4, San Jose Sharks 1

 width=>>Blues Host Coyotes Tonight

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues close out a two-game homestand tonight against the Coyotes. The Blues are coming off a 4-2 loss to the Blackhawks on Sunday and have dropped their last two games on the heels of a seven-game winning streak. Arizona snapped a two-game skid last night at Chicago.

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Favre #4 To Be Retired

 width=>>Favre To Be Honored In Green Bay In 2015

(Green Bay, WI) -- Retired quarterback Brett Favre [[ Farve ]] is going back to Green Bay this year to be honored by the Packers. He announced on his official website that he will return to Lambeau Field to be inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame and also have his number-four jersey retired. A specific date has not been announced. The three-time NFL MVP spent 16 seasons with the Packers and is the league's all-time leader in passing yards. Favre had a bitter split with the Packers following the 2007 season when he changed his mind about retiring after the team had already committed to move forward with quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Favre was traded to the New York Jets, where he played in 2008, before spending his final two seasons with the Minnesota Vikings in 2009 and 2010.

>>Packers Reportedly Adding Solari To Coaching Staff

(Green Bay, WI) -- Veteran offensive line coach Mike Solari is reportedly coming to Green Bay. Fox Sports reports Solari is joining the Packers coaching staff. Solari has served as O-line coach in San Francisco since 2010. In other coaching news, NFL Network reports head coach Mike McCarthy is handing play-calling duties over to Tom Clements and promoting Edgar Bennett to offensive coordinator.

>>Report: Manning Training With Intent To Return

(New Orleans, LA) -- Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning is reportedly working towards playing next season. According to the "Times-Picayune", Manning is training in New Orleans with the intent to play next year. Manning reportedly wants to talk with Broncos general manager John Elway before announcing his intentions for next season. Manning, who will turn 39 next month, would be returning for his 18th NFL season.

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Champaign Mayor, ESPN Analyst Argue On Twitter Over Illini

 width=Illinois basketball is taken so seriously around Champaign that it can draw the city's mayor into an argument over a foul call.

After Illini guard Jaylon Tate was hit with a technical foul against Michigan State on Saturday in a call that puzzled fans watching the game, ESPN basketball analyst Dan Dakich took to Twitter to defend the call.

Mayor Don Gerard disagreed. He told the former coach via Twitter that he's glad he can mute his TV.

Dakich fired back that "you tweet like a 13-year-old."

Dakich says it was silly to respond.

Gerard later apologized, donating $100 to Dakich's charity and offered a beer next time he's in Champaign. Dakich, who will be Champaign on Thursday for the Michigan-Illinois game, declined the offer.

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Illinois, Northwestern To Meet At Soldier Field For Three Years

 width=Illinois will play Northwestern three times over the next five seasons at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas said Monday that the 2015 game that was to have been played in Champaign will be moved to Soldier Field. Games between the Illinois Big Ten schools in 2017 and 2019 will also be played at the Chicago stadium.

All of the games would have been Illinois home games played in Champaign. It means the Illini face the Wildcats in Chicago for five straight seasons.

Thomas said playing in Chicago is a good way for Illinois to connect with its fan base in the city and impress recruits.

Each game will be played on the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Illinois and Northwestern met in 2010 at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

 width=>>Oregon, Helfrich Agree To Five-Year Extension

(Eugene, OR) -- Oregon and head football coach Mark Helfrich have agreed to a new five-year extension. The pact runs through January 2020 and is worth at least 17.5-million dollars. The 41-year-old Helfrich has gone 24-and-4 in two seasons since replacing Chip Kelly. Helfrich guided to Ducks to a spot in this year's national title game, where they lost to Ohio State.

>>Oregon Lands Eastern Washington QB Transfer

(Eugene, OR) -- Oregon may have just landed its replacement for NFL-bound Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Marcus Mariota. Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. announced on Twitter that he will play out his final season of eligibility with the Ducks. Adams Jr. has been the runner-up in each of the past two seasons for the Walter Payton Award, which honors the FCS player of the year. He is eligible to play immediately next season under the NCAA's graduate student transfer-exception rule. Oregon opens its 2015 campaign at home on September 5th against Adams' former Eastern Washington team.

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Lady Maroons In Regional Action Tonight

 width=The Clinton Lady Maroons are in postseason action tonight in Maroa to take on the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans in first round Class 2A action tonight.

Clinton is the second seed and Maroa-Forsyth has landed the third seed in the Maroa-Forsyth Regoinal. Clinton finished the season 11-15 overall.

Top-seeded Monticello will take on Warrensburg-Latham tonight at 6 pm.

Hear the Clinton, Maroa-Forsyth girls game on 92.3 FM and online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is set for 7:30 pm.

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Lady Maroons Defeat Lady Trojans, Move Onto Regional Championship

As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live on dewittdailynews.com, the Clinton Lady Maroons defeated  width=the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans 61-38 Tuesday night in Regional basketball action.

For the Lady Maroons (12-15), Megan Tool lead the game with 22 points, with13 points for Haley Ginger after her. Peyton Bieber also helped the team, scoring 10 points.

For the Lady Trojans, Tori Weis and Caroline Beckman both shared 7 points, with Payton Hoffman also helping the team with 5 points.

With this win, the Lady Maroons will meet the Monticello Lady Sages in the Regional Championship on Thursday night at around 7 pm. We will have this action available on 92.3 FM WHOW and streaming live on dewittdailynews.com.

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Certain Restaurants Menu Displays To Change By End of Year

Ever wonder exactly how many calories you take in when you dine out? Well, by the end of 2015, certain restaurants are going to have to inform customers of the calories that are on their menu.

Eating out has become an easy and convenient option for many people despite the high calorie content of many restaurant entrees. Monica Nyman, with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, explains any restaurant with more than 20 locations will be required to list the calorie content of each entree on their menus by November.

[audio:12915calories1.mp3] [/audio]

Many dieticians are supportive of the new concept because of the importance of this kind of information finally being available. Nyman notes the freedom of many options will still be available to the food consumer.

[audio:12915calories2.mp3] [/audio]

Nyman adds there are also several calorie counter phone apps available to those who like to watch their daily calorie intake.

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2015 Budget in Monticello Looking Strong

Starting at the top of the year, Monticello opened up the books on a new fiscal year and the city's leader says things appear to be in good shape.

The focus of the 2015 budget in Monticello will be infrastructure. According to Monticello Mayor Chris Corrie, the budget will resemble last year's quite a bit.

[audio:2915monticellobudg1.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Mayor, street work is going to be a big part of projects this year. Mayor Corrie explains along with street projects, they will also be focusing on extending their bike path and rebuilding their waste water treatment plant.

[audio:2915monticellobudg2.mp3] [/audio]

While this year's budget is in good shape, Mayor Corrie does not see that trend continuing. He explains the budget and priorities for projects around the city was much shorter from year's past.

[audio:2915monticellobudg3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Corrie sees major changes coming from the state level as it relates to the funds they receive and feels Monticello, along every community in the state, are going to have to buckle down for rough waters ahead.

We'll have more on the Mayor's thoughts on the future budgeting in Monticello and what he sees the community facing in years ahead.

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Elections For School Board Surrounded By Confusion

 width=The leader of Clinton Schools says the upcoming elections for the school board could be very confusing and hopes to make things more understandable for voters.

Ten candidates will appear on the ballot this spring for election to the Clinton Board of Education. Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools says only a limited number of candidates will actually be elected as each township in the Clinton district can only be represented by three candidates. Dr. Holmes points out, voters will be selecting four candidates for four-year seats and one of two candidates for a two-year seat.

[audio:2915electconfuse1.mp3] [/audio]

There is a two-year seat up for election, which is the unexpired term from the late-Tom Pruser and Dr. Holmes notes, only two candidate are running for that seat on the board and both are from Clintonia township. According to Dr. Holmes, because both candidates are from Clintonia township, only one other candidate from Clintonia township can be elected to a four-year seat.

[audio:2915electconfuse2.mp3] [/audio]

It could make for an interesting election day tally because it could turn out, not all candidates who may get the most votes would be on the school board. Dr. Holmes stresses you can vote for any candidate but that doesn't necessarily mean the top candidates get on the board.

[audio:2915electconfuse3.mp3] [/audio]

Election day is Tuesday April 7.

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Jason Day Prevails In Playoff To Take Farmers Insurance Open

 width=Jason Day made par on the second playoff hole on Sunday to win the Farmers Insurance Open.

Day closed with a 2-under 70 to end at 9-under-par 279. He was joined there by J.B. Holmes (72), Harris English (72) and 2014 champ Scott Stallings (69).

The foursome returned to the 18th tee on the South Course at Torrey Pines for the playoff. All four reached the green in regulation. English rolled his long birdie effort within a foot of the hole and he tapped in for par. Stallings followed with his birdie try from about 15 feet out, and he missed left.

Holmes had played his third to three feet and he converted that for birdie. Day, who shared second place at this event last year, kicked in his short birdie putt to extend the playoff.

Day and Holmes moved to the par-3 16th. Holmes flew the green with his tee ball before Day's tee shot stopped 18 feet from the hole. Holmes pitched past the cup, then watched as Day missed his birdie try right of the hole.

Holmes failed to convert his par effort. Day sealed the win as he tapped in his par putt.

Alex Prugh (71) and 2007 runner-up Charles Howell III (68) shared fifth place at minus-8. Jimmy Walker (73), 2009 winner Nick Watney (73), Martin Laird (69) and Shane Lowry (68) tied for seventh at 7-under-par 281.

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Baseball Notes

>>Shields To Sign With Padres

(San Diego, CA) -- The Padres' wild offseason is rolling on. According to SB Nation, San Diego has signed free-agent starter James Shields. It's a four-year deal with a team-option on a fifth season. The pact is expected to be announced this week. San Diego has also added Wil Myers, Justin Upton, Matt Kemp, Derek Norris and Will Middlebrooks this offseason. The 33-year-old Shields has pitched 200 or more innings in every season since 2007.  width=Last season with the AL champion Royals, he went 14-and-8 with a 3.21 ERA and 180 strikeouts in 34 starts.

>>Reds Extend 3B Frazier

The Cincinnati Reds and third baseman Todd Frazier avoided arbitration Sunday by agreeing to a two-year contract.

The deal is worth $12 million, according to multiple reports.

Frazier, who turns 29 next week, set career highs with 29 homers and 80 RBI while batting .273 in 2014.

The New Jersey native has hit .258 with 73 homers, 82 doubles and 235 RBI in 476 career games, all for the Reds.

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Bulls Edge Magic

 width=Pau Gasol's putback dunk with 9.4-seconds left lifted the Bulls to a 98-97 win over the Magic at the Amway Center. Gasol ended with 25 points and 15 rebounds, while Jimmy Butler dropped in a game-high 27 points for Chicago, which has won two in-a-row since a three-game skid. Butler also had six steals and five assists. Joakim Noah notched 18 points and nine boards in the victory. Victor Oladipo scored 18 points and Tobias Harris had 15 to go with eight rebounds for the Magic, who have lost 10 of their last 11. Nikola Vucevic added 14 points and seven boards but missed a potential game-winning shot at the end.

NBA
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Oklahoma City Thunder 131, Los Angeles Clippers 108
Cleveland Cavaliers 120, Los Angeles Lakers 105
Memphis Grizzlies 94, Atlanta Hawks 88
Indiana Pacers 103, Charlotte Hornets 102
Minnesota Timberwolves 112, Detroit Pistons 101
Portland Trail Blazers 109, Houston Rockets 98
Toronto Raptors 87, San Antonio Spurs 82
Sacramento Kings 85, Phoenix Suns 83

>>Clippers' Griffin To Undergo Elbow Surgery

(Los Angeles, CA) -- Los Angeles Clippers star Blake Griffin will undergo surgery Monday to remove a staph infection in his right elbow. The procedure will be performed in Los Angeles and Griffin will be re-evaluated after the All-Star break. The 25-year-old Griffin is averaging 22.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 5.1 assists this season.

>>Lillard Replaces Griffin On All-Star Team

(New York, NY) -- Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard is an All-Star after all. The NBA announced on Sunday that Lillard will replace Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin on the Western Conference All-Star team. Griffin is schedule to undergo surgery to remove a staph infection from his right elbow on Monday. Lillard, who previously voiced his displeasure over not being named an All-Star this season, will be joined on the West squad by Portland teammate LaMarcus Aldridge.

>>Davis Day-To-Day With Shoulder Sprain

(New Orleans, LA) -- New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis is day-to-day with a sprained right shoulder. Davis suffered the injury after a scary fall during Saturday's night's loss to the Chicago Bulls. The 21-year-old Davis is averaging 24.5 points, 10.3 rebounds and nearly three blocks per game. He was also named to his second All-Star team this season.

>>Kings Coaching Saga Continues

(Sacramento, CA) -- The Sacramento Kings are still figuring out if they need to make a second in-season coaching change. According to Yahoo! Sports, George Karl's return to the NBA as Sacramento's head coach is at the "ownership level." The Kings front office met with interim head coach Tyrone Corbin after Sunday night's win against the Suns. The decision makers are advising the organization to agree to terms with Karl, who will have his representation continue discussions with the Kings today. Sacramento fired Mike Malone for Corbin earlier in the season.

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Blackhawks Double Up Blues

 width=Marian Hossa snapped a 2-all tie 11:19 into the third period and the Blackhawks went on to double up the Blues, 4-2, in St. Louis. Marcus Kruger, Bryan Bickell and Brandon Saad also lit the lamp for Chicago, which has won its last two. Corey Crawford denied 25 shots in the win. Vladimir Tarasenko and David Backes each scored in the second period for the Blues, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a seven-game winning streak. Brian Elliott made 24 saves in the setback.

NHL
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Nashville Predators 3, Florida Panthers 2 (SO)
Philadelphia Flyers 3, Washington Capitals 1
New York Islanders 3, Buffalo Sabres 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Anaheim Ducks 3
Dallas Stars 3, New York Rangers 2 (OT)
Winnipeg Jets 5, Colorado Avalanche 3
Montreal Canadiens 3, Boston Bruins 1

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McCarthy Relinquishes Play Calling Duties

 width=Packers coach Mike McCarthy has reportedly relinquished his play-calling duties. Green Bay has promoted offensive coordinator Tom Clements to associate head coach and will call the plays next season. McCarthy has handled the play-calling since becoming the Packers' coach in 2006. Wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett has been tabbed to replace Clements as OC.

>>Bills Agree To Deal With Incognito

(Orchard Park, NY) -- Richie Incognito is back in the NFL. The Buffalo Bills announced on Saturday that they have agreed in principle to a deal with the veteran offensive lineman. The 31-year-old Incognito has played in nine NFL seasons, but did not suit up at all last year in the wake of the bullying scandal that engulfed the Miami Dolphins. Incognito was suspended for the final eight games of the 2013 season for his role in the scandal. He was free to play anywhere last season, but failed to catch on with a team.

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Illinois Tops Michigan State in Big Road Win; Bradley Rallies Past Evansville

 width=Malcolm Hill scored 19 points and Illinois withstood a last-minute technical foul to beat Michigan State 59-54 on Saturday afternoon.

Kendrick Nunn added 14 points and Nnanna Egwu had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Fighting Illini (16-8, 6-5 Big Ten), winners of three straight games.

Denzel Valentine scored 16 points for the Spartans (15-8, 6-4) but fouled out after missing a 6-foot shot that would have given his team a 56-55 lead.

After the Fighting Illini were called for a technical, Michigan State got just two points from four free throws and Valentine missed his shot on the same possession. Hill converted four at the line in the final 15 seconds for Illinois.

The Spartans finished 7 of 18 on free-throw shooting.

>>Bradley Rallies To Beat Evansville

 width=Tramique Sutherland scored 18 points as Bradley came back from a 17-point deficit to beat Evansville 56-53 on Saturday.

Bradley went on a 24-3 run early in the second half, eight coming from Nate Wells, to take its first lead of the game at 44-40 with 9:50 left in the game. Evansville was held to four field goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half.

Omari Grier had 11 points for Bradley (8-17, 3-9 Missouri Valley Conference).

Sutherland broke a tie at 50-all with a basket with 41 seconds left. Ka'Darryl Bell and Sutherland made 4 of 4 from the free throw line in the final 11 seconds before D.J. Balentine hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Balentine hit five 3s and led Evansville (16-8, 6-6) with 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting.

Evansville scored the first 12 points of the game and led 30-16 at the break.

 width=>>Southern Illinois Upsets Illinois State

Anthony Beane scored 23 points, Deion Lavender added 15, and Southern Illinois held off a late Illinois State charge to win 65-59 on Saturday, ending the Redbirds' three-game winning streak.

Jordan Caroline scored 12 - including the go-ahead free throw with 48 seconds left - for SIU (10-15, 3-9 Missouri Valley Conference), which led by as many as 18.

Beane hit an early jumper for his 500th career point at SIU Arena and the Salukis led 34-28 at halftime.

SIU pulled ahead 44-34 early in the second half, but DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell hit three consecutive 3-pointers and a jumper and the Redbirds drew within 54-53 with 3:50 left. Daishon Knight put the Redbirds up 57-55 with free throws, the lead flip-flopped, then Caroline hit two free throws for a 61-59 Salukis lead.

Akoon-Purcell scored 19 for Illinois State (15-9, 7-5), Reggie Lynch had a career-high 18, and Knight added 10.

 width=>>Groce Silent On Return For Rice, Cosby

Illinois coach John Groce (GROHS) won't say when suspended players Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby will return.

Asked Friday when they will return and whether they might play Saturday at Michigan State (15-7, 6-3 Big Ten) he said they remain "indefinitely suspended," without elaborating.

The guards were both expected to return soon from injuries when Groce suspended them just before the Jan. 31 Penn State game for violating unspecified team rules.

Rice is the leading scorer and rebounder for Illinois (15-8, 5-5). But the Illini have gone 5-3 since he suffered a broken hand in practice. Cosby was a starter before he tore a retina against Indiana.

Groce said Rice and Cosby are medically ready to play. He said their roles on the team will be decided when they return.

>>Iowa Crushes No. 15 Maryland

Aaron White had 17 points, Adam Woodbury scored 16 and Iowa battered No. 17 Maryland with a hot-shooting first half on the way to a 71-55 win on Sunday afternoon.

Peter Jok added 15 points for the Hawkeyes (15-8, 6-4 Big Ten), who shot better than 60 percent in the first half for a 40-17 lead at the break.

Trimble kept the Terrapins in the building by scoring 13 points in the first half despite having a TV camera dropped on his face and being poked in the eye by Woodbury during one five-minute span.

The freshman star finished with a game-high 20 points but the Terrapins (19-5, 7-4) lost for the third time in five games and dropped their third in a row on the road.

>>No. 20 Ohio State Pounds Rutgers

Freshman star D'Angelo Russell had a triple-double, scoring 17 of his 23 points in the first half as No. 20 Ohio State bounced back from an upset to thump Rutgers 79-60 on Sunday.

Jae'Sean Tate added 20 points for the Buckeyes (18-6, 7-4 Big Ten), who were coming off Wednesday's 60-58 loss to Purdue on the road, which snapped a three-game winning streak.

Russell collected 11 rebounds and 11 assists and Bloomington-native Keita Bates-Diop chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds to help the Buckeyes in their second consecutive game without suspended forward Marc Loving.

Bishop Daniels scored 17 points and Junior Etou had 12 points and 11 rebounds for Rutgers (10-15, 2-10), which has lost eight games in a row since shocking then-No. 4 Wisconsin 67-62 on Jan. 11 for the program's first-ever win over a top-five team.

>>No. 25 Indiana Holds Off Furious Michigan Comeback

Troy Williams netted 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the Indiana Hoosiers
escaped the Michigan Wolverines, 70-67, in a Big Ten Conference clash at Assembly Hall.

Yogi Ferrell chipped in with 18 points and six assists for Indiana (17-7, 7-4 Big Ten), which has won two of its last three games. James Blackmon Jr. contributed 13 points and eight boards of his own in the win.

Zak Irvin led all scorers in the game, netting 23 points for Michigan (13-11, 6-6). Ricky Doyle added 15 points and six rebounds, and Spike Albrecht collected 12 points with seven assists in the loss, which was the third in a row for the Wolverines.

The Wolverines made a comeback in the second half behind 53.8 percent shooting, but failed to tie the game at the final buzzer on a missed 3-point attempt. The Hoosiers made 41.7 percent of their shots in the frame, and 10- of-13 from the charity stripe.

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DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Feb. 2-8

February 2, 2015 – February 8, 2015

Average Daily Jail Population: 48
Summons Served: 31
Warrant Arrests: 2

Michael Tevort, 30, Heyworth, was arrested and charged with Domestic Btry/Physical Contact. Tevort, being un-able to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

Investigation into an accident which occurred at 0825 on January 26th revealed that Mark Lane, 73, of Wapella was approaching a parking space in front of the Wapella post office when the driver’s foot slipped off the brake. Lane continued rolling forward, striking the flag post near the side walk. Crose backed up and put the vehicle in park. There were no visible signs of injuries and none were reported.

Brian Crose, 44, Decatur, was issued a citation for speeding (74 mph in a 45 mph zone). Crose was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Stephen Johnson, 61, Farmer City was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure to Appear. Johnson posted the necessary bond and was released.

Eric Koshinshi, 24, Clinton was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Koshinshi was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Arthur Pride, 53, Wapella was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Pride was issued Citations for Driving Under Influence, Operate Uninsured Vehicle, Failure to Reduce Speed/ Accident, Improper Lane Usage and Driving to Fast for Conditions. Pride unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

James Dunn, 41, Decatur was arrested and charged with Driving on Suspended License. Dunn was issued Citations for Driving While License Suspended and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Dunn posted the necessary bond and was released.

Michael Finger, 27, Wapella was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Finger posted the necessary bond and was released.

Robert Althouse, 26, LeRoy was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence Alcohol. Althouse was issued Citations for Driving in Wrong Lane, 2 Counts Driving Under Influence and Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Althouse posted the necessary bond and was released.
Cree Shumaker, 20, Clinton was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Delivery Controlled Substance/ Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (Diazepam). Shumaker posted the necessary bond and was released.

Craig Williams, 50, Heyworth was issued a Citation for Speeding 71 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Williams was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Daren Benson, 35, Lincoln was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Benson was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Chad Gordy, 42, Decatur was issued a Citation for Speeding 70 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Gordy was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Gina Bianchi, 43, Normal was issued a Citation for Speeding 75 MPH in a 55 MPH Zone. Bianchi was issued a promise to comply and was released.

Gerald Robinson, 53, Peoria was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Robinson was issued a notice to appear and was released.

Zachary Hazen, 25, LeRoy was issued a Citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Hazen was issued a promise to comply and was released.

 

 

 

 

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

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February Is American Heart Month

FEBRUARY IS AMERICAN HEART MONTH…AND THE ILLINOIS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH IS REMINDING THAT HEART DISEASE IS PREVENTABLE.

PUBLIC HEALTH DIRECTOR DOCTOR NIRAV SHAH SAYS HEART DISEASE IS A VERY SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERN.

[audio:heart.mp3] [/audio]

THE GOOD NEWS IS YOU CAN SIGNIFICANTLY REDUCE YOUR RISK OF HEART DISEASE BY EXERCISING AND EATING RIGHT, NOT SMOKING AND GETTING YOUR CHOLESTEROL AND BLOOD PRESSURE CHECKED.

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Financial Aid Awareness Month Events Being Held to Help College Students to Apply For Financial Assistance

IT’S FINANCIAL AID AWARENESS MONTH AND THE ILLINOIS STUDENT ASSISTANCE COMMISSION HAS SOME TIPS AND EVENTS TO HELP FAMILIES NAVIGATE THE COLLEGE FINANCIAL AID SYSTEM.

I-SAC SPOKESPERSON LYNNE BAKER SAYS ALL FAMILIES NEED TO START WITH THE FREE APPLICATION FOR FEDERAL STUDENT AID, OR “FAFSA”, REGARDLESS OF WHETHER YOU THINK YOU’RE ELIGIBLE OR NOT.

[audio:events.mp3] [/audio]

BAKER SAYS HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS SHOULD BE WORKING ON THE FAFSA AND OTHER FINANCIAL AID SOURCES NOW…SINCE SOME ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS RUN OUT OF MONEY. FOR MORE RESOURCES AND A LIST OF FINANCIAL AID WORKSHOPS AROUND THE STATE VISIT: ISAC DOT ORG.

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94 Year Illinois Veteran Receives Congressional Gold Medal

A Mercer County veteran honored in Washington D.C. this week. 94 year old Casimer "Casey" Celske of Aledo received the Congressional Gold Medal. He was a member of the First Special Service Force in World War II. The force was an elite unit that played a critical role in the liberation of Europe during the war. German opposition referred to the group as the "Devil's Brigade." U.S. Senator Dick Durbin spoke at the ceremony.....

[audio:VETMEDAL.mp3][/audio]

The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation's highest civilian award given to individuals who perform an outstanding deed or act of service to the security, prosperity, and national interest of the United States. The First Special Service Force (FSSF) were all volunteers and took on the most dangerous missions, often operating under the cover of darkness. Military special forces units such as the Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy Seals, Marines' Force Recon units, and Canadian Special Operations Regiment can all be traced back to the FSSF. The Congressional Gold Medal is considered the Congressional equivalent to the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Legislation bestowing the Congressional Gold Medal to a recipient must be co-sponsored by two thirds of the membership of both the House of Representatives and the Senate before their respective committees will consider it.

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State Looking For Solutions To Child Care Assistance Funding Problems

STATE OFFICIALS ARE WORKING ON A FUNDING SOLUTION FOR ILLINOIS’S CHILD CARE ASSISTANCE PROGRAM.

THE PROGRAM, WHICH HELPS LOW WAGE WORKING PARENTS PAY FOR DAYCARE IS RUNNING OUT OF MONEY FOR THIS FISCAL YEAR WHICH ENDS JUNE 30TH. THAT MEANS DAYCARES WON’T GET PAID BY THE STATE…AND PARENTS MAY HAVE TO PAY A LOT MORE. CHANDRA ANKOOR (encore) OF SPRINGFIELD SAYS THIS IS PUTTING A HUGE STRAIN ON HER FAMILY.

[audio:childcare.mp3] [/audio]

GOVERNOR BRUCE RAUNER WANTS THE LEGISLATURE TO GIVE HIM MORE AUTHORITY TO MANAGE THE CURRENT STATE BUDGET AND REALLOCATE OTHER FUNDS TO THE CHILD CARE PROGRAM. IT’S ESTIMATED FUNDING IS NEARLY 300 MILLION DOLLARS SHORT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR.

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Illinois US Presidents Are Focus For Local Speaking Series

 width=

February is a month dedicated to celebrating U.S. Presidents and several claimed Illinois as home during their lives. 


Illinois has ties to four American Presidents which include Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. Local activist Joe Alexander explains Reagan is the only president who was actually born in Illinois though.

[audio:2715presidents1.mp3] [/audio]

Alexander has created a topic involving these presidents for various speaking engagements around Central Illinois throughout the month. He notes the major focus of the speeches will be Reagan and adversity he faced throughout his life.

[audio:2715presidents2.mp3] [/audio]

Alexander has presented in Lincoln and Pontiac so far and will soon be in Forsyth, Springfield and Bloomington. For information on his speaking schedule, you can follow him on Facebook or find him on Twitter @Joe_Speaker.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio news for more about his speaking engagements next week.

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Legislation Would Reward Hunters For Donations

Western Illinois Congresswoman Cheri Bustos supporting bipartisan legislation that would reward hunters who donate wild game to food banks.

The bipartisan Wild Game Donation Act of 2015 would provide hunters with charitable deductions for the costs associated with donating processed deer, moose, and other wild game meats to food-based charities. In addition, the legislation would allow game processors who participate in the program to pass savings on to local food-based charities through tax-deductions of their own.

[audio:BUSTOSGAME.MP3] [/audio]

Bustos says the bipartisan legislation has received widespread support from hunter advocates and wildlife conservation groups alike.

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Slow, Steady Changes To Diet Best

If changing your diet was one of your top goals this year, have you been able to keep that New Year's Resolutions? If not, one local nutritionist would like to provide some encouragement to get you back on track.

According to Monica Nyman with the St. Louis District Dairy Council, your New Years resolution likely focused on major changes in your diet. She feels the word diet is often thought of negatively because people trying to do too much at one time. Instead, Nyman recommends focusing on gradual lifestyle changes will see greater results and less dramatic stops.

[audio:126152015diets1.mp3] [/audio]

Nyman offers up the following tips to slowly implementing an improved dite. First, consume nutrient rich foods including grains, dairy and fruits. She explains foods that include empty calories should be avoided when trying to get healthier. Finally, utilize technology. She explains there are great resources that can help in healthier meal planning.

[audio:126152015diets2.mp3] [/audio]

Eating the right amount of dairy is also essential to daily nutrition. Nyman explains three servings of dairy is required each day. Servings can consumed through glasses of milk, yogurt and a few pieces of cheese. Nyman notes, three servings of dairy also provides the proper amount of calcium your body needs.

[audio:126152015diets3.mp3] [/audio]

According to Nyman, eating a good breakfast everyday is also one of the gateways to healthy living. She explains the St. Louis Dairy Council will be introducing a new breakfast campaign in March.

Check back with Regional Radio News and dewittdailynews.com for more on that.

For more information on meal planning, you can go to www.choosemyplate.gov.

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County Board Approves Northern DeWitt County Property For Billboards

 width=More advertising billboards could be coming to the Village of Wapella soon.

Last Thursday night, the DeWitt County Board approved a measure that would allow for more advertising billboards to be placed in Wapella, this time though, on the south side of the small village. According to David Newberg, County Board Chair, the billboards would be similar to the ones on the north side, with two boards per stand.

[audio:2615wapellaboard1.mp3] [/audio]

The property the company, WC Media, was seeking to use is on the south side of Wapella at the corner of US Highway 51 and Thorpes Road. According to Newberg, the company was requesting a double-deck billboards on each side of the road, but because of issues with a home in the vicinity, only one was granted.

[audio:2615wapellaboard2.mp3] [/audio]

With the approval of the change in zoning regulation at the site, Newberg anticipates WC Media would begin the process of getting the property prepared for the structure to host the billboards, in hopes of having those up soon.

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Thompson Leads After Day One At Torrey Pines; Tiger Withdraws

 width=Nicholas Thompson fired an 8-under 64 on Thursday and he led by one stroke when the first round of the Farmers Insurance Open was suspended due to darkness.

Thompson, who has never won on the PGA Tour, is coming off a missed cut last week in Phoenix.

Michael Thompson, who is no relation to the leader, is one stroke back at minus-7. Last week's Phoenix Open winner Brooks Koepka opened with a 6-under 66. He was joined in third place by CameronTringale.

Ian Poulter, Chad Campbell, Freddie Jacobson, Jhonattan Vegas, Brendon de Jonge and Chris Kirk share fifth place at minus-5.

Play for the first two rounds is spread over the North and South Courses at Torrey Pines. The final two rounds will be played on the South Course.

There were a pair of fog delays that lasted two hours, 29 minutes. The start of the round was delayed an hour, then shortly after the round began, the fog rolled back in and play was halted again.

Tiger Woods is out of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines due to a back injury. Woods withdrew from competition on the third green, which was his 12th hole of the first round. He says his back tightened up during the fog delay. The 14-time major champion missed the cut at the Waste Management Phoenix Open last week after carding the worst round of his pro career at 11-over, 82. In his last eight events dating back to last year, Tiger has withdrawn three times and missed the cut in three others.

The first round will resume at 11:30 a.m. ET on Friday with the second round starting as scheduled at noon.

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NBA Notes

>>Blazers Blast Suns With 42-Point Fourth Quarter

(Portland, OR) -- The Trail Blazers outscored the Suns 42-22 in the fourth quarter en route to a 108-87 win at the Moda Center. LaMarcus Aldridge racked up 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Robin Lopez had 11 points, 12 boards and four blocks against his former team. Nicolas Batum netted a game-high 20 points and Wesley Matthews added 14 to go with eight rebounds for the Blazers, who have won two in-a-row since a three-game skid. Markieff Morris scored 18 points and Eric Bledsoe donated 17 for Phoenix, which has lost three straight and five of its last seven. Alex Len left in the third quarter with a right ankle sprain.

 

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NBA
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Charlotte Hornets 94, Washington Wizards 87
Cleveland Cavaliers 105, Los Angeles Clippers 94
Dallas Mavericks 101, Sacramento Kings 78

>>Pacers' George Eying Comeback From Broken Leg

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Indiana Pacers forward Paul George is doing his best to make it back on the court. After suffering a gruesome broken right leg during a team scrimmage with USA Basketball in July, the two-time All-Star says his goal is to make it back to help the Pacers this year. The Pacers are just 18-and-32 this season without George, who is doing everything in practice except contact. Thursday marked the first time George had spoken with the media since November. Doctors estimated he would need seven months to recover, which could leave the door open for a March return.

>>Report: Stoudemire Could Ask For Buyout

(New York, NY) -- Knicks forward Amar'e Stoudemire's time in New York could be coming to an end. Stoudemire told Yahoo Sports he is going to decide during the All-Star break if he wants to ask the Knicks for a buyout. He is in the final season of his five-year, 100-million-dollar contract. The 32-year-old is averaging 12.2 points and seven rebounds in 24.5 minutes per game this season. Stoudemire has missed the Knicks last four games with an ankle injury.

>>Magic Fire Coach

The Orlando Magic fired headcoach Jacque Vaughn on Thursday.

Orlando is just 15-37 this season and mired in a 10-game losing streak. The move comes after a 110-103 loss Wednesday at San Antonio.

Assistant James Borrego has been named the interim head coach.

Vaughn posted a record of 58-158 since taking over the position for the 2012-13 season. The Magic finished 20-62 in Vaughn's first year and 23-59 last season.

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Cubs Avoid Arbitration With Strop

 width=The Chicago Cubs signed right-handed pitcher Pedro Strop to a one-year contract worth
$2.525 million on Thursday to avoid arbitration, according to the team's official website.

Strop, 29, had a 2.21 ERA and 71 strikeouts in 61 innings out of Chicago's bullpen in 2014. In 96 innings with the Cubs since a 2013 trade from Baltimore, Strop has a 2.44 ERA and 113 strikeouts.

In six big-league seasons with the Texas Rangers, Baltimore Orioles and Cubs, Strop has struck out 236 batters in 224 1/3 innings with a 3.41 ERA.

The Cubs have come to terms with all of their arbitration-eligible players.

>>Brewers Sign Perez To Minor League Deal

(Milwaukee, WI) -- The Milwaukee Brewers are taking a flyer on former Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez. The Brewers have signed the 29-year-old right-hander to a minor league deal that includes an invitation to spring training. If he makes the team, Perez will earn 1.5-million-dollar dollars in salary with a chance to double his pay through incentives. Perez went 1-and-3 with a 4.27 ERA in 49 games with the Dodgers last season. The two-time All-Star has 133 saves over his seven-year career with the Cardinals, Indians and Dodgers.

>>Red Sox Sign Wade Miley To Three-Year Deal

(Boston, MA) -- The Boston Red Sox are locking up newly-acquired southpaw Wade Miley with a three-year contract extension. Miley's agency reports the deal is worth over 19-million-dollars. The 28-year-old was acquired from the Arizona Diamondbacks at the Winter Meetings in exchange for right-handers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster. In four seasons with the D'backs, Miley went 38-and-35 in 106 games, 102 of which were starts with a 3.79 ERA.

>>Tigers' Martinez To Have Knee Surgery

(Detroit, MI) -- American League MVP runner-up Victor Martinez is going under the knife. The Detroit Tigers say "V-Mart" tore the medial meniscus in his left knee during workouts last week and will have surgery. The injury typically requires a four-to-six week recovery period. The 36-year-old designated hitter signed a four-year, 68-million-dollar contract this offseason to remain with Detroit. Martinez hit .335 with a career-high 32 home runs while driving in 103 runs last season. He finished second in league in Most Valuable Player voting behind Angels outfielder Mike Trout. "V-Mart" is entering his fourth season with the Tigers.

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Bears Add Ohio State Assistant

 width=The Chicago Bears added Ohio State assistant Stan Drayton to new coach John Fox's staff as running backs coach Thursday.

The team also informed running backs coach Skip Peete that he will not return.

Drayton spent the last four years at Ohio State, serving as assistant head coach for offense/running backs last season for the national champion Buckeyes.

Drayton was Green Bay's offensive quality control coach/special teams in 2001-03. He also has coached at Florida, Syracuse, Tennessee, Mississippi State, Bowling Green, Villanova, Pennsylvania and his alma mater of Allegheny College.

>>Rams Promote Frank Cignetti To Offensive Coordinator

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Rams are promoting from within for their next offensive coordinator. NFL.com reports the team is naming quarterbacks coach Frank Cignetti its offensive coordinator. Cignetti has coached the Rams' quarterbacks since 2012, and is the son of Frank Sr., who was the longtime coach at Indiana University of Pennsylvania and West Virginia. He takes over for Brian Shottenheimer, who left to become the OC at the University of Georgia.

>>Titans Add Dick LeBeau To Coaching Staff

(Nashville, TN) -- Dick LeBeau [[ lah-BOH ]] is joining the Tennessee Titans as their assistant head coach in charge of defense. The 77-year-old will work in tandem with defensive coordinator Ray Horton. LeBeau spent the past 11 seasons as defensive coordinator of the Steelers, helping Pittsburgh win Super Bowl titles following the 2005 and 2008 seasons. The Titans have also promoted Mike Mularkey to assist head coach/tight ends. Jason Tucker has also been added to the staff as assistant wide receivers coach. Tennessee was an AFC-worst 2-and-14 this past season under first-year head coach Ken Whisenhunt.

>>Titans Waive Michael Oher

(Nashville, TN) -- Michael Oher [[ Ore ]] is looking to protect someone else's blind side. The Tennessee Titans are waiving the offensive tackle after one season of a four-year, 20-million-dollar contract with the team. Oher came to Tennessee after spending his first five NFL seasons with the Baltimore Ravens. The 28-year-old has started 91 regular-season games in his six-year career out of Ole Miss.

>>Seahawks' Sherman Welcomes New Son

(Undated) -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman is a proud new papa. His girlfriend gave birth Thursday to the couple's first child. Sherman tweeted, "My son sure does know how to make an entrance! 2/5/15...Is it a coincidence or is he just clever?! Either way I'm ecstatic." Sherman's jersey number is 25. Peter King of MMQB.com reports the baby's name is Rayden. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson congratulated his teammate by tweeting, "so happy for you bud!!! You are going to be an amazing dad! Love you bro! Let me know if u need me to babysit!" Sherman had said leading up to the Super Bowl that he would cross that bridge when he came to it if his girlfriend went into labor before the big game.

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Blues Blank Sabres To Extend Point Streak To 13

 width=Jake Allen made 23 saves for his third shutout of the season and fourth of his career, as the Blues blanked the Sabres 3-0 in Buffalo. Dmitrij Jaskin [[ dih-MEE-tree YASH-kin ]] opened the scoring in the second period, while Vladimir Tarasenko [[ tare-uh-SANK-oh ]] added an insurance goal with 5:38 left in the third period. Jaden Schwartz tallied an empty-netter with 1:17 to go for the Blues, who have won seven straight and set a franchise-record by extending their point streak to 13 games. Jhonas Enroth [[ YO-ness EN-roth ]] allowed two goals on 29 shots for the Sabres, who were coming off a 3-2 win in Montreal on Tuesday that ended their franchise-record 14-game losing streak.

NHL
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New York Islanders 3, Philadelphia Flyers 2 (SO)
Washington Capitals 2, Ottawa Senators 1
Florida Panthers 3, Los Angeles Kings 2
Anaheim Ducks 5, Nashville Predators 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Dallas Stars 3
Detroit Red Wings 3, Colorado Avalanche 0
Carolina Hurricanes 2, Arizona Coyotes 1 (SO)
San Jose Sharks 5, Vancouver Canucks 1

 width=>>Blackhawks Resume Trek Tonight In Winnipeg

(Winnipeg, Manitoba) -- The Blackhawks resume their seven-game trek tonight in Winnipeg against the Jets. Chicago is 2-3-and-0 so far on the trip following Tuesday's 3-0 loss in Minnesota. The 'Hawks currently sit third in the Central Division with 64 points. The Jets are fourth in the Central with 61 points.

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Illinois QB To Transfer, Coach Suspended; BBall Notes

>>Illinois QB Bailey Transferring

Illinois says backup quarterback Aaron Bailey is transferring.

Spokesman Kent Brown said Bailey made the decision after meeting Thursday with coach Tim Beckman. Brown said he doesn't know Bailey's destination.

Beckman recently said that last season's primary starter, Wes Lunt, would keep that job.

 width=Bailey, who is from Bolingbrook, Illinois, was considered a dual-threat quarterback. But in limited playing time he showed he was more polished runner than passer. In 14 games over two seasons, he completed 13-of-27 passes for 122 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Brown said Beckman agreed to the transfer provided Bailey doesn't move to another Big Ten school or a school Illinois plays in the next three seasons.

>>Illinois Receivers Coach Suspended

Illinois assistant football coach Mike Bellamy will sit out one game next season after the NCAA ruled that he improperly helped a recruit get an associate's degree.

Sports information director Kent Brown confirmed Thursday that Bellamy will miss the 2015 season opener against Kent State under an NCAA-imposed suspension. Bellamy coaches Illinois' wide receivers.

Brown said Illinois self-reported the violation to the NCAA.

The unidentified junior college recruit enrolled at Illinois for the spring 2014 semester but the school later realized he had done so without completing his associate's degree. The student dropped out of Illinois and Bellamy in January 2014 visited officials at the community college to arrange for him to take an online class to complete the degree.

 width=>>Illinois Meets Michigan State Tomorrow In East Lansing

(East Lansing, MI) -- The Illinois Fighting Illini meet the Michigan State Spartans tomorrow afternoon in East Lansing. The Illini have won two in-a-row following Tuesday's 66-54 victory over Rutgers. Illinois is 15-and-8 on the season and 5-and-5 in Big Ten play. Michigan State sits at 15-and-7 and 6-and-3.

>>Cincinnati Upsets SMU

Jermaine Sanders scored 15 points and Farad Cobb added 14 off the bench to help Cincinnati to a 62-54 road victory over No. 23 SMU on Thursday night.

Sanders also pulled down a team-high nine rebounds and Troy Caupain also supplied 14 points for the Bearcats (16-6, 7-3 AAC), who have won five of their last six.

Cincinnati took a 56-50 win over SMU at home on Jan. 3.

Cannen Cunningham paced the Mustangs (18-5, 9-2) with 14 points and Sterling Brown had 12. Nic Moore and Markus Kennedy were held to 15 points combined on 4-of-17 shooting, with Moore going 1-for-8 from the floor in the setback.

SMU was denied its ninth straight win, which would have been its first nine-game run since 1997-98.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#2 Gonzaga Bulldogs 77, Santa Clara Broncos 63

>>Iowa Trounces Michigan

Jarrod Uthoff scored 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the Michigan Wolverines, 72-54, in a Big Ten Conference tilt at the Crisler Center.

Mike Gesell added 14 points for the Hawkeyes (14-8, 5-4 Big Ten). Aaron White contributed 13 points and five rebounds and Adam Woodbury had 11 points with six assists. Peter Jok chipped in with 10 points as Iowa ended a three-game losing streak.

As for the Wolverines (13-10, 6-5), Aubrey Dawkins scored 16 points while Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman added 11 points. Spike Albrecht chipped in with 10 points and five assists in the loss.

>>UCLA Takes Down Stanford on Road

Norman Powell netted 20 points and pulled down eight rebounds to lead his UCLA Bruins to a narrow 69-67 victory over the Stanford Cardinal in Pac-12 Conference action at Maples Pavilion.

Isaac Hamilton and Bryce Alford each chipped in with 18 points for UCLA (14-9, 6-4 Pac-12). Tony Parker contributed eight points and eight boards in the win, which was the third in a row for the Bruins.

Anthony Brown scored 19 points and grabbed nine rebounds to pace Stanford (15-7, 6-4), which dropped its second straight decision. Chasson Randle and Rosco Allen both scored 13 points for the Cardinal, and Stefan Nastic tallied a double-double of 10 points
and 11 rebounds in the loss.

>>Michigan Picks Up Houston QB Transfer

Houston quarterback John O'Korn announced on Thursday via his Twitter feed that he plans to transfer to Michigan.

O'Korn, who was a true sophomore in 2014, will need to sit out next season per NCAA transfer rules. He'll have two seasons of eligibility remaining starting in 2016.

O'Korn began last season as the starting QB for Houston, but was benched after a poor start to his campaign. In six games for the Cougars, he completed just 52 percent of his passes for 951 yards with six touchdowns and eight interceptions.

"Can't wait to play for @CoachJim4UM @CoachJeddFisch in the BIGHOUSE! #GoBlue," O'Korn tweeted on Thursday.

In his first year under center in 2013, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida native completed better than 58 percent of his passes for 3,117 yards with 28 touchdowns and just 10 picks.

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Maroons Can't Hold Off the Warriors in the CIC Tournament

As heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed online at dewittdailynews.com, the Clinton Maroons lost to the  width=Tuscola Warriors 55-45 Friday night in CIC tournament action.

For the Maroons (8-15), Jacob Overton lead the game with 17 points, followed by Tanner White with 14 points. Peyton McCubbin boosted the Maroons as well with 7 points.

For the Warriros (11-9), Clayton Turner lead the team with 15 points, followed by Nick Bates with 13 points. Stephen Gibson helped the team with his 9 points.

With the win, Tuscola wins 3rd place in the tournament. With the loss, Clinton takes 4th place.

Tune into 92.3 FM WHOW or stream live on dewittdailynews.com next Friday as the Clinton Maroons will travel to Meridian to take on the Hawks.

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New Minimum Wage Proposal Clears Illinois Senate Committee

A NEW MINIMUM WAGE PROPOSAL CLEARED A STATE SENATE COMMITTEE WEDNESDAY MORNING.

THE LATEST PLAN RAISES THE MINIMUM WAGE TO 11 DOLLARS AN HOUR BY JULY OF 2019…AND INCLUDES A TAX CREDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. BILL SPONSOR, SENATOR KIMBERLY LIGHTFORD, IS HOPEFUL THAT WILL APPEASE SMALLER BUSINESSES WHO ARE WORRIED ABOUT PAYING EMPLOYEES A HIGHER WAGE.

[audio:newminwage1.mp3] [/audio]

CITING OVERWHELMING PUBLIC SUPPORT…SEN. LIGHTFORD SAYS THE TIME IS NOW TO RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE IN ILLINOIS.

[audio:newminwage2.mp3] [/audio]

LIGHTFORD’S BILL BOOSTS THE MINIMUM WAGE FROM EIGHT DOLLARS 25 CENTS AN HOUR TO 9 DOLLARS AN HOUR THIS JULY. IT WILL THEN BE INCREASED BY 50 CENTS EACH JULY UNTIL THE MINIMUM WAGE HITS 11 BUCKS AN HOUR IN 2019. THE PROPOSAL EXCLUDES CHICAGO AND INCLUDES A TAX CREDIT FOR SMALL BUSINESSES. IT NOW MOVES TO THE SENATE FLOOR FOR A VOTE.

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Clinton Mayor Speaks Out On Issue of Exelon Nuclear Power Plant

 width=The Exelon Nuclear Power Station in Clinton has been the focal point of discussion in recent months because of the emerging sources of other variates of energy.

Exelon locations across the state were the subject of a recent study focused on the economic impacts nuclear stations have on their respective communities, and the greater impact a closure of those locations would have locally and from a state level. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters recently sent Regional Radio a "letter to the editor" giving her stance on the situation.

[audio:2515mayorplant1.mp3] [/audio]

Exelon leaders and the Mayor contend Exelon is not at a level playing field as other industries in the energy business. Exelon has been working with lawmakers to bring all energy providers to a more level playing field, and for Mayor Peters, that was part of the reason for taking a stance on the issue.

[audio:2515mayorplant2.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Mayor, if Exelon was to close down, the tax dollars generated would be very difficult to replace. Mayor Peters that deficit would unfortunately fall on tax payers across DeWitt County.

[audio:2515mayorplant3.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor has contacted local lawmakers, encouraging them to continue dialogue with Exelon to keep the plant in DeWitt County and plants across the state open.

Read the Mayors complete report here.

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Rangers Push Past Bruins

 width=Derek Stepan [[ STEP-ahn ]] scored the go-ahead goal with just over three minutes left in the second period to give the Rangers a 3-2 victory over the Bruins at Madison Square Garden. Rick Nash netted his 32nd goal of the year and Derick Brassard lit the lamp as well in New York's third straight win. Cam Talbot racked up 18 saves in a winning effort. Tuukka Rask gave up all three goals on 25 shots for Boston, which lost for the first time since before the All-Star Break. Patrick Bergeron [[ puh-TREECE BER-zhjer-anh ]] and Milan Lucic [[ mee-lahn LOO-cheech ]] each found the back of the net in defeat.

NHL
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Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Edmonton Oilers 0
Calgary Flames 3, San Jose Sharks 1

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Packers, Colts Players Dealing With Off-Field Trouble

 width=>>Packers Defensive Tackle Guion Arrested

(Starke, FL) -- Green Bay Packers defensive tackle and soon-to-be free agent Letroy Guion [[ GUY-on ]] is dealing with a drug charge. ESPN.com reports Guion was arrested Tuesday night in Starke, Florida on a marijuana possession charge. The Florida State product is set to become an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Guion had three and-a-half sacks and a forced fumble in 16 games for the Packers this past season.

>>Report: NFL Fines Baldwin For Obscene Gesture

(New York, NY) -- The NFL is fining Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin for an obscene gesture following his touchdown catch in Super Bowl 49. FOX Sports reports the league is docking Baldwin over 11-thousand-dollars for pretending to defecate a football in the end zone. The wideout was penalized 15 yards for the celebration, but tells the "Everett Herald" he has no regrets. The three-yard pass and catch from Russell Wilson to Baldwin had put the Seahawks up 10 points in the third quarter, but the Patriots came back to win 28-24 with 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter.

 width=>>Colts LB Arrested on Assault Charge

Indianapolis Colts linebacker D'Qwell Jackson was arrested Tuesday on a charge of simple assault, according to Washington, D.C., police.

A police report obtained Wednesday by SportsNetwork.com reveals that Jackson was arrested after an argument with a driver over a parking space. The driver told authorities that Jackson punched him in the left side of the face and in the back of the head during the dispute.

Officers responded around 8 p.m. ET to a call about a disturbance at the 1900 block of 12th Street NW in Washington. Jackson was transported to the department's third district and released later that night.

According to multiple media outlets in Washington, the driver was a pizza delivery man who told Jackson that he was going to use the parking spot momentarily. Jackson became upset and allegedly assaulted the driver.

Jackson, 31, started all 16 games for Indianapolis this past season, recording 140 tackles and four sacks. He signed with the Colts last spring after his release from the Cleveland Browns.

>>Cowboys RB Arrested With Pot

Dallas Cowboys running back Joseph Randle was charged with possession of marijuana over an incident in Wichita, Kansas, early Tuesday morning.

According to Wichita police, Randle was charged of unlawful possession of marijuana at 2:53 a.m. Tuesday.

Officers responded to a domestic violence call involving a weapon at a hotel in the city, according to KSN-TV. They found Randle and a 22-year-old woman and observed a small amount of marijuana in the room, which was rented to Randle.

According to the report, an associate of Randle's had taken a handgun from the scene.

Randle was cited for possession and given a date to appear in court and police considered it an arrest because of the small amount of marijuana found in the room.

Randle's agent, Erik Burkhardt, disputed the use of the term "arrest." He says Randle was NOT arrested but cited with a ticket, and the police officer then left his hotel room.

He adds, "There was zero 'violence' of any kind, domestic or otherwise."

In October, Randle was arrested at Dillard's department store in Frisco, Texas, on a class B misdemeanor charge of theft between $50 and $500. The items he was accused of stealing were men's underwear and cologne.

Randle carried the ball 51 times for 343 yards and three touchdowns this past season.

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Cardinals, White Sox Notes

 width=>>White Sox Release Viciedo

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago White Sox are parting ways with outfielder Dayan Viciedo [[ vee-see-AYE-doh ]]. The Pale Hose have released the 25-year-old after designating him for assignment late last month. Viciedo hit .231 with 21 home runs and 58 RBI in 145 games for Chicago last season. He signed with the club in December 2008 after defecting from Cuba. Viciedo hit .254 with 66 home runs in five big league seasons with the White Sox.

 width=>>Cardinals Sign Villanueva To Minor League Deal

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Cardinals are bringing in some pitching depth. The Redbirds have signed Carlos Villanueva to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. The 31-year-old right-hander went 5-and-7 with a 4.64 ERA last season with the Chicago Cubs. He appeared in 42 games, including five starts. Villanueva is 45-and-50 lifetime with a 4.26 ERA in nine seasons with the Brewers, Blue Jays and Cubs.

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Rockets Blast Bulls

 width=James Harden paced the Rockets to a 101-90 win over the Bulls with 27 points with four assists at the Toyota Center. Trevor Ariza added 20 points on 7-of-10 shooting, while Donatas Motiejunas compiled a double-double with 15 and 10 rebounds. Houston has won five of its last six. Jimmy Butler matched Harden's 27 points and grabbed six rebounds. Derrick Rose scored 23 points and Joakim Noah tallied 19 rebounds, but hurt Chicago in other areas. Rose missed seven of his nine three-point attempts and Noah was 0-for-8 from the field with only one point. The Bulls have lost three straight.

NBA
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Indiana Pacers 114, Detroit Pistons 109
Boston Celtics 104, Denver Nuggets 100
Brooklyn Nets 109, Toronto Raptors 93
Atlanta Hawks 105, Washington Wizards 96
Milwaukee Bucks 113, Los Angeles Lakers 105 (OT)
Oklahoma City Thunder 102, New Orleans Pelicans 91
Minnesota Timberwolves 102, Miami Heat 101
San Antonio Spurs 110, Orlando Magic 103
Memphis Grizzlies 100, Utah Jazz 90
Golden State Warriors 128, Dallas Mavericks 114

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Illinois Wesleyan Claims First In CCIW, Wichita State Escapes Bradley

 width=>>Wesleyan Climbs Into First In CCIW With Win Over Millikin

The Illinois Wesleyan men's basketball team closed out the first half on a 23-9 run to cruise past Millikin 80-61 at the Griswold Center on Wednesday. Coupled with an Augustana loss in overtime on Wednesday, the Titans have sole possession of first place in the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin.

Wesleayan was led by the 12 points of Bryce Dolan. Alec Bausch added 11 points and nine boards. Pat Sodermann chipped in with 11 points and freshman Brady Rose had 10.

Zach Long led Millikin with 12 points and five boards and Tommy Pilackas added ten points.

The Titans improved to 16-5 overall and 8-2 in the CCIW, sweeping the season series over the Big Blue. Millikin slipped to 8-13 and 3-7 in the CCIW following the defeat.

The Titans return home to host North Central on Saturday at 7 p.m. The game is the annual "Pink Zone" game with monies raised from auctions and tee shirt sales going to benefit the local Community Cancer Center.

North Central (16-5 overall, 6-4 CCIW) upset No. 6 Augustana on the road 72-70 in overtime on Wednesday night and defeated Illinois Wesleyan, 78-72, in Naperville on Jan. 3.

 width=>>No. 16 Wichita State Edges Bradley In Peoria

Fred VanVleet made two free throws with 4.6 seconds left, helping No. 16 Wichita State hold on for a 62-59 victory at Bradley on Wednesday night.

The Shockers went without a field goal for the final 12 1/2 minutes in their first game since Saturday's 70-54 loss at Northern Iowa. After VanVleet's clutch foul shots, Evan Wessel stole Bradley's ensuing inbounds pass to help Wichita State hold on for the win.

Ron Baker had 14 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Shockers (20-3, 10-1 Missouri Valley), who led 35-22 at halftime. Tekele Cotton and Darius Carter had 10 points apiece.

Bradley (7-17, 2-9) has lost three in a row and eight of nine. Tramique Sutherland scored 18 points for the conference's last-place team.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today Rankings)
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#5 Duke Blue Devils 72, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 66
#7 Villanova Wildcats 70, Marquette Golden Eagles 52
#10 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71, Boston College Eagles 63
#16 Maryland Terrapins 64, Penn State Nittany Lions 58
#18 VCU Rams 72, George Mason Patriots 60
#19 Baylor Bears 77, TCU Horned Frogs 57
Purdue Boilermakers 60, #20 Ohio State Buckeyes 58
Providence Friars 74, #24 Georgetown Hoyas 71

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Illinois, Illinois State Excited About 2015 Recruiting Class

 width=>>Illini Sign Best Class of Beckman Era

Illinois on Wednesday added the highest-rated signing class since Tim Beckman became coach before the 2012 season.

The Illini got a boost this week when highly regarded running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn of Nashville, Tennessee, and Chicago defensive lineman Jamal Milan chose Illinois.

Rivals.com ranks Illinois' class 46th in the country and sixth in the 14-team Big Ten.

Beckman said the team's December trip to the Heart of Dallas Bowl helped strengthen the class. Illinois (6-7) hadn't been to a bowl game since the 2011 season.

>>Illinois State Coach Pleased With National Signing Day

 width=FCS national runner-up Illinois State announced the signing of 22 high school seniors as part of its 2015 recruiting class on Wednesday.

The Redbirds had added transfers Stephen Amoako (defensive back, Oregon), David Kenney (defensive lineman, Indiana) and Reggie Spearman (linebacker, Iowa) prior to the start of the spring semester.

Wednesday's signees included 13 players from the state of Illinois as well as players from Wisconsin, Missouri, Michigan, Kansas and Texas.

Illinois State lost to North Dakota State last month in its first appearance in the national championship game. The Redbirds finished 13-2 while setting a program record for wins in a season.

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Local Lawmakers React To State of the State

Wednesday afternoon, Governor Bruce Rauner gave his first State of the State address in front of a joint session of the General Assembly and local lawmakers are reacting to some of the things they heard.

For Sen. Chapin Rose, Sen. Dan Brady, Rep. Bill Brady and Rep. Bill Mitchell, they were pleased to hear "substance" from the State of the State speech. Sen. Rose says for too long, previous leaders have given an all is well assessment, when he notes, not all is well.

[audio:2615speechreact1.mp3] [/audio]

For Sen. Rose, everyone who has left the state is of great concern, and he is pleased with the proposals Gov. Rauner is proposing to bring jobs back to Illinois.

[audio:2615speechreact2.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Mitchell shares the sentiments of Sen. Rose. He explains his area, which is primarily the Decatur area, has been hit hard by job loss and companies leaving the state in the last decade. He feels a sense of optimism about improving the Illinois jobs climate.

[audio:2615speechreact3.mp3] [/audio]

Overall, Rep. Brady felt as though the Governor's address was an on point of where the State is at financially. He was pleased to hear the Governor address safer prisons and increasing education funding but questions where the funding for that will come from.

[audio:2615speechreact4.mp3] [/audio]

Like Sen. Rose, Sen. Dan Brady feels there was substance to the Governor's speech. He points to Gov. Rauner's plans for education, jobs, and safety in the prison systems as the positive highlights from the Governor's address.

[audio:2615speechreact5.mp3] [/audio]

All four lawmakers say they look forward to hearing what Governor Rauner has to say in his Budget Address on February 18.

Check out more from Gov. Rauner's Wednesday address.

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State of the State Address Today

Governor Bruce Rauner is preparing for his first address to lawmakers Wednesday.
Steve Brown, the spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan, says it's hard to know what a new Governor will say in his first State of the State address.

[audio:Brown1.mp3] [/audio]

Brown says the lines of communication have remained open between Rauner and Madigan.

[audio:Brown2.mp3] [/audio]

The State of the State address is scheduled for noon in the House Chambers.

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Winter Weather Advisory In Effect; More Snow Expected, Mild Weather To Follow

 width=The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for snow which is in effect from 9 am this morning to 5 PM CST this afternoon.

Snow will develop mid morning with periods of heavy snow continuing into the afternoon before ending rapidly. Accumulations of up to 2 to 4 inches is possiple.

DTN meteorologist Bryce Anderson says Illinois will see an additional one to four inches of snow through Thursday as a fast moving Canadian clipper moves through the state.

[audio:Bryce1.mp3] [/audio]

Anderson adds after this system passes, the rest of February looks to be on the mild side

[audio:Bryce2.mp3] [/audio]

Meanwhile, the outlook for the upcoming growing season looks favorable, according Anderson.

Untreated roads will become snow covered and visibilities will be low in periods of heavier snow. Gusty winds of 15 to 25 mph will produce some blowing and drifting of snow.

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Nutritionist Sees Shift In 2015 Towards Dairy Products

As nutrition and health continues to become one of the hot topics in society, 2015 could introduce some interesting new trends.

This year will see a predominant focus on proteins and their relationships to dairy. According to Monica Nyman, with the St. Louis Dairy Council, dairy has several advantages to other foods. She notes it has natural protein and fills your stomach up faster than other nutrients.

[audio:12715dairytrends1.mp3] [/audio]

Probiotics are another product that should trend upward in 2015. Nyman notes these fermented cultures include yogurt and sauerkraut and probiotics improves the functions in your digestion.

[audio:12715dairytrends2.mp3] [/audio]

Nyman sees the potential for the fat free phenomenon to come to an end in 2015. She says consumers are beginning to embrace the idea of healthy fats in their food.

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PARCC Tests Posing Challenge For Schools

 width=In March, high school students across the state will be introduced to a new type of test.

The PARCC tests are going to replace the ISATs and the PSAEs and next month, Clinton High School students will begin the series of assessments. According to Principal Jerry Wayne, the PARCC tests are going to be very in depth and will be much different from the type of testing students are used to.

[audio:2315parccclinton1.mp3] [/audio]

Not only are the tests going to be different from what students and parents are used to, the tests are going to be longer. Wayne explains this is going to provide them a lot of challenges, especially because they have to test all students in a certain amount of time.

[audio:2315parccclinton2.mp3] [/audio]

Wayne notes, there are not many practice tests or sample tests, so as the PARCC assessments get closer, he and his staff at the high school will be working to prepare their students as best they can for the tests.

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Golf Icon Sifford Passes Away At 92

 width=The man known by many as the Jackie Robinson of professional golf has passed away.  Charles Sifford, who broke golf's color barrier in the 1960s, has died at the age of 92.  Sifford's son told the "Cleveland Plain Dealer" that his father had a heart infection and died as a result of cardiac arrest.  Sifford, who won two PGA events in his playing career, was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2004.  The pioneer was also presented with the highest U.S. civilian honor -- the Presidential Medal of Freedom -- last November.

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NFL Suspends Browns' Gordon At Least One Year

 width=The NFL is suspending Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon at least one year without pay for his latest violation of the league's substance abuse policy.  The ban starts immediately.  Gordon was also suspended the first 10 games of the 2014 season and has been banned three times in as many seasons for failing drug tests.  The 23-year-old had 24 catches for 303 yards in five games this past season.  He has 161 grabs for 2,754 yards and 14 touchdowns over 35 games in his first three years in the league. 

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MLB Notes

>>Angels' Hamilton To Undergo Shoulder Surgery

(Anaheim, CA) -- Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton will undergo surgery to repair the AC joint in his right shoulder on Wednesday. The 33-year-old can resume baseball activities in as early as three weeks, but the procedure will likely sideline the slugger up to two months. Hamilton was limited to just 89 games last season due to various injuries and hit .263 with 10 homers and 44 RBI. The 2010 AL MVP had 21 home runs and 79 RBI in 151 games in his first season with the Halos in 2013, after signing a five-year, 125-million-dollar contract.

 width=>>Marlins' Stanton Will Wear Protective Guard On Helmet

(Miami, FL) -- After being struck by a pitch in the face last season, Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo [[ john-carlo ]] Stanton will wear a protective guard on his batting helmet. Stanton tells MLB Network he is planning on wearing extra protection all season, as long as it doesn't hinder his vision at the plate. The 25-year-old suffered facial fractures from the hit by pitch and says he has yet to regain full feeling in his lip. Stanton signed a 325-million-dollar contract extension in November and has been cleared for all physical activity.

 width=>>Pirates Acquire Lombardozzi From O's

The Pittsburgh Pirates acquired infielder Steve Lombardozzi from the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday in exchange for cash considerations.

Lombardozzi, 26, spent the majority of the 2014 season playing for Baltimore's Triple-A club in Norfolk, hitting .270 over 78 games.

The switch-hitter batted .264 with five home runs and 50 RBI in 257 games with the Washington Nationals from 2011-13.

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Bulls Battle Rockets

 width=The Bulls continue their six-game road trip against the Rockets in Houston tonight. Chicago slipped to 1-and-2 on the trek with a 99-93 loss to the Suns last Friday. Chicago has lost three of its last four games overall. Tonight's nationally-televised game is at 7:00.

>>Blazers Clip Jazz

(Portland, OR) -- Damian Lillard posted 25 points and six assists helping the Trail Blazers pull out a 103-102 win against the Jazz at the Moda Center. LaMarcus Aldridge had a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double for Portland, which snapped a three-game losing streak. Robin Lopez made his return to the lineup after missing the last 23 games and put up 11 points and six boards in the victory. Gordon Hayward hit 10-of-16 shots on his way to 27 points for the Jazz. Rudy Gobert added seven points and 15 rebounds off the bench. The Jazz have lost three of four.

NBA
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Philadelphia 76ers 105, Denver Nuggets 98
Boston Celtics 108, New York Knicks 97
Detroit Pistons 108, Miami Heat 91
Golden State Warriors 121, Sacramento Kings 96

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Blues Win, Blackhawks Lose

 width=>>Blues Edge Lightning In OT

(St. Louis, MO) -- Jaden Schwartz scored the winning goal 1:16 into overtime to lift the Blues past the Lightning 2-1 at Scottrade Center. Vladimir Tarasenko [[ tare-uh-SANK-oh ]] tallied the tying goal with 3:10 left in the third period for the Blues, who have won six straight and 11 of their last 12 overall. Brian Elliott made 30 saves in the victory. Cedric Paquette scored the lone goal for the Bolts, who had won their previous two. Ben Bishop surrendered both goals on 18 shots in defeat.

 width=>>Wild Blank Blackhawks

(St. Paul, MN) -- Devan Dubnyk [[ DOOB-nik ]] made 24 saves for his fourth shutout of the season as the Wild blanked the Blackhawks 3-0 at Xcel Energy Center. Mikko Koivu [[ MEE-koe KOY-voo ]] and Jason Zucker scored 2:20 apart in the first period, while Mikael Granlund tallied in the second for the Wild, who have won four in-a-row. Koivu assisted on Zucker's tally for a two-point night. Corey Crawford stopped 40 of the 43 shots for Chicago, which has lost three of four.

NHL
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New Jersey Devils 2, Ottawa Senators 1
Florida Panthers 4, New York Islanders 2
Washington Capitals 4, Los Angeles Kings 0
Arizona Coyotes 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 1
Buffalo Sabres 3, Montreal Canadiens 2
Nashville Predators 4, Toronto Maple Leafs 3
Colorado Avalanche 3, Dallas Stars 2 (SO)
Vancouver Canucks 3, Winnipeg Jets 2 (OT)
Anaheim Ducks 5, Carolina Hurricanes 4 (OT)

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Illinois Beats Rutgers; Illinois State Routes Evansville

>>Illinois Downs Rutgers

 width=Kendrick Nunn scored 21 points and Malcolm Hill added 15 to help Illinois survive a late rally against struggling Rutgers, 66-54 on Tuesday.

Illinois led by as many as 17, but Rutgers closed to within eight at 62-54 with 2:36 to play on a 3-pointer by Kadeem Jack.

With the Scarlet Knights forced to foul, Nunn hit a pair of free throws with 53 seconds left to open the lead back to a safe 10, 64-54.

Ahmad Starks added 13 points off the bench and Leron Black had 12 for Illinois (15-8, 5-5 Big Ten).

Rutgers has now lost seven straight.

Jack led Rutgers (10-14, 2-9) with 17 points and nine rebounds. Myles Mack added 16 points and six rebounds.

Rutgers' Bishop Daniels fouled out with 53 seconds to play.

>>Illinois State Routes Evansville

Illinois State set the tone defensively early in the game against Evansville Tuesday night and jumped out to an early lead it would never relinquish, in a 77-51 win over the Purple Aces (16-7, 6-5 MVC) on Doug Collins Court at Redbird Arena.

 width=Reggie Lynch scored a career high 16 points to lead the Redbirds (15-8, 7-4 MVC). MiKyle McIntosh added 13 points, Deontae Hawkins chipped in with 12 points and Paris Lee added 11 points with seven assists.

With the win, the Redbirds moved three games over .500 in MVC play for the first time since the 2009-10 season and have now won seven out of their last nine games in conference play.

The Redbirds return to action Saturday when they travel south to face in-state foe Southern Illinois. Tipoff at SIU Arena is slated for 1 p.m.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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#1 Kentucky Wildcats 69, Georgia Bulldogs 58
#4 Wisconsin Badgers 92, #25 Indiana Hoosiers 78
#8 Louisville Cardinals 63, Miami (FL) Hurricanes 55
#21 Oklahoma Sooners 71, #12 West Virginia Mountaineers 52
#15 Northern Iowa Panthers 61, Indiana State Sycamores 51
#22 Butler Bulldogs 85, St. John's Red Storm 62

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Clinton, Monticello Routed Tuesday Night

Four players scored in double figures and St. Joseph-Ogden shot 56% from the floor as they routed the Monticello Sages Tuesday night 70-50 at St. Joseph.

 width=Brandon Trimble led the way for the Spartans with 20 points. Tyler Harms added 19, Rylan Housenga added 15 and Jake Pence chipped in with ten.

Zach Fisher was the only player to reach double-figures for the Sages as he went for 20 points along with seven boards. Noah Freemon added nine points and Clay Becker chipped in with eight.

Daniel Peterson posted six rebounds as well.

The Spartans used a 22-5 second period to pull away and lead at the half 39-20 and never looked back as the Sages could only tally four team assists to 19 turnovers.

For Monticello, it is their first league loss, as they fall to 14-4 overall, and 4-1 in the new Okaw Valley Conference.

St. Joe ups their record to 17-3 and 4-1 overall.

The Sages host Rantoul Friday.

Other scores in the area yesterday:

 width=Clinton 45 (Central Illinois Conference Tournament)
Warrensburg-Latham 69

Tuscola 33 (Central Illinois Conference Tournament)
Decatur St. Teresa 63

Tolono Unity 63
Maroa-Forsyth 51

Arthur-Lovington/Atwood-Hammond 56
Argenta-Oreana 45

Champaign Judah Christian 62
Cerro Gordo-Bement 60

Arcola 59
Okaw Valley 53

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Governor Rauner Reveals More of His Plans For Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his first major address to Illinoisans Wednesday afternoon.

The Governor expanded on ideas he's already introduced and revealed more of his plans for turning Illinois around. The venture capitalist discussed reforms he'd like to see made to the Illinois business climate.

[audio:raunerbusiness.mp3] [/audio]

Before leaving office, former Governor Pat Quinn vowed to raise the minimum wage in Illinois, but was never able to get lawmakers on board. Now Governor Rauner is calling on lawmakers to gradually increase the minimum wage to $10-hour by over the next seven years.

[audio:raunerwages2.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor also discussed consolidation among local governments. Gov. Rauner says this would be a way to save taxpayers money, as exampled by DuPage County.

[audio:raunerlocalgov.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Rauner called on lawmakers to reform how state workers are compensated by rewarding quality work. He says workers who save the state money, deserve bonuses.

[audio:raunercompensate.mp3] [/audio]

K-12 education has been the source of great debate in recent months in Illinois, as Illinois schools continue to be underfunded, and Wednesday afternoon, Governor Rauner called on lawmakers to increase investments in early childhoold education.

[audio:raunereducation.mp3] [/audio]

Gov. Rauner revealed his plan to hire more prison workers in the Illinois prison system, calling the conditions in prisons "unacceptable" and "unsafe".

Governor Rauner also expanded on his calls for "right to work zones" in Illinois. He is proposing term limits for lawmakers and made a call for bans to campaign contributions from state worker unions and groups receiving Medicaid funding.

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Donation From Monsanto To Benefit Weldon Fire Department

 width=A local fire department has received some additional funding thanks to a nation-wide program administered by Monsanto.

The Weldon Fire Department has received a 25-hundred dollar grant from the Monsanto Fund through the "America's Farmers Grow Communities" campaign. Weldon Fire Chief, Larry Helton, was honored to receive the funding, and says the rural DeWitt County department will use the money to purchase a grain bin extrication device.

[audio:monsanto1.mp3] [/audio]

The Grow Communities campaign allows Monsanto customer farmers to enter into a random drawing each year, and then one farmer from each eligible county is selected as a winner. Justin Goble, who farms in the Weldon area, was selected as the DeWitt County winner for 2015. He knows first hand the need of extra funding for local fire departments due to his family's history of serving on them.

[audio:monsanto2.mp3] [/audio]

Over 90-thousand farmers across the nation entered the drawing this year. Jeff Brown, local DSM for Dekalb/Asgrow, notes the program has grown tremendously since its inception in 2010.

[audio:monsanto3.mp3] [/audio]

Goble's presentation to the Weldon Fire Department took place as part of the east central Illinois Grow Communities awards program last week at the Midwest Ag Expo. During the presentation, 17-thousand 5-hundred dollars was awarded to seven non-profit groups.

County - Winner - Non-Profit

 width=Champaign - Eldred Cornelius - Community Service Center
Christian - James Ade - Loaves & Fishes Pantry
Coles - Randy Ellis - Oakland FFA
DeWitt - Justin Goble - Weldon Fire Department
Fayette - Tim Emerick - Vandalia FFA
Logan - Mary Boyer - Lincoln-Logan Food Pantry
Macon - Linda Volle - Argenta School District
McLean - Gary & Bobbie Brucker - Ridgeview Food Pantry
Montgomery - Kimberly Lipe - Montgomery Co. Cancer Ass.
Moultire - Kathy Ruff - Christ's Pantry
Piatt Ronald Meece Faith In Action
Sangamon - Steve Stahl - Dove Inc.
Shelby - Robert Walk - St. Michael Catholic School

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ASCAR Announces Hall Of Fame Inductees

 width=A new five man class will enter the NASCAR Hall of Fame.  Bill Elliott, Fred Lorenzen, Wendell Scott, Rex White and Joe Weatherly have been elected.  Elliott was the 1988 champion and Scott was NASCAR's first black driver to race full-time.  White was the 1960 champion with Weatherly winning in 1962 and 1963.  Lorenzen won 26 times in 158 starts and was one of NASCAR's first superstars. 

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Koepka Jumps In Latest Golf Rankings

 width=Brooks Koepka rallied to win for the first time on the PGA Tour on Sunday, and that victory helped him enter the top 20 in the world rankings.

Koepka climbed 14 spots to No. 19 thanks to his win at the Phoenix Open.

Rory McIlroy won the Dubai Desert Open for the second time and he stretched his lead atop the world rankings from 3.36 average points to 4.04 average points.

Henrik Stenson remained the second-ranked player in the world. Bubba Watson shared second place at the Phoenix Open for the second straight year and he improved to No. 3 this week. That pushed Adam Scott down a spot to fourth.

Justin Rose held steady at No. 5 and he was again followed by Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth and Matt Kuchar.

Martin Kaymer inched up one to 11th and that bumped Rickie Fowler down a spot to No. 12, while Jimmy Walker stayed put at 13. Hideki Matsuyama, who shared second place with Watson and Ryan Palmer, jumped four to No. 14 and Victor Dubuisson climbed a notch to 15th.

Patrick Reed dipped one to 16, Billy Horschel fell three to 17 andPhil Mickelson slipped a spot to 18th. Koepka moved into the 19th position and Graeme McDowell was down one to 20th.

Chris Kirk tumbled out of the top 20 as he dropped two places to 22nd.

Tiger Woods, who missed the cut badly in Phoenix, tumbled nine spots to No. 56 and is in jeopardy of not qualifying for the first World Golf Championship of the season in four weeks at Doral.

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NFL, Super Bowl Notes

>>Johnny Football Checks Into Rehab

Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel entered a rehab program last week.

The Browns confirmed the news in a statement Monday, saying the 2014 first- round pick began his treatment last Wednesday.

Manziel had a rough rookie season, both on the field and off the field, in 2014.

Reports of his partying circulated all summer after the Browns used the 22nd overall pick to select the former Heisman Trophy winner in May's draft. He was fined $12,000 by the NFL for a hand gesture he made in a preseason loss to the Washington Redskins, then started the season on the bench behind journeyman Brian Hoyer.

 width=In late November, a fight at a high-end apartment complex in Cleveland between a fan and people associated with Manziel took place in the early morning hours.

Manziel eventually started two games late in the season, then was placed on injured reserve for the finale because of hamstring issue. He then overslept the day before the last game against Baltimore and was fined.

>>Seahawks' Sherman To Have Tommy John Surgery

(Renton, WA) -- Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman will have surgery on his injured elbow. Head coach Pete Carroll says Sherman will have Tommy John surgery, which is a ligament replacement procedure most common for baseball pitchers. Sherman injured the elbow in the Seahawks NFC Championship Game win over Green Bay, but is expected to be ready for next season. He had 57 tackles and four interceptions this past season.

>>Falcons To Introduce Quinn Tuesday

(Flowery Branch, GA) -- Dan Quinn is set to become the new head coach of the Atlanta Falcons. The "Atlanta Journal-Constitution" reports he has agreed to a five-year contract and will be introduced at a Tuesday press conference. Quinn just finished his second season as defensive coordinator for the NFC champion Seattle Seahawks. He takes over in Atlanta for Mike Smith, who was fired after going 6-and-10 in his seventh year with the Falcons in 2014. The 44-year-old Quinn was the Seahawks' assistant head coach and defensive line coach from 2009 to 2010 before two years as defensive coordinator at the University of Florida. NFL.com reports Seattle will promote defensive backs coach Kris Richards to replace Quinn as the team's defensive coordinator.

>>Sapp Arrested, Fired By NFL Network

Pro Football Hall of Famer Warren Sapp has been arrested on suspicion of soliciting a prostitute and assault.

Phoenix police arrested the 42-year-old Sapp at 7 a.m. MT on Monday at a downtown hotel.

A woman told police that she and another woman were working as escorts and an argument about money in a guest's room turned physical. Sapp told investigators that he had paid one of the women for sex but denied any assault, according to police.

Sapp was in Arizona for Sunday's Super Bowl, working for the NFL Network, which has terminated his contract.

 width=>>Super Bowl 49 Draws Record 114 Million Viewers

(Phoenix, AZ) -- Super Bowl 49 just upped the ante for most-watched Super Bowls of all time. According to official numbers from Nielsen, more than 114-million viewers tuned in to NBC to watch the New England Patriots take the championship game over the Seattle Seahawks. That bests last year's Super Bowl on Fox by more than two-million viewers and seals Sunday night's game as the most-watched television broadcast in history. NBC also scored with its post-Super Bowl episode of "The Blacklist," which drew more than 26-million viewers to become the biggest audience for an NBC scripted series in more than ten years. The special post-Super Bowl episode of "The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon" also delivered, reeling in nine-point-eight-million viewers.

>>Vegas Bookies Lose Super Bowl

(Las Vegas, NV) -- Las Vegas bookies are three-million dollars richer today because of Super Bowl bets. The Nevada Gaming Control Board said Monday that 116-million dollars was wagered on the Super Bowl, and three-point-three-million went to Nevada's 191 sports books. The amount is a big drop from last year's record-breaking bets, when bookies kept almost 20-million dollars after an easy Seahawks victory over the Broncos.

The director of Wynn's sports book said the big drop is because of the end-zone interception Seattle threw in the closing moments of the game. He said, "I can't even begin to tell you how many millions of dollars changed hands." The Patriots went on to beat the Seahawks 28 to 24.

>>Katy Perry's SB Halftime Show Draws Record 118-Million Viewers

(Undated) -- Katy Perry now holds the record for the most-watched Super Bowl halftime show in history. The pop star's twelve-and-a-half minute party live from Glendale, Arizona during Sunday's big game drew a record 118-point-five million viewers for NBC, according to the official numbers from Nielsen. With the help of Lenny Kravitz and surprise guest Missy Elliott, Katy's massive production managed to attract over three million more viewers than Bruno Mars and the Red Hot Chili Peppers did last year. The previous record before Bruno's was Madonna's 2012 halftime show with Nicki Minaj and M.I.A.

A record number of viewers tuned into the game, as well. With more than 114-million overall viewers, Sunday's game is now the most-watched of Super Bowl of all time.

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Pelicans End Hawks Winning Streak

 width=The Hawks' 19-game winning streak came to an end as they fell to the Pelicans, 115-100, at the Smoothie King Center. Atlanta is now 40-and-9. Anthony Davis led the way for New Orleans, posting 29 points and 13 rebounds, while Eric Gordon knocked down four from deep on his way to 20 points. Tyreke Evans had 15 points and 12 assists, helping the Pelicans win for the sixth time in seven tries. Jeff Teague had a team-high 21 points with seven assists in the defeat. Paul Millsap chipped in 15 and six boards for Atlanta, which lost for the first time since December 26th.

NBA
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Cleveland Cavaliers 97, Philadelphia 76ers 84
Charlotte Hornets 92, Washington Wizards 88
Brooklyn Nets 102, Los Angeles Clippers 100
Milwaukee Bucks 82, Toronto Raptors 75
Oklahoma City Thunder 104, Orlando Magic 97
Dallas Mavericks 100, Minnesota Timberwolves 94
Memphis Grizzlies 102, Phoenix Suns 101

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Blues, NHL Notes

 width=>>Blues' Shattenkirk To Have Abdominal Surgery

(St. Louis, MO) -- St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is set to undergo abdominal surgery in the next seven to 10 days. He will be listed as week-to-week following the procedure. Shattenkirk suffered the injury in Sunday's 4-3 win at Washington. The 26-year-old All-Star has eight goals and 32 assists in 49 games this season.

>>Blues Host Bolts Tonight

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues make a brief pit stop at home tonight to host the Lightning. St. Louis has won five straight, including back-to-back road wins at Carolina and Washington over the weekend. The Blues have won 10 of their last 11 overall. Tampa Bay has won five of its last six games.

>>No Fine, Suspension For Blues' Backes

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues will have captain David Backes [[ BACK-iss ]] in the lineup tonight against the Bolts. The NHL will not discipline Backes further after he received a boarding major and ejection for hitting Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner from behind in Sunday's 4-3 win over Washington.

 width=>>Blackhawks Battle Wild

(St. Paul, MN) -- The Blackhawks continue their seven-game road trip against the Wild tonight. Chicago fell to 2-and-2 on the trek with a 2-0 loss to the Sharks on Saturday. Tonight's nationally-televised game is at 7:00.

>>Rangers Use Three-Goal Third To Beat Panthers

(New York, NY) -- Dan Boyle, Mats Zuccarello [[ zoo-cuh-RELL-oh ]] and Rick Nash all scored in the third period to lift the Rangers to a 6-3 win over the Panthers at Madison Square Garden. Nash tallied twice to tie him with Washington's Alexander Ovechkin for the league-lead with 31. Kevin Hayes and Marc Staal also lit the lamp for the Blueshirts, who have won two in-a-row and five of their last seven. Henrik Lundqvist made 33 saves in the victory. Aleksander Barkov, Dave Bolland and Brandon Pirri [[ PEER-ee ]] scored for Florida, which has dropped seven of eight. Roberto Luongo yielded five goals on 37 shots in the setback.

NHL
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Calgary Flames 5, Winnipeg Jets 2
Edmonton Oilers 5, San Jose Sharks 4 (SO)

>>Ovechkin Named Top Performer For January

Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin was named the NHL's top player for the month of January.

The veteran scorer earned the First Star after leading all players with 12 goals, adding three assists to finish the month with 15 points over 13 games. He scored his 30th goal of the season on Sunday against the St. Louis Blues to become the fifth player in league history to reach that mark in each of his first 10 seasons, joining Mike Gartner (15), Wayne Gretzky (13), Mike Bossy (10) and Jari Kurri (10).

New York Islanders center John Tavares was the Second Star after registering eight goals and eight assists in 12 games. He also scored four times for Team Toews in the NHL All-Star Game.

Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask posted a 7-1-3 record with a 1.61 goals- against average and a .949 save percentage to pick up the Third Star.

>>Stars' Klingberg Rookie of the Month

Dallas Stars defenseman John Klingberg was named the NHL's Rookie of the Month for January on Monday.

 width=Klingberg, 22, topped all rookies in points, registering five goals and eight assists over 13 games.

The Swede became the first rookie blueliner in franchise history to compile four points in one game when he scored twice and collected two assists in Saturday's 5-2 win at Winnipeg.

>>Three Stars Named For The Week

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price, Tampa Bay Lightning center Cedric Paquette and Minnesota Wild netminder Devan Dubnyk were named the NHL's top players for the week on Monday.

Price earned the First Star after posting three wins with a goals-against average of 0.66, a .980 save percentage and two shutouts in three outings last week. He made 40 saves in a 3-2 win over Dallas, then followed with consecutive 1-0 shutouts against the Rangers and Capitals.

Paquette picked up the Second Star after leading the league with five goals last week. He scored at least once in each of his three games, including a hat trick against Detroit, to help the Lightning maintain first place in the Atlantic Division.

Dubnyk notched the Third Star after matching Price with three victories, but only one came by shutout. He did finish with a 1.00 GAA and a .967 save percentage.

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Illinois Hosts Rutgers Tonight; NCAA Basketball Notes

 width=Illinois welcomes Rutgers to the State Farm Center tonight.  The Fighting Illini got past Penn State 60-58 on Saturday.  Illinois has traded wins and losses in its last eight games and is 14-and-8 overall and 4-and-5 in the Big Ten.  The Scarlet Knights are 10-and-13 and 2-and-8. 

>>Kansas Drops Iowa State

Wayne Selden netted 19 of his 20 points in the second half and No. 8 Kansas defeated No. 11 Iowa State 89-76 on Monday night.

Perry Ellis posted 17 points and six rebounds and Kelly Oubre Jr. added 16 points and five boards for Kansas (19-3, 8-1 Big 12), which had dropped its last two games against Iowa State. It was the first time the Jayhawks had lost two in a row to the Cyclones since a five-game slide from Feb. 1999-Feb. 2001.

Georges Niang tallied 24 points, six boards and five assists for the Cyclones (16-5, 6-3), who had won four of their last five games coming in.

>>Virginia Tops North Carolina In Chapel Hill

Malcolm Brogdon had 17 points, Justin Anderson scored 16 with seven assists and third-ranked Virginia got back on track by topping No. 12 North Carolina 75-64 Monday night.

Coming off their first loss of the season, the Cavaliers pulled away in the second half against the Tar Heels to post just their seventh win in 72 trips to Chapel Hill.

London Perrantes finished with 15 points and Anthony Gill supplied 13 with seven rebounds as Virginia (20-1, 8-1 ACC) rebounded from Saturday's 69-63 home loss to No. 4 Duke.

Marcus Paige had 15 points to pace the Tar Heels (17-6, 7-3), who have dropped two straight on the heels of a six-game win streak.

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Former Illinois State, MLB Star Dies

Former Detroit Tigers first baseman Dave Bergman has died at age 61.

The team extended condolences Monday to Bergman's family, calling him "as spirited a person as he was a player."

 width=No cause of death was available, but The Detroit News and Detroit Free Press report that Bergman had bile-duct cancer.

Bergman spent 17 years in the major leagues, including nine in Detroit where he arrived via trade in 1984. He was a member of the Tigers' 1984 World Series winning team.

Bergman had a career .258 batting average, 54 home runs and 289 RBIs. He also played for the Yankees, Astros and Giants.

The Evanston, Illinois native and Illinois State standout was involved in Detroit-area youth baseball and founded the Grosse Pointe Redbirds.

He is survived by his wife and three children.

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Fire Safety Advocates Opposed To Fireworks Changes

Cash strapped Illinois needs all the revenue streams it can find but fire safety advocates want to strand bottle rockets and other fireworks on the launching pad.

Illinois Fire Safety Alliance Govt. Affairs Director Margaret Vaughn says legalizing fireworks would not offer the state of Illinois a net gain.

[audio:burnmonth2.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois Fire Services Association President Steve Iovinelli says there are concerns beyond back yard injuries during Fourth of July celebrations. He says the proof is out there, that consumer grade fireworks can be weaponized.

[audio:burnmonth1.mp3] [/audio]

Fire safety advocates say states with legalized fireworks have significantly more injuries, especially when it comes to children.

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Parts of Illinois Abnormally Dry

THE LATEST REPORT FROM THE U-S DROUGHT MONITOR REFLECTS THE LACK OF SNOW THIS WINTER.

THE NORTHERN THIRD OF THE STATE, AS WELL AS PARTS OF WESTERN ILLINOIS AND FAR SOUTHEASTERN ILLINOIS WERE RATED “ABNORMALLY DRY” THIS WEEK SAYS STATE CLIMATOLOGIST JIM ANGEL.

[audio:abnormal.mp3] [/audio]

ANGEL SAYS WE’RE ABOUT TWO TO FOUR INCHES BELOW NORMAL FOR PRECIPITATION THIS WINTER…ALTHOUGH PREDICTED SNOWFALL TOTALS FOR THE WEEKEND COULD MAKE UP SOME OF THAT DIFFERENCE.

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Pair of CHS Athletes Sign With Parkland College

 width=The Clinton High School Commons was the site of dozens of interested family, friends and faculty for a pair of athletes who made a college decision.

Haley Ginger and Megan Tool signed letters of intent to play college softball at Parkland Community College. The two describe each other as best friends and each say they are looking forward to playing alongside the other next season.

[audio:2215toolginger1.mp3] [/audio]

Ginger says she chose Parkland because of the coaching staff and feels it will be a great fit for her academically. Both girls says being close to home meant a lot to them as well.

[audio:2215toolginger2.mp3] [/audio]

For Tool, she calls signing day a "weight off her shoulders". She credits the coaching staff as one of her reasons for signing with Parkland.

[audio:2215toolginger3.mp3] [/audio]

Ginger has played shortstop and Clinton High School and was recruited to play there at Parkland. She explains she gave up pitching as a freshman to focus on shortstop exclusively.

Tool has been a catcher her whole life and has been the full time catcher since she was a sophomore. She can also play the outfield.

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DJWH Interim-CEO: Hospital Performing At A High Level

The interim-leader of the Dr. John Warner Hospital is pleased with the way the hospital is operating.

Interim-CEO Rex McKinney calls the hospitals performance "very favorable" and says their 3.1% operating margin is excellent. He explains as of right now, the hospital is over a half-million dollars over-budget.

[audio:2215hospitalbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

McKinney is the third CEO of the city-owned hospital since May and he feels even though there's been a lot of transition, the budget always needs to be attended to. Despite the turnover, he feels the success of the hospital can be sustained in the long term.

[audio:2215hospitalbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

McKinney attributes the success of the hospital to the "extraordinary skills and competencies at the management level". He feels that makes it much easier to be successful in operating a hospital.

He says they are committed to quality patient care and making sure patient experience is extraordinary.

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Brooks Koepka Takes Phoenix Open

 width=Brooks Koepka fired a bogey-free, 5-under 66 in Sunday's final round as he rallied to win the Phoenix Open by one shot.

Koepka finished his first PGA Tour victory at 15-under-par 269. Though this was his first PGA win, Koepka won the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour last season, and entered the week ranked 33rd in the world.

Bubba Watson fired a 6-under 65 to share second place for the second straight year at this event. The Masters champion was joined at minus-14 by first-round leader Ryan Palmer (66) and Memorial winner Hideki Matsuyama (67).

Martin Laird, who led after the second and third rounds, dropped three shots in the last two holes to fall into a tie for fifth at 12-under-par 272. He ended alongside amateur Jon Rahm (68), who is on the Arizona State golf team.

Freddie Jacobson matched the low round of the day at the TPC Scottsdale with his 7-under 64. He soared into a share of seventh place at minus-11. He shared seventh with Graham DeLaet (67) and Jordan Spieth (65).

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Brewers Sign Cotts To One-Year Deal

 width=The Milwaukee Brewers are adding reliever Neal Cotts to their bullpen.  They have signed the 34-year-old left-hander to a one-year contract worth a reported three-million-dollars.  Cotts was just 2-and-9 with a 4.32 ERA last season for the Texas Rangers, but went 8-and-3 with a 1.11 ERA the year before that.  He has a career mark of 20-and-24 with a 4.05 ERA with the White Sox, Cubs and Rangers.  Cotts did not pitch from 2010 to 2012 due to injuries. 

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Blues Edge Capitals

 width=Vladimir Tarasenko scored the eventual game-winner early in the third period to lift the Blues to a 4-3 win over the Capitals in D.C. Alexander Steen had two goals and an assist for St. Louis, which has won five straight. T.J. Oshie added three assists in the win. Brian Elliott stopped 33 shots for the win. Alex Ovechkin posted two goals and an assist for Washington, which has lost two straight. Justin Peters made 36 saves in the loss.

NHL
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Arizona Coyotes 3, Montreal Canadiens 2
Nashville Predators 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
Minnesota Wild 4, Vancouver Canucks 2

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Pats Win Super Bowl; Brady MVP

 width=>>Patriots Beat Seahawks In Super Bowl 49

(Glendale, AZ) -- Malcom Butler intercepted Russell Wilson in the end zone to clinch a 28-24 victory in Super Bowl 49 for the New England Patriots over the Seattle Seahawks from University of Phoenix Stadium. Tom Brady gave the Patriots a four-point lead, finding Julian Edelman on a three-yard score with 2:02 left in the fourth quarter, concluding a ten-play, 64-yard drive. The game-winning touchdown was Brady's fourth TD throw of the game as he won his third Super Bowl MVP Award. He completed 37-of-50 passes for 328 yards, but was intercepted twice. It was Brady and Belichick's fourth Super Bowl victory together. Edelman had nine catches and 109 yards receiving. Rob Gronkowski, Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell scored the other three TDs.

Seattle went into the fourth quarter with a 10-point lead before allowing the Pats to reach the end zone twice in the final eight minutes. Seahawks wide receiver Chris Matthews, who never caught an NFL pass coming into the game, surprisingly piled up four catches for 109 yards and a touchdown. Wilson threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, in addition to the fateful interception. Marshawn Lynch compiled 102 yards and 24 carries and hit pay dirt. Seattle failed to become the ninth team to win back-to-back Super Bowls.

>>Brady Wins Third Super Bowl MVP

(Glendale, AZ) -- Tom Brady and Joe Montana have another reason to be mentioned in the same sentence. Brady joined Montana as the only two three-time Super Bowl MVP's. Brady threw for 328 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions in New England's 28-24 victory against the Seahawks in Super Bowl 49. Brady's fourth and final touchdown throw was from three-yards out to Julian Edelman to give New England a four-point lead with 2:02 left in the fourth quarter. He also claimed the award in Super Bowl 36 and Super Bowl 38 when the Pats beat the Rams and Panthers, respectively.

>>Report: Manning Close To A Decision

(Denver, CO) -- We should know soon whether quarterback Peyton Manning will suit up again for the Broncos next season. ESPN's Chris Mortensen reports "Manning could decide as early as the coming week that he is indeed returning for an 18th season." The story goes on to state he's confident the partnership between he and new head coach Gary Kubiak will go well. It would be his fourth year with Denver. The Broncos went 12-and-4 before losing in the AFC Divisional Round at home to the Colts. The loss in part lead to head coach John Fox getting fired.

>>Seau Headlines 2015 Hall of Fame Class

(Phoenix, AZ) -- Linebacker Junior Seau [[ SAY-ow ]] headlines this year's eight-man class selected for induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Joining Seau in the Class of 2015 are offensive lineman Will Shields, running back Jerome Bettis, wide receiver Tim Brown, defensive end Charles Haley, center Mick Tingelhoff, general manager Bill Polian, and executive Ron Wolf.

Seau, who was in his first year of eligibility, spent 13 of his 20 NFL seasons with the San Diego Chargers. The 12-time Pro Bowler tragically committed suicide in May 2012. Shields played 14 seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs, while Bettis spent 10 of his 13 years with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Brown donned the Silver and Black of the Raiders for all but one of his 17 NFL seasons, while Haley collected five Super Bowl rings in his 13 years with the San Francisco 49ers and Dallas Cowboys.

The list of inductees was revealed during the NFL Honors show in Phoenix, Arizona. The eight men will be enshrined in Canton during the NFL's Hall of Fame weekend later this summer. Among those left out of this year's class include quarterback Kurt Warner, running back Terrell Davis, wide receiver Marvin Harrison and offensive lineman Orlando Pace.

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Illinois, Illinois State Win Over Weekend

 width=>>Illinois State Edges Loyal Chicago

Deonte Hawkins scored 11 points, including 3 of 4 3-pointers, and Illinois State held off a late run by Loyola of Chicago to win 48-45 on Saturday.

Daishon Knight scored nine points, Paris Lee had six steals, and Redbirds (14-8, 6-4 Missouri Valley) handed the Ramblers their fifth straight loss.

Montel James scored a career-high 22 points for Loyola of Chicago (13-9, 3-7), but made only 2 of 7 free throws, missing five of six in the final 48 seconds when the Ramblers trailed 46-45.

Illinois State led 26-19 at halftime, and pulled away 42-27 in the second half. The Ramblers gained ground on a 13-2 run and pulled within 46-45 after James made one of two free throws with 48 seconds left. Reggie Lynch hit two free throws for a 48-45 lead, but James missed all four of his free throw tries in the final 16 seconds.

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>>Hill Lifts Illinois Past Penn State

Illinois forward Malcolm Hill scored 27 points Saturday including two on a layup with four seconds left in the game to deliver a 60-58 win over Penn State.

Hill was mobbed at midcourt by teammates when Penn State's last, desperate attempt to tie fell short.

The win was relief for an Illini team (14-8, 4-5) already depleted by injury that got more bad news just before game time. Coach John Groce suspended two of those injured players, Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby, indefinitely for unspecified violations of team rules.

Kendrick Nunn added 10 points for Illinois. Leron Black had a game-high seven rebounds.

D.J. Newbill led Penn State (14-8, 2-7) with 20 points. Shep Garner added 14.

Penn State played without starting forward Brandon Taylor for the second straight game. He has a knee injury.

>>Illinois Suspends Rice, Cosby Indefinitely

Illinois coach John Groce wouldn't say why guards Rayvonte Rice and Aaron Cosby have been suspended. But he said both would have able to return to the lineup Saturday against Penn State if not for the disciplinary issues.

Rice has been out since early January with a broken hand and Cosby has been out since Jan. 18 with a torn retina.

Groce announced their indefinite suspensions just before Saturday's 60-58 win over Penn State.

Both players were with the team Saturday and the coach said they would practice Sunday. But he wouldn't say if they will play in Illinois' next game, Tuesday against Rutgers.

Illinois (14-8, 4-5 Big Ten) has been so depleted by injuries that it added manager Ryan Schmidt to the roster last week.

>>Indiana State Gets By Bradley

Brenton Scott scored 13 points to lead a balanced Indiana State attack to a 64-58 victory over Bradley on Saturday.

Scott added five rebounds, five assists and three steals to help Indiana State stay undefeated at home in six Missouri Valley Conference games.

Devonte Brown had 12 points, all in the second half, Tre' Bennett added 11 and Justin Gant 10 for Indiana State (11-11, 7-3). Brown, Scott and Bennett hit three 3-pointers apiece.

Indiana State hit four consecutive 3-pointers, two by Bennett, early in the second half to take a 43-37 lead.

Tramique Sutherland led Bradley (7-16, 2-8) with 17 points. Auston Barnes, Josh Cunningham and Anthony Fields had 11 apiece for Bradley.

Both teams shot under 40 percent for the game, but Indiana State held a 41-32 advantage on the glass.

>>Utah Hammers USC

Jakob Poeltl had 14 points and nine rebounds and the 11th-ranked Utes routed Southern California 67-39 on Sunday afternoon.

Delon Wright netted 11 points and Jordan Loveridge added 10 for Utah (17-4, 7-2 Pac-12), which bounced back in a big way following its 69-59 defeat at UCLA Thursday.

The Utes have won three of their last four games.

Malik Martin was the only double-digit scorer for USC (9-12, 1-8), finishing with 11 points.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
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Florida State Seminoles 55, #23 Miami Hurricanes 54

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Mayor Addresses DJWH Leadership Situation

 width=The Dr. John Warner Hospital in Clinton will bring on their fourth interim-CEO since May of 2014, and Monday night at the Clinton City Council Meeting, Mayor Carolyn Peters (right) addressed the future of leadership at the city-owned hospital.

Paul Skowran from the Chicago area will be the latest to take the reins of the DJWH and the Mayor explains all the past interim-directors have been up front about the limited amount of time they will be at the hospital. She feels the hospital is fortunate to get the leaders they have.

[audio:2315hospitalinterim1.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor explains the hospital board is not going to name a permanent CEO because they hope a management firm, which they are currently seeking, will assist them in finding a qualified, long-term candidate. According to Mayor Peters, the management company would evaluate the hospital and make a recommendation based off that evaluation.

[audio:2315hospitalinterim2.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Mayor, the board recently sent out requests for proposals for management firms. Mayor Peters indicates they sent out four requests, receiving three back, with one company not interested.

[audio:2315hospitalinterim3.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor notes none of the companies were "big-systems" and did not own "big hospitals". She explains they do not bring on their own staff, instead, they work with faculty already in place and prefer to hire their own CEOs.

In addition, they also have staffers dedicated to various areas of management such as technology or finances.

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