Local News

Sages Top Central A & M; Advance To OVC Tourney Championship

The Monticello Sages won their 8th game in a row on Tuesday night against the Central A&M Raiders in their semi-final game at the Okaw Valley Conference tournament at Decatur St. Teresa High School with a final score of 71-54. In what was a back and forth first half, the Sages dominated from start to finish in the second half outscoring A & M 38-19 in the second half. Ryan Donohue paced the Sages with a game high 20 points. Daly O' Brien followed with 17 points, while Nick Stokowski and Kendell King earned 13 and 11 points respectively.  This victory now makes the Sages 12-9 overall.

Their next game will be the OVC Tournament Championship Saturday night at 7:30pm against Tolono Unity on 95.9FM WEZC and DewittDailyNews.com.

Civic Group Says Illinois Unpaid Bills Could Quadruple

Gov. Pat Quinn is saying more plainly than ever that he wants Illinois schools to share the burden of teacher pensions.

In a statement Monday, Quinn's office said employers "need to have a stake" in paying for teacher retirement costs. The Democratic governor's also says he wants "aggressive restructuring" of Medicaid, the health program for poor people.

Quinn's statement was in response to a report from the Civic Federation, which says state government's pile of unpaid bills could nearly quadruple over the next five years.

The group says the backlog will explode from $9.2 billion to $34.8 billion unless officials take action soon.

The Civic Federation suggests cutting retirement benefits for government employees, reducing Medicaid costs and taxing retirement and Social Security income.

Regional Superintendents Say They?ll Fight For Jobs

The jobs of 44 Regional School Superintendents are on the line.  Governor Quinn is looking to streamline or eliminate the positions but Sangamon County Superintendent Jeff Vose says that wouldn’t be a wise move.

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A Task Force is supposed to be looking into the superintendent positions to determine what they do and if the state can function without them.  Governor Quinn has yet to appoint a Chairperson, which means the task force hasn’t come up with any conclusions.  Unless the task force moves quickly, the regional superintendents could be in the same position they were in last year.  They didn’t get paid for five months after Quinn vetoed their pay from the budget.

Cutting Illinois Medicaid Costs Could Prove Tough

A new report says Illinois is going to have some big bills to pay in the next five years, but controlling the biggest cost may be very tough.

The Civic Federation, a Chicago based policy group, released a report Monday that paints a grim picture of Illinois' finances. The report says the state could owe $34 billion dollars in unpaid bills by 2017. Many of those will be for Medicaid, the biggest line item in the budget.

The report says Illinois will spend $14 billion on Medicaid this year, and a lot more over the next five years.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says she's been warning about Medicaid explosion for years.

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The Civic Federation's Laurence Msall says lawmakers must act on reforms now.

But that's not going to be easy. The new federal healthcare law limits how much Illinois can trim Medicaid eligibility to cut costs.

Topinka says if lawmakers can't find savings, something else in the state budget is going to have to go.

Farmers, Law Enforcement Cooperate on Security

Illinois farm groups are joining forces with law enforcement to improve security related to agriculture.

They have created the "Agro-Security Working Group" and will educate farmers on preventing crime and terrorism.

The working group includes representatives of the FBI, state police and Illinois Emergency Management Agency, as well as the Farm Bureau, Illinois Corn Growers Association and Illinois Pork Producers.

FBI Agent David Ford says creating the working group is an attempt to get in front of security issues before something terrible happens.

The group has produced a brochure advising farmers to watch for mysterious livestock deaths, unauthorized people taking pictures and attempts to borrow farm equipment "for no logical reason."

Mild Winter Leading To Slow Winter Hunting Seasons

Our mild winter has benefited one organization around Illinois.

Illinois Department of Natural Resources has seen a limited amount of activity in rural areas around Illinois the past few months thanks to the lack of snow fall and inconsistent cold temperatures. DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus explains this has been a good thing for his crews because they are already shorthanded and keeping busy with other matters.

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DNR Officers keep themselves busy in a variety of ways throughout the winter months. Wichus says this time of year they are concluding investigations or taking care of routine work they may have.

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With the mild winter, Wichus says there is a good chance you may be still seeing deer out as you travel country roads. He explains cool, still foggy nights are when you are most likely to see deer out. He encourages drivers to be cautious, because in those conditions it is difficult to see deer.

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Goose season ends today and there is another goose season that then goes into effect until the end of March. Wichus says generally for coyote season, they tend to be out more with the snow, and with the lack of snow, hunters have not had a lot of success to this point.

Clinton Chamber Ag Banquet To Feature Pro Farmer Editor

Area  farmers  and  agri-business professionals looking for the latest marketing and farm policy info should make plans now to attend the Clinton Chamber of Commerce's 5th Annual Agri-Business Banquet.

Chip Flory, Editor of Pro Farmer Magazine, is the featured speaker at the February 25th event.  He says the main goal of his appearance is to share information that will help your operation's bottom line.

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Flory expects to talk markets, and more specifically risk management strategies.  He says the timing of the event will also lend itself to talk about your planting plans for the 2012 growing season.

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In addition, Flory plans to give those in attendance an update on the ongoing Farm Bill policy debate taking place in Washington, D.C.  He feels the new Farm Bill has the potential to significantly impact your decisions on the local family farm.

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The Clinton Chamber of Commerce's 5th Annual Agri-Business Banquet takes place February 25th at the Clinton Elks Lodge.  Tickets for the event are now available at a number of area businesses, or by contacting the Chamber at 935-3364.

Topps To Unveil Rally Squirrel Card

Fans of the Rally Squirrel will soon have a collectable baseball card at their disposal.  According to the "Post Dispatch," the 2012 Topps Series 1 set includes a limited edition card featuring the Rally Squirrel, which entered Cardinals lore dashing across home plate last October.

Nation's Top-Ranked High School Player Picks Missouri

Widely regarded as the nation's top-ranked high school football player, Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham has decided to play close to home.  The "Tulsa World" reports the Springfield Hillcrest High School wide receiver will commit to playing at Missouri.  He reportedly chose the Tigers over Arkansas and Oklahoma.  According to Scout.com, Green-Beckham is 6-foot-6, 220 pounds and runs a 4.47 40-yard dash.  He can sign his letter of intent on Wednesday.

Bears Introduce New GM; Rams Continue Search

>>Bears Introduce Emery As New GM

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears introduced Phil Emery as their new general manager on Monday.  Emery, who was a scout for the franchise from 1998-2004, replaces Jerry Angelo.  Emery was with the Kansas City Chiefs as their director of college scouting the last three seasons.  Jason Licht, the New England Patriots director of pro personnel, was also a finalist for Chicago's position.  Emery becomes the fifth GM in franchise history for the Bears.

>>Rams Interview Two GM Candidates

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams have interviewed two more GM candidates.  According to the "Post Dispatch," the Rams met Monday with Jets VP of college scouting Joey Clinkscales and Vikings director of player personnel George Paton.  Arizona's Steve Keim is slated to interview this week.

Bulls Rumble Past Wizards

Derrick Rose exploded for 35 points to lead the Bulls to a 98-88 win over Washington.  Rose added eight assists, while Joakim Noah scored 14 to go with 13 rebounds and seven dimes.  Carlos Boozer scored 18 with eight boards and Kyle Korver dropped 17 with five made three-pointers.  Chicago has won two-of-three.  John Wall led the Wizards with 20 points and six assists.  Nick Young added 17 points for Washington, while JaVale McGee scored 16 and hauled in nine caroms.  The Wizards have dropped five-of-seven.

Philadelphia 76ers 74, Orlando Magic 69
Miami Heat 109, New Orleans Hornets 95
Milwaukee Bucks 103, Detroit Pistons 82
San Antonio Spurs 83, Memphis Grizzlies 73
Minnesota Timberwolves 120, Houston Rockets 108
Dallas Mavericks 122, Phoenix Suns 99
Utah Jazz 93, Portland Trail Blazers 89
Los Angeles Clippers 112, Oklahoma City Thunder 100

Illini Hit The Hardwood

The Illinois Fighting Illini hit the hardwood this evening as they host the 10th-ranked Michigan State Spartans at Assembly Hall in Champaign.  The Illini have dropped three games in-a-row to fall to 15-and-6 on the season.  They suffered a 77-72 overtime defeat at Minnesota on Saturday to slide to 4-and-4 in the Big Ten.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#4 Missouri Tigers 67, Texas Longhorns 66

Sages Hit Hardwood in OVC Tournament

The Monticello Sages Boys basketball team is back in Decatur tonight for their second round match-up against the Central A & M Raiders in the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament. They advanced to the winners side of the bracket after a late come from behind win against Meridian Saturday afternoon. Central A & M beat Warrensburg-Latham to advance to tonight's contest. The Sages lost Jan. 6 at Central A & M 61-56. The Sages have lost their last 3 match-ups against the Raiders. Game time tonight is 6 pm, with live coverage from Decatur St. Teresa High School on 95.9 FM WEZC and also streamed online at www.dewittdailynews.com.

The other Okaw Valley game on tap for tonight is the top seeded Unity Rockets playing Decatur St. Teresa. The winner of the two games tonight will play for the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Championship on Saturday night at 7:30 pm. The losers plays 6 pm for 3rd/4th place.

Arrest Made in 2011 Wapella Armed Robbery

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner announced today that a suspect wanted in connection with a 2011 armed robbery in Wapella has been arrested in Chicago. Alexander Munos, 40, was arrested on a DeWitt County warrant by members of a U.S. Marshall’s Fugitive Task Force. Sheriff Shofner says the arrest proves “Bring violence here, and we will find you.”

The Sheriff said that Munos attempted to evade arrest by jumping from a third story window. The jump broke his pelvis. Munos has been hospitalized and will be extradited to DeWitt County after medical treatment.

Munos will face charges for his part in the theft of $750,000 in jewelry taken at gunpoint from a jewelry courier that stopped at a Wapella gas station in April, 2011. Deputies recovered all of the jewelry early on in the investigation.

Vanessa Ortiz, 29, was arrested the day of the incident has since been sentenced to prison.
The identification and arrest of Munos was the result of a 9 month investigation. Sheriff Shofner complimented the work of his detectives and others on the case “There were numerous agencies that contributed to this arrest. We are grateful for their assistance.”

Clinton Schools Receive Perfect Score on Financial Profile

The state of Illinois still owes the Clinton School district almost a million dollars.

The district has received their due revenues from the federal government and their local dollars but they have not received much from the state. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes says the state's obligations to the district include transportation, special education, pre-kindergarten, and lunch programs among others. Dr. Holmes is hopeful they can see some of the payments they have yet to receive they were told they would have early in the school year.

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Dr. Holmes continues to stress the district does not rely heavily on the state for their revenues. He says their budget shows the Board of Education being conservative with the dollars they have is paying off.

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The district has in fact recently been recognized by the state of Illinois for their Financial Profile. Dr. Holmes says they received a 4 out of 4 in that rating. Dr. Holmes feels that is something the community can be confident in for their Board of Education.

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Dr. Holmes feels the district is a doing a good job of maintaining the budget despite tough economic times and without raising the tax rates in the district.

Governor Pat Quinn has recently announced plans for school districts to begin paying more into their transportation funds and to pay more into their teachers pension systems. School administrators around central Illinois believe his plans to make that a reality could be to raise property taxes within their districts.

The Governor gives his state of the state address tomorrow at noon, which you can hear live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

Peoria's $28-Million Upgrades To Library About Done

After a decade of planning and work, the newly renovated Peoria Public Library system is about finished.

Officials say the $28 million reinvention plan was designed to modernize library services to all parts of the city. Some parts of the library are 100 years old.

The main branch has been renovated at a cost of $10.2 million, along with major  improvements and renovations at other branches. The library system's Lakeview Branch is closed. Library officials say it needs more renovations.

Ed Szynaka is the director of the library. He says the upgrades will bring positive benefits to the entire community.

The library reports that usage is up. Circulation of library materials increased 31% in 2011.

Fire Guts Central Illinois Church

Authorities say fire has destroyed a landmark church in central Illinois.

Athens Fire Department spokesman Bob Dowell says firefighters battled the blaze for more than eight hours before they left the scene early Saturday. Dowell says the former Athens Christian Church was destroyed.

Several people lived at the church, which housed organizations and a thrift store.

There were no injuries reported.

The American Red Cross provided food, clothing and shelter to seven people.

Dowell says it's 1 of the largest fires in Athens in years. He says it's a landmark church that the community was sad to see go.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Illinois Leading The Charge For Renewable Energy

Illinois is among the top states in the nation when it comes to renewable energy.  Kevin Borgia, with the Illinois Wind Energy Coalition, says recent growth will have a strong impact in Southern Illinois.

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Borgia adds recent growth is having a positive economic impact on the state.

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Borgia says increased renewable energy could also translate to stable energy costs for homeowners and businesses. That means it could ward off more potential rate hikes.  Illinois added more turbines than any other state last year and ranks fourth in the nation when it comes to overall wind energy.

Champaign Names New Police Chief

Champaign will have a new police chief, beginning March 12.

Anthony Cobb, a 42-year-old assistant police chief in Urbana, was named to his new post on Friday by Champaign City Manager Steve Carter. Cobb is succeeding R.T. Finney, who retired earlier this month. Carter said Cobb, a native of Champaign, has been a success during his 20 years in Urbana's police department and is prepared him to be police chief.

Cobb was the choice over three other finalists: Oak Forest Police Chief Gregory Anderson, then-St. Louis police Lt. Col. Antoinette Filla and East Lansing, Mich., police Capt. Kim Johnson.

Cobb said he is honored to lead the department.

University of Illinois Supercomputer Instalation To Start

The first pieces of the long-planned Blue Waters supercomputer are expected to be installed this weekend at the University of Illinois.

Trish Barker is a spokeswoman for the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. She said hardware that amounts to about 10% of the $300 million computer is scheduled to be installed starting Saturday.

Seattle-based Cray Inc. took over construction of Blue Waters last November after IBM pulled out over cost and technical concerns.

Barker said the parts of the computer should be ready for use in six weeks. Cray and the university expect the computer to be complete by fall.

Blue Waters is planned to operate at sustained speeds of a petaflop. That's a thousand trillion operations a second, a long-sought standard that makes massive projects possible.

Maroa-Forsyth Middle School Back To Full Function After Asbestos Issue

The Maroa-Forsyth Administrators spent some of their holiday break dealing a mess in the middle school.

The middle school saw a minor plumbing issue turn into a major asbestos problem. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth schools Mike Williams explains the district did have some concerns associated with the building because of it's age, but he says the problem ended up being a nearly $60-thousand project.

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Williams says the plumbing portion of the issue was resolved rather quickly but because of the procedures and laws associated with asbestos removal, the clean up took a lot longer to complete. He says the school was fortunate asbestos removal is a summer project, so they were able to get a contractor in right away to begin the clean up.

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When unexpected events such as a necessary clean up like this come up, districts will dip into their Health and Life Safety Funds. Williams explains Maroa-Forsyth had money in that fund to pay for the issues. He adds they also got another project they had in store for spring break taken care of at the same time.

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Williams notes  some of the changes students may notice is new ceiling tiles in the effected classroom.

He explains the middle school is on the back end of a 10-year facility plan the Maroa-Forsyth district has embarked on. When the district has paid off the high school building they would like to renew currents bonds to build a new middle school.

DeWitt County Board Receives Designs For Animal Shelter; Costs Next

The DeWitt County Board's plans for a new animal shelter continues to plug along.

At the Public Safety committee meeting last Tuesday, the committee received plans for the new shelter. DeWitt County Board Chair Melonie Tilley says the plans have everything they wanted in them and they will receive cost figures at their meeting next month.

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Tilley estimates the shelter is a little over 28-hundred square feet. She says some new features that they are currently lacking include an office that separates their main lobby and also a room for people to come in and meet with an animal they would potentially like to adopt.

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According to Tilley, other plans for the shelter include separating the cats from the dog kennels, storage space and a medical room among other nice features they have planned.

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The materials the Public Safety Committee has decided on is a metal building with some brick for effect. Tilley feels metal is a very diverse material when it comes to color. The shelter's new location will be right in front of the current facility. Tilley would like to have ground broken in the spring or early summer and maybe have the facility completed by the end of the year.

The county has hired Morton Building Company from Morton to work with in this endeavor.

DJWH Hopes Swing Bed Program Generates More Revenues

The Dr. John Warner Hospital in Clinton continues to seek ways to generate revenues.

In what is becoming tough times for the city owned hospital, they are seeking to expand on areas to generate revenues. The hospital recently spent time revamping their Strategic Plan to find areas they could generate some more revenues, and they came up with what is called their 'swing bed' program. Business Director at the DJWH Sandy Rice explains a 'swing bed' program bridges the gap between being discharged and living at home independently.

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Rice notes there are some qualifications patients who wish to take advantage of the program must meet. She adds however, there are a number of ways to get them into the program.

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The 'swing bed' program will coincide with the physical therapy department across the street from the hospital. Rice explains the physical therapists will come over and work with the patients and once they are discharged they have the option to continue to come back to the physical therapy building to get back to full health.

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The DJWH plans to begin marketing the 'swing bed' program more as a part of their updated Strategic Plan. While Medicare pays for the program, Medicaid does not.

For more information on the 'swing bed' program, you can call the DJWH at 935-9570 and ask for Brenda Lehman.

NFL Notes

>>AFC Topples NFC In Pro Bowl

(Honolulu, HI)  --  Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall had six catches for 177 yards and four touchdowns as the AFC toppled the NFC, 59-41, in the Pro Bowl.  Marshall was named the game's MVP.  Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers, Philip Rivers of the Chargers and Andy Dalton of the Bengals had two touchdown passes apiece for the AFC in the win.  Cardinals wide out Larry Fitzgerald had six grabs for 111 yards and three scores for the NFC.  Aaron Rodgers of the Packers, Drew Brees of the Saints and Cam Newton of the Panthers each had two touchdown passes in the loss.  Newton was also picked off three times.  Each conference has now won the Pro Bowl 21 times.

>>Report:  Manning Decision Already Made

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The in-house barbs between Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay and franchise quarterback Peyton Manning could be leading to a divorce.  According to the NFL Network, Indianapolis has made its decision on whether or not to keep the 35-year-old QB.  The Colts apparently decided weeks ago they will cut ties with the 11-time Pro Bowler rather than pay him a $28-million roster bonus due to him on March 8th.  Indianapolis will reportedly make the move prior to the start of the NFL Scouting Combine which begins February 22nd.  Irsay has disputed the report to multiple media outlets.  The Colts recently hired Chuck Pagano to be their head coach following the firing of Jim Caldwell after a 2-and-14 season.

>>City Says Rams Can't Play In London

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The NFL announced the Rams will play a home game in London for the next three seasons but the city of St. Louis will apparently try to stop them.  According to the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission says the Rams' lease at the Edward Jones Dome requires all the team's home games to be played there.  The only way the Rams can avoid the requirement is if the stadium is not in usable condition or if the lease with the CVC is terminated.  The Rams organization has yet to comment on the issue.  St. Louis is scheduled to take on the Super Bowl-bound New England Patriots next season in London.

Dunn Hopes Hes Finished Talking About Miserable 2011

Adam Dunn's first season with the Chicago White Sox was one he'd love to forget. He knows that's not going to happen because everyone wants to know what went wrong.

Why did a slugger 35 homers shy of 400 for his career go through 1 of the most miserable seasons in baseball history with a .159 average, only 11 homers and a team-record 177 strikeouts?

Dunn said Saturday he'd like to be done reflecting on it and look ahead to a new season that begins with spring training next month.

Report: Cardinals Close To Signing Roy Oswalt

 The St. Louis Cardinals could be close to landing a veteran arm.  Multiple media outlets are reporting that the Redbirds are nearing a deal with starting pitcher Roy Oswalt [[ OZE-walt ]].  The Cardinals despute that they have a deal in place and some say Oswalt could be heading to play with the Texas Rangers instead.  The 34-year-old right-hander went 9-and-10 with a 3.69 ERA for the Philadelphia Phillies last season.  Oswalt has gone 159-and-93 in his 10-year-career with a 3.21 ERA.

Heat Hold Off Bulls

LeBron James tallied 35 points and 11 rebounds as the Heat held on to top the Bulls, 97-93.  Chris Bosh finished with 24 points and 12 boards in the win.  Dwyane Wade helped out with 15 points and seven assists for Miami, which has won four straight.  Derrick Rose paced the Bulls with 34 points to go along with six rebounds and six assists.  Rose failed to give the Bulls the lead with just over 20 seconds left when he missed two free throws.  He also had a chance to tie the game with just under 10 seconds left, but missed a one-handed floater.  Joakim Noah turned in 11 points and 11 caroms for Chicago, which has lost two-of-three.

Cleveland Cavaliers 88, Boston Celtics 87
Indiana Pacers 106, Orlando Magic 85
Toronto Raptors 94, New Jersey Nets 73
Dallas Mavericks 101, San Antonio Spurs 100 (OT)
Atlanta Hawks 94, New Orleans Hornets 72
Los Angeles Lakers 106, Minnesota Timberwolves 101
Los Angeles Clippers 109, Denver Nuggets 105

Illini Lose; ISU Wins Big

>> Illini Fall In OT At Minnesota

Chip Armelin scored a season-high 14 points, and Austin Hollins highlighted a whirlwind comeback in the final minutes to finish with 14 points as Minnesota defeated Illinois 77-72 in overtime Saturday.

Andre Hollins matched his namesake's energy and production down the stretch - they're not related - and had 14 points to help the Gophers (16-6, 4-5 Big Ten) prevail despite shooting only 18 for 29 from the free-throw line after halftime.

Brandon Paul had 22 of his 28 points after the break for the Illini (15-6, 4-4), who surged ahead on a series of slick layups by Paul. But Meyers Leonard, who finished with 17 points and 13 rebounds, committed a costly fifth foul with 4 seconds left to give Austin Hollins a 3-point play that tied the game.

>> ISU Pounds SIU

Jackie Carmichael had 19 points and 11 rebounds Saturday as Illinois State beat Southern Illinois 60-40.

John Wilkins scored 10 points and matched Carmichael with 11 boards - tying Wilkins' career high - for the Redbirds (14-8, 6-5 Missouri Valley). Carmichael and Wilkins each blocked three SIU shots.

ISU led 26-17 at halftime and ran off 16 straight points during a 9-minute stretch in the second half to put it out of reach.

Jeff Early and Taylor Diamond had 10 points to lead the Salukis (7-15, 4-7), who shot 30% from the field.

The 40 points is a season low for SIU. The Salukis scored 42 at Wichita State a week ago.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes 64, #22 Michigan Wolverines 49
#8 North Carolina Tar Heels 93, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 81
#17 Indiana Hoosiers 103, Iowa Hawkeyes 89
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 50, #19 Connecticut Huskies 48

DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Weekend Report


January 28, 2012


Jail Population: 59

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 4


January 29, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 30, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 0


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:15 a.m. on Friday, January 27, revealed that a vehicle driven by David Holden, 32, Decatur, was traveling north on US Highway 51 at County Highway 11 when he felt the back of the truck begin to drift. The truck spun causing it to strike a road sign. The truck then drifted back east across the highway before coming to a stop on the east shoulder in the grass. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:40 p.m. on Sunday, January 29, revealed that a vehicle driven by Sandra Goodman, 63, Bement, was traveling northbound on IL Rt 48. As the vehicle approached the intersection of IL Rt 48 and IL Rt 54 Goodman stopped at the intersection and proceeded. When she proceeded, she went off the road into the northeast corner of the intersection. Goodman then continued northeast still off the roadway, crossed both rails of the train tracks, and drove approximately 40 yards on the shoulder of the railway. The driver was evaluated and stabilized and the vehicle was towed from the scene.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 26, revealed that a vehicle driven by Justin Blake, 17, Clinton, was stopped in a handicapped spot at Valley Mill Access when Conservation Officer Heusner pulled up behind him and approached the vehicle. Heusner asked Blake to step out of the vehicle. When Blake took his foot off of the brake and stepped out. The vehicle was in reverse and hit Heusner’s vehicle. Blake’s vehicle was towed from the scene. Blake was issued citations for Operating Uninsured Vehicle, Fail To Notify SOS Of Address Change, Unauthorized Use Of Parking Reserved For Persons With Disabilities, Improper Backing, Use Of Unsafe Tires, Failure To Secure New Registration, and Expired Registration. Blake posted the necessary bond and was released.


Thomas Nease, 64, Effingham, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Nease posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Kalob Followell, 18, DeWitt, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Followell was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Tabitha Martin, 29, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Martin posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Christina Coit, 43, DeWitt, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Coit posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Jesus Rodriguez, 42, Clinton, was issued citations for Leaving The Scene Of An Accident-Vehicle Damage and Failure To Report To Police Authority. Rodriguez posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Emmanuel Lopez Contreras, 25, Clinton, was issued citations for Failure To Report To Police Authority, Failure To Reduce Speed/Accident, Leaving The Scene Of An Accident and No Valid Driver’s License. Lopez Contreras was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Shawn Sampson, 37, Lincoln, was issued citations for Failed To Yield To Authorized Emergency Vehicle and Driving Too Fast For Conditions.





Clinton Police Report for 1-30









Patrick Peterson Named Clintonian of the Year

 width=The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau held their annual dinner Saturday evening in the new Copper and Brass Room on Madison Street in Clinton.

The Chamber this year took the opportunity to showcase their new Barn Quilts, and auctioned off two small 'quilts' for a home owner to showcase.

For the first time at their annual dinner, the Chamber had the community nominate community members who made a difference throughout the year in Clinton. Once the nominations were in, the Chamber took the community to vote for the Clintonian of the year, and the recipient of the first ever "Clintonian of the Year" was Patrick Peterson. Peterson works extensively in the community, and in 2011 he worked with the 175th Committee to make Clinton's 175th celebration a success. He is also the designer of the new fountain on Mr. Lincoln Square in downtown Clinton. Those are just a few of the many areas of the community Peterson is involved in. He says it is quite an honor to be the Clintonian of the Year and he is very thankful to the community for the recognition.

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Of the many organizations and activities Peterson involves himself in, there is a lot to take pride in. He feels his work with the downtown fountain on the square is what he is most proud of.

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Being involved in the community, Peterson enjoys working with all the community members and continuing to work to make Clinton a great place to live. He adds in the future he would like to see more people in the community get involved.

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Other awards at the Chamber's annual dinner...

Small Business of the year went to Scott Williamson and the Shack.
Large Business of the year went to the State Bank of Lincoln.

(Image Courtesy of EMC Photography)

Sages Defeat Trojans

As heard on 95.9 WEZC on Monday night, the Monticello Sages defeated the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans by a score of 49-42.  The Sages were led by Tori Gadbury with 14 points.  Sara Foran added 10 points and Elise Pontious chipped in 9 points.  The Trojans were led by Breanna Livingood with 13 points. Kennedy Flasner followed with 12 points and Caitlin Snyder helped out with 8.  With the win, Monticello improves to 6-20 overall and 4-5 in the Okaw Valley Conference.  With the loss, Maroa-Forsyth drops to 8-15 on the year and 3-10 in the conference.  The Sages JV team was also victorious tonight with a final score of 38-19.  Tune in tomorrow as the Monticello boys play St. Teresa at 6 PM in the Okaw Valley Semi Finals. 

Hearing Scheduled On Illinois Corn Marketing Board Referendum

Illinois Department of Agriculture Acting Director H.W. Devlin invites Illinois corn producers to submit their views and opinions on a proposed corn checkoff referendum at a public hearing Feb. 21, 2012.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is proposing to enhance marketing and promotion of corn by increasing the checkoff amount by a quarter cent per bushel. This would increase the current 3/8 cent voluntary checkoff rate to 5/8 of a cent per bushel. Growers would still have a right to refund.
The public hearing will begin at 10 a.m. in Room 66 of the Illinois Department of Agriculture’s administration building on the fairgrounds in Springfield.  Following the public hearing, the Illinois Corn Marketing board will meet and review all comments presented. If, after reviewing the comments, the Corn Marketing Board approves the proposed amendment, the Illinois Department of Agriculture shall hold a referendum within 90 days.
Copies of the proposed amendment to the marketing program are available through the Agriculture Department’s Marketing and Promotion office. Persons unable to attend the hearing may submit written comments by Feb. 17, 2012. Comments should be addressed to the Director of Agriculture, P.O. Box 19281, Springfield, Ill., 62794-9281.

Illinois Offering Grants For Law Enforcement Vehicles

An Illinois state agency is offering more than $460,000 in grants to law enforcement agencies that need new vehicles.

The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority is requesting proposals from law enforcement agencies.

The authority says the money is available to agencies that demonstrate "both financial and vehicle needs."

A minimum of 75% of the money will be given to governments with populations less than 25,000 people. The remaining 25% will go to municipalities with larger populations.

A maximum of $20,000 will be awarded to each agency. Grant funds can't be used for more than 75% of the total cost of the vehicle. The remaining 25% must be paid for with a match from non-federal sources.

Online Dating Legislation Introduced

People who date online may soon have additional safety regulations in place.  Illinois lawmakers have introduced a bill that will require online dating sites to let people know if they do background checks before a person joins.  The "Chicago Tribune" reports the sites will also have to post safety tips, such as how people can protect themselves from potential stalkers.  Companies that don't comply could face a 50-thousand dollar fine.

New Report: Chicagoland Has Most Gangs In Country

 A new report says Chicagoland has the most gangs in the U.S.  Chicago Crime Commission President Jody Weis [[ WEES ]] says there are 70 known gangs in the region with over 150-thousand members.

         [audio:chigangreport1.mp3] [/audio]

The Crime Commission also believes gangs spread propaganda on social media websites, including setting up events and planning retaliation.  However, social media websites are also helping police keep track of gang movements.

Durbin Wants To Honor Hall of Fame With Special Coins

The U.S. Treasury may end up minting coins to raise money for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sales of the commemorative coins would raise millions of dollars to help the hall mark its 75th anniversary in 2014.

Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is among the lawmakers backing the proposal, which would not cost taxpayers anything. The U.S. House passed identical legislation last fall.

The measure calls for the Treasury to make $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins and half-dollar coins. Sales of the coins would pay for the cost of making them and raise up to $9.5 million for the Hall of Fame.

Trial In Beason Killings Delayed Again

The prosecution of 2 men charged in the deaths of 5 members of a family from the central Illinois community of Beason has been put on hold.

The case is being delayed so attorneys can resolve issues related to legal costs.

The Logan County judge handling the case didn't give any specifics Thursday but noted the matter involved representation for Chris Harris. He and his brother, Jason Harris, are charged with murder in the September 2009 deaths of Ruth and Rick Gee and 3 of their children.

The judge also told lawyers he's been working behind the scenes to find resources to help with defense costs, including contacting law firms that sometimes provide free services and law schools. He says the efforts haven't been fruitful.

Weekly Weather Update

Our average temperatures were just above normal this week, while our precipitation was above normal. State Meteorologist Jim Angel speculates this January will be one of the warmer on record. He says the next two weeks looks to contain above average temperatures and below normal precipitation.

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Preventing Dry Skin During Winter

Cold winter weather can cause a person’s skin to become dry, but taking some precautions can make a difference.

Many people suffer from very dry skin during the winter as a result of cold, dry weather outside and a lack of humidity inside. A person’s skin doesn’t have enough of a natural coating of oil to seal in the moisture and protect against the dryness says Dr. Stephen Stone, professor of dermatology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He explains the areas that are most affected.

[audio:siuskin1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Stone says another cause of dry skin in winter is taking long hot showers or baths. Although the heat of the water feels good at the moment, it actually damages the skin by taking away the body’s own oil. This is especially damaging to older people because their oil glands produce less than when they were younger. He explains the best way to moisturize the skin.

[audio:siuskin2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Stone recommends seeing a family physician or dermatologist if a person’s skin has areas of redness or if a person is scratching to the point of the skin bleeding. If the skin is red or inflamed, a person could be suffering from eczema or psoriasis, which may need to be treated with prescription medication.

HS BBALL: Sages Triumph Over Meridian to Move on in Conference Play

The Monitcello Sages faced off against the Meridian Hawks this afternoon in their second game of the conference tournament. The Sages were coming off of a win lastnight against the Argenta-Oreana Bombers. The Hawks put up quite the fight against the Sages in the first two quarters due to the Sages' lack of momentum. They led the first with a score of 23-17. The Sages came out to the second picking up their game and closing the gap, the score at the end of the second was 32-28 in favor of the Hawks. Both teams played back and forth and at the end of the first half the score was led by the Hawks with 49-45. The final score of tonight's showdown was 70-66 in favor of the Monticello Sages. Tune in again for more Sages action as they head on to play again next week in the continued conference tournament. We have all the action right here on 95.9, WEZC.

4-H Foundation College Scholarships Available

Are you a high school senior who is in 4-H?

If so, you have an opportunity to take advantage of a scholarship for your higher education. Sherry Fulton is the 4-H Youth Development Educator with the University of Illinois Extension offices in DeWitt, Macon, and Piatt Counties. She reminds seniors there is a $500 scholarship available to you through 4-H once again.

[audio:4hscholarship1.mp3] [/audio]

There are some things those who apply must do before they are awarded a scholarship. Fulton explains there are some 4-H requirements, the students must have three letters of recommendation and they also must go through an interview.

[audio:4hscholarship2.mp3] [/audio]

Fulton feels the interview process is a good learning experience for those students who apply. She says the committee who the students interview with are volunteer 4-H Foundation Board Members.

[audio:4hscholarship3.mp3] [/audio]

Applications are available on the University of Illinois Extension's website or at your local extension office. Fulton says the applications are due by 4pm March 6th.

FutureGen Land Near Mattoon Sold

Land in central Illinois intended for use by the FutureGen energy project has been sold to Coles Together.

Coles Together president Angela Griffin said Thursday the 440 acres of farmland and a pair of former residential properties west of Mattoon were sold by FutureGen Alliance for $700,000 to the local economic development group.

Griffin said Coles Together is discussing development prospects for the land.

The purchase price for the land a few years ago was $6 million. The U.S. Department of Energy has moved the project from Coles County to Morgan County.

FutureGen Alliance is a group of coal companies and other firms planning to use $1 billion in federal funds to refit a coal-fired power plant in Morgan County with technology that would capture and store carbon dioxide underground.

University of Illinois Student Leaders Call For Ethical Leadership

Student leaders at the University of Illinois have passed a resolution calling for more ethical leadership following the resignation of the university president's chief of staff.

Michael Hogan's chief of staff, Lisa Troyer, resigned after denying she was the author of anonymous emails sent to faculty members trying to change unfavorable opinions of an enrollment management plan favored by Hogan.

The Illinois Student Senate on Wednesday voted 14-2 to pass the resolution.

The resolution also complains that the email situation is only the latest recent ethical trouble at the university. It follows an admissions scandal that cost Hogan's predecessor his job and an investigation of inflated academic credentials at the law school.

A similar resolution will be considered next week by elected faculty leaders.

GOP Looking Forward To State Of State

Senate Republicans in Illinois say they're looking forward to Governor Quinn's State of the State address next week.  They say the budget shortfall is the most pressing issue facing lawmakers this year but they're not confident Quinn is ready to tackle it.  The Governor has said fixing the pension system is a priority because it will eat up a large chunk of the state's budget this year.  Republicans say they'd like to hear the Governor's plan on how to tackle the Medicaid and pension systems and how he plans to roll-back the tax increase that's set to expire in 2015.

High Illinois Farm Prices Could Last Through 2012

Some experts believe this year's rising farmland prices in central Illinois could continue for at least the next year.

Land sales companies say farmland prices in the region increased by more than 30% in 2011 to an average of more than $10,000 an acre. That mirrors a trend across the Midwest of rising land values based on high prices for crops such as corn and soybeans and interest among investors.

Dale Aupperle is president of Heartland Ag Group in Forsyth. He says crop prices should stay high over the next year and keep land prices up.

Roger Hayworth of Farmers National Co. says the high prices are convincing growing numbers of land owners to sell.

Recognizing and Addressing Goss's Wilt

In the 2011 season, Goss’s wilt affected more corn acres in Illinois than ever observed before.  Jared White has more...

[audio:123122011TheYearOfGosssWiltWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Chamber's Dinner Preview

Tomorrow night is the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce's annual dinner.

This year the annual event features an awards ceremony. Carolyn Sugg, with the Clinton Chamber explains this year they have decided to give awards at the annual dinner and hopes it will be a mainstay in the future. The Chamber has come up with 3 awards to outline the positive things happening in the community. Sugg says a "Small Business of 2011", "Large Business of 2011", and "Clintonian of the Year Awards" will be given out at this year's dinner.

[audio:chamberdinner1.mp3] [/audio]

Voting for the awards ended earlier in January.

This year's dinner theme is one of an urban setting which will be used to show off the Chamber's new Barn Quilts. Sugg explains the dinner is going to be themed with BBQ and friend chicken and then after the meal and awards presentation they will be raffling two small barn quilts for the winners location of choice at their home.

[audio:chamberdinner3.mp3] [/audio]

The Chamber's Annual Dinner takes place tomorrow night January 28th at the new Copper and Brass Room on Madison Street. Things kick off with a social hour beginning at 5. The awards ceremony will begin at 6 with dinner to immediately follow.

Tickets for the annual event can be purchased at the Chamber office at 100 South Center Street, Suite 101 on Mr. Lincoln Square in downtown Clinton. Tickets are $35 a person, $60 for a couple, and tables of eight can be purchased for $240.

For more information visit clintonilchamber.com or for tickets you can call the Chamber office at 935-3364.

No Big Changes For NASCAR In 2012

NASCAR will not make any major alterations in its rules for the upcoming season.  Officials from the sanctioning body, including NASCAR chairman and chief executive officer Brian France and president Mike Helton, held a press conference Thursday to address the "state of the sport."  One significant change for 2012 is the electronic fuel injection systems, which are replacing carburetors in the Sprint Cup cars.  NASCAR is also preparing for the debut of the new Sprint Cup cars next for the 2013 season.

Last year, NASCAR revealed a host of format changes, including a revised points system for all three of its national touring series, as well as a new rule which prevented drivers from competing for a championship in more than one of the three series.  Other rule modifications included two "wild card" positions for the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship format and a new qualifying procedure.

NFC Takes On AFC In Sunday's Pro Bowl

Many of the NFL's biggest stars are gathered in Hawaii this weekend for the annual Pro Bowl.  The NFC takes on the AFC Sunday night at Aloha Stadium.  Green Bay Packers quarterback and MVP favorite Aaron Rodgers starts for the NFC, while Pittsburgh Steelers signal-caller Ben Roethlisberger has been selected to start for the AFC.  New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning are not participating as they prepare with the rest of their teams for Super Bowl 46 next Sunday in Indianapolis.

The NFL is embracing social media this year, allowing players to tweet before and during the Pro Bowl.  The league Prohibits such activity during the regular season and playoffs, but will set up a computer on each sideline to encourage players to communicate with fans.  The NFC beat the AFC 55-41 last year.

Bulls Wrap Up Homestand

The Chicago Bulls wrap up a four-game homestand this evening against the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center.  The Bulls had a four-game winning streak snapped and suffered their first loss at home this season on Wednesday evening in a 95-90 setback to Indiana.  They are 16-and-4 on the season.  Chicago departs on a nine-game road trip starting on Sunday at Miami.

Boston Celtics 91, Orlando Magic 83
Los Angeles Clippers 98, Memphis Grizzlies 91

Illinois Takes On Minnesota Tomorrow

The Illinois Fighting Illini are back on the court tomorrow evening as they square off against the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Williams Arena.  The Illini suffering a 67-63 setback to Wisconsin at Assembly Hall on Sunday afternoon to fall to 4-and-3 in the Big Ten.  Illinois has dropped two straight games on the heels of a three-game winning streak to fall to 15-and-5 overall.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#8 North Carolina Tar Heels 74, North Carolina State Wolfpack 55
#13 Florida Gators 64, Ole Miss Rebels 60
#25 Wisconsin Badgers 57, #17 Indiana Hoosiers 50
#20 Saint Mary's Gaels 71, Loyola Marymount Lions 64
#21 Virginia Cavaliers 66,  Boston College Eagles 49

Sages Host Argenta-Oreana

The Argenta-Oreana Bombers get a second crack this week to take down the Monticello Sages. The Bombers and Sages meet for a "play in" game tonight in Monticello, in what will be a rematch from Tuesday nights 69-59 Sages victory. The Sages enter play at 9-9 and winners in 5 of their last six contests. They are 5-2 in Okaw play. The Bombers are 6-12 overall and 0-7 in OVC play. Okaw Valley Conference tournament games do not count towards teams conference records. The winner takes Meridian tomorrow afternoon at 3 pm at Decatur St. Teresa High School. You can hear tonight's action live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other Okaw Valley matchups tonight:
Maroa-Forsyth hosts Tuscola
Shelbyville hosts Sullivan

Maroons Kick Off OVC Tournament

The Clinton Maroons hit the road tonight for their play in game tonight in the Okaw Valley Conference tournament as they head to Warrensburg to take on the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals. This will be the third meeting between the two schools this season. The Maroons have dropped their first two meetings. The Maroons are coming off a home loss at the hands of Unity Tuesday. The Maroons enter play at 3-16 overall and 0-7 in OVC play. The OVC tournament does not count towards teams conference records. The winner moves on to play Central A & M tomorrow afternoon at 4:30 at Decatur St. Teresa High School. You can hear tonight's game live on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

Quinn Supports Raising Drop Out Age to 18

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to raise the age when students can drop out of school in Illinois.

Quinn on Friday announced that he supports increasing the minimum attendance age to 18. Currently, the state's minimum dropout age is 17. The governor's office says that makes Illinois 1 of 29 states that allow students to drop out of school before they turn 18.

Quinn says the best way to make sure Illinois children are successful is to make sure they stay in school long enough to earn a diploma.

The governor's comments came after President Barack Obama urged states in his State of the Union speech to encourage students to complete their high school education.

Quinn says he'll propose the legislation during his State of the State address next week.

Maroons Defeated by Cardinals

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons were defeated by the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals with a final score of 53-37. Jacob Rockhold led the way for the Maroons putting up nine points. Also for the Maroons Dylan Scott, Greg Osgood, and Matt Chandler each had six points in the game. For the Cards, Cody Huggins led the way with twenty-four points and by Tyler Reed who had ten points in the game. With the loss the Maroons will not play in the conference tournament as they drop to a 3 and 17 record overall. As the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals go to 8 and 9 on the season.

The Maroons will take on the Argenta-Oreana Bombers as apart of the losers bracket in the conference tournament at St. Teresa. Game time: 6:30pm Friday, Febuary 3. That game will be live on the Big 1520AM and 92.3FM WHOW.

Sages Ground Bombers

As heard on 95.9 WEZC on Friday, the Monticello Sages defeated the Argenta-Oreana Bombers by a score of 56-42.  The Sages were led by Nik Stokowski with 18 points and a double-double on the night. Matt Kruse also added 11 points and had 7 rebounds on the night.  Kendall King chipped in with 9 points and Daily O'Brien with 7. Argenta-Oreana was led by Kegan Mchood with 10 points and 6 rebounds.  With the win, Monticello improves to 10-9 on the season and 5-2 in the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament.  With the loss, Argenta-Oreana drops to 6-13 on the season. Tune in tomorrow as the Sages are back in action against Meridian at 3. Also, tune in to The BIG 1520/92.3 WHOW next Friday night at 5 as the Clinton Maroons take on the Bombers of Argenta-Oreana.

Number Of Abortions In Illinois Drops

Fewer people are having abortions in Illinois.  The latest abortion rate numbers from 2010 show the abortion rate is at a 37-year low.  Carole Brite, with Planned Parenthood Illinois, says the drop seems to coincide with fewer babies being born. 

[audio:rddAbort1.mp3] [/audio]

Brite believes the drop is a good sign. 

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Brite adds the introduction of more effective contraceptions may be behind the decrease.

[audio:rddAbort3.mp3] [/audio]

Data released by the Illinois Department of Public Health shows only about 42-thousand abortions were recorded last year, which is the lowest number since abortions became legal in 1973.  Brite says more women are choosing to use contraceptions these days, which could also contribute to the decreased abortion rate.

16% of Illinois Home Sales Were Foreclosures

Sixteen percent of homes sold in Illinois in the third quarter of 2011 were in foreclosure or owned by a bank.

That's according to a report by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac. The company says the total number of foreclosures sold from July through September last year was 6,537 and the average sale price was $133,121.

The number of foreclosure sales dropped almost 20% from the third quarter of 2010 because of paperwork processing problems that delayed many foreclosures.

Nationally, foreclosure homes accounted for 20% of all residential sales in that same period.

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

RealtyTrac says foreclosures continue to be an excellent bargain for many people.

Clinton Students To Show Off Technology To Parents

Parents of Clinton grade school students have an opportunity to experience first hand the technology your students are learning with.

Clinton's Lincoln Elementary will be hosting a technology night Tuesday January 31 at 6 pm. Lincoln Principle Gary Gullone explains it's an opportunity for you to see what exactly these devices your kids may be coming home and talking about.

[audio:technologynight1.mp3] [/audio]

Gullone feels the students in the Clinton district are very fortunate to be learning in the time they are with all the technology advancements. He says it is a lot of fun to see your children get excited about learning because of technology.

[audio:technologynight2.mp3] [/audio]

The district currently has iPads in the hands of administrators, with the next step being teachers and the next step being students. Gullone feels while the technology is a great learning tool for your students, he does not want it to be rushed into the classroom.

[audio:technologynight3.mp3] [/audio]

Technology night is next Tuesday at Lincoln Elementary from 6 until 7:15. Mr. Gullone says he has invited parents of Lincoln students, however, he invites anyone from the community to come out and be a part of the event. He says anyone attending needs to RSVP by Monday. You can RSVP by calling Lincoln Elementary School at 935-6772.

Baseball Notes

>>Cardinals Avoid Arbitration With Motte

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals have avoided arbitration by signing pitcher Jason Motte to a one-year deal.  The 29-year-old took over as closer and recorded nine saves down the stretch last season.  Motte added five more in the playoffs and was on the mound for the final out of the World Series.

>>Cuban Cespedes Becomes Free Agent

(Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)  --  Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes has established legal residency in the Dominican Republic and is eligible to be signed by a Major League Baseball team as a free agent.  MLB received proof of the Cuban defector's new residency on Wednesday and he can now negotiate with big league clubs.  Earlier this month, the 26-year-old Cespedes said the Cubs have shown the most interest in signing him.

Pacers Top Bulls; Bulls 3rd Most Valuable NBA Team

Danny Granger scored 22 points and grabbed nine rebounds as the Pacers used a second-half surge to sink the Bulls, 95-90.  Roy Hibbert added 20 points and eight rebounds for Indiana, which outscored Chicago 51-36 in the second half.  Darren Collison collected 11 points, six rebounds and eight assists in the victory.  Derrick Rose dropped in 24 points for the Bulls, who were dealt their first home loss of the season.  Ronnie Brewer finished with 20 points and 10 boards in the setback.

New Jersey Nets 97, Philadelphia 76ers 90 (OT)
Cleveland Cavaliers 91, New York Knicks 81
Washington Wizards 92, Charlotte Bobcats 75
Miami Heat 101, Detroit Pistons 98
Milwaukee Bucks 105, Houston Rockets 99
Oklahoma City Thunder 101, New Orleans Hornets 91
San Antonio Spurs 105, Atlanta Hawks 83
Minnesota Timberwolves 105, Dallas Mavericks 90
Toronto Raptors 111, Utah Jazz 106 (2OT)

>>"Forbes" Ranks Bulls As Third-Most Valuable NBA Team

(Undated)  --  The Los Angeles Lakers are the NBA's most valuable franchise.  "Forbes" says the Lakers displaced the New York Knicks as the most valuable team with an estimated worth of $900-million.  The Knicks are second on the list with a value of $780-million.  The Chicago Bulls, defending champion Dallas Mavericks and the storied Boston Celtics round out "Forbes'" top-five list.

ISU Beats Missouri State in OT

Jackie Carmichael had 26 points and 16 rebounds and Illinois State defeated Missouri State 76-69 in overtime Wednesday night.

Carmichael's basket with 1:09 left in the extra period gave the Redbirds (13-8, 5-5 Missouri Valley) the lead for good at 69-67. Jon Ekey was the only other Illinois State player in double figures, scoring all 10 of his points in the first half.

Missouri State (12-10, 5-5) jumped to a 23-12 lead in the first half and led 34-25 at the break. Kyle Weems led the Bears with 15 points, while Christian Kirk had 11 points and nine rebounds and Jarmar Gulley added 10 points.

The Bears were just 5 of 14 from the free-throw line, though Weems made a pair with 20 seconds left in regulation to force overtime. The Redbirds were 24 for 33 at the line, led by Carmichael who was 10 for 12.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
Oklahoma State Cowboys 79, #2 Missouri Tigers 72
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes 78, Penn State Nittany Lions 54
#6 Duke Blue Devils 74, Maryland Terrapins 61
#11 Michigan State Spartans 68, Minnesota Golden Gophers 52
#14 Creighton Bluejays 77, Drake Bulldogs 69
#15 UNLV Rebels 77, Boise State Broncos 72
#16 Mississippi State Bulldogs 76, LSU Tigers 71
#24 Kansas State Wildcats 69, Texas Tech Red Raiders 47
#25 Louisville Cardinals 84, Villanova Wildcats 74

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-26

January 26, 2012

Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 0

Allie Howry, 20, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 55 mph zone). Howry posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.



Clinton Schools Referendum Campaign Team Seeking Volunteers

There is still time to be a part of Clinton Schools referendum campaign team.

The campaign team is comprised of community volunteers aimed at raising awareness in the community to garner support to pass the referendum to build a new elementary school in the Clinton district. Renny Cluver is the campaign chairman for the campaign team, he explains there are 4 committees within the campaign team to be involved in.

[audio:campaignteam1.mp3] [/audio]

Cluver is a former educator and administrator. He says he has seen both sides of the benefits a new building can have. He feels it is a great opportunity for the students, but from the tax payers and voters standpoint, he feels it's a great benefit for them because there is no cost to them other than voting yes.

[audio:campaignteam2.mp3] [/audio]

The campaign team is in need of people to go out and go door to door later in February to talk to residents and raise awareness and answer questions. Cluver adds there will be some literature they will be sending out soon with information about the referendum he hopes you will take a look at when that arrives.

[audio:campaignteam3.mp3] [/audio]

To become involved in the campaign you can contact Renny Cluver at 217-520-6135 or you can contact the Clinton School district who can also get you in contact with him.

Local Farmer Working To Improve Infrastracture of Mississippi River

Updating the locks and dams on the Mississpipi River has been a topic of discussion for several years now. No one knows this better than Ron Kindred - central Illinois farmer and a Board Member of the American Soybean Association.
In fact - ASA has been working very hard to get something done to improve the infrastructure of the river system because of the importance of moving soybeans - and other commodities - to the gulf for export.
Kindred says it's been a long and ongoing process to get funding authorized.
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Kindred says current lock system is well past it's lifespan, and failure to improve it ultimately comes back to the producers bottom line.
[audio:kindredlocks2.mp3] [/audio]
And Kindred worries about the future of the U.S. economy as a whole should the lock system ultimately fail.
[audio:kindredlocks2.mp3] [/audio]
Kindred says the most frustrating part is there is a trust fund that was set up to pay for all of the renovations, upgrades and dredging - and it was accompanied by legislation to protect the fund -  however only about half of that fund is being used for its intended purpose.
ASA Board Member Ron Kindred lives and farms near Atlanta, Illinois in Logan County.

City of Clinton Awarded $1.5 Million Capital Grant

The City of Clinton was awarded a state grant to serve to create economic jobs yesterday.

 width=State Representative Bill Mitchell made an appearance yesterday at City Hall to present the city with the grant. The process began when former Mayor Ed Wollett was in office for the city. Mitchell explains the process took so long due to disagreements between legislators. Mitchell says the grant is a part of a capital bill that lawmakers pass every 10 years.

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Mitcell says he is honored to represent Clinton and DeWitt County. He applauds those working for the city as well as the elected officials to be persistent in getting the grant and working towards economic development. He explains the city asked for one and a half million dollars for a road project. The city did have a project in mind, although Mitchell says he was hesitant to specify what the grant would be used for to give Clinton the flexibility to change their minds.

[audio:citygrant2.mp3] [/audio]

The project aim is to add infrastructure not just for commercial growth on Kleemenn Drive on the west side of US Highway 51, but it will also allow for residential growth. Rep. Mitchell explains that despite the state being $8.5-billion dollars in debt, the funds for a one and a half million dollar project are coming from two different funding sources.

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Things are expected to get underway in the spring of 2013. The city has decided to move forward recently with construction to even Kleemann Drive to prepare for the project.

Tune in to Regional Radio news at noon today for reactions from your local elected officials on the capital grant and what effect this will have on your city.

LaRussa To Manage NL All-Stars; Prince To Detroit

>>La Russa To Manage NL All-Stars

(New York, NY)  --  Tony La Russa will manage one more game.  Despite retiring after winning the World Series in October, the former Cardinals skipper will lead the National League squad at this summer's All-Star Game in Kansas City.  He'll join John McGraw as the only retired skippers to do so.

>>Prince Leaves NL Central

(Detroit, MI)  --  Not only is Albert Pujols out of the NL Central, but so too is Prince Fielder.  The free-agent first baseman has agreed to a reported nine-year, $214-million deal with Detroit.  Fielder spent his first seven years with Milwaukee.  Pujols signed with the Angels last month.

Bulls Notes

>>Bulls Continue Homestand

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bulls continue a four-game homestand tonight against the Indiana Pacers at the United Center.  The Bulls have won four straight and nine of their last 10 overall to improve to 16-and-3 on the season.  They are coming off a 110-95 victory versus New Jersey on Monday.  Chicago, which is a perfect 8-and-0 in the Windy City, wraps up the homestay on Friday against Milwaukee.

New York Knicks 111, Charlotte Bobcats 78
Orlando Magic 102, Indiana Pacers 83
Miami Heat 92, Cleveland Cavaliers 85
Toronto Raptors 99, Phoenix Suns 96
Portland Trail Blazers 97, Memphis Grizzlies 84

>>Bulls' Deng Has Torn Wrist Ligament

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng won't be playing anytime soon.  Head coach Tom Thibodeau says Deng has a torn ligament in his left wrist and is week-to-week.  Surgery is not planed at this time, but remains a possibility.  Deng was injured during Saturday's game against Charlotte and sat out Monday against New Jersey.  He's averaging 15.9 points and 7.5 rebounds this season.

SIU Drops Bradley

>> SIU Powers Past Bradley

Dantiel Daniels had a double-double and Southern Illinois shot nearly 60% in beating Bradley 77-60 on Tuesday night.

Daniels had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Salukis (7-14, 4-6 Missouri Valley), who snapped a 3-game losing streak. Mamadou Seck scored 15, Justin Bocot 11 and Jeff Early 10.

Southern Illinois made 28 of 47 shots (59.6%).

Taylor Brown scored 21 points and Dyricus Simms-Edwards 13 for the Braves (6-16, 1-9), who lost their third in a row and seventh straight road game.

Southern Illinois bolted to a 9-0 advantage before Brown scored the Braves' first basket with 3:53 elapsed.

Bradley closed within 24-19, but Bocot's 3-pointer put the Salukis ahead 32-21 with 3:52 left in the first half. The lead stayed in double figures the rest of the way.

The Salukis swept the season series, having won 74-65 on Jan. 4 in Peoria, Ill.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 57, Georgia Bulldogs 44
#7 Baylor Bears 77, Oklahoma Sooners 65
#12 San Diego State Aztecs 52, Wyoming Cowboys 42
#18 Marquette Golden Eagles 67, South Florida Bulls 47
#22 Michigan Wolverines 66, Purdue Boilermakers 64

3-Vehicle Accident Claims Life of Elderly Clinton Woman

Tuesday evening around 5:30 pm the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department, the Clinton Fire Department, and the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency were called to the scene of an accident about 3 miles south of Clinton on US Highway 51, where a 3 vehicle crash had occured involving 2 cars and a sport utility vehicle. DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene to stabalize the situation before Illinois State Police arrived. Specific events of the crash have not yet been released by Illinois State Police. However, the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department says 4 people were treated for injuries but were not transported. One victim, 87-year old Imogene Blue of Clinton, was extricated from the vehicle and transported from the scene by emergency crews to Decatur Memorial Hospital where the Macon County Coroner's office confirms she passed away shortly after her arrival. Macon County Coroner Michael Day says the cause of death is still being reviewed and investigated.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-23

January 21, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 22, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 23, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 1


Chad Ballenger, 23, Clinton, was issued citations for Illegal Transportation Alcohol, Driving Under Influence Of Alcohol and Improper Lane Usage. Ballenger posted the necessary bond and was released.


Bryson Jones, 27, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Jones posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Zachary Farrand, 24, Springfield, was issued a citation for Speeding (73 mph in a 55 mph zone). Farrand posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Jennifer Schmid, 17, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Schmid posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Joby Lippert, 20, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Lippert posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Blake Baker, 31, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Speeding (69 mph in a 55 mph zone). Baker posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Jacob Mitrione, 35, Springfield, was issued a citation for Speeding ( 78 mph in a 55 mph zone). Mitrione posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Brandon Dash, 22, Kenney, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Dash posted the necessary bond and was released.



DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-25

January 25, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2


Chad Sexton, 35, Wapella, was issued citations for Driving While License Revoked and Driving Under Influence. Sexton being unable to post the necessary bond, remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.




Clinton Pleased Grant From State Finally Reality

The City of Clinton received one and a half million dollars from the state of Illinois' capital fund on Tuesday afternoon.

Illinois State Representative Bill Mitchell made the official announcement Tuesday afternoon at Clinton City Hall in the Council Chambers with Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters and several commissioners on hand. Commissioner Nan Crang explains the $1.5 million will go towards laying infrastructure to begin preparing for development on the west side of US Highway 51 off Kleemann Drive.

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Clinton Finance Commissioner Tom Edmonds says once businesses come to the area and are up and going, the city will then begin to see returns on the investment to expand on the west side of the city. Rep. Mitchell feels Clinton is poised for growth and the location of the project is prime for that growth to happen.

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City Administrator for Clinton, Tim Followell says the development of the road and infrastructure will open up not only opportunities for commercial development, but will also open up the opportunity for residential development in what is a longer term goal for the city. He adds this has all come about as a part of other successful expansion projects on the west side of Clinton.

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Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters feels this is a great opportunity for the city to take advantage of and she is very happy to have the grant and thanks Rep. Mitchell for working with the city to make the grant a reality despite the time delay to receive the money.

[audio:citygrant7.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Edmonds adds the west side development has taken decades to complete but many projects have already been completed and you Clinton residents are reaping the benefits of those. He also feels the city planning for the future is a part of the responsibilities of the City Council, and he feels this project is a stepping stone to the next step of that long term development.

City officials hope construction for the expansion of Kleemann Drive will get under way in the spring of 2013.

Teen Pleads Guilty To Factory Fire

A Peru teenager has pleaded guilty to setting a fire that destroyed part of a building that was once home to a clock factory in northern Illinois.

In a plea deal reached between defense attorneys and the LaSalle County state's attorney's office, the 15-year-old on Tuesday entered a blind plea in La Salle County juvenile court to one count of aggravated arson. The attorneys said they reached no agreement on a sentence. A hearing is scheduled for March 6, before Associate Judge Daniel J. Bute.

The boy is accused of helping set fire to the Westclox building on New Year's Eve. He is not subject to prison time in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

His alleged accomplice, 17-year-old Steven Gallacher of LaSalle, has been indicted on an aggravated arson charge.

Champaign Considers Minor League Baseball Stadium

An exploratory committee is working on plans for a minor league baseball stadium in Champaign.

The committee will meet Monday to start working on details. Committee leader Tony Johnston says he hopes to have a business plan ready for the city within a year or two. Champaign Mayor Don Gerard put Johnston in charge of the effort.

Gerard has wanted to build a baseball stadium in Champaign since he ran for mayor last spring. Gerard thinks a minor league baseball team would boost jobs and economic development.

There have been other attempts at minor league baseball in Champaign, but none have been successful. Johnston says the difference this time is that there will be a better facility to house the team.

Drop In Higher Education Funding

Higher education spending is up by 12-percent in Illinois but Illinois State University's Jim Palmer says but that number can be deceiving.

[audio:rddFund3.mp3] [/audio]

The number is based on a recent report conducted by the university.  It concludes higher education spending across the nation has dropped by about six-billion dollars over the past year.  Palmer says if lost stimulus dollars aren't taken into account, the overall decrease in funding is only four billion dollars.

2012 County Fair Queens Pageant Last Weekend

Some area County Fair Queens were recognized over the weekend.

The 2012 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen pageant took place in Springfield over the weekend.  Brittani Schisler, Miss Lake County Fair Queen, of Fox Lake was crowned by the retiring 2011 Queen Jackie Driscoll.  Schisler as the new Miss Illinois County Fair Queen will be the official hostess at both the Illinois State Fair and DuQuoin.  She was presented with a $1,000 scholarship from Prairie Farms.                

Miss Montgomery County Fair Queen Lauren Murphy of Harvel was named first runner-up.
The judges selected Miss Effingham County Fair Melissa Mellendorf of Montrose as second runner up.

70 queens from across the state took part in this year's event. 

Other area queens selected as top finalists were:  Miss Moultrie-Douglas Fair, Rachel Craddock; Miss Champaign County Fair, Korynn Kirby; Miss Sangamon County Fair,  Cara Workman; and Miss Edgar County Fair, Jessica Richardson.

The Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Pageant was held over the weekend as part of the annual convention of the Illinois Association of Agricultural Fairs at the Crowne Plaza in Springfield.

Sophomore's Career Night Paces Sages

Sophomore Nick Stokowski scored a career high 35 points and the Monticello Sages escaped the Argenta-Oreana Bombers Tuesday ight with a score of 69-59.  Stokowski was a rebound shy of yet another double-double for the season, as the 6-foot-2 sophomore is showing no signs of being slowed in his first year of full time varsity play. This win evens the Sages record at 9-9, and improved to a 5-2 mark in the Okaw Valley Conference. 

Senior Kendell King also had a career high of 17 points. 

The Bombers were led by Dylan Sunderland with 14 points. The Bombers are now 6-12 and 0-7 in the conference.

The JV game Tues evening saw the Bombers drop to the Sages 41-25.

The Sages meet the Bombers again Friday in the first round "play in" game at 7pm. The winner plays Meridian Saturday afternoon at 3pm.


Former Bull Named To Chicago Park District Board

Former Chicago Bulls player B.J. Armstrong has a new gig - on the Chicago Park District Board.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel picked Armstrong to replace Bob Pickens, who played for the Chicago Bears in the 1960s.

Emanuel says Armstrong's passion for sports and experience as an executive make him a good choice to serve on the board and help manage the district's 580 parks.

Armstrong was a starting point guard with the Bulls from 1989 to 1995, and he rejoined the team from 1999 to 2000. After his playing days, he worked for five years in NBA management.

He's now an agent for current Bulls star Derrick Rose.

Former Illini Richmond Gets Probation

Former University of Illinois basketball player Jereme Richmond received an 18-month probation sentence after pleading guilty to unlawful use of a weapon.

Richmond was arrested in August after police accused him of shoving a girlfriend and threatening to shoot her.

Defense attorney Lawrence Wade says Richmond entered the guilty plea Monday, although he never wielded the gun, but bore some legal responsibility for it because it had been in his car.

In addition to probation, Lake County Circuit Judge John Philips ordered Richmond to pay a $500 fine, $3,276 in court costs, donate $250 to a shelter to battered women and 200 hours of community service.

Richmond played sparingly in one season at Illinois. He left early for the NBA draft but wasn't drafted.

Rifle Association Buys Gun For Single Mother

The Champaign County Rifle Association is helping an 18-year old single mother protect her family.  Sarah McKinley shot and killed a man who broke into her Blanchard, Oklahoma home on New Year's Eve.  Police took her shotgun for evidence but the Rifle Association says they don't want the teenaged mother to be without protection.  They say she's been though a lot in the last few months.  She lost her husband to cancer on Christmas day, just one week before the incident at her home.  The CCRA raised 500 dollars and bought her a new shotgun, which she has already picked up.

Conceal Carry Fight Continues

Gun advocates are hoping this is the year Illinois allows residents to carry guns legally.  Todd Vandermyde with the National Rifle Association says he's hoping several pending lawsuits change the minds of conceal carry opponents.

[audio:rddVander2.mp3] [/audio]

Vandermyde adds there are several pending lawsuits that could fall in their favor.

[audio:rddVander3.mp3] [/audio]

The state Supreme Court heard oral arguments last week in the Wilson versus Cook County case.  Plaintiffs want the court to reverse the Cook County ban on semi-automatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns.  Vandermyde calls it too "broad-based" because it includes several rural hunting areas.  Illinois is the only state in the nation that doesn't allow some form of concealed carry.

Lawmakers Look To Reduce All-Time High Prison Population

More people are gettinglocked up in Illinois and now lawmakers must find a way to cut the costs,.  John Maki, with the John Howard Association, says the answer is to only imprison violent offenders and seek diversionary programs for others.

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John Maki with the John Howard Association says reform has been a long time coming.

[audio:rddPrison2.mp3] [/audio]

The Inmate population is at an all-time high with corrections facilities at 144-percent over capacity.  Representative Art Turner has proposed a bill that would begin to address the issue.

Farmer City To Celebrate 175th Anniversary Summer

If you're a resident of the community of Farmer City, this year is a monumental year for the town.

Farmer City will be celebrating their 175th anniversary this summer. Elizabeth Folks is the Chair of the Farmer City 175th celebration. She explains they began planning last year for the celebration by setting some goals and also finding out things those of you in the community wanted in the celebration. She says the celebration will kick off with a parade, and thanks to community support, each year their Christmas parades are a huge success, and they hope for the same sort of support for this one.

[audio:farmercity175th1.mp3] [/audio]

Like most parades, the Farmer City 175th will have a Grand Marshall that will ride at the front of the parade. Folks says they are currently seeking nominations for Grand Marshall. She hopes for the nominees to be good representatives of the community.

[audio:farmercity175th2.mp3] [/audio]

Farmer City's parades have done very well for many years and Folks says they are looking for your help to continue the tradition of keeping their parades being some of the bigger parades in the area.

[audio:farmercity175th2.mp3] [/audio]

The Farmer City 175th celebration will take place this summer June 30th through July 8th, which will coincide with July 4th for the community. The parade kicks off Saturday afternoon June 30th.

Keep your radio tuned to Regional Radio for more on the summer celebration for Farmer City.

Bears' Peppers Added To Pro Bowl Roster

Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has been added to the Pro Bowl Roster.  Peppers was selected to this weekend's Pro Bowl as a replacement for New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul, who will be preparing for the Super Bowl.  This is Peppers' seventh career Pro Bowl nod and his second with the Bears.  He registered 37 tackles, 33 solo, with 11 sacks and three forced fumbles this past season.  The Pro Bowl is slated for Sunday in Hawaii.

>>Super Bowl Ticket Prices Down From Last Year

(Undated)  --  Even though it may cost you about two-grand to see the big game, Super Bowl ticket prices are actually down from last year.  According to research company TiqIQ, prices on the secondary market are about 14-percent lower than 2011.  This year's NFL Super Bowl matchup is between the New York Giants and New England Patriots.  The tickets have a face-value of up to $12-hundred dollars.  However, TiqIQ says a single ticket is trading as high as $1,950 on websites like StubHub and eBay.  The company says prices will likely climb as game-day nears.  One seller is asking more than $15-thousand for a seat near the field.  Super Bowl 46 is Sunday, February 5th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Bulls Thump New Jersey

Chicago jumped out to a 16-point halftime lead and cruised past the Nets, 110-95.  After missing four games with a toe injury, Derrick Rose returned to the lineup to score 22 points and dish eight assists.  Richard Hamilton also scored 22 and had 10 assists for the Bulls, who have won four straight.  Joakim [[ joe-keem ]] Noah added a double-double of 16 points and 10 boards while Carlos Boozer scored 14 points to go wtih nine rebounds.  Chicago continues a four-game homestand tomorrow night against the Indiana Pacers.

Philadelphia 76ers 103, Washington Wizards 83
Boston Celtics 87, Orlando Magic 56
Atlanta Hawks 97, Milwaukee Bucks 92
Oklahoma City Thunder 99, Detroit Pistons 79
Houston Rockets 107, Minnesota Timberwolves 92
Chicago Bulls 110, New Jersey Nets 95
San Antonio Spurs 104, New Orleans Hornets 102
Dallas Mavericks 93, Phoenix Suns 87
Portland Trail Blazers 101, Sacramento Kings 89
Memphis Grizzlies 91, Golden State Warriors 90

Maroons Back In Action

The Clinton Maroons are back in action tonight as they host Tolono-Unity tonight. The Maroons are coming off a 75-44 pounding at the hands of the Meridian Hawks. The Rockets come to Clinton tied for first place in the Okaw Valley Conference and sit 14-3 overall and 5-1 in Okaw play. The Maroons are 3-15 overall and 0-6 in conference action. Tip off tonight is 7:30, you can hear all the action on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

Clinton Family Introduces The Copper and Brass Room on Madison Street

Clinton residents may be seeing and hearing about some changes at the former Madison Hall Banquet Center in Clinton in the near future.

Chris Riddle of Clinton recently has purchased the former Madison Hall Banquet Center and renamed it "The Copper and Brass Room". Riddle along with his siblings Camill Tedrick and Nan Crang are now partners in the ownership of the business. Crang explains they have exciting plans for the future.

[audio:banquethall1.mp3] [/audio]

Tedrick explains the Copper & Brass Room has a lot of history to it. She says they came up with the name to bring back some of the great things that used to happen there.

[audio:banquethall2.mp3] [/audio]

Tedrick explains the inside of the building is very beautiful. She says they are going to do a few small things to enhance the banquet hall and the outside. She says they are going to add some color and enhance the technology inside among many other ideas they have for it.

[audio:banquethall3.mp3] [/audio]

Crang, Tedrick and Riddle say they have already gotten a good response from many people in the community on having events there.

You can get your first look at some of the changes this coming Saturday for the annual Clinton Chamber Dinner. You can order tickets for the event, it is open to the public. Tickets are $35 per person or $60 for a couple or $240 for a table for eight. For more information you can contact the Clinton Chamber of Commerce at 935-3364.

University of Illinois Committee Members Say Intimidation Must End

Members of the University of Illinois Senate Committee say there's a culture of opposition and intimidation built around university president Michael Hogan.  They say representatives  from Hogan's office attend meetings, take notes on the issues that are close to him, and then report back to the president.  Vice Chair Joyce Tolliver says that's a problem that should soon be addressed.  Hogan says he wants to meet with the group more often to improve communications but committee members say that will only be effective if Hogan is willing to compromise.  They say he usually comes with very strong ideas in mind and even though he listens to their opinions, things always seem to go his way.  The issue comes up after Hogan's former chief of staff allegedly sent emails to the committee trying to sway their opinions about an enrollment management plan.  Hogan says there's a misunderstanding about the plan and for now they're taking it off the agenda.

Lady Maroons Earn Top Spot In Regional

The Clinton Lady Maroons are not only hosting a Class 2A basketball regional this year, but they are also the top seed in the upcoming event.
Clinton has been named the number-1 seed in the Class 2A girls regional set to run the week of February 6th at Clinton Community High School.  The Lady Maroons drew a first round bye with the top seed.  St. Teresa also earned a bye with the second seed.
The girls regional tips off on February 6th with #4 Maroa-Forsyth taking on #5 Monticello at 6pm, and #3 Warrensburg-Latham facing #6 Argenta-Oreana at 8pm.  Clinton will face the winner of the Maroa-Forsyth/Monticello matchup on Wednesday, February 8th at 6pm; while St. T takes on the winner of Warrensburg-Latham/A-O Feb. 8th at 8pm.  The Regional Championship is set for Friday, February 10th at 7:30pm.
The winner of the Clinton Regional takes part in the St. Joe-Ogden Sectional the following week.

Clinton Varsity Crushed; Lady Maroons Win; JV Boys Win

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons were defeated by the Tolono-Unity Rockets with an unimpressive final score of 56-25. The Maroons' lack of scoring throughout the game handed the game to the Rockets as they advance to a 15 and 3 record with a 6 and 1 record in the OVC. The Clinton Maroons fall to 3 and 16 overall and 0 and 7 in the OVC. The Rockets were led by Taylor Black who scored 17 points in the game. Junior Dylan Scott led the Maroons' scoring with 9 points and senior Matt Chandler had 4 points.

The Clinton Junior Varsity boys' basketball team defeated the Rockets with a final score of 49-35. Also the Lady Maroons defeated the Meridian Hawks 54-50 in Decatur.

The Clinton Maroons varsity boys are back in actions Friday night at Warrensburg to take on the Cardinals. That game will be live on 92.3FM WHOW. 7pm tip.

Clinton High School Revamping Librarian Position

The librarian your high school students work with at Clinton High School won't be the traditional librarian anymore.

The Clinton Board of Education is making a change when it comes to the person working with your students in the high school library. Current Clinton High School Librarian, Beth Glenn will be retiring following the school. Clinton Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the district has looked into a different approach to filling the vacancy, gearing it towards addressing their technology push.

[audio:clintonstaffing4.mp3] [/audio]

You may recall, it has been a goal of the school district's for some time to begin implementing one-to-one computing to the students. Dr. Holmes explains the district currently have tablets in the hands of their administrators and they will work to get them to the teachers and then the last step will be your students. He believes with the continuing advancements in technology, they need to keep up and teach students about the devices they are going to be encountering throughout their lives.

[audio:clintonstaffing5.mp3] [/audio]

You might think the cost for a project like this may be a drain on the district's budget, however, Dr. Holmes says funding for hundreds of Ipads is quite simple and easily addressed. He says leasing is a great option for the district because once an electronic item becomes outdated, they have the option to trade them in for something newer.

[audio:clintonstaffing6.mp3] [/audio]

Once your child gets an ipad, parents would be responsible for purchasing insurance on it.

Dr. Holmes feels this is a good move for the district because of the way the lease works. He also feels it will be a much greener option because it will cut down on papers being handed in, as teachers could have students electronically send in their work. In addition, it will cut down on the cost of textbooks.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford Completes Successful Cash Dash Event in Fisher

FISHER, Ill. - Jan. 20, 2012 - Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford attended a Cash Dash event at the Fisher National Bank Thursday, Jan. 19, to help reunite people with their unclaimed money and property. In total, 13 percent of individuals who initiated searches at the event were successful in locating cash or valuables that belonged to them or a loved one.

"More people are doing these unclaimed property searches than ever before. It's exciting to me because I want to see these valuable assets returned," said Rutherford. "I also hope everyone makes an attempt to review our online database annually so they don't miss out on money or valuable assets the state is holding for them."

The treasurer's Unclaimed Property Division has $1.5 billion in cash, plus contents from Illinois bank safety deposit boxes that have been abandoned for at least five years. The Cash Dash program helps reunite owners with their unclaimed property. On average, the Cash Dash program returns about $100 million dollars annually to owners. It's common for people to lose track of their assets when they move or when loved ones pass away. Businesses and banks are required to turn over unclaimed accounts to the treasurer's office.

Some examples of unclaimed property currently held by the treasurer's office include the following:

- Money in inactive savings and checking accounts
- Unpaid wages or commissions
- Stocks, bonds and mutual funds
- Money orders and bill overpayments
- Paid-up life insurance policies
- Safety deposit box contents.

To find out if you have unclaimed property through Cash Dash, you can visit the treasurer's website at www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the Cash Dash link. The website is updated weekly to reflect new properties remitted to the office. Additionally, our Cash Dash teams conduct regular outreach across the state, place twice-annual inserts in major newspapers and send direct mail to new single-owner claimants with property worth more than $100. You can contact the Unclaimed Property Division by calling 217-785-6998 or emailing info@cashdash.net.

Despite Recent Snow; Temperatures To Rise, Rain To Fall

Last week felt more like winter here in your neck of the woods, but State Climatologist Jim Angel says the next couple of weeks in your area is going to be wet and warmer.

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EIU Raising Housing Rates

If you or your child attentds EIU, you are going to have to dish out more money for them to live on campus.

Eastern Illinois University has raised room and board rates for next school year by 3.25%.

University trustees voted Friday to raise the cost of a year of dormitory housing and on-campus meals from $8,138 to $9,174 a year depending on which meal plan they pick.

Monthly rent at university apartments will also increase by $13 to $14 to range between $435 and $488.

Dan Nadler is Eastern's vice president for student affairs. He said the increase is the smallest at EIU in 20 years.

State Looking Conservation Police

Officials with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources say the agency wants to hire conservation police officers.

Applicants must have a 2-year degree with three years of consecutive experience as a police officer or a 4-year degree from an accredited university.

Then they'll have to take a swim test and undergo a background check, among other things. The job also requires weeks of training.

Conservation police officers enforce criminal, vehicle and drug law in Illinois state parks. Their duties include patrolling on Illinois lakes and rivers to check boating safety and watercraft registration.

Caterpillar Selling Distribution Business

Heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc. has agreed to sell off a distribution and support business to a Canadian company for $465 million.

Vancouver-based Finning International will now employ about 900 workers who used to be with Bucyrus, a Milwaukee-based mining equipment manufacturer that Caterpillar acquired last year.

Finning is the world's largest Caterpillar equipment dealer.

Finning will run sales, service and support operations in South America, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Peoria-based Caterpillar currently operates the Bucyrus mining equipment factories in South Milwaukee and Milwaukee. Its mining equipment headquarters is in Oak Creek, Wis.

Rose Calls For End To Welfare Fraud

As lawmakers head back to Springfield in another week, trimming the budget is the goal of most Republican legislators.

One are of the budget that one local legislator would like addressed is addressing fraud. State Representative Chapin Rose feels the state needs to work on cutting back on Medicaid and welfare fraud. Rep. Rose says studies done by the government have shown welfare fraud can cost the tax payers anywhere from three quarters of a billion dollars to a billion and a half dollars.

[audio:taxfraud1.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Rose says positive things have begun to happen in the areas of welfare and Medicare fraud, which he hopes can snowball into more positive things to help Illinois get out of debt. He explains his ideas find fraudulent money and returns it to the taxpayers.

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Rep. Rose feels the amount of money the state is paying in towards people taking advantage of the system is hindering the state from moving towards a balanced budget. He says altogether with welfare and Medicaid fraud combined, Illinois is losing almost $20-million.

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Rose admits the new system they have recently implemented does need some changes made. But he says cracking down on these issues sends the message that Illinois will not stand idle and allow for people continue to benefit from system.

Monticello To Showcase City This Year

The community of Monticello is celebrating their 175th anniversary this year.

Earlier in the week Regional Radio outlined the events Monticello will hold throughout the year to celebrate, but along with celebrating with the many annual activities, the city is going to use this year to showcase their rich history and also the progressive projects. Monticello Mayor Chris Corrie feels the town has a lot to showcase and be proud of.

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Mayor Corrie feels their is a lot to showcase when it comes to the historic aspect of the Monticello. He says many homes and buildings are very historic and well preserved, and this year is a good opportunity to showcase them.

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While the history of Monticello is certainly rich and well preserved, the city has taken many steps recently to progress in other areas. Mayor Corrie explains recently the community home to a new hospital and medical clinic on the outer portions of town. He adds the city recently build a new water tower. All three structures the town is very proud of.

[audio:monticello175th5.mp3] [/audio]

The community of Monticello will be celebrating their 175th anniversary by expanding on many yearly events through the course of 2012. The first of their yearly events will be their annual "Chocolate Fantasy" on February 10th.

To find out more of the many things Monticello has in the works for their 175th celebration you can visit monticellomainstreet.org.

Clinton Schools To Retain All Teachers Despite Declining Enrollment

January is the time of month for school districts across the state to begin planning for the next school year.

Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools explains he has begun planning for staffing for next year. He explains enrollment numbers are down this year, which will allow the Board to decrease the number of sections in some classes, leading to reductions in staff members. He says the biggest drop in enrollment has been at the kindergarten level, which has been a trend in recent years.

[audio:clintonstaffing1.mp3] [/audio]

Through retirements and resignations and slimming class sizes, everyone in the district will remain employed, which is good news according to Dr. Holmes. However, he does worry about class sizes continuing to decrease.

[audio:clintonstaffing2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes feels younger families are moving away from the area and closer to where they work simply because of the commute. He feels that on top people moving to where there are jobs available with the slow economy contributes to the shrinking class sizes.

[audio:clintonstaffing3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says the current positions they have in place will save the district about $160-thousand dollars. The district will be consolidating their high school librarian position as their current librarian is retiring following the school year.

We will have more on the consolidation of the librarian position tomorrow on Regional Radio News.

Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chciago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they continue a four-game homestand against the New Jersey Nets at the United Center.  The Bulls have won three straight and eight of their last nine overall to improve to 15-and-3 on the season.  They are coming off a 95-89 victory versus Charlotte on Saturday.  Chicago hosts Indiana on Wednesday and wraps up the homestay on Friday against Milwaukee.

Boston Celtics 100, Washington Wizards 94
Los Angeles Clippers 103, Toronto Raptors 91
Milwaukee Bucks 91, Miami Heat 82
New Jersey Nets 97, Charlotte Bobcats 87
Indiana Pacers 98, Los Angeles Lakers 96

Giants, Pats Rematch For Super Bowl

>>Tynes Sends Giants Past Niners To Super Bowl

(San Francisco, CA)  --  The New York Giants have advanced to Super Bowl 46.  Lawrence Tynes kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime and the G-Men defeated the San Francisco 49ers, 20-17.  Eli Manning threw for 316 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Giants back to the Super Bowl for the first time since 2007.  Victor Cruz caught 10 passes for 142 yards for New York, which capitalized on a fumbled punt return by Kyle Williams deep in San Francisco territory in the overtime that led to the Tynes FG. Vernon Davis caught three passes for two touchdowns and 112 yards receiving for the 49ers.  Alex Smith threw for 196 yards with the two scores, while Frank Gore ran for 74 yards in the loss.  The Niner defense sacked Manning six times but couldn't recover from Williams' two turnovers.

>>Patriots Advance To Super Bowl 46

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots have advanced to Super Bowl 46.  Billy Cundiff missed a potential game-tying 32-yard field goal with 11 seconds left to secure a 23-20 win for the Patriots over the Baltimore Ravens at Gillette Stadium in the AFC Championship Game.  The Pats will square off against the New York Giants on February 5th at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.  Tom Brady and BenJarvus Green-Ellis each found the endzone via the ground for New England, which is making its first trip to the Super Bowl since the 2007 season when they lost to the New York Giants.  Brady finished 22-of-36 through the air with 239 yards and two interceptions.  Stephen Gostkowski split the uprights three times in the win.

>>Rams Add Schottenheimer As OC

(Undated)  --  According to the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," the Rams have hired Brian Schottenheimer as their new offensive coordinator.  The 38-year-old spent the last six season with the New York Jets.  Former Raider head coach Hue Jackson was also in the mix.  Newly hired head coach Jeff Fisher is continuing to interview for other vacant coaching positions.

Illini Fall At Home To Wisconsin

>> Wisconsin Nip Illini At Home

Jordan Taylor scored 19 points and Jared Berggren added 18 to help Wisconsin upset No. 22 Illinois 67-63 on Sunday.

Taylor drove into the lane and hit a midrange jumper with 32 seconds left to give the Badgers (16-5, 5-3 Big Ten) a 62-57 lead with 32 seconds to play in what had been a back & forth battle.

Wisconsin has won four straight after dropping three consecutive conference games.

The Illini (15-5, 4-3) were led by Meyers Leonard's 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Joseph Bertrand added 15 points. D.J. Richardson contributed 13 points for the Illini and Brandon Paul had 10.

Illinois took a 50-46 lead with just over 9 minutes to play on a jumper by the 7-foot-1 Leonard. But the Badgers went on a 7-0 run to retake the lead.

The win was Wisconsin's fourth straight and moved the Badgers back toward the top of the Big Ten has after they had dropped to sixth place.

Illinois' loss was its second straight since an upset of then-No. 5 Ohio State lifted the Illini briefly to first place in the Big Ten. Since then they have been upset at Penn State and been beaten by the unranked Badgers, their first home loss of the season.

>> Evansville Tops ISU

Colt Ryan scored 20 points and Evansville turned two big first-half runs into a 79-71 victory over Illinois State on Saturday night.

The Purple Aces (10-9, 5-4 Missouri Valley) had runs of 15-2 and 15-5 to go on top 42-27 at halftime, and increased the lead to 23 points early in the second half.

An 8-0 run by Illinois State (12-8, 4-5) cut the deficit to 55-40, and a 3-pointer by Nic Moore made it 63-51 with 8:58 remaining. The Redbirds rallied within eight points twice down the stretch but could get no closer.

Ned Cox added 16 points, Kenny Harris and Denver Holmes had 14 each, and Troy Taylor finished with 11 for Evansville.

Moore led Illinois State with 17 points, and Tyler Brown had 14.

The teams split the season series after Illinois State won 75-73 in Normal, Ill., on Jan. 7.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
Notre Dame Fighting Irish 67, #1 Syracuse Orange 58
#2 Kentucky Wildcats 77, Alabama Crimson Tide 71
#5 Missouri Tigers 89, #3 Baylor Bears 88
Florida State Seminoles 76, #4 Duke Blue Devils 73
#6 Ohio State Buckeyes 79, Nebraska Cornhuskers 45
#7 Kansas Jayhawks 69, Texas Longhorns 66
#9 Michigan State Spartans 83, Purdue Boilermakers 58
#10 Murray State Racers 82, SIU-Edwardsville Cougars 65
Tennessee Volunteers 60, #11 Connecticut Huskies 57
#12 Georgetown Hoyas 52, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 50
#14 Florida Gators 76, LSU Tigers 64
#15 Mississippi State Bulldogs 78, Vanderbilt Commodores 77 (OT)
#16 San Diego State Aztecs 57, Air Force Falcons 44
#18 Creighton Bluejays 75, Indiana State Sycamores 49
Arkansas Razorbacks 66, #19 Michigan Wolverines 64
#20 UNLV Rebels 80, New Mexico Lobos 63
#21 Louisville Cardinals 73, Pittsburgh Panthers 62
#22 Marquette Golden Eagles 79. Providence Friars 72
#23 Saint Mary's Gaels 93, Santa Clara Broncos 77
#24 Harvard Crimson 54, Dartmouth Big Green 38

NCAA Top-25 Sunday Men's Basketball
#13 Indiana Hoosiers 73, Penn State Nittany Lions 54
Virginia Tech Hokies 47, #17 Virginia Cavaliers 45


#7 CLINTON           57   (14-9 OVERALL)
#2 CENTRAL A&M   71   (18-4 OVERALL)
CLINTON            17     18     11     11
CENTRAL A&M    21     20     15     15
CLINTON           19-4-14-7-57
CENTRAL A&M   21-5-17-14-71
MADI BEVINS          0-1-0-0-3
HALEY GINGER         2-0-6-4-8
ALEX HUNT             2-0-0-0-4
MORGAN HICKMAN  9-0-1-0-18
AMBER MILLER        1-2-0-0-8
HALEY TOOHILL       2-0-1-0-4
JESSICA SCOTT      2-1-4-3-10
PAYTON BIEBER       1-0-0-0-2
ADCOCK          2-0-0-0-4
JORDAN          3-2-2-2-14
HEATON          2-0-0-0-4
TOWNSEND     1-1-0-0-5
COLLINS          0-2-2-2-8
BAILEY            6-0-0-0-12
STRINGER       4-0-11-9-17
HOWSE          3-0-2-1-7

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk Suffers Stroke

U.S. Senator Mark Kirk has apparently been hospitalized after suffering a stroke.  His office says the Illinois Republican suffered the stroke over the weekend and had surgery today in Chicago.  Doctors are apparently very confident he'll make a recovery.

DeWitt County Board Member and local farmer, Terry Ferguson is the head of the Senator's Ag Advisory Committee. Ferguson says he is praying for the Senator and wishes him a speedy recovery.

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Ferguson doesn't expect the Senator's health to be a factor in the future of the Ag Committee.

Illini Fall Out of Top 25

The Fighting Illini entered their game at Penn State last week at first place in the Big Ten Conference and ranked #24 in the AP Top 25 poll. New rankings released this morning have the Illini out of the top 25 after a road loss to Penn State Thursday night then suffering their first home loss Sunday afternoon verse Wisconsin. The Illini's stay atop the Big Ten was short lived, as they have dropped to 4-3 and 15-5 overall. The Illini play at Minnesota Saturday.

In this week's top 25 AP Poll, Kentucky came in at #1 with 61 first place votes. Mizzout improves to #2 and after their first loss of the season, Syracuse drops to #3. Ohio State and Kansas round out the top 5 respectively.

Second Arrest Made in 2010 Clinton Lake Deer Killings

A second arrest has been made in the February 2010 Clinton Lake White Tail Deer killing case.

On Sunday Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officers arrested 26-year old Chevy Miller of Clinton. Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus says Miller faces a number of charges in the brutal slaying of at least 8 white tail deer at Clinton Lake.

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Wichus speculates the case may be 50% complete with this second arrest. He says public input has been key in their investigations and the public is encouraged to contact DNR Offices with any information they may still have regarding the investigation.

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In 2010, DNR Officers arrested now 22-year old Clay Reeves of Clinton and charged him with the same counts Miller faces.

Wichus could not comment on potential future arrests due to the investigation being ongoing. If you have any more information regarding the deer killings at Clinton Lake, you are encouraged to contact Clinton Crimestoppers at 935-3333, or the IDNR Region Office at 935-6860.

Attendance at Illinois Historic Sites Down for 2011

Preliminary figures show attendance at Illinois' more than 30 historic sites was down slightly in 2011 compared to the year before.

The Illinois Historic Preservation Agency says more than 1.9 million people visited sites last year including the Lincoln Log Cabin.

That's down from more than 2 million people in 2010. Two sites have yet to be counted.

Historic preservation spokesman David Blanchette says the recession and high gas prices may explain the lack of growth overall.

But he says the numbers varied "site by site" and that some sites saw more visitors last year.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum reported a drop. But Lincoln's New Salem, a reconstruction of the village where Lincoln spent his early adulthood, had an increase.

Fifty Teachers Offered Lincoln Fellowship

Fifty K-thru-12 teachers from across the nation are getting the chance to learn more about Abraham Lincoln and the times he lived in.  It's part of a fellowship program offered by the Horace Mann, Abraham Lincoln Fellowship Institute.  The five day session includes workshops, tours, and research sessions that will give the educators a glimpse into the former president's world.  The Institute is holding two sessions over the summer, one in June and the other in July.  The application deadline is February 12th.  More details can be found at HoraceMann.com.

Tips for Staying Away From the Flu

Flu season is in full swing, and many families are already being impacted by it this year.

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of viruses. In the United States, there is a flu season that begins every fall and ends every spring. The type of flu people get during this season is called seasonal flu. Flu viruses spread from person to person when people who are infected cough or sneeze. Adults may be able to infect others one day before getting symptoms and as long as 5 days after getting sick.

The American Red Cross has some tips to staying healthy this flu season. First, Always practice good health habits to maintain your body’s resistance to infection. Things such as eating a balanced diet, drinking plenty of fluids, getting plenty of excercise, managing stress, and getting enough rest and sleep.

They also have some suggestions on keeping from spreading germs that can cause the flu. Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand cleaners are also effective when soap and water aren’t available, cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it, avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way and try to avoid close contact with people who are sick.

Flu is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing. If you get sick, stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

The Red Cross also suggests geting a flu shot every year. Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to minimize illness and death.

Quinn Planning Trading Commission to Brazil

Gov. Pat Quinn is planning a trade mission to Brazil this year, saying there's "tremendous opportunity" for Illinois in South America.

Quinn met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington Thursday to pave the way for the trip.

He says Brazil is the state's fifth-largest trading partner.

Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the governor may also go to Colombia and other countries.

No dates for the trip have been set, but the goal is to go in the spring.

Quinn spent 12 days in China and Japan in September on a similar trade trip.

Champaign County Forced To Make Budget Cuts

Champaign County is being forced to make some cuts to its budget.  The Salvation Army holiday fund drive came up more than 46-thousand dollars short, so the budget needs a little tweaking to make-up for the shortfall.  Officials say they aren't planning any layoffs, but will try to delay maintenance and equipment expenses and squeeze more money out of the Salvation Army's two thrift stores.

State Launches Contest To Stop Cyber Bullying

Kids navigate the cyber world better than most adults and baby boomers and now the state wants to hear their ideas on how to stop cyber bullying.  State Board of Education spokesperson Mary Fergus says the kids' input may be the best way to stop online bullying. 

   [audio:rddFergus1.mp3] [/audio]

The state is soliciting ideas from school kids on how to stop online bullying.  Fergus says the kids can offer a perspective that adults aren't privy to. 

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The state is launching a new contest to give students an outlet to submit their ideas.  They can enter posters, videos, slideshows, or even podcasts describing ways bystanders can intervene in bullying.  For more details, check out Isbe.net. 

Battling Seasonal Affective Disorder

If this winter you are feeling blue, gaining weight and waking up tired even though you might be sleeping more, you may have seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, is a type of depression that affects an estimated half million people every winter. It is caused by a biochemical imbalance due to the shortening of daylight hours and the lack of sunlight in winter. Dr. Laura Shea, assistant professor of medicine psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains the symptoms.

[audio:siusad1.mp3] [/audio]

Both men and women can have SAD, but it is more common in women and occurs more in adults than in children. The disorder is more prevalent in the months of December, January and February when the hours of sunlight are shortest. Dr. Shea explains some treatment options.

[audio:siusad2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Shea says exercise such as taking a walk in the bright sunlight also can be helpful. If individuals suffer from seasonal affective disorder and are not helped by bright sunlight and exercise, they should see their physician for evaluation and possible treatment.

Deer Harvest Numbers Slightly Down for 2011-2012



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The state's record deer harvest, during the 2005-2006 season, totaled more than 200,000.

PETA Appeals Denial of Roadside Markers For Cows

An animal rights group is appealing Illinois' denial of its proposal to install highway signs in memory of cattle that died when trucks hauling them flipped in two separate wrecks.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said Thursday that it has written the Illinois Department of Transportation with its appeal. The state previously denied the application, saying the state's Roadside Memorial Act specifies that only relatives who lost loved ones in highway crashes may request memorials.

PETA has asked Illinois officials to reconsider, saying the cows suffered and are "worthy of remembering."

IDOT spokesman Josh Kauffman said Thursday that the department has received PETA's letter and it is under review. PETA wants to buy the markers, which if approved would be installed in suburban Chicago and northwest of Peoria.

Simon: Community Colleges Must Work Together

A new report indicates Illinois community college students aren't being adequately prepared for graduation but Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon says there's hope for improvement.

[audio:rddSimonCollege1.mp3] [/audio]

Simon says she'd like to see the community colleges create a stronger method of communication so they can draw off each other's strengths.   She says if the colleges worked together it could improve student success rates.  Right now, only about one out of five community college students graduate with a degree in three years or less.  Simon says that's unacceptable.

University of Illinois Expected To Hike Tuition 4.8%

The University of Illinois is expected to raise tuition for incoming students who start classes at its three campuses next year by 4.8%.

Trustees meeting in Chicago Thursday are expected to raise both tuition and room and board.

Information released by the university just before the meeting shows annual undergraduate tuition at Urbana-Champaign would increase by $532 to $11,636. In Chicago, tuition would increase by $468 to $10,232. In Springfield, the cost in would increase $420 a year to $9,090.

Illinois law locks in the rate a first-year student pays for four years.

Housing costs would go up $236 a year to $9,688 in Urbana-Champaign and $198 a year to $10,060 in Chicago. In Springfield, the increase would be $200 a year to $9,870.

Illinois Ranks Third in Green Building Nationally

Illinois is on the U.S. Green Building Council's list of the top ten states for green buildings.

Illinois ranks third on the nonprofit group's list, behind the District of Columbia and Colorado. The list ranks states for the number of commercial and institutional green buildings per capita based on the 2010 U.S. Census. Illinois has 34.5 million square feet of green building space, or 2.6 feet per capita.

Doug Widener is president of the council's Illinois chapter. He says the state's high ranking marks the diversity of those in Illinois who understand the significance of green building's environmental, economic and social impacts.

Survey Shows Need For Westbound Flights Out Of Springfield

 Officials at the Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport in Springfield are planning to talk with United Airlines regarding westbound flights.  A recent survey shows a large majority of travelers make the two hour trip to St. Louis to catch a Denver flight, or they use the Bloomington airport.  Airport executive director Mark Hanna feels the results of the survey show a great need for local westbound service.

Chatham Reconsiders Bench Ban In Cemetery

Chatham city officials are reconsidering a longstanding rule that bans benches and other items on grave sites in the Chatham Memorial Cemetery.  The rule has been in place for more than 30-years but they say the grieving process has changed since that time.  The city is looking for a way to accommodate people's grieving needs.  For now, the city will allow people to keep their benches but they still aren't sure how to handle items that are left around headstones.  They say items like toys, shrubs, and fences make it difficult to keep the cemetery grounds in-tact.  They'll hold another meeting to discuss the issue in the next few weeks.

Two University of Illinois Trustees Vote 'No' On Beckman Over Race

University of Illinois trustees have approved the 5-year, $9 million contract for new head football coach Tim Beckman but not before two trustees voted against it.

Trustees Lawrence Oliver and James Montgomery said at a trustees meeting Thursday in Chicago that they were voting against the contract because they believe the university didn't work hard enough to find a black head coach.

Beckman is white. Illinois has never had a black head football coach or head men's basketball coach.

Oliver said he believes the university will need to make hiring a black head coach a priority before it will happen. Both Oliver and Montgomery are black.

Beckman came to Illinois in December from Toledo to replace the fired Ron Zook.

Parents Speak Out Against Facility Closure

Parents of the developmentally disabled are speaking out against Governor Quinn's plan to shut down the Jacksonville Developmental Center.  Rita Burke, with the Illinois League of Advocates for the Developmentally Disabled, says Quinn is pulling the life line on the state's most vulnerable people.

[audio:rddLifeLine1.mp3] [/audio]

The Jacksonville Developmental Center isn't the only facility on the chopping block.  Quinn also plans to close three more facilities, including the Tinley Park Mental Health Center .  A total of 600 people will be moved into community care settings over the next two and a half years.  Quinn says the Jacksonville and Tinley Park closures will save just over 20-million dollars.  The move will put more than 550 people out of work.

LightSquared Network Fails Test

A key federal committee charged with testing the LightSquared network, says there would be significant interference with global positioning systems from the mobile broadband carrier. The National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee, which is made up of nine federal agencies, unanimously agreed that none of LightSquared’s proposals to combat GPS interference would work.

Under an agreement with the FCC, weaker satellite signal frequencies were used, while the company attempted to resolve the problems. But after testing earlier last year and then again in November, after LightSquared modified its proposal, the committee concluded that neither the original or modified proposals would work.

In its report the National Space-Based Positioning, Navigation and Timing Executive Committee said - based upon this testing and analysis, there appear to be no practical solutions or mitigations that would permit the LightSquared broadband service, as proposed, to operate in the next few months or years without significantly interfering with GPS.

Mitchell Calls For State To Ground Air Fleet Until Bills Paid Off

One local lawmaker is calling for the state of Illinois to ground it's fleet of aircraft until the backlog of unpaid bills is paid off.

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

[audio:grounded1.mp3] [/audio]

The state pays for daily air shuttles between Chicago and Springfield; and back and forth in the morning and the evening. Mitchell feels this makes lawmakers look like "deadbeats" and "out of touch".

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Mitchell cites California, Florida and Texas as larger states than Illinois who do not provide daily shuttles via aircraft for their legislators. He also uses New Mexico as an example, who sold one of their state jets for $2.5 million. He believes if the Governor is truly a "green governor" he would not be flying himself back and forth each trip he makes to Springfield.

DeWitt County Developement Council Looks Forward To 2012

The DeWitt County Development Council had a successful 2011 and is looking forward to 2012.

Ruth Stauffer, Executive Director of the DC-DC, updated the DeWitt County Board last night at their regular monthly meeting on their organization's activity over the past year.  The goal of the group is to increase economic development within the county.  Stauffer adds adding and retaing jobs in the county is another aspect to the organization that is sometimes overlooked.

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Stauffer notes another major project for the DC-DC in 2011 was keeping an up-to-date business and jobs inventory for DeWitt County.  She says it's surprising the number of businesses located within the county, and the organization tries to work with the businesses to find out any needs they may have and try to find ways to assist them.

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Looking to the future, Stauffer feels there are several attainable goals for the group.  She right now they recently acquired a 24 acre agribusiness sight and are seeking potential prospects to come to the area.

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The City of Clinton, along with DeWitt County and Farmer City, are the primary funding sources for the DeWitt County Development Council.

Wall of Honor Inductees For CCHS Announced

The 2012 Wall of Honor inductees for Clinton High School have been announced.

Each year, Clinton Community High School recognizes up to four former Clinton High School graduates for their life achievements. Principal of Clinton High School Ron Connor explains each year a committee goes through nominations they have been sent and they pick out who would best  fit what they are looking for on the wall. He stresses the Wall of Honor is not a sports Hall of Fame.

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Connor says his committee searches for people with high character and morals. He feels the community should take pride in the people that are put on the Wall of Honor.

[audio:wallofhonor2.mp3] [/audio]

Those selected are Mr. Tyrone Byrd, Judge Stephan H. Peters, Mr. Tom Steward, and Mrs. Myra Westray. Connor says each one stands out in their own unique way and each is very much deserving of their place on the Wall of Honor.

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The night of the Wall of Honor ceremony the school puts on a special reception for the inductees and for the community to come and welcome and congratulate them. Connor says they then unveil their plaques at the main sports entrance and they are then recognized between the boys JV and Varsity basketball games.

[audio:wallofhonor3.mp3] [/audio]

The induction ceremony will be held Friday, February 17, 2012, starting at 6PM with a welcome reception in the west gym of Clinton High School and unveiling of the wall in the sports entrance.  The recognition ceremony will be between the junior varsity and varsity basketball games in the main gym. The Maroons play host to Central A & M.

Former Cards Manager Endorses Current Skipper

A former Cardinals manager is endorsing the team's current skipper.  Whitey Herzog told the Post-Dispatch he believes Mike Matheny will excel as long as he does his own thing and is honest with his players.  Herzog also said he hopes to sit on the bench during spring training.

Bulls Clash With Cavs

The Bulls will clash with the Cavaliers tonight in Cleveland.  Chicago has been off since slamming the Suns, 118-97, on Tuesday.  Derrick Rose has missed the last two games with a toe injury and is listed as questionable.  Tip-off this evening is at 6:30 p.m.

Miami Heat 98, Los Angeles Lakers 87
Houston Rockets 90, New Orleans Hornets 88 (OT)
Dallas Mavericks 94, Utah Jazz 91

Forte Cleared To Play In Pro Bowl; Spags To New Orleans

>>Forte Cleared To Play In Pro Bowl

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  Bears running back Matt Forte has passed a physical and been cleared to play in next week's Pro Bowl.  Forte did not play after spraining the MCL in his right knee December 4th.  Forte was named a Pro Bowler for the first time in his career this season.

>>"Spags" Reportedly To Saints

(Metairie, LA)  --  It didn't take Steve Spagnuolo long to find new work.  Fox Sports reports the former Rams head coach is the new defensive coordinator for the New Orleans Saints.  "Spags" replaces Gregg Williams, who was just recently hired as Jeff Fisher's defensive coordinator with the Rams.

Penn State Upsets Illinois

Tim Frazier hit a floater in the lane with 8 seconds left and Jermaine Marshall blocked Sam Maniscalco's layup at the buzzer to give Penn State a 54-52 upset of No. 22 Illinois on Thursday night.

Frazier finished with 12 points and nine assists for the Nittany Lions (10-10, 2-5 Big Ten), who ended a 3-game losing skid.

Off a timeout, Frazier drove at the top of the key before Jon Graham's pick freed him from hounding defender Brandon Paul.

The Illini (15-4, 4-2) lost for the first time since re-entering the AP Top 25 this week. They had a short stay atop the Big Ten as the league's lone one-loss team in conference play.

Paul had 20 points to pace the Illini, while Meyers Leonard added 15.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#4 Duke Blue Devils 91, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 73
#8 North Carolina Tar Heels 82, Virginia Tech Hokies 68
#17 Virginia Cavaliers 70, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 38
#23 Saint Mary's Gaels 61, Pepperdine Waves 47
Penn State Nittany Lions 54, #25 Illinois Fighting Illini 52

Maroons Take On Meridian

The Clinton Maroons are back on the hardwood this evening as they head to Meridian to take on the Hawks. The Maroons are coming off a 50-38 loss Tuesday night against Maroa. The Hawks enter play tonight at 8-8 but 4-1 in the Okaw Conference, in a first place tie with Unity and Warrensburg-Latham. The Maroons are 3-14 overall and 0-5 in conference action. You can hear the action live on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online on dewittdailynews.com.

Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Seedings Announced

The schedule has been set for the 2012 Okaw Valley Conference Boys Basketball Tournament.

The Tolono Unity Rockets earned the top overall seed followed by Meridian and Central A&M to round out the top three.

The tourney gets underway Friday, January 27th, with a round of "play-in" games.  The Clinton Maroons travel to Warrensburg-Latham that night; while the Monticello Sages host Argenta-Oreana.  The two other play-in games feature Maroa-Forsyth hosting Tuscola, and Sullivan traveling to Shelbyville.  Winners of each of the play-in games will then participate in the first round of the tournament on Saturday, January 28th.

St. Teresa High School in Decatur will once again play host to the annual Okaw Valley Conference tournament.  You can view the full tournament schedule on DewittDailyNews.com.

And remember - you'll be able to follow the Clinton Maroons throughout the tourney on 1520AM/92.3FM WHOW and DewittDailyNews.com.  Fans of the Monticello Sages can hear all of their tourney games on 95.9FM WEZC and online at DewittDailyNews.com.

1. Tolono Unity
2. Macon Meridian
3. Central A&M
4. Decatur St. Teresa
5. Maroa-Forsyth
6. Warrensburg-Latham
7. Monticello
8. Shelbyville
9. Sullivan
10. Argenta-Oreana
11. Clinton
12. Tuscola

Friday's games 01/27
all games start at 7 p.m.
Game 1 - #10 Argenta-Oreana at #7 Monticello
Game 2 - #11 Clinton at #6 Warrensburg-Latham
Game 3 - #12 Tuscola at #5 Maroa-Forsyth
Game 4 - #9 Sullivan at #8 Shelbyville

GAMES STARTING 01/28 THRU 02/03 will be at Decatur St. Teresa
Saturday's games 01/28
Game 5 - #2 Macon Meridian vs. Game 1 winner 3 p.m.
Game 6 - #3 Central A&M vs. Game 2 winner 4:30 p.m.
Game 7 - #4 Decatur St. Teresa vs. Game 3 winner 6 p.m.
Game 8 - #1 Tolono Unity vs. Game 4 winner 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday's games 01/31
Game 9 - Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner 6 p.m.
Game 10 - Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner 7:30 p.m.

Wednesday's games 02/01
Game 11 - Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser 6 p.m.
Game 12 - Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser 7:30 p.m.

Thursday's games 02/02
Game 13 - Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser 5 p.m.
Game 14 - Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser 6:30 p.m.
Game 15 - (Consolation Championship) Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner 8 p.m.

Friday's games 02/03
Game 16 - (3rd place) Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser 6 p.m.
Game 17 - (Championship) Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner 7:30 p.m.

Hawks Pummel Maroons

As heard on the BIG 1520/92.3 AM, the Clinton Maroons lost to the Meridian Hawks 75-44.  The Hawks were led by J.D. Booker with 31 points.  For the Maroons, Mitch Creager led the way with 16 points.  Matt Chandler helped out with 10 and was followed by Jacob Rockhold with 9. In the JV matchup, the Maroons lost a heartbreaker in triple overtime 52-50.  Tune in Tuesday at 7 as the Maroons are back in action at home against Tolono-Unity. 

HS BBALL: Sages Topple Redskins

As heard on 95.9 FM, the Monticello Sages went on the road tonight and came away with their fifth straight win, a 61-52 road victory. The Sages jumped out to a 22-13 lead at the end of one quarter of play before stretching things out to 40-24 at half and led by 20 almost halfway through the 3rd quarter. The Sages shot 66% from floor with 38 points in the paint. They were led by six-foot-eight-inch junior Matt Kruses' 22 points. Kendal King added 14 points and five boards and Nick Stokowski chipped in 13 points and seven rebounds. The Redskins had only one player in double figures, Micah Plank's 18 points led the way. With the win the Sages improve to 8-9 overall and are now 4-2 in Okaw Valley Conference action. The Redskins drop to 7-10 and are 3-3 in conference play. The Sages will play host to Argenta-Oreana in their next two match-ups. The first will be Tuesday evening in a regular Okaw Valley Conference match-up, then again next Friday in the first round of the conference tournament. Both match-ups can be on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

Shelbyville 51  width=
Argenta-Oreana 43  width=
Tuscola 31  width=
Central A&M 58  width=
Clinton 43  width=
Macon Meridian 75  width=
Maroa-Forsyth 32  width=
Decatur St. Teresa 53  width=
Monticello 61  width=
Sullivan 52  width=
Tolono Unity 70  width=
Warrensburg-Latham 56  width=


Topinka: We Can Climb Out Of Debt

It'll be a long, tough challenge but Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the state can pull its way out of debt. 

[audio:rddDebtJBT1.mp3] [/audio]

The state still has about eight and a half million dollars in debt. Topinka says lawmakers must stay focused and say "No" to any new programs.  Democratic leaders are talking about borrowing again but Topinka says that will just put the state in a deeper hole.  And that means taxpayers will be ultimately be hit with the bill.

Illinois Unpaid Bills Nears $8.5 Billion

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says the stack of unpaid bills in her office tops $4.2 billion and even more bills are piled up in other government departments.

She said Wednesday the state's overall backlog is about $8.5 billion.

That means organizations that provide services for the state, from businesses to hospitals to charity groups, must wait months to be paid for their work. Topinka's office is still paying bills that date back to Sept. 1 - four and a half months ago.

Illinois is behind on its bills even after officials cut spending and raised taxes.

Topinka's report predicts the backlog will continue at similar rates.

Some officials want to borrow money so state government can pay its vendors, but Topinka argues against more borrowing.

Lawmakers To Push For School Vouchers

Lawmakers are set to push for school vouchers this spring following the massive school reform package that moved through the Legislature last year.

School vouchers allows students to use taxpayer money to pay for tuition to private schools.

Lawmakers like LaShawn Ford say the idea helps kids in schools that are underperforming.

[audio:011812lashawn1.mp3] [/audio]

Ford said he will be pushing legislation to provide kids in economically depressed regions of the state to be eligible for school vouchers.

Opponents of vouchers say they divert public money from public schools, hurting the foundation of education in the state.

University of Illinois To Get New Rail Center

The U.S. Department of Transportation is spending $3.5 million to set up a rail transportation and engineering center at the University of Illinois.

The university said Tuesday in a news release that the the NURail Center will focus in particular on problems involved in using rail corridors for both high-speed passenger trains and freight trains.

Other universities will be involved, too. They include the University of Illinois at Chicago, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Kentucky, the University of Tennessee and others.

University of Illinois professor Christopher P.L. Barkan will lead the new center.

Red Cross Seek Nominations For Heartland Heroes Awards

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross is seeking nominations for several awards they have, and time to get those nominations in is quickly running short.

The Mid Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross serves Macon, Moultrie, DeWitt and Shelby Counties. For the past three years they have recognized citizens and military personnel that demonstrate unselfish acts of kindness and bravery through their Heartland Heroes program. Tara Winter, Director of Public Support of the American Red Cross says they are seeking nominations for anyone from young people to senior citizens to military personnel to recognize for the program again this year.

[audio:redcrossawards1.mp3] [/audio]

The senior award is a new addition to the awards ceremony this year.

Winter feels far too often the negative events in a community overshadow what positive things are happening, and that is the goal of the awards.

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Executive Director at the American Red Cross Carl Baker believes each year the recipient of the Military award is very much deserving of the award. He says they go all out to tell the stories and recognize those who have served in the military.

[audio:redcrossawards3.mp3] [/audio]

In order to be considered for an award you are nominating, the event must have occurred in DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie or Shelby counties or the person must be from the four county region. Nominations are due Feb. 3. Nominees will be judged by an independent committee of community leaders in mid February. Winners will be recognized at the Heartland Heroes Dinner on Friday, April 20. You can visit midillinoisredcross.org to nominate someone.

The 2012 Heartland Heroes Dinner will be held at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 20, 2012, at the Decatur Conference Center and Hotel. Debi Meeds will be the special speaker for the event. Meeds is the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Southern Missouri Region, covering 40 counties in southern Missouri.

For more information on the event or how to nominate someone you can visit midillinoisredcross.org or you can call 217-428-7758.

Webinars Through U of I Extension Focus On Risk Management

Small farm operators have an opportunity to take advantage of a couple "webinars" through their local Extension Office.

The "Webinars" begin this Monday January 23. Local Food System and Small Farms Coordinator with the University of Illinois Extension offices of DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties Paul Meriman explains the webinars will focus on risk management for small farms.

[audio:webinars1.mp3] [/audio]

Meriman says while the classes are focused towards small farms, he feels the material will be pertinent towards anyone in business as the material will be a lot of focus towards preparing for things that are unexpected on an operation.

[audio:webinars2.mp3] [/audio]

The series of four classes again, kick off Monday January 23. Registration is due by the end of the day today. For more information or to get registered, you can call your local University of Illinois Extension office, in DeWitt County it is 935-5764, in Macon County at 217-877-6042, and in Piatt County at 217-762-2191.

Actor Rob Lowe Tweets Colts' Manning Will Retire

Actor Rob Lowe is causing the rumor mill to swirl over tweets that Colts quarterback Peyton Manning will retire.  Lowe posted on Twitter, "Hearing my fave, #18 Peyton Manning will not return to the NFL. Wow."  He added, "Colts fans, let's hope my info is wrong.  Don't like being wrong, but this time...I'm hoping."  Lowe is a friend of Manning's and has been on the sidelines for Colts games in the past.  The 35-year-old Manning missed all of this season recovering from offseason neck surgery.  The Colts are expected to take Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first pick in the April NFL Draft.

Illini Head To Penn State As Big Ten's First Place Team

>> Illinois Sits at First Place in Big Ten; Heads To Penn State

Illinois is in the middle of a long layoff and that's OK: The 22nd-ranked Illini are in first place in the Big Ten.

Illinois is the lone Big Ten team left with one loss after Michigan's win over Michigan State. Illinois (15-3, 4-1) will put its top spot on the line Thursday at Penn State. The Nittany Lions have given the Illini fits the past few seasons.

Illinois coach Bruce Weber said the game will be a test of his team's maturity.

The Illini's last game was an emotional upset of then-No. 5 Ohio State on Jan. 10. Weber said the break gave his team to come back to Earth after that high.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#10 Murray State Racers 66, Morehead State Eagles 60
Cincinnati Bearcats 70, #11 Connecticut Huskies 67
Nebraska Cornhuskers 70, #13 Indiana Hoosiers 69
Ole Miss Rebels 75, #15 Mississippi State Bulldogs 68
#16 San Diego State Aztecs 75, New Mexico Lobos 70
#18 Creighton Bluejays 66, Missouri State Bears 65
#20 UNLV Rebels 101, TCU Horned Frogs 78

Denver Nuggets 108, Philadelphia 76ers 104 (OT)
San Antonio Spurs 85, Orlando Magic 83 (OT)
Washington Wizards 105, Oklahoma City Thunder 102
New Jersey Nets 107, Golden State Warriors 100
Phoenix Suns 91, New York Knicks 88
Boston Celtics 96, Toronto Raptors 73
Minnesota Timberwolves 93, Detroit Pistons 85
Atlanta Hawks 92, Portland Trail Blazers 89
Memphis Grizzlies 93, New Orleans Hornets 87
Sacramento Kings 92, Indiana Pacers 88
Los Angeles Clippers 91, Dallas Mavericks 89

>> Illini FB Prosch Transferring To Auburn

Illinois fullback Jay Prosch is transferring to Auburn.

Illinois said Wednesday that the Mobile, Ala., native will be closer to his family. The move also follows the hiring of new head coach Tim Beckman, who plans to run a spread offense that wouldn't use a fullback.

Prosch, a sophomore, was a starter this fall but served primarily as a blocker. He carried the ball twice for nine yards.

Beckman said he wished Prosch the best with his move.

>> Illini Hire Defensive Coordinator

New Illinois coach Tim Beckman has hired Cincinnati co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks as his defensive coordinator.

Banks, whose hiring was announced Wednesday, spent two seasons at Cincinnati after leading Central Michigan's defense for three years.

Under Banks, the Bearcats defense was ranked sixth in the country against the run at 96 yards per game and 42nd in total defense at 357.4 yards per game. Cincinnati led the country in tackles for loss with 111 and was No. 2 in sacks with 45.

Beckman said Banks will run "a very aggressive" defense at Illinois.

Banks fills the last opening on Beckman's staff and replaces Vic Koenning.

ISU Wins; Bradley Loses

>> ISU Beats Indiana State

Tyler Brown scored 24 points, including a key 3-pointer during a late 15-0 Illinois State run, and the Redbirds defeated Indiana State 67-54 Wednesday night.

Indiana State was leading 51-48 with less than 5 minutes to play, but Brown's 3-pointer with 3:31 left put the Redbirds in front 53-51. Brown then made two free throws and another jumper, and the Sycamores didn't score again until Jake Odum made two free throws with 54 seconds left.

Jackie Carmichael and John Wilkins of Illinois State each reached double figures in points and rebounds. Carmichael had 17 points and Wilkins scored 13; both grabbed 11 boards for the Redbirds (12-7, 4-4 Missouri Valley), who ended a 3-game losing streak.

Odum was the only player in double figures with 15 points for Indiana State (11-8, 2-6). The Sycamores have lost three straight and 5 of their last six.

>> Evansville Tops Bradley

Colt Ryan scored a career-high 39 points Wednesday night as Evansville cruised to a 90-67 victory over Bradley.

Ryan hit 12 of 21 from the field, augmenting that with a career-best eight 3-pointers in 14 attempts and 7 of 8 from the foul line. He scored nine in a row during a 17-0 run that put Evansville ahead 44-21 late in the first half.

The Purple Aces (9-9, 4-4 Missouri Valley) also got 16 points from Ned Cox, 12 from Ryan Sawvell and 11 from Kenny Harris. Troy Taylor had 10 rebounds for Evansville, which won its second in a row.

Jake Eastman hit four 3-pointers and led the Braves (6-14, 1-7) with 16 points. Jordan Prosser scored 12, Walt Lemon Jr. 11 and Taylor Brown 10.

Ryan's big night helped the Aces shoot 50.8% (32 of 63) and 57.1% (12 of 21) from 3-point range.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for Thursday 1-19


January 19, 2012

Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1


Rita Conlon, 57, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Improper Lane Usage – Wrong Way/Wrong Side. Conlon posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Marcus Gelsthorpe, 30, Kenney, was issued a citation for Operation Of Non-Highway Vehicle On Streets, Roads And Highways – ATV. Gelsthorpe posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.




Obesity Epidemic Shows No Signs of Reversal

America's obesity epidemic is proving to be as stubborn as those maddening love handles, and it shows no sign of reversing course.

That's according to the latest figures from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The numbers are appearing in two reports released Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

They show that more than one-third of adults and almost 17% of children were obese in 2009-2010. That echoes results since 2003. And the CDC says it means that more than 78 million adults and almost 13 million children aged 2-19 were obese.

Illinois Businesses Get $67 Million For Hirings

Illinois businesses have qualified for $67 million in tax credits by hiring military veterans, people on food stamps and others in need of work experience.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security announced the tax credit total on Tuesday. The agency says more than 27,000 Illinois workers were hired under the Work Opportunity Tax Credit program last year.

Most of the tax credit involved businesses hiring people receiving state financial assistance. Other qualifying categories of workers include some ex-felons, residents of renewal zones, people with disabilities and teenagers seeking summer jobs.

Employers will claim the federal tax credits on their returns using IRS Form 5884.

The Illinois employment agency has information on how businesses can apply for the tax credit on its website.

Wind Farm Plans Must Include Decommissioning

Wind farms are popping up all across the state.  David Loomis with the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University says local governments must also have a long term plan for the turbines once they've become obsolete.

[audio:rddTurb3.mp3] [/audio]

Loomis says most counties have a financing plan with either a letter of credit or an escrow account.  He says decommissioning, siting, and taxing issues will be addressed at a Wind Farms Conference at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal on February 8th.  The target audience for the conference is county boards.

Barickman Calls For Reform and Repeal of Tax Increase

This month marksone year since Governor Quinn and a lame-duck legislature, led by a Democrat majority, enacted the largest tax hike in Illinois history. State Representative Jason Barickman from Champaign says he warned when Democrats raised taxes on individuals by 67% and businesses by 46% the economic impacts would be harmful and the tax hikes would do little to solve Illinois’ deep-rooted fiscal problems.

[audio:11212barickmantaxhike1.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers claimed the tax hike would go to help pay for overdue bills the State of Illinois still owes. Rep. Barickman says lawmakers have yet to address the spending side, which is why the tax increase appears ineffective.

[audio:11212barickmantaxhike2.mp3] [/audio]

One of the top goals of lawmakers for this upcoming spring session seems to be pension reform. Barickman feels that on top of allowing small businesses being allowed to be the job creators of the economy is vital for the future of Illinois.

[audio:11212barickmantaxhike3.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Barickman feels in addition to taking more from the hardworking families of Illinois, the tax increases have pushed jobs and economic investments to other states. He believes the problems Illinois faces are only going to get worse unless a serious effort is made to drastically reduce spending and reform major programs that are eating up a large portion of the budget.

City of Monticello To Celebrate 175th Anniversary In 2012

The City of Monticello will be celebrating their 175th anniversary this year.

Monticello will use 2012 to showcase and celebrate the history of their city and also highlight the many things that make Monticello a great community. On top of that, Mayor of Monticello, Chris Corrie says this year they will be expanding on many yearly events to celebrate the city. The Mayor explains they will be turning their 4th of July activities into a week long celebration.

[audio:monticello175th1.mp3] [/audio]

The biggest event of the year will also be a part of their summer events, in fact, the August event will wrap up the string of activities for Monticello. Corrie explains their Monticello Celebration is annual event that tends to be the transition from summer to fall activities.

[audio:monticello175th2.mp3] [/audio]

On February 10th, the city will hold their annual "Chocolate Fantasy" to get the 175th Celebration officially started. You can purchase tickets for that event by visiting Monticellomainstreet.org.

Also, at the end of May the city will highlight their "May Market" where they allow folks to sell their goods.

More information on all these events and other plans for Monticello's 175th anniversary are available at monticellomainstreet.org or by calling 217-762-9318.

Goosenecks Relocates To Clinton; Open Year Round

One  local  business  has  a  new  home  in  Clinton.


 width=Goosenecks Grill has moved to from Weldon Springs State Recreation area to 48 Clinton Plaza in Clinton, next to Wal-Mart. Owner of Goosenecks, Angie Stephens explains the move benefits the business in many ways. She says being open year round may be the nicest part of their move.

[audio:goosenecks1.mp3] [/audio]

Stephens took advantage of a revolving loan through the city of Clinton. She says it was a huge help to the relocating process, especially since she was not aware it was available to her and they were in need of some extra funds.

[audio:goosenecks2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Executive Director at the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard says this is a good thing for the city of Clinton. She highlights Gooseneck's being able to be open year round with their new location as a positive. She says Weldon Springs is working to find someone to take over the building Goosenecks was formerly in.

[audio:goosenecks3.mp3] [/audio]

Stephens is very pleased with the way her restaurant turned out and is excited about their new location and the future of the business. Goosenecks officially opened the doors to their new location Sunday but held a ribbon cutting ceremony yesterday afternoon.

Illinois Treasurer Rutherford Touring Area

Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROO-ther-ford) is touring the area this week.

The Treasurer is hosting a series of "Cash Dash" events and appearances in Macon, DeWitt, Logan and Champaign County on Wednesday and Thursday this week.  Rutherford encourages local residents to take advantage of the events to determine if the state is holding any money or unclaimed property entitled to them. 

Wednesday Rutherford is in Lincoln over the noon hour, and his staff will hold a Cash Dash from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Rusty's Clubhouse in Lincoln.  The Treasurer will then head to Clinton for an appearance at City Hall around 1:30pm.  A Cash Dash will take place at Clinton City Hall Wednesday from 1 to 3pm.  Rutherford wraps up his Wednesday with a stop at the Decatur Civic Center at 3:30p, and his staff will host a Cash Dash there from 3 to 5pm.

Thursday Rutherford heads to Champaign County with a stop in Fisher at the First National Bank at 9:30am, and Cash Dash staff are on hand from 9 to 11am.  He then heads to the Hawthorne Suites Hotel in Champaign to speak at the Kiwanis Club luncheon there at noon.  Cash Dash staff will be on hand from 11am to 1pm at that location.

Another way to find out if you have unclaimed property through Cash Dash is to visit the treasurer’s website at www.treasurer.il.gov and follow the Cash Dash link.

Cubs Say Patio Will Be Added To Wrigley For 2012

Wrigley Field is getting a premier addition for the 2012 season.

The Chicago Cubs have announced the addition of a new patio to the right field section of the Budweiser Bleachers. The patio will seat up to 150 people and have LED signage with the capability to display detailed game information. The Cubs unveiled the new 75-foot LED board during the Cubs Convention over the weekend.

The patio will accommodate groups of 50, 100 or 150 people. It's called the Budweiser Patio.

Packages will be available for all-inclusive food and beverages.

Wally Hayward is a marketing officer for the Cubs. He says the patio will give fans a rooftop experience inside the ballpark.

Ag Secretary Promotes Biofuels

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says biofuels are playing a growing role in the civilian aircraft and airline industry and in the military.

Vilsack spoke Monday at a business roundtable meeting at Chicago-based Boeing Co.

Vilsack says the U.S. Department of Agriculture encourages biofuels research to help reduce the nation's dependence on foreign oil and to lay a solid foundation for a strong rural economy.

He says USDA has invested more than $80 million in research focused on developing aviation biofuels. This year, two commercial airlines flew their first domestic flights powered by biofuels.

And USDA with the Department of Energy and the U.S. Navy are investing up to $510 million during the next three years to produce advanced aviation and marine biofuels to power military and commercial transportation.

Local Photographer To Lead Photography Class

A local photographer will be teaching a class through Richland Community College's Continuing Education Program.

Ed Cicenas, owner of EMC Photography in Clinton will be teaching a class on photography next Monday. Cicenas explains the class aims to teach students about many key aspects to photography. He also notes the class will not just be him standing up teaching, those who participate will have the opportunity to go out and take their own pictures.

[audio:photoclass1.mp3] [/audio]

Not only will the class discuss what makes a good or bad picture, but Cicenas says he will show those who attend how to adjust settings to make the camera take a picture they can be proud of and make it look the way they want.

[audio:photoclass2.mp3] [/audio]

Cicenas believes knowing how to operate a camera can make a huge difference in the quality of picture. He hopes to enlighten those in his class about adjusting and using a camera like a professional. He says taking a good picture simply comes down to the person using the camera.

[audio:photoclass2.mp3] [/audio]

Classes begin next Monday January the 23. Registration is due by Thursday. Cicenas explains it is a 5-week class that will meet Mondays at the EMC Photography studios in downtown Clinton from 5-7 pm.

For more information on the class or to register you can contact Richland Community College at 217-875-7211, ext. 265. Cicenas also teaches several photography seminars at Richland you can learn more about as well.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Officers To Purchase New, Safer Uniforms

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Correctional Officer's will be purchasing new uniforms.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains the current uniforms the Correctional Officers are wearing have not been replaced for quite some time, and they felt it would be nice to have something new.

[audio:newuniforms1.mp3] [/audio]

The new uniforms will have a two major benefits to them. Sheriff Shofner notes the first and primary benefit will be safety. The new uniforms will eliminate all metal from them. He says any metal on the Officers could potentially be used as a weapon.

[audio:newuniforms2.mp3] [/audio]

The second advantage to getting new uniforms will benefit the pocketbook of the department. According to Sheriff Shofner, not only do the new uniforms cost less than their current uniforms, and he adds the maintenance cost for the new uniforms is low so the cost will benefit them in the long run.

[audio:newuniforms3.mp3] [/audio]

The Correctional Officers have been working on this project since Sheriff Shofner took over as Sheriff. The Officers themselves did the research on the uniforms and found the uniforms that would fit best into the Department's budget.

Ragan Signs With Front Row Motorsports

David Ragan will drive the number-34 Ford for Front Row Motorsports during the 2012 Sprint Cup Series season.  Ragan drove the number-6 car for Roush Fenway Racing in Sprint Cup the past five years but was released after the 2011 season when the team ceased operations due to lack of sponsorship, which had come from UPS.  The 26-year-old from Unadilla, Georgia pursued opportunities with Penske Racing, Phoenix Racing and Richard Petty Motorsports before landing a ride with Front Row this year.

Last year, Ragan picked up his first win in NASCAR's premier series in the July race at Daytona.  He has also recorded 30 top-10 finishes in 182 starts in the series.  Ragan's career-best finish in Sprint Cup points is 13th, which came in 2008.  He ended the 2011 season 23rd in points.

Cardinals To Visit White House Today

The Cardinals will be in the nation's capital today.  They will visit with President Obama at the White House in honor of their 2011 World Series championship.  Former first baseman Albert Pujols [[ POO-holes ]] and retired manager Tony La Russa are not expected to attend.  Before going to the White House, the team will visit wounded soldiers at the Walter Reed Medical Center.

Bulls Notes

>>Grizzlies Roll Over Rose-Less Bulls On MLK Day

(Memphis, TN)  --  Rudy Gay netted a game-high 24 points as the Grizzlies cruised to a 102-86 win over the Bulls at FedExForum to kick off the NBA's slate of afternoon games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.  Luol Deng led Chicago with 20 points.  C.J. Watson chipped in with 17 points for the Bulls, who had their winning streak halted at five games.  Derrick Rose sat out with a lingering toe injury.  Chicago returns to the United Center this evening to host the Phoenix Suns.

Memphis Grizzlies 102, Chicago Bulls 86
Orlando Magic 102, New York Knicks 93
Cleveland Cavaliers 102, Charlotte Bobcats 94
Houston Rockets 114, Washington Wizards 106
Philadelphia 76ers 94, Milwaukee Bucks 82
Portland Trail Blazers 84, New Orleans Hornets 77
Los Angeles Clippers 101, New Jersey Nets 91
Atlanta Hawks 93, Toronto Raptors 84
Minnesota Timberwolves 99, Sacramento Kings 86
Oklahoma City Thunder 97, Boston Celtics 88
Los Angeles Lakers 73, Dallas Mavericks 70

>>Rose Finalist For 2012 U.S. Olympic Team

(Colorado Springs, CO)  --  Derrick Rose is one of 20 finalists for the 2012 U.S. Olympic men's basketball team.  Rose was a member of the 2010 USA World Championship team that claimed the gold medal in Istanbul, Turkey.  The official 12-man U.S. Olympic team roster will be announced later this year.  The London Games are scheduled to begin July 27th.

>>Rose Wins Weekly Award

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose has been named the Eastern Conference Player of the Week.  Rose averaged 24 points and 9.3 assists in 38.8 minutes in four games as the Bulls ripped off five straight victories.  Rose recorded two double-doubles this past week, including a 31-point, 11-assist performance in a 111-100 victory over the Timberwolves.

Illini Back in Top 25; Paul Big Ten Player of the Week

>>Illinois Back In Top-25

(Champaign, IL)  --  Illinois is back in the top-25.  The Illini are ranked 25th in this week's ESPN/"USA Today" poll after upsetting Ohio State 79-74 last Tuesday.  It was the only game of the week for Illinois, which is 15-and-3 overall and 4-and-1 in the Big Ten.  The Illini play at Penn State Thursday.

>>Illini's Paul Named Big Ten Player Of The Week

(Undated)  --  Illinois junior guard Brandon Paul has been named the Big Ten Player of the Week.  Paul netted a career-high 43 points in Illinois' upset win over then-fifth-ranked Ohio State last week.  It was the most points by a Big Ten player since 1994.  He was 11-of-15 from the field, including 8-of-10 from three-point range in the win.  Paul also had eight rebounds and four blocks.  This is Paul's first Big Ten Player of the Week award and Illinois' third this season.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Syracuse Orange 71, Pittsburgh Panthers 63
#7 Kansas Jayhawks 92, #3 Baylor Bears 74
#5 Missouri Tigers 70, Texas A&M Aggies 51
#22 Marquette Golden Eagles 74, #21 Louisville Cardinals 63

Sages at Tuscola Tonight

The Monticello Sages travel down to Tuscola tonight to take on the Warrior. The Sages beat Meridian at home Friday night 68-57. The Warriors come into play this evening at 3-9 overall and winless in four tries in Okaw Valley Conference action. With the win Friday, the Sages evened their conference record at .500, they stand at 6-9 overall. You can hear the game on 95.9 FM WEZC and on dewittdailynews.com around 7:30.

Other Okaw Valley Matchups for tonight....
Decatur St. Teresa @ Central A & M
Shelbyville @ Meridian
Unity @ Sullivan
Warrensburg @ Argenta-Oreana

Maroons Host Maroa-Forsyth

The Clinton Maroons will hit the hardwood this evening as they play host to Route 51 rival Maroa-Forsyth. The Maroons are coming off a close 47-46 Friday night home loss to Sullivan. The Trojans are coming off a 43-38 win Friday against Shelbyville. The Maroons enter the play at 3-13 overall and 0-4 in Okaw Valley Conference action. The Trojans 9-7 and 2-2 in conference play. You can hear this game live on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com at approximately 7:30.

Clinton GBB vs Decatur St. Teresa

CLINTON       56  (13-8; 5-3)
CLINTON        11     19     19     7
ST. TERESA    9      10      9     20
CLINTON        16-3-22-15-56
ST. TERESA    6-6-28-18-48
MEGAN TOOL           1-0-0-0-2
MADI BEVINS           1-1-2-1-6
HALEY GINGER         2-0-4-3-7
ALEX HUNT              2-0-1-1-5
MORGAN HICKMAN   4-0-1-0-8
HALEY TOOHILL       4-2-9-6-20
JESSICA SCOTT       1-0-4-3-5
PAYTON BIEBER       1-0-1-1-3
HETTINGER       2-1-7-6-13
BRINKOETTER   1-0-0-0-2
WUJEK              0-2-0-0-6
GENENBACHER   0-2-2-2-8
QUEHL               0-0-2-1-1
AMY DUNCAN     0-0-5-0-0
ANN DUNCAN     2-1-12-9-16
LEKRONE           1-0-0-0-2

Clinton Police Weekend Report



DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

January 14, 2012


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1


January 15, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 7

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 16, 2012


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 17, 2012


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:44 a.m. on Saturday, January 14, revealed that a vehicle driven by Daniel Wilson, 37, DeWitt, was traveling eastbound on Illinois Route 54 just east of Sesame Road when the driver lost control, crossing the centerline going completely into the westbound lane, off the road where it overturned. The vehicle was towed from the scene and Wilson was taken to John Warner Hospital for injuries sustained in the crash. Wilson was issued citations for Driving Under Influence, Driving While License Revoked, Improper Lane Usage-Laned Roadway. Wilson was given a Notice To Appear and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:25 p.m. on Friday, January 13, revealed that a vehicle driven by Brandon Hardwick, 29, Clinton, was traveling northbound on Green Valley Road, approximately one mile south of IL-10. As he was ascending an incline, the tires began to spin on icy pavement, causing the vehicle to slide sideways. The car continued to slide backwards into the ditch on the west side of the road, where it struck a tree. There were no injuries reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.



Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:15 p.m. on Thursday, January 12, revealed that a vehicle driven by Richard Thayer, 55, Clinton, was traveling westbound on IL-54, near Turnbride Hill Road. The vehicle went off the road to the north, down an embankment and struck a concrete culvert. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene. Thayer was issued a citation for Fail To Report Accident To Police.


Penny Small, 30, Atlanta, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Small was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Jeremy Harms, 34, Decatur, was issued citations for Improper Lane Usage and No Valid Driver’s License. Harms being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.


Cynthia Stevens, 27, Mt Zion, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Stevens posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Cody Parker, 20, Highland Park, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Parker posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Jon Williams, 47, Indianapolis, IN, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Williams was given a notice to appear and was released.


Amy Reed, 34, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Reed posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.



Sages Beat Warriors

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, the Monticello Sages beat the Tuscola Warriors 57-38. Ryan Donahue led the Sages with 15 points. Matt Kruse helped the team out with 14 and Nick Stokowski contributed 12. Tune in Friday at 7 as the Sages take on Sullivan.


Maroons Drop Game to Trojans

The Maroa-Forsyth Trojans defeated the Clinton Maroons Tuesday night with a score of 50-38.  The scoring leader for Clinton was Mitch Creagor with 17. Maroa- Forsyth's leader was Logan Stelzriede with 12.  The Trojans are now 10-6/3-2.  The Maroons are 3-14/0-5.

The Clinton Junior Varsity was a winner Tuesday night, downing Maroa-Forsyth to improve to 10-6 on the year, and 4-1 in the OVC.

Tune in Friday night to hear the Maroons take on the Meridian Hawks at 7 pm on The Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW.

DNR In Spotlight Over Sand Mine Near Starved Rock

Opponents of a sand mine near Starved Rock State Park are criticizing the Illinois Department of Natural Resources for not speaking up about potential negative impacts to the park.

A Missouri company wants to operate a sand mine land just outside the eastern boundary of the park known for its bluffs, canyons, waterfalls and forests.

The DNR is in a unique position because it's an adjacent land owner and in charge of regulating mining. But spokesman Chris McCloud says the agency is bound by laws governing permits, and will make an unbiased decision.

Environmentalists and many residents say a mine would disrupt wildlife and hurt tourism at 1 of the state's premier parks.

The DNR has 120 days to issue or deny a permit once the company submits its application.

Noland Tapped For Pension Reform Group

 Pension reform is one of the biggest issues facing lawmakers this year.  Senator Michael Noland is on a task force charged with finding a solution to the pension problems.  He says stakeholders will have to put politics aside and be prepared for compromise. 

[audio:rddNolandPen1.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois' pension system is only about 45-percent funded, it's one of the worst in the nation.  Moody's investor's recently lowered the state's credit rating because of the looming pension crisis.  Noland says reform has become mandatory and failure is not an option.

State Drivers' Office Closed Today

If you need to renew your Illinois driver's license or have other business with a secretary of state office, Monday won't be the day to do it.

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White reminds residents that all driver-services facilities will be closed on Monday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

White's office notes that some services are offered online 24/7. That includes renewing license plate stickers if drivers have already received a renewal form through the mail.

Peoria Judge Gives Life Sentence in Woman's Death

A Peoria County judge has sentenced a convicted murderer who was part of the state's secret early release program to life in prison for killing a Chicago woman and severely injuring her 8-month-old granddaughter.

Peoria County Circuit Judge Steve Kouri sentenced 41-year-old Edjuan Payne on Friday. Payne was serving time for criminal damage to property when he got out in fall 2009 under the early release program. He was reincarcerated in January 2010 for violating parole, but the Prisoner Review Board freed him two and a half months later.

Payne was convicted of killing 41-year-old Orvette Davis just months later, in May 2010. Prosecutors described the crime as "unimaginable."

Davis' daughter, Lattina Gaston, says she is "satisfied knowing he can never get out."

Emails Came From Troyer's Laptop

A forensic analysis reveals anonymous emails sent to members of the U of I academic senate conference came from Lisa Troyer's computer.  Troyer was the chief of staff for university President Michael Hogan at the time the emails were sent.  The emails attempted to sway members of the conference's opinions on controversial enrollment management issues.  An outside agency determined no evidence that Troyer's computer had been hacked.  Officials say the laptop computer was in Troyer's possession when the emails were drafted and sent.  There is no evidence that Hogan knew about the emails.  Troyer resigned her position as chief of staff on January Fourth but maintains her faculty position as a tenured professor.  Troyer maintains that she didn't write, or send, the emails.

Lincoln Man Killed in Upper Michigan Snowmobile Accident

Authorities in Michigan's Upper Peninsula say a 32-year-old Lincoln man was killed in a snowmobile crash.

The Keweenaw County Sheriff's Department says David McEntire of Lincoln, Ill., was on a trail with a group of other snowmobiles when he lost control of his machine and hit a tree Friday.

The accident happened near the unincorporated community of Lac La Belle, not far from the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

Emergency crews took McEntire to Aspirus Keweenaw Hospital in Laurium, where he was pronounced dead.

McEntire owned McEntire Roofing Inc., a construction company.

The crash remains under investigation.

Attorneys Confirm Nursing Home Investigation, No Death

There are still more questions than answers regarding a resident at Leroy Manor nursing home.  It was originally reported this week that the person had died from a lethal injection of methodone.  Attorneys for the nursing home said today the resident is alive and recovering at an area hospital.  They would neither confirm nor deny methadone is the cause of the unidentified illness.  An investigation is ongoing.

Gun Scare At Decatur High School

Officials at MacArthur High School in Decatur are stressing student safety after reports there was a gun on campus.  They sent a letter home to parents stressing they won't tolerate threatening actions.  The school was on a brief lockdown last Wednesday as authorities searched for the suspect allegedly carrying the gun.  No weapon was found.

Mid-Illinois Chapter of Red Cross Has New Face

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross has a new face.

Carl Baker has taken over as the Executive Director of the Red Cross. He says his job is to be there in a persons time of need. He adds to this point, his time as Executive Director has gone very well.

[audio:redcross1.mp3] [/audio]

Baker feels is new role fits him well. He says being from the four county region makes him a good fit for the Executive Director role because he knows the area and the people. He also enjoys being involved.

[audio:redcross2.mp3] [/audio]

Baker took over October 1 for Dennis Eller.

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the Red Cross serves Macon, Moultrie, DeWitt and Shelby Counties.

Rep. Rose: Repeal Tax Increase & Keep Cutting

It's the time of year for Illinois' lawmakers to sit down and prepare what their goals are for 2012.

Illinois State Representative Chapin Rose has two goals for this year. He feels continuing to trim the deficit Illinois faces down and also to continue to work to creat jobs. He feels lawmakers made progress last year, but they still have a ways to go.

[audio:rosepreview1.mp3] [/audio]

Rose sees two areas of need to help stabilize the budget. He says first Medicaid is an issue and the second pension reform. Recently Governor Quinn has spoken out calling for pension reform.

[audio:rosepreview2.mp3] [/audio]

Rose says a goal of his for the spring session is to find ways to keep the temporary tax increase indeed temporary.

[audio:rosepreview3.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers make their way back to Springfield at the end of the month. Also during their time off, lawmakers will work on legislation they plan on proposing for 2012.

Clinton Schools Moving Towards One to One Computing

The Clinton Board of Education now has a 3-5 year plan for where they want to be in regards to technology in the districts classrooms.

According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools, the district has a goal of having a computing device in every students hands. He explains whether it will be a tablet or a laptop, he hopes instead of students hauling around books, they will be hauling their device from class to class.

[audio:technologyupdate1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says currently the district is working towards giving students access to the web via wireless internet. The goal of the district will be to link the tablets with the Smart Boards in the classrooms. Dr. Holmes adds having a Smart Board in every classroom is a goal that is still a work in progress.

[audio:technologyupdate2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes explains they have begun the process of putting a tablet in the hands of every student. Currently administrators all have tablets. He says the next step is to get them to all the teachers and allow them to get use to the tablets to be able to use them and teach with them.

[audio:technologyupdate3.mp3] [/audio]

The update on the districts technology and the future of the technology in the district was discussed at a Special Board of Education work session last Wednesday.

Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this afternoon as they square off against the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.  The Bulls have won five straight and 11-of-12 overall to improve to 12-and-2 on the season.  Chicago returns to the United Center to host the Phoenix Suns tomorrow evening.

Golden State Warriors 99, Detroit Pistons 91
Utah Jazz 106, Denver Nuggets 96
San Antonio Spurs 102, Phoenix Suns 91

Fisher Decides On Rams

The St. Louis Rams have their new head coach.  Former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher has agreed to take over in the Gateway City.  Fisher sat out coaching in 2011 after his dismissal from Tennessee and had been deciding between offers from St. Louis and the Miami Dolphins.  He replaces Steve Spagnuolo, who was fired after going 10-and-38 in three years at the helm.

With Jeff Fisher on board as Rams head coach, the next step for the 53-year-old is to fill out his coaching staff.  ESPN reports Fisher met yesterday with former Jets offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer.  Both reside in Tennessee so the meeting became convenient for both.  On the other side of the ball, New Orleans Saints defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is rumored to be willing to reunite with Fisher in St. Louis.  The two spent 16 seasons together in Tennessee.

NFL Divisional Weekend Wrap Up

>>Giants Stomp Pack; Advance To NFC Title Game

(Green Bay, WI)  --  The New York Giants advanced to the NFC Championship Game by defeating the defending Super Bowl champion Green Bay Packers, 37-20.  Hakeem Nicks hauled in seven catches for 165 yards with two touchdowns for the Giants, who will travel to San Francisco to face the 49ers on Sunday.  The two teams have met in the playoffs seven times since 1980.  The winner of next week's game will advance to Super Bowl 46.    Eli Manning completed 21-of-33 passes for 330 yards with three TD's and an interception.  The Giants' defense forced three fumbles and also had an interception in the lopsided victory.

>>Niners Stun Saints In Wild Finish

(San Francisco, CA)  --  Vernon Davis caught a 14-yard touchdown pass with nine seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the 49ers a wild 36-32 win over the Saints in a divisional playoff thriller on Saturday.  Davis' grab capped a game-winning seven-play, 85-yard drive.  Davis had seven catches for 180 yards and two scores for the 49ers.   Alex Smith threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the victory.  The 49ers will host the New York Giants in the NFC Championship game on Sunday at 3:30 p.m.  The 49ers and Giants have met seven times in the playoffs since 1980. 

>>Ravens Drop Texans, Advance To AFC Championship

(Baltimore, MD)  --  The Baltimore Ravens have advanced to the AFC Championship Game after a 20-13 victory over the Houston Texans.  Joe Flacco finished 14-of-27 for 176 yards with two touchdowns for the Ravens, who will travel to New England to face the top-seeded Patriots next Sunday.  New England grabbed a 45-10 win over the Denver Broncos on Saturday night.  The winner of next week's game will advance to Super Bowl 46.  Anquan Boldin and Kris Wilson each found the endzone via the air and Billy Cundiff added a pair of field goals in the win.  Baltimore finished the season a perfect 9-and-0 at M&T Bank Stadium.

New England Patriots 45, Denver Broncos 10
(AFC Divisional Playoffs)

State Gets Grade Of C For Education Policy

The state of Illinois earns a grade of "C" for education policy and performance.  "Education Week" surveyed categories for all 50 states, with Illinois finishing at 76-point-three-percent.  That's just below the national average of 76-point-five-percent.  Illinois fared well in the Chance for Success category with a "B-minus," while it received a grade of "D-plus" in the Teaching Profession category.  The top-performing state overall was Maryland, while South Dakota finished last.

State Bank of Lincoln Opens Reveals New Look

The State Bank of Lincoln celebrated a remodel to their downtown Clinton location with an open house Friday.

President of the State Bank of Lincoln, Steve Aughenbaugh (pron off-en-baw) says the remodel features new offices on the downstairs floor which will bring everyone to the main floor of the building. He adds several local businesses came together to make the remodel a success.

[audio:statebank1.mp3] [/audio]

Branch Manager Kim Hoyt feels having everyone on one floor is going to be a nice addition for the bank. She adds the loan officers having their offices instead of cubicals will be a nice change for them.

[audio:statebank2.mp3] [/audio]

The State Bank of Lincoln showed off their remodel with an open house which received a nice turnout according to Aughenbaugh.

USDA Cuts Won't Effect Food Safety

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced a new blueprint for the Food Safety and Inspection Service - which will consolidate 15 district offices into 10 by the end of Fiscal Year 2013. However - Food Safety Under Secretary Dr. Elisabeth Hagen says the safety of the U.S. meat, poultry and egg supply won’t be diminished.

[audio:hagen1.mp3] [/audio]

Hagen says the consolidation effort is about improving technologies and customer service. Everything USDA does is about consumer protection - Hagen says - and the consolidation won’t put consumers at risk.

USDA Final 2011 Numbers

USDA reported 2011’s final agricultural numbers Thursday morning. USDA Chief Economist Joe Glauber.
[audio:glauber1.mp3] [/audio]

Glauber says yields came out higher than a lot of people expected.  Even bigger news - according to Glauber - is how people expected bigger changes.
[audio:glauber2.mp3] [/audio]

Production numbers declined from the previous year for corn, soybeans, cotton and rice.

Clinton High School Announces Wall of Honor Inductees

The Clinton Wall of Honor committee has selected the 2012 inductees. Those selected are Mr. Tyrone Byrd, Judge Stephan H. Peters, Mr. Tom Steward, and Mrs. Myra Westray.   The induction ceremony will be held Friday, February 17, 2012, starting at 6PM with a welcome reception in the west gym of Clinton High School and unveiling of the wall in the sports entrance.  The recognition ceremony will be between the junior
varsity and varsity basketball games in the main gym.

Dieting Tips

Losing weight is one of the most common New Year’s resolutions for many Americans who might have indulged in too much holiday food.

The beginning of a new year is the time many people decide to take off weight, including the extra pounds they may have gained during the holidays. Sara Lopinski, registered dietitian at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, offers advice for shedding those extra pounds.

[audio:siudiet1.mp3] [/audio]

Lopinski says the eating plan you choose needs to be balanced in terms of food groups. If you omit certain food groups such as carbohydrates, you can become deficient in some important nutrients necessary for a healthy diet. She says your diet should not be so rigid that it cannot be followed. She also recommends adding exercise to your weight loss plan.

[audio:siudiet2.mp3] [/audio]

For more information about recommended foods and portions, Lopinski suggests visiting the website www.myplate.gov. If individuals have a significant amount of weight to lose or have been unsuccessful in the past, they may need to see a primary care physician or registered dietitian to help them achieve their goals.

Decatur Man Gets 25 Years In Fatal Shooting

A Decatur man accused of fatally shooting a contractor during a dispute over work done on a home has been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

The sentence 60-year-old David Bauer received Tuesday was part of a plea bargain with prosecutors. He'd faced a possible life sentence in the Oct. 19 shooting of contractor Alan Goodwin.

Before the sentencing, widow Lisa Goodwin told the court that she and her three children have suffered greatly since her 46-year-old husband was killed. The Goodwins had celebrated their 24th anniversary two days before the shooting.

Prosecutors say Bauer's mother was talking to Goodwin about work done in her home when Bauer shot him three times. Goodwin managed to call police and told a dispatcher he'd been shot. Bauer then fired at him again.

Illinois Officials Working To Boost Local Food Market

Illinois officials are announcing efforts to make locally grown food more readily available.

Warren Ribley is director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. He announced a program Thursday to help communities and businesses develop "food hubs."

Food hubs are places for processing and distributing food so local farmers may market their products to larger customers such as schools and government agencies.

The commerce agency, the state Agriculture Department, FamilyFarmed.org and the University of Illinois' business innovation services unit have produced a guidebook called "Building Successful Food Hubs" which is available online from FamilyFarmed.org.

Ribley also announced a website to help farmers work with larger markets, which often have complex regulations.

Train Carrying Ethanol Derails in Gibson City

A train carrying ethanol has derailed in central Illinois, slipping off railroad tracks near Gibson City in Ford County.

Gibson City fire chief Bruce Kallal says three tanker cars derailed on Thursday afternoon but no ethanol spilled or leaked. Traffic on a 1-mile stretch of Illinois 9 was diverted around the scene of the derailment, near the One Earth Energy ethanol plant. No injuries were reported but emergency workers evacuated nearby businesses as a precaution.

Gibson City Mayor Dan Dickey says the train cars remained upright but dug into the ground after the track broke. Dickey says Illinois 9 should be reopened by morning.

Norfolk Southern Railroad officials are investigating the incident.

Gibson City is about 30 miles north of Champaign and 30 miles east of Bloomington.

Clinton Board of Education Recieves Update From Referendum Campaign Team

The Clinton Board of Education held a special work session Wednesday evening.

The agenda included updates from the referendum campaign team, a technology update and discussion on the future of technology in Clinton schools, and reviews of smaller items as well. According to Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of Clinton Schools, says the Board received an update of where the campaign team is at and what the future looks like for them.

[audio:workmeeting1.mp3]Dr. Holmes On Campaign Team's Update[/audio]

Dr. Holmes feels there is a misconception in the community that the district will be raising taxes to finances the new building. On the contrary, he says the campaign team will be trying to raise awareness to the community that no taxes will be raised.

[audio:workmeeting2.mp3]Dr. Holmes Addresses Misconception[/audio]

The campaign team will begin moving forward with the a door-to-door campaign in late February to make the community aware of the question on the ballot and also answer any questions residents they encounter may have.

Open House At Clinton Fire House Highlights Fire Safety

The Clinton Fire Department will be holding a special event at the fire house Sunday to promote fire safety.

The Department for several years now has applied for a grant through Energizer to obtain and give away batteries for fire alarms. Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton explains the fire department annually applies for the grant, and sometimes do not receive it.

[audio:openhouse1.mp3]Chief Milton On Battery Grant[/audio]

The department has also applied for a grant through the State Fire Marshall's office to obtain smoke detectors. He says the goal of the grant for the smoke detector grant is to give them away. He says the Fire Marshall's office has a certain amount and they give them out until they all have been given away.

[audio:openhouse2.mp3]Chief Milton On Smoke Alarm Grant[/audio]

Chief Milton feels this is an opportunity for the community to see the firehouse and get a look at a small portion of what firefighters do. He also feels it is a good opportunity to promote fire safety within the home. He says having a smoke alarm in the home is a requirement by law.

[audio:openhouse3.mp3]Chief Milton on Importance of Smoke Alarms[/audio]

Chief Milton explains the batteries they have obtained from Energizer are AA batteries. He says if you are using a smoke detector that still uses 9 Volt batteries, it may be time to change out that smoke alarm, and stopping by the open house is a good opportunity to do that at no cost.

The open house is Sunday from 1-3 pm at the firehouse. While there, you can check out the new fire engine. Chief Milton says they've had opportunities to show it off but this is a good opportunity to see it up close in person.

Events Early Friday Morning Required Outside Assistance For DJWH Ambulances

In the early morning hours of Friday January 6, 2012, the Dr. John Warner Hospital received a medical call. During the particular call EMT's were responding to, they transported a patient to the city hospital. While the ambulance was on the call, Cencom received another call, and the dispatcher called in Mutual Aid from Heyworth to take the second call. Shortly after the second call, another call came through to 9-1-1, and the dispatcher called out Arrow Ambulance from Farmer City. So 9-1-1 received three different calls in a hour time frame.

The DJWH recently has gone to one ambulance after 9pm, which is why dispatch had to call for Mutual Aid. 9-1-1 Coordinator for DeWitt County Tony Harris explains he and DJWH Ambulance Manager Terrence Hubbard came up with a procedure to follow in cases such as these.

[audio:ambulancesituation1.mp3] [/audio]

Hubbard explains the issue they encountered that morning was none of their local providers were notified. He says he has discussed the events of the morning with Harris and Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton and Hubbard says because having just one ambulance overnight is new to all the entities involved, some things needed to be worked and feels they have been.

[audio:ambulancesituation2.mp3] [/audio]

Hubbard recognizes improvements need to be made to the procedure and he feels it starts with better communication between the different entities.

[audio:ambulancesituation3.mp3] [/audio]

Hubbard stresses this is not a normal occurance for the hospital. Hubbard has extensively researched call volumes down to specific hours of the day and feels if something like this situation were to be a common occurance, it would show in his research.

[audio:ambulancesituation4.mp3] [/audio]

Hubbard adds have multiple calls out so close together during the overnight hours is something he has rarely encountered in the past.

Harris is looking into the situation at 9-1-1 and will take the necessary steps to rectify the situation.

Playoff Matchup Previews; Hurd Arraigned

>>Sam Hurd To Be Arraigned

(Dallas, TX)  --  A former NFL player accused of trying to buy drugs from an undercover officer will be in court later this month.  Sam Hurd is set to be arraigned in Dallas on January 25th following a months-long investigation that began in north Texas.  Hurd allegedly told an undercover officer while having dinner in Chicago last month that he wanted to buy large amounts of cocaine and marijuana.  Authorities arrested him when he allegedly left the restaurant with a kilo of cocaine.  He was let go from the Chicago Bears shortly after his arrest.

>>Packers Host Giants In Playoff Rematch

(Green Bay, WI)  --  The defending Super Bowl champion Packers host the New York Giants in the final matchup of the Divisional Round on Sunday.  The Packers earned the top seed in the NFC after going 15-and-1 in the regular season.  One of those wins was a 38-35 road triumph over the Giants in Week 13.  New York foiled the Falcons 24-2 in a Wild Card game in the Meadowlands last week.  The G-Men also famously notched a 23-20 overtime win over the Packers at Lambeau Field in the NFC Championship Game in 2008.

>>Tebow, Broncos In Foxboro This Weekend

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Tebow-mania invades Foxboro tomorrow night as the Denver Broncos take on the top-seeded New England Patriots in an AFC Divisional Playoff matchup at Gillette Stadium.  The Broncos are coming off a stunning 29-23 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Steelers this past Sunday.  Tim Tebow connected with Demaryius Thomas on an 80-yard touchdown pass on the first play of overtime to give Denver the win.  New England enjoyed a first-round bye and has home-field advantage throughout the AFC playoffs.  The Pats beat the Broncos 41-23 in Week 15 of the regular season.

>>Report: Bears Interview Former Bucs' Olson For QB Coach

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears continue their search for a new quarterbacks coach.  The Bears reportedly interviewed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers offensive coordinator Greg Olson for the position on Thursday.  Chicago is also looking at Jacksonville offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter [[ Cutter ]], University of Miami offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch and former Seahawks offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates.

Bulls In Boston

The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they square off against the Boston Celtics at the TD Garden.  The Bulls have won nine of their last 10 games and are coming off a 78-64 victory versus Washington on Wednesday to improve to 10-and-2 on the season.  They won Wednesday's game without Derrick Rose, who sat out with a sprained toe.  Chicago wraps up this week's play tomorrow evening back at the United Center against Toronto.

Atlanta Hawks 111, Charlotte Bobcats 81
Milwaukee Bucks 102, Detroit Pistons 93
Memphis Grizzlies 94, New York Knicks 83
Cleveland Cavaliers 101, Phoenix Suns 90
Orlando Magic 117, Golden State Warriors 109

Illini Off This Weekend

The Illinois Fighting Illini enjoy some down time as they don't play this weekend.  The Illini resume play Thursday at Penn State.  Illinois upset fifth-ranked Ohio State 79-74 on Tuesday to improve to 15-and-3 overall and 4-and-1 in the Big Ten.  Penn State hosts Minnesota on Sunday.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#6 Duke Blue Devils 61, #17 Virginia Cavaliers 58
Minnesota Golden Gophers 77, #8 Indiana Hoosiers 74
#14 Murray State Racers 66, Jacksonville State Gamecocks 55
#20 Mississippi State Bulldogs 62, Tennessee Volunteers 58
Saint Mary's Gaels 83, #23 Gonzaga Bulldogs 62

Illini Off This Weekend

The Illinois Fighting Illini enjoy some down time as they don't play this weekend.  The Illini resume play Thursday at Penn State.  Illinois upset fifth-ranked Ohio State 79-74 on Tuesday to improve to 15-and-3 overall and 4-and-1 in the Big Ten.  Penn State hosts Minnesota on Sunday.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#6 Duke Blue Devils 61, #17 Virginia Cavaliers 58
Minnesota Golden Gophers 77, #8 Indiana Hoosiers 74
#14 Murray State Racers 66, Jacksonville State Gamecocks 55
#20 Mississippi State Bulldogs 62, Tennessee Volunteers 58
Saint Mary's Gaels 83, #23 Gonzaga Bulldogs 62

Illinois Trustees To Consider Beckman Contract

When they meet Jan. 19, University of Illinois trustees are expected to approve a contract to pay new head football coach Tim Beckman $9 million over five years, plus incentives.

Beckman will be paid $1.6 million his first year. That figure will grow by $100,000 each year through the end of the contract.

Beckman will be paid another $150,000 if he stays through 2015 and $350,000 if he stays through the contract. Illinois also will pay him $130,000 to buy out his contract at the University of Toledo.

Performance-based bonuses of up to 13% of his annual salary are also possible, and Beckman will be provided two vehicles.

The new coach will have $2.8 million to pay assistants.

Beckman was hired last year after Ron Zook was fired.

Sages, Maroons Back In Action

The Clinton Maroons and Monticello Sages will be at home for two tough Okaw Valley Conference games this evening. The Clinton Maroons (3-12, 0-3) will play host to the Sullivan Redskins this evening and the Monticello Sages (5-9, 1-2) will play host to the Meridian Hawks. In the early going in the conference schedule, both Sullivan and Meridian are in the upper tier of the Okaw Valley conference standings. Sullivan stands at 6-8 overall and 2-1 in OVC play. Meridian comes in undefeated in conference action at 3-0 and 7-7 overall.

You can hear live play-by-play coverage of the Maroons on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed online at dewittdailynews.com. You can hear the Sages game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online as well at dewittdailynews.com.

The Maroons and Sages met Tuesday evening in Monticello with the Sages beating the Maroons 63-47.

HS BBALL: Monticello Sages Take Out Meridian

The Monticello Sages faced off against the Meridian Hawks this evening. The Sages felt good coming off of a win from Clinton last week, and were ready to take on the Hawks. Both teams came out hard in the first quarter, keeping the lead a juggle. At the end of the half the Hawks had a lead of 32-29 over the Sages. However, coming back out into the action the Sages stepped up their defense and managed to take the lead in the third and hold onto it through the fourth. The final score of tonight's game was 68-57 in favor of the Monticello Sages. They move to 5-9 overall. Tune in again on Tuesday at 7 p.m. for more Sages action as they face off against Argenta-Oreana. We've got it all right here on 95.9, WEZC.

Redskins Edge Maroons

As heard on the BIG 1520/92.3 AM, the Sullivan Redskins edged the Clinton Maroons 47-46. Micah Plank led the Redskins with 29 points, with 23 of them coming in the second half.  The Maroons were led by Matt Chandler, who tied his career high with 17 points.  Mitch Creager contributed 14 points with half of them coming from the charity stripe.  All was not lost though,as the Maroons won the JV game 42-36. Tune in Tuesday at 7 as the Maroons are back at home facing the Trojans of Maroa-Forsyth.  

Investigation Launched Into Nursing Home Methadone Death

An investigation is underway at an Illinois nursing home after a female resident allegedly died from a shot of methadone.  A person familiar with the case says the staff was authorized to administer medication but methadone was never approved.  Nursing home officials won't say where the heavy-duty painkiller came from.  Illinois State Police are investigating and officials with the Illinois Public Health Department say they're aware of the situation.  Calls to the nursing home were forwarded to attorney Matt Murer, who refused to comment on the case and directed all questions to the ISP. 

Decatur Police Arrest Two In Cocaine, Pot Bust

Decatur Police have arrested two men who were allegedly running a cocaine and marijuana ring in the city.

Juliano Melgarejo, 28, also known as Jason Ortiz, and Nelson Arroyo, 46, have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of cocaine over 900 grams and possession of 500-2000 grams of marijuana with intent to distribute.

Police say they pulled Arroyo over on Route 51 South Tuesday afternoon. Officers searched the car and allegedly found 2000 grams of cocaine and 908 grams of marijuana. Police estimate the street value of the drugs to be $209,000.

Officers located a separate car driven by Melgarejo later and Melgarejo was found walking several blocks away and police say he ran when approached by officers. Police tazed Melgarejo in order to arrest him.

The police department says it has been investigating Melgarejo and Arroyo since August 2011 in sworn statements. Their investigations found the pair would meet at a rest stop on I-72, then drive into Decatur in separate cars and meet up again.

Bloomington Man Gets 20-Years For Child Porn

A federal judge in central Illinois has sentenced a Bloomington man to 20 years in prison for child pornography.

In sentencing Richard Jimenez on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm said the 49-year-old defendant's collection of child porn images is the largest he remembers seeing in his nearly 30 years on the bench.

Authorities say Jimenez had nearly one terabyte of illicit images and movies. An FBI agent says she stopped counting the videos when she reached 1,000 and cataloged more than 1,100 images.

The judge gave Jimenez the maximum sentence, saying that he believes Jimenez is a danger to the community because he spent 30 years collecting the images and had admitted to molesting three young boys.

Illinois, Decatur Waiting On Details On ADM Job Cuts

City officials in Decatur and Illinois economic development officials say they've talked to Archer Daniels Midland about its plans to cut 1,000 jobs but are waiting to find out how many will be in the state.

Decatur City Manager Ryan McCrady said Wednesday he's optimistic that the Decatur-based agricultural processor's job cuts will be widely spread enough to avoid hurting the city too baldy. ADM has 4,000 employees in Decatur.

Another major local agricultural firm, Tate & Lyle, is in the process of moving its headquarters from Decatur to Hoffman Estates.

Marcelyn Love of the state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity says the agency has talked with ADM about what it can do to limits cuts in Illinois.

ADM says it plans to cut primarily salaried workers.

CEO Says ADM To Cut One Thousand Jobs

Agribusiness conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland Co. says it will cut 1,000 jobs company wide.

CEO Patricia Woertz said in a Wednesday statement that the majority of the positions will be salaried staff. The move will cut about 15% of the company's corporate staff.

The Decatur, Ill.-based company employs 30,000 people worldwide.

Woertz says the company is cutting jobs to boost productivity and profits. The company does everything from processing crops to make food ingredients, to shipping grain overseas.

The last year has been a volatile one for agribusiness companies, with crop prices swinging wildly on global markets.

Snow Driving Preparation Tips

The first winter storm of the year may be on the way bringing what will likely be tough driving conditions and bitter cold temperatures.

Snow is expected to accumulate up to 4 inches and there will be blowing snow as well. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy has several tips on keeping yourself safe while on the road to avoid accidents, but also should you get stuck in the snow. He says when coming to an intersections on a snowy road, use extra caution and begin braking much sooner than you normally would.

[audio:12811snowtips1.mp3]A Word Chief Reidy[/audio]

A habit Chief Reidy encourages motorists to take up during the winter months is to not let your gas tank get below a half of a tank. Should a motorist become stranded with no immediate help on the way, having that extra half tank of gas could certainly come in handy.

[audio:12811snowtips2.mp3]A Word Chief Reidy[/audio]

Preparing for an unexpected trip to a ditch or being stuck somewhere is something all motorists should be ready for. Chief Reidy encourages motorists to have an extra set of winter clothes in the car, along with a flashlight and batteries.

[audio:12811snowtips3.mp3]A Word Chief Reidy[/audio]

For motorists with rear wheel drive vehicles, Chief Reidy encourages them to put a sand bag or cat litter over the axle of the rear wheels. He says those items can come in handy should the vehicle get stuck because they can be used for traction to get out as well. One last item he encourages motorists to keep in the vehicle is windshield wiper fluid. He says some drivers will go through a half gallon of fluid in one trip trying keep dirt splashing up from the road from vehicles in front.

Winter Tips For Animals

Our first real taste of winter is on its way today and Tamara McFeeters with DeWitt County Animal Control reminds residents to not forget about their furry friends.

McFeeters says the best place for dogs when the snow flies is inside. For some dogs though, they are used to being outside. No one wants to live in a home with holes in the walls or water where you relax and neither so dogs, so she asks owners to take the time to make sure their pets' outdoor homes are air tight and free of snow or water.

[audio:animalwinter1.mp3]McFeeters On Keepings Pets Home Dry[/audio]

During the cold times, McFeeters has a couple of tips for dog owners to help their dog stay warm. She explains dogs use extra calories to stay warm when it's cold, so they may need to be fed more than usual. And also make sure the dog has a warm bed to sleep on. She says if a bed is not available, fresh straw will work as well.

[audio:animalwinter2.mp3]A Word From McFeeters[/audio]

The road crews will most likely be out salting the roads and homeowners make take precautions themselves to salt their own sidewalks and driveways. McFeeters says the salt on the ground is not good for the pads of their feet. She encourages owners to rinse off the dogs feet after they have been out if exposed to the salt. She also says to monitor snow and ice build up in certain areas of a dogs body as well.

[audio:animalwinter3.mp3]McFeeters On Animal Care During Winter[/audio]

McFeeters adds young dogs and puppies need to be kept inside because they will not have gotten their winter coats yet. She also says it is very important to make sure their water bowls are not frozen and they continue to have plenty of fresh water.

To get more information on perhaps acquiring some fresh straw for your pet or get more tips or questions on winter care you can contact Second Chance in Clinton at 935-3488.

NFL Notes

>>Rams To Interview Two More Coaching Candidates

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Still waiting on word from Jeff Fisher, the Rams are working on a Plan B to find a new head coach.  The "Post-Dispatch" reports they will interview Saints assistant Aaron Kromer and Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinksi.  Fisher is deciding between the Rams and Dolphins.

>>Colts Name Grigson New GM

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The Indianapolis Colts have named Ryan Grigson their new general manager.  Grigson spent the last nine years with the Philadelphia Eagles, becoming director of player personnel in 2010.  He takes over a football operations that had been headed by Bill Polian the last 14 years.  Polian and his general manager son, Chris, were fired last week after the Colts finished 2-and-14.

Epstein Says Garza Talk Overblown, Wants Wood Back

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says trade talk involving ace Matt Garza is overblown and still hopes to re-sign veteran reliever Kerry Wood.

Epstein says he would like to talk to Garza this weekend, with the team hosting its annual fan festival. On Wednesday, the executive was part of the "Cubs Caravan" event, interacting with fans at several stops in the city.

Chicago has been listening to offers for Garza, but Epstein insists there is "no attempt to shop him."

He made it clear he wants to retain Wood, adding that "if we can't figure this one out, something's wrong." Epstein had little to say about Starlin Castro, who is being investigated by Chicago police for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman last fall.

Rose-Less Bulls Bounce Wizards

John Lucas started in place of Derrick Rose and scored a game-high 25 points to lead the Bulls to a 78-64 win over the Wizards.  Rose missed the game with a sprained toe.  Kyle Korver netted 14 points off the bench to help the 10-and-2 Bulls win their third game in three nights.  Luol Deng collected 12 points and 15 rebounds in the win.  Jordan Crawford scored 14 points to pace the Wizards, who knocked off the Raptors for their first win of the season on Tuesday.  John Wall had 11 points on 4-of-13 shooting in the setback.

>>Bulls' Rose Sits Out Of Win Over Wiz

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chicago Bulls star Derrick Rose did not play in the team's 78-64 home win over the Washington Wizards on Wednesday.  Rose missed the game with a sprained toe.  Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said before the game that Rose is day-to-day.  The reigning NBA MVP is averaging 20.7 points and 8.6 assists for the 10-and-2 Bulls this season.

>>Pacers Roll Over Hawks

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Danny Granger had a game-high 24 points as the Pacers cruised to a 96-84 win over the Hawks.  Roy Hibbert finshed with 12 points and 11 boards in the win.  Indiana outscored the Hawks 27-9 in the third quarter en route to improving to 7-and-3 on the year.  Indiana is back on the court tomorrow evening as they head to the Air Canada Centre to square off against the Toronto Raptors.

Sacramento Kings 98, Toronto Raptors 91
New York Knicks 85, Philadelphia 76ers 79
Dallas Mavericks 90, Boston Celtics 85
Oklahoma City Thunder 95, New Orleans Hornets 85
San Antonio Spurs 101, Houston Rockets 95 (OT)
Los Angeles Lakers 90, Utah Jazz 87 (OT)
Denver Nuggets 123, New Jersey Nets 115
Orlando Magic 107, Portland Trail Blazers 104
Los Angeles Clippers 95, Miami Heat 89 (OT)

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#1 Syracuse Orange 79, Villanova Wildcats 66
#2 Kentucky Wildcats 68, Auburn Tigers 53
#9 Missouri Tigers 76, Iowa State Cyclones 69
#10 Kansas Jayhawks 81, Texas Tech Red Raiders 46
#13 Michigan Wolverines 66, Northwestern Wildcats 64 (OT)
#24 Marquette Golden Eagles 83, St. John's Red Storm 64

Sources Report LSU WR Coach Gonzalez Joining Illini

A person familiar with the move says LSU wide receivers coach Billy Gonzales has accepted the offensive coordinator's job at Illinois under new Illini coach Tim Beckman.

LSU announced Wednesday that Gonzales is leaving to take an assistant job in the Big Ten, but has not specified which school. The person who identified Illinois as Gonzales' destination told The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because Illinois has not announced the hiring.

The 41-year-old Gonzales joined LSU at the end of the 2009 season following a 5-year stint on Urban Meyer's staff at Florida.

With a run-heavy offense, LSU ranked ninth in the Southeastern Conference in yards passing, but led the conference in passing efficiency, with a completion percentage of about 62 and 21 TDs against four interceptions.

Report Shows Illinois Hospitals' Charity Care Growing

A report from the Illinois Hospital Association says hospitals are providing an increasing amount of charity care.

The hospital association's report, released Wednesday, includes information on more than 100 Illinois hospitals that file annual community benefit reports with the state. Those hospitals provided $561 million in free and discounted care in the most recent fiscal year.

That was a 124% increase since 2005. The association's report says hospitals contributed another $4 billion in other community benefits, including costs to educate medical professionals and costs of subsidizing money-losing services such as emergency departments.

The report comes as a statewide dispute continues over hospitals' tax-exempt status in Illinois. Gov. Pat Quinn has asked for suggestions on new legislation to define what hospitals must do to earn tax-exempt status.

Illinois Extends Pheasant Season

Better than expected pheasant production last year means the state hunting season has been extended in three Illinois counties.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources on Tuesday announced extensions for Eldon Hazlet State Recreation Area in Clinton County and Wayne Fitzgerrell State Recreation Area in Franklin and Jefferson counties. The season will be extended four days, from Jan. 18 to 21, in Clinton County and five days, Jan. 18 to 22, in Franklin and Jefferson counties.

State officials encourage hunters to use the online Controlled Pheasant Hunting Reservation System for permits.

ICC Approves Natural Gas Rate Hikes

Ameren Illinois customers are likely to see an increase on their natural gas bills in the next few weeks.  The Illinois Commerce Commission gave the company the green light to raise rates but Jim Chilsen with the Citizen's Utility Board says this fight isn't over. 

[audio:rddChilsen1.mp3]A Word From Chilsen[/audio]

Chilsen says an appeal will not stop the increase from taking effect.  But if they win, the companies will have to reimburse the customers.  Ameren had asked for a 51-million dollar increase.  The ICC also approved rate hikes for Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas.

Bats Interfere With Wind Turbine Project

BP Wind Energy wants to put over 100 wind turbines in the Mercer, Warren and Knox County areas but a bat infestation has put a wrench in the plan.  Mercer County Supervisor of Assessments Don St. Germaine says they're working to get the project back on course.

[audio:rddBats1.mp3]A Word From St. Germaine[/audio]

St. Germaine says he's hopeful the bat issue will be resolved soon so construction can begin in the summer or fall.

Lincoln Sales Tax Increases

A local community has seen their taxes raised as of January 1 of this year.

The Lincoln community increased their sales tax from 7.5% to 8.5% effective January first. The tax includes items such as candy, soda, clothing, alcohol, cigarettes, paper products, amongst other things.

The money generated by the sales tax will be divided among county school districts according to their enrollment. The revenue can be used to pay off building bonds and for maintenance items such as roof repairs, heating and cooling systems and security doors.

Challenges For Producers in 2012

The president of the nation’s largest farm organization talked to members about the challenges farmers and ranchers will face in the year ahead. AFBF President Bob Stallman spoke at the opening session of the group’s annual meeting in Honolulu. Johnna Miller reports
[audio:AFBFwrap.mp3]Johnna Miller From Honolulu[/audio]

DeWitt County Senior Trips For 2012

DeWitt County Seniors will have an opportunity to take a couple short vacations in 2012 with the DeWitt County Friendship Center.

Executive Director at the Friendship Center Sissy Leggett explains each year they try to arrange a couple short trips for seniors to take to just get away for a short time. This year she says, they have a couple of trips planned. One is for Nashville Tennessee.

[audio:seniortrips1.mp3]A Word From Leggett On The Nashville Trip[/audio]

Leggett notes space is limited for the trip to Nashville, she says they are about halfway to the 50 maximum they can take on that trip, so she encourages anyone interested to get information or get signed up.

Another smaller trip they have planned for this year is a short trip to Chicago. Leggett says there are several activities bunched into the three days for the seniors to do. She feels a shorter trip was a nice addition this year for those that could not go on the longer trip.

[audio:seniortrips2.mp3]A Word From Leggett On The Chicago Trip[/audio]

Leggett encourages anyone with questions to contact the Friendship Center at 935-9411. She says money on the trip to Nashville in October has not been collected yet, as they are waiting to get feedback from residents, but she says spots are filling up quickly.

DeWitt County Deputy In Accident, Department To Get New Car

 width=A DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputy was involved in a semi vs car accident in December that totaled the deputy's vehicle.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner explains the accident occured after a routine traffic stop. He says he was with the deputy before the accident, as he was assisting with a routine traffic stop and pulled away as no assistance was needed. He says he then heard over the radio Cencom dispatch an ambulance to the location. Sheriff Shofner says the deputy was not harmed but the accident was pretty traumatic.

[audio:deputyaccident1.mp3]Sheriff Shofner On The Accident Details[/audio]

Sheriff Shofner believes his deputy wearing their seatbelt may have saved their life. He says he has always promoted wearing the seatbelt and knows firsthand exactly how wearing it can save a life.

[audio:deputyaccident2.mp3]Sheriff Shofner On The Importance of The Seatbelt[/audio]

Due to the accident, the Sheriff's Department is now running some of their vehicles 24-straight hours, which Sheriff Shofner says they do not like to do because it exponentially increases the wear and tear on them. He explains their vehicles are insured and they will be getting a new squad car within a couple of months.

[audio:deputyaccident3.mp3]A Word From The Sheriff[/audio]

Sheriff Shofner says they replace their vehicles every 4-5 years, with the having to replace their squad car and running a few of the remaining vehicles 24 hours, they throw off their schedule. He says the goal is to be fiscally responsible with their vehicles and make them last as long as possible.

Bulls Top T'Wolves

Derrick Rose registered a game-high 31 points to go along with 11 assists as the Bulls rolled to a 111-100 win over the Timberwolves.  Luol Deng added 21 points and 11 rebounds for Chicago, which has won eight of its last nine games to improve to 9-and-2 on the season.  Ronnie Brewer buried 17 points in the win.  Kevin Love and Ricky Rubio each notched double-doubles for Minnesota in a losing effort.  Love collected his 10th straight with 20 points and 13 boards, while Rubio dished out 12 helpers with 13 points.  Luke Ridnour led Minnesota with 22 points.  The T'wolves have dropped four-of-five.

Houston Rockets 82, Charlotte Bobcats 70
Philadelphia 76ers 112, Sacramento Kings 85
Washington Wizards 93, Toronto Raptors 78
Dallas Mavericks 100, Detroit Pistons 86
Milwaukee Bucks 106, San Antonio Spurs 103
Oklahoma City Thunder 100, Memphis Grizzlies 95
Utah Jazz 113, Cleveland Cavaliers 105
Portland Trail Blazers 105, Los Angeles Clippers 97
Los Angeles Lakers 99, Phoenix Suns 83
Golden State Warriors 111, Miami Heat 106 (OT)

ISU, Bradley Fall in MVC Action

>> Wichita State Edges ISU

Joe Ragland scored 15 points and Wichita State used a fast start to defeat Illinois State 75-72 on Tuesday night.

Toure Murry scored 14 points and Garrett Stutz had 12 points and 10 rebounds for the Shockers (13-3, 4-1 Missouri Valley), who scored the first 11 points and raced to a 22-5 lead. Ragland scored 5 of his points in the opening 11-0 run.

Illinois State (11-5, 3-2) rallied behind Nic Moore, who scored 20 of his 23 points in the second half. The Redbirds trailed 47-28 with 14:42 to play, but a 24-6 run got Illinois State within 53-52 with 4:05 remaining. But Moore and Tyler Brown, who had 13 points, later missed 3-pointers that would have tied the game.

Stutz and Murry each made a pair of free throws in the final 30 seconds to seal the win.

Jackie Carmichael had 13 rebounds for Illinois State.

>> Drake Tops Bradley

Ben Simons scored 21 points to lead four Drake players in double figures, and the Bulldogs defeated Bradley 82-74 on Tuesday night, handing the Braves their eighth loss in a row.

Rayvonte Rice had 19 points, Kurt Alexander scored 17 before fouling out and Jeremy Jeffers had 11 points for Drake (9-7, 2-3 Missouri Valley). Kraidon Woods grabbed 14 rebounds for the winners.

Taylor Brown led all players with 28 points for Bradley (5-12, 0-5). He also had 12 rebounds. Walt Lemon Jr. scored 16 and Dyricus Harris-Edwards added 15 points for the Braves, who led by 10 early before Drake trimmed Bradley's lead to 34-33 at halftime.

There were 53 fouls called in the game, 29 on Bradley. Drake was 28 for 40 at the free-throw line, led by Rice's 13 of 18, while Bradley made 24 of its 35 foul shots.

Illini Upset #5 Ohio State Behind Career Night From Paul

Brandon Paul scored a career-high 43 points including, a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play, to help Illinois upset No. 5 Ohio State 79-74 on Tuesday night.

The Illini (15-3, 4-1 Big Ten) led 71-70 when Paul sank his 3-pointer with 43 seconds to play. He followed that up with four free throws that put the game out of reach.

Ohio State (15-3, 3-2) led 39-34 at halftime and was up 64-61 with just over five minutes to play.

Paul's 43 points was the third-highest scoring performance in Illini history.

Meyers Leonard added 14 for Illinois.

Deshaun Thomas scored 23 points and Jared Sullinger added 21 for Ohio State.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#3 North Carolina Tar Heels 73, Miami (FL) Hurricanes 56
#4 Baylor Bears 75, #18 Kansas State Wildcats 73
Illinois Fighting Illini 79, #5 Ohio State Buckeyes 74
#7 Michigan State Spartans 95, Iowa Hawkeyes 61
Providence Friars 90, #15 Louisville Cardinals 59
#19 Florida Gators 70, Georgia Bulldogs 48
#21 Creighton Bluejays 63, Northern Iowa Panthers 60
#22 San Diego State Aztecs 73, Chicago State Cougars 65
#25 Harvard Crimson 70, Monmouth Hawks 61

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-11-12

January 11, 2012


Jail Population: 59

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Seth Yeagle, 18, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Improper Lane Usage. Yeagle posted the necessary bond and was released.




Clinton Fire Fighters Respond To Small Brush Fire

On Monday January 9, 2012 at approximately 2:20 PM, Clinton Firefighters responded to a brush fire on Brush College Road, southeast of Clinton. Firefighters took 2 trucks to fight the nearly one acre fire and put it out without incident.

State To Pay Additional 60-Million In Interest

State Treasurer Dan Rutherford says Illinoisans could be on the hook for tens of millions of dollars in interest payments, thanks to the state's poor credit rating. 
[audio:rddTreasBond1.mp3]A Word From Rutherford[/audio]

Moody's investors gave the state the worst credit rating in the nation, citing its failure to deal with unpaid bills and underfunded pension systems.  Rutherford blames habitual borrowing for the poor rating.  He says he wants to work with lawmakers to bring the state out of the red but he will not support any additional borrowing.  He encourages lawmakers to find ways to cut spending.

Governor: Education And Healthcare Are Key

Governor Quinn is asking state agencies to reduce spending by nine percent next year, but there are some areas of government that are priority.

[audio:rddGovCuts1.mp3]A Word From The Governor[/audio]

It's part of Quinn's plan to even-out the state budget.  He'll give a full budget outline on February 22nd.

Lincoln Looking To Restore Two Old Victorian Homes

The City of Lincoln will be embarking on restoring two Victorian Homes downtown.

Two homes one block east of the downtown Lincoln square are right next to each other and are mirror images of one another. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains, recently the city announced plans to get the community involved in restoring the houses.

[audio:lincolnhomes1.mp3]A Word From Mayor Snyder[/audio]

Lincoln High School students a part of the trades program next fall will have the opportunity to take part in restoring the homes. Mayor Snyder notes traditionally the students in the program take on building a new home, so this will be a new experience for them.

[audio:lincolnhomes2.mp3]Mayor Snyder on the Trades Students[/audio]

Mayor Snyder explains the homes once restored will be turned over to a non-for profit group. He says the proceeds from this project though will go to other down town projects in the future. He hopes this is just the beginning of what could be a domino effect for the City of Lincoln.

[audio:lincolnhomes3.mp3]A Word From Mayor Snyder[/audio]

Mayor Snyder says structurally the building is sound. The foundation is still in good shape, he says it just a little bit of work, but looks forward to the challenge and working with the different groups and businesses to get the project done.

Mild Winter Benefiting Clinton Roads Budget

Central Illinois residents have not seen the amount of snow they are used to for this time of the year, which is having a positive effect on the streets departments.

Clinton Public Works Director Steve Lobb says the lack of snow fall has been good for him and his crews this winter. He says last year they spent much of the winter keeping the streets clear of snow, but this year they are able to focus their attention to other areas of need around the community.

[audio:nosnow1.mp3]A Word From Lobb[/audio]

Because there has not been much snow fall, Lobb explains the materials they use throughout the winter to keep the roads clear are not getting exhausted at the rate they have in the past. Lobb says the budget is benefiting from the mild winter we've seen thus far.

[audio:nosnow2.mp3]Lobb On The Benefits of the Mild Winter[/audio]

According to Lobb, each year the department budgets themselves more than enough to get by through the winters. He explains they base their budget needs on their past trends. He says unused funds, which they may have this year go towards a reserve for the city.

[audio:nosnow3.mp3]A Word From Lobb[/audio]

Lobb says according to reports he has heard, January is calling for more above normal temperatures and average precipitation, which will mean little snow. He says while February and March are too far away to predict, he feels like we are not out of the woods in central Illinois yet, with several weeks of winter yet to come.

Alabama Blanks LSU In BCS Title Game

Trent Richardson's 34-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter put the exclamation point on Alabama's dominating 21-0 win over LSU in the BCS National Championship Game.  Richardson rushed for 96 yards on 20 carries to help the Crimson Tide claim victory in the BCS title game for the second time in three seasons.  Jeremy Shelley booted five field goals, while the Alabama defense held LSU to only 92 yards of total offense.  The Crimson Tide ends the year 12-and-1.  Jordan Jefferson was just 11-of-17 for 53 yards and an interception for LSU, which wraps up the season 13-and-1.  The Tigers combined to rush for only 39 yards on 27 carries in the loss.

Boozer, Rose Lift Bulls Over Detroit

Carlos Boozer had 23 points and eight rebounds, helping the Chicago Bulls handle the Detroit Pistons, 92-68.  Derrick Rose added 22 points and eight assists for the Bulls, who bounced back from their second loss of the season to improve to 8-and-2.  Greg Monroe ended with 14 points, 10 boards and six assists for the Pistons, who have lost four in-a-row.  Brandon Knight donated 13 points and five rebounds in the loss.  Detroit was outscored 24-9 in the fourth quarter.

Philadelphia 76ers 96, Indiana Pacers 86
Toronto Raptors 97, Minnesota Timberwolves 87
Atlanta Hawks 106, New Jersey Nets 101
New York Knicks 91, Charlotte Bobcats 87
Chicago Bulls 92, Detroit Pistons 68
New Orleans Hornets 94, Denver Nuggets 81

Sages Host Maroons

The Monticello Sages boys basketball team plays host to the Clinton Maroons tonight at Robert and Dorothy Gymnasium in Monticello. The Maroons are coming off a road loss Friday to Shelbyville. The Sages have dropped three straight, including losses Friday and Saturday to Central A & M and St.  Joe Ogden respectfully. You can hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC, on 92.3 FM WHOW, and also streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is approximately 7:30.

Lady Sages Top Bombers

The Monticello Sages ladies basketball team started slow Monday night at Argenta-Oreana, but were able to pull out a 66-60 victory in Okaw Valley action. The Sages and Bombers traded leads throughout the ball game but a late 4th quarter surge by the Sages put them ahead for good. The Sages were led by three players in double figures. Senior Tori Gadbury led the Sages with 23 points, Megan Garrett added 13 and Sarah Foran had 12. The Bombers were led by Kandi Bloch's 26.

Sages Defeat Maroons

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Monticello Sages with a final score of 63-47 Tuesday night from Monticello High School. The Maroons were led by Colten Reeves who had 13 points and by Greg Osgood who had 10 points in the game. For the Sages, Ryan Donohue led the balanced attack with 15 points. Nick Stokowski recoreded another double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. The Sages had four total players with double digit scoring. Kendall King had 10 points and Matt Kruse added 10 and 11 rebounds. With the loss the Maroons fall to 3-12 overall and 0-3 in the OVC. The Sages go to 5-9 overall and 1-2 in the OVC.

It was the first time the Sages had two players with a double-double in the same game when Cale Huisinga and Adam Koncel did in January of 2010.

The Monticello Sages wrestling team defeated Mahomet-Seymour last night for the first time in 25 years.

The Clinton Maroons Junior Varsity also fell to the JV Sages with a final score of 33-32.

The Clinton Maroons will be back in action Friday night as the host the Sullivan Redskins. And the Sages will also be back on the hardwood on Friday as they play host to the Meridian Hawks.

Moody's Lowers Illinois Credit Rating Again

Illinois has been given the lowest credit rating of any state in America by Moody's Investors Service.

Moody's lowered Illinois' rating Friday by another notch, to A2. No other state has such a low rating from Moody's. Only one other state, California, even gets the next-highest rating.

A lower rating generally means the state has to pay more interest when it sells bonds. That increases costs to taxpayers.

Moody's says it lowered the credit rating because Illinois officials haven't taken steps to end chronic delays in paying bills or to strengthen government pension systems that are short of money.

The agency says Illinois suffers from "weak management practices."

Local Firewood Can Prevent Spread of Ash Borer

The Illinois Department of Agriculture wants residents to pay attention to where they're getting their firewood.

State agriculture experts say knowing where firewood originated can slow the spread of the emerald ash borer. The pest is responsible for the deaths of millions of ash trees. Illinois Department of Agriculture spokesman Jeff Squibb says the preference is to purchase and consume firewood locally.

Experts say they think infested firewood that has been moved across the state has helped spread the ash borer.

Emerald ash borers are about a half-inch long and a metallic-green color. They were first found in Illinois in 2006. About 40% of the state is under quarantine, from Chicago to Marion County.

Principal Leaves Illinois School, Cites Allergies

The principal of a newly built central Illinois elementary school has resigned, saying that working in the building has exacerbated her allergy problems.

Christi Mulligan stepped down from her post this week at Glenwood Elementary School in Chatham. She was hired in July and had been on administrative leave for an undisclosed amount of time.

She said in her resignation letter that she has severe allergies and has had to be rushed to the hospital several times "due to anaphylactic shock."

Carrie VanAlstine is assistant superintendent of the Ball-Chatham School District. She says she can't discuss Mulligan's leave or release documents related to it.

She says district officials haven't gotten any other allergy complaints about the $18 million school, which opened this fall.

Illinois Mom To Be Tried In April Girl's Death

An April trial date has been set for a central Illinois mother charged with child endangerment after her boyfriend allegedly killed her young daughter.

Candis Ethridge will be tried on April 2.

Authorities say the 25-year-old mother shouldn't have left her 3-year-old daughter alone with David Gharrett.

Gharrett is charged with first-degree murder in the girl's April 29 death.

McLean County sheriff's police say witnesses have come forward accusing Gharrett of prior abuse that Etheridge was aware of.

Gharrett has claimed the child choked on hot peppers, passed out and accidentally fell into a bath tub.

Police say he later admitted that he'd thrown the girl in the tub after she became sick.

Ethridge is free on bond. Gharrett is in custody.

Retirement Reminders From Social Security

With the new year brings many workers countdown to retirement.

Public Affairs Specialist with Social Security, Jack Meyers has some things those thinking about retirement or even those ready to prepare for retirement to keep in mind. He says social security is based off total time worked and the 35 best years of earning are what determine your social security benefits.

[audio:retirementfacts1.mp3]A Word From Meyers[/audio]

Meyers sends a reminder the earliest to take out a retirement benefit is age 62. He says there is a consequence for doing that, he says there is an earnings limit for that, depending on salary. And benefits would be reduced because of taking out before the full retirement ages of 65 to 67 years old.

[audio:retirementfacts2.mp3]A Word From Meyers[/audio]

Meyers lays a scenario of retiring before an individual's retirement age. He says there are pros and cons to retiring early. He says waiting gets you the full retirement benefit.

[audio:retirementfacts3.mp3]A Word From Meyers[/audio]

Meyers encourages anyone with questions to visit the Social Security website at socialsecurity.gov. Also on their website is a retirement estimator that will show the amount of retirement benefits an individual qualifies for. Meyers notes the retirement estimator is very accurate.

Warner Library Offering Help To Patrons With E-Readers

Did you get the latest e-reader for Christmas and need help learning how to use it? The Warner Public Library can help you for free.

The Warner Library in Clinton has a service right now that can assist anyone seeking help learning how to use their E-reader. Eric Monkman has been working for the library taking time to teach anyone how to use their Nook or Kindle. Librarian Paula Lopatik says the Nook and most recently the Kindle allow for patrons to check library books out via their e-readers, which is giving Monkman a chance to work with patrons on learning more about their devices.

[audio:libraryereader1.mp3]A Word From Lopatik[/audio]

Lopatik notes the demand for the services of Monkman are in pretty high demand, especially following the Christmas season. She says Monkman spends an hour teaching patrons about the e-readers.

[audio:libraryereader2.mp3]A Word From Lopatik[/audio]

Last year the library broke the 100-thousand mark for their circulation, and Lopatik says that is expected to be broken once again this year. She feels being able to borrow books on these new devices is helping their circulation numbers increase.

[audio:libraryereader3.mp3]A Word From Lopatik[/audio]

Lopatik adds, the checking a book out on the e-reader does require having a library card.

To make an appointment with Eric Monkman about the e-readers, you can contact the library at 935-5174. Monkman will also be 2 classes in February featuring the Amazon Kindle. The two dates are February 9th and 11th. You can contact the library to learn more about those classes. Registration is not yet being taken for those sessions, but registration will be required for the free of charge classes.

Clinton Chamber Annual Event Adds New Twists

An annual Clinton Chamber event is coming up at the end of the month, and this year features a new twist.

The Clinton Chamber's Annual Dinner event is coming up at the end of January. Carolyn Sugg, with the Clinton Chamber explains this year they have decided to give awards at their annual dinner. The Chamber has come up with 3 new awards to outline the positive things happening in the community. Sugg says a "Small Business of 2011", "Large Business of 2011", and "Clintonian of the Year Awards" will be given out at this year's dinner.

[audio:chamberdinner1.mp3]A Word From Sugg On The New Awards[/audio]

Sugg explains nominations were made online, and along with those nominations, those who nominated someone answered a series of questions. Those nominated are now voted on by members of the community.

[audio:chamberdinner2.mp3]Sugg On Nominations[/audio]

This year's dinner theme is one of an urban setting which will be used to show off the Chamber's new Barn Quilts. Sugg explains the dinner is going to be themed with BBQ and friend chicken and then after the meal and awards presentation they will be raffling two small barn quilts for the winners location of choice at their home.

[audio:chamberdinner3.mp3]Sugg On Theme To Promote Barn Quilts[/audio]

Ballots for voting on the "Small Business of the Year", "Large Business of the Year", and "Clintonian of the Year" can be accessed by clicking the link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bizof2011

Votes must be cast by Sunday January 16th.

The Chamber's Annual Dinner takes place January 28th. Tickets for the annual event can be purchased at the Chamber office at 100 South Center Street, Suite 101 on Mr. Lincoln Square in downtown Clinton. Tickets are $35 a person, $60 for a couple, and tables of eight can be purchased for $240.

For more information visit clintonilchamber.com or call the Chamber office at 935-3364.

Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they host the Detroit Pistons at the United Center.  The Bulls had a six-game winning streak snapped with a 109-94 defeat at Atlanta on Saturday to fall to 7-and-2 on the season.  Chicago is right back on the court tomorrow evening as they take on the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center in Minneapolis.

Fisher Meets With Rams

Former Tennessee Titans head coach Jeff Fisher was at the Rams facility for over four hours on Sunday.  Fisher was given a tour and met with franchise quarterback Sam Bradford.  According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch a potential issue is the possibility the Rams could move back to Los Angeles.  Fisher is expected to decide between the Miami Dolphins and St. Louis sometime this week.

Giants, Broncos Win Sunday

>>Broncos Stun Steelers In OT

(Denver, CO)  --  Tim Tebow tossed an 80-yard touchdown to Demaryius Thomas on the first play of overtime to lift the Broncos in a thrilling 29-23 win over the Steelers in an AFC Wild Card matchup.  Tebow finished 10-of-21 for 316 yards with two TD's to go along with 50 yards and a score via the ground.  Thomas collected four catches for 204 yards with a touchdown for Denver, which will head to Foxboro to square off against the New England Patriots next weekend.  New England beat the Broncos, 41-23, Week 15 in Denver.  Eddie Royal's 30-yard TD catch sparked a 20-point second quarter as the Broncos carried a 14-point lead into the half.  Matt Prater split the uprights three times in the win.

>>Giants Blast Falcons In NFC Wild Card Tilt

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  Eli Manning threw for 277 yards with three touchdowns and collected his first career home playoff win as the Giants blasted the Falcons, 24-2, in an NFC Wild Card tilt.  Hakeem Nicks hauled in six catches for 115 yards with two scores and Mario Manningham also found the endzone via the air for New York, which will face off against the Green Bay Packers next weekend at Lambeau Field.  Green Bay beat the Giants, 38-35, in Week 13 in East Rutherford.  An intentional grounding penalty on Manning in the endzone, which resulted in a safety, accounted for Atlanta's lone points of the game.  Matt Ryan completed 24-of-41 passes for 199 yards and Michael Turner rumbled for 41 yards as Atlanta remained winless in the playoffs since 2004.  Last year as the NFC's top seed, they fell to Green Bay in the Divisional round.

Illinois State Tops Evansville At Buzzer

Jackie Carmichael hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cap a wild finish and give Illinois State a 75-73 victory over Evansville on Saturday.

The last minute of the game featured five lead changes before Carmichael's shot gave the Redbirds (11-4, 3-1 Missouri Valley) the win. Illinois State got baskets from Tyler Brown with 41 seconds left and Nic Moore with 7 seconds remaining, but Evansville (7-7, 2-2) countered with a 3-pointer by Colt Ryan at the 18-second mark and Lewis Jones hit both ends of a 1-1 free-throw situation with 2.8 seconds remaining in the frantic finish.

Carmichael had 17 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Redbirds. Brown added 16 points, with 15 coming in the second half.

Ryan scored 25 points to lead the Purple Aces, who shot 56% from the field. Denver Holmes added 18 points and Troy Taylor had eight assists and five steals.

Illinois Comeback Sinks Nebraska

Joseph Bertrand scored a career-high 25 points and hit the shot that gave Illinois a decisive lead with 53 seconds to play Saturday on the way to a 59-54 victory over Nebraska.

The Cornhuskers (8-7, 0-4 Big Ten) were looking for their first Big Ten win and were tied 54-54 when Bertrand hitting a running floater that gave Illinois (14-3, 3-1) a 56-54 lead.

Bertrand made 11 of his 12 shots in his third career start. Brandon Paul added 11 points for the Illini.

Nebraska led 25-22 at the half and held a 48-45 edge with just under 5 minutes to play.

Bo Spencer led Nebraska with 13 points. Toney McCray added 12 and Brandon Richardson scored 10.

Clinton Police Report for 1-9










Clinton Girls Basketball vs Lexington

CLINTON       62   (12-7 OVERALL; 4-2 OKAW VALLEY)
CLINTON        14     15     15     18
LEXINGTON    14     21     11     11
CLINTON      14-7-22-13-62
LEXINGTON  15-3-31-18-57
MIRANDA ENNIS       0-0-2-1-1
MEGAN TOOL           0-1-2-2-5
MADI BEVINS           1-3-0-0-11
MORGAN WITZKE     1-0-0-0-2
MORGAN HICKMAN   3-0-4-0-6
HALEY TOOHILL       4-0-6-4-12
JESSICA SCOTT      3-3-6-4-19 (ALL IN 2ND HALF--13 IN 4TH)
PAYTON BIEBER       2-0-2-2-6
SYDNEY FREED              5-2-7-5-21
DAVIS                          1-0-4-1-3
SIMS                           3-0-2-2-8
TESSA WALCOTT         4-1-6-1-12

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

January 7, 2012


Jail Population: 54

Summons Served: 8

Warrant Arrests: 1


January 8, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 9, 2012


Jail Population: 53

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0



Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, January 7, revealed that a vehicle belonging to Debra Strohkirch, 50, Clinton, was parked on Main St in Wapella when it was hit by an unknown vehicle. The vehicle was unoccupied when the accident occurred.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 12:39 p.m. on Monday, January 2, revealed that a vehicle driven by Terry Massey, 45, Clinton, was leaving a parking spot on Main St in Wapella, when it backed into the vehicle of Kenneth Morris, 22, Wapella. Morris’ vehicle was unoccupied. No injuries were reported.


Douglas Miller, 51, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Miller posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Daniel Bozich, 29, Wauwatosa, WI, was issued a citation for Speeding (64 mph in a 45 mph zone). Bozich promised to comply and was released.


Jasper Hall, 23, Clinton, was issued citations for Expired Registration and Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hall posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Riley Lancaster, 21, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Lancaster posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.




Lincoln Man Sentenced in Murder Case

A Lincoln man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for the death of a baby.

Ty Cline was found guilty by a jury of killing his then-girlfriend's two year-old son, Lucas Alberts in August of 2009.

Cline will serve the 30 year sentence in full because he was convicted of first degree murder.

Illinois Lottery Bounces 85 Checks to Winners

The Illinois Lottery bounced dozens of checks written to winners, many for scratch-off tickets worth $1,000.

Lottery spokesman Mike Lang says the mistake happened when a computer file wasn't sent on time to the lottery's bank. He says lottery officials didn't key in the required security verification for the checks.

The lottery wrote 311 checks on Dec. 28. Of those checks about 85 bounced. Lang says the lottery offices were short staffed because of the holidays. The affected checks totaled about $159,000.

Lang says the lottery will pay for any bank fees that occurred because of the checks. The lottery also is apologizing by sending free scratch-off tickets to those affected.

Decatur Intersection Change Starting Monday

Decatur drivers will see a change at one intersection west of downtown next week.

The city has announced, starting Monday the traffic signal at the intersection of Church and Main will flash red in all directions.

They are trying to determine if the intersection would be better off as an 4-way stop, rather than with a traffic signal.

According to city officials, traffic volumes at the intersection do not currently meet national requirements for traffic signals.

150,000 Free Trees Available in April

An Illinois group aiming to improve the environment is continuing its "Million Trees Project" with plans to give away 150,000 saplings this spring.

East Moline-based Living Lands and Waters will hand out native, nut-bearing hardwood trees including Bur, White, Red, Pin, Black, and Swamp Chestnut oaks as well as Shagbark Hickory trees.

Trees must be ordered in advance from the not-for-profit organization and are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Orders must be received by Feb. 24.

The bare root saplings - from six inches to three feet tall - will be delivered in April.

Living Lands and Waters officials say trees provide food for wildlife, increase biodiversity, reduce erosion and run-off and improve water and air quality.

Weekly Weather Update from Jim Angel

We saw above normal temperatures and below average in Illinois this past week. We can expect to see more above seasonal temperatures next week. Jim Angel, State Climatologist says the National Weather Service is predicting a large winter storm could be on the way the middle of this week.

[audio:wx.mp3]Angel discusses upcoming Winter Weather[/audio]

Unique Lincoln Exhibit on Display at Presidential Library and Museum

A small exhibit dedicated to the wrestling prowess of Abraham Lincoln opened this week and runs through January 17 at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library in Springfield.  The exhibit may be viewed free of charge on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

“Lincoln, the Wrestler” features items about the U.S. President who is among many top names in the sport featured in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame and Museum.  The exhibit coincides with the National Wrestling Coaches Association’s National Duals Championships being held January 7 and 8 at the nearby Prairie Capital Convention Center. 

The exhibit includes the 1938 Chicago and Illinois Midland railroad calendar with a painting of Lincoln in his famous wrestling match with Jack Armstrong in New Salem.  The painting, “Lincoln, the Wrestler” is by Fletcher Ransom and was part of a series commissioned annually for 25 years by the Chicago & Illinois Midland Railroad Company to be used on the company’s calendars.

Classics Illustrated comic books from 1958 titled Abraham Lincoln – a copy in English and a copy in Greek – are displayed.  The covers show Lincoln wrestling with Armstrong.

The 1860 biography Life of Abraham Lincoln by W. D. Howells is open to pages that describe the wrestling match in New Salem between Lincoln and Armstrong.  Lincoln reviewed the book after publication, making corrections in the margins.  No corrections were made regarding the description of the wrestling match.

A photograph of a sign for Shick Shack Hill is also part of the exhibit.  Shick Shack Hill is located in eastern Cass county, midway between Chandlerville and New Salem.  In 1833 Lincoln and Ashley Hickey wrestled here. Lincoln defeated Hickey, and Hickey family folklore contends that Lincoln won by rubbing pieces of dog fennel plant in Hickey’s eyes.

Abraham Lincoln’s fame as a skilled wrestler is chronicled in Lincoln historian Douglas L. Wilson’s book Honor’s Voice:  The Transformation of Abraham Lincoln.  Wilson notes that Lincoln was a “scientific wrestler,” meaning “someone who wrestled according to prescribed rules and succeeded as much by skill, agility, and mastery of the standard holds and techniques as by main strength.”  The wrestling style Lincoln preferred was one in which the opponents kept hold of each other, and the first to break free of the hold, go down on one knee, or be thrown lost the match.  Lincoln’s most famous wrestling matches as a young man in the 1830s included the widely known bout against Jack Armstrong at New Salem, which ended in a draw; and one against fellow Illinois militiaman Lorenzo Dow Thompson during the Black Hawk War, to determine which company of soldiers got a choice campsite near Beardstown.  Lincoln lost the match against Thompson..

Wilson’s book also quotes a Lincoln relative, who recalled that “Lincoln was a great wrestler – he returned home about 1831 from … one of his trips, and his fame for this was wide Spread.”  Usher Linder, an early Lincoln family acquaintance, also claimed that Abraham Lincoln’s mother was quite a wrestler herself: “His mother, whose maiden name was Nancy Hanks, was said to be a very strong-minded woman, and one of the most athletic women in Kentucky.  In a fair wrestle, she could throw most of the men who ever put her powers to the test.”

For more information about the exhibit or the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, visit www.presidentlincoln.org.

Tips to Achieve Those New Year's Resolutions

January is the time for making New Year’s resolutions, but some people struggle to be successful with them.

Every January many people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives or stop bad habits. Some people resolve to lose weight, quit smoking or spend more time with families. Jeanne Hansen, a mental health counselor at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains why some resolutions are not likely to be successful.

[audio:siureso1.mp3]Hansen on Resolutions[/audio]

To be successful with resolutions, it’s important to develop a plan for achieving the goals and to stay motivated. Hansen suggests setting specific goals that are realistic, achievable and measurable.

[audio:siureso2.mp3]Hansen on Goals[/audio]

Hansen says sharing the goal helps to make the person more accountable for achieving the goal. She also encourages people to make the kinds of resolutions that are meaningful to them, which will make them more successful. Anyone who has difficulty in achieving their health improvement goals may want to consult their primary care physician or a mental health counselor for help.

St. Joe Ogden Wins Against Sages

The Monticello Sages blew an 11-point 4th quarter lead Saturday night and lost to St. Joe-Ogden 52-51 at the Unity Kessler Shootout. Brent Schluter led the way for St. Joe Ogden with 17 points, scoring 11 in the 4th quarter. The Sages had 3 guys in double figures, Kendall King the way for Monticello with 14, Matt Kruse with 11 and Daily O'Brien with 10.

Tune in Monday as the Monticello girls take on Argenta-Oreana. Tip time is at 7:30. You can hear the action on 95.9 FM WEZC or on dewittdailynews.com.

Maroons, Sages Back In Action Tonight

>> Maroons Back In Action Tonight

The Clinton Maroons are back on the hardwood tonight they make the long trip to Shelbyville to take on the Rams. The Maroons are coming off a two straight losses versus Warrensburg-Latham, last Wednesday and Tuesday night. You can hear the action from Shelbyville around 7:30 on 92.3 FM WHOW and also online at dewittdailynews.com.

>> Sages Back In Action After Long Layoff

The Monticello Sages hit the hardwood after an eight day layoff tonight as they travel to Central A & M and take on the Raiders. The Sages are coming off a 2-2 Holiday Hoopla in Monticello. The Sages took 4th place after a hard fought game last Thursday night against Sangamon Valley. The Sages come into tonight at 4-7, 0-1. Central A & M is 8-4, 0-1. You can hear the action around 7:30 on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

Maroons Stomped by Shelbyville

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons varsity boys' basketball team were defeated by the Shelbyville Rams, in Shelbyville, with a final score of 46-32. The Rams were led by Broody Bence who had 19 points. The Maroons' leading scorers were Jacob Rockhold who had 9 points and Mitch Creager who had 7 points in the game. The Maroons fall to 0 and 2 in conference play and 3 and 11 overall. As Shelbyville goes to 2 and 0 in conference action and 5 and 8 overall.

The Clinton junior varsity squad defeated the Rams with a final score of 47-38. The JV Maroons go to 7 and 3 overall and 2 and 0 in conference play.

The Clinton Maroons are back in action Tuesday night. That game will be live from Monticello with a special simulcast broadcast on 92.3FM WHOW and 95.9FM WEZC. Tip off around 7:15pm.

Sages Fall To Central A&M

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, the Monticello Sages fell to Central A&M 61-56.  For the Sages, Ryan Donahue and Nick Stokowski had 17 a piece.  Ross Workman led Central A&M with 15 points.  However, all was not lost as the Sages won the JV game 50-45.  Tune in tomorrow as the Sages take on St. Joe Ogden in the BSN shootout at Unity High School.

Clinton GBB vs. Tri-Valley

CLINTON       42
CLINTON        11     4     15     12  
TRI-VALLEY     6     16     8      11
CLINTON       13-3-18-7-42
TRI-VALLEY   17-1-6-4-41
HALEY GINGER            1-0-5-3-5
ALEX HUNT                1-1-0-0-5
MORGAN HICKMAN     6-0-4-1-13
AMBER MILLER           0-1-1-0-3
HALEY TOOHILL          3-1-6-2-11
JESSICA SCOTT         0-0-2-1-1
PAYTON BIEBER          2-0-0-0-4
ERICKA HAYES           3-1-0-0-9
MADDIE WOMBLES     2-0-0-0-4
JESSICA NUEMANN     1-0-0-0-2
JANELLE DEDIC           1-0-0-0-2
MIKAELA CARR           3-0-2-2-8
MADDIE MERRITT       6-0-4-2-14
ALAYNA MASTERS      1-0-0-0-2

Northbound Interstate-55 Reopened After Multi-Semi Crash

The northbound lanes of Interstate 55 in Springfield, just north of Clearlake,briefly closed yesterday after an accident involving three semi-trucks took place during the morning hours.  Police say one truck got too far over in the left lane and got caught in the cables off the shoulder.  He got free, but overcorrected to the right and sent another semi-truck into the cables.  Another semi-truck slammed into the second truck from behind.  Two of the drivers were taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries.

Central Illinois Farmland Prices Up in 2011

Land sales firms say the cost of farmland in central Illinois increased by almost a third in 2011. That continues the trend of increasing cropland values over the past few years.

Dale Aupperle is president of the Heartland Ag Group in Decatur. He says the average price of land in the 15 counties around Decatur rose from $8,000 an acre in 2010 to $10,500 last year.

Aupperle said continued high prices for corn and soybeans and investor demand are driving the trend.

University of Illinois farm economist Gary Schnitkey thinks increases in both crop and farmland price will ease this year.

DeWitt County Development Council 2012 Outlook

2011 was a busy year for the DeWitt County Development Council.

Ruth Stauffer, Executive Director of the DC-DC, updated the Clinton City Council this week on their organization's activity over the past year.  The goal of the group is to increase economic development within the county.  Stauffer says a new revolving loan fund helped bring Serv-Pro to the county in 2011, and another un-named business is coming in 2012.

[audio:dcdcupdate1.mp3]Stauffer On Serv-Pro And 2012's Un Named Business[/audio]

Stauffer notes another major project for the DC-DC in 2011 was keeping an up-to-date business and jobs inventory for DeWitt County.  She says it's surprising the number of businesses located within the county, and feels the job situation in the county is relatively stable.

[audio:dcdcupdate2.mp3]A Word From Stauffer[/audio]

Looking ahead to 2012, Stauffer feels there are several attainable goals for the group.  She says two highlights are the pursuit of a gas station/convenience store for some of the smaller communities in the county, as well as the ongoing Clinton Lake Development Project.

[audio:dcdcupdate3.mp3]Stauffer On 2012 Outlook[/audio]

The City of Clinton, along with DeWitt County and Farmer City, are the primary funding sources for the DeWitt County Development Council.

Monticello Schools In Pursuit of One-To-One Computing

Like a lot of schools around the country, the one school district continues to work towards keeping the latest technology in their classrooms.

The Monticello School district is working towards having a computing device in the hands of every student in the district. Superintendent of Monticello Schools Dr. Vic Zimmerman explains the district has been working for several years now to keep their technology current. He says the broad goal for the district is to have those devices in place for all their students.

[audio:monticellotechnology1.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman says right now the district is in the very early stages of making the one-to-one computing dream a reality. He says they have recently taken steps to get the process underway.

[audio:monticellotechnology2.mp3]A Word From Dr. Zimmerman[/audio]

The district has announced plans to investigate into the future of their facilities. Part of the new facilities would include upgrades to accommodate for new technology.

Two DeWitt County Sheriff Deputies Recognized for 2011 Work

A couple of DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputies were recently recognized for their service at the DeWitt County Board's December meeting.

Deputies Luke Werts and Scott Pippen were recognized by their peers for their service above what is required them. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says recognitions such as the ones they receive mean more especially when they are chosen by their peers.

[audio:deputies1.mp3]Sheriff ShofnerOn His Deputies Recognitions[/audio]

Deputy Werts was recognized for a specific instance in which he came across a subject who was suicidal and was able to keep him from taking his life. Sheriff Shofner says not only did Deputy Werts save the man's life but also kept the public safe in the process.

[audio:deputies2.mp3]Sheriff Shofner On Werts Work[/audio]

Deputy Pippen was recognized for his actions during an incident in Wapella earlier in 2011, which the Casey's was being held up and Deputy Pippen was able to make an arrest on one of  the co-conspirators of the incident. Sheriff Shofner says Deputy Pippen showed great composure as one of the first to arrive on the scene to recover significant pieces of evidence that may otherwise have been lost.

[audio:deputies3.mp3]Sheriff Shofner On Pippen's Work[/audio]

Sheriff Shofner is proud of Deputies Werts and Pippen for their hard work. Werts and Pippen have been Deputies for the department for a couple years. The Sheriff notes both were promoted from correctional officers of the jail, and Shofner notes, promotions such as the cases with Werts and Pippen is something he takes pleasure in doing. Deputy Pippen handles the County's K-9 unit and Deputy Werts is an overnight officer.

McDaniels' Return Unlikely If Fisher Hired

It could be one-and-done for Rams offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels.  The "Post-Dispatch" cites league sources as saying McDaniels would not be retained by Jeff Fisher if he's hired as the Rams new head coach.  The Rams also apparently have no interest in bringing back former offensive coordinator and head coach Mike Martz, who resigned from the Bears this week.

Dave Duncan Taking Leave In St. Louis

One of the best-known pitching coaches in baseball is stepping aside to tend to family matters.  MLB.com reports longtime St. Louis Cardinals pitching coach Dave Duncan will step down today to be with his wife, who is recuperating from brain surgery in August.  Duncan missed the last several weeks of last year's regular season to be with his wife before returning on the last day of the regular season and throughout the Cards' World Series run.  The longtime right-hand man to Tony La Russa has been with St. Louis since 1996.  Duncan also coached with the Indians, Mariners, White Sox and Athletics and spent 11 major league seasons as a catcher.

Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chicago Bulls continue a three-game road trip tonight against the Orlando Magic at the Amway Center.  The Bulls have won five games in-a-row to improve to 6-and-1 on the season.  They are coming off a 99-83 victory at Detroit on Wednesday.  Chicago wraps up the road swing tomorrow night at Atlanta.

Miami Heat 116, Atlanta Hawks 109 (3-OT)
San Antonio Spurs 93, Dallas Mavericks 71
Sacramento Kings 103, Milwaukee Bucks 100
Portland Trail Blazers 107, Los Angeles Lakers 96

Illinois Hosts Nebraska Tomorrow

 Illinois plays at home tomorrow afternoon against Nebraska.  The Fighting Illini got past Northwestern 57-56 on Wednesday to improve to 13-and-3 overall and 2-and-1 in the Big Ten.  The Cornhuskers were blown out 70-41 at Ohio State on Tuesday to fall to 8-and-6 and 0-and-3.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#12 Indiana Hoosiers 73, #13 Michigan Wolverines 71
#17 UNLV Rebels 89, Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners 57
#25 San Diego State Aztecs 83, San Diego Christian Hawks 52

Quinn To Sign Pension Reform

Governor Quinn is joining with state lawmakers in a crackdown on pension abuse. Quinn will sign a pension reform bill aimed at closing several loopholes within the system.  One of the most notable cases includes two union leaders who are eligible to collect government retirement benefits after substitute teaching for just one day.  The new law means they're no longer required to collect that state pension.  A spokesperson for the union leaders says the new law is in direct violation of the state's constitution, which prohibits the reduction of pension benefits once they've been established.  He says a legal dispute could be coming down the pipe.

USDA Budget Preview

Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack rang in the New Year with budget issues weighing heavily on his mind.
Vilsack revealed in a year-end interview that he’ll be making a series of announcements early in 2012 that will detail how USDA plans to operate within budget constraints mandated by Congress.
[audio:vilsack1.mp3]A Word From Vilsack[/audio] 
    Vilsack suggested the impending changes will alter the size, structure and scope of USDA for decades to come.
[audio:vilsack2.mp3]A Word From Vilsack[/audio]
USDA’s discretionary funding has been cut by 15-percent since fiscal 2009. Vilsack said he's working to ensure that USDA manages the change needed to fit within the new budget reality - not the other way around.

Miller Park Zoo Beginning 2012 With Upgrades

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has a couple of projects going on this week courtesy of a couple of local companies.

Miller Park Zoo’s Green Aracari (air-a-saree) exhibit in ZooLab is getting a makeover. Superintendent of the zoo, Jay Tetzloff explains, remodeling and restoration company J.J. Swartz will demolish and expand the exhibit in ZooLab that serves as the habitat for the Green Aracari, a bird native to South America.  The new exhibit more than doubles the size of the current Zoo habitat for the toucan-like birds. The project is expected to be completed in early January.

[audio:zooexpansion1.mp3]Tetzloff On The First of Their Two Projects[/audio]

Evelyn Yowell, owner of J.J. Swartz, is a strong supporter of the Zoo, as currently serves as President of the Miller Park Zoological Society.

The Bloomington-Normal Area Home Builders Association will also be taking on a project in ZooLab for 2012, which will be located next to the Meerkat exhibit. This project will include six small exhibits for reptiles and amphibians and one larger area for Mexican Beaded Lizards.  Mexican Beaded Lizards are a venomous lizard that the Zoo is excited about showing their guests. Tetzloff says this will allow them to meet the goal of expanding the variety of animals they display.

[audio:zooexpansion2.mp3]Tetzloff On The Mexican Beaded Lizards New Exhibit[/audio]

The Miller Park Zoo is currently embarking on a master plan to outline future goals for the zoo. Tetzloff explains they felt moving forward with these two projects prior to the completion of the master plan would be better for them because of the flexibility the new exhibits will give them. He adds no matter what the master plan would have in store, the exhibits can easily be changed, which is a big plus to the project.

[audio:zooexpansion3.mp3]Tetzloff On Projects Advantages[/audio]

Tetzloff adds just 2 years ago, J.J. Swartz was the donor of their current Red Panda exhibit. He is very thankful for the generosity they have shown towards the zoo. He hopes they can perhaps make an annual partnership of projects at low or no cost to the zoo to help with the improvements of the zoo.

Blue Ridge Board of Education Makes Revisions To Drug Policy; Could Act On Revisions

The Blue Ridge Board of Education will consider their proposed Drug Testing Policy at their January Board Meeting.

Revisions have been made to the original proposal. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools Susan Wilson explains based on feedback she and board members have received, she will be making revisions for their board meeting this month, January 18.

[audio:drugtest1.mp3]Wilson On Revisions[/audio]

The districts students and members of the community have expressed concerns both in favor and against the policy. She says concerns over privacy are the biggest issues right now, which will be a part of her revised draft.

[audio:drugtest2.mp3]A Word From Wilson[/audio]

The Sheriff's Departments and State's Attorneys in DeWitt, Piatt, and McLean Counties have worked with Blue Ridge Schools to establish Reciprocal Reporting Agreements so they they can now share information regarding arrests and illegal activities of minors between the agencies. Wilson says this will allow the schools to more fairly enforce activity codes among the students. She adds in the past there have been instances where law enforcement could only inform them of names of students that were 18 or older who had been arrested. The new agreements would allow them to obtain all the names involved.

[audio:drugtest1.mp3]Wilson On The New Agreement[/audio]

Wilson says the drug policy is intended to prevent drug use among students and give them an "out" when they are tempted to do drugs. The proposed policy is posted at the Blue Ridge website, blueridge18.org and action could be taken on the policy at the Blue Ridge Board of Education's January meeting.

Statistics Support DJWH Having One Night Ambulance

Statistics show Dr. John Warner Hospital's decision to go to one ambulance overnight may be a good decision.

Ambulance Manager at the city owned hospital Terrence Hubbard explains when the decision to end the ambulance service through the hospital, he was charged with researching the costs associated with the ambulance. Hubbard's research was quite extensive, going to back to 2009 and researching hour by hour statistics for the ambulances.

[audio:ambulanceresearch1.mp3]A Word From Hubbard[/audio]

What Hubbard found was the total amount of calls were decreasing. He says by the end of their current fiscal year, which ends April 30 of this year, they will once again have another year of declining numbers in their call volumes.

[audio:ambulanceresearch2.mp3]A Word From Hubbard[/audio]

Hubbard then broke down his hourly research to times of the day and he says his research showed they could easily cut back to just one ambulance at night, as they are averaging just two calls per night.

[audio:ambulanceresearch3.mp3]A Word From Hubbard[/audio]

Hubbard says 23% of the call volume they receive, transportation was not need, so they did not transport anyone. He says not transporting anyone does play a large role in their cost.

The Dr. John Warner Hospital will end ambulance services December 31 of this year. The DeWitt County Board recently approved taking a county wide tax levy to referendum, which will be on the march ballot.

West Virginia Crushes Clemson In Orange Bowl

Darwin Cook's 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown sparked an onslaught and sent 23rd-ranked West Virginia to a 70-33 win over 15th-ranked Clemson in the Orange Bowl.  Andre Ellington coughed up the costly fumble at the goal-line with Clemson down 21-17 in the second quarter.  WVU led 49-20 at halftime and 63-20 in the third quarter.  Geno Smith passed for 401 yards and six touchdowns for the Mountaineers, who end the year 10-and-3.  Tavon Austin had four touchdown grabs in the win.  WVU's 70 points are the most ever scored in a bowl game.  Tajh Boyd threw for 205 yards and two touchdowns, but accounted for three turnovers for Clemson.  The Tigers end the year 10-and-4.

Sam Hurd Indicted On Two Counts

Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd has been indicted on two counts by a federal grand jury in Dallas.  The former Chicago Bear and Dallas Cowboy was indicted on one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute five kilograms or more of cocaine, and one count of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of cocaine on Wednesday.  Hurd was arrested in Rosemont, Illinois in December by agents with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations and cut by the Bears two days later.  He faces 10 years-to-life if convicted on the conspiracy count, and five-to-40 years if convicted on the possession with intent to distribute count.

Report: Cubs Ship Big Z To Marlins

Carlos Zambrano is apparently on his way out of the Windy City.  ESPN is reporting that the Cubs have traded "Big Z" to the Miami Marlins in exchange for veteran right-handed pitcher Chris Volstad.  The deal, which is pending physicals, requires the Northsiders to pay $15-million of the $18-million owed to Zambrano in 2012.  The Venezuelan had several highly publicized emotional outbursts with the Cubs last season, which ultimately led to to a suspension.  He finished 9-and-7 with a 4.82 ERA.  The 6-foot-8, 25-year-old Volstad went 5-and-13 with a 4.89 ERA last season with the Marlins.

Bulls Pound Pistons

Carlos Boozer led five Chicago players in double-figures with 19 points en route to a 99-83 win over the Pistons.  Derrick Rose added 17 points and 10 assists for the Bulls, who have won five games in-a-row.  Joakim Noah registered a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win.  Greg Monroe paced the Pistons with 19 points, 13 boards and five assists.  Jonas Jerebko chipped in with 13 points for Detroit, which had its winning streak halted at two games.


Toronto Raptors 92, Cleveland Cavaliers 77
Orlando Magic 103, Washington Wizards 85
Miami Heat 118, Indiana Pacers 83
Boston Celtics 89, New Jersey Nets 70
Charlotte Bobcats 118, New York Knicks 110
Philadelphia 76ers 101, New Orleans Hornets 93
Memphis Grizzlies 90, Minnesota Timberwolves 86
San Antonio Spurs 101, Golden State Warriors 95
Dallas Mavericks 98, Phoenix Suns 89
Denver Nuggets 110, Sacramento Kings 83
Los Angeles Clippers 117, Houston Rockets 89

Illini Win; NCAA Notes

>> Illini Edge Northwestern

Myke Henry made 1 of 2 free throws with 6 seconds left and Meyers Leonard blocked a shot just before the buzzer as Illinois pulled out a 57-56 victory over Northwestern on Wednesday night.

Leonard hit a free throw with 29 seconds left to put the Illini up 56-54, but Northwestern's Drew Crawford tied it on a tip with 17 seconds remaining.

After Brandon Paul drove but couldn't connect, Henry was fouled on a rebound follow-up. He made one free throw but missed the second.

Crawford rebounded and tried to drive the length of the floor, but the 7-foot-1 Leonard swatted the shot away.

Leonard led the Illini (13-3, 2-1 Big Ten) with 12 points. Paul and Joseph Bertrand added 10 each.

Shurna, the Big Ten's leading scorer at 18.6 for Northwestern (11-4, 1-2), had 17 first-half points but just the three in the second under tough defense from Paul.

>> ISU Tops Missouri State

John Wilkins scored 15 points and Illinois State never trailed Wednesday night in defeating Missouri State 68-60.

Tyler Brown and Bryant Allen had 14 points apiece for the Redbirds (10-4, 2-1 Missouri Valley). Jon Ekey had 12 rebounds and Jackie Carmichael grabbed 10 boards as Illinois State held a 44-33 edge on the glass.

Kyle Weems led Missouri State (9-6, 2-1) with 18 points. Jamar Gulley had 16 points and nine rebounds for the Bears.

Illinois State never led by more than 12 in the game, but Missouri State couldn't get any closer than five points after the first few seconds of the second half.

>> SIU Tops Bradley

Mamadou Seck had 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead Southern Illinois past Bradley 74-65 on Wednesday night.

Davante Drinkard and Kendal Brown-Surles scored 12 points apiece for the Salukis (5-9, 2-1 Missouri Valley), who won their second in a row. Seck, who had his 11th career double-double, added six assists.

Dyricus Simms-Edwards led the Braves (5-10, 0-3) with 17 points. Walt Lemon Jr. added 16, Taylor Brown 13 and Jordan Prosser 11 as Bradley dropped its sixth straight.

The Salukis relied on 57% shooting (31 of 54) while limiting Bradley to 45% (25 of 56).

Southern Illinois missed 8 of its first nine shots but finished the first half sinking 16 of 18 to forge a 36-34 lead.

But the game was tied 17 times, and Southern Illinois did not take the lead for good until Dantiel Daniels' dunk made it 48-46 with 15:03 to go.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Syracuse Orange 87, Providence Friars 73
Temple Owls 78, #3 Duke Blue Devils 73
#9 Georgetown Hoyas 73, #20 Marquette Golden Eagles 70
#15 Kansas Jayhawks 67, #22 Kansas State Wildcats 49
#18 Murray State Racers 76, Eastern Kentucky Colonels 67

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-5


January 5, 2012


Jail Population: 51

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1


Fauziya Lawson, 22, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (62 mph in a 45 mph zone). Lawson posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Katelyn Lockard, 17, Clinton, was issued a citation for Graduated Driver Operating Motor Vehicle Outside Permitted Driving Rest. Time. Lockard was given a notice to appear and was released.


Brooke Schoch, 22, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Schoch posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Christopher Smith, 61, Romeoville, was issued a citation for Passing Stopped School Bus. Smith was given a notice to appear and was released.




Pekin Resident Wants Home-Rule Repeal

 A Pekin man wants voters to decide whether the town should keep its "home-rule" status.  Home rule gives municipalities more freedom to impose higher taxes and make revenue decisions without state or voter approval.  But Roger Greer says it violates his constitutional rights.  It all stems from a financial dispute Greer is having with the city.  He's contesting a 127-thousand dollar fine.  He wants a jury of his peers to hear the case, but because Pekin is a home-rule community, the case will be heard by an officer appointed by the city.  Greer says it's a conflict of interest for the city to appoint its own hearing officer in a case against them.  An electoral board will start the process of hearing objections to the petition tomorrow.  One person has filed an objector's petition to keep the question from appearing on the March ballot.

Governor Quinn Lays Out Financial Plan

Governor Quinn's budgeting forecast doesn't reflect a positive outcome in the long run.   The report highlights a three-year plan that shows an increase in state revenues for the next two years but that will change drastically once the temporary tax increase expires.  Some areas of government will see cuts, but Quinn says he's committed to funding education, which holds steady at eight-point-nine-billion dollars for the next three years.  The governor plans to focus on restructuring the state's debt for Fiscal Year 2013.  That includes a nine-percent budget reduction for state agencies.  Quinn says he'll pay special attention to pension and Medicaid reform.  He says improving the state's financial situation won't come without challenges but he's confident it can be done.

Logan County Sees Signs of Economic Turn Around With Tourism Numbers

Logan County has had a very productive year thanks to several events and happenings.

Geoff Ladd, the executive director of the Abe Lincoln Tourism Bureau, says that there are exciting days ahead for the city of Lincoln and Logan County thanks to many positive results from the past year. Major events such as the annual Art and Balloon Festival and Railsplitting Festival have also been a major boost to Logan County's economy.  Ladd says a great way to measure how the Lincoln Economy is doing is to look at the Hotel/Motel taxes made over the last year. Lincoln's total was up considerably from the year before which Ladd says may point to signs of an economic recovery.

[audio:logancounty4.mp3]Ladd On Logan County's Hotel Taxes[/audio]

One of Logan County's greatest tourism contributors is the Sports Commission. Ladd explains the Sports Commission is a new addition to the Lincoln area. He says sports play such a vital part of every community, including Lincoln, which features many sports related events throughout the year.

[audio:logancounty1.mp3]Ladd On Logan County's Sports Commission[/audio]

One of the Bureau's partners is the Lincoln Park District which has stepped up and provided several sporting events according to Ladd. Smaller communities and local schools also help to shape the sporting business of the community.

[audio:logancounty2.mp3]Ladd On Sports In Communities[/audio]

Another major event was the 5th Annual Route 66 Garage Sale.  The sale has helped to drive the local economy in major ways.  Ladd says that there may be a few changes this year with past experiences taken into consideration.

[audio:logancounty3.mp3]Ladd On Garage Sale Changes[/audio]

Ladd hopes the 2011 numbers for Logan County can be an indicator of continued success. He points to new hotels and renovations to existing ones as reason more people may be staying in Lincoln.

Arson Cases Back In Clinton

The Clinton Fire Department had an eventful week between Christmas and New Year's.

On December 29 at around 2:30 AM, a garage fire was reported at 417 North Walnut Street in Clinton. It is believed that suspects caught the garage on fire, completely destroying the garage and causing damage to two other buildings near the structure. During the same time that evening, a trash can fire was also reported in an alley nearby, which the Clinton Police Department was able to take care of.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton says these cases of arson are one of several cases reported in the past two and a half years in the northwest portion of Clinton. Chief Milton adds the State Fire Marshall is looking into the cases.

[audio:fires1.mp3]Chief Milton On Cases[/audio]

Chief Milton says the fires are happening mostly between the hours of 10 pm and 2 am. He asks residents noticing any suspicious activity near them to report what they see to the police to help get the situation under control.

[audio:fires2.mp3]Chief Milton Encourages Residents To Keep Eye Out For Suspicious Activity[/audio]

The cases have been hard to track because of the lack of consistency. Chief Milton says until recently nothing had been reported, but the three cases in the past week and a half have caused the State Fire Marshall to become involved.

[audio:fires3.mp3]Chief Milton On Fire Marshall Getting Involved[/audio]

The third fire in the past week and a half was an attempted vehicle fire. The State Fire Marshall reported the inside of the vehicle was showed signs of being burned, but was self extinguished.

Again, anyone noticing suspicious activity near them is encouraged to report it to the police.

Bulls Rally To Burn Hawks

>>Bulls Rally To Burn Hawks

(Chicago, IL)  --  Joakim Noah found Luol Deng under the basket with 3.7 seconds left for the game-winner as the Chicago Bulls rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat the Atlanta Hawks, 76-74, on Tuesday night at the United Center.  Derrick Rose netted a game-high 30 points to go along with seven assists for the Bulls, who have won four straight to improve to 5-and-1 on the season.  Chicago departs on a three-game road trip starting tonight against the Detroit Pistons at The Palace.

Cleveland Cavaliers 115, Charlotte Bobcats 101
Chicago Bulls 76, Atlanta Hawks 74
Portland Trailblazers 103, Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Memphis Grizzlies 113, Sacramento Kings 96
Utah Jazz 85, Milwaukee Bucks 73
Los Angeles Lakers 108, Houston Rockets 99

Bears Fire Angelo, Lovie Stays, Martz Resigns

The Chicago Bears are making changes, but the head coach isn't one of them.  The Bears fired general manager Jerry Angelo on Tuesday after the team finished 8-and-8 and missed the playoffs for the fourth time in five years.  Meanwhile, the team announced head coach Lovie Smith will return next season.  He's been at the helm since 2004.  Offensive coordinator Mike Martz won't be back.  According to the "Chicago Tribune," he has resigned due to philosophical differences.

Illinois Back In Action Tonight

>>Illini On The Court

(Evanston, IL)  --  The Illinois Fighting Illini are back on the court this evening as they square off against the Northwestern Wildcats in Evanston.  The Illini have dropped three of their last five games to fall to 12-and-3 on the season.  They lost to Purdue, 75-60, on Saturday.  Northwestern comes into the contest at 11-and-3.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Kentucky Wildcats 73, Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans 51
#6 Missouri Tigers 87, Oklahoma Sooners 49
#7 Ohio State Buckeyes 71, Nebraska Cornhuskers 40
Seton Hall Pirates 75, #8 Connecticut Huskies 63
#10 Louisville Cardinals 73, St. John's Red Storm 58
#11 Michigan State Spartans 63, #19 Wisconsin Badgers 60 (OT)
#14 Florida Gators 79, UAB Blazers 61
Fordham Rams 60, #21 Harvard Crimson 54
#24 Creighton Bluejays 76, Drake Bulldogs 59

Wolverines Get Past Hokies In OT

Brendan Gibbons booted a 37-yard field goal in overtime to send the Michigan Wolverines to a 23-20 win over the Virginia Tech Hokies in the Sugar Bowl.  It was Gibbons third field goal of the game.  Denard Robinson threw for 117 yards on just 9-of-21 passing for two touchdowns and an interception.  The Michigan defense forced three Hokie turnovers in the win, which brought the Wolverines to an 11-and-2 record to close the season.  Tech kicker Justin Myer was 4-for-5 on field goals, but his lone miss came in the front portion of overtime from 37 yards out.  Hokie quarterback Logan Thomas threw for 214 yards with an interception and added 53 yards and a touchdown on the ground.  Danny Coale finished with eight catches and 117 yards in the setback, which dropped VT to 11-and-3.

Mercilus Leaving Illinois For Draft

Defensive end Whitney Mercilus is taking a pass on his senior season at Illinois to enter the 2012 NFL Draft.

Mercilus led the nation with 16 sacks this season. He also broke Illinois and Big Ten records by forcing nine fumbles. His 22.5 tackles for loss in 2011 led the Big Ten and ranked second in the nation.

Mercilus earned consensus first-team All-America honors and won the Hendricks Award, which goes to the nation's top defensive end.

In a statement Tuesday, Mercilus thanked former Illini coach Ron Zook, the rest of the team's staff and his teammates. He says he decided to leave Illinois after discussions with his family and "a lot of prayer."

The NFL Draft will take place April 26-28 at Radio City Music Hall in New York.

Clinton Police Report for 1-4





Clinton Teacher Brady Resigns Amid Allegations

A Clinton Elementary School teacher resigned last week amidst allegations of inappropriate conduct.

5th Grade teacher, high school junior varsity basketball and track coach EJ Brady resigned Monday Dec. 26th. His resignation has been confirmed by Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes. Dr. Holmes could not comment on the reason for Brady stepping down, and says no investigation is being administered by the school district.

According to public record, an Order of Protection was issued against Brady by the mother of a female Clinton High School student on December 29th.  DeWitt County State's Attorney Dick Koritz says as of right now, no formal charges have been filed. However, Koritz says the situation is currently under review.

Blagejovich Posts New Year's Message

The new year is likely to be anything but a happy one for Rod Blagojevich.

But the prison-bound former governor has posted a message via his Twitter account and Facebook page wishing any supporters a happy 2012.

The 55-year-old added that "these are dark and extremely challenging times" for him, his wife and two daughters.

The ex-governor reports to prison in March to begin serving his 14-year prison term for multiple corruption counts. They include his attempt to sell or trade President Barack Obama's old Senate seat.

Blagojevich also sought to strike an upbeat note. He said his lawyers are working on an appeal. And he said that - despite his legal troubles - he and his family continued "to look to the New Year with hope."

Better Business Bureau Has Tips For Homeowners

The Better Business Bureau is offering a checklist for homeowners who want to get their homes ready for cold weather while also saving money.

Inspect caulking and weather stripping, checking for cracking and peeling. Make sure doors and windows close tightly and no cold air is coming in due to old weather stripping.

Make sure your furnace's filter is clean and the thermostat works correctly. Furnaces older than 15 years might be ready for a replacement.

Heating ducts should be cleaned once every two years. Homeowners should consider adding insulation to exposed ductwork in order to prevent losing heated air.

Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and install fresh batteries. Homeowners should consider replacing smoke alarms older than 10 years.

Illinois GOP Chairman Wants To Stop Springfield Corruption

Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady says it's time to start investigating corruption in Springfield.  He's calling on Attorney General Lisa Madigan to go after her dad, Speaker of the House Michael Madigan.  Brady says the Speaker has been involved in fraud and public corruption in the past eight months but the Attorney General hasn't quote, "lifted a finger to investigate them." He's particularly upset about a bill that allows two union lobbyists to collect a state pension after working only one day in the school system.  Lisa Madigan denies the allegations that she doesn't go after corruption.  She says she was the first person to start investigating Rod Blagojevich and she didn't endorse the former governor in 2006. 

Snowmobile Safety Tips

Snowy weather is headed and our way and that means people will pull out their snow mobiles for a good run in the snow.  State officials say riders should take extra precautions to avoid accidents.  Safety tips include being alert, knowing the trail, and traveling at a reasonable speed, avoid wearing long scarves, and never go out alone.  Most importantly, snowmobile drivers should never drink alcohol before operating the machine.  There were 47 reported snowmobile accidents resulted in 1 fatality in Illinois last year.  State law requires that persons between the ages of 12 and 16 have a valid Snowmobile Safety Education Certificate of Competency issued by IDNR in order to operate a snowmobile alone. Snowmobile safety courses are available online at www.snowmobile-ed.com.

Fire In Famed Clocktower Contained, Still Burning

Firefighters have contained the blaze that destroyed part of a massive clock factory in northern Illinois, but officials say it may be a week before it is extinguished.

Police Chief Doug Bernabei says the fire that broke out around midnight on New Year's Eve at the Westclox complex in Peru is smoldering and then will erupt in flames. Bernabei says the city's fire department and departments from 15 other communities had started battling the fire with aerial trucks on Monday.

He says there is no danger of the fire spreading from the middle building to other buildings in the complex.

The last of area residents evacuated from their homes were allowed to return Monday morning.

Two teenagers were arrested charged with aggravated arson. Bernabei says there are no other suspects.

State Officials Consider New Child Support Method

State officials are considering a new method on how to calculate child support payments.  Pam Lowry, with the state's Division of Child Support Enforcement, says the new payment rate would be based on the combined income of both parents as opposed to a percentage of the non-custodial parent's income.

[audio:rddCSrate1.mp3]A Word From Lowry[/audio]

Lowry says the parent's portions of the payment would be proportionate to income.  So if the parents make the same amount of money, their contributions would be equal.  If one parent makes 75-percent of the combined income and the other parent makes 25-percent, then the proportionate payment split would be 75-25.  Lowry says the income shares method is more transparent upfront and better reflects the needs of the child.  She says the switch is in its very early stages.  Lowry says any changes would have to be cleared through the Illinois legislature.

Regional Radio's White Earns RMP Certification

Jared White of Clinton, program director and local farm broadcaster for WHOW The BIG 1520 AM/92.3 FM and WEZC 95.9 FM, all in Clinton, has successfully met the requirements to earn the designation of Radio Marketing Professional (RMP) as certified by the Radio Advertising Bureau.

 The Radio Advertising Professional (RMP) designation is the first step in a comprehensive, multi-level training and certification program developed and administered by the Radio Advertising Bureau.  RMP graduates must complete and rigorous course of study that focuses on mastering the knowledge and skills necessary to help local businesses maximize their advertising success.  To earn their RMP diploma, candidates must pass a challenging one-hour written examination.

 The Radio Advertising Bureau (RAB) is the sales and marketing arm of the Radio Industry with more than 5,000 member stations, networks, and related sales organizations in the U.S. and abroad.

Local Producer Pushing For Renewable Fuel Standard

American Soybean Association Board member...and central Illinois farmer...Ron Kindred, says ASA is in full support for the Renewable Fuel Standard. He recently asked Administrator Jackson about the EPA’s proposed volume requirement for biomass-based diesel.
[audio:kindred1.mp3]Kindred On Conversation With Jackson[/audio]
According to Kindred, Jackson reiterated the Administration’s commitment to renewable fuels and homegrown energy.
[audio:kindred2.mp3]A Word From Kindred[/audio]
Kindred also asked Secretary Vilsack about the regulatory certainty project that he has prioritized.
[audio:kindred3.mp3]Kindred On Conversation With Vilsack[/audio]
Kindred lives and farms near Atlanta, Illinois in Logan County.

Sen. Dan Brady On 2011 In Springfield

With 2011 behind us, one local Senator is looking back at how things went in Springfield.

2011 was certainly a year of surprises for Illinois legislation. Illinois Senator Dan Brady says the year ended on a high note after starting out on a negative note. He says he is pleased legislators were able to work to find ways to keep jobs in Illinois.

[audio:bradyyearinreview1.mp3]Sen. Brady On Keeping Jobs in Illinois[/audio]

Sen. Brady points to several tax break lawmakers implemented as ways to stimulate and help struggling Illinois families. He is also optimistic when lawmakers convene later in January, they can continue the process of repealing the income tax increase that he feels has hindered this economy.

[audio:bradyyearinreview2.mp3]A Word From Sen. Brady[/audio]

Sen. Brady did not pause to criticize Governor Quinn and his administration spending beyond the means of Illinois. He hopes legislators can find ways to start paying back overdue debts and keep future generations from having to reap the consequences of current lawmakers spending.

[audio:bradyyearinreview3.mp3]Sen. Brady On Gov. Quinn's Administration[/audio]

Sen. Brady points out issues for the coming year include reform on the workers compensation system and continuing investing in utility and energy systems to make energy affordable. Sen. Brady is optimistic lawmakers can continue their bipartisan efforts to continue positive reforms in Springfield in 2012.

Clinton YMCA Basketball Registration Ends Today

The Clinton YMCA is about to offer a great activity which will benefit your kids for life.

The Clinton Y is about to begin Youth Basketball on January 22nd.  According to Jann Martin, the executive director at the Y, 3 and 4 year old through 6th grade leagues play at the Y and Washington School.  Martin says that this program attempts to teach the fundamentals of playing a team sport. They adjust the rules according to the age groups.

[audio:ybasketball1.mp3]A Word From Martin[/audio]

According to Martin, community volunteers help to make Youth Basketball what it is.  The volunteers are made up of parents, community members and schools.  The program wouldn't be as effective without their partnership.

[audio:ybasketball2.mp3]A Word From Martin[/audio]

The deadline for registration deadline in today, according to Martin. The program is priced reasonably and the values that kids will take from it far outweigh any dollar value.

[audio:ybasketball3.mp3]A Word From Martin[/audio]

For more information you can contact the YMCA at 217-935-8307 or at www.clintoncommymca.org.

Clinton Board of Education Begins Search For New High School Principal

The Clinton Board of Education has begun the process of searching for a new high school principal.

Current Principal Ron Connor will be retiring at the end of the school year, leaving a vacancy to be filled. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes explains they have begun to look at applications, to this point 25 have been submitted, and the process of interviews to fill the vacancy will begin very shortly.

[audio:principalsearch1.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]

The Board of Education and Dr. Holmes are looking for someone to be strong in 3 areas. They first want someone focused on academics. They also would like someone familiar with technology and can keep up with classroom technology. And finally they are seeking someone to promote extra curricular programs and get students more engaged in them.

[audio:principalsearch2.mp3]Dr. Holmes On What He is Seeking In New Principal[/audio]

Dr. Holmes feels the high school principal position is one of the most important in the district. He wants the person that comes in to be a good communicator and a positive person as well.

[audio:principalsearch3.mp3]A Word From Dr. Holmes[/audio]

Current Principal Ron Connor has been serving in the district for nearly 18 years. The School District has advertised the position on various jobs sites around the country.

Monday Bowl Recaps

>>#5 Ducks Bury 10th-Ranked Badgers In Rose Bowl

(Pasadena, CA)  --  The fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks scored 10 unanswered points in the fourth quarter en route to a 45-38 victory over number-10 Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl.  It was the Ducks first bowl win under head coach Chip Kelly and the team's first Rose Bowl victory since 1917.  LeMichael James rumbled for 159 yards with a score and D'Anthony Thomas added 155 yards via the ground with two scores for the Ducks, who finished their campaign at 12-and-2.  Lavasier Tuinei [[ luh-VAH-see-ay  TOO-nay ]] had eight catches for 158 yards to go along with two TD's in the win.  Heisman Trophy candidate Montee Ball carried the ball 32 times for 164 yards and a touchdown for Wisconsin in a losing effort.  Jared Abbrederis and Nick Toon each had over 100 yards receiving with a score for the Badgers, who ended their season at 11-and-3.  The 83 combined points was the most in Rose Bowl history.

>>Gators Beat The Buckeyes

(Jacksonville, FL)  --  Florida used a pair of special teams touchdowns to trip up Ohio State in the Gator Bowl, 24-17.  With the game tied at seven, Andre Debose returned a kickoff 99 yards early in the second quarter to put the Gators ahead for good.  Graham Stewart would later return a blocked punt 14 yards for another TD to help Florida finish the year 7-and-6.  Braxton Miller threw two touchdown passes for the Buckeyes, including one in the final minute to make it close.  Former Florida head coach Urban Meyer now officially takes the helm at OSU, which ended the season 6-and-7.

>>Michigan State Pulls Out Triple-OT Win Over Georgia

(Tampa, FL)  --  Anthony White blocked a 47-yard field goal in the third overtime to give 17th-ranked Michigan State a wild 33-30 win over number-16 Georgia in the Outback Bowl.  Dan Conroy's 28-yarder provided the Spartans with the winning margin.  After an interception in the first overtime, Bulldogs kicker Blair Walsh missed a 42-yard field goal wide right that would have won the game.  Le'Veon Bell's one-yard touchdown run wiht 14 seconds left in regulation tied the game for Michigan State, which finished 11-and-3.  Georgia blew a 16-0 halftime lead and ended its season 10-and-4.

NCAA Football  (BCS Standings)
Houston Cougars 30, Penn State Nittany Lions 14
(TicketCity Bowl at Dallas, TX)

South Carolina Gamecocks 30,  Nebraska Cornhuskers 13
(Capital One Bowl at Orlando, FL)

Oklahoma State Cowboys 41, Stanford Cardinal 38 (OT)
(Tostitos Fiesta Bowl at Glendale, AZ)

NFL Notes

An MRI on Monday revealed that Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher has no major structural damage to his left knee.  Urlacher was injured late in the Bears season-ending 17-13 win over Minnesota on Sunday when he collided with teammate Major Wright.  Urlacher was selected to his eighth Pro Bowl this season.

>>Colts' Irsay Fires Polians

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The Indianapolis Colts are making changes at the top.  Owner Jim Irsay fired vice chairman Bill Polian and his son and general manager Chris Polian Monday.  The move came one day after the Colts tied for the worst record in the NFL at 2-and-14, earning the top pick in the April draft.  Indianapolis played without perennial Pro Bowl quarterback Peyton Manning, who missed the entire year following offseason neck surgery.  Bill Polian drafted Manning with the number-one pick in 1998.  The Colts won eight division titles, a Super Bowl and made 11 playoff appearances during his tenure.  Chris Polian had been the team's GM since 2009.  Head coach Jim Caldwell did not lose his job.

>>Rams To Talk To Fisher

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Now in need of a new head coach, the Rams could turn to Jeff Fisher.  The "Post-Dispatch" reports the Rams will speak later this week with the former Tennessee Titans head coach about their vacant position.  Rams owner Stan Kroenke says there are advantages to hiring a coach with experience and they won't necessarily wait until hiring a new general manager.

Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chicago Bulls wrap up a brief two-game homestand this evening against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center.  The Bulls have won three games in-a-row to improve to 4-and-1 on the season.  They routed Memphis, 104-64, on Sunday.  Chicago departs on a three-game road trip starting tomorrow night at Detroit.

Phoenix Suns 102, Golden State Warriors 91
Atlanta Hawks 100, Miami Heat 92
Indiana Pacers 108, New Jersey Nets 94
Boston Celtics 100, Washington Wizards 92
Detroit Pistons 89, Orlando Magic 78
Toronto Raptors 90, New York Knicks 85
Minnesota Timberwolves 106, San Antonio Spurs 96
Dallas Mavericks 100, Oklahoma City Thunder 87
Denver Nuggets 91, Milwaukee Bucks 86
Utah Jazz 94, New Orleans Hornets 90

Clinton Police New Year's Weekend Report




















DeWitt County Sheriff's Department New Year's Weekend Report


December 31, 2012


Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1


January 1, 2012


Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 2, 2012


Jail Population: 49

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 2


January 3, 2012


Jail Population: 52

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Sunday, January 1, revealed that a vehicle driven by Kevin Hutchison, 33, Beason, was traveling east on Bungtown Road 1/8th mile east of Daisey Road when it failed to negotiate a southbound curve. The vehicle drove into a culvert colliding with a dirt embankment. There was major front end damage. The vehicle was towed from the scene. Hutchison was issued citations for Driving Under the Influence and Improper Overtaking On Right Drove Off Roadway. He was given a notice to appear and was released after medical evaluation at a hospital.


Kaushik Patel, 47, Scheperville, IN, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Patel was given a notice to appear and was released..


Meghan Sennhenn, 21, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Sennhenn posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Emmanuel Contreras, 22, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (69 mph in a 55 mph zone). Contreras was given a notice to appear and was released.


Glenda Beatty, 52, Spaulding, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Beatty posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Henry Radcliffe III, 57, Urbana, was issued a citation for Speeding (70 mph in a 55 mph zone). Radcliffe posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Maryiln Weber, 73, Argenta, was issued a citation for Speeding (76 mph in a 55 mph zone). Weber posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Rachel Carter, 29, Lane, was issued citations for Driving Under Influence and Failure To Reduce Speed/Accident. Carter posted the necessary bond and was released.




HS BBALL: Warrensburg-Latham Keeps Clinton Just Shy of Win

The Clinton Maroons faced off in some Conference action tonight as they played Warrensburg-Latham at home. At the half the Cardinals led 35-23. Coming out into the third quarter the Maroons fought hard to catch back up, but it wasn't an easy task. The Cardinals ended up taking the victory tonight with a final score of 54-49. The Maroons were led by Mitchell Creager who had a total of 21 points throughout the game. Matt Chandler also hit his season career record with 17 points in the game. The Cardinals had three players hit the double digits tonight. Tune in again on Friday for more Maroons action as they head to Shelbyville to take on the Rams at 7 PM.


The JV basketball team took the victory over the Cardinals tonight, led by Mason Dial who had a total of 8 points. Their score was 42-34 and they move to 6-3 on the season.

Illinois 2011 Traffic Fatalities Look to Be Down

Illinois State Police say they will focus on the four most common traffic violations during 2012.

Those violations are speeding, driving while intoxicated, not wearing seat belts and distracted driving. Illinois State Police officials say it's no coincidence that traffic fatalities in the state have fallen while the use of seat belts has increased.

Preliminary Illinois State Police statistics as of Thursday show 821 traffic crash fatalities in the state during 2011. That number is 25 fewer than during the same time period in 2010.

1 of the new laws Illinois State Police say they will enforce in 2012 involves seat belts. The new law requires all passengers of motor vehicles to wear seat belts. The law doesn't apply to taxicab passengers, authorized emergency vehicles or those with medical exemptions.

Drug Producers Now Paying Cleanup Costs

 Busted drug manufacturers who run meth labs and marijuana grow operations are now required to pay for evidence collection and cleanup costs.  Chief Deputy Jack Campbell with the Sangamon County Sheriff's Office says enforcing the law may be easier said than done.

      [audio:rddNDL1A.mp3]Word from Campbell[/audio]

Violators will also have to pay cleanup fees to emergency response teams under the new law, which went into effect yesterday.  An additional fine will also be assessed anywhere from 750 to five-thousand dollars.

Attorney General Introduces Several New Bills

New laws to crack down on repeat methamphetamine offenders and to strengthen the Illinois DNA database are among the measures initiated by Attorney General Lisa Madigan in the 2011 legislative session that went into effect yesterday.

Madigan says efforts in Springfield this year will help ensure law enforcement authorities in Illinois have better tools to keep communities safe from serious violent offenses against women and children and the dangers of meth production to white collar crimes that defraud taxpayers.

The bill requires repeat meth offenders must have a prescription to purchase or possess products containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth ingredient. The law targets the rise of “small-batch” cooks who obtain small, legal amounts of ingredients to make meth for their own use or a quick sale.

Another bill will significantly strengthen the state’s DNA database by requiring all sex offenders registered in Illinois to provide DNA specimen, regardless of their conviction date or the state in which they were convicted. It also requires DNA collection from offenders arrested for the most serious violent crimes after they are indicted or after a court finding of probable cause. The law will strengthen authorities’ ability to identify and convict offenders of egregious crimes and increase their ability to avoid wrongful convictions.

Madigan has also enacted a bill that amends the Prevailing Wage Act to make violations a felony and to prohibit those with criminal convictions from working on taxpayer-funded public projects for a period of four years. The new changes should increase enforcement and, as a result, bring about greater compliance and help to prevent fraud on public bodies.

A final bill broadens the definition of the crime of forgery to include various ways a document can be altered to ensure individuals who create such documents cannot escape criminal liability.

Crop Price Outlook for 2012

2011 was a year for record crop prices, however one expert believes a correction could be in store for 2012.  Jared White has more...

[audio:1227112012CropPriceOutlookWRAP.mp3]Word from White[/audio]

Clinton Police Department's New Member Ready for Service

Residents of Clinton may notice a new member to the Clinton Police Department roaming the streets now.

Last year the department purchased a dog to be the drug dog for the department, and Lasko, a Belgium Malinois (Mel-in-wuah), has been in training the past several months to be ready to go this week. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy explains the dogs training has been based on his toy drive.

[audio:policedog1.mp3]Word from Reidy[/audio]

Chief Reidy adds Lasko has been trained in tracking. He explains this skill will benefit the Police Department at crime scenes when something has been left behind they can use to track the culprite. He explains the dog was trained by a reward when he gave a positive response to finding what he was searching for.

[audio:policedog2.mp3]Word from Reidy[/audio]

The Police Department has had some issues with the previous dogs they have received. Chief Reidy believes Lasko has the potential to be a good police dog for the department.

[audio:policedog3.mp3]Word from Reidy[/audio]

Lasko's handler will be Officer James McClure. Chief Reidy notes the K-9 car Officer McClure will have has several special features, including if the dog is in the car and the temperature inside the car gets about 85 degrees, the windows will automatically roll down for it.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#15 Indiana Hoosiers 74, #2 Ohio State Buckeyes 70
#3 Kentucky Wildcats 69, #4 Louisville Cardinals 62
#9 Connecticut Huskies 83, St. John's Red Storm 69
#10 Florida Gators 90, Yale Bulldogs 70
Iowa Hawkeyes 72, #11 Wisconsin Badgers 65
#12 Georgetown Hoyas 49, Providence Friars 40
#14 Mississippi State Bulldogs 66, Utah State Aggies 64
#17 Michigan State Spartans 68, Nebraska Cornhuskers 55
#18 Kansas Jayhawks 84, North Dakota Fighting Sioux 58
#19 Creighton Bluejays 68, Wichita State Shockers 61
#20 UNLV Rebels 74, Hawaii Warriors 69
#23 Harvard Crimson 74, Saint Joseph's Hawks 69
#25 Kansas State Wildcats 82, Howard Bison 46

Southern Illinois led 40-32 at intermission and opened the second half with a 19-5 run to take permanent control. Setty had seven points during the surge


NCAA Football

NCAA Football  (BCS Standings)
Texas A&M Aggies 33, Northwestern Wildcats 22
(Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Houston, TX)

Utah Utes 30, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 27 (OT)
(Hyundai Sun Bowl at El Paso, TX)

Cincinnati Bearcats 31, Vanderbilt Commodores 24
(AutoZone Liberty Bowl at Memphis, TN)

Illinois Fighting Illini 20, UCLA Bruins 14
(Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at San Francisco, CA)

Auburn Tigers 43, Virginia Cavaliers 24
(Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, GA)

Southern Illinois defeats Illinois State 86-71

Treg Setty had 20 points and seven rebounds, and T.J. Lindsay added 18 points on six 3-pointers to lead Southern Illinois to an 86-71 victory against Illinois State on Sunday.

Josh Swan had 15 points and seven rebounds for the Salukis (4-9, 1-1 Missouri Valley), who never trailed en route to their fourth win in the last five meetings between the schools.

Tyler Brown scored 15 points and Jon Ekey added 13 points and 13 rebounds for the Redbirds (9-4, 1-1). Illinois State has scored 60 or more points in 10 games this year; this was its first loss.

Setty's point total was a season high. The freshman forward started for the first time in six games.

NBA Scoreboard

Boston Celtics 94, Washington Wizards 86
Cleveland Cavaliers 98, New Jersey Nets 82
Orlando Magic 102, Toronto Raptors 96
Miami Heat 129, Charlotte Bobcats 90
Minnesota Timberwolves 99, Dallas Mavericks 82
Denver Nuggets 99, Los Angeles Lakers 90
Sacramento Kings 96, New Orleans Hornets 80
Los Angeles Clippers 93, Portland Trail Blazers 88

Bulls Trounce The Grizz

 Carlos Boozer had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Ronnie Brewer added 17 points to lead Chicago to a dominating 104-64 victory over Memphis.  Derrick Rose added 16 points and six assists, while Luol Deng contributed 11 points for the Bulls, who improved to 4-1 on the season with their third straight win.  Josh Davis and Sam Young both scored 10 points off the bench to lead the Grizzlies.  Chicago guard Richard Hamilton did not play due to a groin injury.  The Bulls close out the short two-game homestand tomorrow against the Atlanta Hawks.

NFL Scoreboard

New Orleans Saints 45, Carolina Panthers 17
Miami Dolphins 19, New York Jets 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 19, Indianapolis Colts 13
New England Patriots 49, Buffalo Bills 21
Philadelphia Eagles 34, Washington Redskins 10
Tennessee Titans 23, Houston Texans 22
Kansas City Chiefs 7, Denver Broncos 3
San Diego Chargers 38, Oakland Raiders 26
Arizona Cardinals 23, Seattle Seahawks 20 (OT)
Pittsburgh Steelers 13, Cleveland Browns 9
Atlanta Falcons 45, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 24
Baltimore Ravens 24, Cincinnati Bengals 16
New York Giants 31, Dallas Cowboys 14

Packers Pull Out Pass-Happy Win Over Lions

Jermichael Finley's four-yard touchdown catch with 1:10 to play lifted the Packers to a wild, 45-41, win over the Lions.  Backup Matt Flynn passed for 480 yards and six touchdowns as Green Bay finished the regular season 8-and-0 at home and 15-and-1 overall.  The defending Super Bowl champs will have a first-round bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs.  Jordy Nelson had nine catches for 162 yards and three scores in the win.  Matthew Stafford threw for 520 yards and five touchdowns for Detroit, which finished 10-and-6.  The Lions will be the sixth seed in the NFC playoffs and open at New Orleans.

Report: Rams To Fire Steve Spagnuolo

Steve Spagnuolo [[ spag-NO-loh ]] appears to be on his way out in St. Louis.  According to ESPN, the Rams are set to fire both their head coach and general manager Billy Devaney following Sunday's 34-27 loss to the 49ers.  The Rams finished the season 2-and-14, a year after just missing the playoffs at 7-and-9.  Spagnuolo is 10-and-38 in three seasons as Rams head coach.

Rams Fall To 49ers

The Rams closed out a dismal 2011 campaign with a 34-27 home loss to the 49ers.  Michael Crabtree had two touchdown catches for San Francisco, which built a 34-13 lead in the fourth quarter and hung on.  Rams quarterback Kellen Clemens passed for 226 yards and a touchdown, and also ran for a score.  St. Louis lost its seventh straight game to finish the year an NFC-worst 2-and-14.

Bears Best Vikings

Josh McCown tossed for 160 yards, a touchdown, and an interception to help give the Bears a 17-13 season-ending victory over the Vikings.  Roy Williams caught four balls for 60 yards and a TD for Chicago, which ends the year at 8-and-8.  Chicago's  Charles Tillman returned an interception 22 yards for a score.  Joe Webb and Christian Ponder combined for 228 yards and three interceptions in defeat.  Percy Harvin scored on the ground for Minnesota, which concludes the season at 3-and-13.  Harvin added 115 yards through the air on 10 catches.


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