Local News

University of Illinois President Likely To Address Faculty

A University of Illinois spokesman says President Michael Hogan likely will accept an invitation from faculty leaders to speak following a letter in which many call for his resignation.

Spokesman Tom Hardy said Tuesday that he expects Hogan will accept the invitation depending on scheduling options.

Faculty Senate Vice Chairwoman Joyce Tolliver said staff members were trying to work out dates.

The letter called on Hogan to resign over recent conflicts with faculty over enrollment management and other issues. They criticized his leadership.

University trustees Chairman Christopher Kennedy wrote faculty Monday, saying he supports Hogan.

Hogan was hired in 2010 after predecessor B. Joseph White resigned during an admissions scandal.

Local Superintendent Hoping Schools Funding To Be Restored

One local Superintendent was hoping for a few more answers from Governor Quinn last week about the funding for his school next year.

Governor Pat Quinn's Budget address last week left school districts all over downstate Illinois wondering about next year's budgets. Governor Quinn spoke in pretty general terms when it came to school budgets for the upcoming fiscal year, and Dr. Vic Zimmerman, Superintendent of Monticello Schools was hoping the Governor would be a little more specific.

[audio:schoolsbudgets3.mp3] [/audio]

Transportation has been a big target to Governor and his administration, and Superintendents around the state were expecting him to in some way address transportation funding, however, Governor Quinn said very little about it. Dr. Zimmerman says that leaves school districts in a tough spot to try to soon put together their budgets for next year.

[audio:schoolsbudgets4.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman says the state cutting transportation funding any farther is going to leave districts with no revenues and expenses they can't cover. He feels raising taxes is not a good way to get funding either because wealthier districts will continue to get richer and districts with less in property values will continue to struggle.

[audio:schoolbudgets5.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman says school districts with poverty could face shutting down and he says that would reignite discussions the Governor has had recently involving consolidating school districts.

Dr. Zimmerman would just like lawmakers to tell the districts what they will be receiving so they can adjust and plan accordingly.

Meet The Candidates - Night Two

Tuesday night DeWitt County residents had the opportunity to meet and ask questions to the candidates running in Districts C and D.

Of the seven District C candidates, Terry Hoffman and David Newberg, both challengers and Republicans on the ballot were on hand to speak.

 width=Hoffman said he is running to bring some common sense to the County Board and to bring a voice of the people as well.

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 width=David Newberg also spoke and said his goal as a County Board member would be to continue to keep the County financial stable.

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Candidates from District C not on hand Tuesday evening were Democrats Michael Bray, Russell Davenport, and Scott Nimmo. Also Republicans Leon Owens and Ron Savage Jr.


 width=Melonie Tilley, current DeWitt County Board Chair, and a Republican seeking re-election was the first to speak from District D. Tilley says in the past year and a half she has learned a lot as Board Chair.

[audio:candidates6.mp3] [/audio]



Jay Wickenhauser was the final candidate to speak. Wickenhauser is on the Republican ballot and is running as an incumbent in District D. He has graduated from high school in DeWitt County and has lived and been an active member of the community for many years.

[audio:candidates7.mp3] [/audio]

Candidates from District D not on hand include Republican Pete Daugherty and Democrat Rita Sue May.

The event was co-hosted by the DeWitt County Farm Bureau and the Warner Public Library. Both the Farm Bureau and the Warner Library do not endorse any candidates or political party.

Bears/Rams Notes

The Chicago Bears will be increasing ticket prices on most seats for the 2012 season.  The club made the announcement on Tuesday.  Non-club ticket prices, which account for 85-percent of the seating at Soldier Field, will increase between two and $10.  The non-club tickets now range between $76 to $150.  Club seat prices remain the same for 2012 and range from $265 and $530.

The Bears raised prices on all tickets last season for the first time in three years.  Chicago's 2012 home schedule includes games against the Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams, Seattle Seahawks in addition to three games against the other NFC North teams.

>>Redskins Reportedly Offering Two Number-Ones

(St. Louis, MO)  --  With the Rams willing to trade the number-two pick in the NFL Draft, there are plenty of suitors.  Washington is reportedly offering two first-round picks for the right to move up and draft Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin the Third.  Cleveland and Miami are also reportedly interested.

Bulls Hold Off Hornets

>>Bulls Hold Off Hornets

(Chicago, IL)  --  Derrick Rose had 32 points and nine assists as the Bulls held off the Hornets, 99-95.  Joakim [[ jo-KEEM ]] Noah finished with 15 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago, which has won three straight to move to 28-and-8.  Luol Deng chipped in with 14 points and 11 boards in the victory.  Chicago departs on a three-game road trip starting this evening at San Antonio.

Boston Celtics 86, Cleveland Cavaliers 83
Indiana Pacers 102, Golden State Warriors 78
Philadelphia 76ers 97, Detroit Pistons 68
Milwaukee Bucks 119, Washington Wizards 118
Chicago Bulls 99, New Orleans Hornets 95
Houston Rockets 88, Toronto Raptors 85
New Jersey Nets 93, Dallas Mavericks 92
Sacramento Kings 103, Utah Jazz 96
Minnesota Timberwolves 109, Los Angeles Clippers 97

Weber Says This is The Leonard He'd Hoped For In Illini Win

Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber says Meyers Leonard's 22-point, 14-rebound performance in Sunday' win over Iowa was the way he envisioned the 7-1 center playing all year.

Leonard's double-double was a big part of the reason the Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) snapped a 6-game losing streak with the 65-54 win over Iowa. The sophomore has been up and down in a season of struggle for Illinois

Leonard came off the bench after losing his starting spot in competitive drills in practice. Weber says those drills will continue this week.

Illinois is trying against long odds to play its way back onto the NCAA Tournament bubble.

Weber says the Illinois need to beat Michigan but acknowledged that won't be easy. Michigan (21-8, 11-5) has won 4 of its last five.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#3 Duke Blue Devils 79, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 71
#20 Indiana Hoosiers 70, #5 Michigan State Spartans 55
Vanderbilt Commodores 77, #13 Florida Gators 67
#15 Wisconsin Badgers 52, Minnesota Golden Gophers 45

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-29


February 29, 2012


Jail Population: 55

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 1


John Brodhead, 46, Maroa, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Brodhead was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Kevin Hutchison, 33, Beason, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence. Hutchison was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Morgan Wheeler, 25, Rockville, IN., was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Wheeler was issued a notice to Appear and was released.


Butch Patterson, 25, Emden, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Patterson was issued a notice to appear and was released.




Crime Stoppers Seeking Information On Stolen Vehicle

The Clinton Police Department is seeking you information regarding a Motor Vehicle Theft.

On Saturday February 25, 2012 at approximately 9:39 A.M. it was reported to the Clinton Police Department that an unknown person(s) had taken a red 2007 4 door Chevrolet Cobalt LT from Baum Chevrolet car lot in Clinton IL. The vehicle was last seen parked in the front row of Baum Chevrolet parking lot on February 22, 2012. It was discovered missing on February 23, 2012 when an employee went to put dealer plates on the vehicle.

If you have any information regarding this crime or any other crimes please call Clinton Crime Stoppers at (217)-935-3333. Callers remain anonymous and will receive a cash reward up to $1,000 for any information leading to an arrest.

Crime Stoppers wants you information not your name!

Next Generation 911 Joins Technology and Emergency Response

What if you could text your local dispatcher details of an emergency taking place? What if instead of verbally describing the scene of the emergency, you could take a picture and immediately forward it to dispatch? These may soon be ways you can give details or even report emergencies happening.

Our current 9-1-1 system is designed around telephone technology and cannot handle the text, data, images and video that are both increasingly common in personal communications and critical to future transportation safety and mobility advances. Next Generation 9-1-1  has established the foundation for public emergency communications services in a wireless mobile society. 911 Manager for DeWitt County Tony Harris explains this is going to be revolutionary for Emergency Response.

[audio:nextgeneration1.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County 911 is in the very infant stages of making this a reality. While the project is going to be very expensive, Harris says they do not want to be caught off-guard, so they are preparing now with purchases to begin the process.

[audio:nextgeneration2.mp3] [/audio]

Now what if when responders arrived on the scene of a medical emergency they already knew your medical history, your allergies, or medications you are currently taking? This too could be a reality as a part of Next Generation 911. Harris stresses standards have not been established and privacy issues would have to be worked out as a part of this as well.

[audio:nextgeneration3.mp3] [/audio]

Harris believes full realization of this project is at least ten years off. The IP Controller, the first phase of this project, Harris explains turns the analog signal into a digital signal and he says dispatchers and residents will see no changes in relation to current emergency service.

4-H Scholarship Applications Due Soon

DeWitt County students involved in 4-H are running out of time to take advantage of college scholarship opportunities.

There are deadlines looming for 4-H Foundation scholarships available for 2012. This Thursday marks the deadline for a couple of $1-thousand scholarships available to students. Sherry Fulton, Youth Development Educator for the University of Illinois Extension offices explains those scholarships do have some guidelines that must be met to apply for them.

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There is another scholarship that has an application deadline of this Friday. Fulton explains their Farm Credit Agricultural Scholarship also has some guidelines to it, including academic.

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The DeWitt County 4-H Foundation scholarships are due Tuesday March 6. Fulton explains there is an interview process associated with the DeWitt County 4-H Foundation Scholarship, which will take place Saturday March 10.

[audio:4hscholarships3.mp3] [/audio]

Fulton says there are a lot more scholarship opportunities than these 4-H scholarships available to students. She encourages seniors applying for colleges to talk to their school's guidance counselor to find out all the opportunities they have.

For more information about these scholarships you can contact the DeWitt County University of Illinois Extension office at 935-5764 or visit www.extension.illinois.edu.

More Americans Seeking Dental Treatment At ER

New research shows that more Americans are turning to the emergency room for routine dental problems.

A study released Tuesday by the Pew Center on the States found that going to the ER often costs 10 times more than preventive care and offers far fewer treatment options than a dentist's office.

Shortages of dentists, including those who treat Medicaid patients, are part of the problem.

The number of ER visits nationwide for dental problems increased 16% from 2006 to 2009. The report suggests that trend is continuing.

In Florida, for example, there were more than 115,000 ER dental visits in 2010. That resulted in more than $88 million in charges.

Smoke Shops At Risk Of Closure

Smokers could soon be forced to pay an additional state tax for rolling their own cigarettes, but Mary Nelson with Main Street Tobacco Shop in Peoria says that would be the end of her small business. 

[audio:rddCigBiz.mp3] [/audio]

A proposal is on the table in Springfield that supporters say would bring in an additional eight million dollars in tax revenue but several state senators question the validity of that number.  They say implementing the tax could have a reverse effect because it may put some employers out of business.  Nelson echoes the sentiments of caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelm, who says Illinois is unfriendly for big business.  She says this bill would prove the state is also unfriendly to its small businesses.  The proposal has been put on hold while the sponsor works out a few kinks.

Sangamon Voter Turnout Average; McLean Slow

About 180 people have cast an early ballot for Illinois' primary election in Sangamon County.  About 31 of those came in today.  Sangamon County Director of Elections Stacey Kern says things will likely get busier from this point forward. 

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McLean County Clerk Kathy Michael says they had a slow turnout for the first day of voting.

[audio:rddVote1.mp3] [/audio]

Michael says getting 20 votes is actually higher than they expected.  She says it's normal to have a low turnout during the early voting season, but voters will show up in much larger numbers during the November general election.  The McLean County numbers do not include the city of Bloomington.  Voters who will not be in town for the primary on March 20th, or who just want to skip the lines that day, can cast an early ballot between now and March 15th.

Manufacturers Market Drugs To Youth

Parents take note.  Karen Dobner with To The Maximus Foundation says synthetic drug manufacturers are targeting your kids and it's leading to very deadly results.  She lost her son last year after he smoked synthetic marijuana and she wants to make sure you never experience her pain. 

[audio:rddFakeDrugs4.mp3] [/audio]

The packages are sold by the gram and usually have names like potpourri, incense, and bath salts.  The drugs also come in bubble gum and fruit flavors.  Dobner is leading a push to get the drugs banned on a federal level.  She says she has widespread support in the US Congress but Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is blocking the legislation.  She urges people to call their U.S. Congressmen and Senators and ask for their support on HR 1254.

Can Ambulance Situation Have Impact On DeWitt County Economic Development?

Would you believe the Ambulance issue is important to the economic development of DeWitt County?

When potential developers are looking for a place to settle, they look for several things. Ruth Stauffer of the DeWitt County Development Council says developers look for quality of services. Services such as schools, police, fire departments and hospitals. She says because of this the DCDC is watching the ambulance issue very closely.

[audio:dcdcambulance1.mp3] [/audio]

The DCDC works with area realtor's to provide information online about the properties they have available for development according to Stauffer. The website also contains information about the various assets within the county as well.

[audio:dcdcambulance2.mp3] [/audio]

Another asset within the county Stauffer says potential developers look at is school districts, parks and tourist attractions. Stauffer says developers are very aware of the issues facing families as well.

[audio:dcdcambulance3.mp3] [/audio]

Stauffer says while currently smaller communities are losing populations to bigger cities because of the job opportunities in the bigger cities. She says eventually that trend will turn back around and people who once left their small town homes will return.

Kenseth Takes Checkers At Daytona 500

Matt Kenseth took the checkered flag at the 2012 Daytona 500.  The 39-year-old drove the number-17 car to victory lane in a green-white-checkered finish for his second career win at The Great American Race.  Kenseth was also the champion in 2009.  He is the first repeat champion since Jeff Gordon backed up victories in 1997 and 1999 with a 2005 win.  Dale Earnhardt Junior took second place while Kenseth's Roush-Fenway teammate Greg Biffle finished third.  Denny Hamlin and Jeff Burton rounded out the top-five.

Rams Reportedly To Trade Number-Two Pick

Expect the Rams to trade down before the NFL Draft in April.  ESPN cites sources as saying the Rams will indeed move out of the number-two spot.  A handful of teams have contacted the Rams about a trade after Baylor QB Robert Griffin the Third impressed at the NFL Combine.

Cards Notes

>>Cards, Molina Reportedly Close To New Deal

(Jupiter, FL)  --  It looks like Yadier Molina won't have to worry about his contract status this season.  The "Post-Dispatch" reports the Cardinals and Molina are close to a multi-year agreement with their starting catcher, worth more than $10-million per season.  He's in the final year of a five-year pact.

>>"Carp" Likely To Be Opening Day Starter

(Jupiter, FL)  --  Barring anything unforeseen, Chris Carpenter is expected to be on the mound when the Cardinals open the 2012 regular season.  It would be the seventh Opening Day start for "Carp."  Manager Mike Matheny hasn't formally committed to Carpenter, but say's he's leaning in that direction.

Bulls Hit The Hardwood

The Chicago Bulls kick off the second half of their season this evening when they wrap up a six-game homestand against the New Orleans Hornets at the United Center.  The Bulls won back-to-back games to head into the All-Star Break at 27-and-8 on the season.  Chicago departs on a three-game road trip starting tomorrow evening at San Antonio.

White Sox Beckham ready to 'let loose' in 2012

After a disappointing 2011 season with the Chicago White Sox, Gordon Beckham cleared his head this offseason.

He hit .230 and struck out a career-high 111 times in 150 games last year. The problem wasn't his swing, Beckham said, but his approach.

Even his dad noticed he wasn't himself.

Beckham's batting average has dropped each season since he hit .270 in 2009 as a rookie with the White Sox, who made him the eighth overall pick of the 2008 draft out of Georgia. His RBI totals have also decreased from 63 in 2009 to 44 last season, and his home runs dipped from 14 in 2009 to 10 last season.

His dad, Gordon Beckham Jr., encouraged him to let loose.

Illini Off Till Thursday

The Illinois Fighting Illini are off until Thursday evening when they host 16th-ranked Michigan at Assembly Hall.  The Illini snapped a six-game slide with a 65-54 victory versus Iowa on Sunday to improve to 6-and-10 in the Big Ten.  They are 17-and-12 overall.  Illinois lost to Michigan earlier this season in Ann Arbor.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Kansas Jayhawks 70, Oklahoma State Cowboys 58
#8 Georgetown Hoyas 59, #18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 41
#14 Baylor Bears 77, Texas Tech Red Raiders 48

Class 1A/2A Sectionals Matchups

Class 1A/2A Sectionals kick off tonight, here are some are match-ups on tap...

Class 1A

At Colfax (Ridgeview)

Sangamon Valley    7:30pm
Illini Central

At Danville (Schlarman)

Arcola     7:30pm
Arthur (H.S.)

At Petersburg (PORTA)

Williamsville    7:30pm
Pleasant Plains  

At St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden)

Tolono (Unity)    7:30pm

Class 3A Regional Results/Tuesday Schedule

Boys Class 3A/4A Regionals kicked off last night, here are some finals and games on tap for tonight from around the area:

Class 3A

At Decatur (MacArthur)

Mt. Zion 63 
Bloomington (H.S.) 80

At Rantoul

Champaign (Centennial) 55 
Urbana (H.S.) 54

At Springfield (H.S.)

Rochester 40
Springfield (H.S.) 68

At Canton

Peoria (Manual)    6:00pm

At Decatur (MacArthur)

Lincoln     7:30pm
Bloomington (H.S.)  

At Rantoul

Rantoul     7:30pm
Champaign (Centennial)

At Springfield (H.S.)

Springfield (Lanphier)   7:30pm
Springfield (H.S.)

Report Shows Politicians Influenced U of I Admissions

A newspaper has identified more politicians who used their influence to get students into the University of Illinois.

Several lawmakers backed applicants whose relatives donated to campaigns or represented groups that regularly contributed, among other things

The first report of the so-called clout list was in 2009. It was comprised of politically-connected students favored by lawmakers and trustees. The university has since implemented reforms and hired a new president.

About one-quarter of the 800 students who received preferential treatment from 2005 to 2009.

The list of politicians includes House Republican leader Tom Cross and Senate President John Cullerton.

Both deny wrongdoing, saying they simply made calls to check on the status of good students.

Illinois Voting In Illinois Begins

Illinois voters can officially head to the polls.

Monday marks the start of early voting for Illinois' primary election, and it's available until March 15.

Voters do not need a reason to vote early in the Democratic and Republican primaries. The primary election in Illinois is March 20.

The voting includes nominating contests for the Illinois House and Senate, county offices, congressional races and several referendum questions.

Voting officials expect the close Republican presidential primary and new candidates vying for redrawn federal, state and county seats to drive early voter participation.

Registered voters must show a current driver's license or a valid photo ID to participate.

Early voters cannot change their votes after final submission.

Early voting locations are available statewide. In Chicago 51 locations will offer early voting.

Durbin fights For Postal Services

U.S Senator Dick Durbin praises the postal processing plant in Quincy and says he's doing eveything he can to save it and others across the state.  

[audio:rddDurbin1.mp3] [/audio]

Postal plants in Quincy, Carbondale,Centralia, Effingham, Springfield, and Bloomington are slated for closure.  Durbin says he and 11 other senators are ready to move forward with a bill that would trim down the number of post offices on the closure list.

Faculty Calls For Hogan's Resignation

Faculty at the University of Illinois are calling on President Michael Hogan to resign.  They penned a letter to the Board of Trustees expressing their lack of trust and confidence in Hogan's ability to lead the university.  One of the many complaints outlined in the letter is that Hogan bullied members of the Senate committee about his enrollment proposals.  They also say he's treated University Chancellor Phyllis Wise with extraordinary disrespect, chastising her when she didn't do exactly what she was told.  He had asked her to quell faculty opposition to the enrollment plan.  The faculty members also accuse Hogan of being preoccupied with his own power and the way they see it, they have quote, "no need for kings or petty tyrants" on campus.

Local County Corn & Beans Yields Revealed

The Illinois Field Office of the National Ag Statistics Service has released the USDA's 2011 County Estimates for Corn and Soybeans, and several central Illinois counties were at the top of the list.

Farmers in Woodford county led the way in corn yields with an average of 186.5 bushels per acre, the highest in the state. This was more than 29 bushels above the state average of 157. For soybeans, Carroll county farmers had the highest yields at 63.1 bushels per acre, more than 16 bushels above the state average of 47.0.

La Salle county had the largest production for corn and McLean county had the largest production for soybeans. McLean county also had the largest number of acres harvested for both corn and soybeans.

As for local county results in corn:

DeWitt County farmers averaged 177.6 bushels per acre.  Logan County averaged 173.4 bushels per acre.  McLean County producers averaged 159.6 bushels per acre.  Piatt County farms averaged 157.1 bushels per acre, and Macon County averaged 153.2 bushels per acre.

Local soybean yield results include:

DeWitt and McLean County producers both averaged 55.4 bushels per acre.  Logan County averaged 54.6 bushels per acre.  Piatt County averaged 47.9 bushels per acre, and Macon County averaged 46.2 bushels per acre.

County estimates are a vital part of agriculture and are used to evaluate and administer farm commodity, credit, conservation, disaster, insurance and loan programs.  The numbers are derived from producer responses to the County Agricultural Production Survey.

Illinois Soil Temperatures Higher Than Last Year

Soil temperatures across Illinois are several degrees higher than last year at this time thanks to the mild weather.

Jennie Atkins with the Illinois State Water Survey says the temps are higher based on numbers collected at weather stations across the state.

Soil temperatures are measured at depths of 4 inches under bare earth and at 4 and 8 inches under sod.

From November to January, the median soil temperature at depths of 4 inches was 38 degrees, which is 4.7 degrees warmer than the same time last year.

There were similar increases for soil measured under sod.

The highest temperatures were recorded in southern Illinois, where temperatures at 4 inches were 6.9 degrees warmer than last year.

The median temperatures for northern and central Illinois were also higher.

Miller Park Zoo Seeking Community Input At Meetings Tuesday

Those who frequent the Miller Park Zoo from around the area have an opportunity to give their input on the zoo's future this week.

Superintendent of the Miller Park Zoo, Jay Tetzloff, says he wants to see the zoo be a community asset for the next 15-20 years. Along with providing input for the future of the zoo, those who attend the meetings will have the opportunity to see sketches of what the zoo has in store as a part of their Master Plan they are currently in the middle of.

[audio:zoomeeting1.mp3] [/audio]

One of the biggest needs the zoo currently has is the need for a concession stand. Tetzloff says that is a big key for the near future of the zoo. He would also like to know what your thoughts are on their animal selection. He says a big part of their Master Plan is to increase their revenues and rely less on tax dollars.

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Tetzloff estimates the completion of their Master Plan is nearly half complete. Tetzloff says the community meetings this week are a big part of the completion of their Master Plan.  Another key aspect to the future of the zoo will be to raise private support. He recognizes the cost for what will be the final product cannot all come from tax dollars.

[audio:zoomeeting3.mp3] [/audio]

The meetings are Tuesday February 28th at 6 and 7 pm at the Miller Park Pavilion, just outside Miller Park. Tetzloff is very excited to hear what the community has to say and invites you to come and give your input on the future of the Miller Park Zoo.

Governor's Budget Address Leaves School Districts With Unanswered Questions

Governor Pat Quinn's Budget Address last week left school districts around the area with questions.

While the Governor did spend a lot of time address education, it was mostly directed at higher education, and sending financially challenged students to college, and also early childhood education. Superintendent of the Heyworth School District Randy Merker says, those are great areas of need for the state and he commends the governor for seeking to address those needs.

[audio:schoolsbudgets1.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor's Budget Address addressed MAP Grants and early childhood education, it lacked on anything in between. Merker points to the governor's lack of addressing areas such as General State Aid, transportation funding, and the possibility of consolidating school districts. He says while Quinn did speak highly of education, his address lacked specifics.

[audio:schoolsbudgets2.mp3] [/audio]

Merker says Heyworth schools are required to transport their students by school code. Maybe not address transportation funding by the governor could be a good thing, but Merker says he can't help but think that funding may still be eliminated. Merker adds for smaller districts such as Heyworth's, 'consolidation' can sometimes be a buzzword and raises a lot of questions.

Meet Candidates Kick Off Tonight

If you're wanting to find out more about the candidates running for DeWitt County offices in the upcoming March primary, then be sure to attend a series of events Monday and Tuesday at Clinton's Warner Library.

The Warner Public Library and DeWitt County Farm Bureau are co-sponsoring a series of "Meet The Candidates" events this week.  Ken Bjelland (BEE-yell-and), Manager of the local Farm Bureau, explains the candidates for DeWitt County Circuit Clerk and Board Districts A & B will appear Monday night, while candidates for Board Districts C & D are slated for Tuesday night.

[audio:meetcandmonday.mp3] [/audio]

Both events begin at 6:30pm on the respective nights, and will take place in the Revere Room at the Warner Public Library.  Again, all of the candidates for local races in the March primary have been invited to attend.  Neither the DeWitt County Farm Bureau nor the Warner Library is endorsing any candidate or political party.

Informational Meetings For Clinton Schools Bond Proposal This Week

Voters in the Clinton School District have the opportunity this week to learn more about the March 20 referendum.

Informational meetings will take place tonight and Thursday sponsored by "Yes for Clinton Schools' Bond Proposal", a committee composed of Clinton School District community members, headed by Renny Cluver. Cluver says whether the referendum passes or doesn't pass, the tax rate in the school district will not change. He says it boils down to providing students with a facility suitable for a 21st Century education, or renovating facilities he calls 'obsolete'.

[audio:referendummeetings1.mp3] [/audio]

Being a former educator, Cluver says he has seen the benefits a new building can serve to a district. He says this will not only benefit the students to a better education, but it will give the teachers of the district the tools to be better educators. Cluver again stresses, the only cost to the district's voters is a 'Yes' vote on March 20th.

[audio:referendummeetings2.mp3] [/audio]

The first information meeting is tonight at 7pm at the Kenney Community Center. The second meeting is Thursday at the Clinton United Methodist Church at 7 pm as well. Both meetings are sponsored by "Yes For Clinton Schools' Bond Proposal".

Daytona 500 Postponed Due To Rain

The Daytona 500 was postponed due to rain.  The race will now run at noon Eastern today, weather permitting.  The Daytona 500 had never been postponed in its 53-year history.  Carl Edwards will lead the field of 43 cars to the green flag when the race starts.

Bears Notes

>>Bears Release Anthony Adams

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears told defensive tackle Anthony Adams that he will be released despite having one-year left on his contract.  Adams has been with the Bears since 2007 and was going to earn $1.9 million in 2012.  Cutting Adams opens up $1.15 million in cap space. 

>>Report: Bears and Forte Working On New Deal

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The "NFL Network" reported Bears free agent running back Matt Forte and the organization renewed contract talks this weekend at the NFL Scounting Combine.  Forte made the Pro Bowl for this first time in 2011.  "ESPN Chicago" reported previous talks failed with the Bears offering between $13 and $14 million guaranteed.

West Holds Off East In All-Star Game

Kevin Durant had 36 points and seven rebounds as the West held on for a 152-149 win over the East in the 61st NBA All-Star Game in Orlando.  Durant was named the game's Most Valuable Player.  Kobe Bryant scored 27 en route to passing Michael Jordan for the most career points in All-Star Game history.  Blake Griffin finished with 22 points and eight rebounds in the victory.  The West All-Stars never trailed and led by as many as 21 in their second straight win.  LeBron James hit six three-pointers as part of a 36-point night for the East.  James also had six boards and seven assists.  Heat teammate Dwyane Wade logged a triple-double with 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the loss.

ISU Edges Bradley

Jackie Carmichael had 16 points and 14 rebounds Saturday and Illinois State beat Bradley 54-53 on Saturday.

Jon Ekey scored 10 points for the Redbirds (18-12, 9-9 Missouri Valley).

Walt Lemon Jr. led the Braves (7-24, 2-16) with 21 points, but missed a free throw in the final seconds that would have tied the game. Dyricus Simms-Edwards added 14 points for Bradley.

Both teams played their final games before the MVC tournament in St. Louis. Illinois State, the No. 4 seed, will play Northern Iowa on Friday in the quarterfinals. Bradley, the No. 10 seed, faces Drake in a first-round game on Thursday.

Illinois State has won six in a row against Bradley, tying its longest streak that last happened in 1982-85.

Illinois Ends Losing Streak

Meyers Leonard had 22 points and 14 rebounds off the bench as Illinois defeated Iowa 65-54 on Sunday night to end a 6-game losing streak.

The Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) hadn't won in February and had lost 9 of 10 since defeating Ohio State in early January.

Brandon Paul added 17 points and D.J. Richardson scored 12 for Illinois.

Leonard had 15 points by halftime.

Matt Gatens powered the Hawkeyes (15-14, 7-9) with 22 points and 5 of 6 shooting from 3-point range. But Gatens was held in check by Paul in the second half, scoring just five points.

Illinois led 34-23 at the break and weathered a Hawkeye run that closed the gap to 38-34 early in the second half.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#15 Wisconsin Badgers 63, #9 Ohio State Buckeyes 60
Miami (FL) Hurricanes 78, #16 Florida State Seminoles 62
#17 Louisville Cardinals 57, Pittsburgh Panthers 54
#24 Indiana Hoosiers 69, Minnesota Golden Gophers 50

Class 3A/4A Regionals Matchups

Class 3A/4A regionals kick off this evening around the area, and here are the local matchups on tap.

Class 3A:

At Decatur (MacArthur)

Mt. Zion     7:30pm
Bloomington (H.S.)  

At Effingham (H.S.)

Mattoon     7:30pm

At Rantoul

Champaign (Centennial)   7:30pm
Urbana (H.S.)  

At Springfield (H.S.)

Rochester    7:30pm
Springfield (H.S.)  

Clinton Police Weekend Report












DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report


February 25, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 0


February 26, 2012


Jail Population: 59

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 3


February 27, 2012


Jail Population: 61

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Jason Polen, 38, Lane, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Polen posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Kevin Lane, 26, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Lane posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Alan Langenfeld, 40, Champaign, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Langenfeld posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Lisa Massa, 49, Champaign, was issued a citation for Speeding (82 mph in a 55 mph zone). Massa posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Montie Denny, 40, Lincoln, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Denny posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Jansen Whitted, 30, Atlanta, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Whitted posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Kathleen Taylor, 59, Waynesville, was issued a citation for Speeding (77 mph in a 55 mph zone). Taylor posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Brooke Wright, 24, Lane, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Wright posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Colton Shafer, 19, Wapella, was issued a citation for No Registration Plate Light. Shafer posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Justin Tharp, 16, Belleflower, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Tharp posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.




Lincoln Draws Over 100 Basketball Teams For Annual Tournament

The City of Lincoln was host to one of their bigger events of the year this past weekend.

Lincoln Jr. High School is host to a large basketball tournament featuring over 100 teams from all over the country. Executive Director at the Abe Lincoln Tourism Bureau Geoff Ladd says this is a huge event for Logan County because it fills their hotels, people shop the local stores and eat at heir restaurants.

[audio:lincolntournament1.mp3] [/audio]

The economic importance of this tournament to Lincoln and Logan County is huge to the area. Ladd calls sports tourism "recession-proof". He says sports is a different way to look at economic development with other industries fading.

[audio:lincolntournament2.mp3] [/audio]

Another key player in the annual tournament in the Lincoln/Logan County Sports Commission which seeks to bring sporting events and tournaments to the Lincoln area as a part of economic development. The Commission has already secured a number of softball tournaments for the summer time for Logan County.

Meet Candidates - Night One

Monday evening was the first of two nights for residents of DeWitt County to convene at the Warner Library to meet those candidates running for County Positions.

It was a slim group to speak Monday as candidates running for County Board Seats in Districts A and B and also Circuit Clerk candidates were on hand as well.

 width=Challenger for Circuit Clerk Pam Barnes was first to speak those in attendance. She relates 13 years of work as a probation officer which had her frequenting the court house, which she explains would be similar to what the Circuit Clerk does.

[audio:candidates1.mp3] [/audio]





Incumbent Lori Berger was also allowed to speak. Berger is a lifelong resident of DeWitt County and is actively involved in many organizations and activities throughout the community.

[audio:candidates2.mp3] [/audio]





Only Terry Ferguson was on hand to speak from Districts A & B. Ferguson explains he is currently the head of the Land Use Committee and also serves on the Finance Committee.

[audio:candidates3.mp3] [/audio]




County Board candidates not on hand from District A include Republicans Dan Ballenger, Cole Ritter, incumbent Sherri Brown, and Larry Schumm. Also Democrat incumbent Camille Redman.

County Board candidates in District B not on hand Monday were Republicans Ed Young and Laura Enger, both incumbents, and Mark Gardner. All three are from Farmer City. Democrat incumbent Dana Evans of Farmer City was also absent Monday evening.

Regional Radio News will have coverage tomorrow from tonight's Meet The Candidates at which those running in Districts C and D will be on hand.

Arlene Hosea Joins Special Olympics Board of Directors

Arlene Hosea of Normal has joined the Special Olympics Illinois Board of Directors and will serve on the Marketing & Development committee.

Hosea has worked since 2009 as the assistant to the vice president of Student Affairs and since 2004 as the director of Campus Dining Services for Illinois State University.. She was also an associate director of Campus Dining Services for four years, after holding several management positions with them. She was an instructor of two family and consumer sciences courses for a year at Illinois State.

Hosea is involved in the community as a member of the McLean County YWCA board of directors, the Baby Fold board of directors, the Student Affairs Diversity Task Force, the Dietetic Internship Advisory Board, and the University President’s Diversity Task Force. She has also received many awards and recognitions, including being the subject of the article “What Does Having a Dietitian on Staff Add to Your Operation?” in the February 2011 edition of On Campus Hospitality Magazine.

Hosea received her Master of Science in Home Economics from Illinois State University in 1984.

Special Olympics Illinois is a not-for-profit organization offering year-round training and competition in 19 sports for more than 21,000 athletes with intellectual disabilities and more than 11,000 Young Athletes ages 2-7 with and without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics changes lives by empowering people with intellectual disabilities to realize their full potential in sports and in life. Special Olympics programs enhance physical fitness, motor skills, self-confidence, social skills and encourage family and community support..  If you are interested in learning more about Special Olympics Illinois, volunteering or providing financial support to help make Special Olympics programs possible, contact your local Special Olympics agency, call 800-394-0562 or visit our website at www.soill.org.

Katie Herriot Hired As Manager of Marketing and Events

Katie Herriott of Normal has been hired as Manager of Marketing and Events—Torch Run for Special Olympics Illinois at the state headquarters office in Normal.

Herriott was previously the director of development and program services for United Cerebral Palsy—Land of Lincoln in Bloomington. She also worked as Area Director for SO ILL in West Central/Area 11 and Heartland/Area 6, was a support staff member for Support Innovations Inc., and was a recreation intern for Epworth Children and Family Services.

Herriott received her bachelor’s degree in recreation, with an emphasis on therapeutic recreation, from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale in 1999.

Kevin Murphy Named VP of Business Services For Special Olympics

Kevin Murphy has been named the Vice President of Business Services for Special Olympics Illinois at the state headquarters in Normal. He will be responsible for overseeing a broad range of financial, human resources, risk management, technology, facilities and logistics services for the state organization.

Murphy has 20 years of professional experience in the field of finance and as a business executive. He worked as the assistant vice president and relationship manager for Chase Auto Finance/JP Morgan Chase for the past 13 years. He was also a marketing representative for Bank One Auto Finance in Milwaukee, Wis. for four years and a loan officer and assistant branch manager for Bank One in Peoria for two years. Murphy began his career out of college as a senior assistant manager for Associates Finance in Peoria, where he worked for three years.

He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington.

Farm Bureau Endorses Chapin Rose

The Illinois Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR today announced its’ endorsement of State Representative Chapin Rose’s Candidacy for the 51st Senate district.  Kevin Semlow, Illinois Farm Bureau Director of State Legislation and Sectary of the ACTIVATOR committee says Rose has been great for production agriculture.  He stands up on controversial issues and backs us.

DeWitt County Farm Bureau President and Farmer City resident Tom Hieronymus commented says Rose has got a 100% Farm Bureau rating and is dependable.

Rose thanked the members of the ACTIVATOR committee and said the 51st Senate District represents ten counties that contain some of the best farm ground in the world. He appreciates the support of the Farm Bureau ACTIVATOR.  Having grown up in central Illinois, Rose explains he understands that the farming community plays a vital role in the economic health of our state.  In fact, agriculture is Illinois’ single largest jobs sector and he's very proud to support agriculture and the jobs it creates.

7th Annual Torch Run Super Plunge This Weekend

Thick-skinned thrill seekers from across Illinois – including 4 from Bloomington-Normal – will brave the frigid Lake Michigan water at the 7th Annual Law Enforcement Torch Run SUPER Plunge to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. The SUPER Plunge, where Some Unbelievable Plungers Enter Repeatedly, will kick-off the 2012 Law Enforcement Torch Run Polar Plunge season, with 20 more plunges around the state, as well as directly support the Special Olympics athletes who compete in more than 175 sporting events throughout the year free of charge. 

The special league of 30 plungers, including law enforcement officials, Special Olympics representatives and others, will begin jumping into the lake at Northwestern University’s North Beach in Evanston at 2 p.m. Friday, Feb. 24. The very cold but determined plunging elite will continue immersing themselves in the icy water once an hour for 24 hours until 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 25.


EPA Clears Way for 15% Ethanol To Be Blended Into US Fuel Supply

The Environmental Protection Agency has cleared the way for 15 percent ethanol to be blended into the U.S. fuel supply.
After a year of government red tape the so called blend wall has been breached.  Fuel manufacturers now have the freedom to begin blending 15 percent ethanol into gasoline, rather than the current 10 percent.  Tom Buis (BY-us) with Growth Energy, says this is good news.
[audio:ethanol1.mp3] [/audio]
But growth of E15 still faces many challenges. Many states have not changed their laws to allow the higher ethanol blend, and Buis says since the program is voluntary, it will really depend on fuel makers to choose whether to increase the blend.
 [audio:ethanol2.mp3] [/audio]
But with crude oil well over 100-dollars a barrel, Buis says blending more ethanol will allow fuel makers to keep the price of gasoline down.
[audio:ethanol3.mp3] [/audio]

Buis says in the end it will be consumers that will drive the demand for higher blends of ethanol.

Cancer Deaths Down Thanks to Early Detection

Deaths from the major types of cancer have declined in recent years, primarily because of earlier detection.

Cancer deaths are declining, yet many more lives could be saved if more people took advantage of the various cancer screenings offered. Finding cancers in an early stage improves the likelihood of successful treatment, says Dr. David Steward, professor of internal medicine at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. He explains the most important cancer screenings.

[audio:siucancerdeaths1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Steward says women should start getting Pap smear or Pap test screenings when they become sexually active. Mammograms should begin at age 40 or 50. Both men and women should be screened for colon cancer at age 50. He says screenings need to be repeated at various intervals.

[audio:siucancerdeaths2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Steward encourages people to take advantage of screening opportunities through their personal physicians or community programs offered by county health departments or local hospitals.

Illinois Sheriff's Association Announces Scholarships

The Illinois Sheriff’s Association announces that it will be awarding over $53,000 in college scholarships throughout the State of Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2012-2013 academic year.  The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books and fees only.  The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within the State of Illinois.

Sheriff Jered Shofner, DeWitt County, will be awarding a $500 scholarship.

There will be no restriction on any applicant by reason of race, age, creed, color, sex or national origin.  The only limitations are as follows:

Applicants must be permanent Illinois residents
Scholarships must be utilized at institutions of higher learning within the State of Illinois
Students must be enrolled as a full-time student during the 2012-2013 school year (excluding summer session).

Applications are now available at the DeWitt County Sheriff’s office, or on the internet at dewittsheriff.com or www.ilsheriff.org.  Students must complete the application; answer the essay question and return all documentation to the sheriff’s office in DeWitt County by March 12, 2012 (must be postmarked by this date).

For more information, please contact the DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office, Clinton High School Advising Center or College Financial Aid Office.

Dewitt County Board Seeking Professional Input for Landfill Permits

The DeWitt County Board is seeking professional input in regards to permits they are receiving for the landfill.

Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson explains the company they are seeking to work with only works with governmental agencies, which makes them pretty exclusive in who they chose to work with.

[audio:landfillreview1.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee may seek out alternative companies to potentially find lower bids. Ferguson says he has spoken with Counties Patrick Engineering has worked with before and all of them were satisfied with the work they did.

[audio:landfillreview2.mp3] [/audio]

Ferguson says they have forwarded recent permit modifications and copies of host agreements to Patrick Engineering. He says Patrick Engineering is reviewing the documents and will have estimates on cost in the future.

Dewitt County Meet the Candidates Event

DeWitt County voters have the opportunity to get better acquainted with local candidates running for office in the upcoming March primary.

The Warner Public Library and DeWitt County Farm Bureau are co-sponsoring a series of "Meet The Candidates" events this week.  Ken Bjelland (BEE-yell-and), Manager of the local Farm Bureau, explains the two agencies wanted to team up in an effort to better educate local voters.

[audio:meetcand1.mp3] [/audio]

Due to the large number of candidates for DeWitt County Board, there will be two "Meet The Candidates" nights.  Bjelland notes the candidates for DeWitt County Circuit Clerk and Board Districts A & B will appear Monday night, while candidates for Board Districts C & D are slated for Tuesday night.

[audio:meetcand2.mp3] [/audio]

Both events begin at 6:30pm on the respective nights, and will take place in the Revere Room at the Warner Public Library in Clinton.  Again, all of the candidates for local races in the March primary have been invited to attend.  Neither the DeWitt County Farm Bureau nor the Warner Library is endorsing any candidate or political party.

DeWitt County Seeks Professional Input On Landfill Permits

The DeWitt County Board is seeking professional input in regards to permits they are receiving for the landfill.

Land Use Committee Chair Terry Ferguson explains the company they are seeking to work with only works with governmental agencies, which makes them pretty exclusive in who they chose to work with.

[audio:landfillreview1.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee may seek out alternative companies to potentially find lower bids. Ferguson says he has spoken with Counties Patrick Engineering has worked with before and all of them were satisfied with the work they did.

[audio:landfillreview2.mp3] [/audio]

Ferguson says they have forwarded recent permit modifications and copies of host agreements to Patrick Engineering. He says Patrick Engineering is reviewing the documents and will have estimates on cost in the future.

Synthetic Drug Bust In Peoria

An undercover drug sting netted nearly 700 packages of synthetic drugs in Peoria yesterday.  Thirteen stores in the area were targeted for compliance in the "Operation Smoke Out" raid.  Three were selling the products and all of them voluntarily handed the drugs over to authorities.  Synthetic drugs are banned in Illinois but manufacturers continue to find ways to skirt the law.  Smoke shops, gas stations, and convenience stores continue to market potpouri, bath salts, and fake marijuana to Illinois youth.  Attorney General Lisa Madigan is leading the charge to get the drugs off store shelves.  She says the drugs are deceiving because kids don't know what they're getting into.  Lawmakers have introduced a new bill in Springfield to help prevent manufacturers from coming up with new ways to get around the law.  It seeks to outlaw all mixtures of the chemicals that make up the drugs.

Popular Journalist Headed To U of I

An Emmy-Award winning journalist is delivering the graduation address at the U of I Champaign's ceremony this year.  Cokie Roberts has been tapped for the job.  Her voice has been heard on ABC News and National Public Radio for many years.  Roberts is also a best-selling author with at least two books under her belt, including "We Are Our Mothers' Daughters" and "Ladies of Liberty."  The ceremony is scheduled for May 13th at Assembly Hall. 

Clinton United Methodist Church's Annual Pancake and Sausage Breakfast Saturday

You have the opportunity to help local youth and families attend summer camp this year, and at the same time come away with some goodies for yourself.

The Men of the Clinton United Methodist Church are hosting an annual tradition Saturday morning - their annual Pancake and Sausage breakfast.  During that time a special silent auction benefiting local church camp opportunities will take place.  Kim LeBaube, of the Clinton UMC, says it's two community minded events rolled into one.

[audio:cumc1.mp3] [/audio]

LeBaube encourages the public to stop in for a great breakfast that's become a Clinton tradition, and then browse the silent auction that's been well supported by local businesses.  He says the proceeds from the auction help ensure local youth and families have the opportunity to attend enriching summer camps.

[audio:cumc2.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton United Methodist Church "Great Hall" is hosting the breakfast and silent auction Saturday morning from 7am to noon. 

Clinton Schools Saving Over $150-Thousand With New Energy Provider

The Clinton School district will be entering into a contract with a company called First Energy for the school's energy needs.

The districts current contract with their energy provider is set to expire. Superintendent of the Clinton School district says their current contract has saved the district money, but they can save even more money with First Energy because they will be buying their energy directly from First Energy, and taking out the third party provider.

[audio:boardenergy2.mp3] [/audio]

Matt McCoy from First Energy explains there are many things that sets them apart from their competitors. One of those being they have various sources for their energy. He says they get energy from wind, nuclear, coal and hydro amongst others. He says they are located all over the midwest and northeast and they keep their client base in those locations. First Energy only distributes energy to their clients.

[audio:boardenergy1.mp3] [/audio]

First Energy will save the district over $150-thousand in the two years they have agreed upon with First Energy. Dr. Holmes explains he first saw the cost savings the district would benefit from, and he says there were no hidden fees or anything. He says the district also has an opt out clause as well if they find they are not satisfied with the service.

[audio:boardenergy3.mp3] [/audio]

Current districts in the area that have gone with First Energy are Tolono, Paxton, and now Clinton.

The Board of Education agreed to a two-year contract with First Energy.

Rams/Bears Notes

>>Rams Willing To Deal Number-Two Pick

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams apparently have plenty of potential trade partners if they want to trade down from the second overall pick in the April draft.  ESPN reports multiple teams have contacted the Rams about moving into that slot.  The Rams are reportedly willing to trade down for the right price.

>>Bears' Smith Updates Cutler, Urlacher Injuries

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith says two of his top stars are on the mend and progressing nicely from injuries suffered last season.  Speaking at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Smith said quarterback Jay Cutler and linebacker Brian Urlacher [[ URR-lock-er ]] are both completely heathly and are expected to participate in the team's offseason conditioning program starting in April.  Cutler miss the final six games of the season with a fractured right thumb, while Urlacher sprained the MCL in his left knee during Chicago's season finale.

Smith also said that running back Matt Forte [[ FOR-tay ]] will be back with the Bears.  The team could place the franchise tag on Forte before the March 5th deadline, but Smith said he believes the two sides will eventually agree on a long-term contract.  Forte rushed for 997 yards and three touchdowns and also caught 52 passes for 490 yards and a score last season.  He missed the last final four games due to a sprained medial collateral ligament in his right knee.

Cardinals Notes

>>Molina Contract Talks Back On

(Jupiter, FL)  --  The dialogue has apparently resumed between the Cardinals and Yadier Molina.  The "Post Dispatch" reports the agent for the Gold Glove catcher has met with the team and re-engaged talks about a contract extension.  Molina said earlier this week that contract talks had ceased for now.

>>GM Ruling Out Oswalt

(Jupiter, FL)  --  Don't look for Roy Oswalt [[ OZE-walt ]] to be in the Cardinals rotation this season.  General Manager John Mozeliak [[ moh-ZAY-lack ]] says they are committed to their current rotation and is ruling out adding the free-agent starter.  Oswalt says he's willing to join a team in mid-season.

Illini Host Iowa Sunday

Illinois is at home Sunday night hosting Iowa at Assembly Hall.  The Fighting Illini were dumped 83-67 by ninth-ranked Ohio State on Tuesday for their sixth straight loss.  Illinois is 16-and-12 overall and 5-and-10 in the Big Ten.  Iowa beat 15th-ranked Wisconsin last night.

Miami Heat 102, New York Knicks 88
Atlanta Hawks 83, Orlando Magic 78
San Antonio Spurs 114, Denver Nuggets 99
Oklahoma City Thunder 100, Los Angeles Lakers 85

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#4 Duke Blue Devils 74, #16 Florida State Seminoles 66
#12 Murray State Racers 80, Tennessee State Tigers 62
Iowa Hawkeyes 67, #15 Wisconsin Badgers 66
Cincinnati Bearcats 60, #17 Louisville Cardinals 56
#23 Saint Mary's Gaels 70, Portland Pilots 43

Boys Regional Championships Preview; LeRoy Girls At State

Boys basketball teams from around the area take to the hardwood tonight in Regional Final games... Here are some of the local match ups.

Class A

At Armstrong

Fisher     7:30pm
Urbana (University)  

At Bethany (Okaw Valley)

Cerro Gordo    7:30pm
Arthur (H.S.)  

At Chrisman
Arcola     7:30pm

At LeRoy

Colfax (Ridgeview)   7:30pm
Blue Ridge 

At Mason City (Illini Central)

Roanoke-Benson 7:30pm
Illini Central  

At Mt. Pulaski

Sangamon Valley    7:30pm
Decatur Christian

Class AA

At Maroa (M.-Forsyth)

Williamsville    7:30pm
Decatur (St. Teresa)  

At Normal (University)

Normal (University)   7:30pm

At Teutopolis

Teutopolis   7:30pm
Effingham (St. Anthony)  

At Tuscola

Tolono (Unity)    7:30pm
Champaign (St. Thomas More)  

This weekend is the girls state championships at ISU's Redbird Arena and one local team has advanced to play in Bloomington today. At noon today, LeRoy takes on Freeport Aquin. And the winner will play Illini Bluffs/Cowden-Herrick tomorrow for the championship.

Illinois Has Money For Specialty Crop Projects

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has given Illinois $630,000 to use to try to establish new markets for produce grown in the state.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture said Thursday the money is part of the USDA's Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.

Acting Illinois Department of Agriculture Director Bob Flider said in a news release the money will help improve the state's specialty crop sector. He called it a priority.

The state department will use the money to fund in-state specialty crop projects. Grant applications are being accepted by the department until March 15.

Proposed projects will need to meet one or more of a handful of criteria. They include increasing consumers' awareness and consumption of specialty crops and improving the distribution system for such crops.

Gov. Quinn Sets April 17 Deadline For Pension Plan

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois must act now on fixing government pension systems, but he isn't proposing a solution.

In his budget address, the Democratic governor is leaving that to a special panel. He says it must come up with a plan by April 17.

Quinn says in the prepared text of Wednesday's speech that he considers every possible solution to be on the table.

Government pension systems in Illinois are about $83 billion short of having the money they'll ultimately need for paying pensions. State government must contribute more and more money each year, leaving little to spend on other important needs.

Quinn: Close Loopholes To Pay Debt

Governor Quinn didn't mention much about the state's six-billion dollars worth of unpaid bills in his Budget Address but he did mention one possible solution. 

[audio:rddBud11.mp3] [/audio]

The state still has about 120-thousand bills that haven't been paid.  It's just one of the reasons Illinois has one of the worst credit ratings in the nation.  Springfield Senator Larry Bomke says closing the loopholes will bring in about 160-million dollars, which is just a drop in the bucket when it comes to eliminating the debt.

Quinn: No Cuts For Veterans

Governor Quinn is slashing funding to several programs this year but he says veterans' programs aren't on that list.

[audio:rddVets.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn is asking lawmakers to extend a five thousand tax credit to businesses that hire Iraq an Afghan war veterans.  It'll also give businesses a 20-percent credit for the wages they pay veterans, up to five thousnad dollars a year.

Governor Quinn Calls For Clean Up of Medicaid System, Teacher Pension Reform

Governor Pat Quinn unveiled his proposed budget plan Wednesday, calling it a “rendeveous with reality”.

The governor is calling for more money for early childhood education and college map grants but also for several state facility closures and consolidations. He says this will be a tough year but that it's time to tackle the state's financial problems head on.

[audio:budgetaddress1.mp3] [/audio]

The governor says the state needs to fix the broken pension system. He says 75% of pension funds go towards non-state employees. He adds everyone needs to be involved in contributing.

[audio:budgetaddress2.mp3] [/audio]

The governor also addressed the Illinois Medicaid system. He says lawmakers need to reconsider the groups that are eligible, the service that are covered and the way and amount it is paid for. He stressed they need to begin protecting against fraud and abuse in the system.

[audio:budgetaddress3.mp3] [/audio]

The governor also discussed closing and consilidating several state facilities. He urged lawmakers to pass his "Hiring Veterans Tax Credit". And he also addressed investing in early childhood education and the MAP grant funding.

Narrowband Compliance Update Hits Snag

A project in conjunction with the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department, the Clinton Police Department, DeWitt County's 9-1-1 and DeWitt County EMA has been delayed for a couple of weeks.

The various departments have been working to get themselves in compliance with the new Narrowband Compliance mandated by the FCC. 9-1-1 Coordinator for DeWitt County, Tony Harris explains the deadline has been extended numerous times by the FCC, but they recently put a hard deadline of 2013 for the departments to be in compliance. He explains the changes are focused at allowing more users on a larger channel capacity.

[audio:notificationdelay1.mp3] [/audio]

The project has hit a small bump in the road recently. Harris says despite the roadblock, the project should be completed in the next few weeks, and will be done in plenty of time ahead of the mandated FCC deadline. He explains their problem was with the signal for constant communication between Clinton and Farmer City, which is currently being worked out.

[audio:notificationdelay2.mp3] [/audio]

Harris explains this project will enable the various departments to communicate with other departments, such as Farmer City. He adds the transmitters that were recently donated to the Clinton Fire Department and others around the area will help improve their communications as well. Harris says this mandate by the FCC is all about improving the communication systems.

[audio:notificationdelay3.mp3] [/audio]

Including the Narrowband Compliance Update, the 9-1-1 office continues to work towards a county wide mass notification system for emergencies. They are working to fix mapping issues involving GPS units. They are also working to incorporate what is called "Next Generation 9-1-1" which is several years away from full completion, but early stages of preparation for that are underway.

Illini Off Till Sunday

The Illinois Fighting Illini wrap up this week's play on Sunday as they host Iowa at Assembly Hall.  The Illini suffered their sixth straight loss with an 83-67 setback at ninth-ranked Ohio State on Tuesday evening.  They sit at 16-and-12 overall and 5-and-10 in the Big Ten.

Bulls Blow Out Bucks

Carlos Boozer led a balanced attack with 20 points as the Bulls blew out the Bucks, 110-91.  Derrick Rose collected 16 points and seven assists for Chicago, which has won two straight to enter the All-Star break 27-and-8 on the season.  Joakim Noah notched a triple-double with 13 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists.  Chicago is off the rest of the week for the All-Star Break.  They wrap up a six-game homestand next Wednesday against New Orleans.

Oklahoma City Thunder 119, Boston Celtics 104
Toronto Raptors 103, Detroit Pistons 93
Indiana Pacers 102, Charlotte Bobcats 88
Sacramento Kings 115, Washington Wizards 107
New Orleans Hornets 89, Cleveland Cavaliers 84
New York Knicks 99, Atlanta Hawks 82
Orlando Magic 108, New Jersey Nets 91
Houston Rockets 93, Philadelphia 76ers 87
Minnesota Timberwolves 100, Utah Jazz 98
Golden State Warriors 106, Phoenix Suns 104
Los Angeles Lakers 96, Dallas Mavericks 91
Los Angeles Clippers 103, Denver Nuggets 95

#19 Wichita State Tops ISU; Claims MVC Crown

Joe Ragland scored 14 points to lead No. 19 Wichita State to a 68-55 victory over Illinois State on Wednesday night to clinch the Missouri Valley Conference championship.

Ragland had four 3-pointers for the Shockers, who made 10 of 23 from beyond the arc.

Wichita State (25-4, 15-2), which has won seven straight games and 15 of 16, won its seventh Missouri Valley title and first since 2006. The 15 conference wins are the most for the Shockers since they went 17-1

in winning the MVC in 1982-83.

Garrett Stutz had 12 points and 14 rebounds for the Shockers, while Ben Smith and Demetric Williams added 11 points apiece. Williams did all his scoring in the first half.

Bryant Allen scored 17 points for Illinois State (17-12, 8-9).

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Syracuse Orange 56, South Florida Bulls 48
#5 Kansas Jayhawks 66, Texas A&M Aggies 58
#6 Michigan State Spartans 66, Minnesota Golden Gophers 61
#10 Marquette Golden Eagles 82, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 65
#18 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71, West Virginia Mountaineers 44
#19 Wichita State Shockers 68, Illinois State Redbirds 55
#20 UNLV Rebels 75, Boise State Broncos 58
#22 Temple Owls 80, La Salle Explorers 79 (OT)
#24 Indiana Hoosiers 75, North Carolina Central Eagles 56
#25 San Diego State Aztecs 67, Wyoming Cowboys 58 (OT)

Local Lawmakers React To Governor's Budget Address

Governor Pat Quinn gave his annual Budget Address Wednesday, and several area legislators are weighing in on it.

Bloomington State Senator Bill Brady called out the Governor for a lack of solutions in the speech, but did give Quinn credit for recognizing there are problems within the state.

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Forsyth Representative Bill Mitchell was optimistic about areas of the Governor's address.  He hopes there's a bi-partisan effort to work with Quinn on addressing the state's skyrocketing public aid costs.

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Champaign Representative Jason Barickman credited Quinn with acknowledging the state's issues, but questioned the Governor's lack of leadership by not offering any plans on dealing with the issues.

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Bloomington Representative Dan Brady feels there's a lot of work to be done to reign in state spending, and questions the Governor's willingness to scale back spending to realistic levels.

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The over-riding theme from area lawmakers is the Governor's Budget Address was too short on specifics, and too unrealistic in adequately addressing the state's ongoing fiscal crisis.  Most local lawmakers feel the Governor has again shifted responsibility for bringing the state back to financial solvency to the General Assembly.  The state legislature will continue working towards a budget through the ongoing spring legislative session.

Sages Season Ends

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, the Unity Rockets beat the Monticello Sages with a final score of 102-70.  Alex Corson led all scores for the Rockets with 26 points.  Ryan Donahue led the Sages with 15 points.  Nik Stokowski and Matt Kruse both chipped in 13 points. The Sages end their season 16-12 as Unity improves to 23-3.

4.0 Earthquake Shakes Nine States

Only minor damage is reported after an earthquake centered in southeast Missouri shook at least nine states.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the magnitude 4.0 earthquake was centered near the town of East Prairie, Mo. Geological Survey geophysicist Amy Vaughan says several people in Missouri, Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee reported being awakened by the quake that happened at 3:58 a.m. A few residents of North Carolina, Alabama, Indiana and Georgia also felt it.

East Prairie City Administrator Lonnie Thurmond says the shaking lasted about seven seconds. Vaughan says he's heard reports of cracks in sidewalks and walls, some broken windows, and minor household damage such as rattled shelves and things falling from cabinets.

GOP Leaders Blast Gov. Quinn's Proposed Budget

Illinois Republicans are criticizing parts of Gov. Pat Quinn's proposed budget along with some of the ideas he's likely to detail.

According to a Tuesday budget briefing, Quinn will propose closing several state facilities during his address Wednesday. The Democrat has also asked several agencies to cut spending.

However, the overall budget is more than last year.

Republican Sen. Matt Murphy says the closures are a step in the right direction toward cutting spending, but more should be done.

Other GOP leaders who spoke a day ahead of the address condemned Quinn's other ideas and past actions.

Illinois GOP Party Chairman and Congressman Aaron Schock accused Quinn of showing no leadership on pensions and warned him not to build the budget on projections of Medicaid savings that may never materialize.

Quinn Aims To Close 14 Facilities

Governor Quinn wants to save 100-million dollars by closing the doors to 14 state facilities in the Departments of Corrections, Juvenile Justice and Human Services.  It's no secret Quinn has had his eye on facilities.  He threatened to close seven last year, claiming lawmakers didn't give him enough money to run them.  That plan was averted when lawmakers gave him the money he asked for but now a few of the same facilities are back on the chopping block.  Tamms Supermax prison, Dwight prison and six Adult Transitional Centers are on the list in the DOC.  Quinn is also looking to close Juvenile Justice Centers in Joliet and Murphysboro.  Plus, the Tinley Park and Singer Mental Health Centers and the Jacksonville and Murray Developmental Centers.  Quinn's administration says as many as 12-hundred workers could be impacted by the closures.

Clinton BOE Names New High School Principal

The Clinton Board of Education has named the new High School Principal.

Dr. Candice Swift will join the district beginning July 1st. Dr. Swift comes from Canton High School where she is the current Principal. She feels the success of the high school is going to make her new position a nice fit.

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In the search for a new Principal at the high school, the Board of Education was seeking a candidate who would work with the Board in their push to incorporate technology in the classrooms. They were also seeking a candidate who would encourage students to become more involved in extra-curricular activities. Dr. Swift says she will work to find where the district currently stands with their technological push and work to do her part in the area of technology.

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Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes feels Dr. Swift's experience at the high school level and the energy she brings is going to make her a nice fit. Dr. Swift is a former Division I athlete at Bradley University. Dr. Holmes feels that experience will help her in relating to encouraging students to go out for sports and other activities.

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Dr. Swift is eager to move her family to Clinton and begin her work at the district.

Current High School Principal Ron Connor will be retiring at the end of the school year. Dr. Swift takes over as High School Principal July 1 at a salary of $96-thousand.

Cubs, BoSox Settle Theo Compensation

The Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox and Cubs have settled on compensation for Theo Epstein.  The Cubs sent pitcher Chris Carpenter to Boston.  The 26-yeaer-old right-hander made his major league debut last year for Chicago, posting a 2.79 ERA in 10 relief outings.  The teams will also each exchange a player to be named later.  The Red Sox were seeking compensation for letting Epstein out of the final year of his contract as general manager to become the president of baseball operations for the Cubs.

Bulls Continue Homestand

The Chicago Bulls continue a six-game homestand this evening against the Milwaukee Bucks at the United Center.  The Bulls have won three of their last four games to improve to 26-and-8 on the season.  They are coming off a 90-79 victory versus Atlanta on Monday.  Chicago is off the rest of the week.  They wrap up the homestay next Wednesday against New Orleans.

Cleveland Cavaliers 101, Detroit Pistons 100
Indiana Pacers 117, New Orleans Hornets 108 (OT)
Miami Heat 120, Sacramento Kings 108
Memphis Grizzlies 89, Philadelphia 76ers 76
Portland Trail Blazers 137, San Antonio Spurs 97

Illinois Drops Football Ticket Prices

After seeing attendance drop Illinois has lowered the cost of some football tickets for 2012.

The school announced Tuesday that season tickets will cost from $32.86 to $45 a game. Last season the prices ranged from $40-$45.

Some single-game tickets will also be cheaper. Last season the price varied by opponent and ranged from $50 to $65 a game. This fall non-conference single-game tickets will sell for $25 a game and all Big Ten games will be $50.

Illinois Athletic Director Mike Thomas fired Ron Zook after last season. Thomas cited both Zook's 6-6 record and declining attendance among the reasons he let Zook go and hired replacement Tim Beckman from Toledo.

Attendance last season dropped just under 50,000 a game from more than 54,000 in 2010.

Ohio State Trounces Illini

Deshaun Thomas scored 19 points and No. 8 Ohio State regained its shooting touch, rolling over Illinois 83-67 on Tuesday night to remain in the thick of the Big Ten race.

Ohio State shot 65% from the field.

William Buford, much maligned for his recent poor shooting, had 17 points, and Aaron Craft added 11 to go with five assists. Jared Sullinger, third in the conference at 17.5 points a game, managed just nine before fouling out.

The Buckeyes (23-5, 11-4) stayed on the heels of Big Ten leader Michigan State with three games remaining. The Spartans are 11-3 in league play.

Meyers Leonard had 21 for Illinois (16-12, 5-10), which has lost six in a row and 9 of 10.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 73, #23 Mississippi State Bulldogs 64
Kansas State Wildcats 78, #3 Missouri Tigers 68
#7 North Carolina Tar Heels 86, North Carolina State Wolfpack 74
Seton Hall Pirates 73, #8 Georgetown Hoyas 55
#11 Florida Gators 63, Auburn Tigers 47
#13 Michigan Wolverines 67, Northwestern Wildcats 55 (OT)
Colorado State Rams 71, #21 New Mexico Lobos 63

Maroons End Season With A Loss To Riverton

As heard on WHOW, Riverton beat the Clinton Maroons by a score of 78-57. The leading scorer for the Maroons was Dylan Scott with 21 points.  Matt Chandler chipped in with 18 also.  For Riverton, Will Schneider led the way with 21. 4 players from Riverton ended up scoring in the double digits.  A bright spot for the Maroons was three players advanced in the 3-point Showdown. Those players were Mitch Creager, Dylan Scott and Camryn Ward.

The Maroons end the season with a record of 3-23. Riverton is now 22-4.


Illinois Chamber Wants Job Growth

Doug Whitley, with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says Illinois is a great state but it must take steps to get its fiscal house in order.

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Governor Quinn is expected to call for a drastic reduction in state spending this year.  Whitley says that would be very bold move.

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Whitley says the cost of business has to come down in Illinois so companies will feel safe doing business here.  He says lawmakers must tighten the purse strings and stop overspending.  Whitley says there are plenty of great opportunities in Illinois but leaders must reestablish it's position as being a jobs creator and a highly successful economy.

Quinn To Propose Deep Cuts

Governor Quinn says the people of Illinois can expect deep cuts in the upcoming year.  He's looking to scale the budget back to 2008 spending levels.  He'll lay out his plan on how to rein in the state's out of control budget on Wednesday.  He says Medicaid reform is a priority and he wants teachers to kick in a portion of their retirement benefits.  The governor is also expected to move forward with facility closures despite heavy opposition, including the closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center.

State's New Ag Director Already Facing Questions

Illinois has a new director of Agriculture, but Bob Flider is still facing questions from his time as an Illinois lawmaker.

Gov. Pat Quinn appointed Flider, a former House Democrat from the Decatur area, to the $133,000 dollar a year post Wednesday.

Critics, namely current Decatur-area state Rep. Adam Brown, are quick to point out that Flider voted for last year's income tax increases on his last day as a lame duck legislator.

Brown said Flider's nomination is a "slap in the face" to voters and Illinois farmers.

But Flider says his vote for the tax hikes has nothing to do with his new job.

Flider is the latest Democrat in Springfield who voted for 2011's tax increase to find a position in the Quinn administration.

As for his current job, Flider says he wants to focus on increasing Illinois' exports and he will "take a look at" the state's regulatory framework for the agriculture economy.

Flider has been on the job less than a week.

Illinois Gets C For Job Growth

Nearly 650-thousand people are out of work in Illinois.  Doug Whitley, with the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, says state leaders must do something to turn the economy around.
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Whitley says that means lawmakers must tighten the purse strings and stop overspending.  He says Illinois must pay down its debt, reduce corporate income tax levels, and restructure the Medicaid and pension systems.  Whitley gives the state a "C" when it comes to job development but Governor Quinn says he's done a much better than average job creating new jobs.

DeWitt County Soil & Water Conservation District Annual Meeting Recap

 width=The DeWitt County Soil & Water Conservation District wrapped up a successful 2011 with it's 68th annual meeting Friday.

Around one hundred people turned out Friday morning to take part in the meeting hosted at the Clinton Country Club.  SWCD Chairman Myron Kirby presided over the event, and says - despite faltering state support in recent years -the DeWitt County district is in good shape heading into 2012.

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 width=One of the major accomplishments for the local SWCD in 2011 was the completion of the Clinton Lake Shoreline Restoration Project.  Shelley Finfrock, Resource Conservationist, explains the project brought several groups together in an attempt to combat erosion issues at the Mascoutin State Recreation Area.

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The district also announced plans for continued improvements in the Clinton Lake watershed.  Finfrock says they're working with a number of groups in an attempt to introduce a cost share program for conservation improvements.

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More details about the new program will be announced in the future.

 width=Representatives from the NRCS, FSA, and U of I Extension Office also updated the crowd on their available programs.  The entertainment for the event was provided by country music singer and comedian Wes Wheeler from Shelbyville.  A number of door prizes were also given away to those in attendance thanks to the support of several local businesses.

DCRA/Lincoln Heritage Receives Funding From Exelon

A couple local organizations were recently the beneficiaries of the generosity of the Exelon.

The DeWitt County Restoration Association (DCRA) and Lincoln Heritage of DeWitt County were recently awarded money for their various projects in the Clinton Community. Exelon Communications Manager Bill Harris calls helping the local community one of the best parts of his job.

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Exelon not only is known for their financial support, but also the volunteer-ism they show in various ways throughout the year to the communities they are involved in. Harris is already looking to the spring for employees of Exelon to lend a hand at the Magill Hotel in Clinton.

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Doug Brisard is a member of the DCRA. He says throughout the year they have a tough time maintaining a steady balance of money. He feels the recent $17-hundred donation by Exelon is going to be a great help in their efforts to restore the downtown structure.

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The DCRA also recently received $150-thousand as a part of an expiring TIF from the City of Clinton to help in their restoration efforts and to oversee a developer into the property.

The Lincoln Heritage of DeWitt County is a committee of the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce & Tourism Bureau organized in 2006 to promote Abraham Lincoln history through education and tourism by sharing with local residents and visitors alike Lincoln's many connections to and experiences in Clinton and DeWitt County.  Exelon Nuclear / Clinton Power Station's donation was for four thousand dollars to the Lincoln Heritage Committee in honor of Lincoln's Birthday.

Pujols Arrives At Angels Camp

The Albert Pujols [[ POO-holes ]] era has officially begun with the Angels.  The three-time National League MVP reported to the team's spring training facility Monday in Tempe, Arizona.  Pitchers and catchers arrived over the weekend, but Angels position players aren't required to report until Sunday.  Pujols, who has a history of arriving to camp early, says he's excited to be with his new taem.  The Halos signed the former St. Louis Cardinals slugger to a 10-year contract in December.

Illini Take On Ohio State

The Illinois Fighting Illini continue Big Ten action this evening as they take on ninth-ranked Ohio State in Columbus.  The Illini suffered an 80-57 setback at Nebraska on Saturday to fall to 5-and-9 in the Big Ten.  They have dropped five straight games and eight-of-nine overall to slide to 16-and-11 overall.  Illinois upset Ohio State earlier this season in Champaign.

Bulls Handle Hawks In Rose Return

Derrick Rose returned to the lineup and netted 23 points as the Bulls handled the Hawks, 90-79, at the United Center on Monday.  Rose, who had missed the past five games with back spasms, added six assists and five rebounds for Chicago, which has won eight of its last 10 games to pull into a tie atop the Eastern Conference standings with the idle Miami Heat.  The Bulls went 3-and-2 without the reigning league MVP in the lineup.  Joakim [[ JOE-keem ]] Noah pulled down a game-high 16 boards in the win.  Chicago continues a six-game homestand tomorrow evening against the Milwaukee Bucks.

New Jersey Nets 100, New York Knicks 92
Dallas Mavericks 89, Boston Celtics 73
Oklahoma City Thunder 101, New Orleans Hornets 93
Orlando Magic 93, Milwaukee Bucks 90
Houston Rockets 97, Memphis Grizzlies 93
San Antonio Spurs 106, Utah Jazz 102
Phoenix Suns 104, Washington Wizards 88
Denver Nuggets 103, Minnesota Timberwolves 101 (OT)
Golden State Warriors 104, Los Angeles Clippers 97
Los Angeles Lakers 103, Portland Trail Blazers 92

Big Ten Setting Up For Fantastic Finish

 The streaking Michigan State Spartans have won five straight games to move into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten.

They have company in the conference standings.

Michigan and Ohio State are only a game behind with four games left in the regular season, potentially setting up a fantastic finish in the Big Ten title race. Wisconsin is just another game back and Indiana is lurking close enough to have a chance to rally for at least a piece of the title.

Spartans coach Tom Izzo says he's not comfortable with the lead. He says four or five teams have a shot at finishing first.

Michigan State closes the regular season at home against the Buckeyes.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#10 Baylor Bears 77, Texas Longhorns72

Boys Basketball Regionals Preview

Other Class A/AA Regional Scores:

At Bethany (Okaw Valley)

Bement   59
Lovington   46

At Brimfield

Peoria Heights 64
Princeville    44

At LeRoy

LeRoy  58
Bloomington (Cornerstone Christian Academy)  56

Farmer City (Blue Ridge)    74
Normal (Calvary Christian Academy)   62

At Mason City (Illini Central)

Roanoke (R.-Benson) 65 2/OT
Delavan     62 

Hartsburg-Emden  61
Greenview               28

At Mt. Pulaski

Decatur (D. Lutheran)  60
Buffalo (Tri-City)         39

Mt. Pulaski    66
DeLand (D.-Weldon)   37

Class AA

At Maroa

Maroa (M.-Forsyth)    70
Warrensburg (W.-Latham)    42

At Normal (University)
Tremont      58
Bloomington (Central Catholic)   60

Stanford (Olympia)   36
Mackinaw (Deer Creek-M.)    34

At Teutopolis

Central A & M 52
Shelbyville    45

>> The Clinton Maroons head to their Regional matchup tonight in the Maroa Regional. The Maroons come in and take on 2-seeded Riverton. That game is at 6 pm and can be heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Also at the Maroa Regional tonight at approximately 8:10 pm, Decatur St. Teresa will take on Argenta-Oreana.

Class A/AA Regional Matchups for tonight:

At Bethany (Okaw Valley) 

Bethany (Okaw Valley)   6:00pm

Arthur         8:10 pm

At Illini Central

Heyworth    7:30pm
Roanoke (R.-Benson)  

Class AA

At Normal (University)

Normal (University)    7:30pm
Bloomington (Central Catholic)

At Teutopolis

Effingham (St. Anthony)   7:30pm

At Tuscola

Paxton.-Buckley-Loda    6:00pm
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley  

Champaign St. Thomas More   8:10pm

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

February 18, 2012


Jail Population: 53

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 2


February 19, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


February 20, 2012


Jail Population: 59

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 1


February 21, 2012


Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1



Dawn Burris, 37, DeWitt, was issued a citation for Speeding (77 mph in a 55 mph zone). Burris posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Monica True, 37, Heworth, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Hawkins posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Stacey Goodman, 40, Decatur, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Goodman posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Shereth Doenitz, 44, Mahomet, was issued a citation for Speeding (80 mph in a 55 mph zone). Doenitz posted his Bond Certificate as bond and was released.


Denise Whalen-Chase, 39, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Whalen-Chase was issued a notice to appear and was released.



Budget Address Preview

Governor Pat Quinn is scheduled to deliver his proposed budget for the 2013 fiscal year that begins July 1 in a noon speech before a joint session of the General Assembly. The Governor will be facing a lot of questions…questions that could affect local schools and towns throughout the state, retirement security of tens of thousands of people, and health care for millions.  In recent days Quinn has dropped broad outlines of many ideas he has in mind for trying to straighten out the state's finances including cuts to Medicaid and constitutional officers’ budgets as well as closing a number of state facilities. State Representative Adam Brown has a number of items he would like to see the Governor address such as workers compensation reform and creating a better jobs climate.

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State Representative Jason Barickman believes it is an opportunity for the Governor to lead but so far we have seen very little leadership from his administration. He says the state currently faces huge financial challenges and hopes he realizes that.

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State Representative Dan Brady wants to hear about Medicaid and pension reform in the governor’s message. He wants both parties to work together to begin paying back the unpaid bills the state has.

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Governor Quinn says the people of Illinois can expect deep cuts in the upcoming year.  He's looking to scale the budget back to 2008 spending levels.  He'll lay out his plan on how to rein in the state's out of control budget.  He says Medicaid reform is a priority and he wants teachers to kick in a portion of their retirement benefits.  The governor is also expected to move forward with facility closures despite heavy opposition, including the closure of Jacksonville Developmental Center.

The Governor delivers his budget address tomorrow at noon. You can hear the address live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

Monticello/Unity Preview

They say the third time is a charm, and the Monticello Sages boys basketball team certainly hopes the old adage holds true.

The Sages head into a regional semi-final match up Wednesday night against the Tolono-Unity Rockets, a team they will see for the third time this season. The first two match-ups were a tale of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

In the first meeting earlier this month at the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Championship, the Sages came into the game as the #7 seed in the tournament and Unity, as they are tonight, were the #1 seed. The Sages competed from start to finish. To some, the halftime score of 28-all was a surprise, and perhaps the wake up call for the Unity Rockets that as a #7 seed, the Sages meant business. Despite a 14-point deficit late in the third, the Sages were able to cut it to eight heading to the fourth, but could not get any closer than three points of the Rockets in the final period, and was a 65-60 final, and an Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Championship for the Rockets.

The two would meet almost exactly 72 hours later, and the Sages were simply not the team that had won three consecutive games, two upsets of the #2 and #3 seeds in the tournament, and took the unanimous best team in the Conference to the wire just days earlier. The Sages smallest deficit was three, when it was 12-9 in the first quarter, and from there it was all Unity. All five Unity starters would score in double-figures, led by 6-foot-6 Aaron Larson's 19 points and 11 rebounds. Larson was honored prior to the varsity game for scoring 1,000 career points.

The Sages received 18 points from Nick Stokowski and Kendall King, including 14 boards for Stokowski, and little else from the rest of the team. Monticello shot just 30% from the floor to Unity's  staggering 57%.

The Rockets received the #1 seed in the Tuscola regional and were idle Monday and Tuesday while the rest of the teams in the regional played for a semi-final game Wednesday. Many Unity players were on hand Monday night for the Sages 54-49 victory over Prairie Central. The Sages led 27-20 at the half, and used a 5-0 run out of the break to grab their biggest lead of the game at 32-20, however, they went nearly 6 minutes after a Matt Kruse 3-point play without a field goal, and the only points during that stretch was two Stokowski free throws. Prairie Central woud tie the game with just under a minute in regulation to play, but on the ensuing possession, Stokowski was fouled and made two crucial free throws to give the Sages the lead for good. Stokowski would add two more free throws to put the game out of reach at 54-49 with 2-seconds remaining.

Sages head coach Kevin Roy was relieved to come away with a victory, sloppy or otherwise.

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Coach Roy is excited about the opportunity to see the Rockets for the third time this year. He says there should be no doubt in his players minds they can play with the Unity. He says he's looking forward to the opportunity and says his players better be as well.

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The balance scoring attack for the Rockets will make things a defensive challenge for the Sages. The trio of Larson inside, playmaker Taylor Black and sharp shooting Alex Thorson make defending Unity very tough. Coach Roy may be forced to go away from his traditional man-to-man defense and turn to a zone at points.

Offensively for Monticello, balance will be key. Getting 18 points from two players, and little else from the rest of the team will not be enough. Junior Ryan Donahue was held in check the second match up with just four points. A contribution of at least 10 points will be key for the Sages. Senior point guard Daly O'Brien has been playing arguably the best basketball of his varsity career at Monticello in the past two to three weeks.

Tuscola High School is the sight for the Regional Semi-Final game. Game time is 6 pm Wednesday. You can hear the action live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Sen. Kirk Starts Post-Stroke Rehab

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk has started walking exercises on a treadmill as he continues his recovery from a stroke in January.

Dr. Richard Harvey is the medical director of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago's Center for Stroke Rehabilitation. Harvey says the 52-year-old Republican is adapting well to the program. Kirk arrived at the center a week ago from the hospital where he had emergency surgery that included temporarily removing part of his skull to allow for swelling.

Harvey said Friday that Kirk is performing an increasing number of routine tasks on his own in addition to the walking exercises.

Harvey says he's pleased with the senator's progress.

Doctors have said Kirk should make a full mental recovery, though they expect him to have limited movement on his left side.

Illinois Hospitals Call For Junk Food Tax

The head of the Illinois Hospital Association says Gov. Pat Quinn's proposal to cut $2 billion from the Medicaid program is a blunt approach that would hurt the Illinois economy and cost 19,000 jobs.

Hospital Association President Maryjane Wurth says her group has other suggestions. The hospital group would support higher cigarette taxes and taxing junk food and soda to help Medicaid.

Wurth says the hospital association will fight "vigorously" any cuts to Medicaid payments to hospitals. Such payment cuts could result in the closure of struggling hospitals, leaving Illinois with more "health care deserts," such as in East St. Louis, which already lost its only hospital.

The Illinois Hospital Association represents 200 Illinois hospitals. Worth has been its president and CEO since October 2009.

Gov. Quinn Asks State's Departments To Cut Their Budgets

Gov. Pat Quinn has asked all the state's constitutional offices and some state agencies to slash their annual budgets by at least 9%, but won't say how he arrived at that figure.

Quinn declined to give details Sunday at an unrelated news conference.

The Democrat presents his budget Wednesday. It's expected to include a number of proposed cuts and closures.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon announced Saturday that she'd cut her office's budget by 9.4% to help Illinois deal with its financial problems. The state's backlog of unpaid bills is around $9.2 billion.

Quinn applauded Simon's efforts.

Quinn says he'll be closing "quite a few" state facilities. He wouldn't give details Sunday, only saying that some have been around for more 100 years and their time is up.

Quinn Calls For More Investments In Education

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to invest $50 million in the state's scholarship program.

Quinn said Sunday that the lack of finances shouldn't detour any student from attending college.

The state's Monetary Assistance Program gives grants to Illinois residents attending in-state colleges and universities.

The program currently helps 150,000 students pay for college. Quinn aims to help thousands more on the waiting list.

The Democrat called for legislators to make investments in financial aid and early childhood education days before he presents his fourth, and perhaps most anticipated, budget proposal. The budget is expected to include a spate of proposed cuts and closures.

The governor says he will close facilities and make cuts in other areas to cover the costs of the educational investments.

Illinois Supreme Court: Lying To Cops Is Okay

The Illinois Supreme Court has ruled it's okay to lie to a police officer under certain situations.  In a 6-1 decision today, justices say it's okay to give a false statement if it doesn't impede or hinder the officer from performing their authorized duties.  The case has to do with a La Salle County man accused of trying to cover up for his wife who was driving on a suspended license.  Joseph Baskerville was found guilty of obstruction for telling an officer it was he behind the wheel and not his wife.

Online Lottery Could Hurt Convenience Stores

Some Illinois convenience store owners are concerned online lottery sales will take a big chunk out of their revenue.  They claim they'll see less foot traffic inside their stores because people will be able to purchase tickets from the comfort of their own homes.  The convenience stores are backing a plan that will require online gamblers to buy a pre-paid card inside the stores to be used for for the online tickets.  Bill Flesischli, with the Illinois Petroleum Markets Association and the Illinois Association of Conveience Stores, says the internet sales could put up to eight thousand people across the state out of work.  People should be able to purchase lottery tickets online sometime this spring.

FFA Week Preview

National FFA Week is upon us, and chapters across central Illinois are hosting a variety of unique events in order to celebrate.  Jared White has more...
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Find out more about the impact of local FFA chapters all this week on our morning and noon Farm Shows with Jared White at 6:40am and 12:20pm on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

Clinton Jr. High Students To Celebrate FFA Week

Clinton Junior High School Students will be recognizing FFA Week this week.

The Jr. High this year for the first time is offering Ag classes and Principle of the Jr. High, John Pine says this is a great week to recognize those kids and create more awareness of agriculture in the junior high school.

[audio:jrhighffa1.mp3] [/audio]

The students throughout the week will designate various days this week to promote agriculture. Pine explains Wednesday they are asking students to wear blue and gold, the FFA colors. He adds this week all about promoting agriculture in an agriculture centered community.

[audio:jrhighffa2.mp3] [/audio]

Pine feels his students are very excited about this coming week. He says it's fun to see the FFA kids wearing their sweat shirts and uniforms. He notes for the first year of Ag classes, their numbers are already very good, and he looks forward to continuing to see it grow.

[audio:jrhighffa3.mp3] [/audio]

Because it is a short week, students will only be dressing up the three days of the week, but Pine feels the three days is a great way to continue promoting agriculture and he feels this week goes a long way in addressing the importance agriculture plays in central Illinois and specifically Clinton.

Clinton City Council Faces Budgetary Items Tonight

The Clinton City Council has some budgetary decisions to make tonight.

The Clinton Tree Commission has approached the Council recently to approve the purchase of tree software. John Baker with the Clinton Tree Commission explains the Commission feels this would greatly improve the efficiency of tracking trees in the city and keeping inventory as well. The price of the software is around $18-hundred, Baker adds the Commission would be willing to find areas in their budget to help pay for the software.

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At their last meeting, the Council approved $10-thousand of repairs to the City's Street Sweeper. Public Works Director Steve Lobb explains the Streets Department does not have money in their repairs budget but feels they may be able to get money from other areas. He adds the problems has the machine completely out of commission.

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The Clinton Fire Department had the old transmitters donated to them from the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department that were left from the Sheriff's Department's Narrow Band Compliance update. The Fire Department was seeking to independently buy some other transmitters at a cost of around $800. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters asked Department to find areas to help pay for those to eliminate the City dipping deeper into their savings. They will hear more on that tonight and will make a decision to approve those purchases.

The Council meets tonight at 7 pm at Clinton City Hall.

Pitchers/Catchers Report; Cards End Extension Talks With Molina

>>Cubs' Pitchers, Catchers Report To Mesa

(Mesa, AZ)  --  The Chicago Cubs' pitchers and catchers reported to HoHoKam Park in Mesa, Arizona on Saturday for the start of spring training.  The Northsiders' position players are slated to report on Thursday.  Chicago's first spring game is Sunday, March 4th against Oakland.

Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox' pitchers and catchers are expected to report to Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona on Wednesday.  Position players do not have to report until next Monday.  The ChiSox play their first spring game Monday, March 5th against the L.A. Dodgers.

>>Cards Open Up Spring Training

(Jupiter, FL)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals opened up spring training this weekend.  Pitchers and catchers reported to Jupiter, Florida and the first workout was held yesterday.  Position players are due to report later this week.  The Cards open Grapefruit League play against the Miami Marlins on March 5th.

>>Cards Halt Extension Talks With Molina

(Jupiter, FL)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina have stopped their current contract talks.  The 29-year-old backstop hit .305 last season with 14 homers and 65 RBI, and could be looking for a high-dollar deal when his current contract is up following the 2012 season.  Molina told the "Post-Dispatch" that he won't be offering St. Louis a "hometown discount," but did indicate that he is willing to negotiate during the upcoming season.

Bulls Back In Action Tonight

>>Bulls Hit The Hardwood

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood today as they continue a six-game homestand against the Atlanta Hawks at the United Center.  The Bulls had a two-game winning streak come to an end with a 97-85 setback to New Jersey on Saturday to fall to 25-and-8 on the season.  Chicago continues the homestay on Wednesday against Milwaukee.

New York Knicks 104, Dallas Mavericks 97
Miami Heat 90, Orlando Magic 78
Detroit Pistons 96, Boston Celtics 81
Cleveland Cavaliers 93, Sacramento Kings 92
Indiana Pacers 108, Charlotte Bobcats 73
Milwaukee Bucks 92, New Jersey Nets 85
Minnesota Timberwolves 92, Philadelphia 76ers 91
Houston Rockets 101, Utah Jazz 85
Oklahoma City Thunder 124, Denver Nuggets 118 (OT)
Phoenix Suns 102, Los Angeles Lakers 90

Illini Crushed By Nebraska

There were tears in the Illinois locker room Saturday after Nebraska used a 36-4 run to win 80-57 and send the struggling Illini to their fifth consecutive loss.

Bo Spencer scored 27 points to help Nebraska (12-13, 4-10 Big Ten) snap a 4-game losing streak. Caleb Walked added 13 and Brandon Richardson 12.

D.J. Richardson scored 15 points for Illinois (16-11, 5-9).

But the 23-point drubbing matched a 59-36 loss at Minnesota in 2009 as the worst in Weber's nine years at the school.

It put the Illini on shaky ground to make the NCAA tournament and added pressure to the beleaguered Weber, who has been the subject of speculation that he will be fired at the end of the season.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#2 Syracuse Orange 74, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 64
#4 Duke Blue Devils 75, Boston College Eagles 50
#8 Michigan State Spartans 76, Purdue Boilermakers 62
#17 Wisconsin Badgers 65, Penn State Nittany Lions 55
Iowa Hawkeyes 78, #20 Indiana Hoosiers 66

ISU Wins; Bradley Loses

>> ISU Edges Oakland

Jackie Carmichael had 25 points and 19 rebounds Saturday and Illinois State defeated Oakland 79-75.

Carmichael's basket with 17 seconds remaining gave Illinois State a 77-75 lead. He made a pair of free throws with 4 seconds to play to complete the scoring.

The Redbirds (17-11) of the Missouri Valley Conference trailed 26-14 before rallying in a game that was part of the BracketBusters event. Jon Ekey had 19 points and eight rebounds and John Wilkins had 12 points for ISU. Carmichael had 19 of his 25 points in the second half.

Reggie Hamilton led the Golden Grizzlies (15-14) of the Summit League with 34 points, including six 3-pointers, and eight assists. Travis Bader had 18 points, but only two after halftime, for Oakland.

>> Loyola, Chicago Beats Bradley

Ben Averkamp had 19 points and 10 rebounds to lead Loyola of Chicago to a 56-44 win at Bradley Saturday night.

The Ramblers (7-19) have won 2 of 3 after an 11-game losing streak in the Horizon League.

Loyola played the BracketBusters series game without its second-leading scorer and rebounder, Walt Gibler, who is out with a shoulder injury. Joe Crisman scored 10 points on Saturday for the Ramblers.

Jalen Crawford scored 12 points and Walt Lemon Jr. added 11 points for Bradley. The Braves (7-22) of the Missouri Valley Conference have lost three straight and 9 of their last 10.

Clinton Police Weekend Report















CCHS Wall of Honor Inductees 2012

There's a new class of inductees enshrined in the Clinton High School "Wall of Honor."









Four new plaques were added to the Wall during ceremonies held Friday night at CCHS.  Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes explains those recognized on the display represent some of the best that Clinton High has to offer.  He says Clinton's display is unique in the fact that it's not limited to just athletic achievement, but rather lifetime achievements.

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Two of this year's inductees were honored posthumously. 

Tom Steward was a graduate of CCHS Class of 1961.  His list of accomplishments include many awards in basketball, baseball, and football while at Clinton High School, as well as a distinguished collegiate athletic career. 

Judge Stephen H. Peters was also inducted this year.  His list of achievements include numerous activities while enrolled at CCHS, and a successful career as an attorney and judge.  His widow, Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters, was in attendance on his behalf, and says Judge Peters would've been very honored.

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The other two honorees this year include Tyrone Bird, who is a member of the CCHS Class of 2001.  Bird, who was unable to attend the ceremony because he was coaching wrestling for Lincoln-Way East High School in the IHSA State Tournament, was recognized for his long list of wrestling and football accomplishments while attending Clinton High.  He also helped lead the University of Illinois wrestling program to success while attending there.

Also honored was Myra Westray, who is a member of the CCHS Class of 1936.  She served as a teacher at Clinton High for 30 years, and is also notable for being appointed as DeWitt County Sheriff during World War II - becoming only the second female sheriff in Illinois.  Westray looks back at her time at CCHS fondly.

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Those inducted to the CCHS "Wall of Honor" are nominated by the public.  A committee of community leaders reviews the nominations each year, and selects those to be inducted.  There are now 24 Clinton High alumni recognized on the Wall, which located near the Sports Entrance at Clinton High School.

Sages Escape Prairie Central

The Monticello Sages escaped a late fourth quarter surge by Prairie Central, and escape the Hawks by a final score of 54-49 Monday night at Tuscola High School.  The Sages led 27-20 at the half, and used a 5-0 run out of the break to grab their biggest lead of the game at 32-20, however, they went nearly 6 minutes after a Matt Kruse 3-point play without a field goal, and the only points during that stretch was two Nick Stokowski free throws. The FG drought ended with a Ryan Donahue layup. Prairie Central struggled just as much, going over five and a half minutes into the third quarter before recording their first points. They would get within four at 32-28.

In the 4th, A three pointer by Lane Maurer with just under a minute in regulation to play tied the game at 49, but on the ensuing possession, Stokowski was fouled and made two crucial free throws to give the Sages the lead for good. Stokowski would add two more free throws to put the game out of reach at 54-49 with 2-seconds remaining.

The Sages were led by Stokowski and Ryan Donahue with 13 points. Stokowski added 12 rebounds as well for the Sages. Daily O'Brien was the only other scorer in double figures with 11 points. The Hawks season comes to an end.

The Sages have a third and final opportunity this season to beat Tolono-Unity Wednesday night at 6 pm. Unity is the #1 seed in the Tuscola Regional.

You can hear that game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Students to Compete for Design of Rain Barrel

Illinois officials are encouraging school children to participate in a contest by submitting artistic designs to decorate rain barrels.

The Illinois Department of Transportation and Illinois Correctional Industries are teaming up to sponsor the 2nd annual event.

Forty-five submissions will be chosen. Each of those schools will receive a rain barrel created by Correctional Industries.

Designs for the rain barrels should pertain to Earth Day, the environment or include a scene depicting nature.

Schools may enter the contest in 1 of 3 divisions: 3rd to 5th grade, 6th to 8th grade and high school.

Artwork must be submitted by March 30. Winners will be announced the week before Earth Day, which is April 22.

AARP Pushes For More Ombudsmen

Nursing home residents don’t always have a voice when it comes to getting proper care, but AARP Illinois is looking to change that.  David Vinkler says they’re supporting a bill designed to shore up the state’s Ombudsman program. 

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Vinkler says some of the issues will have solutions that can be resolved between the Ombudsmen and the nursing home staff while others will need to be reported to the state’s Department of Public Health.  Vinkler says nursing homes are not always required to report deaths but this bill would require they report all deaths immediately.

HPV Vaccines Can Prevent Cervical Cancer

Many cases of cervical cancer in women can now be prevented by an HPV vaccine.

Every year about 11,000 women in the U.S. are diagnosed with cervical cancer, and almost 4,000 die from the disease. Two vaccines are available to prevent two types of human papillomavirus, which are responsible for most cases of cervical cancer, says Dr. Laurent Brard, associate professor of gynecological oncology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield.

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Dr. Brard says the vaccines prevent infection caused by HPV, but does not eradicate a cancer if an individual already has the cancer. The vaccines do not eliminate the need for Pap screenings. Women who have been vaccinated will continue to need Pap tests. He explains how the vaccine will be given.


Dr. Brard says any woman wanting more information about the HPV vaccines for cervical cancer should check with her primary care physician or gynecologist.

Local Schools Compete in WYSE Competition at Richland

On February 1, Richland Community College hosted the Worldwide Youth in Science and Engineering (WYSE) Competition.  The Academic Challenge is a competitive series of examinations created and administered by WYSE (sponsored by the College of Engineering of the University of Illinois) and offered to high school students in Illinois and Missouri.

Nearly over 200 students representing 14 area high schools participated in the competition. Each school was placed in a division based on the number of students attending their high school.  Students competed in the subject areas of biology, chemistry, English, engineering graphics, mathematics, physics and computer science. 

Winners of each subject area received 30 credit hours, approximately 1 full year, of tuition from Richland Community College.  RCC gave away over $30,000 in tuition over the course of the day.  First and second place winners in each category, including ties, qualified to compete in the sectional competition to be held at Eastern Illinois University in March.  The first and second place teams will also advance to the sectional round.

Local schools advancing to the sectional round include:

In the 300 Division: Central A & M (1st), Sangamon Valley (2nd)

In the 700 Division: Clinton (1st), Meridian (2nd)

In the 1500: Mt. Zion (1st), Decatur MacArthur (2nd)

Local Housing Authorities Receive Improvement Money

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan recently awarded public housing authorities in Illinois more than $128 Million that will be used to make major large-scale improvements to their public housing units.

Today’s grants are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program, which provides annual funding to all public housing authorities to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize the public housing in their communities. This funding can be used to make large-scale improvements such as new roofs and to make energy-efficient upgrades to replace old plumbing and electrical systems. 

The following housing authorities in Illinois will receive this funding:

Peoria Housing Authority, Springfield Housing Authority, Housing Authority of Champaign County, Decatur Housing Authority, Menard County Housing Authority, DeWitt County Housing Authority, Logan County Housing Authority, Housing Authority of the City of Pekin, Housing Authority of the City of Bloomington, and Housing Authority of Piatt County.

Light Squared Plan Hits Major Roadblock

A contoversial plan for a new wireless network has hit a major roadblock.
The FCC is blocking LightSquared and their planned development of a nationwide wireless network citing concerns it can’t be fixed to coexist with GPS systems. American Soybean Association President Steve Wellman says they’re supporting the move because the interference would have been very costly for farmers.
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Wellman says - however - they would support a commercial solution to develop this broadband service because better access to the technology is needed in rural America…tape
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He says the FCC’s decision will protect the GPS technology that farmers have invested millions of dollars in to help improve yields and efficiency in their operations.

Maroa-Forsyth FFA Hosting Free Farm Safety Dinner Monday

Accidents on the farm have risen sharply in Illinois in recent years, and a local FFA chapter is hoping to curb that trend locally by hosting a free event Monday night.

The Maroa-Forsyth FFA Chapter invites all area farmers and their families to attend their 1st annual Farm Safety Night & Dinner Monday night at the high school cafetorium.  Chapter President Chris Scott explains the event is aimed at sharing a wealth of information about farm safety and emergency planning.

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The Maroa-Forsyth FFA officers have worked with several local businesses in order to make the event free to attend.  Ryan Scott, Chapter Sentinel, notes the topics addressed during the night will range from general farm safety and transportation safety to emergency planning and electrical safety.

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The Maroa-Forsyth FFA Farm Safety Night & Dinner takes place Monday night at 5:30 with a social hour.  The program begins at 6pm, with dinner at 6:15, and a prize drawing for special farm safety kits takes place at 8:15 Monday night.  Again, the event is free to attend. 
Those interested in attending can RSVP by emailing Cassie Crouch at crouchc@mfschools.org.

Movie Expert Makes Pitch To Struggling Daily Illini

Movie critic Roger Ebert is helping raise money for the college newspaper where he cut his teeth.

The nonprofit that runs the Daily Illini at the University of Illinois is late on its mortgage payments and owes $250,000 to its printer.

Ebert says in a letter to alumni that many journalists - including him - "would say that they owe their careers at least in part to their experience" at the Daily Illini. He says, "It's now time to give back."

Ebert's letter is part of a fundraising campaign.

The newspaper's nonprofit organization, Illini Media Co., also hopes to raise money by leasing space to tenants.

The Daily Illini on the Urbana-Champaign campus is financially independent from the university.

University of Illinois Statue To Be Repaired

A University of Illinois icon will disappear this summer, but campus officials say won't be gone for good.

Campus historic preservation officer Melvyn Skvarla said Thursday the Alma Mater sculpture at the corner of Wright and Green streets in the heart of the campus will be removed this summer for repair work. The university plans for it to be back by May 2013.

The 82-year-old statue of a woman wearing robes flanked by two figures representing "Learning" and "Labor" was moved to the spot in 1962 and it's been there since.

University officials say artist Lorado Taft intended the statue to be climbed on. That's led to cracks that could cause it to be seriously damaged.

The university plans to spend just under $100,000 on the repairs.

ISU Considers Illinois Rates For Out-Of-State Students

Illinois State University is considering changing a longstanding policy and offering in-state tuition rates to some out-of-state students.

Illinois State trustees are scheduled to consider changes Friday that would allow in-state rates for students from outside Illinois who have very high grades or talent in art, music, sports or other areas.

Illinois State has long favored in-state students as part of its mission as a public university.

Some ISU administrators think the change would make the school in Normal more competitive and draw more students.

Police Reopen 29-Year-Old Murder Case

The Livingston County Sheriff's department is re-opening a 29-year-old cold case.  Robert and Marcia Edwards were found shot in the head in their rural Pontiac home in 1983.  Sheriff Marty Meredith hopes updated technology can help them catch the couple's adopted son, who was accused of the murders. 

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Joe Edwards hasn't been seen since the murders but Meredith says they've gotten a DNA sample from one of his immediate family members.  They hope the DNA helps them find a match.  Edwards would be 47-years-old.  The case was featured on the TV show "America's Most Wanted" three times between 1988 and 1998.  Anyone with information on the case should call the sheriff's department at 815-844-2774.

Heyworth Student Expelled From School

A Heyworth High School student has been expelled from school.

A fight took place last week that involved four girls after school, resulting in two girls requiring medical treatment at an area hospital.

The girl expelled can attend the DeWitt-Livingston-McLean Regional Alternative School located in Bloomington.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Department Revamps Website

The DeWitt County Sheriff's Department has revamped their website.

The Department worked with CrimeStoppers, who helped fund the design, for the past several months to get it up and running. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says the website contains information requested most by citizens. He says the biggest highlight is the sex offenders list. He says this will help citizens better monitor them.

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Other features on their new website include updated special interest pieces in their news tab. The Sheriff notes any emails submitted through the website go directly to him. The new website is a part of the Department working to increase their presence on the internet.

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Sheriff Shoffner explains communicating is a focal point to him. He feels one positive advantage his department can utilize with technology is the ability to communicate quickly and accurately, which is his hope for the website.

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The Sheriff's Department also has a presence on Facebook and is exploring a presence on Twitter, in fact, the Sheriff says in the next couple of months for the Department to be on Twitter.

Sheriff Shofner encourages everyone to visit www.dewittsheriff.com and see what all they have on there.

Voting Registration Deadline Looming

Time is running out to get registered to vote in the March primary.

The deadline to register vote or change registration is this Tuesday February 21. DeWitt County Clerk Dana Smith says when you come to register you need have two forms of identification, one with your correct name and one with your correct address. She adds there is also special instructions for anyone that may have recently moved. She adds anyone new to DeWitt County does need to re-register.

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For those with children, busy work schedules or the procrastinators, there is an opportunity this Saturday to register as well. Smith explains her office will be open from 8:30 until noon this Saturday. 

If there is anyone that cannot register by the Tuesday deadline and cannot take advantage of the Saturday opportunity, there is what is called "Grace Period" registration and voting. Smith explains that begins Wednesday, February 22. However, she says you do have to vote at the time of your registration.

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The deadline to get those abesentee ballots sent out is also running out. Smith explains those voting from out of the area need to get their requests submitted for an absentee ballot. Absentee ballot request forms are also available at the Illinois State Board of Elections website at www.elections.il.gov.

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Again, the County Clerks office will be open this Saturday from 8:30 until noon to register to vote or change registration. To get more information about any of the guidelines for registering to vote, absentee ballots or "Grace Period" registration and voting, you can contact the County Clerks Office at 935-7780. The deadline to register to vote in the March Primary is coming up this Tuesday February 21.

Bulls Beat Celtics

Carlos Boozer had 23 points and 15 rebounds as the Bulls took down the Celtics, 89-80.  Luol Deng added 23 points and 10 assists for Chicago, which has won two straight and seven-of-eight.  Joakim Noah finished with 15 points and 15 rebounds in the victory.  Bulls star Derrick Rose missed his fourth straight game with a back issue.  Kevin Garnett collected 18 points and 10 rebounds for Boston, which has dropped two straight since Sunday's win over Chicago.  Rajon Rondo had 17 points, seven rebounds and eight assists in the loss.

Indiana Pacers 93, New Jersey Nets 88
Chicago Bulls 89, Boston Celtics 80
Los Angeles Clippers 74, Portland Trail Blazers 71

Weber Apologizes For Wednesday's Postgame Comments; Illini At Nebraska Saturday

>> Bruce Weber Apologizes For Post-Game Comments

Illinois coach Bruce Weber is disappointed in himself.

The ninth-year coach issued a statement Thursday apologizing and saying he spoke in frustration after Wednesday night's home loss to Purdue.

Weber said he is disappointed in himself for criticizing both himself for not building a culture of toughness at Illinois and his players after the 67-62 loss to the Boilermakers.

The Illini (16-10, 5-7 Big Ten) have lost 7 of their last eight games and are in danger of missing the NCAA tournament.

Weber is under pressure from fans. And Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas has said his standard is not just for the team to make the tournament but to get a high seed and "make some noise."

>>Illinois At Nebraska Tomorrow

(Lincoln, NE)  --  Illinois will try to snap a four-game skid tomorrow afternoon at Nebraska.  The Fighting Illini fell 67-62 to Purdue on Wednesday and have lost seven-of-eight overall.  Illinois is 16-and-10 on the season, including 5-and-8 in the Big Ten.  The Illini beat Nebraska 59-54 January 7th.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#4 Duke Blue Devils 78, North Carolina State Wolfpack 73
#8 Michigan State Spartans 69, #17 Wisconsin Badgers 55
#21 Florida State Seminoles 48, Virginia Tech Hokies 47
#24 Gonzaga Bulldogs 73, Santa Clara Broncos 62

Sages Wrap Regular Up Regular Season At Home

The Monticello Sages will wrap up their regular season at home tonight against the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals. The Sages are coming off two thrilling victories over Decatur St. Teresa at home and at Maroa-Forsyth. The Sages will be honoring their senior involved in the various winter programs. The Sages come into tonights game a 14-11 overall and 7-3 in the Okaw Valley. The Sages enter play at 3rd in the Okaw standings, behind Meridian, despite beating the Hawks twice on the season.

Game time tonight is 7:30, you can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

One Okaw Valey Final From Thursday...

Maroa-Forsyth 47, Sullivan 38

Other games for tonight...

Argenta-Oreana vs. Tuscola
Meridian vs Decatur St. Teresa
Tolono Unity vs Shelbyville

Georgia Governor: Caterpillar To Build Plan In Georgia

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal confirmed that Caterpillar plans to build a new manufacturing facility in Georgia, a project company officials say will create more than 4,200 U.S. jobs.

Caterpillar said in a statement Friday morning that its planned 1-million-square-foot-facility near Athens is expected to directly employ 1,400 workers once it's fully operational.

Company officials said they estimate the project will create another 2,800 full-time jobs in the U.S. among suppliers and at other companies.

Deal said in a statement that Georgia's business climate offers the logistics, workforce, speed and efficiency that global industries such as Caterpillar are looking for. At a Friday morning news conference at the Capitol, Deal described the project as the largest growth of new jobs in Georgia since a sprawling Kia Motors manufacturing facility was built.

HS BBALL: Monticello Sages vs. Warrensburg-Latham

As heard on WEZC, the Monticello Sages beat the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals by a final score of 64-53 at Monticello High School. The leading scorer for the Sages was Daily O'Brian who had a total of 18 points. Nick Stokowski added , Matt Kruse had 12, and Ryan Donahue chipped in with 11. For the Cardinals, Cody Huggins led all scorers with a total of 21 points throughout the game. The Sages finish the regular season at 15-11 overall, and 8-3 in the conference. The Sages head to Regionals Monday night against Prairie Central at 7:30 at Tuscola.

Maroons Fall In Season Finale

As heard on the BIG 1520/92.3 WHOW, the Central A&M Raiders beat the Clinton Maroons by a final score of 60-37.  The Raiders were led by Spencer Gardner with 17 points.  Ross Workman added 14 points. The Maroons were led by  Jacob Rockhold and Dylan Scott with 8 points. Mitch Creager chipped in 6 points.  The Raiders improve to 17-9 on the year as the Maroons drop to 3-22 and 0-11 in Okaw action.  The Clinton JV team also lost to Central A&M 50-45.  Tune in Tuesday as the Maroons take on Riverton at 6p at the Maroa-Forsyth Class AA Regional. 

Study: Chicago Area Most Corrupt In Nation

A new study has proven something most Chicagoans say they already know: the area is the most corrupt in the nation. 

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University of Illinois at Chicago professor Dick Simpson says the problems with corruption extend to the entire state.

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Simpson says most of the corruption can be found in two places.

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 Simpson says those convictions are almost 600 more than second place on the list: the area around Los Angeles with 12-hundred-75 public corruption convictions.  Third was Manhattan, the Bronx and northern counties near New York City at just over 12-hundred.  Washington DC and the area near Miami were fourth and fifth.  The study also found Illinois was only the third most corrupt state: behind Washington, DC and Louisiana.  But Simpson says that's because DC and Louisiana have smaller populations.  The study found most of the corruption was inside Chicago City Hall and Illinois' state capitol of Springfield.

Illinois Home Foreclosures Go Up In January

Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 14% in January compared to the previous month as lenders resolve paperwork problems that had slowed the process.

A report released Thursday by RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 14,349 foreclosure filings last month. Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

The filings represent one in every 369 housing units in the state. That rate is also 9% higher than in January of last year and seventh-highest nationally.

RealtyTrac says it expects foreclosures to continue to rise now that attorneys general in 49 states reached a settlement with 5 of the nation's largest lenders that outlines foreclosure guidelines.

Nevada continued to have the nation's highest foreclosure rate.

Other states with foreclosure rates higher than Illinois are Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Michigan.

IHSA Football Corporate Sponsors

It's common to see the logos of corporate sponsors splashed on NFL and college football fields, but now high school teams in Illinois can take advantage of that revenue stream.  Craig Anderson with the Illinois High School Association says they're already allowed to put the logos in end zones. 

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Anderson says the new rule comes from National Federation of State High School Associations.

Quinn Names New Director of Agriculture Department

Gov. Pat Quinn has named a former state representative as director of the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

Democrat Bob Flider served in the state House from 2003 to 2011 representing a central Illinois district.

Quinn called Flider a "tireless, effective leader for rural farming communities."

Flider also served as mayor of Mt. Zion from 1995 to 2003. He started his career as a reporter with the Mattoon Journal Gazette and Charleston Times-Courier.

He's worked at a nonprofit organization that promotes technology access in rural communities since last year.

CHS Class Of 73 Kickoff Fundraiser Successful

The Clinton High School Class of 1973 held their kick off fundraiser for 2012.

The Class of '73 is raising money for their work on the Peace Park project which is on West Main Street in Clinton.  The group is working to restore the Roque Court there that was once a hot spot to the Clinton community. Cris Rogers, with the Class of '73, says the fundraiser was a huge success.  He feels if they continue to get community support like this all year, then they will be in good shape to meet the needs of the project.

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Rogers says the money will be used to continue the Roque Court project. He says they are looking for some nice benches, much like what is on Mr. Lincoln Square. They are also still in need of a flagpole, and are looking to get the landscaping going this spring.

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Rogers says things are really coming together. He says while at first it was tough to get some of the community behind them, he feels they now have a great amount of support which has really propelled the project forward.

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The Class of 73 thanks Scott Williamson and the Shack Restaurant for allowing them to use their facilities. They also thank the many residents that stopped in to support their endeavor.

Report: Colts' Manning Had Fourth Neck Procedure

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning reportedly had a fourth procedure on his neck last year.  "Sports Illustrated.com" is reporting that number-18 had the fourth procedure after his May 23rd surgery to fix a bulging disk but before his neck fushion surgery on September 9th.  Manning, who turns 36 in March, missed all of last season with the neck issues.  The Colts owe Manning a $28-million roster bonus by March 8th or else he will become an unrestricted free agent.

Edmonds May Be Spring Training Instructor

Former All-Star center fielder Jim Edmonds may be back in uniform with the Cardinals this spring.  According to the "Post-Dispatch," Edmonds has been invited to be a spring instructor and possibly a consultant to GM John Mozeliak [[ moh-ZAY-lack ]].  Edmonds retired prior to last season.

IHSA: ISU may host some football title games

The Illinois High School Association is considering moving some of its football championship games to Illinois State University in Normal.

IHSA executive director Marty Hickman says Hancock Stadium is being considered for either 4 of the eight title games or all eight for 2013. A decision is expected in June, and bids are still being accepted.

Hancock Stadium hosted title games until 1999 when they were moved to Memorial Stadium on the University of Illinois campus in Champaign.

The IHSA is now looking for another place to play in odd-numbered years. The expansion of the Big Ten means Memorial Stadium isn't available every year.

ISU trustees are expected this Friday to approve a $25 million renovation project for Hancock Stadium.

Bulls Notes

>>Bulls Host Celts

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they continue a six-game homestand against the Boston Celtics at the United Center.  The Bulls have won six of their last seven games and are coming off a 121-115 victory versus Sacramento on Tuesday to improve to 24-and-7 on the season.  Chicago wraps up this week's play on Saturday against the New Jersey Nets.

Orlando Magic 103, Philadelphia 76ers 87
San Antonio Spurs 113, Toronto Raptors 106
Detroit Pistons 98, Boston Celtics 88
Cleveland Cavaliers 98, Indiana Pacers 87
New York Knicks 100, Sacramento Kings 85
Memphis Grizzlies 105, New Jersey Nets 100
Houston Rockets 96, Oklahoma City Thunder 95
New Orleans Hornets 92, Milwaukee Bucks 89
Minnesota Timberwolves 102, Charlotte Bobcats 90
Dallas Mavericks 102, Denver Nuggets 84
Atlanta Hawks 101, Phoenix Suns 99
Portland Trail Blazers 93, Golden State Warriors 91
Los Angeles Clippers 102, Washington Wizards 84

>>Thibodeau To Coach East All-Stars

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau [[ TIB-uh-DOH ]] will coach the Eastern Conference at the All-Star Game later this month.  The have clinched the conference's best record from games played through February 15th, giving Thibodeau the nod for the February 26th All-Star contest at the Amway Center in Orlando.  The NBA's reigning Coach of the Year, Thibodeau piloted the Bulls to an NBA-best 62-and-20 record last season.  Chicago advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals before losing to the Miami Heat in five games.  Oklahoma City's Scott Brooks will coach the Western Conference.

Illini Fall To Purdue

Robbie Hummel scored 19 points and three other Boilermakers scored in double figures Wednesday night, helping Purdue hold off struggling Illinois 67-62.

Lewis Jackson and D.J. Byrd added 13 points each and Terone Johnson scored 12 for Purdue (17-9, 7-6 Big Ten).

The Illini (16-10, 5-8) repeatedly closed to within two over the game's final 10 minutes. But the Boilermakers found a way to climb away every time.

The last came on Hummel's free throw with 19.5 seconds to play that put the Boilers up 65-62. With Illinois forced to foul, Hummel then sank two more.

Freshman Tracy Abrams led Illinois with a career-high 22 points. Brandon Paul added 19 points.

Illinois has lost 7 of 8 while Purdue has won two straight to stay in the top half of the Big Ten.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Missouri Tigers 83, Oklahoma State Cowboys 65
#7 North Carolina Tar Heels 73, Miami (FL) Hurricanes 64
#14 Murray State Racers 75, Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 66
New Mexico Lobos 77, #15 San Diego State Aztecs 67
Loyola Marymount Lions 75, #16 Saint Mary's Gaels 60
#20 Indiana Hoosiers 71, Northwestern Wildcats 66
#25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 71, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 53

Tours Begin Today For Blue Ridge's Mansfield Facility Plans

The Blue Ridge Board of Education has received some good news in the areas of the bonds they are looking to issue for their Mansfield facility.

The district has been planning on an interest rate of just over 5-percent. Superintendent of the Blue Ridge District Susan Wilson explains they have recently received word the bond rates have dropped by whole percentage points, which is quite significant. She says this will save tax payers quite a bit of money and will not be as much of a tax increase as they originally were planning on.

Cut 1: blueridgebonds1  :47  CUE: dollars a year

Bond rates have been steadily dropping, however, Wilson notes they did not want to get voters hopes up so the Board of Education will be estimating a little bit higher of a bond rate. She adds they will also have an estimator for voters to estimate the tax increase for themselves in literature they will be distributing to the public.

Cut 2: blueridgebonds2  :29  CUE: pretty cool

The district has been holding on to estimates from over five years ago for their Health Life Safety update estimates. Wilson notes if the referendum does not pass the Blue Ridge District will need to issue approximately $2-million in Health Life Safety bonds, the Mansfield facility update projected cost is about $4-million.

Cut 3: blueridgebonds3  :44  CUE: to the public

The Blue Ridge district will be holding a series of tours in the coming weeks at Mansfield Elementary. The tours started last night, but there are two more scheduled for March 7 and March 15 from 3-6 pm. Wilson hopes to have video tours up online as well in the near future. She wants those in the district to see the Mansfield facility and the issues they currently face there. The architects will also be a part of the tours and will have designs on hand for the proposed addition.

Quinn Noncommittal On Gay Marriage

Three state lawmakers are pushing to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois, but Governor Quinn won't say if he'll support the proposal.

[audio:rddGayMar3.mp3] [/audio]

Representative Kelly Cassidy says the attitudes of society have changed toward gay and lesbian couples and it's time for governmental bodies to follow suit.  She introduced the proposal last week along with Representatives Greg Harris and Deb Mell.  They say they've gotten quite a bit of support since introducing the bill, despite opponents' claims that gay marriage will hurt society.

Company Could Lay Off More Than 250 Employees

A Decatur company has notified more than 250 employees that they could lose their jobs two months from now.

StarTek gave notice to its 258 remaining employees Monday.

Spokeswoman Rosemary Hanratty says the Decatur office will close if the company can't find another use for the site.

She says about 100 workers were already told they'll be losing their jobs Thursday.

Chad Carlson, president and CEO of Denver-based StarTek, says the company is working hard to find new business for the office.

StarTek provides calling centers for other businesses.

The layoff notice comes less than a year after the firm held a drive-through job fair to recruit for 100 jobs.

Missing Decatur Man Found Dead In Lake Decatur

A Decatur man was found dead Tuesday by rescue workers in Lake Decatur.

According to Police, 41 year-old David Rowan went missing early Monday morning. His car was located near the lake, which triggered the search.

Rowan's body was recovered by divers Tuesday afternoon.

Macon County Coroner Michael Day is currently classifying the cause of death as being undetermined, and an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday in McLean County.

Police are continuing to investigate.

Clinton Garbage Rates Go Up

If you live in Clinton, you may notice your garbage bill is higher when you receive your quarterly AREA bill.

Rates for the garbage disposal are going up just slightly. Each year, AREA looks at their rates and they can raise them a certain amount, according to their contract with the City of Clinton. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says each February they evaluate their rates, and this year they will be raising rates by 2.1% increase per month.

[audio:garbagerates1.mp3] [/audio]

Questions have recently been raised about AREA's methods of recycling and what happens to the materials Clintonians place into their recycling containers. Mayor Peters says AREA will be opening up their doors tomorrow afternoon for residents to come out and see what exactly they do with the recycled materials.

[audio:garbagerates2.mp3] [/audio]

Anyone interested in taking the tour of AREA's recycling center, they can meet at AREA at 3 pm again Thursday afternoon.

Clinton Athletic Boosters Continue To Build On Early Successes

A young organization in Clinton that supports the youth of the community continues to grow.

The Clinton Athletic Boosters has been rejuvenated in the past several years. Vice President of the Boosters, Mike Walker explains they have found Board members who have children involved in the programs, and they have come up with various forms of involvement. He explains they have two types of memberships to keep those in the community active and involved in the Boosters.

[audio:boosters1.mp3] [/audio]

The Boosters are trying to make community support towards all the athletic programs a priority among their members. Walker says they want the kids to know the community is behind them and they support them, and he says they are asking members to come out to the events and just be there to watch. He feels that can go a long way in the success of the programs.

[audio:boosters2.mp3] [/audio]

One of the Boosters biggest fundraisers is coming up in early March. The Maroon Madness event, according to Walker, the event is a reverse raffle where the boosters gives you an opportunity to walk away with  $500. Ticks are one hundred dollars gets four adults into the event and gets you dinner and a chance at the various prizes. A silent auction will be held as well.

[audio:boosters3.mp3] [/audio]

The silent auction includes St. Louis Cardinals tickets, a donated computer, a donated car from Douglas Dodge. Last year was the first year for the event and raised over $11-thousand. The event is March 3 at the Clinton Elks and is $100 for four adults.

For more information on how to get involved with the Clinton Athletic Boosters or more information on their Maroon Madness event you can contact the Clinton Schools athletics departments or Brain Ennis, the Boosters President or any other Board Member.

Irsay: Colts Would Love To Have Manning Back

Quarterback Peyton Manning can remain with the Indianapolis Colts for the right price.  Team owner Jim Irsay told the "Indianapolis Star" that the Colts would love to have him back and finish his career in Indianapolis with a restructured contract that reflects the uncertainty of his health.  Manning missed all of the 2011 season following his third neck surgery in September.  He's due a 28-million-dollar bonus on March 8th.  If the Colts choose not to pay, Manning becomes a free agent.

Former Cubs Announcer Lewin To Join Mets Radio Broadcasts

The New York Mets have announced an addition to their radio broadcast team.  Veteran baseball announcer Josh Lewin is slated to join Howie Rose for the upcoming season.  Lewin has 16 years of Major League Baseball broadcast experience, having called games for the Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Detroit Tigers and Texas Rangers.  Most recently Lewin was the television play-by-play man for the Rangers.  Lewin will also continue his role as the radio voice for the NFL's San Diego Chargers.

White Sox Sign Fukudome To One-Year Deal

Kosuke Fukudome is back in the Windy City.  The Chicago White Sox have signed the veteran outfielder to a one-year contract with a club option for 2013.  The 34-year-old split last season with the Cubs and Cleveland Indians, batting a combined .262 with eight home runs and 35 RBI.  Before coming to the majors, Fukudome played nine years in Japan.

Bulls Bully Sacramento

Luol Deng charged the Bulls with 22 points, 11 assists and six rebounds as Chicago took care of the Kings, 121-115.  Joakim Noah added 22 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks for a Bulls team playing its their third-straight game without Derrick Rose.  Rose is sidelined with a sore back.  The Bulls have won six-of-seven overall and are 10-and-1 at home on the year.  DeMarcus Cousins flexed for 28 points and 17 rebounds in a losing effort, the Kings' third in their last four.

New York Knicks 90, Toronto Raptors 87
Miami Heat 105, Indiana Pacers 90
San Antonio Spurs 99, Detroit Pistons 95
Memphis Grizzlies 93, Houston Rockets 83
Oklahoma City Thunder 111, Utah Jazz 85
Denver Nuggets 109, Phoenix Suns 92
Washington Wizards 124, Portland Trail Blazers 109
Los Angeles Lakers 86, Atlanta Hawks 78

ISU Falls In OT, Illini Host Purdue Tonight

Jake Odum scored 34 points Tuesday night to lead Indiana State past Illinois State 83-77 in overtime.

Odum also had seven rebounds and seven assists for the Sycamores (16-11, 7-9 Missouri Valley). He was 17 of 21 from the free-throw line, though he missed two with 1.9 seconds left in regulation and the score tied at 73.

Myles Walker had 16 points and seven rebounds, and Jordan Printy scored 15 for Indiana State. The Sycamores scored the first six points in overtime, and after the Redbirds trimmed their lead to 79-77, Odum made four free throws to close it out.

Nic Moore led Illinois State (16-11, 8-8) with 16 points. Jackie Carmichael scored 15 and Tyler Brown and Anthony Cousin had 13 points apiece. Cousin's 3-pointer with 10 seconds remaining in regulation made it 73-73.

Neither team led by more than six points in the game.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#6 Ohio State Buckeyes 78, Minnesota Golden Gophers 68
TCU Horned Frogs 102, #11 UNLV Rebels 97 (OT)
#12 Florida Gators 61, Alabama Crimson Tide 52
Clemson Tigers 60, #22 Virginia Cavaliers 48
LSU Tigers 69, #23 Mississippi State Bulldogs 67

>>Illinois Hosts Purdue Tonight

(Champaign, IL)  --  Illinois looks to snap a three-game losing streak tonight as Purdue invades Assembly Hall.  The Fighting Illini fell 70-61 at Michigan on Sunday and have lost six of their last seven games.  Illinois is 16-and-9 overall and 5-and-7 in the Big Ten.  Purdue is 16-and-9 and 6-and-6.

Allerton Park Bridge Being Restored

A portion Allerton Park in Monticello is getting a makeover.

One of the two bridges that lead into the park has been out of commission for some time now and the University of Illinois owned park is getting it completely redone. Monticello Mayor Chris Corrie says the city is very excited about the project because the bridge leads right to their downtown area and then out towards the beautiful park.

[audio:allertonbridge1.mp3] [/audio]

The state is funding the project through the U of I. Mayor Corrie applauds the hard work their local legislators to secure the funds for the project.

[audio:allertonbridge2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Mayor Corrie, to preserve the history of the bridge would have doubled the cost. He says it will be a more modern bridge because of the importance to take advantage of the funding and having a usable bridge.

[audio:allertonbridge3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Corrie explains he has found Monticello and Allerton Park are traditionally closely associated with each other. He says the city and those associated with the park are very excited to see the bridge finally receiving restoration attention.

Maroons Lose in Overtime

As heard on WHOW, the Argenta-Oreana Bombers defeated the Clinton Maroons by a score of 45-38 Tuesday night at Clinton High School. The Maroons had a 15 point lead at one point in the game but soon imploded, losing the lead and the Bombers forced the game into overtime. Mitch Creager was the lead scorer for the Maroons with 10 points and Jacob Rockhold put up 9 points in the game. For the Bombers, Greg Boomer led the way with 16 points. The Maroons have not dropped seventeen straight as they fall to 3-21 overall and 0-10 in the Okaw Valley Conference. The Bombers go to 8-16 overall and 1-9 in the OVC.

The Maroons will play their final game of the regular season this Friday night at Clinton High School. Tune in to 92.3FM WHOW with tipoff approximately 7:30pm.

Signs Point To Cattle Industry Expansion

There are signs that the cattle industry is beginning a transition from beef cow herd liquidation to expansion.
CattleFax analyst Kevin Good says as that transition takes place - the industry will have to address excess feeding and packing capacity.
[audio:cowherd11.mp3] [/audio]
And Good says that means overcapacity.
[audio:cowherd21.mp3] [/audio]
Good says a one-million head reduction in fed cattle supplies in the next two years equates to removing one packing plant and more than 600 feedlots with a one-thousand head capacity - or 67 feedlots with a 10-thousand head capacity - or 27 feedlots with a 25-thousand head capacity.

CME Group Unveils Rebuilding Plan

CME Group unveiled the first, targeted step toward rebuilding confidence in futures markets following the failure of MF Global.
CME Group announced that it would make a 100-million dollar Family Farmer and Rancher Protection Fund available to provide an additional layer of protection to farmers and ranchers who lose money due to any future failure of a clearing member firm.
CME Group Chief Operating Officer Bryan Durkin says they are creating this fund to make sure the nation’s food producers never again find themselves in the position they did in the weeks following the MF Global situation.
[audio:cmefund1.mp3] [/audio]
    CME Group is working with several industry groups to provide recommendations that will be brought forward in the next several months to address further concerns. However - Durkin says this fund is something CME Group can do today to make sure additional protection is quickly in place for the agricultural community.
[audio:cmefund2.mp3] [/audio]
Durkin says the company plans to have more application details for the fund available before March 1st when the fund is expected to officially be in place. Also - industry recommendations for stronger protections of customer funds held at clearing firms are expected to be put forward this spring. For more MF Global updates - visit CME Group’s website at www dot cmegroup dot com (www.cmegroup.com).

Quinn Wants To Change Illinois' Constitution

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to change Illinois' constitution to allow voters to enact ethics reform through popular initiative and referendum.

Quinn called for the passage of the so-called "Lincoln Amendment" on Sunday which would have been Abraham Lincoln's 203rd birthday.

The Democrat says the amendment will give Illinois voters the power to directly implement stronger ethics laws and recall elected officials. Currently, voters can only propose by popular initiative amendments to the Illinois constitution that deal with structure and procedure of the General Assembly.

The proposed amendment allows voters to directly impact ethics laws. It's sponsored by state Sen. Annazette Collins, who's a Chicago Democrat.

Quinn says voters deserve the power to recall any elected official and enact ethical standards by referendum.

Schock Criticizes Obama On Budget

Congressman Aaron Schock said both Republicans and Democrats are guilty of overspending over the last decade but he says the Obama administration has had supercharged spending in its first three years.  The Peoria Republican says the President's budget didn't garner a single vote last year in the Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate and he doesn't figure this year's budget will be much better.  He spoke at a breakfast fundraiser for State Representative Jil Tracy in Quincy yesterday morning.  He credited the crowd of mostly business owners for adding jobs without much government assistance.

Quinn: We're Improving Business Climate

Governor Quinn says he's disappointed with Caterpillar's notion that Illinois has a bad business climate.  He says lawmakers have taken major steps to make things better for businesses.

[audio:rddCat3.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says Caterpillar had a great year in Illinois last year, especially in the area of exports.  He says businesses are actually flocking to Illinois because of its friendly jobs climate, including Chrysler which is adding 18-hundred jobs in Belvidere.  Quinn admits there's still more work to be done to improve Illinois' fiscal situation and he says they're working hard to get it done.

Attack On Gun Owners

State Representative Brandon Phelps says a constant attack on gun owners in Illinois could be the death of hunting in the state.

[audio:rddGunBan3.mp3] [/audio]

Phelps says hunters would more than likely leave Illinois is that bill becomes law.  He's also upset over a bill backed by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.  That one seeks to create a statewide registry for handgun owners, who'd be required to pay 65 dollars to register each handgun they own.  Phelps says the proposed gun bills could hinder progress on his proposal to legalize conceal carry.

DeWitt County Soil And Water Conservation District Annual Meeting Preview

Time is running out to attend this week's annual meeting of the DeWitt County Soil & Water Conservation District.

The District’s 68th Annual Meeting takes place Friday at the Clinton Country Club.  Registration will begin at 7:30 AM, with a buffet breakfast, served at 8:00 AM.. 

The speaker for the morning will be Wes Wheeler bringing Classic Country Comedy.  Wes has entertained all over Central Illinois since 1985.  Wes grew up on a farm, living in the country and working in the agribusiness industry his entire life. 

A short business meeting of the SWCD will be held.  Three people will be elected for two-year term as members of the Board of Directors.  A review of the past year’s successes and the coming year’s programs will be presented.  

There is no charge for attendance; although donations will be accepted at the door to help offset the cost of the meal. 

Please phone the DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District at 217-935-6504, ext. 3, as soon as possible to make reservations to attend Friday's meeting. 

Blue Ridge Looks To Finalize Drug Testing Policy

The Blue Ridge Board of Education will be looking to institute a drug policy they have been working on for some time now.

The Blue Ridge school district has been working on drafting a policy of a drug test for their students. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson explains they are being very careful in this process. She says they are close to a final copy but some issues have come up they wanted to resolve. One issue was language regarding should a student-athlete test positive, do they need to pass a test to resume their sport.

[audio:blueridgedrugs1.mp3] [/audio]

The drug testing policy will be a  year round policy. Wilson explains if a student signs up by a certain deadline the district will pay for their random test. However, if they are late to the sign up, they have to pay for the tests throughout the year and they have to be tested as soon as they are signed up.

[audio:blueridgedrugs2.mp3] [/audio]

The Blue Ridge Board of Education meets Wednesday evening, at which time the changes will be brought forth and seeking approval.

Bears Notes

>> Trial For Ex-Bear WR Hurd Delayed To August

A federal judge has delayed the drug conspiracy trial for former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd until August.

U.S. District Judge Jorge Solis granted the delay until Aug. 6 at the request of Hurd's co-defendant, Toby Lujan. Trial had been set for April 2.

Hurd is a former Chicago Bears and Dallas Cowboys player. He and Lujan are accused of trying to buy large quantities of marijuana and cocaine to launch a drug-distribution network. The 26-year-old Hurd was arrested Dec. 14 outside a Chicago-area steakhouse, and he was cut shortly afterward by the Bears.

Hurd and Lujan have pleaded not guilty.

>>Bears' Thomas Arrested For Marijuana

(Morgantown, WV)  --  Chicago Bears linebacker J.T. Thomas is facing a misdemeanor drug charge after he was arrested Monday morning for possession of marijuana.  Thomas was pulled over by police after driving the wrong way down a one-way street and marijuana was found in his car.  The 23-year-old was a rookie for the Bears in 2011 and spent the season on injured reserve.  He was a three-year starter at West Virginia.

>>Wife Of Ex-Bear Tommie Harris Dies

(Chicago, IL)  --  The wife of former Chicago Bears tackle Tommie Harris has died.  Ashley Harris passed away in Oklahoma over the weekend after getting sick with an unknown illness.  Tommie Harris was with the Bears from 2004 until 2011 where he went to the Pro Bowl three times.  He played with San Diego Chargers last year, recording three sacks in 13 games.

Bulls Notes

Philadelphia 76ers 98, Charlotte Bobcats 89
Orlando Magic 102, Minnesota Timberwolves 89
New Orleans Hornets 86, Utah Jazz 80
Miami Heat 114, Milwaukee Bucks 96
Dallas Mavericks 96, Los Angeles Clippers 92
Golden State Warriors 102, Phoenix Suns 96

>>Bulls Open Up Homestand

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they open up a six-game homestand against the Sacramento Kings at the United Center.  The Bulls had a five-game winning streak snapped with a 95-91 setback at Boston on Sunday to fall to 23-and-7 on the season.  They wrapped up a nine-game road swing at 6-and-3.  Chicago continues the homestay on Thursday against the Celtics.

>> Bulls' Rose Day-To-Day

Bulls star Derrick Rose remains day to day for Chicago because of lower back spasms.

Rose was examined Monday by a specialist, and general manager Gar Forman says no structural damage was found. That's good news for the Eastern Conference-leading Bulls.

The league's reigning MVP, Rose is averaging 22.0 points and 7.8 assists, but he's missed seven games because of problems with his back and left big toe. He sat out the past two games at Charlotte and Boston and being limited in the previous two.

Pressure Mounting On Weber

Mike Thomas has been busy since taking over as athletic director at Illinois last summer. He fired football coach Ron Zook and hired Tim Beckman to replace him.

Thomas is about to start raising money to renovate Assembly Hall even as grumbling fans want him to fire men's basketball coach coach Bruce Weber. Illinois has lost 6 of its last seven game.

Thomas won't say what he plans to do. He says he will evaluate Weber at the end of the season. But he also says he expects Illinois to make the NCAA tournament and "make some noise" when it gets there.

Weber is among Illinois' winningest coaches. His team played in the national title game in 2005.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#5 Kansas Jayhawks 59, Kansas State Wildcats 53
#10 Baylor Bears 79, Iowa State Cyclones 64

Girls BBALL Sectionals

Girls Sectional Semi-Final games took place around the area last night, here are some of the finals:

At Ridgeview: LeRoy 52, Heyworth 46
 (LeRoy Plays Urbana U-High Thursday @ 7:30)

At Hume (Shiloh)
Tuscola 36 F
Cowden (C.-Herrick) 65
At Hume (Shiloh)
Decatur (D. Lutheran) 47 F
Neoga 33
Class AA
At Beardstown
Williamsville 50 F
Gillespie 40
At St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden)
Decatur (St. Teresa) 43 F
Champaign (St. Thomas More) 56
Class 3A Regional Schedule for Tuesday
At Champaign (Central)
Champaign (Central)   8:10
Mahomet (M.-Seymour)
At Decatur (Eisenhower)
Mt. Zion   7:30
Decatur (MacArthur)
At Normal (Community West)
Normal (University)   6:00
At Normal (Community West)
Normal (Community West)   8:10
Bloomington (H.S.)

Monticello At Maroa Preview

The Monticello Sages travel to Maroa-Forsyth this evening to take on the Trojans. The Sages are coming off a nice come from behind home victory over Decatur St. Teresa Friday 65-58. The Sages are in a three-way tie for third with St. T and Warrensburg-Latham, who they will see Friday night. The Sages are 6-3 in conference play and are 13-11 overall. Maroa comes in at 16-10 and 5-4 in Okaw play.

You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is scheduled for 7:30.

Clinton Chamber Seeking Exhibitors For Business Expo

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce is seeking local businesses to come and be a part of their annual Business Expo.

Executive Director at the Clinton Chamber Marian Brisard believes this is a good opportunity for local businesses to showcase themselves to the community.

[audio:businessexpo1.mp3] [/audio]

After several years of holding the event at Clinton Jr High School, the event will have a new and bigger venue for the 2012 version of the Business Expo. Brisard explains they have worked with the Clinton School Unit Office to hold the event this year at Clinton High School. She notes this will free up more space for those business to display information.

[audio:businessexpo2.mp3] [/audio]

This is an event open to the public to come and introduce themselves to the new businesses of the community. Brisard hopes the change in venue might lead to some businesses setting up displays outside.

[audio:businessexpo3.mp3] [/audio]

Businesses wanting to be a part of the Clinton Chamber's Business Expo event, you need to register by March 12th. The cost is $125 for an exhibitor and $85 for a non-profit display for non-Chamber Members. For Chamber members the cost $85 and non profit displays is $60. For more information or a registration form you can contact the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce at 935-3364, or visit clintonilchamber.com.

The event is March 28th from 3-7 pm.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report


February 11, 2012


Jail Population: 53

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 2


February 12, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 6

Warrant Arrests: 0


February 13, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


February 14, 2012


Jail Population: 52

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 12:38 p.m. on Saturday, February 11, revealed that a vehicle driven by Danielle Glover, 15, Carbondale, was traveling south on Idlewood Road nearing the curve that becomes Old Silo Road when it went into the ditch on the southside of the roadway. The vehicle was driven from the scene and no injuries were reported.


Howard Followell, 70, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Followell posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Keenan Hawkins, 18, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Hawkins posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Cody Fry, 22, Normal, was issued a citation for Speeding (77 mph in a 55 mph zone). Fry posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


David Davis, 44, Hammond, was issued a citation for Speeding (71 mph in a 55 mph zone). Davis posted his IL Drivers license as bond and was released.


Andrew Oliver, 31, Decatur, was issued a citation Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Oliver posted the necessary bond and was released



Sages Beat Trojans

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, the Monticello Sages beat the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans by a score of 75-72 at Maroa-Forsyth Highschool. Ryan Donahue led the Sages with 24 points.  Nick Stokowski helped out with 22 and Daily O'Brien with 16. Monticello shot 31 of 40 at the free throw line. There were 5 guys in double-figures for the Trojans- Jack Hockaday with 11, Aaron Smith with 12, Logan Stelzriede with 16, Zach Murphy with 12 and Drew Aschermann with 10.  The Sages improve to 7-3 in the Okaw Valley Conference and 14-11 overall.  Forsyth drops to 16-11 on the season and 5-5 in conference play.  The Sages JV team lost 56-48 to the Trojans. Tune in Friday at 7 as the Sages play their final regular season game against the Warrensburg Cardinals.  

Mickelson Wins At Pebble Beach

Phil Mickelson fired an eight-under 64 on Sunday to win the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.  Mickelson finished at minus-17 to collect his 40th career victory and fourth at Pebble Beach.  It matched the largest comeback of "Lefty's" career, who started the final round six strokes back of Charlie Wi [[ Wee ]].  Wi [[ Wee ]] ended three strokes back at 14-under to sit in second place.  Ricky Barnes and Aaron Baddeley finished third and fourth at minus-13 and 12, respectively.  Dustin Johnson and Kevin Na [[ nah ]] rounded out the top-five tied at 11-under-par.  Meanwhile, Tiger Woods stumbled to a three-over 75 in his final round to finish at eight-under par in a tie for 15th place.  Woods is still searching for his first PGA Tour win since the 2009 BMW Championship.

Rams Name Snead New GM

According to the "St. Louis Post-Dispatch," the Rams have named Les Snead their new general manager.  Snead replaces Billy Devaney, who was fired in January.  Snead was formerly with the Atlanta Falcons as their director of player personnel.  He was with Atlanta for 13 seasons.  The Rams are scheduled to make the move official on Monday.

Bulls Notes

>>Rose-Less Bulls Fall To Celtics

(Boston, MA)  --  Rajon Rondo registered a triple-double with 32 points, 15 assists and 10 rebounds as the Celtics beat the Derrick Rose-less Bulls, 95-91.  Rose missed his second straight game with back spasms.  Kevin Garnett helped out with 13 points and 12 boards for Boston, which snapped a two-game slide.  JuJuan Johnson added 12 points off the bench for the victors.  Carlos Boozer totalled 22 points and seven caroms for the Bulls in defeat.  C.J. Watson also posted 22 points with six assists for Chicago, which had won five in-a-row.  Joakim Noah chipped in with 16 points and nine rebounds in the setback.

Los Angeles Lakers 94, Toronto Raptors 92
Washington Wizards 98, Detroit Pistons 77
Miami Heat 107, Atlanta Hawks 87
Golden State Warriors 106, Houston Rockets 97
Utah Jazz 98, Memphis Grizzlies 88

>>Rose To See Back Specialist

(Chicago, IL)  --  Bulls guard Derrick Rose is slated to see a back specialist today in Chicago.  Rose sat out of Sunday's game in Boston and admitted to struggling with ongoing back issues for several weeks.  He said his back has been bothering him since the start of the team's nine-game road trip, which started on January 29th.  Rose is avergaing 22 points, 7.8 assists and 3.4 rebounds per game this season.

Missouri State Tops Bradley

Anthony Downing had 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Caleb Patterson added 14 points as Missouri State defeated Bradley 64-53 on Sunday.

Kyle Weems scored 11 points for the Bears (16-11, 9-6 Missouri Valley), giving him 1,800 for his career. He is the 26th player in MVC history to reach that milestone.

Dyricus Simms-Edwards had 18 points and six rebounds, and Walt Lemon Jr. had 13 points for the Braves (7-20, 2-13), who shot 29.8% (17 of 57) from the floor.

Keith Pickens gave Missouri State the lead for good, 41-40, on a jumper with 12:13 remaining, and neither team scored for more than four minutes afterward. While Bradley stayed cold, the Bears got separation, as Patterson made back-to-back baskets to spark a 21-11 run over the final 6:56.

Patterson, in his second game back after missing three contests with an ankle injury, made 5 of 11 shots from the field.

Jordan Prosser had 10 points for Bradley.

Northern Iowa Beats ISU

Seth Tuttle had 17 points and 11 rebounds, Johnny Moran added 16 points - including four 3-pointers - and Northern Iowa rolled to a 78-63 victory over Illinois State on Saturday night.

Marc Sonnen chipped in 12 points and Chip Rank had 10 for the Panthers (17-10, 7-8 Missouri Valley), who rode their hot long-range shooting to the win. Northern Iowa was 12 of 21 from 3-point range but just 13 of 29 from inside the arc.

Bryant Allen led Illinois State (18-10, 8-7) with 17 points, and Jackie Carmichael had 14 points and 13 rebounds. Carmichael was coming off an 18-point, 20-rebound performance in his last game.

Northern Iowa shot 54% from the field, including 8 of 11 on 3-pointers, in the first half and took a 40-34 lead into halftime. The Panthers cruised from there.

The loss denied ISU's Tim Jankovich his 100th victory as Redbirds coach.

Michigan Beats Struggling Illini

Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 15 points and Evan Smotrycz added 13, helping No. 22 Michigan remain unbeaten at home with a 70-61 win over Illinois on Sunday.

Trey Burke added 14 points for the Wolverines (19-7, 9-4 Big Ten), but it was Smotrycz and Hardaway who provided a big lift by shaking off their shooting slumps in the first half. Hardaway entered the game shooting 19% from 3-point range in conference play. Smotrycz wasn't much better at 24%, but they each went 2 for 2 from beyond the arc before halftime.

Brandon Paul led Illinois (16-9, 5-7) with 21 points and Tyler Griffey added 18. The Fighting Illini have lost 6 of 7 and are on the NCAA tournament bubble despite wins over Ohio State and Michigan State.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball
#11 Georgetown Hoyas 71, St. John's Red Storm 61

Clinton Police Weekend Report











Ambulance Non-Profit Organization In Works For DeWitt County

Dr. John Warner Hospital Ambulance Manager Terrence Hubbard has been hard at work getting a plan in place for a DeWitt County ambulance service after the March referendum.

According to Hubbard, the plan after the March vote is to, should the referendum pass, approach the DeWitt County Board, who will be the governing body in charge of what happens with the service, to establish a community based non-profit ambulance service. He says there are some aspects to planning for a non-profit service that can be planned for right now. One of those being cost. Hubbard explains he has begun to look at what the service will cost.

[audio:ambulanceplan1.mp3] [/audio]

The situation DeWitt County faces is very similar to the situation Logan County faced nearly a decade ago. Hubbard explains in terms of housing their vehicles, for the first few years, they will take the approach Logan County did and allow the organization to get on it's feet and they will house their vehicles at the DJWH and rent the space from them.

[audio:ambulanceplan2.mp3] [/audio]

Hubbard explains they still need to work with the hospital to come to an agreement on what it will cost to use the hospital's facilities and to acquire the ambulances from the hospital.

Hubbard's hope for the non-profit organization is to have a Board of Directors comprised of community members to be on the board to give those in the community a voice.

[audio:ambulanceplan3.mp3] [/audio]

Hubbard says the DJWH has two options for their ambulances. He says they can turn them over to DeWitt County, and the non-profit group can come in rent them from the County. Or they can keep them and rent them out to the non-profit group for their use. He says the hospital will do whatever is legally and financially best for them.

Unemployment Higher For Vets

Unemployment rates for veterans who have served in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been higher than for the U.S. population as a whole. The rates for veterans in Illinois have been lower than for veterans in most neighboring states. Here is a sampling of unemployment rates from 2011:


For veterans who have served since the 2001 terror attacks: 12.1%

For the overall U.S. population (at year's end): 8.5%

Midwest, by state:

Illinois: 9.5%

Iowa: 11.8

Indiana: 15.7


Minnesota: 11.7

Missouri: 9.2

Ohio: 19.4

Wisconsin: 9.7

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Quinn Says Natural Gas Tax Proposal Far From Simple

Gov. Pat Quinn wants to end a state tax on natural gas, providing financial help to people who use gas to heat homes and businesses that use it to manufacture.

But experts raise questions about how much that would help, damage it could do to the state budget and whether it's fair.

In his State of the State address, Quinn called the tax unfair because it's not based on the ability to pay.

The tax generated around $159 million last year. The money came from nearly 3.5 million residential customers, 250,000 retailers and over 10,000 businesses.

The Citizens' Utility Board estimates the average homeowner would save up $40 annually without the tax. But the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois says it would do nothing for those who heat homes with electricity.

United Way Seeking DeWitt County Volunteers

The United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois has a couple of volunteer opportunities.

The United Way is in the middle of their yearly campaign which raises money for agencies in DeWitt County that the United Way supports. Director of Community Impact, Chad Clevenger explains all the money raised from that campaign in DeWitt County stays in DeWitt County. Clevenger explains at the conclusion of the campaign, community volunteers gather and hear presentations from the different agencies on their programs and how they are making a difference, and then the committee has to decide how each dollar is divided between the organizations.

[audio:unitedwayvolunteer1.mp3] [/audio]

The United Way selects community volunteers to help distribute the money. Clavenger wants an even mix of people who have been a part of the distributing process and newcomers to the process. He says there are no qualifications to be a part of the process and feels having a mix of young old and everywhere in between is what it takes to make good decisions.

[audio:unitedwayvolunteer2.mp3] [/audio]

There is also an opportunity to help serve the United Way by being a part of their Board of Directors. Clevenger explains the United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illiois has a Board of Directors for the whole agency, but they also have a Board of Directors in each County as well.

[audio:unitedwayvolunteer3.mp3] [/audio]

Clevenger notes the United Way would like to see a couple of area farmers become involved with the United Way's DeWitt County Board. He feels being on the Board is not a great time commitment, but it is a great experience.

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

Clinton Fire Department Seeking To Take Advantage of Old Sheriff's Equipment

The Clinton Fire Department is seeking to take advantage of some old technology used by the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department.

Fire Departments around DeWitt County are receiving the old transmitters through a donation from the Sheriff's Department. The transmitters are from the "Narrowband Compliance" update the DeWitt County Sheriff's department had to go through late last year. Assistant Fire Chief Raymond James explains these transmitters would greatly improve the departments communications.

[audio:cfdradioupgrade1.mp3] [/audio]

According to James, the Fire Department currently has problems communicating with dispatch when they are near the Power Plant. He explains adding the old transmitters and independently purchasing a few new ones will greatly improve their communication in that area of the county, which will also be safer for them.

[audio:cfdradioupgrad2.mp3] [/audio]

These upgrades were unexpected and un-budgeted costs the Fire Department recently has come across. Because the purchase is over $500, the Clinton City Council has to approve the purchase, however, Mayor Carolyn Peters was hesitant to grant the Department the purchase because the city is dipping into their reserves for purchases now, so she respectfully asked the department to look into their budget to identify different areas of their budget for the funds could come from.

The City Council will vote on the purchases next Monday evening.

(Corrected version of the story to clarify the Sheriff's Department is donating the equipment, We apologize for the error.)

Ambulance Plans Post-Referendum Beginning To Form

Dr. John Warner Hospital officials are currently working on DeWitt County's ambulance situation post referendum vote in March.

Plans have begun to investigate costs, equipment and housing needs should the referendum for a County wide ambulance service pass in March. Ambulance manager at the DJWH Terrence Hubbard explains referendum in March will ask voters to approve a property tax increase of up to 0.25% to help fund an ambulance service. He notes the 0.25% is the maximum tax that can be enforced, however, he says only half will be necessary to fund the service.

[audio:ambulance1.mp3] [/audio]

The current referendum that will be on the ballot has two primary advantages for voters of DeWitt County. First, the tax rate is the lowest enforceable tax rate of all the options available. Second, all of DeWitt County is covered with the referendum, minus Farmer City, which is currently paying taxes for an ambulance service. Hubbard explains, should the referendum fail, County residents will be at a serious disadvantage to having ambulance service by the end of the year deadline, especially Clinton residents, because they are not part of a Fire Protection District.

[audio:ambulance2.mp3] [/audio]

Should the referendum pass in March, the DeWitt County Board will be the governing body to decide how they move forward to provide ambulance service to the county. Hubbard says their plan is to present the Board with a proposal for a community based non-profit ambulance service. According to Hubbard, getting the service in place ready for service by the end of the year is not going to be an issue.

[audio:ambulance3.mp3] [/audio]

This afternoon on Regional Radio News and dewittdailynews.com we will let you know what the hospital has done to prepare for a non-profit service and what their longer term goals are for the service.

Handgun Registration In Chicago

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is proposing legislation that would require the state's handgun owners to register their weapons with the state to make it quote-"easier for police to figure out where they came from". Emanuel says the majority of guns recovered at crime scenes in Chicago(about 56 percent) come from outside city limits, but within the state.

The proposal would require anyone who owns a handgun to pay a $65 registration fee that would be good for five years. A renewal fee would then cost $25. The person registering the gun would need to provide name and address, along with the weapons's serial number, place it was purchased and the date of purchase. The registry would be in addition to the firearm ownership standards all gun owners must already meet. Gun owners and dealers would need to get in touch with the Illinois State Police if a gun changes hands or is lost or stolen---or else they would riska misdemeanor charge. Those caught with an unregistered gun could face a felony charge.

State Representative Adam Brown called the proposal aggravating saying the proposal would be unconstitutional.

State Representative Bill Mitchell says he will fight the proposal in the General Assembly.

According to Mitchell, Mayor Emanuel's data comes from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and explosives.

Quinn Brushes Off Low Approval Rating

(Springfield, IL)  --  A recent Chicago Tribune poll puts Governor Quinn's approval rating at 30-percent but Quinn says the numbers don't mean much.

                      [audio:rddPollLow1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says being a public servant often means making decisions that some people don't like.  He says his goal is to repair things in Illinois that have been in disarray for many years.  He says he's committed to doing that even if he doesn't make a lot of friends in the process.

U of I Announces Wounded Veterans Center

The University of Illinois is building a new Center for Wounded Veterans.  They’ve received a six-million dollar donation to make the center a reality.  It will support severely wounded veterans and their families.

Quinn: Veterans Must Have Jobs

  Businesses that hire veterans in Illinois could soon be entitled to a five-thousand dollar tax credit.  Governor Quinn will ask lawmakers to support the idea in his Budget Address on February 22nd.  He says it’s important to invest in the heroic men and women who served the nation, particularly because the veterans unemployment rate in Illinois is disproportionately high.  Quinn says veterans are entitled to have a job in Illinois and he’s committed to making sure it happens.

State Takes Action On Medicaid Reform

The state's Department of Healthcare and Family Services is taking steps to implement Medicaid reforms passed last year.  Director Julie Hamos sent a letter to the federal government outlining the steps they intend to take in order to make the reforms a reality.  The move comes on the heels of recent criticism from both House and Senate Republicans.  They blasted Quinn's administration for wanting to add 100-thousand new people to the system in Cook County, even after lawmakers agreed not to expand the program. 

The moratorium was just one of the steps the legislature took last year in order to rein in the cost of Medicaid.  They also decided people would have to show proof of Illinois residency and income before they could qualify for the taxpayer-paid benefits.  Senate Republicans say about 650 million dollars could be saved each year if just six percent of Medicaid recipients were deemed ineligible for benefits because they didn'tt meet residency requirements.

Recognizing Ear Infections in Your Child

Chronic middle ear infection is a very common medical condition affecting young children.

Middle ear infection is one of the most common childhood illnesses that causes them to visit a physician, says Dr. Leonard Rybak, professor of otolaryngology at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. Nearly two-thirds of children in the U.S. will have one episode of middle ear infection by age 1. And three out of four children will have this infection by age 3. Dr. Rybak explains some symptoms of a child’s ear infection.

[audio:siuear1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Rybak says children with ear infections may have fever and their ears may drain or they may awaken in the night crying. If a child is too young to talk, they may pull on their ears.

[audio:siuear2.mp3] [/audio]

A child who has symptoms of ear infection should be seen by a primary care physician or pediatrician for diagnosis and possible treatment before the problem becomes serious.

ADM Cuts Jobs at Iowa Plant

Archer Daniels Midland Co. is cutting 43 jobs at its polymer plant in Clinton, Iowa, eliminating half the facility's workforce after ending a joint venture with Metabolix Inc. of Cambridge, Mass.

The companies announced in January that the venture, which makes biodegradable plastics from corn sugar, would be dissolved in February.

ADM, based in Decatur, Ill., is ending the venture because of the costs and uncertainty about its returns.

ADM spokesman Kevin Moore says Friday that 46 employees will remain at the plant as the company works on preparing the facility for an idle period.

Moore says ADM is exploring its options and has not made any long-term decision for the plant, which is part of the company's corn processing complex in Clinton. ADM has about 1,000 employees in Clinton.

Richland Academic Honors Students

Richland Community College has released their Honors List for the Fall Semester of 2012. To make the list, students must have completed 12 or more cumulative semester hours, completed 6 or more semester hours for the current term and attained at least a 3.50 GPA for the current term.

Students from Clinton include: Melissa D Blasen, Jennifer M Brady, Zachary D Brisard, Jacob Brooks, Brandon Bryant, Hannah Calandrillo, Gregory Chapman, Brandy L Clifton, Steven A Decker, Chloe J Dillow, Ashley A Fenner, Roger V Joss, Hannah Grace Kitson,  Heather M Kleist, Serena Lynn Livingston, Philip A Lux, Tucker C Maltby, Chelsea Marie Mariani, Echo Nadine Nord, Evelyn M Nord, Anthony Thomas Pedigo, Stephanie M Phillips, Christopher L Pulec, Nolan Ray Rogers, Angela Sabaduquia, Jesus Soto, Jr, Nicholas Joseph Spieldenner, Jessica A Stephenson, Justin Lee Van Valey, Barbara L Weis, William J Wilson

Argenta students:  Michael A Brown, William Clyde Fitzpatrick,  Morgan P Fornear, Stephanie "Paige" Harris, Kimberly J Stout

Students from Cerro Gordo were: Charity Carter, Maxwell D Cekander, Sylvia Denise Garlits, Johnathan L Harpool, Michelle L Jackson, Donald L Ridgeway,Bailey Schoemperlen, Jacob A Songer.

Amanda L Crook from DeWitt.

Steven R Kiesling and Maddison J Waters from Heyworth.

From Latham: Karen Sue Buxton, Richard J Hebenstreit, II., John W Hughes

 Maroa  students includue: Zane A Bliss, Danielle N Bryson, Grier R Gillespie, Christy Lynn Hicks, John D Hopkins, Drake Lambdin, Heather Lynn Lyon, Rachael I Mandrell, James Ray Mitchell, Jason L Ridlen, Jeremy B Sarna, Lyndon Sill, Cody Six, Connie R Wilson.

From Monticello: Constance Michael Marie Brauer, Jedediah Kenny Rohr

Names of Semester Honors Students for Oreana: Jeremy E Barker, James A Easterling, Paul J Hart, Tammy L Landis, Stephanie M Leevy, Kelly M McNeely, Matthew R Nalley, Alan D Waterman, Andrew Wingard, Trenton M Younker, Xin Zhao.

Michael W Wagers from Wapella.

Warrensburg students include: Shawn Lynette Bray, Kacey Clark, Megan R Markwell, Katherine E Rohrscheib, Scott A Scholl, Amy S Sederwall, Scott Robert Smith, Dawn Marie Tunno.

Eric H Shifflet of Waynesville.                                  

Charity A McDonald from Weldon.

Weekly Weather Update

While it felt more like winter this week, the average temperature this week was almost 10 degrees above normal. According to State Climatologist, look for a very cold weekend and then a slight warm up next week.

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Illinois 4th In Nation In Windfarm Capacity

Illinois is now fourth in the nation in terms of wind-farm electric capacity behind Texas, Iowa and California.

That's according to David Loomis, director of the Center for Renewable Energy at Illinois State University.

Loomis spoke to about 300 people attending a wind farm conference in Normal on Wednesday.

Loomis says the wind energy of all states equals about 40,000 megawatts, which roughly equals electric production in Illinois from all sources, including nuclear and coal. Loomis calls the growth in wind energy "phenomenal."

The center estimates the overall economic impact of Illinois wind farms at more than $4 billion. That includes income from about 11,000 construction jobs, about $10 million to landowners who lease land for turbines and $22 million in tax revenue.

Texting And Biking Equals Traffic Violation

Texting and biking could soon land you a minor traffic ticket.  Representative Kelly Cassidy says there's a safety risk when people are distracted whether their driving a car or riding a bike.

[audio:rddBikeText.mp3] [/audio]

Cassidy has proposed a law that will make it illegal to text while riding a bike, even if you're pulled over to the side of the road or bike lane.  The law would mirror provisions that ban texting while driving and would carry similar penalties.  Bikers would still be allowed to use Bluetooth and hands-free devices to talk and bike.  The proposal has passed in committee and is headed to the House for a full vote.

Repoprt Shows Illinois Children Caught In 'Budget Crossfire'

A children's advocacy organization says Illinois children have been caught in a "budget crossfire," hit hard by a recession that left one in 5 of them living in poverty in 2010.

Voices for Illinois Children released its Illinois Kids Count 2012 report Thursday.

The report says the state's budget crisis is undermining gains made for young people, including cuts to investments in early childhood education and after-school programs.

The state also has wide racial disparities in terms of family income and academic achievement. African Americans and Latinos have the highest child poverty rates and lower educational achievement.

One bright spot was that Illinois has expanded health insurance coverage for children through Medicaid and other programs. Fewer than 5% of Illinois children lacked health insurance in 2010.

Gun Registry Proposal Sparks Anger

One down state lawmaker is furious over Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s proposal to implement a statewide registry for handgun owners.  They’d be required to pay a 65 dollar registration fee to get on the list.  Emanuel says the registry will help reduce violent crimes in Chicago but Benton Senator Gary Forby isn’t buying it.  He says he doesn’t see how requiring a hunter in Southern Illinois to pay 65 dollars to register his gun is going to stop crimes in Chicago.  Forby says he’s sick of Chicago politicians trying to force their anti-gun laws on the entire state.   As far as he’s concerned, Illinois should be on track to pass conceal carry, not implementing laws that take away a person’s basic constitutional right.

Emanuel Wants Illinois To Keep Registry Of Guns

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is pushing to state to create a registry of guns.  In a statement, Emanuel says registering guns will help keep people safe and would be similar to how people register their cars.  The statewide registry would require handgun owners to contact police if they were selling their gun or if it was lost or stolen.  It would also require sellers to report handgun sales and transfers.  Chicago requires all handgun owners to register their guns with the Chicago Police Department.

Illinois Businesses To Aid Schools In Technology, Math

Illinois businesses will partner with public schools to encourage learning in science, technology, engineering and math.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the public-private partnership known as the Illinois Pathways Initiative on Thursday.

The aim of the state-funded program is to better prepare students for college and careers.

In his State of the State address last week, Quinn presented what he called the 2012 Illinois Jobs Agenda, which he said includes a mission to have at least 60% of adults getting college degrees or career certificates by the year 2025.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon said the program announced Thursday will move Illinois toward that goal by "instilling a love of science and technology in middle school and keeping lessons relevant and connected to the job market as students approach working age."

Quinn Believes Caterpillar's Decision About Port Access

Gov. Pat Quinn believes Caterpillar Inc.'s decision to bypass Illinois as it looks to build a new plant and relocate some of its Japanese operations was based almost entirely on Illinois' lack of ocean access and had little to do with the state's business climate.

The Peoria-based manufacturer said this week that it decided against the almost one-dozen Illinois locations vying for the plant because of both logistical concerns and the concerns about doing business in the state.

During Thursday stop at the University of Illinois, Quinn said he spoke with Caterpillar CEO Doug Oberhelman before this week's decision and was told the plant needed easy access to a deep-sea port.

Caterpillar has said it will pick a location for the plant and about 1,400 jobs by April 1.

Commodity Classic Preview

Grain producers from across the country are gearing up for a trip to Nashville, Tennessee.  Jared White has more...

[audio:2612CommodityClassicPreviewWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

Lincoln Receives Grant For Downtown Revitalization

The City of Lincoln has received a grant to help in revitalization efforts to their downtown area.

Nearly two years ago, Lincoln applied for a grant through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity. They have recently received word they will receive the grant in the amount of $675-thousand. Mayor of the City of Lincoln, Keith Snyder explains the grant will be used to help the downtown area improve it's look. Part of the grant includes developing a strategic plan for the downtown area.

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Mayor Snyder points out downtown Lincoln is a very historical area, and he says they are going to have to walk the fine line of revitalizing and preserving the rich history of the area.

[audio:dceogrant2.mp3] [/audio]

The City recently applied for a grant through the Illinois Department of Transportation for some construction projects downtown. IDOT wanted to see the city have a plan in place, and Mayor Snyder explains this project will improve the city's chances to receive the IDOT grant.

[audio:dceogrant3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Snyder notes there are some federal guidelines for how the money they receive can be used, which is mostly planning.

The downtown area has had some local independent business owners take over a few buildings. Mayor Snyder points out specifically the downtown movie theater and the Scully Building as two of the most common buildings that have been restored and renovated. He feels they are big improvements, and looks forward to following their lead.

Bulls Notes

>>Bulls Continue Road Trip

(Charlotte, NC)  --  The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they continue a nine-game road trip against the Charlotte Bobcats at Time Warner Cable Arena.  The Bulls have won four games in-a-row and are coming off a 90-67 victory at New Orleans on Wednesday to improve to 22-and-6 on the season.  Chicago wraps up the road swing on Sunday at Boston.

Los Angeles Lakers 88, Boston Celtics 87 (OT)
Golden State Warriors 109, Denver Nuggets 101
Houston Rockets 96, Phoenix Suns 89
Sacramento Kings 106, Oklahoma City Thunder 101

>>Deng Named All-Star Reserve

(New York, NY)  --  Bulls forward Luol Deng has been named an All-Star reserve for the Eastern Conference.  Deng will be joined on the East bench by Heat forward Chris Bosh, Atlanta's Joe Johnson, Boston's Paul Pierce, New Jersey's Deron [[ Darren ]] Williams, Philadelphia's Andre Iguodala and Roy Hibbert of the Pacers.  Deng is averaging 16 points and 7.3 boards per game this season.  The All-Star Game will be played Sunday, February 26th in Orlando.

>>Will Ferrell "Exposes" NBA's Top Players With Intros

(New Orleans, LA)  --  Will Ferrell is drawing laughs for his humorous introduction of the starting lineup for Wednesday night's matchup between the New Orleans Hornets and Chicago Bulls.  The "Anchorman" star exposed some of the NBA's top players with some made-up trivia notes.

[audio:FerrellNBAIntro1.mp3] [/audio]

While Ferrell kicked off the first laughs, it was the Chicago Bulls that had the last one.  The Bulls pulled off a 90-67 win over the Hornets on the Hornets' home court at New Orleans Arena.

Illini Men Fall At Indiana; Illini Women Upset Ohio State

>> Indiana Charges Past Illini

Cody Zeller scored 22 points and Victor Oladipo had 18 to lead No. 23 Indiana past Illinois 84-71 on Thursday night.

The Hoosiers (19-6, 7-6 Big Ten) have won 3 of 4.

D.J. Richardson had 19 points and Meyers Leonard added 17 for Illinois (16-8, 5-6), which has lost five straight in Bloomington when the Hoosiers are ranked. The Illini also failed to take their first lead in the series since 1975.

It wasn't easy.

For nearly 19 minutes, neither team led by more than four points. Indiana broke through with an 8-0 run early in the second half to make it 54-46. Illinois closed to 57-55 with 10:58 to play, but Indiana pulled away with a 15-6 spurt. The Illini didn't get closer than 10 again.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
Tennessee State Tigers 72, #7 Murray State Racers 68
Gonzaga Bulldogs 73, #13 Saint Mary's Gaels 59
Ole Miss Rebels 70, #18 Mississippi State Bulldogs 68
#22 Wisconsin Badgers 68, Minnesota Golden Gophers 61 (OT)
#23 Indiana Hoosiers 84, Illinois Fighting Illini 71

>> Illini Women Upset #10 Ohio State

 Alexis Burke made a game-winning layup with two seconds left to give Illinois a 66-65 win over No. 10 Ohio State on Thursday night.

After Tayler Hill drove the lane for a driving right-handed layup in traffic with 19 seconds left to give Ohio State a 1-point lead, Burke answered with a twisting go-ahead basket to give Illinois (9-16, 3-9 Big Ten) its first win against a ranked opponent this season.

Adrienne Godbold led four Illini players in double figures with 16 points, and set up the win with a pair of free throws with 40 seconds left that gave Illinois a a 64-63 lead.

Hill scored 20 points to lead Ohio State (21-3, 8-3), who have now lost two out of the last three games. Ashley Adams tied a career high with 18 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

Girls Basketball Regionals Preview

Girls Basketball Class 1A and 2A regional championships took place last night around the area and here are some the local finals:

Class 1A

At Fisher: LeRoy 58, Fisher 41
At Lexington: Heyworth 52, Ridgeview 47

Class 2A

At Meridian: Sullivan 48, Unity 30

Regional Championships for Tonight:

Class 2A

At Clinton: Maroa-Forsyth vs Decatur St. Teresa
At Meridian: Pana vs Sullivan

Sages Look To Bounce Back

After an embarrassing loss at Unity Tuesday night, the Monticello Sages look to bounce back tonight as they host Decatur St. Teresa.. The Sages are coming off an 81-61 loss at Unity Tuesday night. Decatur St. Teresa is coming off a home win. The Bulldogs are 10-1 at home, but just 7-5 on the road. The Sages enter play at 12-11 overall and 5-3 in Okaw play. St. T is 6-2 in Okaw play and 17-6 overall. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and streamed online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is approximately 7:30.

Maroons At Tuscola

The Clinton Maroons make the trip down to Tuscola tonight for what will be a match up of two teams at the bottom of the Okaw Valley standings. Both teams are winless in conference play and have only three wins on the season. Clinton has lost 15 in a row, Tuscola has lost 14 straight. Clinton is coming off a 52-27 loss to Decatur St. Teresa Tuesday. That game can be heard on 92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com. Game time is approximately 7:30.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-10


February 10, 2012


Jail Population: 53

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 2


Lisa Hodges, 50, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Hodges posted her IL Drivers license as bond and was released.



CCHS Class of 73 Has Eyes Set On Finish Of Peace Park Project In 2012

One local group is hoping to wrap up a project they have been working on for several years this summer.

The Clinton High School Class of 1973 has been diligently at work on their Peace Park project on West Main Street in Clinton for several years now, and things are beginning to look like this may be the year they are able to turn a long time city space into a nice city park. Member of the Class of 73 Cris Rogers explains the Roque Court project is probably the most notable project they have embarked on, but there are many other things they are involved in.

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The original property was once a roque court many decades ago, but in recent years was not kept up and just became a city owned property before the Class of 73 stepped in. They received permission and a small amount of financial aid from the city to turn the park back into a roque court and named it "The Peace Park Project". Rogers explains they have the building, parking lot, fountains and light poles restored, and now they need to landscape and put a roque court in and the project is pretty much complete.

[audio:roquecourt2.mp3] [/audio]

The Class of 73 puts great effort into being responsible with the funds they receive, whether it be from organizations or individuals. This Sunday the Class of 73 will be doing something new, they will be having a fundraising breakfast at the Shack. Rogers says members of the Class of 73 will be on hand to serve and portions of the profits from the Shack will go towards the Class of 73.

[audio:roquecourt3.mp3] [/audio]

To donate to the Peace Park Project, you can drop a donation off at City Hall or with Cris Rogers. He asks to have it made out to the Class of 73.

Sages Beat Bulldogs

As heard on 95.9 WEZC, the Monticello Sages beat the St. Teresa Bulldogs by a score of 65-58. For the Sages, Nik Stokowski had his tenth double-double on the night with 26 points and 13 rebounds. Daily O'Brien helped the team out with 12 points and Kendall King chipped in with 9. Alex Tueth led the Bulldogs with 26 points and 8 rebounds. Christian Williams and Ross Anderson each contributed 7 points. St. Teresa falls to 17-7 on the season and 6-3 in the conference. Monticello improves to 13-11 on the year and 6-3 in the conference. Tune in Tuesday as the Sages take on the Trojans of Maroa-Forsyth at 7.

HS BBALL: Maroons Vs. Tuscola Warriors

As heard on WHOW, the Tuscola Warriors beat the Clinton Maroons by a score of 43-40 at Tuscola High School. The leading scorerer for the Maroons was Mitch Creager with a total of 17 points. The Warriors were led by Dustin Haake who had 16 points and Cody Pankau who scored a total of 15 points. The Maroons are now 3-20 on the year and 0-9 on the Conference. The Tuscola Warriors move to 4-16 on the year and are 1-8 in the Conference. The Clinton JV team lost to the Warriors as well in overtime with a final of 53-51. Both JV and Varsity play again on Tuesday at 7 pm at home versus the Argenta-Oreana Bombers.

Relay For Life Gearing Up For 2012

Plans are already underway for Relay For Life 2012.

This will be the fourth year for Relay for Life in DeWitt County and the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. Clarene Arnold, Survivorship Chair for the DeWitt County Relay For Life says each year the Relay For Life is the Cancer Society's number one fundraiser, and in DeWitt County the amount of funds raised for them have increased each year.

[audio:relay1.mp3] [/audio]

All the funds raised go to the American Cancer Society, Arnold explains there is a small amount that is used to cover administrative costs, but a majority goes towards research, and the rest is used to aid those fighting cancer. She says the ways the funds are used are helpful in many creative ways.

[audio:relay2.mp3] [/audio]

This Saturday is the Relay For Life kick off event. Arnold explains they are bringing back a successful first year event called '5th Grade Smart', which is a spin off of "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader". Sheriff Jared Shofner and Chief Mike Reidy will be the celebrity guests as they battle it out with four fifth grade students. Arnold notes, any fifth grade student that would like to be a part of the event is welcome to be a part of the game.

[audio:relay3.mp3] [/audio]

The event again is this Saturday, February 11th at 6pm at First Christian Church's Family Life Center. Food will be served starting at 5:15 for a donation. Arnold says the event will also be an opportunity to sign teams up or learn more about Relay For Life and have any questions answered about the event. For more information you can contact Clarene Arnold at 935-8517.

Officials Break Up Drug Operation In Western Illinois

Local and federal law enforcement officials say they've broken up a drug operation in western Illinois that helped distribute more than 1,000 kilograms of marijuana.

The drug operation in Knox County had been going on for 17 years.

U.S. Attorney James Lewis announced at the Knox County sheriff's department Wednesday that a dozen people from the area were arrested a day earlier. They face federal charges of conspiracy to distribute marijuana based on a grand jury indictment.

All 12 were expected to make initial federal court appearances Wednesday afternoon. Each could face between 10 years and life in prison if convicted.

Women Lawmakers Walk For Heart Disease Awareness

Being physically fit can help ward off heart disease and women in the Illinois legislature are taking that information to heart.  They're tracking their steps to bring awareness to the disease and they've pledged to wear a pedometer between March 5th and April 29th.  The idea is to keep count of the number of steps they take each day.  Once the challenge is over, the step totals will be converted to miles.  That's significant because Pfizer will donate one dollar for each mile walked, which will go toward the Conference of Women Legislators scholarship fund.  The women are inviting men to join them in the challenge.  Representative Naomi Jakobbson says both men and women can take steps to prevent the disease.  Steps include controlling weight, blood pressure and cholesterol, eating a nutritious diet, reducing your stress level and quitting smoking.

Durbin Announces Funds For Illinois Fire Departments

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has announced more than $414,000 in federal funds for four fire departments in Illinois.

The Illinois Democrat said Wednesday the funds come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. He said the money will help ensure firefighters are equipped with the best tools possible for responding to fires and other emergencies. The money will go toward the purchase of vehicles as well as operating costs and safety activities.

The funding is provided through a Department of Homeland Security grant program that aims to strengthen the nation's ability to respond to fire and related hazards.

The funds will go to fire departments in Humboldt, East Peoria, Urbana and Riverdale.

Bill Sparks Debate Over Teen Tanning

A proposal to ban teenagers from using tanning beds is striking controversy in Springfield.  Don Hirsch doesn't like the idea and says his teenage sons should be able to use tanning beds with his approval.

[audio:rddTanBan1.mp3] [/audio]

Marty Gallagher, with the Illinois Tanning Association, says that could do more harm than good.

[audio:rddTanBan2.mp3] [/audio]

Representative Robyn Gable says the UV Rays in tanning beds increases the risks of cancer.

[audio:rddTanBan4.mp3] [/audio]

Representative Mary Flowers says just about anything can cause cancer.

[audio:rddTanBan3.mp3] [/audio]

The proposal would allow teenagers to get spray-on tans but would ban them from using tanning beds, even with parental consent.  Representative Robyn Gables says  it's the state's job to protect the health of children.  Lawmakers will vote on the proposal in committee in the next few weeks.

Quinn Hopes To Address Caterpillar Concerns

A spokeswoman says Gov. Pat Quinn hopes to address some concerns about Illinois' business climate that Caterpillar Inc. cited in its decision not to build a new plant in the state.

Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson on Wednesday said Quinn plans to announce pension and Medicaid reforms later this month. She declined to provide details.

Peoria-based Caterpillar says it ruled Illinois out of plans to relocate a factory and 1,400 jobs from Japan over logistical problems and ongoing concerns about Illinois' business climate.

Caterpillar explained its decision in an email to Peoria County leaders. The county was 1 of fewer than a dozen Illinois locations trying to win the new plant.

In the email, the company says proximity to Caterpillar's division headquarters in Cary, N.C., was also a key factor.

Maroa-Forsyth Schools Budget Update

Like most school districts around the state, the Maroa-Forsyth district is trying to make do with what little the state is providing.

The school district facing a couple of retirements at their younger levels, and Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools, Mike Williams explains with class sizes at their first grade level, they will have to hire one teacher, but they are having to take a wait-and-see approach with their other position.

[audio:maroastaffing1.mp3] [/audio]

Other than the two positions they are dealing with at their elementary level, Williams does not envision any other layoffs or cuts anywhere else, which he says is good news.

[audio:maroastaffing2.mp3] [/audio]

With state funding having not been consistent in the past, Williams notes the school district has put off some budgetary items to keep up in other areas. He predicts this year they are going to have to find ways to address upgrading some school buses and updating technology in the schools.

[audio:maroastaffing3.mp3] [/audio]

Williams says the district is looking to lease computers instead of outright buying computers. He says the district will explore trading in current buses for new ones.

Clinton schools currently have leasing agreements in place some of the technology in their schools. With the way their lease agreement is written, they can trade in old technology for new technology, when new items hit the market.

Final Kindle Classes Coming Up At Clinton Library

If you are hoping to take advantage of free lessons on how to use that electronic reader you received recently, time is running short to do so.

Tonight and Saturday are the final dates the Warner Public Library is offering free tutoring sessions with Eric Monkman to teach you how to use the Kindle. Librarian at the Warner Public Library Bobbi Perryman says if you are interested in learning how to use the Kindle and access their free online e-books, you need to get registered for the class tonight or Saturday.

[audio:kindleclass1.mp3] [/audio]

Now if you got something other than a Kindle, such as an iPad or Nook or some other electronic device, Monkman is also available to have one hour sessions to familiarize you with your device. Perryman says he teach you how to just about anything you may want to know.

[audio:kindleclass2.mp3] [/audio]

The library is a part of a program called "Library on the Go" they use in conjunction with other libraries. Perryman points out you can borrow just about any book on your e-reader.

[audio:kindleclass3.mp3] [/audio]

To learn more or get registered for the classes tonight and Saturday afternoon, or to set up a private tutoring session with Eric Monkman, you can give the library a call at 935-5174. The classes and tutoring sessions are free of charge.

Bulls Thump Hornets

Carlos Boozer had 18 points and six rebounds as the Bulls thumped the Hornets, 90-67.  Taj Gibson scored 14 points off the bench for Chicago, which has won four straight.  Derrick Rose had six points, five rebounds and six assists in 22 minutes.  Chicago plays at Charlotte tomorrow evening an wraps up a nine-game road swing on Sunday at Boston.

Cleveland Cavaliers 99, Los Angeles Clippers 92
Milwaukee Bucks 105, Toronto Raptors 99
New York Knicks 107, Washington Wizards 93
San Antonio Spurs 100, Philadelphia 76ers 90
Orlando Magic 102, Miami Heat 89
Detroit Pistons 99, New Jersey Nets 92
Atlanta Hawks 97, Indiana Pacers 87
Memphis Grizzlies 85, Minnesota Timberwolves 80
Dallas Mavericks 105, Denver Nuggets 95
Houston Rockets 103, Portland Trail Blazers 96

Illini At Indiana Tonight; ISU, Bradley Win

>> ISU Tops Drake

Tyler Brown scored a career-high 26 points and Jackie Carmichael had 18 points and 20 rebounds Wednesday night, leading Illinois State past Drake 64-53.

Carmichael nearly matched Drake's rebounding total as the Redbirds (16-9, 8-6 Missouri Valley) owned a 45-23 advantage on the boards. Brown made all 12 of his free-throw attempts and Carmichael was 10 of 12 while the Bulldogs overall were 7 for 13 from the foul line.

Jeremy Jeffers led Drake with 13 points. Aaron Hawley scored 12 and Rayvonte Rice scored 11 for Drake (13-12, 6-8), which has lost three straight since beating Wichita State in triple overtime on Jan. 28.

The Bulldogs never led on Wednesday, but Illinois State never was ahead by more than 13 and didn't put the game out of reach until the final minutes. Drake shot 39% while the Redbirds shot 34%.

>> Bradley Beats Indiana State

Walt Lemon Jr. scored 26 points and Jordan Prosser had 11 points and nine rebounds to lead Bradley to a 68-60 victory against Indiana State on Wednesday night.

Lemon came off the bench to do most of his damage at the free-throw line, making 15 of 16 attempts for the Braves (7-19, 2-12 Missouri Valley), who never trailed. He went 10 for 10 from the stripe in the last 3:59.

Dwayne Lathan scored 16 points and Jake Odum added 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Sycamores (14-11, 5-9), who shot just 33.3% (21 of 63) from the floor and tallied 17 points in the first half.

The Braves led by 16 in the second half, but Indiana State came back to get within 62-56 on Odum's layup with a minute left. But Lemon put the game away on a layup that made the score 67-58 with 22 seconds remaining.

R.J. Mahurin had 10 points for Indiana State.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Syracuse Orange 64, #11 Georgetown Hoyas 61 (OT)
#9 Duke Blue Devils 85, #5 North Carolina Tar Heels 84
#10 Kansas Jayhawks 68, #6 Baylor Bears 54
#12 Michigan State Spartans 77, Penn State Nittany Lions 57
Boston College Eagles 64, #17 Florida State Seminoles 60
#20 Virginia Cavaliers 68, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 44
#25 Michigan Wolverines 62, Nebraska Cornhuskers 46

>>Illinois At IU Tonight

(Bloomington, IN)  --  Illinois is on the road tonight at 23rd-ranked Indiana.  The Fighting Illini dropped a 74-70 home decision to Northwestern on Sunday and have lost four-of-five overall.  Illinois is 16-and-7 on the season, including 5-and-5 in the Big Ten.  The Hoosiers enter tonight 18-and-6 and 6-and-6.

Sages Cheerleaders Compete At State Competition

 width=The Monticello Cheerleaders competed in Bloomington this past weekend at the US Cellular Colliseum for the Cheerleading state finals. The Sages placed 12th out of 18 teams in the field. Sages Cheerleading Coach Catelyn Ross explains cheer competitions consist of a one and a half minute dance routine and one and a half minutes of cheer, and the girls are then scored based on their routines.

[audio:sagescheer1.mp3] [/audio]

Senior Cheerleader Anne Louise Brand calls the experience one of the best experiences she's had in high school and is very proud of her teammates for their hard work to get to the state competition.

[audio:sagescheer2.mp3] [/audio]

Brand says it took a lot of hard work and every chance the team could get to practice they took advantage of it, and it paid off for them this year.

[audio:sagescheer3.mp3] [/audio]

The Sages had to place in the top 5 of their sectional to advance to the State competition.

Blue Ridge High School Hosting Blood Drive

The Blue Ridge High School Blood Drive will be held Friday, Feb. 17, 8:15 a.m. - 2:30
p.m. B Community members are invited to come donate blood and save a
life! For an appointment, call 309-928-2622.

Former U of I Chief of Staff Gets Teaching Job

The woman who resigned as University of Illinois President Michael Hogan's chief of staff over anonymous emails sent to faculty has accepted a teaching position at the school.

Lisa Troyer will take a job in the Department of Psychology that pays $109,000 a year. Campus spokeswoman Robin Kaler said Troyer should begin teaching this fall.

Troyer was a tenured member of the faculty while working as Hogan's chief of staff, but didn't teach and was paid only for the latter position. Her salary was $200,850 until she resigned in January.

Troyer has denied writing emails intended to sway faculty members skeptical about a new enrollment management plan favored by Hogan.

But an independent investigation concluded she was likely the author.

Plan To Close JDC Move Forward

Plans to close Jacksonville Developmental Center are moving forward but not all lawmakers are convinced it's the best thing for the residents.  Representative Jim Watson says putting people in community care presents possible public security issues. 

[audio:rddWatson1.mp3] [/audio]

Michael Gelder, with Governor Quinn's office, says the last thing they want is for the Criminal Justice System to become a new home for the residents.  He says they're listening to concerns about the closure and will make sure they move forward with the residents' best interest in mind.  Gelder says they're not opposed to moving people to other developmental homes instead of community care.

Public Favors Sales Tax Expansion

Now might be a good time for lawmakers to extend sales taxes on services such as haircuts and lawn services.  Charles Leonard, with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, says 50-percent of people polled favored the idea last year.

[audio:rddTaxExt1.mp3] [/audio]

Only 28-percent favored the expansion in 2008.  The numbers are based on a survey conducted last fall.  Leonard says almost 70-percent of the people also favored a one-dollar per pack increase on cigarette taxes.

Artillery Shell Found in Central Illinois Tavern

The afternoon ended with a bang for one central Illinois tavern.

Ed Gregg, owner of Lu & Denny's tavern in Tolono, says he was cleaning Tuesday afternoon when he came across what looked like an old artillery shell.

The University of Illinois bomb squad and Champaign police confirmed his suspicions and sent in a robot to retrieve it.

University of Illinois police Capt. Skip Frost says the artillery round was more than 40 years old.

Gregg says it was about 10 inches tall and 5 to 7 pounds. He says his mother brought it from his grandmother's house.

Traffic north of town was diverted for about two hours as the bomb team detonated the shell, which Frost says wasn't live.

Soil Moisture Rates Doing Well Despite Mild Winter

Despite the unusually mild winter, soil moisture rates across central Illinois are doing very well.  Jared White has more...

[audio:2612WarmWetWinterWRAP.mp3] [/audio]

State Could Continue To Cut From School Districts

Governor Pat Quinn delivers his budget address in a few weeks, and one local superintendent believes the Governor has some major changes in store for downstate school districts.

Monticello Superintendent of Schools Dr. Vic Zimmerman speculates the Governor will try to cut off transportation funds and begin forcing school districts to begin paying into their teacher's pension funds. Dr. Zimmerman says the state is forcing the state's financial issues onto the tax payers.

[audio:schoolbudgets1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman explains two options that could happen would be extending out the distance schools are by law having to transport. He also believes the state could completely cut transportation funding altogether and force districts to raise their property taxes to pay for transportation.

[audio:schoolbudgets2.mp3] [/audio]

In the past the state has not been able to make payments into teachers pension systems. Dr. Zimmerman explains the teachers pay a portion of their retirement fund, the school pays a portion and the state pays a portion. He says since the state wasn't able to they again are seeking ways to not have to make those payments.

[audio:schoolbudgets3.mp3] [/audio]

Part of the funding for schools comes from current property taxes. With what would become  unbalanced funding because of property tax rates, Dr. Zimmerman feels  it is all about where you live, which he feels shouldn't determine the type of education your children receive. But if the state continues to force taxes to be the funding source of schools budgets, he says that is exactly what will happen.

NFL Notes

>>Bears Hire Bates As QB's Coach

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears reached an agreement with Jeremy Bates to become the team's new quarterbacks coach on Tuesday.  Bates is familiar with Chicago starter Jay Cutler, having worked with him for three seasons in Denver.  In 2008, his final season with the Broncos, Cutler excelled with Bates as his position coach, throwing for a franchise-record 4,526 yards.  Bates more recently served as the offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks in 2010.

>>Rams Resume GM Search

(St. Louis, MO)  --  After a break for the Super Bowl, the Rams have resumed their general manager search.  The "Post-Dispatch" reports Minnesota's George Paton is the first candidate to interview twice, while San Francisco's Tom Gamble was the final candidate to get a first interview on Tuesday.

Collection Of Cardinals Already In Jupiter

Pitchers and catchers don't report until next week, but there is already a contingent of Cardinals working out at the team facility in Florida.  Pitcher Adam Wainwright and outfielder Allen Craig are among the early birds.  Both are coming off injuries.  Wainwright missed all of last season.

Bulls Continue Road Swing

The Chicago Bulls continue a nine-game road trip this evening against the Hornets in New Orleans.  The Bulls have won three games in-a-row and are coming off a 108-87 victory at New Jersey on Monday to improve to 21-and-6 on the season.  Chicago wraps up the road swing with games at Charlotte and Boston on Friday and Sunday, respectively.

Indiana Pacers 104, Utah Jazz 99
Miami Heat 107, Cleveland Cavaliers 91
Boston Celtics 94, Charlotte Bobcats 84
Phoenix Suns 107, Milwaukee Bucks 105
Minnesota Timberwolves 86, Sacramento Kings 84
Oklahoma City Thunder 119, Golden State Warriors 116

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 78, #7 Florida Gators 58
#3 Ohio State Buckeyes 87, Purdue Boilermakers 84
Evansville Aces 65, #15 Creighton Bluejays 57

Indianapolis Scores Big As Host For Super Bowl 46

Super Bowl 46 was officially a hit.  The city of Indianapolis is drawing rave reviews for the way it hosted Sunday's big game and all of the festivities leading up to it.  NFL commissioner Roger Goodell called the event a success and used words such as "tremendous" and "fantastic" when describing Indy.  Mark Miles, the Super Bowl host committee chairman, said the earliest Indianapolis could climb back into the hunt to host another Super Bowl would be 2017 because the city is already hosting the NCAA basketball Final Four in 2015 and 2016.

Big Ten Exploring 4-Team Playoff

Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis says his peers in the Big Ten are comfortable exploring the possibility of a four-team playoff for the national championship.

Hollis says keeping ties to the Rose Bowl is extremely important to athletic directors in the Big Ten and Pac-12.

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday that 1 of the ideas before the Big Ten would put the two semifinal games on the campuses of the higher seeded teams. The national championship game would be awarded to cities that bid for it.

The BCS title game pits the nation's top two teams based on poll and computer rankings.

The plus-one format -- two semifinals plus the title game -- was proposed in 2008 by the commissioners of the Southeastern Conference and Atlantic Coast Conference. It was shot down by the leaders of the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big East, Big 12 and Notre Dame.

Clinton Police Report for 2-8









Farmer City To Upgrade Electric System

Farmer City will be expanding on one of their pieces of infrastructure.

Larry Woliung is the Farmer City Manager, he explains Farmer City is unique in that they are one of the smallest communities in Illinois with their own electrical generating systems. Residents within Farmer City receive their power from the system, and some outside of the city as well. He explains they are going to be bringing in some large generators to improve their service and to be prepared for growth in the future.

[audio:largegenerator1.mp3] [/audio]

Thanks to a co-op program Farmer City is now a part of, the generators do not run as much as they did. Woliung explains the Farmer City generators are also a back up source of power for those communities they are a part of the co-op with.

[audio:largegenerator2.mp3] [/audio]

The new generators should not have a major impact on residents electric bills within Farmer City. Woliung says they are in the process of doing a rate study. He says while "rate study" can sometimes be a buzz word to some, for the city it simply a study to make sure they have their costs covered.

[audio:largegenerator3.mp3] [/audio]

Woliung says other communities with set-ups similar to that of Farmer City have found that their rates were not actually covering the costs. He says the are just currently investigating whether their costs are getting covered.

Another unique aspect to their power system, is that it is a community system, owned by the residents.

Lady Maroons Fall to Maroa-Forsyth

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Lady Maroons were defeated in the regional semi-final game in Clinton by the Maroa-Forsyth Lady Trojans. The Lady Maroons were led by senior guard Madi Bevins who had eight and by Jessi Scott and Morgan Hickman who had seven points each. The Lady Trojans were led by Taylor Butler who had twelve points in the game.

The loss came with a bounty of Maroon turnovers and a sub par performance at the charity stripe shooting five of fourteen as the Lady Trojans buried eleven of their nineteen free throw attempts.

With the loss the Lady Maroons end their season with an overall record of eighteen and eleven and seven and four in conference play under head coach Josh Williams. And the Lady Trojans with their victory will advance to the regional championship contest with the opponent to be determined, their record goes to eleven and fifteen. That game will be played Friday night at Clinton High School.

Sages Drop Game to Rockets

After competing with the top team in the conference for the conference tournament championship Saturday night, the Monticello Sages had an opportunity to avenge a tough loss. Instead, the Sages came out with little energy and were barely competitive beyond the second quarter in what was an 81-61 final Tuesday night at the Rocket Center at Unity High School. The Sages were led by the 18 points of Kendall King and Nick Stokowski. Stokowski recorded another double-double with 14 rebounds. There were a combined 47 fouls and 57 free throws shot Tuesday night. The Sages were 17-23 from the charity stripe while Unity was 28-34. The Sages shot 30% (21-70) from the floor while Unity shot 57%.

The JV team lost in overtime to Unity 49-46.

The Sages have now lost two in a row, both at the hands of Unity and are now 12-11 and 5-3 in the Okaw Valley. They play host to Decatur St. Teresa High School Friday.

Other Okaw Valley Scores from Tuesday:
Meridian 66, Warrensburg-Latham 59
Maroa-Forsyth 46, Argenta-Oreana 33
Central A & M 52, Shelbyville 44
Sullivan 51, Tuscola 32

New Illinois Laws Encourages Reporting Drug Abuse

A new Illinois law is meant to encourage people to seek help if they or friends suffer a drug overdose.

The law says people who seek medical treatment for an overdose are immune from prosecution on minor drug charges. That way, they can call for an ambulance or go to an emergency room without worrying that they'll end up in jail.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the measure into law Monday. It takes effect June 1.

Someone who is found with large amounts of drugs after reporting an overdose could still be charged. With heroin, for instance, immunity would not apply to someone carrying more than three grams.

Advocate Urges Lawmakers To Keep Illinois Cares Rx

Medicaid reform is one of the biggest issues facing lawmakers this year but John Coburn with Health and Disability Advocates says lawmakers should be careful not to slash programs like Illinois Cares Rx. 

[audio:rddCaresRx1.mp3] [/audio]

The program helps cover deductibles and co-payments for their Medicare Part D plan, which could otherwise be out of reach for them.  The program took a big cut last year and Coburn says it simply can't be cut any further.  He says investing in prescription access now avoids greater costs later.

Group Appeals conceal Carry Ruling

The fight for conceal carry continues in Illinois.  A judge upheld the state's ban on keeping residents from carrying loaded guns in public but one advocacy group is challenging the ruling.  Dave Workman with the Second Amendment Foundation says Illinoisans shouldn't be treated any differently than others across the nation.

[audio:rddSAF1.mp3] [/audio]

Workman says it's unthinkable that Illinois citizens are being denied their right to keep and bear arms, especially considering the 2010 U.S Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. Chicago.  That's when the nation's High Court determined the Second Amendment applies to states and that the right of an individual to "keep and bear arms" is protected by the Second Amendment.  In her ruling on Friday, Illinois Judge Sue Myerscough said the U.S Supreme Court has not recognized a right to bear firearms outside the home.

Illinois Winter 6th Warmest On Record

Weather trackers say Illinois' winter has been the sixth warmest on record.

State climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois Water Survey says the average temperature in January for the state was 31.4 degrees. That's about 7 degrees above normal, making January the 13th warmest on record.

Belleville, Kaskaskia and Cairo (KEHR'-oh) recorded the warmest temperature readings of the month. All three cities reached 69 degrees. Belleville and Kaskaskia hit that temperature on Jan. 6. Cairo reached 69 degrees on Jan. 18.

The coldest reading was 6 degrees below zero at Elizabeth and Galena on Jan. 12.

The average temperature for December and January was 33.4 degrees. That makes it the sixth warmest December-January period since 1895.

The Illinois Water Survey is located at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Illinois Man Charged With Trying To Run Down Jogger

A central Illinois man has been charged with trying on two separate occasions to run down a jogger with his car.

A grand jury indicted 47-year-old Todd Felmey of Eureka on an aggravated assault charge.

Felmey hasn't entered a plea. He couldn't be reached for comment Monday, and it isn't clear whether he has an attorney.

According to police, a woman jogging near Metamora on Jan. 24 said a car twice tried to hit her. She dove into a ditch but was able to note the car's license number.

The woman says she was targeted by a similar car in August.

The plate was traced to Felmey, and he was arrested Jan. 26.

United Way Re-Introduces New Face

The United Way of Decatur and Mid-Illinois is re-introducing a face very familiar to the community.

Debbie Bogle will the United Way's new Resource Development Director. The United Way is currently in the middle of their yearly campaign, which they seek contributions from local businesses and groups around the area to support organizations the United Way endorses. Bogle explains her job will be to meet with organizations and explain how their campaign works and the things the moneys they receive go to help fund.

[audio:bogle1.mp3] [/audio]

Bogle explains this is her second time around as an employee with the United Way, however, she explains she never stopped being involved with them. Being involved as a Board Member and volunteer she really feels like being a part of the United Way is a good way to make a difference.

[audio:bogle2.mp3] [/audio]

Director of Community Impact at the United Way, Chad Clevenger says the campaign they are about ready to wrap has their numbers a little less than halfway to their goal of 40-thousand dollars. He says those numbers are deceiving because they have not received the totals from some of their larger contributors.

[audio:bogle3.mp3] [/audio]

There are many ways to get involved with the United Way's campaign. To learn more about getting involved, or the ways the United Way helps your community, you can contact Chad or Debbie at 217-422-0633 or visit uwdecatur.org.

Clinton City Council Approves $150-Thousand For Magill House

The Magill House Project on Mr. Lincoln Square in Clinton was the dominant topic of discussion Monday night at the Clinton City Council meeting.

Tim Jamieson of the DeWitt County Restoration Association (DCRA) came forward to the Council to address the importance of the restoration of the Magill House and receiving funds from a TIF fund that was to be directed towards the DCRA. Jamieson explains since the city has become owner the building, progress has been slow, but it has been made. The important thing he explains is the city has accrued no extra expenses with the building.

[audio:dcra1.mp3] [/audio]

The Magill has had been neglected for many years, but Jamieson says many major issues have been addressed and now they have a future vision for the retail space. He says they are right now focusing on that area because of the visibility to the square and they continue to work towards the future.

[audio:dcra2.mp3] [/audio]

The City Council had on file to approve an amendment to allow the DCRA access to 150-thousand dollar portion of the TIF fund. Jamieson believes there are many advantages to the city approving the amendment. He feels it would spur economic growth on the square and would bring more business on the square and encourage current businesses to keep their buildings up as well.

[audio:dcra3.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce was represented last night by Scott Williamson, who is the President of the Clinton Chamber Board. He spoke in support of approving the amendment and feels the DCRA's plans for the future is a good investment for the city to make.

[audio:dcra4.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton City Council voted to approve them amendment by a vote of 4-1. Commissioner Jerry Milton was the lone "No" vote on of the forum. After the vote, Jamieson was very happy the council voted for the amendment and is excited to get things going with for the Magill House.

[audio:dcra5.mp3] [/audio]

Keep it tuned to Regional Radio News and also dewittdailynews.com as we will bring you more from last night's discussion from the City Council meeting regarding the Magill House restoration project.

Bulls Win; Illinois At Indiana Thursday

>>Bulls Blast Nets

(Newark, NJ)  --  Carlos Boozer poured in 24 points as the Bulls cruised to a 108-87 win over the Nets.    Bulls star Derrick Rose had four points before exiting in the second quarter with back spasms.  Luol Deng added 19 points for Chicago, which has won three straight to move to 21-and-6.  Chicago continues a nine-game road trip tomorrow evening at New Orleans.

Los Angeles Clippers 107, Orlando Magic 102 (OT)
Philadelphia 76ers 95, Los Angeles Lakers 90
Washington Wizards 111, Toronto Raptors 108 (OT)
Chicago Bulls 108, New Jersey Nets 87
Phoenix Suns 99, Atlanta Hawks 90
New York Knicks 99, Utah Jazz 88
Sacramento Kings 100, New Orleans Hornets 92
San Antonio Spurs 89, Memphis Grizzlies 84
Houston Rockets 99, Denver Nuggets 90
Oklahoma City Thunder 111, Portland Trail Blazers 107 (OT)

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#4 Missouri Tigers 71, Oklahoma Sooners 68
#19 Marquette Golden Eagles 89, DePaul Blue Demons 76
#23 Louisville Cardinals 80, Connecticut Huskies 59

>>Illinois At IU Thursday

(Bloomington, IN)  --  Illinois returns to the court Thursday night at 23rd-ranked Indiana.  The Fighting Illini fell 74-70 at home to Northwestern on Sunday and have dropped four of their last five overall.  Illinois is 16-and-7, including 5-and-5 in the Big Ten.  The Hoosiers come in 18-and-6 and 6-and-6.

Girl Regionals Recap

Girls Class 1A & 2A regionals kicked off last night...

Scores from Class 1A:
Cerro Gordo 39, Bethany (Okaw Valley) 24
Blue Ridge 61, Buckley Christ Lutheran 20
Fisher 45, DeLand-Weldon 14

Scores from Class 2A:
Maroa-Forsyth 38, Monticello 28
Tri-Valley 37, Dee-Mack 26
Tremont 69, Olympia 33
Argenta-Oreana 68, Warrensburg Latham 61
Unity 46, Shelbyville 38
Georgetown 59, Meridian 50

Girls Class 1A Regional Game for tonight

At Fisher: LeRoy vs Blue Ridge
At Lexington: Heyworth vs Lexington

Maroons At St. Teresa

The Clinton Maroons are back on the hardwood tonight as they make the trip down US Highway 51 to Decatur to take on St. Teresa High School. Coming off losses in the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament to Warrensburg-Latham and Argenta-Oreana, this will be the Maroons first post-tournament game. The Maroons are 3-18 on the season and 0-7 in the Okaw. The Bulldogs finished third in tournament topping Central A & M Saturday night. They enter at 16-6 and 5-2 in conference action. You can hear that game live on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at www.dewittdialynew.com.

Clinton Fire Department Responds To Large Fire Monday

The Clinton Fire Department responded to a structure fire Monday evening at 5 pm at 1513 East Main Street at Clinton Radiator. Fire fighters arrived on the scene and a large garage was on fire, the department had to call in Mutual Aid from Kenney and Wapella. The fire was an accidental fire that had fire fighters on scene for an hour and sixteen minutes. Fire fighters report significant smoke damage to the building and estimates several thousand dollars of damages to the building. Crews were able to block off the area and keep the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings. No injuries were reported.

Clinton City Council Shows Support For Magill Restoration Through More Than Vote

The Clinton City Council showed their support for the Magill House restoration project on Monday night.

Once the City Council moved passed the public's opportunity to speak during Monday evening's City Council Meeting, members of the Clinton City Council voiced their opinions towards the representatives of the DeWitt County Restoration Association and their work on the Magill House on the downtown Clinton Square. Commissioner John Wise explains he was not in favor of the work happening at the Magill Home, however, his mind has been changed thanks to the demonstration of dedication to Clinton by those in the community.

[audio:councilspeak2.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Nan Crang called the DCRA "a story within (themselves)". She is confident they can finish the project and feels the TIF the DCRA is receiving is going to benefit them in their project.

[audio:councilspeak1.mp3] [/audio]

Commissioner Tom Edmonds recalls the circumstances prior to the city's acquisition of the home and feels the DCRA has done great work to restore it and feels too much has been brought down and feels like Clinton needs to use what they have to continue build.

[audio:councilspeak3.mp3] [/audio]

The DCRA acquired 150-thousand dollars of a 310-thousand dollar TIF, however, the TIF expires next year and the TIF can only be awarded if a developer has established themselves in the building. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters and City Administrator Tim Followell worked together to find a way to award the DCRA to continue restoration work, and they decided on an amount of 150-thousand. Mayor Peters explains the figure comes from a TIF fund currently in place which the city awards applying downtown businesses with a 50% reimbursement rate for facade work to their business.

[audio:councilspeak4.mp3] [/audio]

The Council voted 4-1 in favor of amending the agreement to allow the DCRA access to the funds the city decided on. Commissioner Jerry Milton was the lone no vote for in the decision. He would only say he appreciates the support and the DCRA but "had a hard time dealing with this".

Maroons Crushed by Bulldogs

In a game heard on WHOW, the Clinton Maroons were defeated at St. Teresa by the Bulldogs with a final score of 52-27. Mitch Creager led the way for the Maroons scoring seven points and Jacob Rockhold also pitched in with six points in the game. The Bulldogs were led by Alex Tueth who had twenty-one points in the game. With the loss the Maroons fall to three and nineteen on the year and zero and eight in the OVC. The Bulldogs go to seventeen and six overall and six and two in the OVC.

The Clinton Maroons' junior varsity boys basketball team also fell to the St. Teresa Bulldogs with a final score of 51-37. The Clinton Maroons will be back in action at home Friday night as they take on the Tuscola Warriors.

Number of Illinois Wineries Grows To More Than 100

The number of wineries in Illinois has sharply increased over the last five years.

The Illinois Grape Growers and Vintners Association counts 106 wineries in the state at the beginning of 2012. That number has risen from 63 in 2007 and 19 more than a decade ago in 1999.

Association president Bruce Morgenstern lauded a 2008 Illinois law that allows wineries to sell directly to the public if they produce up to 25,000 gallons a year. But Morgenstern says some wineries are nearing that 25,000-gallon limit as the industry grows in Illinois. Wineries that produce more than 25,000 gallons a year must use a commercial distributor.

Overall, statistics show Illinois' wine industry is small compared with states like California and Washington.

Illinois Funds Wildlife Preservation Efforts

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has awarded 29 grants using money from the Wildlife Preservation Fund check-off on the state's income tax form.

State officials say the Illinois Wildlife Preservation Fund Advisory Committee has approved more than $152,000 for the projects. More than 1,150 projects have received more than $5.4 million in funding since the program started 27 years ago. This year's largest grant of $34,000 goes to state biologists to study endangered and threatened species in Illinois. It is the second year of a 5-year project.

Projects that have received money include efforts at habitat enhancement and species restoration.

Victims Identified In Fatal Fire At Peoria Home

Authorities have identified a man and 2 of his children who died in a central Illinois house fire.

The Peoria County coroner says the victims were 34-year-old Edward Gordon, 5-year-old Eandre Gordon and 4-year-old Emyrra Gordon. They were pronounced dead Saturday morning in the emergency room of OSF Saint Francis Medical Center.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll says all died of carbon monoxide intoxication due to inhaling smoke and soot from the fire.

Peoria Fire Chief Kent Tomblin says home was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived early Saturday morning.

All three victims were found upstairs.

Tomblin says there was one smoke detector in the house and it didn't have a battery in it.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

State Farm To Hire Three Thousands People

State Farm Insurance plans to hire 3,000 people across the U.S. and Canada and add 900 agents.

The Bloomington, Ill.-based company said Friday that the hiring will replace positions it has left open as the country's economy struggled the past few years.

State Farm spokeswoman Holly Anderson said the jobs will be mainly in customer service, claims and IT.

300 will be in Bloomington with the rest widely scattered. The company is the largest local employer with more than 15,000 workers in central Illinois. State Farm has a total of 66,000 employees and another 17,800 agents.

Anderson said the company will actively recruit military veterans through job fairs.

Old Lincoln Hospital Site Has Potential Future

The city of Lincoln has plans for the site of the old Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital.

The hospital last year moved from the central location in Lincoln to the west side of Lincoln off Route 66. The building has been torn down and what is left is about three acres of green grass. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder says the city plans to turn it into an outdoor health and wellness facility.

[audio:lincolnpark1.mp3] [/audio]

Are you thinking: what's the difference between an "outdoor health and wellness facility" and a standard city park? Mayor Snyder explains an outdoor health and wellness facility will specifically target anyone that would like to focus on being fit and active. He feels the having this type of park on the former hospital grounds would be very fitting.

[audio:lincolnpark2.mp3] [/audio]

Not only did Lincoln receive the property as a gift from the hospital, but they also received a grant from a local foundation to look into designs for the area to be developed. Mayor Snyder says without the grant, the city may not have had the money to develop the area, and so they are grateful to have the opportunity to make something out of the land.

[audio:lincolnpark3.mp3] [/audio]

Plans for the park includes a fitness loop and a walking path, outdoor fitness equipment for aerobic work, a large mound for kids to climb, and also an area with water fountains for kids to play.

Part of the city's acquisition of the property is the old hospital parking lot, which is adjacent to the property. Mayor Snyder would like to see the city sell that for residential development and use the money to help in funding the park.

The city is currently looking for public input on their ideas. The Lincoln City Council will be presented with the designs on February 28, and the Council will vote to move forward with the plan on March 5.

Farmer City Discussing Development of 20 Acres North of I-74

Farmer City is looking into developing 20 acres outside of town at Route 54 and Interstate 74.

The city owns 20 acres of real estate right off of the highway just outside of Farmer City and they have been investigating into what it would take to begin developing the land. DeWitt County Development Council Executive Director Ruth Stauffer explains they have brain stormed what they could do out there and looked into what it will take begin development out there.

[audio:farmercitydevelopment1.mp3] [/audio]

Manager for Farmer City, Larry Woliung says that property is a perfect place for development. He points to the traffic flow on Interstate-74 and people traveling to Clinton Lake as reasons enough to develop out there.

[audio:farmercitydevelopment2.mp3] [/audio]

Woliung says sometimes an issue like this can divide a community because of the thought that business outside of town will take away from what is happening in town. He says having business outside of town will only help with tax dollars which will turn into helping the city improve other areas.

[audio:farmercitydevelopment3.mp3] [/audio]

The discussions of development for the 20 acres comes about as a recent change in ownership. Woliung explains there was always ideas for the land but nothing ever came from them. He feels having new ownership may now prompt development.

DCRA Seeks Funds From City For Magill Project

The DeWitt County Restoration Association (DCRA) is looking to begin some projects on the Magill House in Clinton.

The DCRA recently has contacted Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters about acquiring some funds from a TIF fund, which would be a little over $350-thousand. Mayor Peters explains the funds are assessed to the Magill Home. She says they asked the DCRA to get quotes for what they wanted to do to the house, most of those projects involved exterior work.

[audio:councilpreview1.mp3] [/audio]

The estimates the DCRA came back to Mayor Peters with was $270-thousand for all the work they wanted to do. This agreement with the DCRA dates back to Mayor Roger Cyrulik and an agreement the council then put in place with the DCRA. Mayor Peters explains she did not want to give them the full $270-thousand, so they worked out a deal to receive $150-thousand dollars.

[audio:councilpreview2.mp3] [/audio]

Tonight at the Clinton City Council's first of their two February meetings, the council vote to amend the Redevelopment agreement in place to allow the DCRA access to the $150-thousand dollars.

Also on tap for tonight's meeting, the Council has closed on the buildings at 221 and 223 East Washington Street. Mayor Peters explains they are going to move forward with asbestos testing. She speculates the building may not be able to be saved, and they may have to start thinking about tearing them down.

[audio:councilpreview3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters is hopeful someone representing the DCRA can update the Council and speak about the Magill House's projects.

The Clinton City Council meets tonight at 7 pm at Clinton City Hall.

Rams Agree With CVC On London Deal

The St. Louis Rams are in the process of completing an agreement with the city's Convention and Visitors Commission to allow the team to play home games in London the next three seasons.  Last week word came down that playing the contests over seas would violate the Rams' lease agreement at Edwards Jones Dome.  Rams executive vice president of football operations Kevin Demoff says tickets for St. Louis' October 28th meeting with the New England Patriots at Wembley Stadium could go on sale later this week.  Due to the conflict, ticket sales had previously been postponed.

Cubs Notes

>>Cubs Avoid Arbitration With Garza

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract with pitcher Matt Garza.  The "Chicago Tribune" reports the deal is worth $9.5-million.  Garza had requested $12.5-million, while the club offered $7.95-million.  The 28-year-old right-hander went 10-and-10 with a career-best 3.32 ERA last season.  Garza is 52-and-54 with a 3.83 ERA in six seasons with the Twins, Rays and Cubs.

>>Report: Cubs Sign Cuban Lefty Concepcion

(Undated)  --  The Chicago Cubs have signed 18-year-old left-handed pitcher Gerardo Concepcion.  According to ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com, the Northsiders reached a $7-million deal pending a physical with the Cuban defector.  Concepcion was the Rookie of the Year in the Cuban National Series in 2010-11 after recording a 10-and-3 mark with a 3.36 ERA in 21 outings.

Bulls Win; On Road Again Tonight

>>Bulls Crush Bucks

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Derrick Rose led the way with 26 points and 13 assists as the Bulls had their way with the Bucks, 113-90.  Luol Deng had 21 points and nine rebounds after missing the past seven games due to a wrist injury.  Kyle Korver came off the bench to add 18 as Chicago won its second straight.  Drew Gooden was the lone Milwaukee player in double-figures.  He netted 24 for the Bucks, who suffered their second loss in-a-row.

Boston Celtics 98, Memphis Grizzlies 80
Miami Heat 95, Toronto Raptors 89

>>Bulls Hit The Hardwood

(Newark, NJ)  --  The Chicago Bulls hit the hardwood this evening as they continue a nine-game road swing against the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center.  The Bulls have won back-to-back games and are coming off a 113-90 victory at Milwaukee on Saturday to improve to 20-and-6 on the season.  Chicago continues the road trip on Wednesday at New Orleans.

Giants Win Super Bowl

The New York Giants have defeated the New England Patriots 21-17 to win Super Bowl 46.  It's the second championship in five seasons for the Giants after defeating New England 17-14 in Super Bowl 42.  The Giants have now won a total of four Super Bowls, with their only loss coming to the Ravens in Super Bowl 35.  Eli Manning was named MVP of the game after throwing for 296 yards and a touchdown.  The 65-year-old Tom Coughlin becomes the oldest head coach to win the Vince Lombardi Trophy.  Eli Manning's  two Super Bowl victories surpass his older brother Peyton.  Peyton Manning and the Colts beat the Bears in Super Bowl 41.

Illinois Loses; ISU Routes Bradley

>> Northwestern Tops Illinois

John Shurna scored 24 points to lead Northwestern past Illinois 74-70 on Sunday.

Reggie Hearn added 20 points on 7 of 8 shooting for the Wildcats (14-8, 4-6), who shot 60% from the floor to win back-to-back Big Ten games for the first time this season.

Brandon Paul scored 22 points and Meyers Leonard had 21 for Illinois (16-7, 5-5). Leonard was 10 of 12 from the field, making his first nine shots.

Northwestern opened the game with four quick 3-pointers to take an 18-9 lead, but a driving layup from Tracy Abrams topped a 20-11 run for Illinois to tie the game at 29.

Illinois didn't hold a lead until 16 minutes left in the second half, and an Abrams jumper with 5:17 left tied the score at 56-56, but Northwestern went on a 16-8 run from there to take control.

>> ISU Routes Bradley

Tyler Brown scored 21 points and Illinois State rolled past Bradley 78-48 Saturday night.

The Redbirds (15-9, 7-6 Missouri Valley) never trailed, raced to a 43-21 halftime lead and didn't let up, beginning the second half with a 9-0 run.

Bryant Allen added 11 points and John Wilkins scored 10 for Illinois State, which made 51% of its shots and was 48% from 3-point range.

Illinois State was coming off a 102-74 loss at No. 13 Creighton on Wednesday - the most points ISU had allowed in a game in 22 years.

Jalen Crawford scored 11 points to lead the Braves (6-19, 1-12), who have lost six in a row. Bradley shot 29% from the field.

ISU has won six straight over Bradley, the longest run in the rivalry for the Redbirds since the mid-1980s.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
Miami (FL) Hurricanes 78, #5 Duke Blue Devils 74  (OT)
#10 Michigan State Spartans 64, #22 Michigan Wolverines 54

Clinton Police Weekend Report





Maroa-Forsyth Takes On Monticello At Clinton Regional

The Monticello Sages girls basketball team take on the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans for the second time in two weeks tonight at Clinton High School in the Clinton Regional. Last week the Sages beat the Trojans in Monticello for their Senior night. The winner moves on to play top-seeded Clinton on Wednesday at 6 pm. That game can be heard on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and streamed live online at dewittdailynews.com.

Mon., Feb. 6

Game 1 at 6:00 pm: (4) Maroa (M.-Forsyth) vs. (5) Monticello

Game 2 at 8:10 pm: (3) Warrensburg (W.-Latham) vs. (6) Argenta (A.-Oreana)

Wed., Feb. 8

Game 3 at 6:00 pm: (1) Clinton vs. Winner Game 1

Game 4 at 8:10 pm: (2) Decatur (St. Teresa) vs. Winner Game 2

Fri., Feb. 10

Game 5 at 7:30 pm: Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

February 4, 2012


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 8

Warrant Arrests: 0


February 5, 2012


Jail Population: 56

Summons Served: 13

Warrant Arrests: 0


February 6, 2012


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Cody Howard, 18, Anchor, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Howard was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Deanna Earl, 34, Clinton, was issued a citation for Driving While License Suspended. Earl was issued a notice to appear and was released.



Heyworth Schools Confident Despite Financial Standing

The Heyworth School district has their eye on the future despite the lack of certainty in the present.

The Heyworth School Districts mid-year financial reports show they are spending more than they are bringing in. Heyworth Schools Superintendent Randy Merker explains the district is able get away with this because of money they have saved. He says despite this trend, he explains the district has begun to save for the future of their facilities.

[audio:heyworthbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Thanks to increasing enrollment numbers at the various levels, Merker says they can think about adding classrooms to their buildings because of the districts conservatism in the past. He says despite the district being in the red, he says they feel good about where they are at financially.

[audio:heyworthbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Merker applauds the work of the Board of Education and administration for working hard in the past to keeping money in the bank and set aside for a "rainy day", which he says currently it would seem they are experiencing that "rainy day".

[audio:heyworthbudget3.mp3] [/audio]

While many school districts are seeking big ways to save money, Merker says the Heyworth district cut small things that were not entirely necessary to keep programs and teachers and staff around as much as possible, which has led to them being able to keep their teachers around. He feels the district is currently moving in the right direction and is happy with the positive things happening right now.

March Ballot For DeWitt County Offices Finalized

DeWitt County residents will have several options at the March primary this year.

On the Republican side of the ballot for the DeWitt County Board:

In District A, Sherri Brown(incumbent), Cole Ritter, Dan Ballenger, and Larry Schumm all from Clinton.

In District B, Terry Ferguson of Clinton(incumbent), Ed Young (incumbent), Laura Enger (incumbent), and Mark Gardner of Farmer City.

In District C, Leon Owens (incumbent), David Newberg, and Ron Savage Jr of Clinton and David Terry Hoffman of Maroa.

In District D, Jay Wickenhauser (incumbent), Pete Daugherty (incumbent), and Melonie Tillie (incumbent DeWitt County Board Chair) all of Clinton.

For the Circuit Clerk, Lori Berger (incumbent) and Pam Barnes, both of Clinton.

Randy Rice of Clinton is running for Coroner.

And Karle Koritz of Bloomington is running for States Attorney.

On the Democratic side of the ballot:

In District A, incumbent Camille Redman of Wapella is running unopposed.

In District B, incumbent Dana Evans of Farmer City is running unopposed.

In District C, Russell Davenport (incumbent), Scott Nimmo (incumbent) and Michael Bray of Clinton.

In District D, Rita Sue May of Clinton is running unopposed.

Blood Mobile collects 44 units

The Blood Mobile hosted by St. John’s Church in Clinton on February 2, 2012 collected 44 units of blood. There were 41 total presenting 

Those reaching milestones were Jodie Turney- 4 gallons. Staci Price was a first time donor.


The following Red Cross Volunteers assisted at the blood mobile; Pat Lichtenwalter, Greeter; Faye Nodine, Co-Chairperson and Rosemary Girard, Chairperson. Phyllis Green was the nurse. Wilma Sympson was the escort. Phillip Chesnek, Larry West, Milton Tarbox and Essel Burton unloaded. Jack Schneider, J.D. Harrold and Ron Ipsen loaded. Audrey Sessions, Barb Thomas, Mary Lou Mills and Mary Bell worked in the kitchen. The canteen was provided by the Farm Bureau Prime Timers.


Thanks to the hard work of the volunteers, loaders, unloaders and the dedication of the donors. For more information about future bloodmobiles, please call the DeWitt Chapter of the American Red Cross at 217-935-3922.

Wesleyan Coach Battling Cancer

(Bloomington, IL)  --  Illinois Wesleyan's Pink Zone basketball games are tomorrow and this year it takes on a whole new meaning for women's coach Mia Smith.  Smith was diagnosed with breast cancer in June last year.  She's undergone four chemotherapy sessions and while she says her recovery has gone well, it has impacted her coaching and teaching regiment this season.  She says she has been able to cut back on classes and has had great support from the athletic department and university.  The Pink Zone game includes a sold out breast cancer fundraiser dinner provided by Famous Dave's, along with a silent auction, raffle and pink zone T-shirt sale.  The Illinois Wesleyan teams will square off against North Park tomorrow.  The women will play at 5 p.m.  The men's game begins at 7 p.m.

HS BBALL: Sages Vs. Unity in Championship Game

The Monticello Sages took on the number one seated Unity Rockets tonight in the championship game for the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament. The game was a tough one from beginning to end. Both teams fought hard to keep possession and score points. The Rockets held a close lead of 18-15 at the end of the first quarter. The Sages came back with momentum in the second and tied the game up at 28 all, going into the half. Coming out of the half the Rockets seemed to be a whole new team. They led the at the end of the third quarter with a score of 54-43. Monticello came out and lit up the fourth quarter though, and managed to keep it close with the Rockets. However, the Rockets took the victory with a final score of 65-60 in the end. The Sages face the Rockets again on Tuesday night at 7 pm. We'll have all the action right here on 95.9, WEZC.

Republicans: Implement Medicaid Reforms Immediately

Republicans say they've already tackled some of the most pressing Medicaid issues but Governor Quinn seems to be going in a different direction. 

[audio:rddRighterMed1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn wants to add 100-thousand people to the Medicaid program but State Senator Dale Righter says that could be big trouble for program recipients.

[audio:rddRighterMed3.mp3] [/audio]

Righter says it costs the state 25-hundred dollars per adult, per year.  Add 100-thousand more people and you boost the state's liability by about 150-million dollars.  Righter is urging Governor Quinn to stop expanding the program and submit waivers to the federal government so the reforms they already passed can be implemented.

GOP Lawmakers Want Cook County Medicaid Request Dropped

Two Republican legislators want the Quinn administration to drop a request that would allow Cook County to expand Medicaid coverage.

Rep. Patti Bellock and Sen. Dale Righter call it "hypocritical" to expand, saying there are hundreds of millions of dollars in cost-saving reforms that were approved by lawmakers but not carried out. The reforms include a moratorium on expanding Medicaid eligibility.

This week, The Associated Press reported that the Department of Healthcare and Family Services is asking federal officials for an expansion of Medicaid coverage to low-income childless adults. It's supposed to bring millions in federal funding to Cook County but would require lawmakers to lift the moratorium.

Righter said Thursday he fears an expansion would cost Illinois more, even though Cook County pays for Medicaid without state funds.

Illinois To Participate in Earthquake Drill

Illinois will participate in a multistate earthquake drill next week as part of earthquake preparedness month.

State officials say more than 400,000 Illinois residents have registered to take part in the drill at 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday.

More than 2 million people are registered in nine states.

The "Great Central U.S. ShakeOut" drill is aimed at helping people practice the "Drop, Cover and Hold On" procedures to be followed during an earthquake.

Residents are encouraged to drop to the floor, take cover under a piece of furniture and hold on to it.

Disaster officials say residents should also have an emergency kit outfitted with water, non-perishable food, flashlights and a first-aid kit, among other supplies.

Gov. Pat Quinn has proclaimed February Earthquake Preparedness Month in Illinois.

Biggert, Schock Won't Have Primary Challengers

Two Republican incumbents who represent Illinois districts in the U.S. House won't have primary challengers.

U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert of Hinsdale and U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock of Peoria won't face challengers in Illinois' Republican primary on March 20.

The Illinois State Board of Elections ruled 5-3 on Thursday that farmer Darrel Miller of Danvers was 17 signatures short of the 600 he needed to qualify to run against Schock. Miller says he was disappointed, but should have "worked harder" to get more signatures.

The state board also voted to remove 2 of Biggert's opponents from the ballot. The board ruled Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham was 74 votes short because of problems with addresses on his petitions. Former Joliet mayoral candidate Diane Harris also was removed for incorrect addresses.

AFSCME: Give Us Our Pay Raises

Governor Quinn took a jab at Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels' position on the Right to Work bill in his State of the State speech yesterday.  But AFSCME Council 31 Executive Director Henry Bayer says Quinn's actions are speaking much louder than his words. 

[audio:rddAFSCME2.mp3] [/audio]

AFSME union members want Governor Quinn to pay up on the raises they were supposed to get last year.  Bayer adds this is not about politics.

[audio:rddAFSCME4.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn advocates for the right to bargain but he has frozen pay increases for more than 30-thousand union state workers.  About 200 union members gathered outside Quinn's Springfield office today asking the governor to change his mind.  They say if the state can afford to add 300-million dollars worth of new programs, they can afford to pay out the negotiated 75-million dollars in pay raises.

Monticello Transportation Switch Going Well To This Point

After 40 years with Monticello Bus Service, the Monticello School district feels their transition to a new provider is going well.

Superintendent of Monticello Schools, Dr. Vic Zimmerman explains the transition has gone as good as he had hoped it would. The district was forced to go out for bid by state law for bus providers and Monticello Bus Company did not have the lowest bid and due to tough financial times for the district, they were forced to switch providers.

[audio:monticelloswitch1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman points out, any given day the district could have 800 to 1000 students riding the bus from grades K-12. He says with numbers like that there is always the possibility something will come up, but the key to eliminating problems is communication.

[audio:monticelloswitch2.mp3] [/audio]

The decision to leave Monticello Bus Service last year was not one that was easy for the district. Dr. Zimmerman says Central Illinois Bus's bid came in $100-thousand below Monticello Bus Service. While he is disappointed they had to end their contract with them, he says Monticello Bus is still doing well.

[audio:monticelloswitch4.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Zimmerman feels the district is working well with Central Illinois Bus and they are providing a high level service.

Major changes could be coming to school districts transportation this year from Springfield. Governor Quinn could completely cut transportation reimbursements to put the cost burden on the tax payers.

Edwin Jackson Signs With Nats

Former Cardinals pitcher Edwin Jackson will be playing in Washington, DC this summer.  The free-agent right-hander has agreed to a one-year deal with the Nationals.  Jackson split last season with the White Sox and Cardinals, going 5-and-2 with a 3.58 ERA with the Redbirds.

Dome Improvement Plan Presented

The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission has proposed a $124-million improvement plan for the Edward Jones Dome to keep the Rams in St. Louis.  It includes a connecting structure with a rooftop beer garden, a new scoreboard over midfield and 15-hundred new club seats.  The Rams have until March 1st to accept or reject the plan and May 1st to make a counter offer.

Bulls Hold Off Knicks; Rose Named All-Star Starter

Derrick Rose poured in 32 points and dished out 13 assists as the Bulls held off the Knicks, 105-102.  Carlos Boozer collected 16 points and nine rebounds for Chicago, which has won seven of its last 10 games.  Kyle Korver also netted 16 points in the victory.  Amar'e Stoudemire had 34 points and 11 boards for the Knicks, who slipped to 8-and-14.  Carmelo Anthony netted 26 points of 10-of-26 shooting in the loss.

Memphis Grizzlies 96, Atlanta Hawks 77
San Antonio Spurs 93, New Orleans Hornets 81
Sacramento Kings 95, Portland Trail Blazers 92
Denver Nuggets 112, Los Angeles Clippers 91
Golden State Warriors 119, Utah Jazz 101

>>Rose Named All-Star Starter

(New York, NY)  --  Dwight Howard of the Orlando Magic was the leading vote-getter for this month's All-Star Game and will start in front of his home crowd at the Amway Center.  The starters for both teams were announced Thursday.  Joining Howard on the East's squad are forward Carmelo Anthony of the New York Knicks, forward LeBron James and guard Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat and point guard Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls.

Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant was the leading vote-getter for the Western Conference.  Those who will join Bryant in the starting lineup include forward Blake Griffin and point guard Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, forward Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder and Bryant's

Illini Host Northwestern Sunday

 Illinois will be on its home floor Sunday afternoon against Northwestern.  The Fighting Illini upset 10th-ranked Michigan State 42-41 on Tuesday to snap a three-game skid and improve to 16-and-6 overall and 5-and-4 in the Big Ten.  The Wildcats are 12-and-8 and 2-and-6.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Duke Blue Devils 75, Virginia Tech Hokies 60
#9 Murray State Racers 81, Southeast Missouri State Redhawks 73
#11 Florida Gators 74, South Carolina Gamecocks 66
#16 Saint Mary's Gaels 84, San Diego Toreros 73

Sages Play For OVC Tourney Championship Saturday

The Monticello Sages play for the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament championship Saturday night at 7:30 at Decatur St. Teresa High School. The Sages are coming off a dominant win against #3 seeded Central A & M Tuesday night to advance to the championship game. The Sages are the #7 seed and have so far beaten #2 seeded Meridian, #3 Central A & M, and now take aim at #1 seeded Unity. Unity beat Decatur St. Teresa Tuesday night to advance to the Championship. It will be the first time the two have met this season. The Sages have won 8 in a row and have improved their record to 12-9 overall. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and on www.dewittdailynews.com.

Other Okaw Valley games tonight:

Consolation Championship Game:
Maroa-Forsyth vs. Meridian @ 8pm (Friday)

Third/Fourth Place Game:
Central A & M vs. Decatur St. Teresa @ 6 pm (Saturday)

Maroons Back in Action Tonight

The Clinton Maroons are back at it tonight at the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament. The Maroons lost their play in game last Friday against Warrensburg Latham and will play tonight 6:30. If the Maroons win they will play tomorrow after at 4:30 against the winner of Sullivan and Tuscola, who play tonight at 5. These games are at Decatur St. Teresa High School. Game time tonight for the Maroons is 6:30. You can hear the action live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and streamed online at www.dewittdailynews.com.

Clinton Police Report for 2-3






Maroa Schools Winter Projects Progressing

If you've driven by the Maroa-Forsyth schools campus in Maroa recently, you probably noticed some construction equipment.

 width=The district is currently having an all purpose track installed around their football field. At the same time, they are also installing turf on to their football field. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools Mike Williams explains that project is ahead of schedule thanks to the mild winter we have experienced thus far, and it should be complete by mid-spring.

[audio:maroatrack1.mp3] [/audio]

The all weather track is something of a standard feature to several central Illinois athletic facilities. Williams says the field turf will allow the district to host soccer games now, which they have not been able to do in the past. Maroa coops with Warrensburg. He feels it gives the district a lot of options now for their athletics.

[audio:maroatrack2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=This is the first phase of what is a 10-year facility plan for the district. A couple other small projects in this first phase is include upgrading their H-Vac system at the high school to make them more energy efficient. They also want to add on to the grade school playground, and a new marquee to the front of the high school.

HS BBall: Argenta-Oreana Cut Down the Maroons for a Victory

The Clinton Maroons faced off against the Argenta-Oreana Bombers this evening in more Conference action. The Maroons came out ready to win which was evident as they held onto a close 16-14 lead over the Bombers at the end of the first quarter. The Bombers however, answered back quickly in the second as they led the game 24-21 going into the half. Coming back out, the Maroons had a hard time keeping the ball and that was obviously a large contributer to their close loss. Both teams fought hard to the end but the Bombers had the victory with a final score of 58-51. The Maroons were led by Dylan Scott who had a total of 12 point throughout the game. The Maroons now move to 3-18 in the season. The Bombers were led by Kegan McHood who had a total of 17points throughout the game and helped move the team to 7-13 on the season. The Bombers shot 13 for 13 at the free throw line. The Maroons next play on Tuesday at 7:30 pm. We'll have all the action right here on WHOW.

Comptroller Compares Quinn To Blagojevich

Governor Quinn is being compared to former, convicted Governor Rod Blagojevich after yesterday's State of the State address.  Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says we've seen what happens when the governor ignores the real problems. 

[audio:rddSOSComptroller3.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn urged lawmakers to find the courage to tackle Medicaid and Pension reform this year but other than that, no mention of any of the major issues.  He says the best way to build the state's budget is by investing in people.  He proposed several new programs designed to put veterans to work, provide relief for businesses, help struggling homeowners, and more.  Republicans say the programs will add 500-million dollars to the state's budget, but Quinn's office says it's more like 300-million.

Exelon To Update Earthquake Risk At Nuclear Plants

The federal government says nuclear plants throughout the central and eastern U.S. must be reassessed within four years to determine how well they might withstand earthquakes.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission this week released an updated seismic risk model that plant operators must use to recalculate risks.

Officials say the model has been in development for four years but took on a greater urgency after last year's nuclear disaster in Japan following an earthquake and tsunami.

The NRC says plants in Illinois and Iowa are in areas where new geological data suggest earthquakes could be more frequent than previously believed.

Exelon Energy's Dresden Nuclear Power Plant southwest of Chicago and NextEra Energy's Duane Arnold Energy Center outside Cedar Rapids, Iowa, also use the same type nuclear reactor that failed in Japan.

Quinn Speech Points To Permanent Tax Hike

Republicans say Governor Quinn's proposals in his State of the State address yesterday will cost the state 500-million dollars.  Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno says at this rate, it appears the temporary tax hike is going to be permanent.

[audio:rddSOSRadogno3.mp3] [/audio]

Radogno says that kind of uncertainty makes Illinois a very unattractive place to do business.  She says the state doesn't have the money to fund Quinn's new proposals, which include investing in early childhood education, extending grants for low-income students, and extending tax breaks to businesses that hire veterans.  Radogno says the best way to improve the state's business climate is by fixing the state budget.

Cross: Quinn Avoiding Pressing Issues

House Minority Leader Tom Cross says Governor Quinn refuses to tackle the biggest issues in the state.

[audio:rddSOSCross1.mp3] [/audio]

Cross says Quinn doesn't understand the gravity of the problems that face the state.  Quinn wants to abolish the natural gas tax, extend a child tax to parents, provide tax relief to businesses that hire benefits, among other things this year.  Republicans say the state can't afford to pay for any new programs.

Lincoln Man Arrested in Connection To January Shooting

Lincoln Police have made an arrest in connection with a January 22 shooting.

Police arrested a 28-year old man Tuesday afternoon in connection with a January 22 shooting on North Jefferson Street on charges of armed violence, aggravated discharge of a firearm and possession of a weapon by a felon.

The victim was shot in the right side of his chest and was released from a Springfield hospital after treatment. The injuries were not life threatening.

The suspects name cannot be released until after he has been formally charged.

State Still Owes Blue Ridge Schools Half Million Dollars

Like most school districts around Illinois, the Blue Ridge School district has not received the money they were expecting from the state.

Susan Wilson is the Superintendent of the Blue Ridge School district. She says currently they are very close to where they would like to be financially with the money they have. She says their revenues and expenses are right on par with where they thought they would be at the mid-point of the fiscal year.

[audio:blueridgemoney1.mp3] [/audio]

The state owes the Blue Ridge district nearly 400-thousand dollars as of January 1. Wilson says they are paying their General State Aid but are behind in their expenses that cover transportation, their pre-K program, and lunches among other programs.

[audio:blueridgemoney2.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson explains, within the last 10 years, the Blue Ridge district fell on tough financial times leading them to implement a policy stating they would have a minimum of three months cash reserves on hand for economic times we are in. She says the district currently has the minimum amount required in their reserves, and speculates a recovery by the Illinois economy could be several years away.

ISU, Bradley Lose Big

>> Creighton Drops ISU

Doug McDermott scored 17 of his 25 points in the first half to lead six Creighton players in double figures and the 13th-ranked Bluejays rode a fast start to a 102-74 victory over Illinois State on Wednesday night.

The Bluejays (21-2, 11-1 Missouri Valley Conference) won their 11th straight overall and fourth in a row against the Redbirds (14-9, 6-6).

Creighton broke out to a 17-2 lead making eight straight shots and 10 of its first 11, and McDermott was in double figures inside 8 minutes.

Grant Gibbs had 12 points and seven assists, Jahenns Manigat and Will Artino added 11 points each and Gregory Echenique and Josh Jones had 10 apiece.

Tyler Brown had 21 points, Bryant Allen added 14 and Nic Moore and Jon Ekey had 11 apiece for the Redbirds.

Creighton went over 100 points for the second time this season. The Bluejays scored 104 against Campbell.

>> Evansville Tops Bradley

Denver Holmes and Ryan Sawvell had the first double-doubles of their careers as Evansville routed Bradley 92-62 on Wednesday night.

Colt Ryan added 24 points and Ned Cox 10 for the Purple Aces (11-11, 6-6 Missouri Valley), who ended a 2-game slide.

Holmes tied his career high with 23 points and added a career-best 11 assists. Sawvell, a freshman, had 12 points and 16 rebounds. Sawvell reached a double-double in the first half, when he had 10 points and 11 boards.

Taylor Brown scored 18 points to lead the Braves (6-18, 1-11), who have dropped five straight. Jake Eastman added 11 and Jordan Prosser 10.

The Aces led 53-24 when Bradley's Jalen Crawford sank a half-court shot at the halftime buzzer to cut the deficit to 26.

Evansville, which swept the season series, shot 60.3%, hitting 41 of 68.

Evansville grabbed its first 30-point road victory in 13 years.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#6 Baylor Bears 63, Texas A&M Aggies 60
#8 Kansas Jayhawks 84, Oklahoma Sooners 62
#12 Creighton Bluejays 102, Illinois State Redbirds 74
#13 UNLV Rebels 82, Colorado State Rams 63
#14 Georgetown Hoyas 58, Connecticut Huskies 44
#17 San Diego State Aztecs 58, Boise State Broncos 56
#22 Michigan Wolverines 68, #20 Indiana Hoosiers 56
#24 Florida State Seminoles 68, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 54

Sixers Slam Bulls

Andre Iguodala and Thaddeus Young had 19 points apiece as the 76ers slammed the Bulls, 98-82.  Philadelphia outscored Chicago 26-11 in the third quarter to blow the game open.  C.J. Watson netted 20 points off the bench to pace the Bulls, who have dropped three-of-five.  Derrick Rose had 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting in the setback.  The Bulls continue a nine-game road trip this evening at Madison Square Garden against the Knicks.

Orlando Magic 109, Washington Wizards 103
New Jersey Nets 99, Detroit Pistons 96
Boston Celtics 100, Toronto Raptors 64
Indiana Pacers 109, Minnesota Timberwolves 99
Phoenix Suns 120, New Orleans Hornets 103
Oklahoma City Thunder 95, Dallas Mavericks 86
Milwaukee Bucks 105, Miami Heat 97
San Antonio Spurs 99, Houston Rockets 91
Portland Trail Blazers 112, Charlotte Bobcats 68
Los Angeles Clippers 107, Utah Jazz 105

Illini Sign 19 Recruits on National Signing Day

New Illinois football coach Tim Beckman's first signing class is heavy on skill-position players and includes five defensive backs and three running backs.

The 19-player class was rated among the weakest in the Big Ten by recruiting-ranking services. Rivals.com rated the class last among the 12 conference schools.

Illinois said in a news release Wednesday that the running backs include Dami Ayoola of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and Devin Church of Southfield, Mich.

Illinois is expected to be thin at running back after the departures of seniors Jason Ford and Troy Pollard.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 2-2

February 2, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1


Troy Henery, 42, Heyworth, was issued a citation for Driving While License Suspended. Henery being unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County jail.




State Fire Marshall To Help Investigate Clinton House Fire; Cause Undetermined

The Illinois State Fire Marshall has been called in to investigate the house fire on Monroe Street in Clinton from Tuesday night.

Firefighters were called about 10:45 p.m. to a one and a  half story house in the 500 block of North Monroe Street, across from St. John's Catholic Church. Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton reports they arrived and heavy smoke and flames could be seen coming from the roof of the home. He says the fire was very difficult to combat because of multiple layers of roofing at the home.

[audio:housefire1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton says his crews were on the scene until 4:40 a.m then were called back shortly after 6 a.m. after the fire had reignited and remained on the scene until about 9:30 a.m.

Chief Milton would not confirm reports of the fire being a case of arson or related to other recent fires the city has seen. He says the State Fire Marshall is being called in to aid in the investigation.

[audio:housefire2.mp3] [/audio]

This fire is the most recent in a string of fires that have been reported in the northwest portion of Clinton. Most recently a fire destroyed a garage and damaged buildings around it along with other small fires that were reported. Chief Milton asks anyone with information to call the Clinton Police Department at 217-935-9441.

Fire Destroys Clinton Home

Clinton, Wapella and Maroa fire departments were called to a fire at a vacant house late Tuesday night in Clinton.

Firefighters were called about 10:45 p.m. to a one and a  half story house in the 500 block of North Monroe Street, across from St. John's Catholic Church.

Reports state heavy smoke and flames could be seen coming from the roof of the home. They say the fire appeared to be mostly in the upstairs portion of the home, however, flames could be seen in downstairs.

The home appeared to be vacant.

Heyworth's Superintendent Merker Retiring

The Heyworth school district will have a new voice leading their schools beginning July 1.

Current Superintendent of Heyworth Schools, Randy Merker is retiring following the conclusion of the 2011-2012 school year. He says he has been thinking about this decision for some time, and he worked with the Board of Education to outline a plan for his exit and to find a replacement. The Heyworth Board of Education has named Dr. Ty Wolf as his replacement.

[audio:heyworth1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolf is currently the Superintendent and Principal of the Tonica Grade School district. Merker explains he and Dr. Wolf know each other from their days as educators in the Quincy school district. Merker feels it is a good thing he knows Dr. Wolf.

[audio:heyworth2.mp3] [/audio]

Merker says he has been in consistent contact with Dr. Wolf to help in the transition process. He adds he recently spent some time with Dr. Wolf discussion the Heyworth district and the way they do things. Merker stresses he does not give Dr. Wolf every detail of the districts business, but rather he is simply keeping him involved enough he will have a good general knowledge of the districts business upon his arrival.

[audio:heyworth3.mp3] [/audio]

Merker believes the hiring of the Superintendent is one of the most important roles a Board of Education serves. He says he has stayed completely out of the process. The district hired an outside search firm to seek out candidates and do research on them, and they brought back a list to the BOE. Merker is very pleased with the work of his Board in their hiring of Dr. Wolf.

NFL Notes: Media Day At Super Bowl; Rams Owner Wants To Buy Dodgers

>>Giants, Patriots Take Part In Media Day

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The New York Giants and New England Patriots spent the early portion of Tuesday meeting with reporters as part of the Super Bowl's annual Media Day.  Players and coaches from both teams set up shop at individual podiums on the Lucas Oil Stadium field and answered questions from hundreds of reporters about Sunday's big game.  For the first time ever, fans could purchase tickets to sit in the stands and listen to an audio feed of on-field interviews through radio receivers via the NFL Network.

Both teams showed signs of respect for their opponent, having already played during the regular season and, of course, more famously four years ago in Super Bowl 42 in Arizona.  The Giants upset the heavily-favored Patriots 17-14 that year, ending New England's bid for a perfect season.  The G-Men beat the Pats 24-20 in Foxboro in Week Nine this season.

>>Rams' Kroenke Bidding On Dodgers

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Rams owner Stan Kroenke apparently has his sites set on acquiring a baseball team.  The "LA Times" reports Kroenke is one of at least eight bidders to advance beyond the first round of bidding to buy the Dodgers.  The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy last year.

NBA Notes

>>Pacers Knock Off Nets

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  Paul George nailed four three-pointers en route to 24 points while Roy Hibbert added a double-double with 18 points and 14 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers downed the New Jersey Nets, 106-99, on Tuesday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  Danny Granger finished with 21 points, seven rebounds and five assists for the Pacers, who shot 52.1 percent from the field and have won two straight.  Indiana departs on a brief two-game road swing this evening against the Minnesota Timberwolves at the Target Center.

>>Bulls Hit The Hardwood

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  The Chicago Bulls continue a nine-game road trip this evening against the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center.  The Bulls have won two of their last three games to improve to 18-and-5 on the season.  They are coming off a 98-88 victory at Washington on Monday.

Atlanta Hawks 100, Toronto Raptors 77
Boston Celtics 93, Cleveland Cavaliers 90
New York Knicks 113, Detroit Pistons 86
Memphis Grizzlies 100, Denver Nuggets 97 (OT)
Golden State Warriors 93, Sacramento Kings 90
Los Angeles Lakers 106, Charlotte Bobcats 73

Illini Upsets #9 Michigan State

In a game in which neither team made even one-third of its shots, it seemed right the deciding free throws would be followed by a few more misses.

Brandon Paul made two foul shots that gave Illinois the lead with 45 seconds to play, then missed the front end of 2 1-1s in the Illini's 42-41 win over No. 9 Michigan State on Tuesday night.

The shooting - 32.6% for Illinois and 24.1% for Michigan State - was so bad that players suggested the ball may have had too much air in it.

The win ended a 3-game losing streak for the Illini (16-6, 5-4 Big Ten), a run that left coach Bruce Weber resorting to prayer.

The loss cost the Spartans (17-5, 6-3) a chance to move into first place in the Big Ten with No. 3 Ohio State.

Spartans forward Draymond Green spent much of the game on the bench with foul trouble, then was helped from the court with what appeared to be an injury to his left knee with just under 4 minutes to play. He didn't return.

Paul led Illinois with 18 points. He scored 13 of Illinois' 20 second-half points, but was 6 of 17 from the field. He was 5 of 9 from the free throw line and the Illini finished 9 of 17.

The Illini wrap up this week's play on Sunday against Northwestern in Champaign.

NCAA Top-25 Men's Basketball  (ESPN/"USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kentucky Wildcats 69, Tennessee Volunteers 44
#6 (tie) North Carolina Tar Heels 68, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 53
#15 Marquette Golden Eagles 66, Seton Hall Pirates 59
#18 Virginia Cavaliers 65, Clemson Tigers 61
#20 Wisconsin Badgers 52, Penn State Nittany Lions 46

Boil Order Issued For Portion of Clinton

A main break has led to a Boil Order being issued by the Clinton Water Department. The boil order includes Jackson Street east to the railroad tracks and Macon Street north to city limits and everything in between. The Boil Order stands until further notice.

Mandatory Screening For Clinton Children Entering Pre-K Coming Up

Parents with children ready to enter Pre-K next year will need to take advantage of a mandatory screening taking place in a few weeks.

All 3, 4 or 5 year-olds in the district are eligible for the check-ups in language, concepts, and motor development February 21 and 22. There will also be vision and hearing checks. These tests do not determine kindergarten readiness. The screenings will be at St. John's Parish Center at 514 North Monroe Street in Clinton. The program is for all preschool children who will be three or older as of August 31, 2012. Dr. Jeff Holmes, Superintendent of the Clinton school district says preschool screenings are like taking your child to the doctor for a checkup to make sure every thing is developing correctly, except the district looks at school readiness and overall cognitive development.

Parents interested in their child's possible placement into the Pre-K programs must have their child screened, and no further screenings will be scheduled until next year.

To schedule a screening, call Douglas School at 935-2987 or Washington School at 935-6383 after 9 am the week of February 6-10. The screening will last approximately 45 minutes.

The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department will also be having their immunization clinic from 12:30-5 pm on Monday February 20 to administer any immunizations that are still needed for your child to enter school. The immunizations are by appointment only. You can call the Health Department to set up an appointment at 935-3427.

Governor Quinn's State of the State Review

Governor Quinn gave his annual State of the State address Wednesday.

The Governor addressed the previous year in Illinois. In fact, he took those who listened in back to three years ago when he was sworn in as Governor to the situation of having the previous Governors impeached and now in prison, and the "dire" situation of the Illinois and national economy. After hard work by his administration, reforms and gains in several areas Governor Quinn declared Illinois back on track.

[audio:stateofstate2.mp3] [/audio]

The Governor briefly addressed exports and the farmers of the state. Governor Quinn feels Illinois has a great opportunity to take our goods and export them. He previewed deals the state has made in the past year to continue growing the export market.

[audio:stateofstate1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn outlined three tax credits he is going to propose for this year. His "Illinois Jobs Agenda" includes tax cuts includes eliminating the natural gas utility tax in Illinois. He called the tax regressive and feels the eliminating it can target tax relief to consumers and businesses.

His other tax credit included a tax credit to hiring veterans. Governor Quinn says the employment rate for returning veterans is only 30%.

The final tax credit Governor Quinn proposed was a child tax credit. He wants to invest in the families of Illinois and believes will create jobs and stimulate the economy.

[audio:stateofstate3.mp3] [/audio]

Other issues the governor addressed Wednesday included advancing technology in the state, continuing to construction projects, high speed rail lines throughout the state and continuing education reform.

In another three weeks the governor will deliver his budget proposal.


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