Local News

Sages Triumph Over Warriors

The Monticello Sages defeated the Tuscola Warriors in a game that ended with a 49-13 score.  All the scoring for the Warriors came in the first quarter.  The Player of the Game was Ryan Donahue with 20 carries, 22 yards and 3 touchdowns. Parker Trice had 113 yards and a touchdown. Austin Eckerty had 3 catches, 96 yards and a touchdown. The Sages are now 2-0 and play their next game against Meridian at home. That game will be heard Friday September 7th at 7pm on WEZC.

Quinn Open To New Gambling Bill

Hope for more gambling in Illinois may not be lost.  Governor Pat Quinn says he's open to working on a new plan that everyone can be happy with.

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Quinn vetoed a gaming plan earlier this week that would've added five new casinos across the state plus slots at race tracks.  He wanted to the bill to ban the casino industry from giving campaign contributions to lawmakers.  Quinn also said the bill didn't have enough oversight for the proposed Chicago casino and not enough money dedicated toward education.  Proponents of the bill say it would've created 20-thousand new jobs and generated more than a billion dollars in new state revenue.

Hurricane Isaac To Make Central Illinois This Weekend



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Corn Belt Benefits From Recent Rain, Farmers Now Worry About Isaac

Growers in Illinois and other farm states who've been struggling with drought conditions welcomed recent rains that eased the dryness of parched crops.

But with Hurricane Isaac's remnants crawling their way, some farmers wonder whether too much relief is on the horizon.

Forecasters expect Isaac could slide into Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Iowa and Ohio as early as Friday - dumping as much as 12 inches of rain on the region.

That kind of deluge is usually welcomed by farmers, but it could actually work against them by making fields too muddy for harvesting equipment.

Kenneth Metcalf farms nearly 600 acres of corn and 120 of soybeans near Mechanicsburg in central Illinois, and he's also concerned about the potential for strong winds. He says the corn isn't very stable and 50-plus-mile-per-hour winds would just break the stalks off.

Eureka College, Knox College To Meet For First Ever Abraham Lincoln Bowl

Longtime intercollegiate football rivals Eureka College and Knox College will compete in the first annual Abraham Lincoln Bowl when the two teams square off at the Knosher Bowl in Galesburg on Saturday. The competition will recognize the shared importance of the two liberal arts colleges, each founded by abolitionists, in Abraham Lincoln’s life and in American history.  The traveling trophy to be presented to the game’s winner, which will be kept until the next year’s contest, is being provided by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.

Eureka College President, J. David Arnold says the Lincoln Bowl is an exciting new tradition with our longtime friends of Knox College which helps continue to honor the servant leadership values they instill in their students. He says he suspects Abraham Lincoln would be pleased to know both college campuses he visited in his lifetime continue to celebrate his values today.
"Knox College president, Teresa Amott says they are honored to compete for a trophy named after Abraham Lincoln. She adds Lincoln was a life-long learner who exhibited integrity and courage in his personal and professional lives.  In sports, he was strong and always played by the rules.  On and off the field, these are the examples they set before their students.

In 1856, Lincoln spoke on behalf of the first Republican presidential candidate, John Charles Fremont, at Eureka College.  Two years later, in 1858, Lincoln famously debated Stephen Douglas at Knox for an United States Senate seat.

A traveling trophy will be awarded to the winning team.  The trophy is a bronze bust of young Lincoln presented by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation in Springfield.  It was donated to the two colleges by former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar, a former chairman and current board member of the foundation.

Eureka and Knox have met on the gridiron 22 times since their first meeting in Galesburg on October 14, 1893.  Eureka won the most recent contest, a 28-13 victory over the Prairie Fire on September 5, 2009, at McKinzie Field in Eureka.  The non-conference series between the two schools has been renewed through the 2015 season.  The winner of each contest will take possession of the newly created trophy.

According to the NCAA Division III football record book, the Lincoln Bowl will become the third NCAA Division III football series in the state of Illinois to award a traveling trophy.  Knox and Monmouth have competed annually for the Bronze Turkey since 1929, while North Central and Wheaton have played for the Little Brass Bell since 1947.

Weldon Springs State Park To Host 'One-Woman Show'

Weldon Springs State Park will host a One-Woman Show featuring the works of photographer Michelle Randolph on Saturday, September 1, 2012 from noon to four p.m. at the springs area.

Michelle has been invited to photograph the National Clydesdale Show and Sale at the Wisconsin State Fair.  Her photographs have been published in the “Clydesdale News”, “Draft Horse Journal” and on the cover of the “Clydesdale Speculator.”   Michelle has been a professional photographer for about seven years.   Her work is exhibited on her website at www.michellezphotos.com.

 Carol Thompson, Natural Resources Coordinator at Weldon Springs State Park says she is delighted that wthey are able to showcase her work this year.

Weldon Springs offers an annual One-Man or One-woman Show to highlight the work of a local artist or artisan.  Visitors have the opportunity to meet the artist and discover some of the wealth of talent creating works of art in Central Illinois.

For more information, please contact Carol Thompson at Weldon Springs State Park at 217- 935-0373.

Heyworth Schools Gearing Up For New Academic Standards

School districts across the state and country are transitioning into new learning standards for students, to what are being called the Common Core Standards.

By the school year 2014-15, schools must have their curriculum ready for the new common core standards because that is the first year students will be tested on them. Superintendent of Heyworth Schools, Dr. Ty Wolf explains these standards were adopted by Illinois legislators two years ago, and this new standard develops a deeper level of learning and understanding.

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Much like the ISAT or PSAE assessment tests students take today, Dr. Wolfe says there will be a new type of assessments for the common core standard. Dr. Wolfe explains these new assessments will have multiple correct answers, but students will also have a task to complete as a part of the assessments and they will have to be able to understand what they are doing.

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Dr. Wolfe feels the new common core standards are going to benefit the students but also he says it will give parents a better understanding of where their student is doing well and where they are struggling.

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The assessments will also be online based. Dr. Wolfe says this will be an adjustment for students and schools.

Madden 13 Has Orange Pants For Bears' Road Uniforms

Video game fans are noticing a uniform mishap in the just released NFL Madden 13 game.  The latest edition of the popular Electronic Arts franchise features the Chicago Bears in orange pants as part of their road uniform.  According to CSNChicago.com, the Bears have never worn orange pants in the history of the franchise.  The Bears traditionally wear navy tops and white pants at home, and white tops with navy pants for road games.  Meanwhile, New York Giants lineman Marcus Thomas says the game also has him with the wrong photo.

Sprint Cup Series In Atlanta This Weekend

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is at the Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend for Sunday's AdvoCare 500.  There are just two races to go before the start of the Chase.  One year ago, Jeff Gordon overcame a vibration issue late in the race and held off a furious challenge from his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Jimmie Johnson, during the closing laps to win the AdvoCare 500 at Atlanta.  The race was delayed two days due to Tropical Storm Lee.  Denny Hamlin won last weekend at Bristol to climb into eighth in the Cup Standings.  Greg Biffle holds an 11-point lead over Johnson atop the standings.  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Matt Kenseth and Martin Truex Jr. round out the top-five.  The top 12 drivers advance to compete in the Chase.

Cubs Outslug Brewers; Cards Crushed; Sox Lose

>>Cubs Rally Past Crew

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alfonso Soriano clubbed a walk-off single to deep center in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Cubs in a 12-11 win over the Brewers.  Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo also plated runs in the decisive frame for Chicago, which snapped a three-game slide to salvage the finale of a four-game set at Wrigley Field.  Brett Jackson's two-run double capped a six-run sixth inning for the Cubs in the come-from-behind victory.  Carlos Marmol worked a scoreless inning to register the win.  Jonathan Lucroy clubbed a grand slam and plated seven total runs for Milwaukee, which had won its last four games.  Rickie Weeks went 5-for-5 and scored four runs in a losing effort.  Francisco Rodriguez was charged with the loss.

>>Nats Crush Cardinals

(Washington, DC)  --  Bryce Harper homered and plated three runs as the Nationals crushed the Cardinals, 8-1, in the first of a three-game series.  Jason Werth also went deep, knocked in two and scored three times for the Nats in their second straight win.  Edwin Jackson struck out 10 and allowed only an unearned run over eight innings to improve to 8-and-9.  Bryan Anderson scored on an error in the eighth for the Cardinals, who have been outscored 22-1 during their three-game skid.  Jaime Garcia allowed six runs over five-and-a-third innings to fall to 3-and-6.

Philadelphia Phillies 3, New York Mets 2
San Francisco Giants 8, Houston Astros 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 0

>>Britton Helps Baltimore Bury ChiSox

(Baltimore, MD)  --  Adam Jones clubbed a two-run homer to back eight stellar innings from Zach Britton as the Orioles edged the White Sox, 5-3.  Britton struck out 10 while allowing just one run to improve to 4-and-1 on the season.  Jim Johnson recorded the final two outs for his major league-leading 41st save.  Taylor Teagarden hit a solo homer and an RBI double as Baltimore took three-of-four at Camden Yards.  Alexei Ramirez knocked in two runs and Gordon Beckham plated another for Chicago.  Jose Quintana gave up all five runs in less than four innings to take the loss.

Oakland Athletics 12, Cleveland Indians 7
Seattle Mariners 5, Minnesota Twins 4
Toronto Blue Jays 2, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Kansas City Royals 2, Detroit Tigers 1
Los Angeles Angels 5, Boston Red Sox 2

Illini Football; Basketball Notes

>> Tim Bekcman Era Starts With Familiar Foe

Tim Beckman will be on unfamiliar ground when he debuts as head coach at Illinois on Saturday. He will be facing a familiar opponent in Western Michigan and that might make the old defensive coordinator in him nervous.

Beckman's Toledo Rockets managed to hold off the Broncos last season in a crazy 66-63 game.

Western Michigan and quarterback Alex Carder have a way of making defenses look bad. The Broncos led Illinois at the half last year before finally falling by a field goal.

Beckman says he plans to shuffle players on and off the field to keep his defense fresh against a team that routinely throws 50 or more times a game.

>> Illini Open Big Ten Season At Purdue

Illinois will open its first Big Ten basketball season under new coach John Groce (GROHS) on the road at Purdue on Jan. 2, but then play 3 of its next four games at home.

The Big Ten released conference basketball schedules Thursday.

After the Boilermakers, the Illini will face Ohio State, Minnesota and Northwestern at home between Jan. 5 and 17. Those games are wrapped around a Jan. 12 trip to Wisconsin.

The Illini will close the conference schedule with 3 of their last four games on the road at Michigan, Iowa and Ohio State. The home finale will be March 2 against Nebraska.

Groce came to Illinois from Ohio after longtime coach Bruce Weber was fired over the Illini's 17-15 season. The Illini lost 12 of their last 14.

High School Football Week 2 Preview

>> Maroons Travel To Meridian

The Clinton Maroons travel to Meridian High School for week two of high school footballl action. The Maroons are coming off a week one loss at the hands of Tuscola. Clinton is 0-1 on the season and they take on an 0-1 Meridian team as well. Game time tonight is at 7 pm, you can hear all the action on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW.

>> Tuscola Hosts Sages

The Monticello Sages will travel to Tuscola tonight for a non-conference Okaw matchup. The Sages are coming off a 35-0 win over Warrensburg-Latham last Friday. Both squads enter tonight's contest at 1-0. Game time is 7 pm. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC.

Okaw Valley Non-Conference Matchups for Tonight:
Tolono Unity at Maroa-Forsyth
Decatur St. Teresa at Argenta.-Oreana
Shelbyville at Warrensburg-Latham
Sullivan at Central A & M

Other games around the area tonight:

Big Twelve

Bloomington at Normal Community
Champaign Central at Urbana
Decatur Eisenhower at Normal West
Decatur MacArthur) at Champaign Centennial)

Central State Eight

Jacksonville at Chatham Glenwood
Rochester at Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin
Springfield at Taylorville
Springfield Lanphier at Lincoln

Corn Belt

Mahomet-Seymour at Prairie Central
Normal U-High at Bloomington Central Catholic
Rantoul at Eureka
Olympia at Pontiac

Heart of Illinois

Ridgeview at Lexington
El Paso-Gridley) vs. Flanagan-Cornell
Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley at Tri-Valley
LeRoy at Fieldcrest
Dee-Mack at Heyworth
Tremont at Fisher

Other area non-conference matchups incldue:
Washington at Peoria Richwoods
Springfield Southeast at Canton
Peoria vs. Chicago Simeon at Jordan Stadium, East St. Louis (Sun.)
Pekin vs. Peoria Notre Dame at Peoria Stadium
Mt. Zion at Highland
Metamora at Rock Island
South Fork at Champaign St. Thomas More
Decatur Lutheran at Nokomis
Danville Schlarman at Villa Grove
Charleston vs. Peoria Manual at Peoria Stadium (Sat.)
Arthur-Lovington at Fithian Oakwood
Arcola at Bismarck-Henning

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-31


August 31, 2012


Jail Population: 98

Summons Served: 5

Warrant Arrests: 0


Michael Farmer, 52, Wood River, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Farmer posted the necessary bond and was released.


Brett Edwards, 33, Lincoln, was issued a citation for Failure To Wear Seat Belt. Edwards posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.




DJWH Officials Speak Out At DeWitt County Board Meeting

The Dr. John Warner Hospital was well represented at Thursday night's DeWitt County Board meeting.

Larry Schleicher , IT Manager of the hospital addressed the Board regarding mapping software. Mapping software has become somewhat of a hot topic the past few weeks due to an incident where Clinton Ambulance crews got lost in going to a call at the Warner Library. Schleicher stressed there is no agreement in place between the County and the hospital to use the maps they have provided. In fact, Schleicher states they have had ongoing issues in trying to access the maps provided by the county.

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CEO of the Dr. John Warner Hospital, Earl Sheehy explains the hospital is showing signs of improvement after letting go of the service. He explains their deficit this year versus last year this time is quite significant, and he points to cutting back on ambulance crews as the primary reason for those differences.

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There are many things that concern Sheehy in moving forward. He continues to stress the hospital will work with the new provider, Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI) in transitioning current hospital equipment over to them. Sheehy explains though, a Clinton City ordinance give the non-profit group, DeWitt County Ambulance Association, first rights to the ambulances, and those rights must be given up the DCAA.

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Sheehy explains if the existing vehicles owned by the hospital are not sold, Sheehy says they will not be giving up their garage space. He says that would leave the ambulances suspect to weather and vandalism. He says the hospital would like to know a firm start date for the new provider to comply with their collective bargaining agreement.

The DeWitt County Board voted Thursday night to approve the recommendation of the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory committee of PSI to be the new ambulance provider for a majority of DeWitt County.

Maroons Dominate Meridian 50-0

The Clinton Maroons defeated the Meridian Hawks 50-0. For the Maroons, Zach Pate carried the ball four times for 31 yards.  Kye Rekzeck ran 12 times for 93 yards and three total touchdowns. The play of the game was Greg Osgood with five carries for 136 yards and two rushing touchdowns. He also returned a kickoff 60 yards for a touchdown. Tune into 92.3 WHOW next Friday, September 7th as the Maroons take on the Maroa-Forsyth Trojans.

Taxpayers Can Make Donation To Cancer Research

Illinois residents now can make voluntary contributions to children's cancer research when they pay their state income taxes. Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation this week adding a childhood cancer research fund to the state's income tax check-off program.

Taxpayers can donate to various charities when filing their Illinois income taxes. Newly added charities include a fund for children's health projects and a fund to provide grants for housing for low-income families.

The idea for the pediatric cancer research fund originated with the mother of a patient treated at the University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital. Laura Lutarewych saw her daughter go through aggressive treatment for a type of leukemia. The girl is doing well and will celebrate her fifth birthday in September.

New Illinois Law Give More Gives More Prison Time For Terror Threats

People convicted in Illinois of attempting to commit terrorism soon may have to serve more of any prison sentence they get.

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law a measure requiring that anyone convicted of such crimes serve 85% of their sentence. The new law takes effect in January.

Under current state law, a prisoner gets one day of good-conduct credit for each day served behind bars.

House Bill 5121 was motivated by the Madison County case involving Olutosin Oduwole (oh-loo-TOH'-sihn oh-DOO'-wawl-ee).

The aspiring rapper was convicted of attempting to make a terrorist threat through some writings found in his car while he attended Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. He was sentenced to five years in prison, although he may be eligible for parole after serving half of that.

Lawmakers Disappointed With Gaming Veto

Governor Quinn didn't approve a plan to add five casinos across the state.  He says he wanted to see more gambling money go toward education and State Representative Chad Hays says schools would've received millions from the plan.  

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State Senator Michael Frerichs is not happy with Governor Quinn's decision to veto the gambling bill.  He says it would've boosted the state's economy and put thousands of people to work.

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A casino in Danville would've put more than eleven-hundred people to work.  All five casinos would've created about 20-thousand jobs.   Quinn vetoed the bill yesterday, claiming there were ethical concerns that left the door wide open for more mob activity in Illinois.  Now lawmakers are hoping to override the governor.  The bill passed with a veto proof majority in the House but it would have to pick up six votes in the Senate.

Wisconsin Governor Pounces On Illinois' Downgraded Credit Rating

Illinois politicians aren't the only ones commenting on the state's credit rating being lowered. The governor of Wisconsin is talking about it, too.

Gov. Scott Walker says the bad news shows the "stark contrast" between Illinois and Wisconsin.

The Republican governor says Illinois leaders failed to take action, while Wisconsin balanced its budget and made long-term reforms.

Walker has tried to use Illinois' economic problems to lure businesses to his state. Last week, though, Illinois landed an aerospace company that Walker was courting.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn hasn't been shy about criticizing Walker for battling public-employee unions.

Standard & Poor's announced Wednesday that it's lowering Illinois' credit rating one notch, largely because of continuing pension problems.

Attorney General To Investigate Spike In Gas Prices



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Illinois' Credit Rating Downgraded



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Ameren Prepared In Advance Of Isaac

People in Southern Illinois could feel the impact of Tropical Storm Isaac as early as today.  Michael Marx, with Ameren Illinois' Emergency Response Team, says they've prepared for the storm in advance.

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Marx offers a few tips to help you prepare.

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Marx says people should always keep an emergency kit at home and in their vehicle in case something happens.  He says common sense items such as food, water, blankets, a flashlight, and a pair of good walking shoes should be included in each kit.

Organizers Readying For Apple and Pork Festival 2012

The largest event in DeWitt County is about a month away and final plans are being made.

The Apple and Pork Festival this year is slated for the final weekend in September. Resident Manager of the CH Moore Homestead, Larry Buss says they are still in need of volunteers. He says the more volunteers they have the better. He says it is not a time consuming matter either.

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Along with not being a large time commitment, there are a multitude of opportunities to help out with. Buss says they offer anything from being a host in the CH Moore Homestead, to helping in the Museum's food booths, or just doing odd jobs around the festival.

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Buss says the weekend before in preparing the site, they will be in great need of volunteers. He explains many times potential volunteers are helping with a group for the weekend or have other commitments, he says they have a lot of things to be done the weekend prior to the festival.

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The Apple and Pork Festival for 2012 is September 29 and 30. To find out more about the volunteer opportunities for the festival or to find out more information about the 2012 Apple and Pork Festival, you can visit their website, www.chmoorehomestead.org/apple-pork. You can also call the Homestead at 935-6066, or you can email Buss at chmoore123@yahoo.com.

Clinton Athletic Boosters Bringing Back Popular Event

The Clinton Athletic Boosters will be once again hosting an event that has gained in popularity since it's inception.

The Booster Club has teamed up with Anderson Ford in Clinton the past several years for their event, "Drive One For Your School". Vice President of the Athletic Boosters, Mike Walker explains they try to hold the event in conjunction with Homecoming Weekend. The event is an easy way to donate money to the school. Walker says you go to Anderson Ford, fill out a form, drive a car for three to five minutes, and $10 has been donated to the Booster Club.

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Each year there is also a special car that can be driven that donates an additional $10 to the booster club. Walker says this a great no-strings-attached opportunity to spend ten minutes in a vehicle and make a nice donation to the Booster Club.

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This is a relatively new event for the Booster Club. Each year the event has grown and according to Walker, it has also gained in popularity.

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Walker says at the end of the day, the Booster Club can walk away with around $8-thousand. This ends up being one of the larger Booster Club fundraisers through the year.

Again the event is October 6, during Clinton High School's Homecoming weekend.

Matt Kenseth To Join Joe Gibbs Racing In 2013

It looks like Matt Kenseth will be joining a new team next season.  ESPN is reporting that Joe Gibbs Racing is expected to add Kenseth to the team in 2013.  A press conference to announce Kenseth as the new driver of the number-20 Home Depot car is expected for Tuesday.  The 2003 Sprint Cup champion will take over for Joey Logano, who may or may not return to JGR next year.  Kenseth announced earlier this year he was leaving Roush Fenway Racing, the team he has been with since entering the Cup series in 2000.

NFL To Open Season With Replacement Refs

The NFL is using replacement referees to start the regular season.  NFL.com reports the league has informed all 32 teams via memo that stand-in officials used this preseason will be on the field when the Giants host the Cowboys next Wednesday.

Cardinals Notes

>>Cards Make Roster Moves

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  The Cardinals made several roster moves before last night's game in Pittsburgh.  The Cards recalled pitcher Trevor Rosenthal and catcher Bryan Anderson from Triple-A Memphis.  To make room, they optioned infielder Ryan Jackson and pitcher Brandon Duckworth back to Memphis.

>>Yadier Says Home Plate Collision Was Clean

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina is calling Tuesday night's home plate collision with the Pirates' Josh Harrison a clean play.  Molina strained his left shoulder, back and neck on the play in which Harrison bowled him over but was tagged out.  Molina hopes to return to action Friday.

Sox Pound Orioles, Cards, Cubs Lose

>>Brewers Cut Down Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jean Segura singled in the go-ahead run and later scored on a pair of errors as the Brewers beat the Cubs, 3-1.  Aramis Ramirez also plated a run for Milwaukee, which has won the first three in the four-game series.  Mike Fiers struck out six over seven-and-a-third innings of one-run ball to improve to 8-and-6.  John Axford earned his 22nd save.  Darwin Barney had an RBI for the Cubs, who have dropped their last eight meetings with the Brewers.  Jeff Samardzija fanned 10, but allowed three runs, two earned, in seven innings to fall to 8-and-12.

>>Pirates Blank Cards

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Pedro Alvarez capped off an incredible series, going 2-for-4 with a home run and three RBI, as the Pirates smoked the Cardinals, 5-0.  Alvarez was 8-for-13 with three home runs and seven RBI to help Pittsburgh take two-of-three from St. Louis.  Wandy Rodriguez earned the win after dealing six shutout innings.  David Freese had two of the five hits for the Cards in the loss.  Joe Kelly fell to 4-and-6, allowing five runs across five innings.

Los Angeles Dodgers 10, Colorado Rockies 8
Cincinnati Reds 6, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
San Diego Padres 8, Atlanta Braves 2
New York Mets 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Washington Nationals 8, Miami Marlins 4
San Francisco Giants 6, Houston Astros 4

>>White Sox Rough Up O's

(Baltimore, MD)  --  Gordon Beckham had three hits and three RBI as the White Sox routed the Orioles, 8-1.  Alexei Ramirez had three hits, two runs and two RBI for Chicago, which had lost the first two in the four-game series.  Dylan Axelrod fired seven-and-a-third innings of three-hit, one-run ball to improve to 2-and-2.  Omar Quintanilla knocked in the lone run for the Orioles, who had a four-game winning streak snapped.  Joe Saunders was rocked for seven runs, six earned, in five-and-a-third innings to take the loss in his Baltimore debut.

Toronto Blue Jays 8, New York Yankees 5
Oakland Athletics 8, Cleveland Indians 4
Tampa Bay Rays 8, Texas Rangers 4
Kansas City Royals 1, Detroit Tigers 0
Minnesota Twins 10, Seattle Mariners 0
LA Angels of Anaheim 10, Boston Red Sox 3

Illini, Mizzou Schedules Released

>> Illinois Basketball Schedule Shaping Up

The University of Illinois will play a non-conference schedule that includes Colgate, Hawaii and Gonzaga as well as previously announced matchups against Georgia Tech and Auburn.

The Illini announced Wednesday that new head coach John Groce's team will open Nov. 9 at home against Colgate. A Nov. 12 home game with St. Francis will be followed by four games in Hawaii. The first will be Nov. 16 against Hawaii. Then the Illini will be part of the EA Sports Maui Invitational field.

The Nov. 28 Georgia Tech game in Champaign is part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Illinois will travel to Spokane, Wash., to play Gonzaga on Dec. 8 and face Missouri in St. Louis on Dec. 22.

The Auburn game is Dec. 29 in Chicago.

>>Tigers Announce 2012-13 Hoop Schedule

(Columbia, MO)  --  Missouri's 2012-13 men's basketball schedule is out.  The Tigers will play three games over Thanksgiving in the "Battle 4 Atlantis" in the Bahamas.  They also play Illinois in St. Louis on December 22nd and at UCLA on December 28th in addition to their SEC conference schedule. Missouri left the Big 12 and joins the SEC this year.

Maroon Golfers Fall In Home Opener

The Clinton Maroons hosted their home opening golf match yesterday, playing host to Lexington and Meridian. Lexington as a team shot a 169 to take 1st place. Meridian shot a team 183 and the Maroons scored a 204. Nate Jacobs of Lexington shot a days best of 39 on the par 35 course. Kip Barber led the way for the Maroons shooting a 43, while Lance Warner shot a 51 and Steven Evans shot a 53.

Clinton is now 2-8 on the season.

Clinton Mayor Contemplates Gambling Vote

The Clinton City Council has put off a decision regarding gambling within city limits for a few months now because of members of the Council being undecided.

One of those undecided parties is the Mayor. Clinton Mayor Caroyln Peters has stated she is undecided of her vote in whether to lift a ban on gambling currently in place in Clinton. Mayor Peters says while she does not approve of gambling or drinking, she understands what gaming machines do for the business of the city.

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Many communities have already approved allowing gambling to be legalized or continue, depending on their city laws. As of their August 20 meeting, Mayor Peters says she plans on making calls to communities that have approved gambling to find out what kinds of safeguards they have in place. She says one worry she is has is for gambling to expand.

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Mayor Peters explains the machines that are in establishments already are not illegal. It is the payouts of these machines from the businesses that has become the problem.

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As of August 19, the machines that were in place in establishments around the state needed to be removed. If communities decide to allow gambling in their establishments, there will be machines the state will install that are computer regulated, making payouts monitored very closely. With these machines, portions of the profits will go to the establishment, the state, and the city.

The Clinton City Council has a number of ordinances on file, including one to lift the gambling ban in place. They are expected to vote on it Tuesday, September 4.

DeWitt County Board Approves PSI

It was a packed County Board room Thursday night, as most of the people in attendance were waiting to hear the DeWitt County Board's decision on the recommendation of the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee's recommendation to approve Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI) for the western portion of DeWitt County's ambulance service.

DCAA Chair, Teresa Barnett spoke before the full board to give her presentation of the Committee's recommendation. Barnett addressed the capacity crowd of the Board Room. She wished the room of people in attendance would have attended their three months worth of meetings to know the extensive process which her committee took to make their decision.

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Non-voting liaison for the DeWitt County Board, Terry Ferguson says the Committee worked very hard and they asked a lot of good questions. Ferguson speculates there could have been a better plan to pursue more specifically modeling after the Logan County model.

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Ferguson also points to the fact that PSI was over $100-thousand lower than the next competitor for the service, the DeWitt County Ambulance Association. Ferguson says the quality of service that would have warranted them spending that extra money was not clearly demonstrated.

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There was not much deliberation amongst the County Board members once the motion was made to approve PSI. The County Board approved the motion to DCAA's recommendation of PSI by a vote of 9-2.

Only three people were on the agenda; Clinton resident Aaron Kammeyer, and Earl Sheehy and Larry Schleicher representing the Dr. John Warner Hospital. The Board did not open the floor up for other opinions to be voiced.

Next week we will hear the comments made by Sheehy and Schleicher to the Board.

Men Who Drowned In Carlyle Lake Identified

The bodies of 2 boaters who went missing over the weekend have been recovered from Carlyle Lake in southern Illinois.

Authorities say searchers on Tuesday found the body of 35-year-old Corey J. Gruenenfelder of Highland. The body of 31-year-old Michael Septeowski of Troy was recovered Monday.

Investigators say the men went missing from a motorboat on Saturday. Search & rescue boats from assorted agencies were deployed in a search for the men.

Illinois Conservation Police Sgt. Eric Manker said the men were boating with a third man when 1 of them jumped into the lake and began to struggle. That's when the second victim made a rescue attempt as the boat drifted away from the scene.

The man remaining in the boat didn't know how to operate it.

Quinn Misses Opportunity To Create Jobs

The head of the Illinois Revenue and Jobs Alliance believes Governor Pat Quinn just passed up an opportunity to put 20-thousand people to work.  Bill Black says that's how many jobs the gambling bill would've created.  Black also says it would've boosted the state's economy and added more than a billion dollars to the state's bank account.  Quinn vetoed the bill, claiming it lacks proper oversight and leaves too many loopholes for more mob activity in the state.  House Speaker Michael Madigan has said he doesn't think a veto override would work.

Quinn Defends Gambling Veto

Governor Pat Quinn says he feels good about his gaming veto.

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He says more gambling won't solve the state's fiscal troubles.  

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Quinn says that was just one area where the bill lacked integrity.  He also says there were several other problems with the bill, including the lack of strict oversight over the proposed Chicago casino.  Quinn is not opposed to expanding gambling but he wants to focus more on pension reform before focusing on the gambling issue.

Farmers Prepare For Corn Harvest

Farmers in Western Illinois are beginning the 2012 corn harvest.  Several combines are already rolling in Mercer County and Jeff Kirwan of New Windsor says he'll begin picking corn next week.

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He expects to see a lot of variability with yields.  Kirwan says Sunday's two-plus inches of rain in Mercer County should really help the soybean crop, but won't have much of an impact on corn.

In Drought, Drillers Even Offering Water Witching

Drought is keeping drillers busy this summer as thousands of old wells dry up and new ones need to be sunk.

Some, like Randy Gebke, of Germantown, Ill., have an unusual tool to help them find water.

Gebke and other well drillers sometimes use the old practice of witching or dousing to find water. Gebke uses wires he says will cross as they near water.

The National Groundwater Association has disavowed witching as "totally without scientific merit."

And scientists such as hydrologist Mark Basch, of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, are skeptical at best. Basch says he knows of no science that would make witching work. Basch also says he can't rule it out.

Gebke says he's seen it work many times, and perhaps more important, customers expect it.

Governor Quinn Vetos Gambling Expansion



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Bloomington Man Gets 16-Years For Sexual Assault

A judge in central Illinois has handed down a 16-year prison sentence for a Bloomington man accused of sexually assaulting a girl more than 400 times over three years.

Assistant State's Attorney Karle Koritz asked for a 30-year sentence for 49-year-old Rob Mathews.

Mathews' defense attorney, however, argued for the minimum 10-year sentence, pointing out that he came forward and admitted his conduct before the victim said anything or a police investigation.

Mathews pleaded guilty to predatory criminal sexual assault.

In sentencing Mathews on Monday, Judge Robert Freitag called the extensive abuse "absolutely abhorrent crimes."

Richland Community College Encouraging Alumni To Get Reconnected With School

Richland Community College is continuing their efforts to connect with the alumni of the school.

Director of Scholarships and Alumni Relations at RCC, Trisha Cordulack explains for the past few months she has been trying to reach out to the alumni of the school. She says to make being a part of their alumni group, they have been doing giveaways to joining members.

[audio:82912rccalumni1.mp3] [/audio]

Maybe the toughest part about connecting with the alumni of the school is getting information from those alums who she does not have any information for. Cordulack explains she is always trying to keep information updated and keep the alumni up to date of what is happening at the school.

[audio:82912rccalumni2.mp3] [/audio]

To learn more or to get signed up to be a part of the alumni at Richland, you can contact Trisha Cordulack at 217-875-7211 ext 203.

Clinton Schools Miss AYP, Transitioning To New Standards

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) for school districts across the state were released last week.

AYP is a standard set by the 'No Child Left Behind Act' (NCLB). Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes explains those standards throughout Illinois and 48 states are being transitioned out for new standards. Dr. Holmes says the last two years they have been transitioning out of the NCLB and come the 2014-15 school year, which will be the first year the new standards are tested for, their students will be ready.

[audio:82912clintonayp1.mp3] [/audio]

Until that new standard is fully implemented, Dr. Holmes explains students will still be tested based on the AYP measurements. He says their curriculum is moving over to the new common core standards. He adds when students take their tests, the results will not be aligned with what they are learning.

[audio:82912clintonayp2.mp3] [/audio]

Because of this, Clinton schools did not make AYP this year. Dr. Holmes says when he first looked at the numbers, they were a little bit alarming. He explains he went and looked at the ACT scores for this year's seniors and says their numbers compared to the state average are very similar.

[audio:82912clintonayp3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes feels the Common Core standards will be much better suited for today's teachers. He says it will give them more time to spend on other subjects because they will be required to cover other areas.

[audio:82912clintonayp4.mp3] [/audio]

Because the Clinton district did not make AYP this year, Dr. Holmes says the district could be in jeopardy of having to redirect federal dollars from their lower grade levels to their middle and high school students. He says there is still a decision pending from the state of Illinois, so repercussions of them missing AYP are still pending.

NHL Labor Talks Continue In New York

The latest round of NHL labor talks continued yesterday in New York City.  The NHL made a counterproposal to the Players Association during meetings.  Talks between both sides are expected to continue in New York daily through Friday.  The current collective bargaining agreement is set to expire within the next few weeks and if the two sides do not agree on a new deal a lockout would begin on September 15th.

Michigan Has Opportunity To Polish Big Ten Image

Michigan and Michigan State give the Big Ten a couple chances to enhance the league's football reputation the opening week of the season.

No. 8 Michigan plays second-ranked and defending national champion Alabama on Saturday night. That's after No. 13 Michigan State opens its season Friday against 24th-ranked Boise State.

Michigan coach Brady Hoke downplayed the significance of flying the flag for the conference.

The Big Ten was 4-6 in bowl games last year after its teams went a combined 7-7 in the regular season against BCS conference opponents and Notre Dame.

Since 1999, the Big Ten is 1-8 in the Rose Bowl and its 4-3 bowl record in 2009 is its only season above .500 in that time frame.

Chicago Baseball Notes

>>Cubs Agree To Seven-Year Contract With SS Castro

(Chicago, IL)  --  Starlin Castro will be in the Windy City for a while.  The Chicago Cubs have agreed to a seven-year contract extension with the 22-year-old shortstop.  The "Chicago Tribune" reports the deal is worth 60-million-dollars and includes a six-million signing bonus.  The pact also includes a club option for an eighth season at 16-million, with a one-million-dollar buyout.  The two-time All-Star is hitting .276 with 12 homers and 63 RBI this year.  Last season, Castro became the youngest player to lead the National League in hits with 207 at the age of 21.

>>Floyd Lands On DL

(Baltimore, MD)  --  The Chicago White Sox have placed pitcher Gavin Floyd on the 15-day disabled list with a right elbow flexor strain.  The move is retroactive to August 27th.  The 29-year-old Floyd left his last start on August 26th after two innings with elbow soreness.  Floyd missed time in July due to tendinitis in his right elbow.  Floyd is 9-and-9 with a 4.55 earned run average in 24 starts this season for the White Sox.

All Locals Lose

>>Pirates Crush Cardinals

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Pedro Alvarez homered twice as part of a four-hit, four-RBI night to lead the Pirates in a 9-0 rout of the Cardinals.  James McDonald struck out six over seven innings of two-hit ball to improve to 12-and-6.  Clint Barmes knocked in a pair of runs for the Bucs, who won for only the second time in eight games.  Jake Westbrook was shelled for seven runs and 11 hits in five innings to fall to 13-and-10.  St. Louis lost for only the second time in its last eight contests.  Cards catcher Yadier Molina left after a collision with Josh Harrison in the second inning.

>>Brew Crew Downs Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jeff Bianchi hit a three-run homer to power the Brewers in a 4-1 win over the Cubs.  Yovani Gallardo struck out nine over seven innings of one-run ball to improve to 14-and-8.  John Axford recorded his 21st save.  Milwaukee has won three straight and seven of its last eight.  Travis Wood did all he could for Chicago, going seven innings and allowing three runs to suffer the loss.  Wood also gave the Cubs their only run of the game with a solo homer.  Chicago managed just three hits off Milwaukee pitching.  The Cubs have lost two in-a-row and seven of their last nine.

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

>>Orioles Blank White Sox Behind Tillman

(Baltimore, MD)  --  Chris Tillman outshined Cy Young hopeful Chris Sale as the Orioles shutout the White Sox, 6-0.  Tillman improved to 7-and-2 with seven frames of one-hit ball.  Nick Markakis hit a three-run double while Lew Ford and Adam Jones connected on solo homers.  It was Jones' 100th jack of his career and snapped a skid of 110 at-bats without a round-tripper.  Manny Machado added a sac-fly for Baltimore, which has won four straight and seven of its last nine.  Sale gave up four runs in as many innings to fall to 15-and-5.  Adam Dunn managed to reach base twice with a walk and a hit.  Chicago has dropped the first two contests of the four-game series after winning six in-a-row.

Oakland Athletics 7, Cleveland Indians 0
New York Yankees 2, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Texas Rangers 1, Tampa Bay Rays 0
Kansas City Royals 9, Detroit Tigers 8
Seattle Mariners 5, Minnesota Twins 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Boston Red Sox 5

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-29


August 29, 2012


Jail Population: 80

Summons Served: 6

Warrant Arrests: 0


Bryon Morlock, 46, Decatur, was issued citations for Driving Under Influence and Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Morlock posted the necessary bond and was released.


Ashley Snow, 23, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Snow posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.




DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-28


August 28, 2012


Jail Population: 87

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Bryon Morlock, 46, Decatur, was arrested and charged with Driving Under Influence. Morlock posted the necessary bond and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:20 p.m. on Friday, August 24th, revealed that a vehicle driven by Muriel Barnes, 64, Brookline, was facing east bound in the parking lot located north of the building at 1710 N. John, located immediately north of Farmer City. The vehicle owned by Harry Penry, 69, Flora, was unoccupied when Barnes backed into the front bumper of Penry’s vehicle. Barnes’ vehicle sustained little to no damage. Penry’s vehicle sustained a dent in its front bumper. No injuries were reported.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:58 p.m. on Sunday, August 26th, revealed that a vehicle driven by Roger Parker, 69, Cincinnati, OH, was traveling eastbound on I-74 at mile marker 156.5, just east of Farmland Rest Area. Parker stated he lost control of his vehicle when he hydroplaned due to water being on the roadway. Parker skidded off the roadway, colliding with the median metal cables. The vehicle spun 360 degrees in the median, causing severe damage to all sides of the vehicle. The vehicle skidded back onto the roadway and into the north ditch where it came to rest. No injuries were reported and the vehicle was towed from the scene.




Water Fines Proving To Be Effective In Clinton

The recent increase in fines from the Clinton Water Department may not be their most popular move, but it is proving effective.

The fine for a delinquent water payment was formerly $25, but earlier this year the water department increased the fine to $50 in hopes of getting better cooperation in timely payments. According to Commissioner John Wise, he says once people began realizing they were gettign fined, the amount of late payments have substantially declined.

[audio:83012watermoney1.mp3] [/audio]

The City's ordinance regarding the "turn on" and "reconnection" fees" has created some confusion. Because there were so many delinquent accounts, the water department could not reach each home on the list of homes to be turned off. Wise explains that ordinance was created to keep people who were delinquent but were not disconnected from being free of the fine. He says that ordinance is being worked on to make things more clear.

[audio:83012watermoney3.mp3] [/audio]

Wise has taken a lot of criticism recently because of the increase in fines. He says he stands behind his decision and he stands behind the work he does. He also answers his critics who say he is on a vendetta because he is not running for Clinton City Council again, to which he says, will in fact run again to see this through.

[audio:83012watermoney2.mp3] [/audio]

City officials have stated the ordinance was always in place, there was simplye a type-o with the information received and the information online, so the two numbers did not matchup. Every time the city posts a change in the ordinance or a new ordinance, there is a significant charge to make editions, so they make sure there are enough changes to warrant the charge.

Wise says they are looking into making payment options easier. They are also researching options such as online payments and taking credit cards amongst others.

Ex-Governor's Home May Become Landmark

The home of former Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson could be named a National Historic Landmark.

Historian Robie Lange says despite Stevenson failed bids for the presidency in 1952 and 1956, he meets the criteria as a nationally significant individual of the mid-20th century.

The home in the Captain Daniel Wright Woods Forest Preserve near Mettawa is already designated an Illinois historic site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

It was donated to the Lake County Forest Preserve District in 1974. The National Park Service indicates it could be a fitting nominee as a national historic landmark.

In addition to being governor, Stevenson also was ambassador to the United Nations during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis.

One Body Pulled From Carlyle Lake

Police have recovered the body of a boater who disappeared in Carlyle Lake.  Three men were boating on the lake Saturday night, when one of them jumped into the water, and began struggling.  A second man jumped in after him and both disappeared under the water.  Officials are still looking for the body of that second man.  The names of the victims haven't been released.

Quinn To Make Decision On Gambling

Governor Quinn will take action on the gambling bill by the end of the day today.  He won't say whether he plans to veto the bill but says he has a few concerns.

[audio:rddConcern1.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says he also wants to make sure some of the money from additional gambling will be dedicated to education.  He says if they're going to expand gambling they're going to do it right the first time, without loopholes that will cause problems for the public.  The bill would add five new casinos across the state.

Schools To Get Access To Student Criminal Records

Starting January 1st, school officials will have access to a student's criminal record.  Governor Pat Quinn says this will help keep make schools safer.

[audio:rddshare2.mp3] [/audio]

The new law allows law enforcement agencies to share the records when student commits a felony, has an unlawful use of weapons charge or even hazing or harassment charges.  It comes  after a 2008 incident where an Elgin teacher was attacked by a student with a knife, that student was already in trouble with the law for crimes committed outside of school.  The law also requires schools and police to provide support services to at-risk students. 

Illinois Landfill Space Increases In 2011

An annual report on landfills in Illinois shows there is enough remaining space for refuse that will be accumulated over the next 23 years.

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency's 25th annual report on nonhazardous solid waste management indicates 45 landfills in the state had more than 1 billion cubic yards of space left for Prairie State garbage.

That's up less than 1% from the year before. And officials say it's important to remember that space fluctuates from year to year as areas within landfills are filled and new ones open.

EPA interim director John Kim says the report provides helpful information to citizens, local governments and the state in regulating solid waste facilities.

Increased capacity statewide came from expansion approvals for landfills in Zion, and Rochelle.

Drought Stricken States Welcome Rain From Isaac

The remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac could bring welcome rain to some states in the Midwest this week, although it is unlikely to break the drought that has been gripping the region.

The states most likely to benefit from the storm are in the Mississippi River valley. The National Weather Service predicts 2 to 6 inches of rain will fall in eastern Arkansas, southeast Missouri and southern Illinois later this week.

Those areas have been in a severe drought with some places short more than a foot of rain this year.

Heavy rains also could aid traffic on the Mississippi River, which has been snarled by temporary closures due to low water conditions.

Weekly Crop Report



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PSI Looking Forward To Coming To Central Illinois

Professionalism, passion, and experience were all some of the factors that led the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee to select northern Illinois-based Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI) as its recommendation to be the county's next ambulance provider.

PSI's selection was a unanimous vote.  Several committee members spoke very highly of the Schiller Park company's presentation, research, and facility tour.  Committee Vice Chair Tony Harris was extremely impressed by the passion for emergency services shown by numerous employees.

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PSI was formed in 1971, and has grown to serve 26 Illinois communities.  Bob Horak, Vice President of Finance for PSI, explains the company was founded on upstanding, family principles by Earl Field.

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Committee members also spoke highly of PSI's outstanding references.  Larry Robbins, Vice President of Operations, believes the company's outstanding service record and community involvement efforts set them apart.

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According to Robbins, the company has already begun the process of getting familiar with DeWitt County, and the operations currently in place.  He says that should the DeWitt County Board approve their proposal, then PSI will be ready to serve residents by the end of the year.

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The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee's recommendation of PSI goes before the full County Board for final approval on Thursday night.

Former WR Hurd In Court After Failed Drug Test

Former NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd is due in court accused of failing two drug tests months after being charged with trying to start a drug distribution network.

Hurd was arrested last December and accused of arranging large purchases of marijuana and cocaine. Immediately cut by the Chicago Bears, Hurd was eventually released on bond.

But he was re-arrested this month after authorities said he tested positive for marijuana in May and July. Prosecutors say Hurd's cousin, Jesse Tyrone Chavful, also admitted to selling Hurd 30 pounds of marijuana packed in a blue ice chest for $10,500 in May.

Hurd is to appear before a federal magistrate in Dallas Tuesday afternoon. Hurd has pleaded not guilty.

The San Antonio native is currently being held at a federal prison near Dallas.

Jets Get Smith From Rams

The New York Jets acquired right tackle Jason Smith from the St. Louis Rams in exchange for fellow right tackle Wayne Hunter on Monday.  The Rams selected Smith out of Baylor with the second overall pick in the 2009 draft.  Smith had since lost his starting job to Barry Richardson.  Hunter was also benched in New York in favor of Austin Howard.

Cards Top Pirates; Cubs Pounded, Sox Lose Late

>>Cardinals Edge Pirates

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead solo homer in the sixth as the Cardinals edged the Pirates, 4-3, in the first of a three-game series.  Yadier Molina and Skip Schumaker each knocked in a run for St. Louis, which has won two straight and six-of-seven.  Kyle Lohse singled in a run and tossed five innings of two-run ball to improve to 14-and-2.  Jason Motte got the final four outs for his 31st save.  Andrew McCutchen, Josh Harrison and Clint Barmes plated the runs for the Bucs, who have dropped six-of-seven.  A.J. Burnett allowed four runs, three earned, in five-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 15-and-5.

>>Brewers Pound Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Milwaukee took a lead into the ninth and poured on nine runs to finish a 15-4 rout of the Cubs.  Aramis Ramirez went 3-for-5 with two homers and four RBI while Ryan Braun added a three-run home run and five RBI in his 4-for-6 night.  Corey Hart also hit a solo homer while Carlos Gomez was 4-for-5 with three runs as the Brewers won their sixth in seven games.  Marco Estrada lasted five innings and struck out eight while allowing three unearned runs to get the win.  Brett Jackson hit a solo homer and Alfonso Soriano had a pair of hits with an RBI and a run scored for Chicago.  Justin Germano gave up five runs in as many innings to suffer the loss for the Cubs, who had won two-of-three.

Colorado Rockies 10, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Cincinnati Reds 3, Arizona Diamondbacks 2
San Diego Padres 3, Atlanta Braves 0

>>O's Cool Off White Sox On McLouth's Homer

(Baltimore, MD)  --  Nate McLouth hit a two-run homer in the eighth to lift the Orioles to a 4-3 win over the White Sox.  McLouth also drew a bases-loaded walk earlier in the game to finish with three RBI.  Lew Ford connected on a solo homer, his first round-tripper since July 29th, 2007.  Pedro Strop earned the win in relief and Jim Johnson notched his 40th save.  Baltimore set a club record with its 13th straight one-run victory and has won three straight overall.  Brett Myers suffered the loss for Chicago.  Kevin Youkilis hit a two-run homer for the White Sox, who had won their previous six contests.

Boston Red Sox 5, Kansas City Royals 1
Oakland Athletics 3, Cleveland Indians 0
Toronto Blue Jays 8, New York Yankees 7 (11 inn)
Texas Rangers 6, Tampa Bay Rays 5
Seattle Mariners 1, Minnesota Twins 0

>>Northsiders Complete Trade With Oakland

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs swapped catchers with the Oakland Athletics on Monday as Blake Lalli was set to the Bay Area squad in exchange for Anthony Recker.  Recker will be optioned to Triple-A Iowa.  Recker played in 13 games with the A's this season and is a career .146 hitter in the big leagues.  Lalli batted .133 in just six MLB games with the Cubs this season.

UPDATED: Details Released About Recent Ambulance Incident

More specific details of a 9-1-1 call last Wednesday that sparked a bit of controversy have been released.

Last Wednesday, August 22, at 12:28 pm, a call was made from the Warner Public Library to DeWitt County CENCOM. A minute later at 12:29, CENCOM dispatched the Beason Fire Department. At 12:30, CENCOM then dispatched the Clinton Fire Department and the Dr. John Warner Hospital ambulance. CENCOM records show, less than a minute later, DJWH Ambulance crews were en route. Records also show, over two minutes later, Clinton Fire Department crews were en route.

The incident may have cost the DeWitt County Ambulance Association their bid for ambulance service in DeWitt County. DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee Chair Teresa Barnett says the reason the Fire Department was later in leaving the station was because they were waiting on an EMT to arrive.

[audio:82912cencomerror1.mp3] [/audio]

It was insinuated the ambulance crews did not know where the library was. CEO of the DJWH, Earl Sheehy says the CENCOM report shows the Beason Fire Department was dispatched first. He explains he has a hard time taking criticism for not knowing where the library is when it appears neither did CENCOM.

[audio:82912cencomerror2.mp3] [/audio]

Chair of the CENCOM Board, Mike Reidy, says this was not an error of not knowing where the library was, but rather an error comparable to a type-o. Chief Reidy says there was no delaying in paging out the Clinton Fire Department and the Clinton Ambulance.

[audio:82912cencomerror4.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy calls the incident "an unfortunate incident" but that is it. He feels because of the way his crews were unfairly treated last Wednesday deserves and apology from the DCAAC but also the Committee Chair.

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Sheehy feels between CENCOM and his crews there is equal fault to be shared. He admits his crews did make a wrong turn in getting to the library, but feels it is worth pointing out CENCOM made a wrong call as well.

DeWitt County 9-1-1 Director and CENCOM Manager Tony Harris was unavailable for comment.

Boil Order In Effect Until Further Notice

Dewitt County is under a boil order until further notice for the following areas:


Maple to the West

Jackson to the East

Macon to the South

Webster to the North


The order might include Washington School, but they won't know for sure until the water is shut off.

Police Chief Admits Difficulty Curbing Violence

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy says that when it comes to curbing the city's violence, authorities are just "treading water."

He made the comments Saturday during a news conference about a crackdown on the drug trade.

The city has seen a spike in shootings during recent weekends. Since Friday at least seven people have been killed and dozens wounded.

McCarthy says police aren't winning or losing the battle against violence. They're just treading water. He says many of the shootings are retaliatory and happening quicker than police can stop them.

On Saturday two men wearing masks opened fire on the city's South Side.

Two people died and another was hospitalized in serious condition. The Cook County medical examiner says a 20-year-old and 18-year-old were pronounced dead.

New Motorcycle License Plates Highlight Sports Teams



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Voters Grilling Illinois Candidates About Pension

 Legislative candidates say Illinois voters are asking some tough questions about gridlock on the state's pension problems.

Some questions are from public employees worried about possible cuts to their retirement benefits. Others are from people frustrated by inaction on another major problem.

Candidates say it's not clear whether the pension mess will sway many votes but they consider it an important issue

For instance, Republican House candidate Jonathan Greenberg says it raises questions about the judgment of his opponent, Rep. Elaine Nekritz, a top negotiator on pension issues.

Nekritz says she'll handle that kind of criticism by talking about her own ideas and not by defending conduct at the state Capitol.

Officials want to cut the growth in state pension costs, but they're divided on how to do it.

Drought Bares Mean Side of Thirsty Mississippi River

Another day, another sandbar to clear on the clogged Mississippi River.

It's a routine that's settled in as the drought in the nation's central states leaves the river without the rainfall that is its lifeblood.

One estimate put barge industry losses at $1 billion the last time the river was this low, in 1988. That's why dredges, which clear the shipping channel, are so vital.

The Dredge Jadwin, a massive-four story U.S. Army Corps of Engineer vessel, is working around the clock to clear channels at Greenville, where a barge ran aground this week.

The Jadwin's quality control officer, Bobby Justice, says crews are dredging spots this year that they don't usually have to.

Illinois Law Aims To Improve Physical Education

A new Illinois law aims to strengthen physical education in the state's schools.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Saturday and called on Illinois residents to get healthy and take his "Walk Across Illinois Challenge."

The governor hit the ground himself, leading a group of walkers on a half-mile trek through the Chicago suburb of Oak Park.

The new law creates a taskforce to examine ways to improve physical education and hunt down the state and federal resources to pay for it.

1 of the bill sponsors, state Sen. Linda Holmes, cited studies showing PE benefits student physically and mentally. The Democrat from Plainfield added that "there is a connection between a healthy body and a healthy mind."

Quinn's walking challenge encourages people to trek 167 miles over one year.

Gov. Quinn Rejects Plastic Bag Recycling

Illinois manufacturers say they're disappointed with Gov. Pat Quinn's veto of a bill requiring a plastic bag recycling program.

Quinn rejected the proposed law Sunday saying it limited local municipalities. It would have required manufacturers to set up recycling programs with the goal of increasing the recycling rate. It also would have required manufacturers to register with the state. Retail stores then could use bags only from registered manufacturers.

The Illinois Manufacturers' Association says the bill represented an opportunity for Illinois to become a national leader in recycling.

Meanwhile environmentalists didn't support the law, saying its goals were paltry and would limit local municipalities from enacting bans.

Those praising Quinn's decision include 13-year-old Abby Goldberg. She led a petition drive against the bill and is pushing a ban in Grayslake.

University of Illinois Reports Record Number of Applicants

The University of Illinois says a record number of prospective freshmen applied this year for admission to its three campuses in Urbana-Champaign, Chicago and Springfield.

The university says it received 48,000 applications for about 10,200 openings in the freshman class. It says that's nearly 2,800 more applications than it received last year, for an increase of 6%.

The Urbana-Champaign campus received the most applications, a record 31,454 for about 6,900 seats in the freshman class.

A record 1,553 students applied for about 300 seats on the Springfield campus, and the Chicago campus reported a near-record 14,976 applications for about 2,900 seats.

Classes begin Monday on all three University of Illinois campuses.

Official enrollment figures will be reported next month.

Central Illinoisans To Volunteer After Florida Storm

Several Central Illinoisans are headed to Florida to help prepare for Tropical Storm Isaac.  The American Red Cross of the Heartland is sending three volunteers from Bloomington, Normal.  Red Cross spokesman Scott Vogel says Mike McKnight will help with facilities management in Tampa.  He'll be looking at the need for different facilities, making sure the Red Cross has the type of structures they need to not only handle people who are being displaced from their homes, but also warehousing for equipment and food.  Norma Pilkington will work as a shelter supervisor and Vickie Eckhardt will be helping out in the shelter.  Vogel says there are other Central Illinois volunteers who are on-call just in case they need to go and assist as well.  He says he's glad to see such a strong representation of Central Illinoisans who are willing to help in a time of need.  The National Weather Service projects Tropical Storm Isaac could make landfall in Florida on Monday morning.

Farm Progress Show Preview

The 2012 "Super Bowl of Agriculture" is just about upon us.  Jared White has more...

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Be sure to join WHOW this week for live coverage of the 2012 Farm Progress Show.  Local Farm Broadcaster Jared White will broadcast live from Boone, Iowa from 12:20 to 1p all three days of the show.  Plus we'll air several reports from the show this week as well.

Clinton Residents Support Lifting Gambling Ban

As Clinton City officials deliberate on their decision for or against lifting a gambling ban in place in Clinton, they have a lot of people and opinions to consider.

As Regional Radio News reported last week, over an hour of the August 20 Clinton City Council meeting was dedicated to community input. Several business owners and citizens spoke out in favor of lifting a ban on gambling. One voice that spoke out was resident Aaron Kammeyer. Kammeyer believes if Clinton wants to be a thriving community with economic development, the ban needs to be lifted.

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Bill Rentmeister with the Eagles Club emplored the City Council to make this a priority to get passed. He says the machines pay for a lot of things and he says much of their donations go to the children.

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Resident Bob Kreitler feels this issue comes down to a person's personal choice. He says a person has the free will to choose to participate in gambling. He feels just because people will want to use these machines, doesn't necessarily mean they will become a problem.

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Because a couple members of the Clinton City Council were undecided, the has put their decision off until Tuesday September 4.

Despite 'Not Trustoworthy' Claims, Hospital CEO Supports Crew

Despite a hiccup in an emergency call last Wednesday in Clinton, and some negative comments made during a meeting last Wednesday evening, the CEO of the Dr. John Warner Hospital still has faith in his ambulance crews, but believes the negativity created by the incident may put the future of ambulance service in the county in jeopardy.

CEO Earl Sheehy says he still has complete faith in the DJWH ambulance service, and says they are a very good and professional group. Comments were made by DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee Chair Teresa Barnett that those who wrote letters of support for the DeWitt County Ambulance Association would not have if they knew of last Wednesday's incident. Sheehy says that is absolutely not the case.

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Because of the way the ambulance staff was portrayed during Wednesday's meeting, Sheehy fears his crews may not stay around long enough for the hospital to maintain service. He says why would these people stay if they have job offers somewhere else and they are in a community that perceives them as not trustworthy.

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Depending on how many ambulance crew members potentially leave, Sheehy says the impact will vary. He also speculates he could see over the coming weeks, ambulance crew members may be leaving.

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Sheehy feels there could have been a better time than Wednesday to address issues with the hospital's ambulance responders.

Despite his disappointment in DCAA's decision, he says the Dr. John Warner Hospital will work with the new provider, Paramedic Services of Illinois, in transferring their equipment over to them.

Watney Rallies To Win Barclays

Nick Watney shot a two-under 69 in the final round to rally to win The Barclays on Sunday.  Watney began the final round two shots back, but finished at 10-under-par to win the PGA's first playoff event of the year.  Watney is first in the FedExCup standings with three more playoff events to go.  Brandt Snedeker finished alone in second place at seven-under.  Dustin Johnson and Sergio Garcia tied for third at six-under.  Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson tied for 38th at one-over.

Hamlin Holds Off Field For Win At Bristol

Denny Hamlin picked up his third win of the season and first-career checkered flag at Bristol Motor Speedway Saturday night by winning the IRWIN Tools Night Race.  Hamlin passed Carl Edwards with 38 laps to go, then held off Jimmie Johnson for the top spot.  Johnson's second place run allowed him to clinch a spot in the Chase along with Greg Biffle and Dale Earnhardt Jr.  Biffle finished 19th while Earnhardt Jr. came in 12th.  Jeff Gordon came in third place, while Brian Vickers and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the top-five.  The NASCAR season features two more races in Atlanta and Richmond before the start of the Chase.

SLU Basketball Coach Majerus Takes Medical Leave

Saint Louis Billikens men's basketball coach Rick Majerus is taking a medical leave of absence and will not coach this season.  Athletic Director Chris May issued a statement Friday saying Majerus is in a California hospital undergoing evaluation and treatment for an ongoing heart condition.  Assistant Jim Crews has been named interim coach.  The 64-year-old Majerus has been at SLU the last five years.  He previously resigned at the University of Utah over health concerns in 2004.  Majerus also missed one game last season for health reasons.

Notre Dame Suspends Leading Rusher

Notre Dame senior running back Cierre Wood has reportedly been suspended for the first two games of the upcoming season.  According to the "South Bend Tribune," Wood will miss Saturday's game against Navy in Ireland and a September 8th contest against Purdue due to a violation of team rules.  The same report indicated defensive end Justin Utupo will also miss the first two games for a violation of team rules.  Wood rushed for a team-high 1,102 yards last season and scored nine times on the ground.  He also caught 27 passes for 189 yards.  Notre Dame will also be without junior quarterback Tommy Rees and senior inside linebacker Carlo Calabrese against Navy due to previously handed-down suspensions.

NFL Preseason Notes

>>Bears Edge Giants

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  Jason Campbell hit Joe Anderson for the go-ahead score in the fourth quarter as the Chicago Bears took a 20-17 win over the New York Giants in preseason action on Friday evening at MetLife Stadium.  Jay Cutler went 9-for-21 with 96 yards and a score while Campbell was 12-for-19 with 101 yards for the Bears, who improved to 2-and-1 in the preseason.  Brandon Marshall had five catches for 51 yards and a touchdown.  Chicago wraps up its preseason slate on Thursday at Cleveland.

>>Rams Edged By Cowboys

(Arlington, TX)  --  Sam Bradford completed 6-of-17 passes for 64 yards as the Rams were edged by the Cowboys on Saturday night, 20-19.  Daryl Richardson ran for 51 yards on 10 carries and Chase Reynolds ran for a touchdown.  Austin Pettis caught a touchdown pass in the loss for the Rams.

The first major cutdown day is today for NFL teams.  Squads must whittle their rosters to 75 players by 3 p.m. this afternoon.  The Rams also close out the preseason this Thursday at home against Baltimore.  The final cutdown deadline is Friday when teams must be down to a final 53-man roster.

>>Colts Lose To Redskins In Preseason Play

(Landover, MD)  --  Andrew Luck may have topped Robert Griffin the Third at the NFL Draft, but Griffin took the first showdown between the highly-touted rookies, leading the Washington Redskins to a 30-17 preseason win over the Indianapolis Colts on Saturday.  Luck, who played just one series into the second half, completed 14-of-23 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown.  Indianapolis wraps up its preseason slate on Thursday versus Cincinnati at Lucas Oil Stadium.

>>Bears Place Hardin On IR; Knox On PUP

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears placed rookie safety Brandon Hardin on injured reserve and put wide receiver Johnny Knox on the physically unable to perform list.  Hardin, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, sustained a neck injury August 18th in the Bears' preseason win over the Washington Redskins.  Knox will be forced to miss the first six weeks of the regular season.  Last December in a game against the Seahawks, Knox suffered a serious back injury.  He needed surgery to stabilize a vertebra in his mid-to-lower back.

>>Colts Acquire Corner From Dolphins

(Undated)  --  The Miami Dolphins have sent former Illini cornerback Vonta Davis to the Indianapolis Colts for a second-round draft pick in 2013 and a conditional draft choice.  The 24-year-old was the 25th-overall choice of the Dolphins in the 2009 draft.  Colts owner Jim Irsay tweeted late last week saying "SERIOUS TRADE WINDS Swirling!" and added that general manager Ryan Grigson was not afraid to make a deal.  Grigson was hired in the offseason after Indianapolis fired longtime GM Bill Polian.

Dodgers, Red Sox Complete Mega Trade

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox completed their nine-player blockbuster trade on Saturday.  The Dodgers received first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Carl Crawford, pitcher Josh Beckett and infielder Nick Punto [[ POON-toh ]].  The Sox welcomed first baseman James Loney, infielder Ivan DeJesus, outfielder Jerry Sands and pitchers Rubby De La Rosa and Allen Webster.  Gonzalez, Crawford and Beckett have over $250-million collectively remaining on their contracts.  Gonzalez was traded from the San Diego Padres to Boston in December 2010, while Crawford signed as a free agent one day later.

All Locals Win

>>Cubs Blank Rockies

(Chicago, IL)  --  Darwin Barney knocked in two runs and scored another as the Cubs blanked the Rockies, 5-0, in a rain-shortened rubber match of a three-game set.  The game was called after eight innings.  Chris Volstad tossed six-and-two-thirds shutout innings to snap a 24-outing winless streak.  Volstad won for the first time since July 10th, 2011.  Jhoulys Chacin allowed a run and five hits in five innings to fall to 1-and-4 with the tough-luck loss.

>>Cards Dump Reds

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Allen Craig was 3-for-5 with a home run and three RBI to help the Cardinals beat the Reds, 8-2.  Matt Holliday was 4-for-5 with four RBI, while Adam Wainwright improved to 13-and-10 after allowing two runs across five-and-two-thirds innings.  St. Louis took two-of-three from Cincinnati.  Chris Heisey and Ryan Ludwick each had an RBI in the loss.  Homer Bailey was rocked to the tune of five runs and nine hits in six innings to fall to 10-and-9.

New York Mets 2, Houston Astros 1
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Washington Nationals 1
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
San Diego Padres 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
Miami Marlins 6, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
Atlanta Braves 7, San Francisco Giants 1

>>White Sox Down Mariners In Seven

(Chicago, IL)  --  The White Sox defeated the Mariners, 4-3, in a rain-shortened seven-inning game.  Chicago pulled ahead in the bottom of the seventh on a Tyler Flowers two-run homer.  Reliever Nate Jones improved to 7-and-0, while starter Gavin Floyd left after two innings due to right elbow discomfort.  Chicago swept the three-game set with Seattle, which came into the series winners of eight straight.  Casper Wells hit his eighth homer run in the loss.  Kevin Millwood dropped to 4-and-11 after allowing four runs, only one of which was earned, in six-and-two-thirds innings.

Detroit Tigers 5, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
New York Yankees 4, Cleveland Indians 2
Boston Red Sox 8, Kansas City Royals 6
Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles (PPD/Rain)
Minnesota Twins 6, Texas Rangers 5

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

August 24, 2012


Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1


August 25, 2012


Jail Population: 83

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0


August 26, 2012


Jail Population: 91

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Amanda Hammer, 18, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Bad checks/Obtain Control Prop. Hammer posted the necessary bond and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:14 p.m. on Sunday, August 12th, revealed that a vehicle driven by Scott Jones, 49, Farmer City, was exiting his driveway and drove in to the Parnell Boat Access area. Jones drove past the boat ramp area and into the grass, striking a sign and a tree. The driver was removed from the vehicle by the Farmer City Fire Department and transported to Carle Hospital in Champaign. Jones was issued a citation for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. The vehicle was towed to Farmer City and a 12 hour DUI hold was placed on it


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:27 p.m. on Friday, August 24th, revealed that a vehicle driven by Onis Baize Sr., 82, Bloomington, was driving southbound on Il Rt. 51 at a slow rate of speed. Baize was going approximately 5 mph in a 45 mph zone and having trouble staying in his own lane. Baize left 51 on the south side and entered the property of 413 S. Walnut, running over the mailbox. Upon arrival, deputies noticed Baize was having medical problems. The Clinton Ambulance Service arrived on the scene and determined the medical problem. Baize was treated and taken to Bromenn Hospital in Bloomington. Gary’s Towing arrived and took the vehicle back to the Driver’s residence.




Clinton Police Weekend Report





















New Clinton HS Principal Wants To Focus On Respect

As Clinton High School students get back into the normal routine of their daily schedules, their new Principal has some things for them to focus on as they embark on a new school year.

Dr. Candice Swift explains she wants to focus on mutual respect from both a student's perspective, but also the teachers, coaches and other faculty members. She explains showing each other respect is something she wants to focus on because she feels it's their responsibility as educators to raise respectful kids who become respectful members of society.

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Dr. Swift explains sometimes students or parents may perceive her Doctorate title as unapproachable. She hopes that her title does not deter anyone coming to her and expressing concerns or whatever the case may be. She hopes to be as approachable as possible.

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Dr. Swift held an assembly to address the students on these expectations. Before school began last week, she also gathered her teachers and coaches to inform them of her plans.

Clinton students began classes last Wednesday.

Department of Health Urges To Avoid Contact With Bats



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Weekly Weather Report

We saw some drier but cooler weather this week. State Climotologist Jim Angel says thanks to rain last week, much of the state is now only one to two inches below normal. This weekend should warmer temperatures with cooler temperatures coming later Sunday with rain likely Sunday and Sunday night.

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Friday's Scoreboard

Chicago Cubs 5, Colorado Rockies 3
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Washington Nationals 2
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 5
Houston Astros 3, New York Mets 1
St. Louis Cardinals 8, Cincinnati Reds 5
San Diego Padres 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 11, Miami Marlins 4
San Francisco Giants 5, Atlanta Braves 3

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2, Detroit Tigers 1
New York Yankees 3, Cleveland Indians 1
Baltimore Orioles 6, Toronto Blue Jays 4
Boston Red Sox 4, Kansas City Royals 3
Oakland Athletics 5, Tampa Bay Rays 4
Texas Rangers 8, Minnesota Twins 0
Chicago White Sox 9, Seattle Mariners 8

NFL Preseason
Atlanta Falcons 23, Miami Dolphins 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30, New England Patriots 28
Philadelphia Eagles 27, Cleveland Browns 10
Chicago Bears 20, New York Giants 17
San Diego Chargers 12, Minnesota Vikings 10
Seattle Seahawks 44, Kansas City Chiefs 14

Atlanta Dream 81, Washington Mystics 69
Tulsa Shock 81, Chicago Sky 78 (OT)


Cubs Rally Past Rockies With Three-Run Eighth

Joe Mather singled in the go-ahead score in a three-run eighth inning as the Cubs rallied for a 5-3 win over the Rockies.  Brett Jackson tied the game with a solo homer and a throwing error plated an insurance run for Chicago, which took the opener of the three-game set at Wrigley Field.  Alfonso Soriano also homered as the Cubs snaped a four-game skid.  James Russell got the win in relief and Carlos Marmol posted his 16th save.  Matt Belisle [[ buh-LYLE ]] took the loss.  Chris Nelson and Carlos Gonzalez homered for Colorado, which had won five straight.

White Sox Blow Lead, Still Top M's

  Despite allowing six runs in the ninth, the White Sox scored twice in the bottom of the frame to defeat the Mariners, 9-8.  Paul Konerko's RBI double paired with an RBI single from Kevin Youkilis lifted Chicago to its fourth straight win.  Adam Dunn connected on a solo and two-run homer and Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run shot and drove in three for the Sox.  Jake Peavy turned in another quality start, going seven innings while allowing two runs.  Addison Reed blew the save by allowing two earned runs but got the win.  Jesus Montero and Trayvon Robinson each hit solo homers for Seattle while Dustin Ackley went 3-for-5 with two RBI and two runs scored.  Tom Wilhelmsen suffered the loss as the M's saw their eight-game winning streak end.

Cards Club Reds

  Allen Craig drilled a two-run homer to start a six-run sixth as the Cardinals took down the Reds, 8-5.  Yadier Molina followed with a solo shot.  David Freese scored and drove in a run for St. Louis, which has won four in-a-row.  Joe Kelly earned the win in relief, while Jason Motte [[ MOT ]] locked up his 30th save.  Todd Frazier was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI for Cincinnati, which has lost two straight.  Brandon Phillips added two hits, a run and an RBI in the win.  Mat Latos [[ LAY-tose ]] gave up seven runs in five frames for the loss.

Caylee Anthony Case Inspires New Illinois Law

A new Illinois law makes it a felony for parents to stay silent if a child dies or disappears.

The law was inspired by the case of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony in Florida. She was missing for a month before her grandmother contacted police.

Caylee's mother, Casey Anthony, was charged with the girl's murder but was acquitted.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the Illinois law Friday. It says parents or legal guardians must report a death or disappearance within 24 hours if the child is under 13. The time limit is reduced to one hour for children under 2.

It takes effect immediately.

Breast Feeding Best For Babies

New parents always want to give their babies the very best. When it comes to nutrition, the best first food for babies is breast milk.

Breast-fed babies are healthier and have fewer infections than formula-fed babies, says Erin Paris, registered dietitian and lactation consultant at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield. She explains the benefits of breast-feeding for babies.

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Paris says breast-feeding also has important benefits for mother. It decreases her risk for ovarian and breast cancer as well as the risk for developing osteoporosis. It also results in a faster return to pre-pregnancy weight. She explains breast feeding recommendations.

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New mothers can learn more about breast-feeding by talking with their family physician or obstetrician. Most hospitals have a lactation counselor or offer breast feeding classes to help new mothers.

Suspect Arrested In Shooting of ISU Student

Police in central Illinois have arrested a 23-year-old suspect in last week's shooting of an Illinois State University student.

Marshall Smith, of Bloomington, is being held on $1 million bond. He has been charged with aggravated battery and aggravated discharge of a firearm near a school.

The shooting took place around 3 a.m. on Aug. 18 during a confrontation between people at an apartment building near the campus in Normal.

The young woman who was shot suffered severe injuries, but authorities say they are not life-threatening.

Local Unemployment Rates

Local unemployment numbers were released Thursday.

DeWitt County saw a slight increase in unemployment, coming in at 8.2%.

Piatt County also saw a slight increase in unemployment, coming in at 8.6%.

McLean County registered one of the areas lowest unemployment rates at 7.7%, up just a tenth-percentage point from June.

11.6% unemployed in Macon County was a half percent increase from June.

Logan County saw unemployment jump to almost nine percent, at 8.9%.

Sangamon County's unemployment came in at 8.2%, up from 7.8% in June.

9.2% unemployment in Champaign County was up just slightly.

The highest unemployment rate in Illinois was Alexander County at 13.3%. The lowest was Brown County at 5.1%.

The largest gain in unemployment came from Henderson County, who jumped almost two full percentage points, going from 6.8% in June to 8.7% in July.

The largest decrease in unemployment came from Johnson, Will, and Grundy Counties who dropped a half-percentage point each.

Illinois saw an unemployment rate in July of 9.3%, unchanged from June and a drop of overa percent from July of 2011.

The national average unemployment was 8.6% for July, up from June, but down from July of last year.

Monticello Shuts Out Warrensburg Lathem

The 10th ranked Monticello Sages shut out the Warrensburg-Latham Cardinals Friday night 35-0. Senior QB Parker Trice had 6 carries for 31 yards, and was 7/10 for 79 yards with 2 touchdowns through the air.  Ryan Donahue had 12 carries for 70 yards and a touchdown.  Austin Eckerty also had a touchdown and had 3 receptions for 35 yards.  Colton Gibson contributed to the score with 2 catches with a touchdown.  Dylan Knisley ran for a touchdown and had 12 carries for 60 yards, all in the 4th quarter. Monticello is now 1-0 for the year and Warrensburg-Lathem is 0-1. 

Join us next week on 95.9 when Monticello takse on Tuscola at 7 p.m.

Clinton Vs Tuscola

Maroons VS Tuscola

The Clinton Maroons lost to the Tuscola Warriors 48-14.  For the Maroons, Zach Pate ran the ball with 17 carries for 95 yards. He went 3 of 8 for 104 yards and made a touchdown.  Kye Reczek had 6 carries for 69 yards and a touchdown.  Greg Osgood made 1 catch for 85 yards and a touchdown.  The Maroons had 5 turnovers.  The Warriors were led by Eli Kauffman who went 12 of 14 for 215 yards, making 2 touchdowns.  Austin Sexson had 9 carries for 105 yards.  Tune in to 92.3 WHOW next Friday August 31 to watch the Maroons to take on the Hawks.

Illinois Workers To Go To GOP Convention Over Jobs

Workers at a northern Illinois factory whose jobs are being moved to China plan to travel to next week's Republican National Convention in Florida to try once again to get presidential candidate Mitt Romney to save their jobs.

Organizers of the 170 workers at the Sensata Technologies plant in Freeport say in a statement they'll travel to the convention in Tampa, Fla.

Sensata is owned by Bain Capital and plans to close the Freeport factory at the end of the year. Romney once led Bain Capital but was no longer running the firm when it bought Sensata.

Sensata employees in Freeport have tried since earlier this year to get Romney to try to change the company's plans or visit the town.

College Saving Tips

College students are back in school and Scott Magnesen, with Morgan Stanley Smith and Barney, says parents may be feeling the pinch in their pockets.

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Magnesen says the costs of college are increasing, but if parents start early they can rest a bit easier.

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Magnesen adds everybody's situation is different but even starting small will make a big difference.

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Magnesen says thinking of college education early is a huge advantage that can push students toward financial stability.  He says parents and students should make a plan together and be sure to consider academic or athletic scholarships as well as grants and even student loans.  Magnesen says the hard part about saving for college is knowing parents must also save for retirement.  He says as a general rule of thumb, parents should put invest about ten-percent of their salary toward retirement and other things.

Quinn Will Make Gambling Decision Over Weekend

Governor Quinn says he'll take the weekend to finalize his decision on whether to expand gambling across the state.

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He says ethics, integrity, and oversight are a few of his biggest concerns.

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Quinn has said he wouldn't support a proposal that included too much gaming or came with too little oversight.  He originally vowed to veto a gaming bill because it included slot machines at race tracks.  Quinn doesn't like the idea of slots at the tracks but the newest proposal didn't completely eliminate them.  He says he'll likely make a decision by Tuesday. 

Lottery Scam Uses Winner's Actual Name

A lottery scam is making the rounds, using the name of an actual Illinois lottery winner.  Officials say the hoax promises Merle Butler is giving three lucky winners one and a half million bucks apiece, but there is a catch.  The winners must first pay a fee to have the cash released.  Butler is from Red Bud, Illinois.  He and his wife won a 218-million dollar Mega Millions payout earlier this year.  They are not behind the email, according to officials.  Reports indicate the scammers often indicate they work with a law enforcement agency or government agency.  Anyone who receives the email should beware and report it 217-525-5158.

Drought Intensifies In Key Farming States

The latest update on the nation's drought shows that the parched conditions continue worsening in key farm states even as the situation across all of the continental U.S. leveled off.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map shows that more than two-thirds of Iowa, the nation's biggest corn producer, was suffering extreme or exceptional drought - the worst two classifications - as of Tuesday. That's up more than 5%age points from last week, despite cooler temperatures.

Nearly all of Nebraska and Missouri are in extreme or exceptional drought, narrowly ahead of Illinois and Kansas in those two categories. The amount of Nebraska afflicted with exceptional drought conditions - the most-serious level - remained unchanged while dropping only slightly in Illinois.

Springfield Woman Accused Of Killing Baby

A grand jury has indicted 21-year-old Samaria Williams on first-degree murder charges.  She's accused of killing her one-year-old daughter Azalin Fite, who was found dead in a Springfield apartment on July 27th.  Williams was arrested earlier this month after being released from Memorial Medical Center where she was treated for self inflicted stab wounds and a possible drug overdose.  No motive has yet been determined.  Defense attorneys requested the case be continued until September 6th.

University of Illinois Starts Over On Building Contract

University of Illinois officials will soon seek new bids for a plan to renovate a 120-year-old building after voiding a contract over potential conflicts of interest.

The university expects to post a request for bids on the Natural History Building renovation this week.

Senior Associate Vice President Mike Bass says the university wants to move as fast as possible on the project.

The university in July followed a state board's recommendation that it void a $4.6 million contract with BLDD Architects for the project.

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

Man Goes On Multi-State Bank Robbery Spree

It's possible Bloomington was hit by the Bucket list bandit.  He's a suspect who's robbed seven banks in at least five states.  Someone passed a note to a teller at the PNC Bank on West Market Street last Friday, implying he had a gun and demanding money.  He's been dubbed the bucket list bandit because he allegedly told one bank teller he only had four months to live.  That's one reason police believe he won't strike in Bloomington again.  They believe he's traveling the country in his last days and just hitting banks as he goes along.  It's possible the bandit hit the Bloomington bank because it's fairly close to the interstate.  Police believe he was driving a 2011 or 2012 Chevrolet Captiva but may have been driving a Black SUV during a heist in North Carolina.  The suspect also appears to be wearing the same blue shirt at each bank robbery.  Other heists include banks in North Carolina, Colorado, Arizona, Idaho and Utah.

Area DNR Conservation Police Officers Take Part In Cooperative Sonar Detail At Clinton Lake

Area Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police Officers took part in a sonar detail with several other area agencies.

The detail took place at Clinton Lake and according to CPO Ray Wichus, a sonar detail is a simulation of a body recovery. Officer Wichus says this detail ensures inter-agency cooperation. He notes it also establishes a chain of command should a situation arise in the future.

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Along with establishing a chain of command in the event of a body recovery operation, Officer Wichus explains this also establishes each person with a task. He says because there are so many people, an operation like this needs clarity in who is doing what.

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Officer Wichus notes it might seem like there is a long chain of command but during a detail they are able to clear up who answers to who and he feels if that is chain of command is short, things can run a lot smoother.

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While body recoveries are not common around the area, with the amount of leisure water areas, Whichus says it is good for his peers and other agencies to be ready.

In February, a Decatur man's body was found in Lake Decatur in which agencies used sonar equipment in the search for him.

Clinton Religious Leaders Voice Concerns Over Lifting Gambling Ban

Gambling or no gambling? That is the question the city council faces in early September.

As almost the entire state of Illinois is aware, communities all over the state are deciding whether to allow regulated gambling in their towns. Religious leaders of these communities have been very vocal of their stance against allowing gambling in their towns. Many Clinton religious leaders have already voiced their opinions, and many more came before the Clinton City Council Monday evening to support a gambling ban already in place.

Pastor Dan Bell of the Assembly of God Church in Clinton addressed the Council and says his belief is gambling will take away from establishing a good work ethic with our future generation.

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Retired Pastor C. Don Ferrill expressed his concern towards lifting the gambling ban. Pastor Ferrill feels lifting the ban will not gain the community's population and he says if this ban is lifted, the Council might as well lift the ban on everything else.

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Pastor David Young of the Clinton Church of the Nazarene.  Pastor Young brought a different perspective to his argument. He says research points to video gambling being the most addictive form of gambling and the negative economic factors outweigh the positive factors. He also notes video gambling is the most likely form of gambling to drain the economic resources of the community and the least likely to generated economic prosperity.

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Many other pastors and church leaders spoke before the Council Monday. Many were quick to point out they realize not everyone who participates or will participate will become the scenarios they lay out, however, many who work with children, youth leaders in churches and a few teachers say they see children who are living the effects of their parents gambling and other social issues.

Business owners and several other residents voiced their support for lifting the gambling ban. Regional Radio News will highlight some of those comments Monday.

Sprint Cup Series Under The Lights Saturday At Bristol

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series is under the lights this weekend for Saturday's IRWIN Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Last season, Brad Keselowski took the lead from Martin Truex Jr. just after a restart with 80 laps remaining and took the checkered flag by 0.95-seconds.  The last seven Bristol races have had a margin of victory under one second.  Keselowski has posted seven straight top-10 finishes this season, including a win in Kentucky.  Keselowski also won earlier this season at Bristol.  Greg Biffle won last weekend at Michigan to take a 20-point lead over Matt Kenseth atop the Cup Standings.  Dale Earnhardt Jr., Jimmie Johnson and Keselowski round out the top-five.

Cards Crush Stros; Sox, Cubs Back On Diamond Tonight

>>Cards Crush Houston

(St. Louis, MO)  --  David Freese ripped a three-run homer and had four RBI as the Cardinals crushed the Astros, 13-4.  Matt Holliday drove in four and Allen Craig added three RBI for St. Louis, which swept the three-game set from Houston.  Jake Westbrook gave up five runs in as many innings but hung around to improve to 13-and-9.  The Cards head to Cincinnati for a big three-game weekend series against the Reds.  Lance Lynn gets the start tonight against Mat Latos.

Colorado Rockies 1, New York Mets 0
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Cincinnati Reds 3 (11 inn)
San Francisco Giants 5, Atlanta Braves 2

Detroit Tigers 3, Toronto Blue Jays 2 (11 inn)
LA Angels of Anaheim 14, Boston Red Sox 13 (10 inn)
Tampa Bay Rays 5, Oakland Athletics 0
Texas Rangers 10, Minnesota Twins 6

>>Cubs Start Set With Rockies

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs open up a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies this afternoon at Wrigley Field.  Jeff Samardzija [[ suh-MARD-juh ]] gets the nod opposite Drew Pomeranz in the opener.  The Northsiders have dropped four straight and were swept in a three-game series in their last set at Milwaukee.

>>White Sox Host M's

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox are back on the diamond this evening as they kick off a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners at The Cell.  Jake Peavy will toe the rubber against Jason Vargas in the opener.  The Southsiders are coming off a three-game sweep over the New York Yankees to improve to 68-and-55 on the season.

NFL Preason Notes

>>Bears In Big Apple

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  The Chicago Bears continue their preseason schedule this evening against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium.  The Bears are coming off a 33-31 win over the Washington Redskins last Saturday in their second exhibition contest.  They lost their opener versus Denver.  Chicago wraps up its preseason slate next Thursday at Cleveland.

>>Rams Set To Face Dallas Tomorrow

(Arlington, TX)  --  The Rams head to Texas tomorrow to face the Cowboys in their third preseason matchup.  St. Louis defeated the Chiefs last week to win the Governor's Cup and improve to 1-and-1 this preseason.  The Rams close out the preseason next Thursday when they host Baltimore.  The regular season gets underway September 9th when St. Louis heads to Detroit to face the Lions.

>>Colts In DC Tomorrow

(Landover, MD)  --  The Indianapolis Colts continue their preseason schedule tomorrow against the Washington Redskins at FedExField.  The Colts are coming off a 26-24 loss at Pittsburgh last weekend in their second exhibition contest.  They won their opener against St. Louis on August 12th.  Indianapolis wraps up its preseason slate next Thursday versus Cincinnati at Lucas Oil Stadium.

>> Bears Waive Kahlil Bell

The Chicago Bears have waived backup running back Kahlil Bell.

Bell played 20 games for the Bears the last three seasons and made three starts, including the final two last season after Matt Forte sprained his knee. Bell would have been Chicago's third-string back behind Forte and Michael Bush.

Bell ran for 557 yards on 119 attempts and also caught 20 passes for 137 yards and a TD with the Bears.

Lorenzo Booker and Armando Allen are expected to compete for the third-string running back job now that Bell is gone.

NFL Preseason
Green Bay Packers 27, Cincinnati Bengals 13
Baltimore Ravens 48, Jacksonville Jaguars 17
Tennessee Titans 32, Arizona Cardinals 27

Week One High School Football Preview

Week one of high school football kicks off tonight and week one features some great matchups.

Okaw Non-conference matchups for this week...
Argenta-Oreana at Shelbyville
Macon Meridian at Tolono Unity
Maroa-Forsyth at Sullivan
Central A & M at Decatur St. Teresa
Tuscola at Clinton
Warrensburg-Latham at Monticello

Other non-conference matchups...
Bloomington Central Catholic at Washington
Cerro Gordo at Danville Schlarman
Champaign St. Thomas More at Olympia
Tri-Valley at Fieldcrest
El Paso-Gridley vs. Paxton-Buckley-Loda
Heyworth at Tremont
Jerseyville at Decatur MacArthur
Morton vs. Normal U-High at ISU Hancock Stadium (Sat.)
Mt. Zion at Mahomet-Seymour
Pekin vs. Peoria Manual at Peoria Stadium
Peoria Notre Dame at Limestone
Peoria Richwoods at Metamora
Rantoul at Charleston
Rochester at Mt. Vernon
St. Joseph-Ogden at Marshall
Villa Grove at Westville

Big Twelve
Bloomington at Danville
Champaign Centennial at Decatur Eisenhower
Normal West vs. Champaign Central at Tommy Stewart Field
Urbana at Normal Community

Central State Eight
Lincoln vs. Jacksonville at K-R Field
Springfield at Springfield Lanphier
Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin at Springfield Southeast
Taylorville at Chatham Glenwood

Heart of Illinois
Blue Ridge at Flanagan-Cornell
Fisher at Ridgeview
LeRoy at Dee-Mac
Lexington at GCMS

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-24

August 24, 2012


Jail Population: 80

Summons Served: 6

Warrant Arrests: 0


Erika Benson, 18, Kenney, was issued a citation for Failure To Reduce Speed. Benson was issued a Notice To Appear and was released.


Delbert Dahl, 72, Urbana, was issued a citation for Speeding (72 mph in a 55 mph zone). Dahl posted a bond card as bond and was released.




Local Unemployment Numbers Released

Local unemployment numbers were released Thursday.

DeWitt County saw a slight increase in unemployment, coming in at 8.2%.

Piatt County also saw a slight increase in unemployment, coming in at 8.6%.

McLean County registered one of the areas lowest unemployment rates at 7.7%, up just a tenth-percentage point from June.

11.6% unemployed in Macon County was a half percent increase from June.

Logan County saw unemployment jump to almost nine percent, at 8.9%.

Sangamon County's unemployment came in at 8.2%, up from 7.8% in June.

9.2% unemployment in Champaign County was up just slightly.

The highest unemployment rate in Illinois was Alexander County at 13.3%. The lowest was Brown County at 5.1%.

The largest gain in unemployment came from Henderson County, who jumped almost two full percentage points, going from 6.8% in June to 8.7% in July.

The largest decrease in unemployment came from Johnson, Will, and Grundy Counties who dropped a half-percentage point each.

Illinois saw an unemployment rate in July of 9.3%, unchanged from June and a drop of overa percent from July of 2011.

The national average unemployment was 8.6% for July, up from June, but down from July of last year.

University of Illinois Icon Set To Reopen After Renovations

After a 3-year renovation project, 1 of the centerpiece buildings at the University of Illinois' main campus is reopening.

University officials say 101-year-old Lincoln Hall is reopening this fall. A ceremony marking the official reopening is planned for homecoming weekend in late October.

Some minor painting and finishing work still needs to be finished, but Associate Dean Joan Volkmann says she's stunned by the work on the building.

Biology faculty member Deb Biesler says the work restored what had been a beat-up building to its former glory.

But sophomore Matthew Marquez says some of the renovation was fancier than it needed to be.

The project has cost $65.6 million. The state paid for $57.3 million.

Governor Quinn Still Undecided On Gaming Legislation

Gov. Pat Quinn is days away from the deadline to decide if he'll sign a gambling expansion bill, but the Chicago Democrat says he's not sure what he'll do.

Quinn said Wednesday in Chicago that he's going through the bill line by line and will make a decision by Tuesday. That's when he must decide.

Lawmakers passed a bill earlier this year that would create five new casinos - a land-based site in Chicago and four more on riverboats. The bill would also allow slot machines at horse racing tracks for the first time.

Quinn gets 60 days to decide to sign, veto or propose changes.

Previously, Quinn has said that he won't likely sign the bill as it is and says his biggest concern about it is ethics.

Drought Could Mean Good Wine Season For Illinois

While the U.S. drought has punished corn and soybean crops, grape growers say they have a bit to cheer.

Vintners throughout the nation's midsection say their vineyards generally have proven resilient to the months of battering heat and dryness.

They say that's because the drought has left the surviving grapes with concentrated flavors and sugar, stoking the promise of standout wine.

Winery operators also say grape varieties commonly planted in the Midwest have roots that can reach dozens of feet below the surface to get at water tables. And the dryness tends to keep away pests and disease.

But there's a downside. Some vintners worry the drought could continue into coming years, overly stressing the vines and requiring installation of pricy irrigation systems.

UPDATED: DCAA Bid For Local Ambulance Service Rejected

The unanimous selection of northen Illinois-based Paramedics Services of Illinois Wednesday night by the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee likely means the end of the road for the newly formed DeWitt County Ambulance Association (DCAA).

Several members of the community formed the non-profit group earlier this year in an effort to keep paramedic services based within the county.  The DCAA's proposal relied heavily on utilizing equipment and personnel currently employed by the Dr. John Warner Hospital.  However, committee members cited some concerns with the current service, and the potential for those concerns to carry over to the DCAA's operation.

At the beginning of Wednesday night's meeting, Ambulance Advisory Committee Chair Teresa Barnett spoke of an incident that occurred Wednesday afternoon in which the ambulance crew from DJWH was delayed in responding to a potential heart attack victim at the Warner Library.

[audio:82312dcaarejected1.mp3] [/audio]

The incident reflected badly on the DCAA due to the fact that so much of their proposal was tied to current ambulance service staff.  Barnett notes use of available mapping software to avoid delayed responses has been a top priority of the committee from the beginning.

[audio:82312dcaarejected2.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett, who also serves as the DeWitt County EMA Director, says one such incident is forgivable, however she points out this is the latest of several instances.  She feels any avoidable delays are not acceptable when a life hangs in the balance.

[audio:82312dcaarejected2.mp3] [/audio]

Despite the Wednesday afternoon incident - many Ambulance Advisory Committee members took time to thank the DCAA board for their efforts, but in the end they unanimously cast their votes for Schiller Park-based PSI.  That recommendation goes to the full DeWitt County Board next Thursday night.

Dr. John Warner Hospital representatives were not available for comment at Wednesday night's meeting.

UPDATED: Paramedic Services of Illinois Chosen By Ambulance Committee

And then there was one....

The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee ended a several month process Wednesday night by unanimously choosing northern Illinois based Paramedic Services of Illinois (PSI) as its recommendation to be the new paramedic service provider in the county.

Robert Horak, a Vice President for the Schiller Park company, says it's a relief to earn the confidence of the community, and looks forward to potentially being a part of the DeWitt County community.

[audio:82312psichosen1.mp3] [/audio]

Three companies had submitted proposals, and given presentations in an attempt to become the county's next ambulance provider.  Some committee members also toured facilities of each of the proposing entities.  Abbott Emergency Services and the newly formed DeWitt County Ambulance Association were the other companies in the running.

Throughout Wednesday night's meeting committee members weighed in on how tough the decision was to make.  Tony Harris, Vice Chair of the Committee and DeWitt County E-911 Coordinator, stresses it was not an decision taken lightly.

[audio:82312psichosen2.mp3] [/audio]

Before casting the final vote, the committee reviewed each presentation and each company's pros and cons.  Chair Teresa Barnett says she has no concerns about the service provided by PSI in its 26 other Illinois communities.

[audio:82312psichosen3.mp3] [/audio]

Barnett also reminded the eight voting committee members of the weight of the decision before them, and encouraged them to vote for the company that would bring the best paramedic service to DeWitt County.

[audio:82312psichosen4.mp3] [/audio]

Of the three proposing companies, PSI was the low bidder on the contract.  Their three year proposal also aims to potentially eliminate the need for a tax subsidy for local ambulance service, which was approved in a referendum of DeWitt County voters earlier this year.

The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee's recommendation now goes to the full DeWitt County Board, which will consider the issue at its rescheduled monthly meeting on August 30th.

The Barclays Tee Off This Morning

The PGA Tour FedExCup Playoffs begin this morning with The Barclays at Bethpage.  It is the first of four events.  Bill Haas is the defending FedExCup champion, and is in the field as one of the top 125 players in the standings.  Heath Slocum just made the field thanks to finishing in a share of 31st at last weekend's Wyndham Championship, which actually went to a Monday finish because of weather.  Slocum was the only player who moved into the top 125, bumping Jhonattan Vegas out of the playoff picture.

The field for The Barclays is packed with big names, including two-time FedExCup champion Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy [[ MAC-il-roy ]], Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Lee Westwood are among those contending for the title.  Last year, Dustin Johnson shot a six-under 65 on Saturday to win the event, which was shortened to 54 holes because of Hurricane Irene.  He won by two strokes over 2010 champion Matt Kuchar.

Bears Notes

>> Bears Have Issues At Safety The Chicago Bears have some serious concerns at safety. The Bears are down two safeties heading into the third preseason game against the Giants on Friday: Injured Chris Conte (shoulder) and Brandon Hardin (neck) are out and Chicago isn't certain if they will have either available for the start of the regular season. Conte says he expects to play in the Sept. 9 opener against Andrew Luck and the Colts while Hardin is wearing a neck brace after a scary injury against the Washington Redskins on Saturday. Craig Steltz is expected to start alongside Major Wright against the Giants. >>Report: Bears' Urlacher Got Treatment On Knee In Europe (Lake Forest, IL) -- Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher [[ URR-lock-er ]] reportedly had a non-invasive treatment on his injured knee in Europe this spring. According to the "Chicago Tribune," Urlacher went to Germany for Regenokine therapy, which takes five days and involves several injections. Other professional athletes, including Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez and Lakers guard Kobe Bryant have also had similar treatments. Urlacher, who sprained two knee ligaments during last year's season finale, remains sidelined after undergoing a scope of his knee last week. The Bears are hopeful the All-Pro linebacker will be back on the field for the team's September 9th regular-season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field.

A's Colon Suspended For Failed Drug Test; Bayless Insinuates Jeter Using HGH

>>Jeter Brushes Bayless HGH Insinuation

Derek Jeter brushed off comments by ESPN analyst Skip Bayless, who raised the possibility the star shortstop may have revived his career by taking Human Growth Hormone.

Bayless made his comments on "First Take" on a day that former Cy Young winner Bartolo Colon became the second player in a week suspended for 50 games following a positive drug test.

The 38-year-old Jeter leads the major leagues with 169 hits and is batting .324 with 13 homers, his best statistics since winning his fifth World Series ring with the Yankees in 2009.

"You would have to have your head in the sand or your head somewhere else not to at least wonder, 'How is he doing this?'" Bayless said Wednesday.

Jeter responded before the Yankees' 2-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox, saying: "1 of the things is that now you have everybody questioning everything. That's the unfortunate thing. Maybe Skip should be tested."

>>A's Colon Suspended 50 Games For Failed Drug Test

(New York, NY)  --  Major League Baseball is suspending Oakland Athletics pitcher Bartolo Colon [[ coh-LONE ]] 50 games for a failed drug test.  The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball says the 39-year-old right-hander tested positive for testosterone.  Colon is 10-and-9 with a 3.43 ERA this season.  After missing all of 2010, he returned to the majors last year with the New York Yankees following a controversial stem-cell treatment.  San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera was suspended 50 games just last week after also testing positive for testosterone.

Sox Sweep Yanks; Cards Win; Cubs Lose Heartbreaker

>>Cardinals Double Up Astros

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Kyle Lohse [[ lowsh ]] tossed seven innings of two-run ball as the Cardinals doubled up the Astros, 4-2.  Lohse allowed three hits while fanning three and walking none to improve to 13-and-2.  Jason Motte earned his 29th save.  Jon Jay went 2-for-4 with a run and an RBI for the Cards, who have won the first two in the three-game series.  Brett Wallace and Chris Snyder hit solo homers for Houston, which is 0-and-3 under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco.  Bud Norris allowed three runs in six innings to fall to 5-and-11.

>>Crew Clips Cubs

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Ryan Braun's solo home run in the sixth inning proved to be the difference as the Brewers clipped the Cubs, 3-2.  Braun and Corey Hart both had RBI doubles in the first frame for Milwaukee, which swept the three-game set at Miller Park.  Yovani Gallardo [[ guy-ARE-doh ]] struck out nine through seven innings of two-run ball to pick up his 13th win of the season.  John Axford nailed down his 20th save.  David DeJesus and Bryan LaHair blasted solo homers for Chicago.  Travis Wood gave up all three runs in seven innings of work to suffer the tough-luck loss.

Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Miami Marlins 2 (Gm.1)
Arizona Diamondbacks 3, Miami Marlins 0 (Gm.2)
San Diego Padres 4, Pittsburgh Pirates 2
Atlanta Braves 5, Washington Nationals 1
Cincinnati Reds 3, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Colorado Rockies 5, New York Mets 2

>>Sale, ChiSox Clips Yanks

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chris Sale struck out 13 and allowed a single run over seven-and-two-thirds frames to help the White Sox drop the Yankees, 2-1.  Sale improved to 15-and-4, while Addison Reed locked up save number 23.  Alex Rios drilled a solo home run for Chicago.  Phil Hughes gave up two runs in seven innings to fall to 12-and-11.  Derek Jeter lifted a solo shot for New York.  This is the first time since 1991 that the White Sox swept the Yankees in a three-game home series.

Tampa Bay Rays 5, Kansas City Royals 3
Oakland Athletics 5, Minnesota Twins 1
Seattle Mariners 3, Cleveland Indians 1
Detroit Tigers 3, Toronto Blue Jays 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 7, Boston Red Sox 3
Texas Rangers 12, Baltimore Orioles 3

>>Yankees' Girardi Takes Exception To Heckler

(Chicago, IL)  --  New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi took exception to comments made by a heckler following Wednesday night's 2-1 loss to the White Sox in Chicago.  While Girardi was attempting to speak to the media after the game, a heckler could be overheard making disparaging comments about the Yankees.  Girardi broke away from reporters, walked in the direction of the heckler and told him to shut up.  The incident took place after the White Sox completed a three-game home sweep of the Yankees for the first time since 1991.

Clinton Police Report for 8-23








Frontier Upgrades Hit Snag, Effecting Local Customers

Regional Radio News has learned that Frontier Telephone Company, the provider of local landline telephone service in Clinton, is apparently having problems this week with their Clinton switch.

Several businesses have informed us of not being able to receive calls this week, as well as intermittent Internet service.

Frontier purchased Illinois landline exchanges from Verizon a few years ago, and has been working to upgrade their Internet service in their rural downstate locations.

DJWH Official Defends Ambulance Crews

The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee meeting last night where they decided the future of ambulance services in DeWitt County brought accusations towards the Dr. John Warner Hospital's ambulance staff.

Committee Chair Teresa Barnett sited an incident Wednesday afternoon where the DJWH ambulance crew was late arriving to the scene involving someone at the Warner Library. DJWH CEO Earl Sheehy says those accusations came without him and his employees being able to stand up for themselves.

Sheehy says the Wednesday instance when the ambulance crew called back to dispatch for a block number again, which he says is legitimate to ask for a piece of information if they are unsure of something. He also sites an instance in Kenney where his crews asked which route was faster, Route 10 or Route 54, and he believes that is a legitimate question.

[audio:82412hospitalresponse1.mp3] [/audio]

There has been speculation the crews were not using their maps to get the the Warner Library Wednesday. The hospital has not entered into an agreement with anyone to use maps. Sheehy says especially around the library, those maps can be misleading.

[audio:82412hospitalresponse2.mp3] [/audio]

Ambulance crews have been instructed to use the maps on laptops they have been provided. He says in the Wednesday call, crew members were disciplined for using their cell phone maps.

[audio:82412hospitalresponse3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy says the Fire Department beat the ambulances to the scene of the incident at the Warner Library because they were much closer. He also defends his crews and says they were well within their response time to get there and they were en route when the call was made to repeat the block number.

[audio:82412hospitalresponse4.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy says because of the lack of support shown to the hospital and it's ambulance crew, Sheehy fears for what that could mean for the immediate future of their ambulance service.

Tune in to Regional Radio News next week to find out what concerns Sheehy has for his ambulance department moving forward and why.

Clinton Police Arrest Kid Konnection Employee



$10-Thousand Reward Offered After Lipton Tea Building Fire

Authorities are offering a $10,000 reward for information about a fire that destroyed the four-story Lipton Tea building in Streator.

Police in the central Illinois city have called the Saturday night blaze "suspicious" but say it's too early to say it is arson. Streator has had 16 arson fires since May 2011. Mayor Jimmie Lansford appealed for residents' cooperation saying citizens must come together to solve the problem.

The fire is under investigation. The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office has visited the scene. Officials have asked residents to watch for suspicious activity.

The Lipton Tea building once was considered for the National Register of Historic Places. The company left Streator in 1964, and the warehouse most recently stored plumbing and heating equipment.

Senate Candidate Suggests Legislative Pay Freeze

One Illinois state senate candidate says no lawmaker should receive a salary or benefits until the state is out of its fiscal mess.  Randy Frese made the comments near Quincy yesterday.  

[audio:rddFrese1.mp3] [/audio]

Frese says the state's debt is his number one concern, especially considering each citizen in Illinois owes about 30-thousand dollars to cover the debt.  Frese is running on the Republican ticket, looking to represent the 47th Senate District.  He says Illinois has the fifth highest legislative salary in the nation at 67-thousand-800 dollars a year.  Frese says he would vote against any legislation that contains a pay or benefit increase. 

Champaign Man Gets Sentenced 50-Years in Prison

A judge in east-central Illinois has sentenced a 22-year-old Champaign man to 50 years in prison for his attack on a neighbor.

Judge Tom Difanis called Dominique Alexander-Smith's actions "a brutal and senseless attack" before sentencing him to 20 years for home invasion and 30 years for aggravated criminal sexual assault. The sentences will be served consecutively.

Alexander-Smith spoke in court to the victim and to his family before being sentenced. He acknowledged making "some bad decisions in life" and apologized.

Authorities say Alexander-Smith attacked a 26-year-old pregnant woman in her apartment while armed with a knife, robbing her of a debit card and assaulting her repeatedly.

He pleaded guilty to the two felony counts in June.

Kids Vaccinations At Local Pharmacy

Kids as young as ten can now get flu shots and other vaccinations from a pharmacist, so long as they have a doctor's prescription.  Governor Quinn says the new law comes just in time for school.

[audio:rddVaccinate1.mp3] [/audio]

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Lamar Hasbrouck says getting your kids vaccinated is important, especially as flu season approaches.

[audio:rddVaccinate2.mp3] [/audio]

The law previously didn't allow children under 14 to receive the injection.  It takes effect immediately.  Getting your kid vaccinated could be as easy as taking a trip to your local Walgreens, Target, or other pharmacy.

Quinn Won't Start Pensions Campaign For Weeks

Gov. Pat Quinn won't launch his so-called grassroots campaign on pension reform until the middle of next month.

Lawmakers failed to come up with plan to overhaul the system during their special session last week.

Quinn has vowed to push ahead and "activate the public." He says the state's unfunded pension liability is roughly $85 billion and growing by about $12.6 million a day.

However, Quinn said Tuesday at an unrelated event in Chicago that his public campaign is under development and he will wait until after the Republican and Democratic national conventions are over. He says he doesn't want his message to get lost.

Credit rating agencies have threatened to lower Illinois' rating unless lawmakers act. Quinn says his office has been in touch with the agencies.

Quinn To Launch Grassroots Effort For Pension Reform

Governor Quinn says the fight to overhaul the state's pensions system's isn't over.  In fact, he says he's recruiting a new group of advocates who want to see reform before the November election.

[audio:rddPenFight1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says he's taking his fight for pension reform to the people of Illinois.  He's rallying up a group of everyday people to call on lawmakers to get the job done.

[audio:rddPenFight2.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn is known for sparking change through his grassroots efforts.  In 1975, he gathered more than 685-thousnad signatures to ban lawmakers from collecting their entire salary on the first day of office.  He summoned the public again in 1978, urging them to send tea bags to then Governor James Thompson for approving a legislative pay raise.  Thompson had 40-thousand tea bags in office within four days and he later rescinded the pay raises.  And in 1980, Quinn was behind the initiative that cut the Illinois House down from 177 members to 118.  He says he's positive his efforts to overhaul the pension system will have just as positive results.  He'll launch the campaign sometime next month.

Preckwinkle: Special Place In Hell For Reagan Over War On Drugs

A top Chicago area lawmaker believes former President Ronald Reagan should be in a "special place in Hell" for supporting the war on drugs.  Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told an audience at the University of Illinois yesterday Reagan deserves Hell for "making drug use political."  Preckwinkle has been pushing to get marijuana decriminalized, saying drug laws hurt minorities more.  Reagan, who was president during the 1980s, pushed for the war on drugs in 1986.  He died in 2004.

Illinois' Composite ACT Scores Hold Steady At 20.9

Illinois students' ACT scores have held steady this year. They're also the highest of the nine states that administer the college entrance exam to all graduating high school students.

The state's composite score for 2012 was 20.9, the same as the year before. The highest score possible is 36. Nationally, the average score was 21.1, but many states only test college-bound students.

Illinois requires all 11th graders to take the ACT, regardless of whether they plan to go to college.

Illinois' highest scores were in math. The lowest were in English.

The percentage of students meeting all 4 of the test's College Readiness Benchmarks increased from 23% last year to 25% this year.

The results were released Wednesday by the Illinois State Board of Education.

McLean County State's Attorney Takes Aim At Gun Laws

The McLean County state's attorney is halting enforcement of Illinois gun laws that he considers unconstitutional.

Ron Dozier says state law makes criminals out of people who simply carry weapons in the wrong place or the wrong type of container. Dozier says he refuses to "punish decent, otherwise law-abiding citizens" who exercise their Second Amendment rights.

He says someone who legally carries a rifle in a gun rack in Missouri shouldn't be charged with a felony just for driving across the state line.

But the county sheriff says his officers will continue to make arrests when they see violations.

Dozier is the interim state's attorney and leaves office later this year.

Scovill Zoo Gearing Up For Annual Gala Event

The Scovill Zoo in Decatur is gearing up for their annual Gala event.

The event takes place this weekend and time is running short to reserve your spot for the evening at the zoo. Assistant Director at the Zoo, Ken Frye says each year the Gala has lots of special features. This year they will have various food stations set up along with some live music. Frye explains they will allow patrons the opportunity to encounter the animals in a setting they normal would not be able to.

[audio:82212zoogala1.mp3] [/audio]

The Zoo for a while now has been planning for a new penguin exhibit. Frye explains they have a design team in place, and they hope this year's gala event will help them in their goal of getting the exhibit going at the end of the summer and ready to go for next year.

[audio:82212zoogala2.mp3] [/audio]

Frye thanks those who have been a part of the gala in the past, and he looks forward to another successful event this year.

Things get going at the zoo around 5:30 Saturday evening. Tickets are $75 per person and for more information you can contact the zoo 217-421-7435 or visit scovillzoo.com for more details.

Previously Rejected Traffic Study By Clinton BOE To Be Reality

An issue the Clinton Board of Education thought was laid to rest last year has resurfaced and is looking like a reality very quickly.

In October of last year, the Clinton Board of Education was approached by the City of Clinton to conduct a traffic study at the site of their new elementary school on Illini Drive. The Board of Education declined to do a study. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes says this came about in the district seeking permits from the City, and the traffic study is a pre-requisite to one of those permits.

[audio:82212trafficstudy1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes says he sympathizes with the city's concerns. He does not want this to become a roadblock in their goal of getting a new school built.

[audio:82212trafficstudy2.mp3] [/audio]

The district last year looked into the traffic study, and bids came back close to $6-thousand. Dr. Holmes says this is a multi-million dollar project, and getting worked up over a $6-thousand cost is not worth it to stop the project's progress.

[audio:82212trafficstudy3.mp3] [/audio]

Last year the Board rejected the traffic study because they felt it was unnecessary to establish the fact traffic will be congested, something they were and are fully aware of currently.

The City encouraged the Board to bring a proposal to them in financing the study, something initially the Board was planning on having to finance themselves.

Harvick Reunited With Crew Chief Gil Martin

Gil Martin will return as crew chief for Kevin Harvick's number-29 Chevrolet at Richard Childress Racing starting this weekend at Bristol Motor Speedway.  Martin is replacing Shane Wilson, who had served as Harvick's crew chief since the start of the 2012 season.  Martin had guided Harvick's efforts from April 2009 until the end of last year.  It's not known at this time what Wilson's position will be with RCR.

Three races remain before the championship Chase begins.  Harvick scored four victories in the Sprint Cup Series last year but has yet to win a race this season.  He is currently eighth in points, with three top-five finishes and nine top-10s in 23 races.  Harvick has finished third in the point standings the past two years.

NFL Notes

>> Julius Peppers Donate $250-Thousand To UNC For Scholarships

Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers has donated $250,000 to the University of North Carolina for scholarships.

The school said Monday that Peppers' donation goes to a fund that supports African-American students.

The donation comes after Peppers' transcript was posted on a school website. The transcript showed Peppers was barely academically eligible while he played football in Chapel Hill from 1999 to 2001.

Peppers last week confirmed the transcript was his but questioned why it was released. School officials have not confirmed it was his, but are investigating how the transcript was posted on the website.

Peppers had made a $100,000 donation to the same fund in 2009.

Peppers was an African and Afro-American Studies major who did not graduate, leaving school after the 2001 football season.

>>Report:  Bears To Work Out Punter Matt Dodge

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears reportedly brought in free-agent punter Matt Dodge for a tryout yesterday.  Dodge was selected in the seventh round of the 2010 draft by the New York Giants.  The Giants released Dodge at the end of preseason last year.  The Bears need some depth at the punter position after Adam Podlesh suffered a hip flexor injury in last Saturday's win over Washington.  The only other punter on the team's roster in undrafted rookie free agent Ryan Quigley.  Chicago continues its exhibition slate on Friday evening at the Giants.

>>Colts Make Deal With Rams

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The Colts made a trade with the Rams last night.  Indianapolis acquired cornerback Josh Gordy from St. Louis in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick in 2014.  Gordy had 43 tackles and three interceptions last season.

>>Jaguars To Begin London Series Next Year

(Jacksonville, FL)  --  The United Kingdom will be a second home for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the coming years.  The Jags have announced they will play one home game in London each year from 2013 through 2016.  New team owner Shad Khan, a businessman from Urbana, says he hopes that playing games overseas will increase the team's global brand.  The St. Louis Rams had been scheduled to play a home game in London in both 2013 and 2014, but pulled out last week so as to focus on upgrading the Edward Jones Dome.  The Rams will still play the New England Patriots in London this October.

Baseball Notes

>>Cardinals Agree To Extension With Westbrook

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to a contract extension with pitcher Jake Westbrook.  It will keep the right-hander with the Redbirds through next season, with a mutual option for 2014.  Westbrook is 28-and-22 with a 4.01 ERA in 69 starts with St. Louis since being acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline in 2010.  The 34-year-old is 12-and-9 with a 3.50 ERA this year.

>>Beltran Sits Out With Sore Hand

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran did not play in last night's game against Houston.  Manager Mike Matheny says he has been bothered by a sore left hand.  Beltran sat out Saturday's game against the Pirates, but played all 19 innings on Sunday.  Monday was an off day.

>>Ballpark Village Proposal Well Received

(Jefferson City, MO)  --  The Cardinals' Ballpark Village project next to Busch Stadium is another step closer to fruition.  According to the "Post-Dispatch," a proposal from city, team and development leaders was well received Tuesday by the Missouri state board, which is expected to vote next month.
>>Cubs Transfer Garza To 60-Day DL

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  The Chicago Cubs transferred pitcher Matt Garza to the 60-day disabled list on Tuesday, among a number of roster moves.  Garza, who posted a 5-and-7 record with a 3.91 earned run average in 18 starts this season, hasn't pitched since leaving his July 21st start with elbow soreness.  The Cubs also added pitcher Alex Hinshaw to the 25-man roster.  Hinshaw was claimed off waivers from the San Diego Padres on Sunday.  In 31 relief appearances for the Padres this season, Hinshaw pitched to a 1-and-1 record with a 4.50 ERA.  To make room on the roster, Chicago optioned pitcher Jeff Beliveau and infielder Adrian Cardenas to Triple-A Iowa.

>>De Aza Lands On DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox have placed outfielder Alejandro De Aza on the 15-day disabled list with bruised left ribs.  The move is retroactive to August 18th.  De Aza is batting .281 with six home runs and 44 RBI over 111 games this season.  To fill the roster spot, the White Sox recalled outfielder Jordan Danks from Triple-A Charlotte.  Danks made his major league debut in June and hit .265 in 29 games before being optioned to Charlotte earlier this month.

Cards Smash 'Stros; Sox Slam Yanks; Cubs Squashed

>>Cardinals Crush Hapless Astros

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Adam Wainwright tossed a five-hitter as the Cardinals clobbered the Astros, 7-0, in the opener of a three-game series.  Wainwright struck out 12 and walked only one to improve to 12-and-10.  Yadier Molina went 3-for-4 with two RBI for the Cards, who have won two-of-three.  Skip Schumaker smacked a two-run single in the victory.  Lucas Harrell allowed six runs and eight hits in five innings to fall to 10-and-9.  Houston is 0-and-2 under interim manager Tony DeFrancesco.

>>Brewers Hold Off Cubs

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Marco Estrada struck out nine over six shutout innings as the Brewers held off the Cubs, 5-3.  Estrada scattered two hits and a walk en route to his first win of the season.  John Axford got the final out to earn his 19th save.  Jonathan Lucroy laced a two-run double for Milwaukee, which has won the first two in the three-game set.  Alfonso Soriano and Starlin Castro each plated a run in the ninth for the Cubs, who have dropped five-of-six.  Chris Rusin allowed only a run on one hits and two walks in five innings to take the tough-luck loss in his first MLB start.

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

>>Youkilis' Slam Leads White Sox Past Yankees

(Chicago, IL)  --  Kevin Youkilis smacked a grand slam to lead the White Sox in a 7-3 win over the Yankees.  Paul Konerko added a solo shot, while A.J. Pierzynski and Gordon Beckham both plated a run and scored for the White Sox, who will go for the three-game sweep on Wednesday.  Francisco Liriano struck out seven over six innings of two-run ball as he improved to 5-and-10.  Derek Jeter and Russell Martin both went deep for the Yankees, who have dropped four-of-six.  Ivan Nova allowed six runs in six frames as he slipped to 11-and-7.

Detroit Tigers 5, Toronto Blue Jays 3
LA Angels of Anaheim 5, Boston Red Sox 3
Kansas City Royals 1, Tampa Bay Rays 0 (10 inn)
Baltimore Orioles 5, Texas Rangers 3
Oakland Athletics 4, Minnesota Twins 1
Seattle Mariners 5, Cleveland Indians 1

Illini LB Out With Fractures

The University of Illinois now says sophomore linebacker Henry Dickinson is out for the season with fractures in his leg and ankle. Dickinson had been competing for a starting spot.

Illinois spokesman Kent Brown on Tuesday said the 6-4, 215-pound Dickinson was injured during a scrimmage last week.

Dickinson was competing with Houston Bates for a starting linebacker spot.

Dickinson played in 11 games as a freshman, although primarily on special teams.

Illinois expects him to redshirt this season and return in 2013 with three years of eligibility remaining.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-22


August 22, 2012


Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


Rickey Kissack, 54, Clinton, was issued a citation for Disobeying Stop Sign. Kissack posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.




Lincoln Readies For Biggest Event of Year

As the City of Lincoln prepares for the biggest event of the year, their Mayor is especially looking forward to the event.

Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder says there are a lot of perks to being the Mayor during the Art and Balloon Festival, which takes place this weekend. One event the Mayor is especially looking forward to is the sidewalk chalk art. Last year was the first year for this event.

[audio:82312mayorfest1.mp3] [/audio]

The art is a cooperative effort between the City of Lincoln and the Lincoln Park District. Mayor Snyder explains anyone can purchase themselves a block of the downtown area and go to work decorating the sidewalks of the square. The money paid by the participants goes to cover the cost of the sidewalk chalk and hairspray that is provided. The hairspray acts a sealant for the chalk.

[audio:82312mayorfest2.mp3] [/audio]

Last year another first year event took place in downtown Lincoln. Mayor Snyder says "Up In Smoke On The Square" will feature some nationally recognized barbecuers. Last year the event was a huge success, and this year a prize of almost $15-thousand will be awarded to the winner.

[audio:82312mayorfest3.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor had the privilege of being a judge for this event. While you might think anyone can judge good BBQ, Mayor Snyder says he had to become certified to judge in the competition. He adds it was pretty tough because of how many good entries there were.

[audio:82312mayorfest4.mp3] [/audio]

The Art and Balloon Festival kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday afternoon. There will lots of live entertainment, art fairs, a wine tasting from Illinois wineries, and of course the balloon launches Friday and Saturday mornings and evenings.

For more information on all the events and activities, or for directions, you can visit lincolnillinois.com.

Rural Illinois Still Lags In Broadband Internet Access

High-speed Internet service might seem ubiquitous, but it's still a luxury for some Illinois residents living in rural areas.

13% of the state had no broadband access, other than satellite and cellular offerings, at the end of 2011 under minimums set by the Federal Communications Commission.

But rural electric and telephone co-ops across the state have begun extending fiber-optic broadband.

That includes Shawnee Telephone, a communications co-op in southeastern Illinois, which began extending fiber-optic broadband to more than 1,200 rural households, more than 400 businesses and almost three dozen public schools, libraries and law-enforcement agencies in 2010 using millions in federal grants and loans. The expansion is scheduled for completion this fall.

Other wireless carriers and co-ops also are working on upgrades.

Illinois Prison Gardens Donate Two and a Half Tons of Produce

Local food banks have received 2 ½ tons of fresh produce grown by prison inmates at 23 Illinois facilities this year.

Department of Corrections officials say the prison gardens started as a vocational opportunity for inmates to learn horticulture skills. Some have become large enough to feed inmates and prison staff as well as needy families nearby.

Corrections Director S.A. "Tony" Godinez (goh-DEE'-nez) says the gardens help the agency build a "culture of sustainability and generosity" and set an example for prisoners to follow upon release.

Produce includes potatoes, lettuce, radishes, green beans, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplant and watermelon.

Rachel Baker is manager of the Two Rivers Food Pantry in Pittsfield. She says the nearby prison work camp's garden has provided food not otherwise available to pantry clients.

Two Illinois Laws Aimed At Radon In Daycares, New Homes

Two new Illinois laws aimed at reducing health hazards from radioactive radon will take effect next year.

Starting in January, day-care homes and centers must be tested for radon every three years. And starting next June, new homes must be built with radon-resistant construction.

Radon is a colorless, odorless gas that has been linked to lung cancer. It's created when uranium deposits in the ground begin to break down, and can seep into houses and other structures.

The American Lung Association calls the new laws "landmark legislation," and says more than 35% of homes in the state have radon levels that are a concern.

Experts say it's easy to test for radon, and there are ways to limit its entry and draw it out of existing homes.

Tainted Cantaloupe Sickens 17 People

Illinois health officials say an outbreak of infection from the salmonella bacteria is linked to cantaloupes grown on a farm in southwestern Indiana.

The Department of Public Health announced Monday that the outbreak includes 17 cases in Illinois. Of those, eight people have been hospitalized. More than 140 people have been infected in 20 states.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck of the health department says consumers shouldn't eat cantaloupes grown in southwestern Indiana and should get medical help if they get sick after eating cantaloupe. Retailers and food service operators should not sell or serve cantaloupe from southwestern Indiana.

Symptoms of salmonella infection include diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. Most people recover without treatment. But the elderly, infants and people with compromised immune symptoms can get dangerously sick from the bacteria.

Dwight Inmates Want To Stay Put

 Prison workers and inmates at Tamms and Dwight are concerned that their facilities will be shut down.  Dan Dunlap with AFSCME Local 1133 says the women at Dwight want to stay put.

[audio:rddDwight1.mp3] [/audio]

Dunlap says despite the possibility of being transferred out, the atmosphere within Dwight is still fairly positive.  Governor Quinn wants to shut the facilities down and move inmates to other prisons across the state.  AFSCME has sued the state over the closures, claiming Quinn is moving too fast and that he hasn't considered the safety risks that come along with the closures.  The closures and transfers are on hold for now as the two sides try to work out a deal.

GOP Slams Madigan Over Campaign Contributions

The Illinois GOP is slamming House Speaker Michael Madigan for accepting a 97-thousand dollar contribution from the SEIU Union, which was reported the same day as the special session on pensions.  Republican leaders claim the cash is connected to the Democrats failure to reform the pension systems, but Political Scientist Kent Redfield says that assessment is too strong.

[audio:rddCampaign1.mp3] [/audio]

Republican leaders claim the cash is connected to the Democrats failure to reform the pension systems, but Political Scientist Kent Redfield says that's not necessarily true.

[audio:rddCampaign2.mp3] [/audio]

Redfield says the unions and other entities support politicians who have established positions.  He doesn't deny that money does influence elections and that the large contribution looks bad to voters.  Many people already believe the game is rigged and the large contribution certainly plays into that notion.  But, Redfield says groups are going to give money to leaders and incumbents whether Madigan is the Speaker or Cross is the Speaker.

Sen. Durbin Calls For Passage of Student Loan Bill

There are big differences between private student loans and federal student loans. U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is encouraging students to know the differences.

Durbin held a news conference Monday in Chicago to call for passage of the Know Before You Owe Act. He introduced the bill to help students understand the range of loan options before borrowing.

Durbin says most undergrads with private loans didn't know they were eligible for safer, cheaper federal loans.

Federal student loans have fixed interest rates. They offer a range of consumer protections and favorable terms, including deferment and forbearance in times of economic hardship. They offer manageable repayment options.

Private student loans often have uncapped variable interest rates, hefty origination fees and few, if any, consumer protections.

Ag Expert Offers Advice On Filing Crop Claim

University of Illinois Extension Educator Angie Peltier [[ Pel-teer ]] offers tips on filing a claim for damaged crops.

[audio:rddCropLoss1.mp3] [/audio]

Peltier says farmers should continue to care for their crop to mitigate any further damage.  And one of the most important aspects of the process is keeping your paperwork in order.  That's because producers will have to prove their actual production history and they can do this by accessing settlement sheets from the grain elevator.

Weekly Crop Report



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RCC Encourages Students To Apply For Scholarships

As area college students head back to their respective campuses for classes, one local school is encouraging students to apply for scholarships.

Richland Community College in Decatur is encouraging students to come and just fill out an application. Tricia Cordulack, Director of Scholarships and Alumni Relations at RCC says encourages students to just fill out a scholarship application. She says there are probably many scholarships students do not realize they could qualify for.

[audio:82112rccscholarships1.mp3] [/audio]

Scholarships can be awarded for students looking to study a certain major, or a student with a good Grade Point Average, or even where a student lives. Cordulack says it never hurts to come in and fill out an application and see what you could be eligible for.

[audio:82112rccscholarships2.mp3] [/audio]

Many of the scholarships would not be possible without the support of private, corporate or individual donations. Cordulack says the support of those in the community who realize what an asset RCC can be for young students is the reason they are able to offer opportunities through financial contributions.

[audio:82112rccscholarships3.mp3] [/audio]

To get more information on any of the scholarship opportunities offered by Richland Community College, you can contact Tricia Cordulack at 217-875-7211 ext 203.

City Puts Gambling Ordinances On File; City Residents Speak Out

An estimated crowd of 75 people filled the Clinton City Council Chambers Monday evening for what was characterized by many as "an all important issue".

Over an hour of public comments were submitted in favor of lifting a gambling ban, but mostly those who spoke, spoke out for keeping the ban in place. The Council has put a trio of ordinances on file for their next meeting in September. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains the decision requires multiple ordinances because of gaming devices that were for entertainment purposes only.

[audio:82112gamblingdebate1.mp3] [/audio]

One ordinance the Council must put on file would allow for the coin operated devices, but exempting the machines allowed by the state.

[audio:82112gamblingdebate2.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor explains another ordinance they will decide on is lifting the ban. However, the City has worded the ordinance to restrict restaurants from having these machines in their places of business. Mayor Peters notes, they have never been allowed to have these devices in their businesses.

[audio:82112gamblingdebate3.mp3] [/audio]

Another aspect to that same ordinance was, an establishment seeking to have these devices in their establishment, must have a liquor license, and must have that license for 12 months.

The final ordinance would address a current ordinance on gambling. The Mayor explains the current ban addresses gambling deemed legal by the state. Mayor Peters explains if the ban remains, the videogaming act would not be necessary, however, if it is lifted, the videogaming act would be enacted.

[audio:82112gamblingdebate4.mp3] [/audio]

Communities all over the state have decided, or will be deciding to opt out of a state law to enforce regulated video gambling machines in their communities. The communities have the option of opting out and imposing a gambling ban. The city of Clinton currently has a ban in place, however, it is believed illegal payouts of gambling machines has been taking place for several years in the city.

Over the coming days, Regional Radio News will bring you many of those comments both in favor of the leaving the ban in place, and those who spoke opposed to it.

Augusta Admits First Two Female Members

Augusta National Golf Club is finally opening its doors to women.  Chairman Billy Payne announced on Monday that former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and banker Darla Moore have been admitted to the club as its first two female members.  Rice is currently a professor in the Graduate Business School at her alma mater, Stanford.  Moore has donated millions of dollars to her alma mater and South Carolina has named its business school in her honor.  Augusta National faced protests in both 2003 and 2004 for its longtime exclusion of female members.

Lucas Throws No-Hitter At LLWS

A 12-year-old pitcher tossed a no-hitter at the Little League World Series Monday night.  Fairfield, Connecticut's Will Lucas struck out 13 in the team's 4-0 win over New Castle, Indiana.  Lucas fired the 35th six-inning no-no in LLWS history.  Lucas also smacked a two-run single in the victory.

NFL Notes

>>CVC Offers Amended Dome Proposal To Rams

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission is hoping a newly amended plan for the Edward Jones Dome will finally put an end to negotiations with the NFL's St. Louis Rams.  The team and CVC have been wrestling back and forth since February regarding a plan to bring the stadium to "first tier" status.  The CVS is calling this latest proposal a "dynamic building experience," featuring a glass exterior, outdoor terraces and thousands of new club seats.  Under lease terms, the Rams can leave the Dome after 2014 if the facility is not among the top tier of NFL facilities.

>>Top NFL Draft Pick's Stadium Sketch Sells For $1,500

(Undated)  --  A crude sketch drawn on an index card by an NFL rookie is now in the hands of a collector who paid 15-hundred dollars for it.  "NFL.com" reports Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck scribbled a crude, three-color rendering of Lucas Oil Stadium, the Indianapolis skyline, and the phrase "home of the Colts!"  A collectibles company sent Luck, who was the top pick in the NFL Draft, and other rookies blank index cards and asked them to draw whatever they liked.  The Luck sketch, which he noted on the back of the card is one of a kind, was sold on eBay.

>>Locker Named Titans Starter

(Nashville, TN)  --  Jake Locker will begin the season as the Tennessee Titans' number-one quarterback.  The Titans have named Locker their starter for the September 9th season opener against the New England Patriots.  The former University of Washington star beat out veteran Matt Hasselbeck for the job.  Locker was just 4-of-11 for 21 yards and an interception in Friday's preseason win over Tampa Bay, but has been the more impressive of the two during training camp.  Hasselbeck started all 16 games last season after signing a three-year, $20-million contract.

>>Tannehill Tabbed As 'Fins Starting QB

(Davie, FL)  --  The Miami Dolphins have named Ryan Tannehill as their starting quarterback.  Tannehill will start under center in the team's September 9th season-opener against the Houston Texans.  Tannehill beat out Matt Moore to get the starting nod.  The 'Fins used the number-eight overall selection in April's draft to grab Tannehill out of Texas A&M.

>>Eagles' Vick Injured Again

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick had to leave Monday night's preseason game against the New England Patriots due to injury.  Vick was drilled in the midsection by Patriots linebacker Jermaine Cunningham on Philadelphia's second offensive possession.  Vick exited the game and headed back to the locker room to have X-rays on his ribs.  The team announced during the game that the X-rays came back negative.  Vick missed three games due to broken ribs last season.  He also had to leave the team's first preseason game after injuring his throwing hand.  The Eagles went on to win the game, 27-17.

>>Coughlin Calls Ice Tub Dunking "Inappropriate"

(East Rutherford, NJ)  --  New York Giants head coach Tom Coughlin is calling for a stop to the kind of antics by his players that led to an online video going viral over the weekend.  Punter Steve Weatherford tweeted the video of defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul carrying cornerback Prince Amukamara on his shoulder and dumping him into an ice tub.  Pierre-Paul then used several expletives while high-fiving teammates.  Coughlin said Monday that he found both the language and activity, which could have led to injury, "inappropriate" and they "can't have any more of that."

Pujols Returns For Holliday Celebrity Golf Classic

Albert Pujols was back in the St. Louis area on Monday.  The former Cardinals slugger and three-time National League MVP took part in the Matt Holliday Celebrity Golf Classic in St. Albans.  The event helped raise money for the Pujols Family Foundation.

Sox Outslug Bombers; Brewers Slug Cubs; Cards Host Astros

>>White Sox Use Homers To Bounce Bombers

(Chicago, IL)  --  The White Sox used homers in three consecutive innings to defeat the Yankees, 9-6.  Gordon Beckham's solo shot tied things in the sixth, and Alexei Ramirez hit a two-run bomb in the seventh to give Chicago the lead.  Adam Dunn added his MLB-leading 36th round-tripper of the season in the eighth inning.  DeWayne Wise also hit a two-run shot for the Sox, who snapped a three-game slide.  Brett Myers picked up the win while Addison Reed locked up his 22nd save.  Derek Jeter went 4-for-5 with a solo homer for New York.  Jeter tied Hall of Famer Eddie Murray for 11th on the all-time hit list with the 3,255th of his career.  Boone Logan took the loss for the Yanks, who have lost three-of-five.

Tampa Bay Rays 5, Kansas City Royals 1
Texas Rangers 5, Baltimore Orioles 1
Minnesota Twins 7, Oakland Athletics 2
Seattle Mariners 5, Cleveland Indians 3

>>Brewers Cruise Past Cubs

(Milwaukee, WI)  --  Jonathan Lucroy and Carlos Gomez hit back-to-back homers during an eight-run fifth inning as the Brewers cruised past the Cubs, 9-5.  Lucroy homered twice and drove in four for the Brewers, who had lost their previous two.  Mark Rogers struck out seven over five innings of three-run ball to pick up his first career win.  Josh Vitters went deep and David DeJesus knocked in two for the Cubs, who have dropped four-of-five.  Justin Germano was rocked for seven runs in four-and-two-thirds as he fell to 2-and-3.

Washington Nationals 5, Atlanta Braves 4 (13 inn)
Philadelphia Phillies 12, Cincinnati Reds 5
Colorado Rockies 3, New York Mets 1
Miami Marlins 12, Arizona Diamondbacks 3
San Diego Padres 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 1
San Francisco Giants 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

>>Cardinals Host Astros

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals host the Astros tonight in the first of a three-game series at Busch Stadium.  The Cardinals have lost three-of-four and are third in the NL Central at 65-and-56.  Houston has the worst record in baseball at 39-and-83.  The Astros just fired manager Brad Mills on Saturday.

Clinton Athletic Boosters Begin Fall Apparel Sales

The Clinton Athletic Boosters will once again have a presence at high school football games and several other fall sports events this year.

Each year the Booster Club sets up at the football games and other fall sports events selling Clinton Maroon apparel. Vice President of the Booster Club, Mike Walker explains this year they've got a new variety of clothing, which is something they pride themselves on each and every year. This is a small fundraiser for the booster club.

[audio:82212boostersales1.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton Athletic Boosters aim to financially help the various high school and junior high school programs with things the budget doesn't allow them to afford. Walker says they try to help out the junior high school programs as much as the high school programs.

[audio:82212boostersales2.mp3] [/audio]

The Booster Club was also set up at registration days. Walker says being at registration days allows the Boosters to be present in front of almost every family that will go through the district. They were also out at "Meet The Maroons" this past Friday.

Illinois Hunters Hope Drought Won't Hurt Duck Season

Illinois waterfowl hunters are pleased at this year's proposed 60-day duck hunting season. But some are wondering if the drought will mean too little food to keep ducks in the Mississippi River basin long enough.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources has proposed 60 days for ducks and a 90-day season for Canada geese.

Hunter Jim Smithson says 60 days is perfect for ducks and that he'll focus on the early part of the season because of worries over the effects of the drought.

He says he's glad the season starts earlier enough to make it worthwhile.

Illinois' start dates for regular duck, Canada goose and snow goose seasons are staggered between Oct. 20 and Nov. 22 according to region.

Quinn Addresses Muslims; Signs Law To Aid Students

Gov. Pat Quinn is calling for respect and tolerance of religious differences as Muslims mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

Quinn spoke at a Muslim prayer service in Bridgeview on Sunday. He says he honors Muslims' commitment to their faith and will "vigorously protect" the right of Illinois' more than 400,000 Muslims to practice it.

He renounced recent incidences of violence and intimidation based on religion.

The governor also signed a new law to protect college students who miss a class or exam because they're observing a religious holiday. It takes effect Jan. 1.

Ramadan is considered the holiest month of the year in the Islamic faith, and Muslims fast each day from sunrise to sunset.

The month ends with a 3-day festival known as Eid (EED).

Smith: Expulsion Shows Who My Friends Are

Derrick Smith has mixed emotions about his expulsion from the Illinois House.

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Smith has no plans to quit campaigning, despite being expelled from the Illinois House.  

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Smith adds the expulsion vote came way too soon.

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Smith was kicked out of the House on Friday, several months after he was arrested for allegedly taking a seven-thousand-dollar bribe.  Smith has pled not guilty, but refused to speak during several state House hearings on the matter.  He believes state representatives should have waited for, quote, "the whole truth" before voting against him.  Smith could return to Springfield in January if he wins the November election.  He'd probably face expulsion again.

Fire Destroys Old Lipton Tea Building In Streator

Fire has destroyed the old four-story Lipton Tea building in Streator.

Firefighters were called to the scene late Saturday night and worked throughout the early morning on Sunday to extinguish the fire. Crews from Streator, Peru and Ottawa used aerial ladders to fight the fire, while tankers from as far away as Saunemin (SAW'-nuh-mihn) ferried water to the site.

Ottawa Captain Buck Manley says firefighters could be at the scene for days to make sure the fire is out.

The Lipton Tea building once was considered for the National Register of Historic Places. The company left Streator in 1964, and the warehouse most recently stored plumbing and heating equipment.

Fire officials did not say how the fire started, but say they'll hold a news conference Monday morning.

Quinn Disappointed By Inaction On Pension Crisis

Gov. Pat Quinn says he's very disappointed in Illinois legislators, particularly Republicans, for not taking action on the state's pension problem.

Illinois lawmakers adjourned a special session Friday without making any progress on the state's massive pension crisis.

Quinn says legislators need to show some "political fortitude."

The democratic governor says he isn't giving up on overhauling the pension system and its fast-growing costs.

He says he will build support with taxpayers and voters so they will put pressure on lawmakers to take action. Quinn wouldn't provide details of the grassroots campaign he promised to organize.

Pension legislation has been stalled since the end of May, when the General Assembly ended amid bitter accusations and a last-minute decision not to call the chief proposal for a vote.

No Success On Pension Reform Efforts

Lawmakers' plans to restructure the state's pension systems has fallen apart.  They were in Springfield today to hash out an agreement but left with no deal.  State representative Daniel Biss says their lack of progress makes them all look like idiots.  Representative Mike Bost seconded that notion.  He says they need to get off the political bandwagon and work on behalf of the people they represent.  The House did take a parliamentary vote on a proposed amendment that would change their own retirement benefits.  It would give them a choice between accepting a smaller growth in their pension checks or losing their free healthcare.  Future lawmakers would not get any state retirement benefits at all.  Supporters called the proposal the first step toward meaningful reform.  Opponents say that's a joke.

Urbana Hospital Proposes Emergency Room Project

A hospital in Urbana wants to expand its emergency department and has applied to state regulators for permission to build a one-story addition.

Carle Foundation Hospital's project would cost about $19 million. The nonprofit hospital proposes adding 14,000 square feet to the now 16,700-square-foot emergency department. The project would add 17 acute-care beds.

Dr. Michael Swindle is chairman of Carle's emergency department. Patients frequently must be put in beds in the hallways because of lack of room.

The Illinois Health Facilities and Services Review Board is accepting written comments on the proposal.

The board has the authority to approve or deny hospital building projects in Illinois.

ISU Student Shot At Apartment Building Near Campus

An Illinois State University student has been shot and injured at an apartment building near the campus.

The shooting took place around 3 a.m. Saturday.

Police in Normal say officers responded to reports of shots fired during a confrontation between people gathered at the apartment building

University President Al Bowman says in an email to ISU students, faculty and staff that the shooting victim is an ISU student and is being treated at a hospital.

He says the student's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening. The student was not identified.

Bowman says the campus is secure and that police do not think the suspect poses any "imminent threat to the campus community."

Illinois Boy Honored For Life Saving 911 Call

A 9-year-old central Illinois boy has been recognized as a local hero for a 911 call that saved the life of someone he loved.

Firefighters in Normal honored Ryan Rice Friday for the call that saved his dad, 48-year-old David Rice.

Ryan was 8 back in May when his father collapsed to the floor of their home. The boy called his mother, Cheryl Rice, who was out of town. She told him he needed to call 911. He was scared but she reminded him they'd practiced calling in emergencies.

When the ambulance arrived, paramedics found David Rice was having a stroke and took him to a local hospital.

David Rice says he's now recovered. He called his son his hero.

Homeless Man Fatally Beaten In Bloomington

Police in Bloomington are investigating the death of a homeless man who was found beaten to death by the railroad tracks.

McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling says preliminary autopsy results show that 48-year-old Robert Jeronimus died of multiple blunt force injuries. Toxicology tests are still pending.

Authorities say a public works employee found Jeronimus' body Thursday.

He's the second homeless man killed in Bloomington in the past three weeks. Authorities say a 45-year-old homeless man was struck and killed by a truck while sleeping near a gas station on July 29. That case also remains under investigation.

Red Cross Hosts First Ever Golf Outing

Last week the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross held their first ever golf outing.

There is a misconception that the Red Cross receives government funds to help them, however, Executive Director of the Mid-Illinois chapter, Carl Baker explains they do not. He explains the golf outing was a great success and all the money raised will go to help the victims of disasters around the area.

[audio:81612redcrossgolf1.mp3] [/audio]

The event also featured a great prize selection. Baker says they had a guaranteed prize of cruise tickets, sporting events of the winners choice, and a few raffle items. They also saw some great hole in one prizes, although no one was able to come away one.

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The first year event saw around 45 golfers take part. Baker says the event cost this year was $150, which covered golf, lunch, some giveaways, drinks, and dinner.

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Bakers says for a first year event, things ran rather smooth and he says all indications are the event should return for another go around next year.

Clinton BOE Finds Buyer For Old Jr. High School Property

The Clinton School District has found a buyer for the old Jr. High School property.

Less than 24 hours after rejecting bids from two bidders, the a buyer stepped forward meeting the price set by the Clinton School Board of Education. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains John Warner IV matched the $200-thousand threshold the board was seeking for the property.

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Dr. Holmes says this is a nice relief for the district because they were discussing the option of taking the property to a realtor to sell. He explains there are costs associated with a realtor that would have brought their asking price up.

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The $200-thousand will help offset the over $300-thousand cost to purchase the new elementary school property. Dr. Holmes notes it will go into the capital fund.

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The district had the old junior high school property for sale for about 30 days. Dr. Holmes says there are some very specific timelines the district had to meet to sell the property, and they worked with an attorney to make sure they met those guidelines.

City Addresses Water Bill Issue

At the Clinton City Council's most recent meeting, resident Bob Kreitler spoke before the Council about a missing ordinance that addressed an increase in the fines for late water utility payments.

The ordinance itself, has always been in effect and according City Administrator, Tim Followell, the reason it appears incorrect is because on the city's website, there was an error when the ordinance was put in. Followell explains because changing city code online is quite costly, the city tends to wait until they have enough changes to warrant the charge.

[audio:82012waterissue1.mp3] [/audio]

The delinquent fee recently was increased from $25 to $50. Followell explains the $25 fee was simply not getting peoples attention to pay the bill. Followell says they had hundreds of delinquent bills before the fee was increased, and obviously the increase is working because the number of late payments is beginning to decrease. Followell says there's an easy fix to avoiding the late charge: pay on time.

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Because of unpaid bills, the city has found themselves in a big hole. Followell says this boils down to finding a better method of getting the bills collected.

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Nothing about the issuance of bills or the dates bills are due by has changed. Followell says the only thing that has changed is the $50 delinquency charge.

Below is the letter issued by the city informing residents of the increase in fines:

To All City Water Customers

My name is John Wise and I’m the current City Commissioner of Public Property which includes the City of Clinton’s drinking water system. Over the past year we have experienced a year of ups and downs within the operation of the Water Department.

As you may have read in the local newspaper we are currently constructing a new water well which will take Clinton in to the future for years to come in regards to the availability of drinking water for this community’s residents. Since we just built the water treatment plant everything for the future of the water department to provide drinking water is in place for some time to come.

The item which has been difficult on the operation of the water plant has been the ever changing price for the chemicals to treat your drinking water. This is why we have been searching long and hard to find better alternatives for purchasing the needed materials to operate the plant. With this being the case we will be adding a slight increase to the water rate which will be reflected on your May bill. The increase will only amount to 3%, which is very minimal and just meets the needed expenses in operating the plant.

Another item which has occurred during the past year is the amount of uncollectable fees within the water billing department. This is covered within the City Code for the City of Clinton and we will be taking a very hard line in regards to the uncollectable amounts and residents involved within those amounts. With the amounts growing it just makes the burden more on those customers who pay their bill in the fashion required during the billing cycle allowed by the City Code. Below you will find that section of the code and how it reads;


The owner of any lot, parcel of land or premises using or receiving waterworks services of the city, the occupant of such premises and the user of the services shall be jointly and severally liable for the payment of charges for such use and services to such lot, parcel of land or premises, and all services are rendered to the premises by the said city only on the condition that such owner, occupant and user shall be jointly and severally liable therefor to the city. (Ord. 516, 4-15-1991)


If any bills for the waterworks service shall remain unpaid after thirty (30) days following the rendition of the bill therefor, the water supply for the lot, parcel of land or premises affected shall be cut off and shall not be turned on again except on payment in full of the delinquent charges therefor, in addition to the payment of a charge of the current turn on fee will apply.


As you can see in the two sections above, the owner, occupant and/or user are responsible for any unpaid water account and with the growing uncollectables we have no alternative but to start practicing the collection process according to the language given and governing us in the City Codes. This means we will start shutting off any delinquent accounts following the thirty (30) days of any account remaining unpaid. There will be NO MORE setting up payments for anyone on an unpaid balance. Also, in regards to the TURN ON FEE it will be increased to $50 from its current amount.

With the City Code language and the laws and rules which govern how municipalities must run we will be starting this practice for the billing period starting May 1, 2012. This gives any of our water customers who had been previously set up on a payment plan the time to get caught up before the May 1, 2012 start.

Again, the raises to the water rate fee is minimal and should not create a large difference to any one individual, we don’t enjoy having to raise rates any more than anybody else but cost do change and you have an obligation to keep a quality product available at all times for our community.

If you have any questions of me on this call the water department at City Hall (217) 935-3432 or email me at jwise@clintonillinois.com. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and I’m always open to suggestions.


John Wise

Commissioner of Public Property

Swimmer Michael Phelps Could Suffer Consequences For Photos

Champion swimmer Michael Phelps could be in trouble over some advertising  photos.  Shots of the Olympic champion promoting goods from luxury retailer Louis Vuitton were spotted on the Internet during the London games.  That could violate an International Olympic Committee rule that prohibits competitors from promoting any non-Olympic sponsors during the Games.  Penalties for the violation could be stiff.  An IOC rule says breaking the ban on promotion could lead to being stripped of medals.  The ad campaign was supposed to begin on August 16th, but an unknown person released the photos during the Olympics.

Biffle Takes Advantage, Wins At Michigan

Greg Biffle capitalized on Jimmie Johnson's misfourtune on Sunday to win the Michigan 400 at Michigan International Speedway.  Johnson held the lead with less than 10 laps to go but blew his engine and finished 27th.  Biffle passed second-place runner Brad Keselowski for position just prior to Johnson's mishap.  Johnson's engine troubles led to a caution and setup a green-white-checkered finish.  Biffle held off Keselowski for his third win at MIS.  Kasey Kahne finished third followed by his Hendrick Motorsports teammate, Dale Earnhardt Jr., who won at Michigan earlier this year.  Marcos Ambrose, who won last weekend's road-course race at Watkins Glen completed the top-five.

NFL Preseason Notes

>>Bears Hold Off Redskins

(Chicago, IL)  --  Robbie Gould kicked the game-winning field goal from 57 yards out with 36 seconds left as the Chicago Bears edged the Washington Redskins, 33-31, in preseason action on Saturday at Solider Field.  Jay Cutler threw for 122 yards on 7-of-13 passing and backup signal-caller Jason Campbell tallied 141 yards on 9-of-15 passing.  Matt Forte picked up 16 yards on the ground on four carries and Michael Bush ran for 21 yards and two touchdowns on five carries.  Brandon Marshall hauled in two passes for 61 yards and Devin Hester snagged two balls for 22 yards.  Rookie receiver Alshon Jeffery caught three passes for 62 yards in the victory.  Chicago continues its exhibition slate on Friday evening at the New York Giants.

>>Colts Clipped By Steelers

(Pittsburgh, PA)  --  Danny Hrapmann hit a 22 yard field goal with 23 seconds left in the fourth to give the Steelers a 26-24 win over the Colts.  Andrew Luck tossed for 175 yards and an interception.  He also ran in a score from a yard out.  Drew Stanton connected with Griff Whalen to give the Colts a 24-17 lead midway through the third quarter.  Indianapolis continues its exhibition slate on Saturday at the Washington Redskins.

Giants' Cabrera Created Website For Phony Product

San Francisco Giants outfielder Melky Cabrera created a phony website and a fake product in an attempt to dodge the ban by proving he inadvertently ingested a banned substance.  The New York Daily News reported Sunday that Cabrera's ruse quickly came apart during the information-gathering phase of his doping case last month and has made the former MVP candidate a further target of Major League Baseball and federal investigators.  Cabrera tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.  An associate of Cabrera's is alleged to have paid $10-thousand for the fake website.  Cabrera was batting .346 with 11 homers and 60 RBI before his 50-game ban.

All Locals Lose; Cards In 19-Innings

>>Reds Clip Cubs

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  Ryan Hanigan's walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning lifted the Reds to a 5-4 win over the Cubs.  Hanigan also had a sac-fly as part of a three-run fourth frame for Cincinnati, which took three-of-four at the Great American Ball Park.  Mat Latos gave up four runs, two earned, in eight inning of action but did not factor in the decision.  Aroldis Chapman was credited with the win.  Alfonso Soriano plated a pair and Starlin Castro and David DeJesus also knocked in a run for Chicago.  Shawn Camp was saddled with the loss.

>>Pirates Beat Cardinals In 19-Inning Marathon

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Pedro Alvarez hit a go-ahead solo homer in the top of the 19th inning as the Pirates downed the Cardinals, 6-3, in the rubber match of a three-game series.  Andrew McCutchen added a two-run single in the 19th for the Pirates, who are two games ahead of the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card spot.  Wandy Rodriguez tossed two scoreless innings to improve to 8-and-12.  Carlos Beltran plated a pair of runs for the Cardinals.  Barret Browning was charged with the loss.

Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Atlanta Braves 0
Washington Nationals 5, New York Mets 2
Arizona Diamondbacks 8, Houston Astros 1
Philadelphia Phillies 8, Milwaukee Brewers 0
Colorado Rockies 3, Miami Marlins 2
San Diego Padres 7, San Francisco Giants 1

>>Guthrie Flirts With No-No; Royals Top White Sox

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Jeremy Guthrie took a no-hitter into the seventh inning and Salvador Perez' RBI single sparked a three-run eighth inning as the Royals topped the White Sox, 5-2.  Guthrie, who gave up his first hit with two outs in the seventh on a controversial infield single by Paul Konerko, gave up two unearned runs in seven-and-a-third innings of duty but did not factor in the decision.  Greg Holland was credited with the win.  Perez also had an RBI double for Kansas City, which swept the three-game set at Kauffman Stadium.  Both of Chicago's runs scored on an eighth inning error.  Jesse Crain was saddled with the loss.

Baltimore Orioles 7, Detroit Tigers 5
Texas Rangers 11, Toronto Blue Jays 2
Tampa Bay Rays 8, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 3
Oakland Athletics 7, Cleveland Indians 0
Seattle Mariners 5, Minnesota Twins 1
New York Yankees 4, Boston Red Sox 1

Clinton Police Report for 8-16

On 08/15/12 at 4:23pm, Clinton Police arrested Ashley L. Spriggs, 31, of Clinton on a DeWitt County warrant for harassment of a witness. She was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.







Clinton Police Report for 8-15

On 08/15/12 at 12:23am, Clinton Police arrested Anthony M. LaGiglia, 20, of Frankfort, IL for driving while driver’s license was suspended and a given a citation for speeding 70 in a 55 mph zone. He was transported to DeWitt County Jail and released to the correctional staff.







DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report


August 18, 2012


Jail Population: 83

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


August 19, 2012


Jail Population: 83

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


August 20, 2012


Jail Population: 81

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


Kimberly Hettinger, 51, Decatur, was issued a citation for Failure To Reduce Speed/Accident. Hettinger posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Gabriel Dusch, 28, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Dusch posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Caleb Geuns, 31, Le Roy, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 65 mph zone). Geuns posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released


Gary Conn, 57, Clinton, was issued a citation for Failure To Signal When Required. Conn posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Vance Bates, 52, Cordova, TN, was issued a citation for Speeding (60 mph in a 45 mph zone). Bates promised to comply and was released.


Joann Loveless-Meier, 56, Rantoul, was issued a citation for Fail To Stop-Const. Flagger. Loveless-Meier was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, revealed that a vehicle was traveling northbound in the left lane of traffic on US 51. Alice Horner, 37, Wapella, was traveling northbound in the right lane of traffic on US 51. The northbound vehicle abruptly overtook the right lane without signaling. The vehicle barely hit the drivers side of Horner’s vehicle and the Horner swerved into the ditch to avoid any further collision. Horner stated the other vehicle left the scene without stopping to exchange information with her. Horner continued driving to Wapella and reported the accident later that afternoon. No injuries were reported.




New CHS Principal Eager For New School Year To Begin

New Clinton High School Principle, Dr. Candice Swift is eager for classes to begin this week.

Dr. Swift comes to the Clinton district from the Canton area. Dr. Swift says she has been approached a lot in the beginning stages of her tenure already about potential changes she will be implementing. Dr. Swift explains she is just in the learning stages and receiving feedback from faculty, students and parents.

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Dr. Swift has been approached about major changes she has already made, which she says, is not the case. However, she does have a few new things in the works for students to take advantage of. One of those is related to developing school pride amongst the students. She explains, starting this Friday night at the opening football game, students can reserve themselves a seat in the North end of the football, along with a few other perks.

[audio:82112chschanges2.mp3] [/audio]

There is a new policy through the IHSA this year which requires students to pass more classes to be eligible for sports than in previous years. Dr. Swift is fully behind this and she says, it is great to be behind the sports and various activities within the schools, but the primary focus must be on academics.

[audio:82112chschanges3.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton High School students start classes Tuesday and the first football game is the Friday.

Illinois Sees 3rd Case Of New Strain Of Swine Flu

A 5-year-old girl has contracted a new strain of swine flu, becoming the third Illinois case of the illness.

The Logan County girl came into direct contact with hogs at the Logan County Fair and the Illinois State Fair. She developed flu symptoms on Monday.

Logan County health officials say the girl was not hospitalized and is recovering at home.

The Illinois Department of Health has confirmed two other cases of the new flu strain, also called H3N2v influenza. Those cases also involved children who attended agricultural fairs in central Illinois.

The health department and state agriculture department have added hand-washing stations on the state fairgrounds where the Illinois State Fair closes this weekend.

Federal health officials are reporting approximately 225 cases of swine flu in nine states.

Registration Opens For Prairie Pedal Bike Ride

Registration is now open for Macon County Conservation Foundation’s Prairie Pedal bike ride. The September 30th event raises funds to support conservation projects that preserve natural areas in Macon County. 

The event is designed for all levels of cyclists.  Participants can choose from 20, 40 or 62-mile routes through the Macon County countryside.  Routes include rest stops with refreshments. SAG vehicles will support riders along the routes. Bikers will receive a t-shirt designed by Millikin University art students and will enjoy a homemade chili lunch and raffle at the end of the ride. 

Since its start in 2008, Prairie Pedal bike ride has raised funds for 12 conservation projects in the Macon County area. Three of those projects: Friends Creek Savanna Restoration, Rock Springs Habitat Restoration, and Sand Creek Prairie Restoration were undertaken within the last year. The Friends Creek Savanna Restoration Project involved more than 6 acres of prescribed burning and invasive species control. At Rock Springs, native savanna grasses and wildflowers were replanted on a 5.3 acre area. Wildflowers were seeded into the Big Bluestem and Indian Grass Prairie at Sand Creek Conservation Area.  

Registration forms are available at Rock Springs Nature Center and Spin City Cycles. Regular registration is $30. Riders who sign up before September 12th receive a $5 discount. 

For more information call 217-423-7708 or visit www.maconcountyconservationfoundation.org.

Back To School Anxiety Normal

Going back to the classroom can be stressful for children and parents each school year.

When children are experiencing new situations, such as beginning school for the first time or entering a new school, it’s normal for them to experience anxiety. Dr. Glen Aylward, clinical psychologist at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says children often have difficulty with the shift in routine.

[audio:siuschool1.mp3] [/audio]

To help children adjust to the changes, Aylward advises parents to increase the child’s familiarity with the new situation prior to school starting. He suggests taking them to see the new school and meet the teacher, if possible. He offers several other suggestions:

[audio:siuschool2.mp3] [/audio]

If the child’s anxiety continues and causes a major negative impact on family interactions, parents should consult a school counselor, psychologist or their family physician. The child may be referred to a mental health professional.

Weekly Weather Summary

The area got some much needed relief from the heat and drought. Temperatures were much cooler this week and a good amount of rain fell throughout the area. State Climotologist Jim Angel says we should see cool, dry conditions through the weekend and into early next week.

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

Detroit Tigers 5, Baltimore Orioles 3
New York Yankees 6, Boston Red Sox 4
Toronto Blue Jays 3, Texas Rangers 2
Kansas City Royals 4, Chicago White Sox 2
Oakland Athletics 6, Cleveland Indians 4
Tampa Bay Rays 12, LA Angels of Anaheim 3
Seattle Mariners 5, Minnesota Twins 3

NFL Preseason
Tennessee Titans 30, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 7
Minnesota Vikings 36, Buffalo Bills 14
Jacksonville Jaguars 27, New Orleans Saints 24
Carolina Panthers 23, Miami Dolphins 17
Detroit Lions 27, Baltimore Ravens 12
Arizona Cardinals 31, Oakland Raiders 27

Minnesota Lynx 98, Washington Mystics 69
San Antonio Silver Stars 89, Tulsa Shock 79
Atlanta Dream 82, Chicago Sky 76

Reds Club Cubs

 Jay Bruce and Ryan Ludwick each hit a solo homer to help the Reds roll the Cubs, 7-3.  Todd Frazier added a two-run shot for Cincinnati, which has won six-of-seven.  Bronson Arroyo gave up three runs in six-and-a-third frames for the win.  Luis Valbuena was 3-for-4 with a solo bomb for Chicago, which has lost five-of-seven.  Travis Wood allowed seven total runs in five innings for the loss.


Pirates Shut Down Cards

James McDonald dealt six shutout innings to lead the Pirates to a 2-1 win over the Cardinals.  McDonald improved to 11-and-5 on the season.  Pittsburgh scored both its runs in the fourth inning on a passed ball and a wild pitch.  Joel Hanrahan locked down his 34th save in the Pirates' second straight win.  Tony Cruz plated the only run for the Cards on a ground out.  Jake Westbrook was tagged with the loss as St. Louis has dropped two-in-a-row. 

Royals Double White Sox

Billy Butler and Lorenzo Cain each had a solo home run to pace the Royals to a 4-2 win over the White Sox.  Luis Mendoza gave up two runs in seven frames for the win.  Greg Holland picked up his fifth save for Kansas City, which has won three-of-four.  Salvador Perez added two RBI in the win.  Paul Konerko hit a solo shot for Chicago, which saw a three-game win streak snapped.  Chris Sale allowed four runs in six-and-two-thirds innings for the loss.

IDNR Honors Volunteers At State Fair

More than a dozen people from across the state who have volunteered with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are to be honored at the Illinois State Fair.

The department says its "Outstanding Volunteers of the Year" ceremony is Saturday at the fair in Springfield. IDNR Director Marc Miller says volunteers help children learn about wildlife, help biologists and provide other valuable services.

Glen McNelly and Jared McNelly of Grafton are among the honorees. The McNellys helped restore the entrance sign at Pere Marquette State Park. Another volunteer is Lori Spear of Springfield, who regularly works in the Illinois State Museum's children's area.

Volunteers at Illinois Beach State Park will be honored for helping in June 2011 when a severe storm uprooted and knocked over trees throughout the Zion park.

Illinois Boy Honored For Life-Saving 911 Call

A 9-year-old central Illinois boy has been recognized as a local hero for a 911 call that saved the life of someone he loved.

Firefighters in Normal honored Ryan Rice Friday for the call that saved his dad, 48-year-old David Rice.

Ryan was 8 back in May when his father collapsed to the floor of their home. The boy called his mother, Cheryl Rice, who was out of town. She told him he needed to call 911. He was scared but she reminded him they'd practiced calling in emergencies.

When the ambulance arrived, paramedics found David Rice was having a stroke and took him to a local hospital.

David Rice says he's now recovered. He called his son his hero.

Court Sides With Farmer In Fight With Neighbors

A central Illinois farmer has been awarded more than $24,000 in damages after his neighbors tried unsuccessfully to stop construction of his large hog facility.

An Illinois appeals court awarded the damages to Robert Young of Rochester, increasing the $500 initially awarded by a circuit court in 2010.

The farmer first sought $297,000 for lost income, legal fees, delays and other costs. He runs a 3,600-hog facility for 1 of the nation's largest pork processers.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield reports (http://bit.ly/Pkj73g ) that the 4th District Appellate Court returned the case to Sangamon County Circuit Court for the new award.

Neighbors in 2007 organized the Rochester Buckhart Action Group and filed a lawsuit. They claimed Young's hog facility would threaten health and the environment and would lower their property values.

Fundraising Opportunity For Area Non-Profit Groups

The Decatur Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau is in search of local non-profit school, church or other charity organizations to be part of the Bassmaster Elite Series 2012 Toyota Trucks All-Star Week. By providing a volunteer workforce to man parking lots, September 20-23, the Bureau will make a donation to each participating group. For more information, or to sign up, contact Bryce Swanson at 217-423-7000, or email bryce@decaturcvb.com.

GOP Congressional Candidate Says They'll Pick Up Seats

GOP Congressional candidate Rodney Davis says he thinks the Democrat drawn redistricting maps could very well backfire on them.  

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Legislative lines are redrawn every ten years after a census is taken.  Illinois Democrats were responsible for redrawing the districts this time around and many Republicans say the maps were grossly gerrymandered.  They pitted several Republican incumbents against each other in the primary.  Several groups challenged the maps, calling them unconstitutional but the courts refused to hear the cases.  Davis is running in the 13th Congressional District.

Elgin, Normal Fire Agencies Get Federal Grants

The federal government is presenting emergency responder grants to fire departments in Elgin and Normal.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will give Elgin firefighters more than $17,000 for fire-prevention programs. Nearly $10,000 goes to Normal.

The announcement was made Thursday by U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois.

The money comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "Assistance to Firefighters" grant fund. It's a competitive program that aims to increase the nation's preparedness for fire and related hazards.

In the last round, Illinois got 132 grants totaling nearly $15 million.

Pension Deal Not Likely

Lawmakers are back in Springfield today to tackle pensions, but it doesn't look like they're going to get anything accomplished.  The legislative leaders haven't reached a deal yet and House Minority Leader Tom Cross says he won't support a plan that takes advantage of downstate families.

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Cross says the cost-shift proposal will force property tax hikes on both downstate and suburban homeowners.  He says he and his Republican colleagues will not support any plan that raises taxes.  Lawmakers will consider several new pension bills in a special session today.

ADM Funds Grant On Post Harvest Food Loss

Researchers from the University of Illinois and three universities in Brazil are teaming up to study ways to reduce the amount of food lost after harvesting.

The Archer Daniels Midland Institute for the Prevention of Postharvest Loss is funding the collaboration.

Experts say significant amounts of food are lost every year to post-harvest waste. They say studies show this food could meet minimum food requirements for millions of people.

The three-part study will first determine the extent of harvest losses in major soybean- and corn-producing states. The second phase will study transportation and storage losses to develop guidelines that will minimize waste.

Finally, the examination will test and analyze costs for putting effective storage methods in place on farms.

Drought Slows Economy In Midwest, Western States

An economic index for 10 Midwest and Western states has dropped again, and an economist says the drought is "dampening economic activity across the region."

The Rural Mainstreet Index dropped further into negative territory this month, hitting 47.1, compared with 47.9 in July and 56.7 in June.

The index is compiled after a survey of rural bankers in the states of Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. It focuses on communities with 1,300 residents, on average.

Survey organizers say any score below 50 on the index, which ranges from 1 to 100, suggests economic contraction in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the drought "is dampening economic activity across the region" and that companies with farm ties are experiencing problems.

US Forecasters Shows Drought Leveling Off In Midwest

Federal weather forecasters say the drought appears to be leveling off, although it is likely to continue at least through November.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Climate Prediction Center Forecasters previously had predicted the drought would linger through October. But the center said Thursday it appears the drought isn't getting worse.

Some areas in hard-hit farming states have seen rain in recent weeks.

And meteorologists say they expect conditions to improve in the Southwest and in a band sweeping from South Dakota through a section of Iowa and east to southern Indiana, as well as south to Texas.

Still, the fact that things aren't expected to get worse may be of little solace to Midwest farmers whose crops have already been damaged.

Illinois Unemployment Rate Up Again In July

Illinois' unemployment rate increased again in July with the loss of thousands of government and hospitality jobs.

The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Thursday that the July unemployment rate hit 8.9%. That's up from 8.7% in June and was the second straight increase after nine months of steady decreases.

Department Director Jay Rowell says the increase was expected since national unemployment continues to rise. Rowell adds that declines in government employment are likely to continue.

The federal government last week said the U.S. unemployment rate increased a tenth of a percentage point to 8.3%.

Governments shed 7,900 jobs in July in Illinois, and leisure and hospitality employers cut 4,300 jobs. Manufacturers continued to add jobs and increased their employment by 1,700 positions.

Decreasing Water Levels At Area Lakes Could Cause Boaters Troubles

As boaters head out to the lake, for many the coming weeks will be their final trips.

The Department of Natural Resources wants to remind boaters of some things to be aware as the boating season begins to wind down. Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus explains, because of the drought, the water levels on lakes across the state are lower than he's seen in some time. With that in mind, he encourages boaters be more cautious as they take to the waters.

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For those boaters who enjoy jet skis, Wichus notes to be very mindful of the water levels as a normal accident can turn ugly very quickly. He adds to assume the lake is a couple feet lower than you are accustom to it being.

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Wichus notes a lot of boats are getting damage to their undercarriages and he says there's been only a few accidents on the waters this summer, some due to the low water levels, and some to lack of boater awareness. He says because the levels are so low, their may be hazards that veterans of a certain area didn't know existed.

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In the parks, a burn ban is on because of the dryness, but on the waters Wichus says it is not bad enough yet to warrant enforcing anything, but he implores boaters to slow down and be more cautious as they spend what will likely be the last few weeks on the waters.

DeWitt County Friendship Center Awarded $5000 In Local Contest

The DeWitt County Friendship Center was a finalist in the RK Dixon "Make My Non-Profit Work" contest.




The Friendship Center learned they were a final four finalist before learning Thursday afternoon they received a $5-thousand prize. Executive Director of the DeWitt County Friendship Center, Sissy Leggett said before learning their fate, just to be a finalist was terrific, and any one of the final prizes would be great for the center.

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Leggett has a lot of ideas for the Friendship Center. She has ideas of getting a couple of computers for seniors to learn to use or to purchase a new printer or fax machine. She says any of the ideas they can implement is going to help the center a lot.

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For the announcement Thursday afternoon, the Friendship Center was packed full of around 100 people. Leggett says she tried to get the word out as best she could and felt the turn out reflected the support the Friendship Center has and received through the whole process.

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The Friendship Center went through several stages of voting, gathering community support before the announcement of being a final four finalist.

Former Clinton High School Football Star Passes Away

The Clinton Community recently lost a great athlete and by all accounts, and even better person.

 width=Ontario Sneed past away Tuesday afternoon at the Dr. John Warner Hospital. Sneed was a standout football player at Clinton High School and went on and had a tremendous college career at Central Michigan. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes recalls being in the beginning stages of his tenure in the district but Ontario was a not only a stand out athlete, but a person who was very like-able and a great student in the school.

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Athletic Director of Clinton High School, Karl Parrish, like Dr. Holmes remembers Ontario as a person the students enjoyed having around, and says the faculty of the school found him very like-able as well. One thing Parrish noticed about him was the way he approached his athletics. He says Ontario took football and all the sports he participated in very seriously.

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Parrish says he knew Ontario possessed great speed, but being able to coach him in track, it quickly became apparent that he had the ability to take his skill to the next level in division one college football.

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At Clinton High School, Ontario rushed for a total of 3408 yards, a total of 49 touchdowns, and a career total of 4587 total yards. He was recruited by current Notre Dame football coach, Brian Kelly, who left halfway through Sneed's Central Michigan career for Cincinnati. At Central Michigan, as a freshman, Ontario ran for over 1000 yards (1065) and eight touchdowns, along with over 400 receiving yards (433) and three touchdowns. While he never matched the yardage total, but his senior year he again rushed for eight touchdowns, and his sophomore year he caught seven touchdown passes. His longest run came as a sophomore, where he scampered 96 long yards for a score in the MAC championship game at Ford Field in Detroit. Sneed was named a second team Freshman All-American.

Ontario is 9th on the all-time Central Michigan rushing list, he's also 8th in all time rushing touchdowns, and is 6th in passes caught. Current Pittsburgh Steelers wideout, Antonio Brown, is number one. Ontario is also fourth in Central Michigan history in total touchdowns.

Services for Sneed will be at 11 AM Monday at the Calvert Funeral Home in Clinton with Franklin R. Dotson officiating. The visitation is Sunday from 2-4 pm at Calvert Funeral Home. Memorials can be made to the Ontario D. Sneed Memorial Fund. Ontario's father is Michael Sneed, and his mother is Sherry Mooney. Ontario has four brothers, Lantavius, Kieron and Kadarius Sneed, and Oscar Garcia, all of Clinton.

Ontario was 25 years old.

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series At Michigan

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series returns to Michigan International Speedway for the second time in two months this weekend for Sunday's Pure Michigan 400.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended his four-year, 143-race winless streak when the series ran at this two-mile racetrack for the first time this season during the third weekend of June.  Kyle Busch won at Michigan one year ago.  Last weekend at Watkins Glen, Marcos Ambrose took the checkered flag.  Jimmie Johnson holds a one-point lead over Greg Biffle and a two-point advantage over Matt Kenseth atop the Cup Standings.  Dale Jr. and Brad Keselowski round out the top-five.

College Football Notes

>>Fighting Irish To Wear Special Uniforms Against Miami

(South Bend, IN)  --  The Notre Dame football team is set to unveil a different look for its October 6th game against the University of Miami.  The Fighting Irish will wear special Adidas-designed uniforms for their "Shamrock Series" game against the Hurricanes at Chicago's Soldier Field.  The helmets will be half gold and half blue, with a white leprechaun logo on the blue side.  Players will also wear gold pants with large blue stripes on the left leg and the mascot emblem on the hip.  Notre Dame traditionally wears solid blue jerseys with gold pants and gold helmets, and no emblem.

>>FCS Expands Playoffs

(Indianapolis, IN)  --  The NCAA is expanding the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs from 20 to 24 teams beginning in 2013.  The non-scholarship Pioneer Football League will become the 11th conference to earn an automatic qualifier for its champion.  The other three new spots will go to at-large bids, bringing that number to 13.  Under the new format, eight teams will be seeded, earn first-round byes and host second-round games against first-round winners.  The FCS playoffs previously expanded from 16 to 20 teams for the 2010 season.

Sox Crush Jays; D'Backs Rally Against Cards

>>White Sox Use Homers To Crush Blue Jays

(Toronto, Ontario)  --  The White Sox bashed five home runs to pound the Blue Jays, 7-2.  Alex Rios belted a three-run shot while Dewayne Wise, Dayan Viciedo, Tyler Flowers and Alexei Ramirez each popped a solo shot for Chicago.  Francisco Liriano went six-and-a-third innings and allowed two runs to pick up the win for the White Sox.  Chicago has won three straight.  Aaron Laffey allowed three runs in six frames to suffer the loss for Toronto.  Moises Sierra's two-run homer accounted for all the offense the Blue Jays could muster.  Toronto has lost three straight and eight of its last 10 games.

Texas Rangers 10, New York Yankees 6
Boston Red Sox 6, Baltimore Orioles 3
Oakland Athletics 3, Kansas City Royals 0
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 0

>>D'backs Rally Against Cards

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Young hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the ninth inning and the Diamondbacks held off the Cardinals, 2-1.  David Hernandez earned the win in relief.  J.J. Putz recorded his 23rd save for Arizona, which avoided the three-game sweep.  Jason Motte gave up both homers for the loss.  Allen Craig knocked in the lone run for St. Louis.  The game began after an hour and a half rain delay.

Pittsburgh Pirates 10, Los Angeles Dodgers 6
New York Mets 8, Cincinnati Reds 4
Atlanta Braves 6, San Diego Padres 0
Milwaukee Brewers 7, Philadelphia Phillies 4
Colorado Rockies 5, Miami Marlins 3

>>Cubs In Cincinnati

(Cincinnati, OH)  --  The Chicago Cubs kick off a four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds this evening at the Great American Ball Park.  Travis Wood will toe the rubber opposite Bronson Arroyo in the opener.  The Northsiders took two-of-three from Houston in their last series to improve to 46-and-70 on the season.

Clinton United Methodist Church To Host Free Concert

The Clinton United Methodist Church is hosting a free concert Sunday and Monday night.

The Clinton United Methodist Church will be hosting "The Lads", a family oriented group based out of Nashville. "The Lads" first began as an outreach to teens in New Zealand and Australia. For five years they toured high schools and youth events in small towns and big cities playing music. In 2005 we relocated to Nashville. Soon after their relocation, they changed the focus of their ministry towards kids and their families.

"The Lads" play at family events for churches, summer camps,  vacation Bible schools and Sunday services. While they only spend a short time inputing into the lives of the kids their aim is to serve local churches.

"The Lads" will be performing at the Clinton United Methodist Church this Sunday and Monday at 7 pm in their Great Hall. For more information you can contact the church at 935-5869.

Area Fire Bans Lifted

Several areas have lifted the burn bans that have been in place for many weeks.

The Clinton Fire Department and Clinton Fire Protection District have lifted the burn ban effective August 17, 2012. They ask all to be cautious of fires and at any time a ground fire is lit a extinguishing device be present to contain out of control fires. Condition of ground fuels will be monitored.

The burn ban for the Waynesville Fire Protection District has been lifted effective August 17th due to the recent rain fall.

By order of the Fire Chief from Farmer City Fire Protection District, the burn ban is lifted immediately.  This order is only for the Farmer City Fire Protection District and does not include the City of Farmer City.

Quinn Calls Walsh Worst Congressman In Nation

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn calls outspoken Rep. Joe Walsh "the worst congressman in America."

The Democratic governor didn't mention Walsh by name Wednesday, but he was talking about congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth's opponent. She's running against Walsh, a Republican from McHenry.

Quinn didn't explain his assessment, but Walsh has been criticized for a series of comments. They include saying Duckworth talks too much about the injuries she suffered while serving in the military.

In response, Walsh's campaign says Quinn is the nation's worst governor and should focus on the state's budget problems.

The governor also goofed during his speech when he said "Obama" is dead. After a few seconds of confusion from the audience, Quinn corrected himself to say that Osama bin Laden is dead.

Union Greets Quinn With Boos

Angry union members showed up strong at the state fair today, booing Governor Quinn as he addressed the crowd for Democrat Day.  Steve Nordyke with AFSCME Local 26-hundred says he thinks Quinn got the message.  

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Nordyke with AFSCME Local 26-hundred says despite all the boos and chants, union members have nothing against Democrats.

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Union members are disappointed in Quinn because he didn't honor their contracted pay raises last year.  In fact they say the governor himself should take a pay cut in order to help rein in the state's finances.  They also want him to reconsider a plan to close prisons and work with them on crafting what they call, "a fair" pension overhaul.  Quinn isn't the only one who wasn't well received.  The crowd booed at every mention of House Speaker Michael Madigan's name.

Central Illinois Airports Eye Washington Service

Two airports are trying separately to attract air service from central Illinois to Washington, D.C., and they're using federal money to help.

The University of Illinois' Willard Airport in Savoy and Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington hope to add service to the nation's capital. The U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $500,000 to each airport on Tuesday.

Willard Airport official Bruce Walden says Washington service is the top request the airport gets from the university. He says the preference would be Washington Dulles International Airport because a quarter of the people who use Willard are international travelers.

Willard considers United or United Express its most likely carriers.

Bloomington's airport could also use the money to try to set up service to New York.

Man Charged In Family's Deaths Claims Self-Defense

1 of the two men charged with murder in the 2009 deaths of a central Illinois family now claims he killed 1 of the victims in self-defense.

Lawyers for Chris Harris of Armington filed documents Wednesday in Logan County Circuit Court claiming Harris was justified in using force against 14-year-old Dillen Constant. Harris attorney Daniel Fultz declined to comment on the reasons behind the claim.

Constant and 2 of his siblings were found bludgeoned to death in their home in Beason along with their parents, Rick and Ruth Gee. Beason is about 35 miles northeast of Springfield.

Harris and his brother, Jason Harris, are both charged with murder in the killings.

Chris Harris is a former in-law of the Gees.

USDA Announces Entire State Eligible For Drought Relief

The entire state of Illinois is now eligible for drought relief following the announcement of federal disaster designation for 14 more counties.

The announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture drew praise from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who says the designation will help farmers and communities hurt by the drought.

Durbin, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and other Illinois members of Congress had asked that the whole state be eligible for emergency assistance.

The following counties received USDA primary disaster designation Wednesday: Bureau, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Henry, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Mercer, Putnam, Stark and Will.

Other Illinois counties received USDA contiguous county designation: Boone, Ford, Fulton, Henderson, Iroquois, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, McHenry, Marshall, Ogle, Peoria, Rock Island, Warren, Whiteside and Winnebago.

Gambling Debate Continues; Decision Needed Soon

The debate of allowing video gambling in the city of Clinton continues to be an unresolved issue that soon must be acted upon by the Clinton City Council.

On one side the city has the voice of the business community, pushing for a ban on video gambling to be lifted because they claim they're dependent on the revenue from those machines. On the other side you have the pastoral community opposed to the ban being lifted claiming statistics show the effects of gambling effect a lot of those who take part in it. They also say the community will be effected by factors of divorce, theft, and even suicide.

The debate is one the members of the Clinton City Council are not taking lightly. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says she is torn because she understands both sides of the argument.

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Commissioner Jerry Milton points to the amounts of money people in other communities would have to spend to make the businesses profitable. He says it is quite a bit of money people would have to lose before businesses and cities make money. He also recognizes this is a big decision for him and his constituents.

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Commissioner John Wise made no debate about his decision. He explains he has been a "no" vote in the past and he will remain a no vote. He says the money that is promised to back to schools or whatever else is simply not significant enough to continue to allow these in the community.

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Commissioner Tom Edmunds expressed concerns over people leaving town to get their fix of gambling and driving home under the influence of alcohol. He also feels enforcement to this point of allowing these machines to gradually become the problem they are would continue to be a problem if the ban is maintained.

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It has recently been brought to light of businesses with these video gambling machines of illegal payouts. Commissioner Nan Crang explains this has not been brought to her attention, and despite these allegations, she says she will not judge anyone on what they chose to do in their free time, and so she is not opposed to the ban being lifted.

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The City Council tabled a decision, allowing the undecided parties on the Council to gather more information. A decision could be made Monday evening when the Council convenes for their second August meeting.

Lawmakers To Convene Friday To Address Pension Reform

Illinois Legislators will convene on Springfield Friday for a special session called by Governor Quinn, and it's expected they will address pension reform.

One local lawmaker says the Governor does some pretty strange things, and if the issue to be addressed is pension reform, he is not aware of what bill they actually will discuss. Rep. Bill Mitchell says he doesn't even know if the special session will last one day, or a week.

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Rep. Mitchell says it may not be a surprise if the Governor doesn't even show up for this special session. He says many times when lawmakers are in Springfield, the Governor is in Chicago. He says despite the party differences, Democrats and Republicans need to work together to get things done, and it is very difficult with the Governor seldom around.

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Rep. Mitchell says he has talked with many people in his district who are genuinely concerned about the future of their pension. He says the Governor is scaring people with his tactics.

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Rep. Mitchell says he doesn't know why the Governor does not show up to Springfield, but he feels if he didn't want to be the Governor of the State of Illinois, then he simply should not have run.

Bulls' Rose Ahead Of Schedule

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose says he is two or three weeks ahead of his rehab schedule.  He returned to the basketball court on Wednesday to continue his rehab from knee surgery.  Rose tore the ACL in his left knee on April 28th in Game One of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals against the Philadelphia 76ers.  The reigning league MVP had surgery on May 12th and his recovery timetable was set at eight-to-12 months.  Rose averaged 21.8 points, 7.9 assists and 3.4 rebounds in 39 games last season.

Little League World Series Starts Today

The 2012 Little League World Series gets under way today in Williamsport, Pennsylvania.  Today's play begins with Game 1 pitting Tokyo, Japan against Willemstad, Curacao of the Caribbean.  Later, the West will go up against New England, with Petaluma, California taking on Fairfield, Connecticut in Game 2.  Next, it's Europe versus the Asia-Pacific, with Ramstein, Germany going up against Taoyuan, Chinese Taipei for Game 3.  Finally, Game 4 pits the Midwest against the Southeast, with Kearney, Nebraska taking on Goodlettsville, Tennessee.

Giants' Cabrera Suspended 50 Games For Testosterone

The San Francisco Giants will play the rest of the season without outfielder Melky Cabrera.  Major League Baseball has suspended Cabrera 50 games without pay after testing positive for testosterone.  The 28-year-old is second in the National League this season with a .346 batting average to go with eleven home runs and 60 RBI.  Cabrera was also named MVP of last month's All-Star Game.  The Giants are a game behind the Dodgers in the NL West at 64-and-54.

Cubs Dismiss Exec Fleita

The Chicago Cubs have dismissed Vice President of Player Personnel Oneri Fleita.  He had been with the team in various roles since 1995 and in his most recent position since October 2007.  Fleita was also a minor league manager, scout, coordinator of Latin American operations and director of the club's minor league system during his tenure.  He also spent seven years in the Baltimore organization as a player, coach and manager before joining the Cubs.

Kelly Moving To Relief With Garcia Returning

The Cardinals will make room in the rotation for the return of Jaime Garcia by moving rookie Joe Kelly to the bullpen.  Garcia is set to start Sunday against the Pirates after missing more than two months with a shoulder injury.  Kelly pitched Tuesday against Arizona.

All Locals Win; King Felix Fires Perfect Game

>>Cubs Crush Astros

(Chicago, IL)  --  David DeJesus went 4-for-4 with two home runs and three RBI to lead the Cubs in a 7-2 win over the Astros.  Starlin Castro had a two-run homer and Brett Jackson added an RBI triple for Chicago, which took two-of-three from Houston at Wrigley Field.  Justin Germano struck out six through six-and-a-third innings of two-run ball to pick up the win.  Scott Moore blasted a solo home run and scored on a Brandon Barnes groundout for the Astros.  Bud Norris gave up six runs in three-and-a-third innings to suffer the loss.  Norris left the game after being struck by a line drive off his left foot.

>>Cards Dump Diamondbacks

(St. Louis, MO)  --  David Freese hit a two-run homer as the Cardinals dumped the Diamondbacks, 5-2.  Allen Craig launched a solo shot and Rafael Furcal smacked an RBI triple for the Cardinals, who will look to sweep the three-game set on Thursday.  Adam Wainwright tossed six innings of two-run ball to improve to 11-and-10.  Jason Motte notched his 27th save.  Paul Goldschmidt popped  a solo homer for Arizona.  Joe Saunders allowed all five runs in six innings to fall to 6-and-9.

Miami Marlins 9, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Colorado Rockies 7, Milwaukee Brewers 6
Washington Nationals 6, San Francisco Giants 4
Los Angeles Dodgers 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Cincinnati Reds 6, New York Mets 1
Atlanta Braves 6, San Diego Padres 1

>>White Sox Score Five In Seventh To Sink Jays

(Toronto, Ontario)  --  Adam Dunn drilled a three-run homer during a five-run seventh inning as the White Sox outslugged the Blue Jays, 9-5.  Dayan Viciedo launched a two-run shot in the frame for Chicago, which has won the last two in the four-game set.  Dewayne Wise homered and plated four runs in the win.  Gavin Floyd went six innings to improve to 9-and-9.  Kelly Johnson clubbed a three-run homer and Jeff Mathis added a solo blast for Toronto.  Ricky Romero allowed six runs in six-plus innings to fall to 8-and-10.

>>Mariners' Hernandez Throws Perfect Game Against Rays

(Seattle, WA)  --  Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez threw the first perfect game in franchise history Wednesday.  "King Felix" struck out twelve while not allowing a baserunner in a 1-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays at Safeco Field.  Hernandez struck out third baseman Sean Rodriguez looking to end the game.  It was the fourth no-hitter in team history and the second this year.  Kevin Millwood and five relievers combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 8th.  Jesus Montero drove in the game's lone run with an RBI single in the third inning.  It's the 23rd perfect game in major league history and the third this year.  Philip Humber of the Chicago White Sox threw a perfect game against Seattle April 21st and San Francisco's Matt Cain did it against Houston on June 13th.

Detroit Tigers 5, Minnesota Twins 1
Baltimore Orioles 5, Boston Red Sox 3
New York Yankees 3, Texas Rangers 2
Kansas City Royals 3, Oakland Athletics 2
LA Angels of Anaheim 8, Cleveland Indians 4

Former Central Illinois Prospect Joins Illini

Nebraska offensive lineman Ryan Klachko has transferred to Illinois.

Illinois coach Tim Beckman said Wednesday that the 6-foot-4, 290-pound redshirt freshman was 1 of the top high school players in Illinois when he played at Sacred Heart-Griffin High School in Springfield.

Illinois says Klachko has started practicing with the team but under NCAA rules will have to sit out the 2012 season. He has three seasons of eligibility left.

Illinois Allows Mini Horses As Service Animals

Miniature horses that have been trained to help disabled people will be allowed in Illinois schools and other public places under a new state law.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill Tuesday designating miniature horses as a type of service animal, like seeing-eye dogs, that can accompany people with disabilities. That includes helping people who may have a hearing impairment, seizures or an intellectual disability.

The law takes effect immediately.

Federal officials say miniature horses can be as short as 24 inches tall and weigh 70 to 100 pounds. They're already considered service animals by federal regulations under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Advocates say the horses are a good alternative to dogs. For example, they could benefit people with severe allergies.

Leaders In 8 States Discuss Earthquake Preparation

More than 200 business and government leaders from eight states are meeting this week in Illinois to coordinate efforts on earthquake preparedness.

The "Capstone 14" workshop is hosted by the Central United States Earthquake Consortium at Sears Holdings' facility in Hoffman Estates.

Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri and Tennessee are represented.

The meeting is the first in a series of activities planned in the next two years. They will culminate in a large-scale preparedness exercise among the states and their business partners in 2014.

The states involved would be affected by a quake along the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Federal officials estimate a 7.7 magnitude tremor could kill 3,500 people, displace seven million more and cause $300 billion in damage.

House To vote On Smith's Expulsion

State representatives have more than pensions to deal with on Friday.  They'll be taking a vote on whether their colleague Derrick Smith should be expelled from the general assembly.  At least 78 reps will have to approve the resolution.  Smith was arrested back in March for allegedly accepting a seven-thousand dollar cash bribe in exchange for securing a grant for a Chicago daycare.  He has maintained his innocence but a House panel has recommended he be relieved of his duties, claiming his alleged behavior compromises the integrity of the House.  The panel held several hearings giving Smith a chance to talk about the charges against him.  He never confirmed or denied any involvement in the scheme.  Smith's refusal to cooperate didn't sit well with many of the members.  The House will start floor debates about Smith's fate on Friday at 11 a.m.

NIU Opens High End Dorm Facility

Northern Illinois University students will start the school year with a new residence hall on campus that has more than 1,000 rooms.

The new dorm's construction price tag was $80 million. All of the rooms in the dorm are single and students share a bathroom with one other student. There was a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the NIU campus earlier this week. The residence hall is still unnamed.

The new dorm also has a wireless lounge, exercise area and food court. With NIU's cheapest meal plan it costs students nearly $6,500 a semester to live in the new dorm. Students will start moving in Aug. 23.

Well Users Finding Faucets Running Dry

After months of record-breaking heat and drought, many rural Americans who rely on wells for water are getting an unwelcome surprise when they turn on their faucets: The tap has run dry.

The lack of water can range from a manageable nuisance to an expensive headache. Well owners are being forced to buy thousands of gallons from private suppliers, to drill deeper or to dig entirely new wells.

Governments and well diggers and water haulers report many more dead wells than in a typical summer across a wide swath of the Midwest, from Nebraska to Indiana and Wisconsin to Missouri.

It's not unusual for wells to stop producing at the end of a long summer. But this year, some wells ran out in June instead of August or September.

Illinois Democrats Plan To Rally At State Fair

Top Illinois Democrats hope internal conflicts won't keep them from building election-year enthusiasm at the state fair.

Party leaders and activists from around the state will gather Wednesday to celebrate Governor's Day at the fair. Mostly that means plenty of speeches about the importance of working hard to elect Democrats this fall.

But officials from several unions will be holding a news conference to highlight their concerns about the way Gov. Pat Quinn is treating public employees. Workers also plan a demonstration outside the fairgrounds.

Quinn wants legislators to approve a major pension overhaul Friday during a special session. But the Democrats who lead the Illinois House and Senate favor a scaled-down version of the pension plan, and even that might not be able to pass.

Quinn Signs New Agriculture Laws At State Fair

Gov. Pat Quinn has signed five new laws dealing with agriculture at the Illinois State Fair.

Tuesday was Agriculture Day at the fair in Springfield. Quinn signed the new laws as the state's farmers deal with drought conditions. Quinn says it's an important time to support Illinois farmers and the state's agriculture industry.

Quinn signed legislation into law to protect cattle pastures from wildlife damage and create the Illinois Nutrient Research and Education Council. Another new law establishes fees for livestock producers to help the state Environmental Protection Agency administer a federal pollution program for animal feeding operations.

Quinn also approved a new law that requires certain vehicles to display a slow-moving vehicle emblem before traveling on Illinois roadways.

Experts Encourage Farmers To Prep Grain Bins

Despite drought conditions hampering the growing season, Illinois farmers are still going to be harvesting this fall, and things are shaping up for an early harvest.  Jared White has more...

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Special Hearing On Clinton Landfill To Be Held Thursday In Monticello

An issue that effects over three-quarters of a million people will be addressed in Monticello tomorrow afternoon.

State Representative Chapin Rose has co-sponsored a bill that would allow County Board's over the Mahomet Aquifer to have a say in whether the Clinton Landfill is allowed to dump PCB's into the landfill, which is situated on top of the Mahomet Aquifer, which provides drinking water for over 750-thousand central Illinois residents. Rep. Rose says this meeting will be before representatives of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, or the IEPA, and a special committee formed for the piece of legislation.

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This is a very unique situation DeWitt County has placed residents and county governments over the Mahomet Aquifer in. Rep. Rose compares the situation to "taxation without representation". He says his bill gives the counties effected by the Clinton Landfill's proposal to dump PCBs into the landfill a voice.

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While there is a lot of legal red tape tied to this entire issue, Rep. Rose stresses this gives the surrounding counties effected by this decision a voice, and he says they can then block the decision for DeWitt County to move forward with it.

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Since he began investigating this issue, Rep. Rose has become very critical of the way the EPA has handled the situation. He feels there has been a lack of oversight from the beginning, which he plans to question them on Thursday.

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The hearing is open to the public and takes place Thursday afternoon at 1 pm at the Piatt County Farm Bureau. Anyone who cannot attend has a couple options to get statements they would like heard before the committee. They visit ilga.gov and click on the "House Committee" page, or you can email any statements to Rep. Rose directly, and he will have those submitted. Rep. Rose's email address is repchapinrose@gmail.com.

CIB Approves 2013 Budget For Bankers Life Fieldhouse

The Capital Improvement Board unanimously approved a 213 budget on Monday that includes no payment to the Indiana Pacers to offset operating costs at Bankers Life Fieldhouse.  The CIB, which oversees Indianapolis' sports and convention facilities, is in early negotiations with the Pacers for a new agreement to replace a deal that paid the team $10-million a year.  The current three-year, $30-million deal to help the team pay for running the fieldhouse expires next June.

Bulls Name Hagen Assistant GM

The Chicago Bulls have named Brian Hagen as their assistant general manager.  Hagen spent the last nine season with the New Orleans Hornets.  Most recently, he was the Hornets director of player personnel.  He also worked as director of basketball operations and director of scouting with New Orleans.

Urlacher Undergoes Knee Procedure

Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery, but is expected to be ready for the season-opener in September.  According to the team's website, Urlacher had the procedure to help reduce swelling in his left knee.  He suffered sprained ligaments in the knee in last season's finale against Minnesota.  Urlacher said Sunday he intended to be ready for the opener against Indianapolis despite missing about a week of workouts for what he and the team said were personal reasons.

Cards Crush Dbacks, Cubs Clobbered; Sox Edge Jays

>>Cardinals Crush Diamondbacks

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Matt Holliday and Jon Jay each homered and plated two as the Cardinals crushed the Diamondbacks, 8-2, in the opener of a three-game set.  Matt Carpenter laced a pinch-hit, two-run double for St. Louis, which has won three-of-five.  Joe Kelly struck out six over six-and-a-third innings of two-run ball to improve to 3-and-5.  Miguel Montero launched a two-run homer for Arizona, which has dropped three-of-four.  Ian Kennedy allowed five runs, three earned, in six-plus innings to fall to 10-and-10.

>>Astros Clobber Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Brett Wallace and Fernando Martinez each clubbed three-run homers as the Astros clobbered the Cubs, 10-1.  Scott Moore went 3-of-5 with a homer, two runs and two RBI for Houston.  Lucas Harrell struck out seven over eight innings of one-run ball to improve to 10-and-8.  Darwin Barney plated Chicago's only run on a fielder's choice in the seventh.  Chris Volstad allowed four runs in five innings to fall to 0-and-9.

Los Angeles Dodgers 11, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Cincinnati Reds 3, New York Mets 0
Philadelphia Phillies 1, Miami Marlins 0
Atlanta Braves 6, San Diego Padres 0
Colorado Rockies 8, Milwaukee Brewers 6
San Francisco Giants 6, Washington Nationals 1

>>White Sox Edge Jays

(Toronto, Ontario)  --  Alejandro De Aza and Dewayne Wise each plated a run during a three-run fifth inning as the White Sox edged the Blue Jays, 3-2.  De Aza also scored the go-ahead run on an error.  Jose Quintana fired six-and-two-thirds innings of two-run ball to improve to 5-and-2.  Addison Reed got the final four outs to earn his 21st save.  Mike McCoy and Yunel Escobar knocked in the runs for Toronto.  Henderson Alvarez went seven innings, but allowed all three runs, two earned, to fall to 7-and-10.

Baltimore Orioles 7, Boston Red Sox 1
New York Yankees 3, Texas Rangers 0
Detroit Tigers 8, Minnesota Twins 4
Kansas City Royals 5, Oakland Athletics 0
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 9, Cleveland Indians 6
Seattle Mariners 3, Tampa Bay Rays 2

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-14


August 14, 2012


Jail Population: 82

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0


Scott Jones, 49, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Driving Under Influence. Jones was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 5:51 p.m. on Monday, August 14, revealed that a vehicle driven by Tyler Mitchell, 17, Clinton, was turning south east at the Route 51 south turn lane at Burns Hill Road when it was struck by John Holmgren, 40, Blue Mound. As a result of impact Holmgren’s vehicle sustained major damage to its front end and had to be towed from the scene. As a result of impact of impact Mitchell sustained major damage to its passenger side cab and bed area. No injuries were reported.




DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-9


August 9, 2012


Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1


Thomas Lane, 39, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear. Lane posted the necessary bond and was released.




Funnel Clouds Spotted Throughout Central Illinois Tuesday Evening

Area residents were witnesses to a unique weather phenomonon Tuesday evening.

 width=Residents around Central Illinois may have noticed funnel clouds forming in the early evening hours Tuesday. According to EMA Coordinator for DeWitt County, Teresa Barnett, the national weather service informed her these are different types of funnels that allowed for multiple funnels to form. Barnett says there were funnels spotted outside of Clinton, Lincoln, Atlanta, and in Piatt County.

[audio:81612funnels2.mp3] [/audio]

This sort of weather occurrence is very rare. Barnett says because it is so rare, it is very hard to predict.

[audio:81612funnels1.mp3] [/audio]

 />In talking with weather professionals, Barnett says she later learned these funnels do pose a threat of coming down and touching the ground if the conditions are right. Not knowing that and wanting to take public safety into account, Barnett explains she made the call to sound the tornado sirens.<br /><br />[audio:81612funnels3.mp3] [/audio]<br /><br />People were pulled off roadways and parked in parking lots taking pictures of the funnel. Barnett says even in a circumstance such as the one Tuesday, that is the last thing she wants people doing when they hear sirens. She notes the sirens are meant to be taken seriously and people need to take cover when they hear them.</p>
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Retirements Surging As Illinois Considers Pension Cuts

With Illinois officials talking about pension cuts, more government employees are choosing to retire now in hopes of locking in their benefits.

Nearly 4,750 state employees retired in the past fiscal year. That's almost as many as the prior two years combined.

Roughly the same number of university employees retired, too. That's the highest in at least five years.

But retiring immediately may not protect the employees' benefits. State officials are considering plans that would raise retiree health insurance costs if they don't agree to pension cuts.

Pension systems for state employees, university staff and teachers outside Chicago are roughly $85 billion short of the money they'll have to pay out some day.

Labor Unions Call Pension Options Unconstitutional

Illinois labor unions say the legislature's idea of changing cost of living benefits to fix the pension systems is unconstitutional.  Sean Smoot with the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association says the framework is flawed and morally wrong.

[audio:rddNewPens3.mp3] [/audio]

Cinda Clickna, President of the Illinois Education Association, says their members are expected to bail the state out.

[audio:rddNewPens4.mp3] [/audio]

Henry Bayer, with AFSCME Council 31, says big corporations are getting major benefits while the state's most vulnerable citizens are getting shafted.

[audio:rddNewPens5.mp3] [/audio]

He adds it's not fair for the state to put the pension fix on the backs of hard working people.

[audio:rddNewPens6.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers are considering several bills that would give state workers, teachers, university workers, and legislators an option to accept a lower cost-of-living adjustment while keeping health care benefits in retirement and get salary increases toward their pensions.  Or, they can keep their current cost of living rate and opt out of healthcare in retirement and freeze their salaries where they are now.  State Representative Elaine Nekritz says giving employees the option to choose their benefit is within constitutional guidelines.  But she's not sure how much support the proposal will have come Friday when it's time to take a vote.

State Fair Marks 150 Years of US Ag Department

The Illinois State Fair is devoting its traditional agriculture day to celebrating the 150th anniversary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Abraham Lincoln signed legislation creating the agency back in 1862.

Former Agriculture Secretary John Block will be on hand for a ceremony Tuesday highlighting the department's achievements. Before serving under President Reagan, Block was also director of the Illinois Agriculture Department.

The fair will also mark the 150th anniversary of legislation establishing land-grant universities like the University of Illinois.

Two Illinois Women Get Jail For Selling Fake Purses

Two women from central Illinois have been sentenced to prison for selling counterfeit purses and other items purporting to be from designer brands like Chanel, Coach and Prada.

Federal prosecutors said Monday that 51-year-old Jannette Grant of Bloomington and 50-year-old Kimberly Nein of Argenta pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods. Grant was sentenced to three years in prison and Nein was give two years. Both must pay nearly $4,000 in restitution.

Prosecutors say the women did business as "The Purse Lady" and sold the items throughout central Illinois. Law enforcement used search warrants to recover more than 15,000 items, including 2,000 purses and 900 wallets, from Grant's home and a warehouse Nein owned.

The women said they regularly traveled to Chicago and New York to purchase inventory.

Alzheimer's Drug Fails In Testing

Another Alzheimer's drug has failed in the testing stage but Heather Mulder, with the Greater Illinois Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, isn't giving up hope.  She says she's holding onto the idea that there will soon be a drug to help manage the disease.  But unfortunately, the time is not now.  Pfizer Incorporated and Johnson and Johnson will end the development of an intravenous drug they hoped would treat the disease.  The decision came after the drug didn't work better than the placebo in the late stage clinical trials.  That's not great news for families with loved ones who suffer from the disease.  Mulder says many want what's best and easiest on their family members and would often do anything to find them comfort from the disease.  She says whatever the treatment options, families should be sure to consult a physician before trying or changing any medications for the Alzheimer patient.

Pilot Killed In Taylorville Crash Praised As Hero

The pilot who died in a central Illinois crash over the weekend is being praised for guiding the plane away from homes as it came down.

The crash happened around noon Saturday near homes in Taylorville, just moments after a group of skydivers jumped from the plane.

Roger Smith manages a small airport in Macomb, and he says he knew pilot Brandon Sparrow of Augusta for 15 years.

Smith says he wasn't surprised when he learned Sparrow stayed with the crashing airplane to ensure it didn't hit any houses, instead of using his own parachute.

Mayor Greg Brotherton says the yard where the plane landed wasn't even 75 feet wide and others could have been hurt if the plane had plowed into a home.

Department of Health Reminding Parents To Get Kids Checked Before School Starts



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Weekly Crop Report



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Ride Sharing Program Allows ISU Students To Save On Gas Money

This week, area students will be moving in at Illinois State University, and students have the opportunity to save gas money through a new program the university has implemented.

In February, ISU introduced a ride-sharing program called ZimRide. Julie North, Director of Parking and Transportation at ISU explains ZimRide is the largest ride-sharing program in North America. She says new students to the university will be introduced to it first at  their orientation.

[audio:32012zimride1.mp3] [/audio]

The program uses a Facebook platform and students or faculty are able to use the program. It is as easy as logging in using the ISU login information and then posting information you want to share about where you are heading, how many passengers you can take, and North says you can even post charges for gas money for a ride. She says it will then match match your ride with people you are seeking to give a ride to.

[audio:32012zimride2.mp3] [/audio]

Many users or even parents may be worried about how safe a network like this can be. According to North, each user has a profile and anyone can make permanent comments towards individuals who may or may not have been good passengers or transporters. Users can also post things about themselves they like or things they do or do not allow to happen in their vehicle.

[audio:32012zimride3.mp3] [/audio]

North feels this is a great opportunity for students to save gas money and even network with other students. The program is completely free and again only students or faculty with ISU login information can use the program.

To learn more you can visit zimride.illinoisstate.edu or search zimride on Facebook. To talk to Julie North for more details you can contact her via email. Her email address is jenorth@ilstu.edu.

NFL Notes

>>Transcript In UNC Probe Could Be Julius Peppers'

(Chapel Hill, NC)  --  The academic scandal at the University of North Carolina may have just gotten a lot worse.  A 2001 academic transcript published by "The Observer" a few days ago may belong to former Tar Heel Julius Peppers.  UNC officials said on Monday that the transcript appears to be from a former student, but could not release any further information due to federal law.  If the transcripts are authentic, it could propel UNC's ongoing academic scandal into another level.  The issue is whether individuals at the university set up no-show classes mostly taken by athletes with the intent of helping them maintain eligibility to play sports.  Peppers was a star football player at North Carolina from 1999 to 2001.  He is now an All-Pro defensive end for the Chicago Bears.  He played with the Carolina Panthers from 2002 through 2009.

>>Rams Drop London Games In 2013, 2014

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Rams will play the Patriots in London this October, but are dropping games overseas the next two years.  The team says it will focus instead on working with the Convention and Visitors Commission to upgrade the Edwards Jones Dome to its lease-required "first tier" status.

35 Medals For Big Ten At Summer Games

Over 100 former and current Big Ten student-athletes and coaches represented 32 countries in 24 sports at the 2012 Olympic games, winning 35 medals.

Michigan athletes won 12 medals, 4 of these going to former volunteer assistant coach Michael Phelps. Penn State athletes secured five medals, with Christa Harmotto and Megan Hodge winning silver in women's volleyball, and Natalie Dell involved in Team USA's women's rowing quadruple skulls bronze effort.

Minnesota athletes won four medals, with javelin thrower Barbara Spotáková winning gold for the Czech Republic, and Lindsay Whalen contributing to the USA basketball team's gold medal performance.

Nebraska athletes also won four medals, led by gold medalist USA freestyle wrestler Jordan Burroughs. Northwestern and Purdue athletes claimed three medals each, while Illinois and Indiana athletes each brought home two.

Cubs Bash Stros; Jays Top Sox In Extras; Cards To Host D'Backs

>>Cubs Bash Astros

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jeff Samardzija struck out 11 over seven frames of one-run ball to lead the Cubs in a 7-1 win over the Astros.  Darwin Barney and Alfonso Soriano each hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which snapped a three-game slide.  Chicago won for only the second time in 13 games.  Anthony Rizzo and Welington Castillo each added RBI singles in the win.  Armando Galarraga allowed five runs in as many innings to drop to 0-and-3 this season.  Brandon Barnes hit a pinch-hit solo homer to account for Houston's only run.  The Astros have dropped two straight and seven of their last nine contests.

Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Philadelphia Phillies 4, Miami Marlins 0
San Diego Padres 4, Atlanta Braves 1
Colorado Rockies 9, Milwaukee Brewers 6
Washington Nationals 14, San Francisco Giants 2

>>Blue Jays Top White Sox In 11th

(Toronto, Ontario)  --  David Cooper's RBI single in the 11th inning sent the Blue Jays to a 3-2 win over the White Sox.  Moises Sierra hit his first-career homer and Edwin Encarnacion added an RBI single for Toronto.  Steve Delabar picked up the win after striking out the side in two straight innings as the Jays won their second straight following a five-game slide.  Casey Janssen blew just his second save of the season when Adam Dunn connected on his second solo homer of the game in the ninth.  It was the 32nd and 33rd homers of the year for Dunn, who is up to 398 in his career.  Leyson Septimo was charged with the loss for Chicago, which has lost four-of-six.

New York Yankees 8, Texas Rangers 2
Minnesota Twins 9, Detroit Tigers 3
Cleveland Indians 6, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Seattle Mariners 1

>>Cardinals Host D'backs

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The Cardinals begin a nine-game homestand tonight with the first of three against the Diamondbacks.  Joe Kelly is slated to oppose Ian Kennedy in the series opener.  The Cards lost two-of-three over the weekend in Philadelphia and have dropped four of their last six games overall.

Clinton Pastoral Community Speaks Out Against Local Gambling

The expansion, or passage of video gambling in many communities around the state is being decided on this month.

The Lincoln community recently passed a resolution allowing video gambling and now Clinton faces the same decision. Currently, there is a ban on video gambling within Clinton city limits. Pastor John Robertson from First Baptist Church in Clinton spoke before the Clinton City Council Monday evening on behalf of the Clinton pastoral community. Pastor Robertson states although there are benefits to video gambling, he believes the community cannot afford the effects it will have.

[audio:8912gambling1.mp3] [/audio]

Robertson explains the effects from gambling add up. He says almost 10% of first time gamblers become compulsive gamblers, which can lead to divorce, stealing of money and attempting suicide.

[audio:8912gambling2.mp3] [/audio]

Robertson explains, as a pastor, he councils and sees the families that are affected. He says the community is made up of families and if the families are affected, then the community will be affected.

[audio:8912gambling3.mp3] [/audio]

The Council discussed the issue but because of uncertainty amongst Council members, Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters tabled a decision until a later date.

Regional Radio News will have details on that discussion later this week.

Lawmakers passed a proposal to allow video gaming in 2009 but are just now implementing the system. Communities have the ability to opt out of the system and by banning it.

Clinton Fire Department Withdraws Request To Bid On County Ambulance Service

The Clinton Fire Department has withdrawn their request to submit a proposal to the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee.

The City of Clinton has previously entered into an agreement to allow the non-profit group, The DeWitt County Ambulance Association, Inc. to have the first option to buy the ambulances from the Dr. John Warner Hospital. Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton explains the way the ordinance was worded, the fire department would have to enter into negotiations with them to acquire the ambulances.

[audio:81412cfdproposal1.mp3] [/audio]

The reaction amongst Chief Milton and his crew is one of disappointment. He says they are concerned most by the reaction of the community. Chief Milton says there were legal issues that were out of the control of his department to get this done.

[audio:81412cfdproposal2.mp3] [/audio]

The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee meets this evening to open the proposals. Wednesday evening, the Committee will narrow the proposals down to four candidates to have come and present before them over the next week with a decision expected next Tuesday.

DCAA Receives Three Bids For Ambulance Service

The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee (DCAA) received just three proposals from providers seeking to obtain ambulance services to DeWitt County.

Two out of area proposals came in, one from the Chicago area and one from the St. Louis area. Just one local provider put in a proposal. The Request For Proposal from the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee asked each vendor to provide subsidy figures for the first three years and and alternate subsidy was also provided.

The lowest bidder was a company from the west side of Chicago, Paramedic Services of Illinois. DCAA Chair Teresa Barnett read their proposal which stated they are asking for a subsidy payment of almost $392-thousand per year.

[audio:81412proposals1.mp3] [/audio]

The lone local provider, the DeWitt County Ambulance Association, Inc. requested an increase in subsidy payments each year, going from almost $424-thousand in year one to just over $476-thousand in year three. Barnett says they also included an alternate subsidy request.

[audio:81412proposals2.mp3] [/audio]

The highest bidder was Abbott EMS of Illinois from Belleville. Their bid started at $465-thousand for year one and rose to over $500-thousand by year three.

[audio:81412proposals3.mp3] [/audio]

Each member of the committee was provided a proposal packet, which was limited to up to 25 pages per vendor, to take home and review and study. Barnett explains the next step is for the Committee to reconvene Wednesday evening to discuss the proposals.

[audio:81412proposals4.mp3] [/audio]

This coming Wednesday the Committee also plans to decide when they want each provider to come in and present to them. Barnett explains the RFPs stated the turn around time for each vendor to present would be very short.

[audio:81412proposals5.mp3] [/audio]

Moving forward, the Committee plans to review and study the proposals leading up to their Wednesday evening meeting. Thursday and Monday will be designated as presentation days. The Committee will also be sending out members to visit the sites of the vendors and they designated committee members to call references for each vendor.

The Committee made one change in their upcoming meeting schedule. The DeWitt County Board moved their August meeting to Thursday the 30th, with that in mind the Committee decided to move their decision day to Wednesday, August 22.

Governor Quinn Signs New Veteran Focused Laws

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources will be able to hire more veterans under new legislation signed into law.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed four veterans-related bills Sunday in honor of the Illinois State Fair's Veterans Day.

One law will allow the agency to hire more veterans as conservation police by waiving the 4-year college requirement. The law goes into effect immediately.

Another bill doubles the number of days allotted for military service-related hospital visits for some state employees from two to four days annually.

The other laws deal with treatment records of veterans in the criminal justice system and an expansion of the number of families eligible for special license plate to honor fallen police and firefighters and veterans.

Gov. Quinn Supports Striking Northern Illinois Caterpillar Workers

Gov. Pat Quinn has offered his support to workers striking outside a Caterpillar plant south of Chicago.

The Peoria-based heavy-equipment maker has been among the sharpest critics of Illinois' state government and the management of its economy. Last year, Caterpillar's chief executive pressed Quinn on the economy and reminded him that the company has out-of-state suitors.

The governor visited about 100 striking workers Friday at the Joliet plant and donated $10,000 toward a food fund to support them. The money came from his re-election campaign funds.

Quinn told the workers that "when people are united they can't be defeated."

The workers walked off the job May 1. Their union is demanding cost-of-living pay increases and lower health-care premiums, and is asking the company to honor seniority rights.

Illinois Grad Students Return To South Dakota Reservation

A dozen MBA students from Illinois are continuing a commitment to South Dakota's Pine Ridge Indian Reservation this week with a trip to help on service projects, meet residents and learn the Oglala Lakota culture.

The group from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will spend the week working with a local organization to repair trailer skirts, build step porches and repair roofs to help a community that's constantly fighting poverty and high unemployment.

It's part of an ongoing effort by the Kola Foundation, a student-run not-for-profit organization that aims to stimulate the local economy, promote education, improve health care and foster hope.

Second-year MBA student Shelly Wohaldo says Kola is also helping to sponsor an annual business plan competition and providing mentoring to students and new businesses.

Illinois Elderly Struggle With Prescription Drug Costs

78-year-old Joanne Capretti is in a fix. She needs an inhaler to breathe well enough to continue working part-time as a restaurant hostess, which supplements her paltry Social Security retirement benefits.

But she's worried she can't afford medication anymore. Her out-of-pocket cost has more than doubled since July 1. That's when Illinois ended a program that helped thousands of seniors buy prescription drugs.

The Illinois Cares Rx program ended weeks after Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation axing it in an effort to save $72 million and help fill a $2.7 billion hole in the Illinois Medicaid budget. That gave seniors and the disabled little time to plan.

About 168,000 seniors and disabled people were enrolled in the program.

New Illinois License Plates To Honor Veterans

Illinois veterans with disabilities like post-traumatic stress disorder will soon be able to get special license plates to note their service.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Friday that will recognize those veterans whose unseen disabilities may not have qualified them for disabled license plates and parking privileges.

Quinn signed the measure at a Veterans of Foreign Wars post in Joliet.

He said Illinois veterans who have sacrificed so much for the good of this country deserve honor and thanks.

The special plates will resemble the Illinois Disabled Veteran License Plate but will not have the international symbol of access.

Quinn said the new license plate will remind us of our modern-day heroes each time we see them on the road.

The measure takes effect Jan. 1.

Seymour Man Wins Hog Calling Contest

Calling in the hogs is a skill for Chris Karr of Seymour, Illinois.  He took the top prize in the hog calling contest at the Illinois State Fair.  

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This is Karr?s 21st appearance in the contest.  He took home a 250-dollar reward for winning the challenge.

Farmers Prayer Meeting Organized For Tomorrow

The drought has taken a devastating toll on corn and soybean crops, but also on farm families, many of whom will suffer great emotional and financial stress.  To allow them to gather and pray for sufficient rain that will end the drought, a prayer meeting will be held Aug. 14, at 7 p.m. in the Mt. Zion Lions Club Building on the Southwest corner of Mt. Zion.  The event will be non-denominational and lead by those involved in agriculture.

 While some government programs may be of assistance, they do not reach everyone, and life-giving rain is the most important need for the production of food.  Our current crops may be beyond saving, but water is needed to recharge the soil for next year, as well as filling lakes and streams to provide water for humanity.

Taylorville Plane Crash Kills Pilot

A twin engine plane carrying 13 people crashed into a Taylorville neighborhood Saturday, killing the pilot.  The plane crashed into Jerry Dobyns' backyard and he says the outcome could've been a lot worse.

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Dobyns says he knew there wouldn't be any survivors when he saw the plane had landed in his backyard  leaving a gaping hole and debris.  

[audio:rddPlaneDown2.mp3] [/audio]

The pilot is identified as Brandon Sparrow, from Augusta, Illinois.  He was the only person who died in the crash.  Twelve skydivers were on board but they all parachuted to safety before the plane hit the ground.   No one on the ground was injured.  The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have taken over the investigation, and it could be months before they figure out what happened.

Local Representative Not Pleased With Governor's Hanlding of Veto

A local state representative says one of Governor Quinn's vetoes sensationalized the Colorado shooting Massacre.

Gov. Pat Quinn amendatory vetoed a bill that pushed conceal and carry in Illinois. The veto proposed an assault weapons ban in Illinois. State Representative Bill Mitchell feels the Governor is acting upon the Colorado shootings and needs to stop doing small gimmicks like this and start governing the state.

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Rep. Mitchell says he felt the move was just to create a sense. Mitchell believes the bill that was vetoed wasn't going anywhere in the first place, and Gov. Quinn just killed it before it met its true natural death. Mitchell wants the governor to concentrate on other things such as the state'e economic situation.

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Mitchell adds it would have taken 71 votes for the bill to go through and didn't think the bill had that much support. The Representative says Gov. Quinn should have only made the bill an issue if there were enough votes to support it.

[audio:8912Veto3.mp3] [/audio]

The bill would have allowed Illinoisans to buy ammunition and have it shipped from Illinois based companies. Right now, Illinoisans can only have ammunition shipped if it comes from a company outside of the state.

Currently, Illinois and the District of Columbia are the only areas of the United States that does not allow conceal and carry. Gov. Quinn feels banning assault weapons will make Illinois a safer place to live.

Lincoln's Largest Event of Year In Jeopardy of Not Happening

Logan County's biggest event of the year is in jeopardy of not happening.

According to Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andi Hake, the up and coming Art and Balloon Festival does not have enough volunteers to happen this year. Hake says the festival needs about 600 volunteers to function properly, and right now they don't have the numbers.

Volunteers are needed for many different jobs. Hake says people can contribute by helping with parking to cooking to registering other volunteers.

[audio:81312Help1.mp3] [/audio]

All volunteers get a wrist band for the entire weekend, and shifts are cut up, so they can spend some time with family and friends at the festival as well. At the moment, they are short nearly 200 volunteers for the event to be possible.

The annual Art and Balloon Festival has a number of events which includes live music, carnival rides, BBQ cook off, large kit demonstration and an antique car show. Hake feels there is something for everyone at the event.

[audio:81312Help2.mp3] [/audio]

Anyone interested in finding out more about being a volunteer can call the Chamber office at 217-735-2385, or go to the chamber website at www.lincolnillinois.com.

Clinton To Investigate Missing Ordinance

A local resident is disturbed by Clinton's handling of water bills.

Clinton resident Robert Kreitler addressed the Clinton City Council Monday to express issue he was having with his water bill. Kreitler says he was fined a 50 dollar late fee, but wasn't aware it existed until he received a letter from the city. When he went to check out the ordinance to make sure everything lined up, he says the section the city referred him to didn't exist.

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The City Council has acknowledged they need to work on how the get information about the new ordinances out. John Wise of the council says he didn't want to implement the new late fee, but he has noticed a massive decline in homes that have their water shut off. Wise apologizes for any confusion on the new ordinances concerning how the water bills work and says they are still working out some nicks with getting the information out to the public.

[audio:81012bill2.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Carol Peters is pleased Kreitler brought the issue to the council's attention. She says they will research the issue and make sure the right section will be listed on the warning documents.

[audio:81012bill3.mp3] [/audio]

The City Council says they are looking at a way to make it possible for Clinton residents to look at ordinances online. Mayor Peters acknowledges that sometimes people get stuff from the city skim it once and then throw it out.

They are working on researching the false ordinance section and changing it to the correct ordinance.

Closing Ceremony Ends 2012 Summer Games

The 2012 Summer Games have come to an end.  IOC President Jacques Rogge [[ ROH-guh ]] declared the Games officially closed.  He praised London as a host city and called for the youth of the world to gather again for the 2016 Summer Games in Rio.  The Olympic flag was lowered and passed on to the mayor or Rio, and the more than 200 flaming copper petals representing each nation that formed the Olympic Cauldron were separated and extinguished.  British rock band The Who brought the ceremony to an end, accompanied by a fireworks spectacular.

Entitled, "A Symphony of British Music," the more than three-hour show included live performances from Madness, the Pet Shop Boys, One Direction, The Kinks' Ray Davies, George Michael, Annie Lennox, the Spice Girls, Muse and Queen.  Comedians Russell Brand and Eric Idle also had a part in the festivities.  The ceremony began with the tolling of a bell and a song by Scottish singer Emeli Sande [[ san-DAY ]].  Prince Harry and Rogge sat together in the royal box.  The 70-year-old Rogge was presiding over his final Olympics.  An actor playing Winston Churchill popped out of a Big Ben replica like a jack-in-the-box and gestured toward the royal box.

Sande also sang to a video montage of emotional moments from the past two-plus weeks of competition.  As opposed to nation-by-nation as with the Opening Ceremony, athletes entered the Olympic Stadium as a group and filled in around a stage designed to replicate the infamous Union Jack.

Olympics Recap

>>U.S. Men's Basketball Wins Gold Medal

(London)  --  The U.S. men's basketball team won gold at the London Olympics.  Team USA held off Spain 107-100 in Sunday's final.  Kevin Durant netted a game-high 30 points and pulled down nine rebounds for the Americans, who have won back-to-back gold medals and collected their 14th Olympic title since 1936.  They have won five of the six gold medals since NBA stars began Olympic competitioin at the 1992 Barcelona Games.  LeBron James added 19 points and Kobe Bryant finished with 17 in the win.  The U.S. also beat Spain for gold at the 2008 Beijing Games.

>>U.S. Ends London Olympics With Most Medals

(London)  --  The United States is leaving London with the most medals.  The U.S. ended Olympic action with 46 gold, 29 silver and 29 bronze for a total of 104 medals.  China finished second with 87 medals.  The Chinese also had the second most gold with 38.  Russia came away with 82 medals and host nation Great Britain earned the fourth-most medals at the London Games with 65.  American swimmer Michael Phelps collected the most medals individually with six.  Phelps and fellow U.S. swimming teammate Missy Franklin had a London-best four gold medals each

>>U.S. Track And Field Claims 29 Medals

(London)  --  Despite the heroics of Jamaica's Usain Bolt, Americans had plenty to cheer about in track and field.  The U.S. men and women combined to win a London-best 29 medals in all with nine gold, 13 silver and seven bronze.  The women set a new world record in the 4-by-100-meter relay and also won the 4-by-400-meter relay.  The men claimed silver in those same two events.  Individually, Allyson Felix won gold in the women's 200-meters and Sanya Richards-Ross took gold in the women's 400-meters.  Justin Gatlin won bronze behind Bolt and fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake in the men's 100-meters.  Aries Merritt and Jason Richardson finished one-two in the men's 110-meter hurdles, Brittney Reese won the women's long jump and Jennifer Suhr won the women's pole vault.  Ashton Eaton and Trey Hardee won gold and silver in the men's decathlon, respectively.

Luck Shines In First Preseason Game

Andrew Luck, the number-one overall pick out of Stanford in the 2012 NFL draft, didn't take long to show why the Indianapolis Colts made him the successor to Peyton Manning.  On his first pass in the Colts' 38-3 preseason mauling of the Rams, Luck connected with Donald Brown on a 63-yard touchdown.  Luck finished 10-for-16 with 188 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in his first pro game.

Ambrose Makes Last-Lap Pass To Win At Watkins Glen

Marcos Ambrose passed both Kyle Busch and Brad Keselowski on the 90th and final lap on Sunday at Watkins Glen to take the checkered flag.  It's Ambrose's second-career victory with the other also coming on the 11-turn road course a year ago.  Keselowski made contact with Busch on the final lap after the 18-car had slid off the track.  Busch ended up finishing seventh, while Keselowski was six-tenths of a second off the pace and came in second.  Jimmie Johnson finished third followed by Clint Bowyer, who won the first road-course race of the season in June at Sonoma.  Sam Hornish Jr. was fifth while Greg Biffle finished sixth.

Sox Win; Cubs, Cards Fall; Konerko To 7-Day Concussion DL

>>ChiSox Sink A's

(Chicago, IL)  --  Chris Sale struck out 11 and gave up two runs in six-and-two-thirds frames to pace the White Sox to a 7-3 win over the Athletics.  A.J. Pierzynski blasted a two-run home run for Chicago, which took two-of-three in the series.  Gordon Beckham also knocked in a pair runs in the win.  Adam Rosales, Derek Norris and Jonny Gomes each smacked a solo homer for Oakland.  Bartolo Colon allowed six total runs in five-and-two-thirds innings for the setback.

Boston Red Sox 14, Cleveland Indians 1
Toronto Blue Jays 10, New York Yankees 7
Baltimore Orioles 5, Kansas City Royals 3
Tampa Bay Rays 7, Minnesota Twins 3 (10 inn)
Texas Rangers 8, Detroit Tigers 3
Seattle Mariners 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 1

>>Phillies Walk Off On Cardinals

(Philadelphia, PA)  --  Juan Pierre singled home Jimmy Rollins in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Phillies an 8-7 win over the Cardinals.  Erik Kratz lifted a three-run home run for Philadelphia, which took two-of-three in the series.  Ryan Howard added a solo shot in the win.  Chase Utley knocked in two and scored a pair for the Phils.  Jeremy Horst picked up the win in relief.  Matt Carpenter was 4-for-6 with three RBI for St. Louis.  Jon Jay added three runs and two RBI in defeat.  Barret Browning suffered the loss.

>>Reds Blank Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Johnny Cueto dealt eight shutout innings to lead the Reds to a 3-0 win over the Cubs.  Cueto only allowed three hits and struck out three on his way to his 15th win of the season.  Aroldis Chapman locked down his 28th save.  Jay Bruce hit a two-run homer and Ryan Ludwick added a solo shot as Cincinnati took three-of-four from Chicago.  The Cubs were 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position on the day.  Brooks Raley fell to 0-and-2, allowing three runs across six innings.

Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Miami Marlins 0
Pittsburgh Pirates 11, San Diego Padres 5
Milwaukee Brewers 5, Houston Astros 3
San Francisco Giants 9, Colorado Rockies 6
Arizona Diamondbacks 7, Washington Nationals 4
New York Mets 6, Atlanta Braves 5

>>Konerko Placed On Seven-Day DL

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox have placed first baseman Paul Konerko on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion.  He suffered the concussion in the seventh inning of Tuesday's game against Kansas City when he was struck in the head by the elbow of Jarrod Dyson while covering first base.  Konerko is batting .316 with 18 homers and 54 RBI over 101 games this season.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

August 11, 2012


Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1


August 12, 2012


Jail Population: 78

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


August 13, 2012


Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


Jeremy West, 26, Champaign, was issued a citation for No Operating Uninsured Vehicle. West posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Bradley Dyer, 40, Clinton, was issued a citation for Driving While License Suspended. Dyer posted the necessary bond and was released.


Lloyd Martin, 55, Waynesville, was issued citations for Driving Under Influence and Operation of Non-Highway Vehicles On Streets/Roadways/Highways. Martin posted the necessary bond and was released.


Rustin Wagers, 32, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Wagers was issued a Notice To Appear and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, August 11, revealed that a vehicle driven by Dennis Scogin, 38, Clinton, was traveling northbound on Regan Road. Scogin attempted to turn east on Trust Road when his brakes locked up. He was immediately thrown over the handlebars on the vehicle. The vehicles front end collided with the pavement, ultimately toppling over its front end, and landed on its left side. Scogin laid on the pavement for a few moments when Trevor Leggett drove by and found the driver on the pavement. Leggett did not witness the accident, but he let Scogin use his cell phone to call his mother, who subsequently picked him up in her vehicle and took him to Dr. John Warner Hospital. Scogin claimed he sustained only minor injuries and his brother took the vehicle to a repair shop in Clinton.




White Sox Sink A's

The White Sox used four solo homers, including Jordan Danks' walk-off shot in the bottom of the ninth, to rally past and defeat the Athletics, 4-3.  A.J. Pierzynski, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo also left the yard for Chicago, which snapped a two-game slide.  Brett Myers picked up the win in relief.  Brandon Moss lifted a two-run shot to give the A's a 3-0 lead in the second.  Pat Neshek suffered the loss for Oakland, which saw its two-game win streak end.

Vaccine Recommendations

Staying up-to-date on the recommended vaccines helps families protect their children from the most serious illnesses.

Vaccines offer effective protection from the major infectious diseases. Because children are especially vulnerable to infection, most vaccines begin in their first year. Dr. Craig Batterman, assistant professor of pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says children starting school are required to have specific vaccinations.

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Vaccines are responsible for small pox being eradicated and for diseases such as polio, measles and rubella to nearly disappear as a public health threat in the U.S. Whooping cough, which had been dormant for many years, has recently returned in many areas, so the vaccine is now being recommended for older children, says Dr. Batterman.

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That combination shot is now required for all students going into sixth and ninth grades. Dr. Batterman says vaccines are safe and he urges parents to make sure their children get the required vaccinations at the scheduled times. If they have questions about vaccines, they should talk to their primary care physician, pediatrician or local public health department.

Weekly Weather Update

With scattered rainfall around the state, cooler temperatures reached Illinois. Rain is still desperately needed though to lift water restrictions, but less than an inch of rain is expected this upcoming week. State Climatologist Jim Angel has your weekly weather.

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Cincinnati Reds 10, Chicago Cubs 8
San Diego Padres 9, Pittsburgh Pirates 8
Philadelphia Phillies 3, St. Louis Cardinals 1
Atlanta Braves 4, New York Mets 0
Los Angeles Dodgers 5, Miami Marlins 2
Houston Astros 4, Milwaukee Brewers 3
Washington Nationals 9, Arizona Diamondbacks 1
Colorado Rockies 3, San Francisco Giants 0

Boston Red Sox 3, Cleveland Indians 2
Baltimore Orioles 7, Kansas City Royals 1
New York Yankees 10, Toronto Blue Jays 4
Detroit Tigers 6, Texas Rangers 2
Chicago White Sox 4, Oakland Athletics 3
Tampa Bay Rays 12, Minnesota Twins 6
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Seattle Mariners 5

NFL Preseason
Cleveland Browns 19, Detroit Lions 17
Jacksonville Jaguars 32, New York Giants 31
Cincinnati Bengals 17, New York Jets 6
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 20, Miami Dolphins 7
Kansas City Chiefs 27, Arizona Cardinals 17
San Francisco 49ers 17, Minnesota Vikings 6

No Games Scheduled  --  Olympic Break


Benson To Sign With Packers

Free-agent running back Cedric Benson appears to be headed to Green Bay.  Chris Mortensen of ESPN reports the former first-round draft pick will sign a deal with the Packers.  The seven-year veteran has surpassed the one-thousand yard mark the past three seasons.  Benson has rushed for nearly six-thousand yards and 31 touchdowns in his career with Chicago and Cincinnati.

Phillies Clip Cards

 Chase Utley clubbed a go-ahead two-run homer in the eighth inning as the Phillies clipped the Cardinals, 3-1.  Domonic Brown singled in the other run for the Phillies, who have won four of their last six.  Roy Halladay struck out eight in as many frames, allowing just one run on two hits and no walks as he evened his mark at 6-and-6.  Jonathan Papelbon closed it out for his 25th save.  Carlos Beltran homered for the Cards, who have lost three-of-four.  Barrett Browning suffered his first career loss.

Reds Outslug Cubs To Stop Skid

Todd Frazier went 3-for-4 with four RBI as the Reds outslugged the Cubs, 10-8.  Ryan Ludwick hit a two-run homer and scored four times to help the Reds stop their five-game slide.  Homer Bailey went five-and-two-thirds innings to improve to 10-and-7.  Aroldis Chapman got the final four outs to earn his 26th save.  Alfonso Soriano drove in three runs for the Cubs, who have dropped nine-of-10.  Justin Germano allowed six runs, four earned, in five-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 1-and-2.

Back To School Safety

With schools starting back up in the next week or so, the American Red Cross would like to remind parents to make sure their children get to school safely.

Executive Director of the Mid-Illinois chapter Carl Baker says children should know not to talk to strangers on their way to and from school. He also points out there are other safety precautions children need to take depending on how they get to school.

Children who take buses and from school should remember to only board their bus, and they should always be within view of the bus driver when leaving the bus.

Motorists also need to remember when a bus has yellow flashing lights, it is preparing to stop and when it has red flashing lights and an extended stop sign it is stopped and you cannot pass the bus at that time.

Students who drive to school should always wear their seat belts. Parents should also make sure the driver of the car is not using their cell phone while driving.

The Red Cross also urges students who bike or walk to school to obey all traffic signs and to only cross at crosswalks and when notified.

For more safety tips, go to midillinoisredcross.org.

Monsanto Uping Donations In Disaster Areas

Monsanto Fund's expanding its America's farmers Grow Communities to give more support to drought disaster areas.

The Fund, which allows farmers to donate $2,500 to their favorite non-profit organization, will double its prize in areas declared natural disaster areas by the USDA. Over 90 percent of the US corn and soybean industry affected by the drought, Monsanto knows the help is needed.

Monsanto Fund President Deborah Patterson says its the funds goal to support farmers and rural communities, and they are hoping to have a positive impact on areas affected by the drought.

The Monsanto Fund's America's Farmers Grow Communities gives farmers a chance to nominate their favorite nonprofit organization or group to receive $2,500. Farmers can apply for the donation at growcommunities.com through Nov. 30.

Clinton's Dr. John Warner Hospital was a recipient of this award in 2011.

Free Admission on Monday At State Fair For Seniors

For "Senior Day" on Monday, the Illinois State Fair will offer free admission to those 60 and older.

The state Department on Aging will host activities for seniors and their families in the air-conditioned Illinois Building near the main gate.

The "Not So Newlywed Game" for couples 50 and up will test how much each knows about his or her spouse.

There will be information on the Community Care Program which helps seniors stay in their homes instead of going to a nursing home. Elder abuse prevention will be emphasized as well.

Free screenings sponsored by St. John's Hospital, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and the Illinois Lion's Club will be daily. They include checks of blood pressure, weight, hearing, mental health, skin cancer and more.

Number of Homes Facing Foreclosure Up In July

More U.S. homes started on the foreclosure path in July, as lenders tackled a backlog of mortgages gone unpaid even as they pulled back on home repossessions.

The foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac today reports that the number of homes that received an initial notice of default increased 6% in July compared to the same month last year.

The nation's biggest mortgage lenders reached a $25 billion settlement in February with state officials. That cleared the way for banks to address their backlog of unpaid mortgages.

On average, 104,000 homes have entered the foreclosure process each month going back to May. RealtyTrac says that's well below the 178,000 per-month average in 2009.

The number of homes receiving foreclosure-related notices last month increased generally in states where the courts play a role in the foreclosure process. Illinois is 1 of those states.

SIU Med School Gets Grant For Hearing Loss Study

An Illinois researcher has won a $1.2 million grant for research that could help protect soldiers from noise-induced hearing loss.

Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield announced the grant Thursday.

Kathleen Campbell has been awarded the grant from the U.S. Department of Defense for her continuing work on a nutrient that has been shown to reduce and prevent hearing loss in animals.

Campbell has been studying D-methionine (DEE'-meh-THEYE'-oh-neen), and she has patented it to prevent and treat noise-induced hearing loss.

The new research aims to determine the lowest dose that's effective for different types of noise exposures and the best timing for treatment.

A university announcement about the grant notes that U.S. military disability claims for hearing loss are increasing.

Illinois Offering Free Dental Screenings To Kids

Illinois public health officials are encouraging parents to get their children back-to-school dental checkups and will offer free screenings at the state fair beginning Friday.

State law requires pupils entering Kindergarten, 2nd and 6th grades to have dental exams before school starts. Officials urge annual checkups for all children.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is director of the Illinois Department of Public Health. He says strong teeth are an important part of overall physical health. Studies show children lose 51 million hours of school time because of dental problems.

Volunteer oral health professionals will provide screenings at the department's Wellness on Wheels mobile health van from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays at the fair. The fair in Springfield runs Friday to Aug. 19.

New Strain Of Swine Flu Hits Illinois

There's a new strain of swine flu in Illinois.  Health officials say a child who attended the Coles County Fair has been infected with the new strain but has not been hospitalized.  Most cases of swine flu surface after humans come in contact with pigs.  Officials urge anyone who comes into contact with pigs or any other animal to wash their hands frequently in order to ward off the illness.  People should also be careful not to take any food or drinks around animals.  The illness is spread when droplets of an infected person or animal coughs or sneezes.  Those droplets can either be inhaled or can even be on a surface that you touch with your hand, and then touch your mouth or nose.  Symtoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache, and fatigue.  Those attending the state fair over the next ten days will see extra hand washing stations across the grounds.

Mother Found In Contempt Of Court Again

A mother from Illinois has been found in contempt of court for the seventh time.  Jennifer Watkins missed another court hearing for denying visitation rights to her daughter's grandparents, Dale and Penny Watkins.  Dale and Penny haven't seen their granddaughter since November 2010 after Jennifer fled to Florida.  She moved to Florida after her grandmother shot and killed her estranged husband.  Cass County Judge Bob Hardwick has repeatedly ordered Jennifer to appear for temporary custody exchanges.  She was arrested in Florida in March 2011 for stopping the visitations but won her battle against extradition.  An attorney for Dale and Penny says Jennifer is making a total mockery of the court orders, the justice system and the case.  Still, Penny says she won't give up hope on seeing her granddaughter.

Democrats Believe GOP Candidate Davis is Beatable

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee believes central Illinois Republican congressional candidate Rodney Davis is beatable and will give challenger David Gill extra support.

U.S. Rep. Steve Isreal of New York is committee chairman. Israel says the committee will provide technical expertise to Gill in the 13th District race and what he called other support.

It isn't clear what that other support is, and Gill spokesman Michael Richards says Gill isn't yet sure.

Davis spokesman Patrick Pfingsten contends the Democratic Party support indicates Gill has what the spokesman calls "a radical agenda" not fit for central Illinois.

Richards dismisses that argument and says Gill isn't what he calls a "party-line Democrat."

Davis entered the race after GOP Congressman Tim Johnson decided to drop out.

Gov. Quinn Wants Federal Probe of Megabus

Gov. Pat Quinn wants a federal investigation of the Megabus.com transportation company, which saw two fatal accidents in Illinois in less than a week.

In one, a bus crashed in central Illinois, killing one person. In the other, the mirror on 1 of the company's buses hit and killed a pedestrian in Chicago.

Quinn sent a letter to the U.S. Transportation Department and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Thursday. He asks for "a full investigation" of whether the company follows proper procedures and precautions.

Megabus President Dale Moser says the company is deeply saddened by the deaths but noted that the accidents were unrelated. He says the company has the highest safety rating awarded by the federal agency that regulates bus companies.

Report Shows Drought Worsening In Key Farm States

The latest U.S. drought map shows that excessively parched conditions continue to worsen in the Plains states that are key producers of corn and soybean crops.

The weekly U.S. Drought Monitor map released Thursday shows that the amount of the contiguous U.S. mired in drought conditions dropped a little more than 1%age point, to 78.14%. But the expanse still gripped by extreme or exceptional drought rose nearly 2%age points to 24.14%.

That's because key farm states didn't get as much benefit from rains as elsewhere.

The nation's biggest corn and soybean producer, Iowa, is still grappling with the drought. The amount of that state in extreme or exceptional drought more than doubled, rising from 30.74% last week to 69.14% as of Tuesday.

State's High Court Rules Against Unit Five School District

A lawsuit accusing Bloomington's Unit 5 school district of not taking the necessary steps to stop a sexually abusive teacher will go to trial.  The Illinois Supreme Court issued a five to two ruling today that affirms a lower court ruling that the case involving Jon White shouldn't be thrown out.  White is in prison for sexually abusing students in Urbana and Normal.  The court ruled that the district opened itself up to a lawsuit when it didn't report that White had been suspended for inappropriate behavior at Unit 5.  According to the ruling, the district could have disclosed the information when it filled out an employment verification form when he had applied to teach in Urbana schools.  The court said that information could have been a "red flag."

Central Illinois District Faces $2-Million Deficit

School officials in Bloomington say preliminary budget figures for fiscal year 2013 show a deficit of $2.28 million.

District 87 Administrator David Wood says the budget numbers are all conservative and they're hoping to reduce the projected deficit as much as possible with spending cuts.

Wood told school board members Wednesday night that the deficit is due to a combination of factors, including losing federal stimulus dollars, a loss of state grants and property taxes being down.

Wood says the district will probably be able to reduce the budget gap but not completely close it. District 87 ended fiscal year 2012 $544,000 in the black.

The school board will consider adopting the budget after a public hearing Sept. 26.

Illinois State University Opening New Apartment Complex

About 900 Illinois State University students will move into brand-new apartments next week.

The university is opening its new Cardinal Court apartments in time for the start of the new school year.

ISU President Al Bowman says a private company is running the apartments under a 5-year deal. After that they'll be the university's to run. University Director of Housing says the staff in the apartments, though, will be university employees.

Most of the students who will move in will be sophomores.

The apartments include a commons with a cafe, game room, small theater and exercise equipment.

Okaw 'Megaconference' Seems Unlikely

There has been discussion recently of the possibility of expansion into a "megaconference" for the Okaw Valley conference, and one Okaw administrator doesn't see that as a likely option.

Argenta-Oreana, one of the seven schools seeking to leave the Okaw has brought forward the idea of a possible 16-team "megaconference". Monticello Athletic Director Randy Moss says he would not mind that possibility, but he's not sure where the other teams would come from.

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November is the deadline for any school wishing to leave the conference by the school year beginning in August of 2014. The window of opportunity for these schools to withdraw is quickly closing, and Moss says it's not a matter of if the window closes, but when does it reopen, and what effect it could have on Monticello.

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While right now nothing is about the Okaw's future is definite, Moss hopes the day doesn't come where Monticello leaves. He says they are the only original member of the conference left, but he says, if it was in the best interest of Monticello, or the conference, they would certainly consider leaving.

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The original talks of dismembering of the Okaw were done in private with only certain members of the conference invited. While all the problems may not have been fixed, Moss speculates if things were handled in a more professional manner, perhaps things could be different at this point in time.

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There has been speculation of voting certain members of the Okaw Valley out of the conference. Moss says that has not been discussed in any meetings he has been a part of and does not know if there is the possibility for that moving forward.

DJWH Revamps Website

Clinton's Dr. John Warner Hospital has made some drastic changes to their website this month.

The new website layout  gives each department control over news that is released. This will put more people in charge of the content on the website. DJWH Business Director Sandy Rice says this will help keep the website more up to date.

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The new website will give people the opportunity to look up some information online such as forms you will have to fill out before your appointment. The hospital also added a way to  apply for jobs online. Rice points out a person can submit an application online instead of having to fax it in.

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Rice feels the new website changes will be more convenient for the hospital's patients and staff. She is hoping website features such as the events calendar will be more up to date.

The hospital did not change the address of the website and is still djwhospital.org.

Sprint Cup Series At Watkins Glen

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series runs its second and final road course race of the season this weekend in Sunday's Finger Lakes 355 at Watkins Glen International.  Clint Bowyer won the season's first road course event in June at Sonoma.  Marcos Ambrose became a first-time Sprint Cup race winner one year ago when he took the checkered flag at Watkins Glen.  The event was delayed one day due to rain.  Ambrose passed Brad Keselowski for the lead during a green-white-checkered finish and then held it for his maiden victory in his 105th start in NASCAR's top series.  Jeff Gordon won last weekend at Pocono, but Dale Earnhardt Jr. still holds a five-point lead over Matt Kenseth atop the Cup Standings.  Greg Biffle is just six points back in third, while Jimmie Johnson trails Dale Jr. by just eight points to sit in fourth.  Martin Truex Jr. rounds out the top-five.

Bolt Repeats In Men's 200M As Jamaica Sweeps Medals

Jamaica's Usain Bolt is celebrating an OIympic milestone.  Bolt finished in 19.32 seconds to win the gold medal in the men's 200-meters for the second straight Olympics.  Combined with back-to-back wins in the 100-meters, he's the first man to win both the 100 and 200-meter sprints in consecutive Summer Games.  Jamaica's Yohan Blake finished in 19.44 seconds to win silver, while teammate Warren Weir won bronze with a time of 19.84.  American Wallace Spearmon finished fourth.

Bears Lose Preseason Opener

>>Bears Lose Preseason Opener

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Bears suffered a 31-3 loss to the Broncos in their preseason opener at Soldier Field.  Quarterback Jay Cutler did not play for the Bears.  Jason Campbell went 4-for-5 for 13 yards in the loss.  Chicago continues its preseason slate next Saturday against Washington at Soldier Field.

NFL Preseason
Washington Redskins 7, Buffalo Bills 6
Baltimore Ravens 31, Atlanta Falcons 17
New England Patriots 7, New Orleans Saints 6
Philadelphia Eagles 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 23
San Diego Chargers 21, Green Bay Packers 13

>>Manning Makes Broncos Debut

(Chicago, IL)  --  Quarterback Peyton Manning made his debut with the Denver Broncos in the their 31-3 preseason win over the Bears in Chicago.  Manning was 4-of-7 for 44 yards and an interception.  He played only one series.  The 36-year-old Manning missed all of last season after undergoing a series of neck surgeries.  Manning spent the first 14 years of his NFL career with the Indianapolis Colts. .

Cubs, Sox, Cards Notes

>>White Sox Host A's

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox open up a three-game series against the Oakland Athletics this evening at The Cell.  Gavin Floyd is expected to toe the rubber against Brandon McCarthy in the opener.  The Southsiders dropped two-of-three to Kansas City in their last series to fall to 60-and-50 on the season.

>>Cubs Promote Soler To Peoria

(Undated)  --  The Chicago Cubs have promoted outfield prospect Jorge Soler to Class-A Peoria.  The 20-year-old Soler was signed a couple months ago after successfully defecting from Cuba.  He was hitting .241 with two homers and 10 RBI in 14 games at the rookie level of the Arizona League.

>>'Stros Acquire Tyler Greene From Cards

(Houston, TX)  --  The Houston Astros have acquired infielder Tyler Greene from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations.  Greene, a 2005 first-round pick, has spent his entire four-year career with the Cardinals.  In 77 games this season, the 28-year-old hit .218 with four home runs and 19 RBI.

Cubs, Cards, Win

>>Cubs Deal Reds Fifth Straight Loss

(Chicago, IL)  --  Alfonso Soriano's two-run homer in the bottom of the eighth gave the Cubs a 5-3 win over the Reds in the first of a four-game series.  Starlin Castro laced a two-run double to help Chicago stop its eight-game losing streak.  Shawn Camp was credited with his third win.  Carlos Marmol earned his 14th save.  Zack Cozart and Todd Frazier hit solo homers for the Reds, who have dropped five in-a-row.  Sean Marshall took the loss.

>>Cards Clip Giants

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Carlos Beltran belted a two-run homer to back seven strong innings from Adam Wainwright as the Cardinals edged the Giants, 3-1.  Wainwright struck out seven and allowed just one run on five hits to improve to 10-and-10 on the season.  Jason Motte [[ MOTT ]] closed it out to nail down his 25th save.  Allen Craig added a sac-fly for St. Louis, which snapped a two-game slide to salvage the finale of a three-game set at Busch Stadium.  The Cards look to build on the win when they hit the road to take on the Phillies tonight.

New York Mets 6, Miami Marlins 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 6, Pittsburgh Pirates 3
Washington Nationals 5, Houston Astros 0

Tampa Bay Rays 7, Toronto Blue Jays 1
New York Yankees 4, Detroit Tigers 3
Cleveland Indians 5, Boston Red Sox 3
Kansas City Royals 8, Baltimore Orioles 2

Clinton Police Report for 8-10






Clinton Chamber's Barn Quilt Tour Saturday

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau's 2nd Annual Barn Quilt tour's take place Saturday.

Things kick off Saturday morning at 9 am. Tourism Director at the Chamber, Carolyn Sugg says they are very excited about this year's installment. She explains they have broken the fall's tour into two tours, one to take place Saturday and another in November, and each will feature a new set of barn quilts.


The tour this year will take just one bus full of people around. Sugg feels it makes for a more enjoyable experience. She explains breaking the tour up into two groups did not work as well last year, although it was still an enjoyable experience.


While the barn quilts are available to view at anytime, Sugg believes the guided tour enhances the experience. She says along with hearing the stories from former farmers or the owners of the barns, it also is a fun experience.


For more information about the Barn Quilt tours, or to reserve your spot, you can contact the Clinton Chamber at 935-3364 or visit them at 100 South Center Street on the Clinton Square.

Illinois Celebrates Agriculture Amid Drought

Illinois farmers might need a dose of what the State Fair offers: food, music, games and a break from worrying about the historic drought.

The fair officially begins Friday morning. It comes as a drought scorches corn and soybeans throughout the Midwest.

Officials say they don't expect that to keep many farm families away or affect the quality of the produce they submit for judging. John Hawkins of the Illinois Farm Bureau says the fair might be "a good escape."

The fair begins with a preview day Thursday and runs through Aug. 19.

Admission is $7 for adults and $3 for children.

Performers include Miranda Lambert, Train, Demi Lovato and Cheap Trick.

Scammers Target Illinois National Guard Spouses

The Illinois National Guard says the spouses of deployed service members have been the target of a recent e-mail scam.

The guard said in a Wednesday news release that the fraudulent e-mails are seeking to defraud the spouses of more than $1,000. The e-mails claim to be from a deployed service member who needs money before the service member can travel for temporary leave.

The Illinois National Guard says the e-mails are a scam and they are under investigation.

Illinois State Construction Agency Unveils New Website

An Illinois state construction agency is introducing a new website that makes it easier for builders to watch for upcoming projects and track payments for ongoing work.

Capital Development Board Executive Director Jim Underwood says it will help companies learn more about projects they want to bid on -- including the state's "green" building initiative and school construction.

The "Business with CDB" section identifies upcoming work and explains the bidding process. It allows visitors to track payments for completed work and get information on Illinois building codes or visit a reference library.

There are other sections for frequently requested information and the site even has a "How do I?" tab.

CDB oversees all non-road, state-funded construction projects.

Former Governor To Be Released Early

Former Governor George Ryan will be getting out of prison early after all.  Ryan will be freed in February as part of a work-release program.  He'll reportedly be housed at a half-way house in Chicago once he's released.  The former governor is rounding out a six-and-a-half year sentence for corruption and is scheduled to be paroled in July.

Butter Cow Debuts This Afternoon

The famous butter cow is being unveiled on the state fairgrounds today.  But it won't be completely finished by the time it debuts at 2:30 this afternoon.  That's because fairgoers will get a chance to watch the sculptor, Sharon BuMann, finish the cow during the fair.  The butter cow has been around since the early 1920s and is one of the most popular exhibits at the fair.  It's made of more than 500 pounds of unsalted butter.  But all that butter won't go to waste once the fair is over.  Officials say it will be reused to create another sculpture.  The fair starts tonight and runs through August 19th.

Quinn Defends Investigation At Tamms

Governor Quinn says workers at Tamms prison will have to suffer the consequences if they leaked information about inmates.

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The State Police was sent into Tamms prison yesterday to get more details about employees who leaked personal inmate information to the media.  AFSCME members say they're disturbed by the investigation and call it a heavy-handed attempt to frighten whistleblowers.

Gov. Quinn Signs Education Bills



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Normal's Sweet Corn Blues Festival To Go On

The Sweet Corn Blues Festival held in Normal each year will continue - despite the drought.

There'd been some concern earlier this season that dry conditions would mean a shortage of sweet corn for the sweet corn fest, but organizers say that isn't the case.

Uptown Marketing Manager Joe Tulley the sweet corn sold at the festival comes from Del Monte in Mendota. Tulley says Del Monte irrigates its crops and the festival will have plenty of corn.

In fact, he says organizers are hoping for another record year. Last year, they sold 21 tons of corn.

The Sweet Corn Blues Festival is Aug. 25-26.

Peoria Man Killed On Chicago's South Side

Police in Chicago are investigating the shooting death of a Peoria man found lying on a sidewalk on the city's South Side.

Officers responding to a report of shots fired found 28-year-old Terrell Joshua wounded and unresponsive early Wednesday.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's Office says Joshua was later pronounced dead at John H. Stroger Hospital. An autopsy is planned.

Authorities say Joshua's death is the 14th homicide in Chicago this month.

There's no word of any arrests.

Conceal Carry Referendum On Ballot

Voters in five Western Illinois counties will get a say on a conceal carry advisory referendum in November.  Mercer County Board Member Brian Anseeuw obtained enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot.

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Anseeuw says if the measure passes, they'll likely end up suing the state for the right to carry and conceal.  The proposal will be on the ballot in Mercer, Henry, Warren, Rock Island and Knox Counties.

Farmers Seeking Hardier Breeds For Drought, Climate Change

Confronted with the hottest, driest summer in decades, the nation's farmers and crop scientists are looking ahead to the future heat waves and water shortages that are expected to result from climate change.

They've concluded that it's too late to fight the shifting weather patterns. Instead, they are aiming to adapt with a new generation of hardier animals and plants specially engineered to survive in intense heat with little rain.

In Texas, a rancher is breeding cattle with genes that trace to animals from Africa and India, where their ancestors developed tolerance to heat and drought.

In seed laboratories, researchers are developing corn with larger roots to gather more water. Someday, the plants may even be able to "resurrect" themselves after a long dry spell, recovering quickly when rain returns.

UPDATED: Conservation Tours Registration Deadline Today

Macon, DeWitt and Piatt Conservation Bus Tours will be held Aug. 14-16.

A variety of conservation practices will be discussed throughout the tour which includes wetlands, block chutes, grassed waterways, rock chutes, water & sediment control basins, filter strips, and more.

Lunch will be provide by local farm bureaus at the end of the tour.  

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the bus will depart at 8:30. The tours will start on  Aug. 14 will be in Macon County at the USDA office parking lot on the north side of Richland Community College. On Aug. 15, it will be in DeWitt County starting at the Pinky's Parking lot in Weldon Springs. Piatt County will be on the 16 starting at the Farm Bureau offices.

To reserve a spot on the bus, call 217-877-5670 ext. 3 by Aug. 9. Please notify if accommodations are needed.

Drought Having Minimal Effects On Decatur's Scovill Zoo

Even though the city of Decatur is under strict water restrictions, the Scovill Zoo hasn't had to make that many changes to adapt to it.

Ken Frye of the Scovill Zoo says the zoo has had to make minimal changes to their water usage. As of right now, the only area of the zoo that is hurting is the horticultural part. Frye  points out this is the first year a lot of plants were put into the zoo, and they'll need to be watered more this year .

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Frye feels the zoo might have to cut back on how much they clean out the pools soon. Many animals including flamingos and alligators have pools at the zoo that are cleaned out multiple times a week. He says algae builds up in their animal pools after only 3 days, and if the water restriction stays in place, that's an area they'll have to cut back on.

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The city of Decatur will be under water restrictions until further notice. Frye says the zoo will be able to give water to all of their animals and sees no major worries in the near future.

Clinton Fire Chief Milton Steps Down From Ambulance Advisory Committee

The DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee will be down one member moving forward.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton has stepped down from his role on the committee because of the conflict of interest with the Clinton Fire Department seeking to be the provider of ambulance services for portions of DeWitt County.

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Chief Milton received a letter from DeWitt County State's Attorney Dick Koritz's office asking him to resign from his post on the committee, which Milton says he planned on doing if the opportunity arose allowing the department to make a bid at the ambulance service.

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Chief Milton stepped down Wednesday afternoon as the fire department prepares a proposal to bring before the Clinton City Council, in hopes of gaining their approval to put get the proposal in by the 2 pm Monday deadline.

PGA Championship Tees Off Today

The PGA Championship tees off this morning from The Ocean Course at Kiawah Island.  Keegan Bradley is the defending PGA Championship winner and is coming off a victory at last weekend's Bridgestone Invitational.  Meanwhile, Tiger Woods will look to win the PGA Championship for a fifth time in his career and add to his 14 major championships.  The number-two player in the world has had mixed results in majors this season.  Woods tied for 40th at The Masters and finished 21st at the U.S. Open.  The 36-year-old broke through three weeks ago with his best effort in a major in three years with a third-place finish at the British Open.  His last major win came at the 2008 U.S. Open.  Outside of major championships, Woods has won three times this year and leads the PGA Tour money list as well as the FedEx Cup points race.

Logano Has Options For Full-Time Sprint Cup Ride

Joey Logano is expected to make a decision soon on which team he will drive for next season.  The 22-year-old Logano is reportedly mulling offers for two full-time Sprint Cup rides next year, including one to remain with Joe Gibbs Racing.  Logano is in the final year of his contract in the number-20 Toyota at Gibbs Racing.  ESPN recently reported that Matt Kenseth will replace Logan with the 20 team in 2013.  The number-22 car at Penske Racing has been rumored as a possibility after AJ Allmendinger was released.  Logano currently sits in 17th in points in the Sprint Cup standings.

NFL Notes

>>Hall Of Famer Sayers Talks Bounties

(Undated)  --  Former Chicago Bears running back and Hall of Famer Gale Sayers did his best to hold back tears while talking about the New Orleans Saints' bounty program.  Sayers was filming an interview with Comcast SportsNet Chicago on Wednesday.  Sayers believes the Saints players and coaches should never be allowed back in the game and should be jailed for their actions.

>>Bears Host Broncos In Preseason Opener

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Bears kick off their preseason schedule this evening.  The Bears host Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.  Chicago also plays preseason contests against Washington, the New York Giants and Cleveland before its regular-season opener on September 9th at home versus Indianapolis.  In related team news, the Bears waived tight end Draylen Ross on Wednesday.

>>Alex Brown To Retire A Bear

(Lake Forest, IL)  --  Defensive end Alex Brown is retiring as a Chicago Bear after nine NFL seasons.  Brown signed a one-day contract with Chicago on Wednesday.  Originally selected by the Bears in the fourth round of the 2002 NFL Draft, Brown recorded 43-and-a-half sacks during his eight-year stay with the Bears.  He also had five interceptions to rank second all-time by a Bears defensive lineman, trailing Hall of Famer Richard Dent's eight.  The Florida product started 123-of-143 games played with the Bears and Saints, recording 411 tackles and 45-and-a-half sacks.  Brown will be recognized on the field before the Bears take on the Denver Broncos tonight in preseason action.

>>NFL Preseason Slate Begins In Earnest

(Undated)  --  The NFL preseason kicks off in earnest tonight with six games.  The Redskins and Bills battle in Buffalo, the Ravens and Falcons face off in Atlanta, the Saints play the Patriots at New England, the Steelers square off with the Eagles in Philadelphia, the Packers play the Chargers in San Diego and the Broncos battle the Bears in Chicago.  Eagles head coach Andy Reid is back with the team just days after the death of his son Garrett.  The 29-year-old was found dead in his room Sunday morning at the team's training camp at Lehigh University.  The Packers-Chargers game will feature the first female referee to work an NFL game.  The league is using replacement officials this preseason while in a labor dispute with its regular refs.  The Saints beat the Cardinals 17-10 in Sunday's NFL Hall of Fame Game, which opened the exhibition campaign.  Six more games are on tap Friday night.

Olympics Recaps

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings beat Jennifer Kessy and April Ross
in straight sets Wednesday night to capture their third straight Olympic beach
volleyball gold, winning the all-American final if not with ease, then
certainly with the command of having been there before. Taking control of the
match somewhere near the middle of the first set, May- Treanor and Walsh
Jennings went on to win 21-16, 21-16, finishing the last match they will ever
play together in 36 minutes. May-Treanor, who celebrated a 35th birthday here,
is retiring but Walsh Jennings, who will turn 34 next week and has two sons
with beach volleyball player Casey Jennings, is not walking away.

The United States will meet Argentina in the semifinals of the men's Olympic
basketball tournament for the third straight Olympics after taking down
Australia, 119-86, on Wednesday. LeBron James had a triple-double with 11
points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the Americans, who will do battle with
the Argentines on Friday. Argentina won gold in 2004 at Athens, but the U.S.
avenged that loss four years ago in Beijing while winning gold. Kobe Bryant
ended with 20 points for the United States, which finished a perfect 5-0 in
Group A during the preliminary round, including a 29-point win over Argentina,
which advanced with an 82-77 win over Brazil.

Cubs Swept, Cards Crushed, Royals Roll Over Sox

>>Padres Sweep Cubs

(San Diego, CA)  --  Clayton Richard tossed a five-hitter as the Padres completed a three-game sweep of the Cubs with a 2-0 win.  Richard struck out five and walked two en route to improving to 9-and-11.   Will Venable and Yonder Alonso each knocked in a run for San Diego, which went 5-and-1 on its six-game homestand.  Jeff Samardzija fanned six, but allowed a run on four hits in seven innings to fall to 7-and-10 with the tough-luck loss.  The Cubs have dropped eight straight.

Milwaukee Brewers 3, Cincinnati Reds 2
Atlanta Braves 12, Philadelphia Phillies 6
Pittsburgh Pirates 7, Arizona Diamondbacks 6
Miami Marlins 13, New York Mets 0
Washington Nationals 4, Houston Astros 3
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Colorado Rockies 4

>>Giants Clobber Cardinals

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Marco Scutaro hit a grand slam as part of a seven-RBI night as the Giants demolished the Cardinals, 15-0.  Hunter Pence knocked in two runs and scored another for the Giants, who have won the last two in the four-game set.  Ryan Vogelsong fired seven innings of three-hit, shutout ball to improve to 10-and-5.  Joe Kelly allowed seven runs, four earned, in five-plus innings to fall to 2-and-5.  St. Louis was outhit 15-4 in the laugher.

>>Royals Sneak By White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Jeremy Guthrie dealt eight innings of shutout ball with six strikeouts to lead the Royals to a 2-1 win over the White Sox.  It was Guthrie's first win since being acquired by Kansas City.  Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez supplied the offense with each hitting a solo home run.  The Royals took two-of-three from the White Sox.  A.J. Pierzynski plated Chicago's only run on a RBI single in the ninth, but Royals closer Greg Holland finished off the game.  Jose Quintana fell to 4-and-2, despite only allowing two runs in seven innings.

Cleveland Indians 6, Minnesota Twins 2
Texas Rangers 10, Boston Red Sox 9
Oakland Athletics 9, LA Angels of Anaheim 8
New York Yankees 12, Detroit Tigers 8
Baltimore Orioles 9, Seattle Mariners 2
Tampa Bay Rays 3, Toronto Blue Jays 2

Supporters For CFD's Bid For Ambulance Service Step Up

In their attempt to obtain ambulance service in DeWitt County, the Clinton Fire Department has the support of their union.

Chris Hoosier, AFSCME Council 31, says he approves of the fire departments bid. He adds with thefire department getting new facilities that could house the ambulances and staff, it only makes sense they should be able to have the service. If the fire department receives the ambulance service, they will be centrally located within Clinton.

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(Hoosier mentions plans for a new fire station; there are no plans for a new fire station, confirmed by Clinton City officials.)

Hoosier adds this will give Clinton residents a service they have never had before and will up the level of safety in the city. The Clinton Fire Department already has a strong communication system needed for the EMS system to work. Hoosier believes it is a mistake if the city council does not approve of the idea of an EMS in Clinton.

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Lisa Brenner, President of AFSCME Local #3329, the representative bargaining unit of the DJWH, fully approves of the idea saying it is the Council's duty to provide services such as EMS. She points out the police, hospital and fire department all work hand in hand, and it would be seamless for the ambulances to transfer from the hospital to the fire department.

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Clinton Fire Chief Sean Milton has proposed the idea of the Clinton Fire Department taking over EMS services in DeWitt County, and is currently working on a full fledge proposal for the Clinton City Council. The proposal will also have to go through the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee.  

Both the Council and Committee have set the due date for Monday, Aug. 13.

Quinn Signs Extension of Tax Incentives

A bill that extends tax incentives for businesses within so-called enterprise zones is now law in Illinois.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Tuesday at the Ford Motor Co. plant in Chicago. The law takes effect immediately and extends the program for 25 years.

Businesses within the designated zones essentially get a tax break. The new law also creates a board to oversee the process of determining which companies are eligible.

Ford officials say the incentives have helped them stay competitive. Quinn says they also help create and retain jobs.

The Democratic governor is flying around the state Tuesday to promote the law with stops in Rockford, Peoria, Decatur, Mount Vernon and the Quad Cities planned.

Illinois State Police Open Investigation About Leaks At Tamms

Illinois State Police have launched a criminal investigation at the Tamms Correctional Center after leaks to reporters about the process of closing the prison.

Spokeswoman Monique Bond says "there is an ongoing investigation into criminal activity." She would not say more.

But an employee at Tamms says investigators attempted to interview nine workers there Tuesday. Most of them did not agree to answer questions.

Three investigators were from the state police and one from the Corrections Department, said the employee. He would speak only on condition of anonymity for fear of retaliation.

The prison agency has been concerned about confidential information leaking to the news media about Tamms, which is scheduled to close at month's end.

Drought-Affected Illinois Businesses Can Seek Loans

U.S. Rep. Randy Hultgren says Illinois businesses directly affected by the drought are eligible for emergency loans from the Small Business Administration.

The Economic Injury Disaster Loans are only for non-farm businesses, small agricultural cooperatives and private nonprofit organizations in Bureau, DeKalb, Kendall, Montgomery or Whiteside counties. Vermilion County also is eligible because it borders an eligible Indiana county.

Amounts up to $2 million may be loaned to pay bills left outstanding because of the disaster. The amount is based on a business's size, type of activity and financial resources.

Hultgren says the loans can't make up for lost profits, but can help a business or nonprofit maintain stable operations and save jobs. Applicants have until April 1 to apply by mail or online.

July Ranks Second Warmest On Record For Illinois

A weather expert says Illinois experienced the second warmest and fourth driest July on record.

State Climatologist Jim Angel says the average temperature statewide was nearly 82 degrees and 6.4 degrees above normal. Only July 1936 was warmer.

Average rainfall was 1.5 inches in July. That's 2.6 inches below normal. The state's driest July was in 1930 when average rainfall was 1.02 inches.

The above-average temperatures have continued in August, with some areas getting 1 to 2 inches or more of rainfall so far. Angel says Carbondale reported 4.95 inches, which is more than the 3.03 inches the city received in May, June, and July combined.

The climatologist says Illinois has "a long way to go" to recover the soil moisture, stream flows, lake levels and groundwater it has lost.

State To Defend Prison Closures

The state is slated to defend Governor Pat Quinn's facility closures in court tomorrow.  AFSCME has filed a lawsuit requesting a temporary restraining order to prevent any further closures and inmate transfers.  Union officials say Quinn has rushed prison closures with inadequate safeguards.  Tamms and Dwight prisons plus the youth detention center in Murphysboro are slated to close August 31st.  Inmates at the facilities have already been transferred out.  A hearing has been set for 9 a.m. tomorrow at the First Judicial Circuit Court in Cairo.

Lawmakers To Tackle Pension Liability

Lawmakers are tackling the state's massive pension problem when they head back to Springfield for special session next week.  Governor Pat Quinn says the 83-billion dollar pension liability is taking away from other vital services.  

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Quinn says fixing the pension systems is less about government and more about the people of Illinois.

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The state senate approved a measure restructuring pension payouts for legislators.  They want the House to act on that proposal but Quinn says all the systems need to be reformed.  Comprehensive reform hit a stalemate when lawmakers couldn't agree on a cost shift proposal that would've put a bigger burden on downstate and suburban communities.  Both the House and Senate will be in session on August 17th.

Communities Gear Up For Video Gambling

The state is gearing up to allow video gaming in bars, restaurants, and other public places.  Governor Quinn says they'll be keeping a close eye on the new gaming system.

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Lawmakers passed a proposal to allow video gaming in 2009 but are just now implementing the system.  Quinn says overseers had to get proper equipment before it could be implemented.  He says he'd rather wait and get things right as opposed to dealing with glitches later.  But some gamblers across the state won't have access to video gaming.  That's because some communities have opted out of the system and banned it in their area.

Dry Grass Should Recover

The grass has taken a pretty good beating thanks to extreme dry heat and minimal rainfall this summer but that doesn't mean it's dead.  Martha Smith, with the University of Illinois Extension, says that grass is just dormant and should recover in the fall.  

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Smith says your lawn will probably have some brown spots when the fall season hits.  But that's okay, just water the dry patches and reseed them if necessary.  Smith says if you do choose to water your lawns, trees, plants, or gardens, do it early in the morning to decrease the chance of diseases and to lessen evaporation.

Weekly Crop Report



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Biomass/Cover Crop Field Day To Be Held Tomorrow

The University of Illinois Extension Office and the Agricultural Watershed Institute will hold Biomass/Cover Crop Field day on Thursday, Aug. 9.

The event will be held form 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Progress City in Decatur, outside Richland Community College.  Speakers will include Bob Thomas of Grass Energy Coop,  Paul Wever of Chip Energy and Joel Gruver, an assistant professor at Western Illinois University.

Registration will be held from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.

For more information, call 877-5640.

Local Representative Apalled By Chicago Mayor's Response To Chik-Fil-A Stance On Same Sex Marriage

A local representative is not pleased with Chicago's response to the Chick-fil-A fiasco.

Rep. Bill  Mitchell says he is appalled by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's response to the Chick-fil-A owner taking a stance on same sex marraige. He feels with Chicago becoming the murder capital of the country, he feels they have other things to worry about then a CEO's stance on a certain issue.  Mayor Emanuel has turned down letting Chick-Fil-A build stores in Chicago, since CEO Dan Cathy's stance  is against what the mayor considers to be "Chicago values".

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Mitchell believes people should not be penalized for an opinion, and he is stunned by Chicago's stance.  He says if you are an advocate for or against same-sex marriage, your business shouldn't be penalized. Mitchell pointed out that by turning down Chick-Fil-A to build in Chicago, Mayor Emanuel turned down job opportunities for the city.

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Mitchell says the United States has a Bill of Rights for a reason, and everyone is entitled to their opinion. He says those against Cathy's stance need to go back and read the constitution.

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Residents of the ward in Chicago where the Chick-fil-A was suppose to go have mixed feelings on Chicago's response to the CEO's remarks.

Blue Ridge Schools Seeking Wall of Fame Inductee Nominations

The Blue Ridge School District is currently taking nominations for their 2012 Wall of Fame inductee.

Each year the Parents Advisory Committee of Blue Ridge inducts one person who lives or lived in the school district and made an significant impact on the school district. The person who is will have their picture and name put up on the Wall of Fame in the new gym foyer. They will also be able to participate the Blue Ridge Homecoming Parade. According to Superintendent Susan Wilson, the person will be inducted at the Blue Ridge homecoming game on Sept. 21.

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Wilson adds since there is only one spot to fill each year, they get a lot of good candidates who do deserve it, but they go another way. She says the committee rolls over the nominations into the following years, so they can look back and put a person on the Wall of Fame at a different time.

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The committee will be accepting nominations through Wednesday, Aug. 15.  A nomination form can be found on the website under High School Parents Advisory Committee. All nominations should be submitted to High School Principal John Lawerence.


>>Dodge Ends NASCAR Relationship In 2013

(Undated)  --  Dodge is driving away from NASCAR competition.  The automobile maker announced its withdraw from NASCAR following the 2012 season at a Tuesday press conference.  Penske Racing has been the lone NASCAR organization to field Dodges since 2009, but announced its plan to leave the manufacturer for the Ford Motor Company starting in 2013.  Penske had been with Dodge since 2003 and won 29 Sprint Cup races and a Nationwide Series championship with Brad Keselowski.  Dodge also left NASCAR in 1977 before returning in 2001.

>>Allmendinger Tested Positive For Adderall

(Charlotte, NC)  --  Former NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver A.J. Allmendinger is speaking out about what got him suspended and ultimately released from Penske Racing.  Allmendinger told ESPN on Tuesday that he tested positive for the prescription pill Adderall.  He says he had been out in Louisville the Wednesday before the Quaker State 400 at the Kentucky Speedway and was tired, so a friend gave him a pill and told him it was an workout supplement that would give him energy.  Two days later, Allmendinger randomly tested positive for an amphetamine.  He is currently going through NASCAR's "Road to Recovery" program and hopes to have it completed by August.

Source: Bulls Closing In On Deal With Teague

A person familiar with the situation says the Chicago Bulls were closing in on a contract with first-round draft pick Marquis Teague.

The person spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because a deal had not been announced.

The Chicago Tribune, citing sources, reported Teague will earn his slotted salary of $857,000 next season and is expected to make 120% of the slotted rate in the following years.

A Kentucky product, Teague was taken with the 29th pick and is expected to fill a backup role at point guard. The Bulls signed Kirk Hinrich and Nate Robinson in an effort to get by while Derrick Rose recovers from a major knee injury.

Teague averaged 10.0 points and 4.8 assists to help Kentucky win a national title in his lone season. Older brother Jeff plays for Atlanta.

Bears, Football Notes

>>Bears' Urlacher In Jeopardy Of Missing Preseason-Opener

(Bourbonnais, IL)  --  Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher is doubtful for tomorrow's preseason-opener against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.  Urlacher missed his fifth straight practice on Monday for "personal reasons."  Urlacher sprained the MCL and PCL in his left knee seven months ago in the Bears' regular-season finale last season and the team is not going to rush him bad too soon.

>>Webb, Carimi Named Bears Starting Offensive Tackles

(Bourbonnais, IL)  --  J'Marcus Webb and Gabe Carimi are the Bears' starting offensive tackles.  Chicago offensive coordinator Mike Tice says Webb will get the starting nod on the left side and Carimi on the right for the team's first preseason game tomorrow.  Carimi is still working his way back after missing most of his rookie campaign last year with a knee injury.  Webb started all 16 games last season at left tackle.  Veteran lineman Chris Williams will also get looks on the right side until Carimi is fully recovered.

>> Manning Looking Good Heading Into Preseason Games

Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos are treating their visit to Chicago on Thursday night just like any other preseason opener.

Only, it isn't.

This marks the 4-time MVP's first game of any sort since Jan. 30, 2011, when he went 2 for 5 for 12 yards and an interception in the AFC's 55-41 loss to the NFC in the Pro Bowl.

Manning missed all of last season with a nerve injury in his neck that weakened his throwing arm and led to his release from Indianapolis, setting off the biggest free agent frenzy in NFL history.

He's looked like the Manning of old ever since landing in Denver. Even on Tuesday, when he had several incompletions at practice against an ever-improving defense, Manning's decision-making was sharp.

>> Bears Sign DE Walker To 1-Year Deal

The Chicago Bears have signed defensive end Derek Walker to a 1-year contract and waived offensive lineman Tyler Hendrickson.

The moves were announced on Tuesday.

The 6-foot-4, 270-pound Walker entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Seahawks in 2009 out of Illinois and spent part of last season with the Chicago Rush, an arena team. Hendrickson was an undrafted rookie free-agent tackle out of Concordia in St. Paul, Minn.

All Locals Lose

>>Padres Thump Cubs

(San Diego, CA)  --  The Padres raced out to a 7-0 lead en route to a 7-4 win over the Cubs.  Carlos Quentin provided the big blow with a three-run homer for the Padres, who have won the first two in the three-game series.  Ross Ohlendorf allowed only one earned run in six-plus innings to improve to 4-and-2.  Huston Street earned his 20th save.  Josh Vitters smacked a pinch-hit, two-run single for the Cubs, who have lost seven straight.  Brooks Raley allowed all seven runs in four innings to take the loss in his first MLB start.

>>Giants Take Down Cardinals

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Buster Posey belted a three-run homer in the first and the Giants notched a 4-2 win over the Cardinals.  Joaquin Arias added an RBI double in the sixth for the Giants, who have won four-of-five.  Barry Zito fired six-and-two-thirds innings of two-run ball to improve to 9-and-8.  Jeremy Affeldt locked up his third save.  Allen Craig homered twice for the Cardinals.  Lance Lynn permitted all four runs during his six innings of work to fall to 13-and-5.

Philadelphia Phillies 3, Atlanta Braves 0
Arizona Diamondbacks 10, Pittsburgh Pirates 4
Miami Marlins 4, New York Mets 2
Washington Nationals 3, Houston Astros 2 (12 inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 3, Cincinnati Reds 1
Colorado Rockies 3, Los Angeles Dodgers 1

>>Royals Top White Sox

(Chicago, IL)  --  Billy Butler belted a two-run homer and Alex Gordon plated the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, as the Royals rallied for a 5-2 win over the White Sox.  Gordon and Tony Abreu both had two hits, an RBI and scored a run for KC, which has won two-of-three.  Bruce Chen tossed six-and-two-thirds innings of two-run ball as he improved to 8-and-9 with his first win since June 26th.  Greg Holland closed it out for his second save.  Gordon Beckham homered and Adam Dunn drove in the other run for the White Sox, who had won two in-a-row and five-of-six coming in.  Jake Peavy allowed three runs in six-and-two-thirds as he fell to 9-and-8.

Minnesota Twins 7, Cleveland Indians 5
Detroit Tigers 6, New York Yankees 5
Baltimore Orioles 8, Seattle Mariners 7 (14 inn)
Texas Rangers 6, Boston Red Sox 3
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Toronto Blue Jays 1
Oakland Athletics 10, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4

Illini To Play At Soldier Field In 2013; Illini Host Ga. Tech On ESPN2

>> Illini Add Soldier Field Game Against Huskies

Illinois has added the University of Washington to its 2013 football schedule and will play the Huskies at Soldier Field in Chicago.

Illinois said in a news release Tuesday that the Illini will face the Huskies on Sept. 14.

Illinois has only played one other game at Soldier Field. That was a 10-9 win over Washington State in 1994.

The Illini last played in Chicago in November 2010. Illinois defeated Northwestern 48-27 at Wrigley Field.

The Illini also announced they've finished out their 2013 schedule by adding a Sept. 28 game against Miami (Ohio) at Memorial Stadium in Champaign.

Other non-conference games were also added against Youngstown State in 2014, Western Illinois and Kent State in 2015 and Western Michigan in 2016.

>> Illini Game Against Georgia Tech Will On ESPN2

The University of Illinois says new basketball coach John Groce's debut against Georgia Tech in the annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge will be televised nationally by ESPN2.

The school said in a news release Tuesday that the Illini will take on Georgia Tech at home on Wednesday, No. 28. The game will start at 9 p.m. Eastern.

The teams have met seven times and Illinois has won all but one. But the Yellow Jackets and Illini haven't played since 2001.

Groce came to Illinois from Ohio earlier this year after former Illini coach Bruce Weber was fired.

Illinois has won three straight in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The Illini knocked off Clemson in 2009, North Carolina in 2010 and Maryland last year.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-8


August 8, 2012


Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0


Rebecca Messick, 45, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Messick posted her IL Driver’s License and was released.


Charles Marvel, 61, Waynesville, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Marvel posted his IL Driver’s License and was released.




Lincoln School District Example of Why Consolidation Does Not Always Work

Many smaller school districts throughout central Illinois have one superintendent that presides over the entire district. However, there are larger districts with a Superintendent for their high school, and separate Superintendents for the feeder districts to that high school.

Much debate has been made in the Lincoln community about consolidating these separate districts into one large district. Superintendent of Lincoln Community High School, Robert Bagby says Lincoln is the "poster child" for why consolidation would not work. Bagby spoke in front of Lt. Governor Sheila Simon almost a year ago on the issue.


On top of using the same salary schedules and the highest benefits package, the district would also enforce the highest tax rate. Bagby explains if the Lincoln districts were to consolidate, Lincoln residents would see their property tax rates increase close to $800 per year. He feels not many residents would be in favor of that kind of tax hike.


The most common argument may be to eliminate the administrative positions in those districts. Bagby explains many Superintendents in the other districts serve a duel role as a principle. He also points out consolidation would result in other administrative positions, including a transportation and a curriculum coordinator, which the Lincoln district currently does not have.


The Lincoln district has put together a committee to work with the feeder schools to keep them up to date with what the high school is doing. Bagby explains there are many cooperations they have in place with meals, transportation and supplies. He feels it is a good working relationship.


The Lincoln High School feeder schools include the New Holland-Middletown, West Lincoln-Broadwell, Chester-East Lincoln, District 27, and Zion Lutheran Schools.

Four Recovering After Lightning Hits Car

Two adults and two children from Illinois are recovering after having survived a lightning strike to the car they were in as they traveled in western Kentucky.

McCracken County Sheriff's deputies were called to the scene Sunday on Interstate 24 after lightning struck the 2005 Ford Freestyle as it traveled on an off ramp at Exit 16.

Four people in the vehicle were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. They included 38-year-old Brian McDowell, 38-year-old Jade McDowell, 11-year-old Grace McDowell and 17-year-old Paige Krutsinger, all of Mattoon, Ill.

The newspaper reports they were no longer at the hospital Sunday night, meaning they were likely treated and released.

Illinois Gears Up For Start of Video Gambling

Chino's Pizzeria in suburban Chicago is among the first Illinois locations to get video poker machines.

More than three years after Illinois approved video gambling to fund construction projects, the first machines are arriving at approved establishments, like bars.

Chino's owner Roberto "Chino" Vasquez thinks it'll be good for his business in Justice. That's about 25 miles from Chicago.

The Illinois Gaming Board predicts the machines should be ready to play within weeks. They have to test a computer system first.

Officials predict up to 75,000 machines will be installed statewide.

Illinois approved video gambling to help fund a construction program. Gaming is estimated to raise about $375 million yearly.

But the process was slow. There was a legal challenge, gaming board staffing shortages and errors with the contract bidding.

Illinois Governor Signs Four Fire Safety Bills

Legislation requiring all college dorms to have sprinklers installed by 2014 is 1 of 4 new fire safety bills Gov. Pat Quinn has signed into law.

The bill beefs up past legislation by instituting tougher penalties for post-secondary schools that don't comply. That includes a $1,000-a-day fine if sprinklers aren't installed by Sept. 1, 2014.

Quinn also signed legislation on Monday that encourages fire protection districts to buy equipment built in the state. They'll get lower interest rates on loans to buy fire vehicles that are made in Illinois.

Other legislation consolidates loan programs to help departments buy emergency equipment and another streamlines the examination process to hire local firefighters.

Quinn Says Former Governor Ryan 'Must Do The Time'

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says former imprisoned Gov. George Ryan should serve out the rest of his sentence.

On Monday a federal court denied an appeal filed by Ryan. The 78-year-old is nearing the end of a 6 1/2 -year sentence. He's due to be released next year.

Among other things, Ryan was convicted in 2006 of steering state contracts and leases to political insiders while secretary of state and then as governor, receiving vacations and gifts in return.

A ruling in his favor could have led to Ryan's release from prison. It was widely seen as his last chance to get out early.

At an unrelated event, Quinn said that the court has spoken and Ryan had his day in court.

He says Ryan has to "do the time."

Quinn: Pension Reform Possible

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn believes lawmakers will be able to reach an agreement on pension reform.

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Quinn says not doing pension reform will have dire consequences in just four years.

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Speaking in Chicago yesterday, the governor says pension reform has to be done or else the state will spend more on pensions than education by 2016.  He's hoping the General Assembly can pass his plan in just one day and not have to extend the August 17th special session any longer.

Another Appeal By Ex- Governor George Ryan Denied

Another appeal by former Illinois governor George Ryan has been denied.  The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled today Ryan couldn't be released early from his six-and-a-half-year prison sentence.  Ryan's lawyer, ex-Governor James Thompson, calls the decision disappointing.  Ryan could appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, but Thompson isn't sure that will happen.  Ryan is in prison for racketeering and fraud.

Fire In Streator Home Kills 3-Year Old Girl

Authorities in north-central Illinois have identified the young girl who died after a fatal home fire in Streator.

The LaSalle County coroner's office says firefighters pulled 3-year-old Saranadee Green-Libby from her bedroom in the four-unit apartment building Sunday. The girl later was pronounced dead at St. Mary's Hospital.

Fire Chief Tom Risley says it took firefighters 15 to 20 minutes to knock down the bulk of the fire, which involved the northeastern corner of the two-story building.

The Illinois State Fire Marshal's office is also investigating.

Peoria Man Pleads Guilty To Setting Fires

A Peoria man has been sentenced to 27 years in prison for setting fires at three complexes where he worked.

The trial of 46-year-old James E. Armentrout was set for trial. However, Armentrout pleaded guilty Monday in Peoria County Circuit Court to three counts of aggravated arson in connection with the fires he set on April 18.

Assistant State's Attorney Marcia Straub said Armentrout, who worked as a janitor for a property management company, was arrested in April.

The fire occurred at 4 of the management company's properties in Peoria. Authorities say the fires were set in the maintenance rooms of the complexes. There were no injuries.

Authorities say Armentrout told investigators he had a rash of personal problems and had begun drinking before setting fires.

Decatur Officials Add New Restrictions To Water Use

Decatur officials are tightening up restrictions on water use as Lake Decatur continues to drop.

Officials on Monday announced that water can't be used to water lawns, fill swimming pools or wash vehicles. Gardens used to grow food can be watered but only within strict limits. The local bulk water-sales station will also be closed.

Those restrictions follow rules put in place last month that included requiring restaurants to provide water only on request. Residents had been allowed to water lawns on certain days and use car washes.

City officials say the drought affecting much of the country has led the water level in Lake Decatur to drop. The city and major local industrial users such as Archer Daniels Midland Inc. rely on the lake as their primary water source.

Red Cross Receives Grant From Caterpillar

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross received a grant to help distribute information on safety and supplies.

The Chapter received the $12,000 grant from Caterpillar to help programs such as Ready Rate program and Team Stopper program. Executive Director Carl Baker says the grant will help prepare families and companies in the area to be prepared when fires and other disasters hit. Baker notices fires are the most common disasters in the area, and these programs will help people in the area know how to handle those situations.

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Director of Public Support for the Mid-Illinois Chapter Tara Winter says the grant is Caterpillar's way of saying they support what the Red Cross is trying to do. She adds many other organizations and companies such as Clinton Chamber of Commerce, State Farm and the Country Companies in Bloomington. The Red Cross will use the money in areas where they see the most need to help people stay safe.

[audio:73012grant2.mp3] [/audio]

Winter feels this gives the chapters a chance to look at all the possible disasters that can happen in a rural community. She says the money will also go to help their outreach work and let more people know what the Red Cross has to offer and what a person can do to help make other people's lives safer.

For more information on the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross and its programs, go to midillinoisredcross.org.

Clinton Fire Department Approved To Create Proposal For Ambulance Service; Not In Clear Yet

The Clinton Fire Department's bid to obtain ambulance service for the county took a positive step forward Monday evening.

Two options were discussed on how to proceed forward for the Fire Department. According to City Attorney, Stephen Myers, the city could work with DeWitt County in an intergovernmental agreement, which would negate the Fire Department from moving forward in submitting a proposal. Myers felt as though entering into an intergovernmental agreement would be a better way to proceed, rather than have the Fire Department submit a proposal to the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee.

[audio:8712cfdambulance1.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton felt it would be better to pursue submitting a proposal through the Committee's RFP. He feels the County has done a lot of work to enter into a governmental agreement and he does not want to negate that work.

[audio:8712cfdambulance2.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters expressed a great deal of concern. She says the concern she is getting in feedback from those in the community she has spoken to is they fear the tax money would return to the hospital, that is not what the community wants. She also fears entering into an intergovernmental agreement could leave the city fending for themselves in providing Clinton residents with ambulance services, but without funding.

[audio:8712cfdambulance3.mp3] [/audio]

The Council elected to move forward in allowing Chief Milton to put together a proposal, however, the City Attorney and City Council will review what Chief Milton puts together.

The Fire Department is not yet in the clear, the Council elected to meet Monday, August 13 at 1 pm to review the Fire Department's proposal. Why is that significant?

The deadline for proposals to the DCAAC is Monday August 13 at 2 pm. Leaving very little time for any changes that may be necessary to the document that need to be made.

NASCAR Fan Struck By Lightning Identified

The NASCAR fan who was killed on Sunday after being struck by lightning in the parking lot of Pocono Raceway has been identified as 41-year-old Brian Zimmerman of Moosic, Pennsylanvia.  The incident occurred in the parking lot behind the grandstands at the racetrack and Zimmerman died while en route to Pocono Medical Center.  Another fan, who was transported to Lehigh Hospital in Allentown and was listed in critical condition, has now been upgraded to stable.  Nine other people were injured during Sunday's violent storm.

On the track, Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag during the rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400.  Gordon claimed his 86th career win in NASCAR's premier series but his first since September 2011 at Atlanta.  Kasey Kahne [[ KANE ]], Martin Truex Jr., Brad Kesolowski and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five.

Bears Sign WR Davis To One-Year Deal

The Chicago Bears have signed wide receiver Rashied Davis to a one-year contract and placed wide receiver Devin Thomas on the reserve/left team list.  Davis spent last season with the Detroit Lions, recording four receptions for 63 yards through 11 games.  The 33-year-old played the first seven years of his career with the Bears and has 92 career catches for 1,095 yards and five touchdowns over 103 games with 15 starts.  Thomas announced his retirement on Sunday.  The Bears play their first preseason game on Thursday against the Denver Broncos at Soldier Field.

U.S. Men's Basketball Blasts Argentina

The United States men's basketball team has finished group play with a perfect record.  Team USA used a 42-point third quarter to cruise to a 126-97 win over Argentina on Monday in its final preliminary contest at the London Olympics.  Kevin Durant scored a game-high 28 points as the Americans finished atop Group A action at 5-and-0.  The U.S. is the lone unbeaten squad in the tournament.

Danks; Garza Injury Update

>>Cubs' Garza Out Indefinitely

(San Diego, CA)  --  Chicago Cubs pitcher Matt Garza will be out indefinitely due to issues with his right elbow.  Garza was diagnosed with a stress reaction in the elbow on Monday.  He was pulled from his last appearance on July 21st against the Cardinals when he felt cramping in his right triceps.  During a bullpen session Saturday he felt stiffness and was sent back to Chicago on Sunday.  The 28-year-old was a heavy topic of trade rumors prior to the July 31st deadline.  He's 5-and-7 with a 3.91 ERA this season.

>>Danks Goes Under The Knife

(Chicago, IL)  --  White Sox pitcher John Danks underwent successful surgery to repair a capsular tear in his left shoulder on Monday.  Minor debridements of the rotator cuff and biceps were also fixed.  Danks has already been ruled out for the rest of the season.  He is expected to be ready by the start of spring training.  Danks went 3-and-4 with a 5.70 ERA in nine starts for Chicago this season.

Cards, Sox Win; Cubs Shut Out

>>White Sox Double Up Royals

(Chicago, IL)  --  Gordon Beckham smacked a go-ahead solo homer in the eighth as the White Sox doubled up the Royals, 4-2, in the opener of a three-game set.  Kevin Youkilis also had an RBI double in the eighth, while Paul Konerko connected on a solo shot in the seventh.  Chris Sale struck out seven over eight innings of two-run ball to improve to 13-and-3.  Addison Reed logged his 20th save. Chicago has won two straight and five-of-six.  Jeff Francoeur and Billy Butler launched solo homers for the Royals, who have dropped three-of-five.  Luis Mendoza allowed all four runs in seven-and-a-third innings to fall to 5-and-8.

Minnesota Twins 14, Cleveland Indians 3
Detroit Tigers 7, New York Yankees 2
Baltimore Orioles 3, Seattle Mariners 1
Boston Red Sox 9, Texas Rangers 2
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 4, Oakland Athletics 0

>>Cards Crush Giants

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Jon Jay finished 4-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored as the Cardinals crushed the Giants, 8-2, for their seventh straight home win.  David Freese and pinch-hitter Matt Carpenter also drove in two runs each for the Cards, who have won four in-a-row and six-of-seven overall.  Jake Westbrook tossed six innings of two-run ball as he improved to 11-and-8.  Buster Posey and Angel Pagan both clubbed solo homers for San Francisco, which had won its previous three.  Matt Cain struck out seven in five-and-two-thirds, but allowed five runs and eight hits to fall to 10-and-5 with the loss.

>>Padres Blank Cubs

(San Diego, CA)  --  Eric Stults and four relievers combined on a five-hitter as the Padres blanked the Cubs, 2-0, in the opener of a three-game set.  Stults allowed all five hits while striking out five and walking two in five-and-a-third innings to improve to 2-and-2.  Huston Street earned his 19th save.  Yonder Alonso and Everth Cabrera each drove in a run for the Padres, who have won three-of-four.  Travis Wood allowed both runs in six innings to fall to 4-and-8.  The Cubs have dropped six straight.

Atlanta Braves 6, Philadelphia Phillies 1
Pittsburgh Pirates 4, Arizona Diamondbacks 0
Washington Nationals 5, Houston Astros 4 (11 inn)
Milwaukee Brewers 6, Cincinnati Reds 3
Colorado Rockies 2, Los Angeles Dodgers 0

Former Penn State Lineman Officially Joins Illini

The University of Illinois says redshirt freshman offensive lineman Ryan Nowicki has completed his transfer from Penn State.

Illinois head coach Tim Beckman said Nowicki practiced Monday with the Illini at preseason camp. The 6-5, 280-pound lineman is among nine players who have left Penn State following NCAA sanctions imposed last month. The sanctions came after the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal. Nittany Lion players are allowed to transfer and play elsewhere right away.

Illinois assistant coaches drew criticism for traveling to State College, Pa., immediately following the sanctions to speak to Nittany Lion players interested in leaving.

Clinton High School Golf Tryouts This Week; Mandatory Meeting Tonight

The Clinton Maroons high school golf team will hold tryouts on
Thursday, August 9 at 6:45am at the Clinton Country Club.  All
athletes must have a sports physical in order to tryout.

An informational meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 7 at 6:30pm
in the Clinton High School auditorium.  This meeting is mandatory for
all parents and athletes participating in a fall sport.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report


August 4, 2012


Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1


August 5, 2012


Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


August 6, 2012


Jail Population: 79

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


Audrie Dunlap, 21, Clinton, was issued a citation for No Valid Driver’s License. Dunlap was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Christopher Tatro, 22, Decatur, was issued a citation for Speeding (60 mph in a 45 mph zone). Tatro promised to comply and was released.


Timothy Sheppard, 18, DeWitt, was arrested and charged with Possession Of Alcoholic Liquor By Minor. Sheppard posted the necessary bond and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:15 a.m. on Saturday, August 4, revealed that a vehicle driven by Eric Robb, 19, Kenney, was traveling north on Fuller Street, then turned left onto Sheldon Street. Robb lost traction on the freshly graveled road, causing him to strike the vehicle belonging to Travis Taulbee, 19, Kenney. Taulbee’s vehicle was unoccupied at the time of the accident and no injuries were reported.




Clinton Fire Department Getting To Work On Ambulance Proposal

The Clinton Fire Department will be diligently working this week to prepare their proposal for the DeWitt County Ambulance Advisory Committee.

The Clinton City Council recessed their Monday meeting to this coming Monday August 13 to decide whether to allow the Fire Department to submit their proposal to the Advisory Committee. A lot of discussion Monday evening was dedicated to this issue, and Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton says, that's just good city government at work.

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This is something the Fire Department has been discussing for some time. Chief Milton says the evidence is there to support having a fire department run an ambulance service. He says the process has brought their plans to light quicker than they expected.

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A lot has been made of the timing of the Department's request. Chief Milton explains this has been hingent on the timetable of the DCAAC. He could not propose it before the committee put out their request for proposal (RFP) because he did not know what would be in that. He says his request is basically going to be what the County is asking for in an ambulance service.

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Chief Milton is on the DCAAC, however, he says in order to keep things uncontroversial, he will not be voting on any of the proposals they receive. Milton says he got on the committee as a last resort.

[audio:8812miltonreax4.mp3] [/audio]

Because of the short time when the DCAAC opened up their RFP, the time they are taking those proposals is short, Chief Milton says he wishes his department could have more time. He admits though they need to make due and get to work to have their proposal ready to present to the Clinton City Council Monday.

The council reconvenes Monday at noon to review the proposal the Fire Department comes up with. The proposals are due to the DCAAC by 2 pm Monday afternoon.

Could Tougher Voting Laws Squelch Youth Vote?

Gone are the days when young voters weren't taken seriously.

In 2008, they helped elect Barack Obama, supporting him by a 2-1 margin.

But that higher profile has landed them in the middle of the debate over some state laws that regulate voter registration and how people identify themselves at the polls.

Since the last election, several states have tried to limit or ban the use of student IDs as voter identification.

Proponents say the laws are intended to combat voter fraud. Others see these efforts as attempts to squelch the aspirations of the budding young voting bloc, and are using that claim to try to get more young people fired up.

Illinois Getting Tougher on Human Trafficking

Illinois is getting tougher on those involved in human trafficking and forcing the vulnerable into prostitution.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed a law Saturday that strengthens the ability of prosecutors to target those behind what he called "a tragic trade."

The measure also offers greater protection to the victims, who are often from vulnerable groups like runaways, abused children and immigrants.

Among other changes, the new law expands the definition of "serious harm" to include non-physical forms of coercion, like psychological intimidation or withholding a passport to keep someone in servitude.

It also lengthens the statute of limitations for prosecuting those who exploit minors.

The National Human Trafficking Resource Center says Illinois generates the fifth highest number of calls to its hotline.

Illinois EPA Working To Improve Livestock Oversight

The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is responsible for regulating pollution from large livestock farms, called concentrated animal feeding operations. Here are some facts about CAFOs in Illinois:

The Illinois EPA believes there are about 3,500 livestock farms large enough to be considered CAFOs, but still isn't sure because many were built before the state began requiring preapproval of big farms by the Illinois Department of Agriculture in 1996. Officials say they're still working to develop a comprehensive list of CAFOs to help prioritize inspections, after the U.S. EPA ordered it to do so two years ago.

The state has issued Clean Water Act permits to 31 CAFOs by the end of 2011, although it estimates that 500 farms should have them. CAFOs are not required to get the permits unless they have polluted, which can happen if a waste lagoon or pit leaks or if manure is overapplied to cropland.

The state EPA issued violation notices to 24 CAFOs in 2011, mostly for discharges and waste-handling violations.

A total of 10 livestock farms were referred to the attorney general's office for enforcement actions in 2010 and 2011.

The state hired six additional people to work on inspecting and issuing permits to CAFOs, doubling the number of people working on those tasks, after the U.S. EPA in 2010 said the state was failing to issue necessary permits.

Aging Baby Boomers Face Home Health Care Challenges

Jobs for home health care aides are expected to grow at a faster rate than all others over the next decade as baby boomers age. But keeping up with the demand will be tough because of low pay and a lack of benefits.

Unions and advocacy groups say nearly half of all home care workers live at or below the poverty level. Most aides make less than fast food workers and don't get sick days or health insurance themselves.

Private agencies that employ home health workers blame states and the federal government for failing to increase reimbursement rates for Medicaid and Medicare patients while their costs rise.

The owner of a home health agency in Cleveland says she's left to compete with discount stores and fast food places for workers.

The latest installment in Aging America, the joint AP-APME project examining the aging of the baby boomers and its impact on society.

NIU Probes Existence of Secret 'Coffee Fund'

Northern Illinois University officials are investigating reports of an alleged secret bank account channeling thousands of dollars to university employees.

NIU employees working at a campus physical plant allegedly sold scrap metal to a local company which would write checks to an account for university employees known as the "coffee fund."

Electronic records show checks from the DeKalb Iron and Metal Company to the fund have totaled more than $13,000 since 2005. The single biggest payout in the past five years was $778 for 5,560 pounds of galvanized clips that were delivered in March.

School officials say they have no record of such a fund. NIU spokeswoman Kathryn Buettner says they'll open an investigation.

Gov. Amps Up Pressure To Overhaul Pension

Gov. Pat Quinn is warning of dire financial consequences for school districts unless lawmakers overhaul Illinois' pension systems.

The Chicago Democrat supports a plan to make suburban and downstate school districts pay their own retirement costs, which the state currently pays. Republicans have objected and claim it'll burden schools and increase property taxes.

Quinn's office released figures Sunday, claiming Illinois' unfunded liability is increasing so fast that it'll cost school districts more in the long run because lawmakers will have to slash education funding.

Quinn's office estimates that under the shift plan schools would pay $49 million in new pension costs for the 2014 fiscal year. Without reforms, those same districts would see their budgets slashed by $152 million.

He's called an Aug. 17 special session to deal with pensions.

Big Questions For Assault Weapons Ban

Gov. Pat Quinn has given himself a tough job in trying to pass a ban on assault weapons.

He introduced the plan by using his veto powers to gut a bill and replace it with the proposed ban. The Chicago Democrat says that's constitutional, but at least one Illinois Supreme Court ruling suggests otherwise.

A court challenge seems likely if the ban is approved. But approval is a longshot.

The bill Quinn amended is controlled by an opponent of gun control. There's almost no chance he would allow a vote on banning assault weapons.

And if it passed the state Senate, the House might rule that the governor exceeded his authority by making such a sweeping change with his amendatory veto.

Big Livestock Farms Breed Controversy In Rural Illinois

Supersized livestock operations in rural Illinois and around the country are breeding controversy as neighbors complain about manure, odors and worries of declining property values.

Known as concentrated animal feeding operations, the farms can hold thousands of cattle or tens of thousands of hogs. Some generate more waste than many cities, prompting complaints that gases are causing health problems and that manure runoff pollutes waterways and wells.

In Illinois, there are thousands of the farms, with applications for dozens more.

Curt Davis lives near one in Buckhart in central Illinois that he failed to stop with a lawsuit. He says it's more like a factory than a farm.

Owner Robert Young says the economy left him little choice but to embrace the new type of livestock operation.

Hot Summer Means Early Apple Crop In Illinois

First peaches. Now apples.

With hotter-than-usual temperatures, orchards in southern Illinois are reporting their apple crops are weeks ahead of schedule.

Tom Range of Braeutigam Orchards in Belleville says they picked Gala apples last week. Normally they pick them in the middle of August.

Another surprise this year - the sugar content of the fruit is very high, making for sweeter fruit.

Sherry Chase of Mills Apple Farm in Marine explains that the apples "tend to be sweeter because the sugars are more concentrated."

She says the farm started picking Gingergold apples the second week of July.

Pick-your-own orchards may be in trouble if the heat causes apples to fall before they're picked.

Chase says some rainfall would be a big help.

Thousands of Fish Dying As Midwest Streams Heat Up

Thousands of fish are dying in the Midwest as the sizzling summer dries up rivers and raises water temperatures in some spots to nearly 100 degrees.

About 40,000 shovelnose sturgeon were killed in Iowa last week as water temperatures reached 97 degrees. Nebraska fishery officials say they've seen thousands of dead catfish, carp, and other species in the Lower Platte River, including the endangered pallid sturgeon.

Officials in Illinois say the drought has claimed tens of thousands of large- and smallmouth bass and channel catfish and killed many of the endangered greater redhorse fish.

The fish are dying amid 1 of the hottest and driest summer in decades. More than 3,000 heat records were broken over the last month.

Lincoln's Art and Balloon Festival Up And Coming Central Illinois Event

The annual Art and Balloon Festival is set for Aug. 24-26 in Lincoln, IL.

The festival will include an art fair, hot air balloons, carnival rides, live music, BBQ cook off, large kite demonstration and an antique car show. Executive Director of the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce Andi Hake says there's a little something for everyone at the festival.

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Hake says the festival started out as just an art fair and expanded from there. The artists use to put a few hot air balloons around the courthouse downtown, now knowing it is not safe they moved the balloons out of town to the airport. Hake feels the festival goal is have everyone downtown for the fair during the day, and then out to the airport at night to view the hot air balloons.

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The balloon part of the Art and Balloon Festival allows festival goers to ride in a hot air balloon. For a full ride in a hot air balloon, it must be reserved before hand and it costs $250. Hake says for this year's festival there are only a few spots left. She adds people can do tethered balloon rides, which is a hot air balloon tied to the ground that can lift six people at a time up and look over the airport grounds and surrounding neighborhoods.   

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Hake points out that some years they can't send people up in the balloons due to weather restriction. She says if the wind speed is too high, they can't send the balloons up into the air. They are at the mercy of mother nature.

To make the festival happen and be the up and coming festival of central Illinois, the Lincoln Chamber of Commerce is looking for volunteers. Hake says it takes about 600 volunteers to make the festival fully functioning. She says volunteers get a wristband to enter the festival for the entire weekend, but do have to pay parking for parking.

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For more information on how to volunteer or for a full schedule of events, visit lincolnillinois.com or call 217-732-2385.

DJWH Seeking Approval For USDA Loan

The Dr. John Warner Hospital has been approved for a loan through the USDA.

Prior to being accepted for the loan, hospital officials were seeking to refinance a current loan they have through the USDA, which would have increased the debt, but made their payments smaller. CEO of the city owned hospital, Earl Sheehy explains they have been rejected for the refinancing portion of the loan.

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The loan they are currently applying for, the hospital will look to upgrade their emergency power distribution system, put floor covering in the Rural Health Center. Sheehy notes they are also looking to pave the Physical Therapy building parking lot. That project needs to be done by this fall.

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Tonight, prior to the Clinton City Council meeting, there will be a public hearing for the USDA Loan the hospital has applied for. The Public hearing is set for 6:45 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

DeWitt County Friendship Center Finalist For Office Makeover

The DeWitt County Friendship Center is a finalist for the RK Dixon "Make My Non-Profit Run Better" Contest and needs the community's support to win.

Since 2006, RK Dixon invites non-profit organizations from Illinois and Iowa to participate in the contest every year. So far, they have given away $250,000 worth of office equipment to non-profit organizations. The company give $15,000 to the first place winner, and five smaller prizes are given to the runner up, with fifth place receiving a new copier valued up to $1,000. Friendship Center Executive Director Sissy Leggett says when she got the call to ask if the Center wanted to participate, she couldn't pass it up.

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Leggett says getting a new copier would help out tremendously at the center. The one they currently are using is leased to them. She adds getting their own copier would give more room in the budget to do more activities for those who use the Friendship Center.

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The Executive Director has a few ideas for what advancements she would like to make in the Friendship Center outside of getting a new copier. If they won one of the bigger prizes, she says she would like to add in a computer area to teach seniors how to use them. She feels any prize though would help the Center greatly.

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To vote for the Friendship Center, go to rkdixon.com, select DeWitt County Friendship Center and then click on vote at the bottom of the page.  Voting is open until 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, and voters can vote once a day, per computer.

More information about the contest is on the website as well.

Bradley Rallies To Win Bridgestone

Keegan Bradley fired a six-under 64 to rally to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational on Sunday.  Bradley finished 13-under for the championship.  Jim Furyk led the entire round, but closed with a bogey on 18 and finished in a tie for second with Steve Stricker at 12-under.  Seven-time champion Tiger Woods finished in a tie for eighth at four-under.  Phil Mickelson was four-over.

Gordon Wins At Pocono

Jeff Gordon took the checkered flag at a rain-shortened Pennsylvania 400 on Sunday.  Gordon led eight laps under caution before a severe thunderstorm moved over the area.  The start of the race was delayed 90 minutes due to rain and was called 62 laps short of its 160-lap, 400-mile distance.  Gordon claimed his 86th career win in NASCAR's premier series but his first since September 2011 at Atlanta.  Kasey Kahne [[ cain ]], Martin Truex Jr., Brad Kesolowski and Tony Stewart rounded out the top-five.

Olympics Notes

>>Phelps Caps Career With 18th Gold

(London)  --  Michael Phelps closed out his career as the most decorated Olympian of all-time over the weekend.  Phelps helped the U.S. win the 4-by-100 relay on Saturday with help from Matt Grevers, Brendan Hansen and Nathan Adrian.  It was the 18th gold medal and 22nd overall in Phelps' Olympic career.  After going eight-for-eight in gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps won four gold and two silver in London this year.  The 27-year-old Baltimore native was also awarded a FINA lifetime achievement award following his race on Saturday.  FINA is the world governing body for the five aquatic disciplines of swimming.

>>Bolt Wins Men's 100-Meter Final

(London)  --  Usain Bolt is the fastest man in the world.  The Jamaican set an Olympic record with a time of 9.63 seconds to win the gold medal in the men's 100-meter final.  Bolt, who also owns the world record time in this event at 9.58 seconds, defended his gold medal winning performance at the 2008 Beijing Games.  Fellow Jamaican Yohan Blake captured the silver with a mark of 9.75 seconds.  American Justin Gatlin was 0.16 seconds back of Bolt to take home the bronze.  Gatlin won the 100-meter gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.  Tyson Gay and Ryan Bailey of the United States finished fourth and fifth, respectively.

Safety Darwyn Kelly Commits To Illinois

The Illinois Fighting Illini football team has added another recruit to its Class of 2013.  Senior safety Darwyn Kelly from Howard D. Woodson High School in Washington, DC has committed to Illinois.  The 6-foot-1, 195-pound Kelly is ranked as the 44th best safety in the nation.  The Illini now have 16 commitments in its 2013 class.

Cubs Trade Baker; Call Up Prospects Jackson; Vitters

>> Tigers Acquire Cubs' Baker

The Detroit Tigers have acquired Jeff Baker from the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers to be named later.

Baker, who has played first base, second base and in the outfield this year, hit .269 in 54 games for the Cubs. He gives the Tigers some extra depth and another right-handed hitter. His role will likely be similar to what Ryan Raburn was being asked to do. Raburn is on the disabled list with a sprained right thumb, and he's hitting .172.

Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said Sunday the Tigers had claimed Baker off waivers and were able to work out a deal with Chicago. He says Baker is a good fit for Detroit against left-handed pitching.

>> Cubs' Jackson, Vitters Make Debuts In Cubs Loss

Top draft picks Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters got a typical Chicago Cubs' welcome to the major leagues: Chicago blew three leads and lost 7-6 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The outfielder, taken with the 31st overall selection in the 2009 amateur draft, was 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and a walk. Vitters, a third baseman taken third in 2007, pinch hit in the seventh inning and flied to left.

Both were brought up Sunday from AAA Iowa.

Both are California products. Jackson was drafted from Cal-Berkeley and Vitters from Cypress High School in Cypress, Calif.

Cards Sweep Crew; Cubs Lose On Walk-Off; Sox Win

>>White Sox Sink Angels

(Chicago, IL)  --  A.J. Pierzynski blasted a pinch-hit two-run home run to help the White Sox beat the Angels, 4-2.  Pierzynski has homered in five straight games.  Kevin Youkilis lifted a solo shot for Chicago, which has won four-of-five.  Nate Jones improved to 5-and-0 out of the bullpen.  Addison Reed locked up his 19th save.  Mike Trout and Torii Hunter each drove in a run for Los Angeles, which has lost four of its last five.  Jason Isringhausen dipped to 3-and-2 with the loss.

Detroit Tigers 10, Cleveland Indians 8 (10 inn)
New York Yankees 6, Seattle Mariners 2
Boston Red Sox 6, Minnesota Twins 4
Baltimore Orioles 1, Tampa Bay Rays 0 (10 inn)
Chicago White Sox 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
Kansas City Royals 7, Texas Rangers 6 (10 inn)
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Oakland Athletics 5

>>Cards Clip Brewers

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Kyle Lohse tossed six innings of shutout ball as the Cardinals topped the Brewers, 3-0.  Lohse struck out six and improved to 12-and-2.  Jason Motte recorded his 24th save for St. Louis, which swept the three-game series.  The Cards have won five-of-six overall.  Daniel Descalso was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.  Marco Estrada dipped to 0-and-5 after giving up a run over six innings.

>>Dodgers Down Cubs In Ninth

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Hanley Ramirez hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Dodgers a 7-6 win over the Cubs.  Matt Kemp was 1-for-3 with three runs scored, while Joe Blanton dealt six innings of two-run ball in his first start for Los Angeles.  Reliever Kenley Jansen earned the win despite blowing the save when he allowed a game-tying home run to Anthony Rizzo in the top of the ninth.  It was Rizzo's ninth homer of the season and it capped a 2-for-4 day with three RBI.  Reliever Shawn Camp was tagged with the loss.

Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Cincinnati Reds 2
Atlanta Braves 6, Houston Astros 1
Washington Nationals 4, Miami Marlins 1
Philadelphia Phillies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
San Francisco Giants 8, Colorado Rockies 3
San Diego Padres 7, New York Mets 3

Cubs Trade Baker; Call Up Prospects Jackson; Vitters

>> Tigers Acquire Cubs' Baker

The Detroit Tigers have acquired Jeff Baker from the Chicago Cubs for two minor leaguers to be named later.

Baker, who has played first base, second base and in the outfield this year, hit .269 in 54 games for the Cubs. He gives the Tigers some extra depth and another right-handed hitter. His role will likely be similar to what Ryan Raburn was being asked to do. Raburn is on the disabled list with a sprained right thumb, and he's hitting .172.

Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said Sunday the Tigers had claimed Baker off waivers and were able to work out a deal with Chicago. He says Baker is a good fit for Detroit against left-handed pitching.

>> Cubs' Jackson, Vitters Make Debuts In Cubs Loss

Top draft picks Brett Jackson and Josh Vitters got a typical Chicago Cubs' welcome to the major leagues: Chicago blew three leads and lost 7-6 to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The outfielder, taken with the 31st overall selection in the 2009 amateur draft, was 2 for 4 with a pair of singles and a walk. Vitters, a third baseman taken third in 2007, pinch hit in the seventh inning and flied to left.

Both were brought up Sunday from AAA Iowa.

Both are California products. Jackson was drafted from Cal-Berkeley and Vitters from Cypress High School in Cypress, Calif.

Cards Sweep Crew; Cubs Lose On Walk-Off; Sox Win

>>White Sox Sink Angels

(Chicago, IL)  --  A.J. Pierzynski blasted a pinch-hit two-run home run to help the White Sox beat the Angels, 4-2.  Pierzynski has homered in five straight games.  Kevin Youkilis lifted a solo shot for Chicago, which has won four-of-five.  Nate Jones improved to 5-and-0 out of the bullpen.  Addison Reed locked up his 19th save.  Mike Trout and Torii Hunter each drove in a run for Los Angeles, which has lost four of its last five.  Jason Isringhausen dipped to 3-and-2 with the loss.

Detroit Tigers 10, Cleveland Indians 8 (10 inn)
New York Yankees 6, Seattle Mariners 2
Boston Red Sox 6, Minnesota Twins 4
Baltimore Orioles 1, Tampa Bay Rays 0 (10 inn)
Chicago White Sox 4, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 2
Kansas City Royals 7, Texas Rangers 6 (10 inn)
Toronto Blue Jays 6, Oakland Athletics 5

>>Cards Clip Brewers

(St. Louis, MO)  --  Kyle Lohse tossed six innings of shutout ball as the Cardinals topped the Brewers, 3-0.  Lohse struck out six and improved to 12-and-2.  Jason Motte recorded his 24th save for St. Louis, which swept the three-game series.  The Cards have won five-of-six overall.  Daniel Descalso was 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI.  Marco Estrada dipped to 0-and-5 after giving up a run over six innings.

>>Dodgers Down Cubs In Ninth

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  Hanley Ramirez hit a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the ninth inning to give the Dodgers a 7-6 win over the Cubs.  Matt Kemp was 1-for-3 with three runs scored, while Joe Blanton dealt six innings of two-run ball in his first start for Los Angeles.  Reliever Kenley Jansen earned the win despite blowing the save when he allowed a game-tying home run to Anthony Rizzo in the top of the ninth.  It was Rizzo's ninth homer of the season and it capped a 2-for-4 day with three RBI.  Reliever Shawn Camp was tagged with the loss.

Pittsburgh Pirates 6, Cincinnati Reds 2
Atlanta Braves 6, Houston Astros 1
Washington Nationals 4, Miami Marlins 1
Philadelphia Phillies 5, Arizona Diamondbacks 4
San Francisco Giants 8, Colorado Rockies 3
San Diego Padres 7, New York Mets 3

Clinton Farmer's Market Awarded Grant For Electronic Payments

Clinton Area Farmer's and Artisans Market was one of 150 farmer's markets in the state to receive a free wireless electronic banking and transaction machine.

Elizabeth Burns of the Clinton Area Farmer's and Artisan's Market says the market still needs to be approved by the USDA. They also have to go through training, but she says overall she is happy Clinton was selected. If the USDA does approve, the local farmer's market will receive a machine that accepts Link, debit and credit cards

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Personnel will be trained later this month on how to operate the machines. Burns says vendors will be reimbursed at the end of each day by the market for what was paid for through the EBT machine, and encourages people to visit the farmer's market to see how it works. She hopes the market will receive the machine in time for the Apple 'n' Pork festival.

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Lt. Governor Sheila Simon views the grant as a complete win. Sales in markets that already have the devices already have almost doubled, and Simon adds it keeps money in the state, helps people be able to buy fresh produce and helps our local economies.

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All farmers markets who receive a device will go through training on how to properly use it. The grant also covers 1 year of free service. The grant is part of Illinois' EBT wireless Project.

Clinton Police Weekend Report













Emergency Resolution Filed To Release CRP Filter Strips For Farmers

As a result of the severe drought in the state of Illinois, State Representative Adam Brown has filed an emergency resolution to release Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land filter strips for farmers to use to help feed their cattle. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has already released a small portion of the land this year in response to the drought, but Brown says that’s not nearly enough considering the current conditions Illinois farmers are facing.

According to Brown, the drought is drying up fields, making it extremely difficult for farmers to feed their livestock and the CRP land released by the USDA needs to be significantly increased in order to help farmers and their cattle. He believes releasing filter strips would generate the support these farmers need in order to provide the massive amount of feed cattle need to survive.

Close to 50% of CRP has been released; this would put the mark at 65% and open access to thousands of farms that currently don't have CRP access.  Also, 78% of cattle nationwide are in drought conditions, meaning Illinois must free up feed reserves to keep feed and food prices down.

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Generally, only certain CRP practices will be able to be utilized for emergency haying and grazing.  Filter strips are not currently included in CRP ground that can be used for emergency haying and grazing.  Drought conditions often result in poor pastures and reduced forage yields, so adding this ground would provide livestock producers additional acres they could utilize for feeding their cattle.  If the filter strip ground is not released, it could make it that much more difficult for farmers to obtain feed sources for their livestock.

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Many downstate producers say their access to CRP land is limited and by opening filter strips they can keep their cattle healthy. If the filter strips cannot be used for grazing then they will face substantial losses to our livestock.

Madigan Says New Law In Effect To Fight Synthetic Drugs

Attorney General Lisa Madigan Thursday commended Gov. Pat Quinn for signing an important law this week that will help combat the spread of synthetic drugs in Illinois.

Attorney General Madigan’s office drafted the bill, which amends the state’s Food, Drug and Cosmetics Act to target the retail sale of synthetic drugs.  Specifically, the new law addresses the fact that synthetic drugs are packaged with misleading labels designed to give the impression that the products are legal and “not intended for human consumption.” These deceptively labeled products are then sold in retail stores. 

Madigan explains they found drug makers lure people into using the drugs by disguising them in misleading packages and passing them off as legal products.  She adds the manufacturers are also continually reformulating these toxic substances to circumvent the drug laws. She feels this new law will end the game of catch up and cracks down on retail sales by classifying as illegal any chemical that’s sold to be taken as a drug, regardless of what it’s called or how it’s labeled.

The new law defines a “synthetic drug product” as any product containing a controlled substance not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  The law makes it a Class 2 felony, punishable by three to seven years in prison and a $100,000 first offense fine to sell or possess with intent to distribute any form of synthetic drug products in Illinois.  The law also significantly increases the penalty for selling or possessing with intent to distribute any drug that is misleadingly labeled, making it a Class 2 felony.

She says law enforcement now has "a clear and strong prohibition" on these sales that synthetics manufacturers cannot circumvent with some newly concocted recipe or modified label.

The legislation became effective with the Governor’s signature on July 31 and was sponsored by Rep. Jerry Costello II and Sen. Kwame Raoul.

This legislation is part of Attorney General Madigan’s ongoing work with local police and county sheriffs throughout the state to address the growing use of synthetic drugs, particularly among teens and young adults. In December 2011, Madigan launched retail store sweeps, known as “Operation Smoked Out,” shortly after hosting the state’s first emergency summit to increase awareness of synthetic drugs. Since the retail store visits began, store owners across the state have relinquished more than 31,000 packages of synthetic drugs and bath salts with a street value of almost $689,000. In June, Madigan hosted a joint meeting with the Indiana Attorney General and law enforcement leaders from Illinois and Indiana to share information gathered and strategies developed by law enforcement agencies in the border states. And last month, investigators from Madigan’s office participated in the first-ever nationwide takedown of synthetic and other dangerous designer drugs.

The rise in the use of synthetic drugs can be seen in the dramatic increase in calls to Poison Control Centers about synthetic marijuana and “bath salts,” another type of synthetic drug that contains chemical compounds that mimic the effects of cocaine or methamphetamine. In 2010, Poison Control Centers nationwide received 2,915 calls related to synthetic marijuana use. That figure jumped to 6,890 calls in 2011. Reports concerning bath salts were made 303 times to Poison Control Centers in 2010. A year later, the centers received 6,072 calls about bath salts.

Weekly Weather Update

State averages were above normal the entire month of July, and it was also one of the driest. There are small chances of rain through out the state, but above normal temperatures aren't going anywhere.

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Washington Nationals 7, Miami Marlins 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Philadelphia Phillies 2
Cincinnati Reds 3, Pittsburgh Pirates 0
Atlanta Braves 4, Houston Astros 1
Miami Marlins 5, Washington Nationals 2
St. Louis Cardinals 9, Milwaukee Brewers 3
San Francisco Giants 16, Colorado Rockies 4
San Diego Padres 3, New York Mets 1
Los Angeles Dodgers 6, Chicago Cubs 1

Detroit Tigers 10, Cleveland Indians 2
New York Yankees 6, Seattle Mariners 3
Tampa Bay Rays 2, Baltimore Orioles 0
Minnesota Twins 6, Boston Red Sox 5 (10 inn)
Chicago White Sox 8, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6 (10 inn)
Texas Rangers 5, Kansas City Royals 3
Oakland Athletics 5, Toronto Blue Jays 4 (15 inn)

No Games Scheduled  --  Olympic Break

Cards Crush Brew Crew

David Freese and Daniel Descalso each knocked in a pair of runs as the Cardinals topped the Brewers, 9-3.  Yadier Molina scored twice for St. Louis, which has won three-of-four.  Joe Kelly tossed five-and-two-thirds frames of three-run ball for the win.  Ryan Braun was 3-for-5 for Milwaukee, which had won three in-a-row.  Randy Wolf knocked in two runs at the plate and gave up five in five-and-a-third innings for the loss.

Dodgers Crush Cubs

A.J. Ellis was 3-for-3 with three RBI and two solo homers to power the Dodgers to a 6-1 win over the Cubs.  Hanley Ramirez finished 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI for Los Angeles, which snapped a three-game slide.  Chad Billingsley tossed seven innings of one-run ball while fanning seven to pick up the win.  Jeff Samardzija [[ suh-MARD-juh ]] allowed five runs in five-and-a-third innings to suffer the defeat for Chicago.  Luis Valbuena's RBI double accounted for the lone run for the Cubs, who have lost three straight.

ChiSox Top Halos In Extras

 Alex Rios blasted a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning to give the White Sox an 8-6 win over the Angels.  Rios also hit a solo shot in the sixth.  A.J. Pierzynski added a three-run shot in the first for Chicago, which has won three straight.  Matt Thornton earned the win in relief.  Hisanori Takahashi suffered the loss out of the bullpen.  Mike Trout had a two-run home run for Los Angeles, which has lost three in-a-row.  Albert Pujols chipped in with a solo bomb.

Macon County Presents Disaster Preparedness Event

The Macon County Association for Home & Community Education brings the founder of Chasing4Life to Decatur on Saturday, September 8, 2012. Eddy Weiss is a disaster preparedness expert and educator, who tours the United States presenting over 700 programs annually. Weiss’ presentation for Decatur is titled “Tornados; Are You Ready for the Ride?” This free-to-the-public program will be held at Tabernacle Baptist Church, 650 N. Wyckles Road, Decatur, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Weiss speaks from 11:00 a.m. to noon.

Weiss says this will be "a unique, no-nonsense presentation to help prepare you for eight important seconds of your life." He will also discuss what is happening around the country regarding tornado preparedness, how your family can be better prepared, and what should be in your home disaster kit. The audience will hear stories from a storm chaser, and Community Educators will be on-hand to provide further information on how to prepare for disasters.

The American Red Cross will have activities for children and information to distribute. Lunch will be available for purchase. Although registration is not required to attend, the first 500 who do register will receive a gift at the Home & Community Education “Door Prize” booth. Call 217-877-6042 to make a reservation. All attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to help refill area food pantries.

This community event is sponsored by Moran & Goebel Funeral Home, Tabernacle Baptist Church, and University of Illinois Extension. For more information visit www.mchce.org or call the Extension office at 217-877-6042.

Conservation Tours To Be Held The 14-16

Macon, DeWitt and Piatt Conservation Bus Tours will be held Aug. 14-16.

A variety of conservation practices will be discussed throughout the tour which includes wetlands, block chutes, grassed waterways, rock chutes, water & sediment control basins, filter strips, and more.

Lunch will be provide by local farm bureaus at the end of the tour. 

Registration begins at 8 a.m., and the bus will depart at 8:30. The tours will start on  Aug. 16 will be in Macon County at the USDA office parking lot on the north side of Richland Community College. On Aug. 17, it will be in DeWitt County starting at the Pinky's Parking lot in Weldon Springs. Piatt County will be on the 17th starting at the Farm Bureau offices.

To reserve a spot on the bus, call 217-877-5670 ext. 3 by Aug. 9. Please notify if accommodations are needed.

Illinois Officials Release Tornado Preparedness Video

Illinois officials are encouraging schools across the state to talk to students about tornado safety when they return to class.

To help get the message across, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency is asking school administrators and others to watch a video about tornado preparedness it just released.

In a news release, the agency says the video outlines steps such as identifying shelter space within school buildings and plans they can make to move students to a shelter location if there is a threat of a tornado.

Included in the video is security camera footage from Joplin, Mo. school on the day last year when the tornado that killed more than 160 people struck the community.

The video is available at www.Ready.Illinois.gov.

Illinois Honors Tuskegee Airmen With Highway Video

Travelers visiting one northern Illinois rest stop may now see a video tribute to Chicago's legendary Tuskegee Airmen.

State Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider unveiled the video Friday at the Prairie View rest area on Interstate 57 in Will County.

The Chicago "DODO" chapter of fighters was part of the highly decorated Tuskegee Airmen, the first group of black U.S. military pilots.

They flew more than 15,000 combat sorties during World War II and continue today with programs to provide education opportunities to young people.

The rest area is just south of the Tuskegee Airmen Memorial Trail. It runs along I-57 from Sauk Trail Road to Wentworth Avenue in Chicago.

The Transportation Department installed signs to mark the trail.

Biomass Cover Crop Field Day August 9

The University of Illinois Extension Office and the Agricultural Watershed Institute will hold Biomass/Cover Crop Field day on Thursday, Aug. 9.

The event will be held form 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Progress City in Decatur, outside Richland Community College.  Speakers will include Bob Thomas of Grass Energy Coop,  Paul Wever of Chip Energy and Joel Gruver, an assistant professor at Western Illinois University.

Registration will be held from 8:30 to 9:15 a.m.

For more information, call 877-5640.

IDNR Recommends Caution At Fishing Tournaments Due To Hot Weather

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) is recommending fishing tournament organizers implement additional precautions regarding the catch and handling of fish during upcoming tournaments on Illinois lakes and waterways due to continued hot weather and drought-related water conditions. 

Research has demonstrated that the water quality conditions in even the best boat live-wells can reach near-lethal or lethal conditions during the heat of summer.  Although most research indicates that survival of bass caught in fishing tournaments is usually good, the mortality of bass brought to tournament weigh-ins is highest during the heat of the summer.   With Illinois’ record-setting heat this summer, lethal conditions for tournament-caught fish can develop rapidly.

When considering ways to protect fish caught during tournaments this summer, the IDNR Division of Fisheries recommends that tournament organizers consider:

Reducing the length of the tournament and lowering the number of fish that can be brought to the weigh-in or reducing the length of the tournament reduces the amount of time that bass caught are exposed to the stress of declining water quality. Also, by shortening the length of the tournament, both the fish and anglers reduce time spent at tournament weigh-ins during what may be the hottest part of the day.  By reducing the number of fish brought to the scales, the demand for oxygen and live-well crowding is reduced.   In addition, fewer fish in the live-well will help fish maintain the condition of the slime coat that is essential to reduce susceptibility to infections after release back into the water.

Ways To Prevent Foodborne Illness

Summer is the time for outdoor picnics and barbeques, but unless precautions are taken, foodborne illness can occur, says a dietitian at SIU School of Medicine.

Foodborne infections increase in the summer months because of the warmer temperatures. And more people are cooking and eating outside where food can spoil faster. Eating contaminated food may cause symptoms such as fever, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. Sybil Cox, registered dietitian at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, offers some tips to keep food safe.

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To help prevent food from spoiling, she recommends putting food that needs to be chilled in a cooler with ice and keeping it in the cooler until it’s time to cook or serve it. She says people need to be aware of the length of time the food is sitting out in hot weather. Also, Cox says foods need to be cooked to the proper temperatures.

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Cox says children, the elderly, pregnant women and individuals with a weakened immune system are at most risk of getting a foodborne illness.

If someone does get sick from food, they should drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration and see their personal physician as soon as possible.

EPA Issues Air Pollution Alert For Chicago

State officials have issued an Air Pollution Action Day Alert for Friday for the Chicago metropolitan area.

The alert comes from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and Illinois Partners for Clean Air. Officials say regional air quality is expected to be unhealthy for sensitive groups. This is the ninth action day for 2012.

Air quality monitoring and conditions show ozone levels will potentially be elevated on Friday and pose health hazards. Those particularly at risk include people with respiratory or pulmonary disorders and active children and adults.

State Looks To Pay Not-for-Profit Agencies

Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka is asking Illinois not-for-profit agencies to contact her office if state payments are putting their operations in peril.  She's directed her staff to prioritize payments for day programs, child group homes, community living facilities and other programs for serving the developmentally disabled.

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Topinka stopped by Transitions of Western Illinois this morning.  Transitions receives about 85 percent of its business from the state, according to Executive Director Mike Rein, and the state owes the agency about two million dollars.  Illinois still has nearly eight billion dollars in unpaid bills sitting on Topinka's desk.  Agencies can contact the comptroller's office at IllinoisComptroller.com for more details.

Water Restrictions Shouldn't Impact Fairgoers

Springfield residents and businesses are under strict water conservation orders but how does that work when one of the state's biggest attractions is rolling into town?  Amber Sadin, with City Water Light and Power, says it shouldn't impact experiences at the Illinois State Fair at all.  

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State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnicksays water conservation is always a priority during the event.  

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The fair staff is expected to adhere to the ordinance when it comes to above ground watering.  They're only allowed to water the grass three days per week.  Sadin says she doesn't know when the ordinance will be lifted, that all depends on Mother Nature and how much rainfall comes down in the near future.  The state fair starts next Thursday and runs through August 19th.

AFSCME Files Suit To Stop Prison Closures

Prison workers in Illinois are asking a judge to stop Governor Quinn from shutting down two prisons.  AFSCME Spokesperson Anders Lindall says the closures put workers and inmates in danger.  

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Lindall adds transferring inmates to already overcrowded facilities will lead to trouble.

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The union is seeking an injunction to halt the prison closures, along with adult transition centers in Carbondale, Chicago and Decatur, and youth centers in Joliet and Murphysboro.  AFSCME officials say Illinois prisons already house 15-thousand too many inmates and Quinn's plan will make the problem worse.  Quinn wants to close the facilities in order to save the state money and get the budget under control.  The prisons are scheduled to close August 31st.

Turtles Stolen From Peoria Zoo Found

Two endangered turtles that were stolen from the Peoria Zoo have been found in a backyard.

Zoo officials say four children between the ages of 10 and 12 took the spotted turtles from an aquarium sometime on Sunday. The turtles were discovered missing on Monday, the same day the four children returned to the zoo and ran from workers who found them in restricted area. The children were caught with a rabbit. They told authorities where to find the turtles.

Zoo director Yvonne Strode says the zoo was thrilled to get the turtles back alive and healthy.

Strode says she can't remember a visitor trying to steal a zoo animal in more than 12 years.

Woman Who Died In MegaBus Crash Was India Native

A 25-year-old passenger who died in the crash of a double-decker Megabus in Illinois was a native of India traveling to central Missouri.

Aditi R. Avhad was headed to Columbia, Mo., when the bus slammed into an interstate bridge support pillar Thursday near Litchfield. Dozens were sent to hospitals with injuries. It's not clear how many remained hospitalized early Friday.

Illinois State Trooper Brad Lemarr said he didn't know where Avhad was seated on the bus, which was traveling between Chicago and Kansas City. The city in which she lived was also not immediately known.

Some hospital officials said early Friday they still were treating patients, though none were reporting any of the injuries to be life-threatening.

Troopers had reported that 38 people were taken to hospitals for injuries.

Double-Decker Bus Slams Into Pillar, 18 Ambulances Called

Officials say a packed double-decker Megabus traveling from Chicago to Kansas City blew a tire before slamming head-on into a concrete bridge support pillar on an Illinois interstate.

Illinois State Police Trooper Doug Francis says he has no reports of fatalities but can't immediately confirm the number of injuries from the Thursday wreck of the discount charter bus.

Television helicopter footage shows numerous emergency vehicles surrounding the bus and rescue crews climbing ladders to reach inside its smashed front end. Some passengers are being tended to along the side of Interstate 55.

MegaBus spokeswoman Amanda Byers the bus was at full capacity, carrying 81 passengers when it crashed near Litchfield, about 55 miles northeast of St. Louis. The bus also was to stop in St. Louis and Columbia, Mo.

Report Shows Drought Intensifying In Plain States

The latest U.S. Drought Monitor survey shows an increase in extreme drought conditions in four Plains states but a slight decrease in the overall area of the lower 48 states experiencing some form of drought.

The map posted Thursday on the monitor's website shows that nearly two-thirds of the lower 48 states is experiencing some drought. Recent rainfall pushed the percentage down to 62.91, from last week's 63.86.

The report says one-fifth of the U.S. is experiencing extreme drought. That number ticked up nearly 2%age points to 22.3%, largely because of worsening conditions in parts of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma.

The area of the lower 48 states classified as facing exceptional drought, the most serious classification, rose from 2.38% last week to roughly 3%.

Clinton's Farmers Market Joins Local Spending Push

The state of Illinois is encouraging citizens to use $10 of your weekly food budget, and find your local farmers market, and spend it there.

The Clinton Area Farmers and Artisans Market has been encouraging Clinton and DeWitt County residents to do this for a while now. Elizabeth Burns with the Market says the goal is to keep the money local because some of that money will be reinvested locally.

[audio:8312localfood1.mp3] [/audio]

Burns points out there are many vendors at the Market who travel longer distances, who might take time to spend their money in the Clinton and DeWitt County area. She says you taking time to spend money at the farmers market directly impacts those vendors and keeps them coming back.

[audio:8312localfood2.mp3] [/audio]

The farmers market also has great resources for using the produce they sell. Burns says whether your meals are centered around the produce you pick up at the market, or if you are looking for ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into your meal planning, she says they have some great recipe books on hand to use as guides, in fact, a local store on the square has incorporated one of the recipes Burns pointed out to them on their menu.

[audio:8312localfood3.mp3] [/audio]

Burns says if everyone spent $10 a week locally, it would turn into $2.15-billion into the economy.

The farmers market runs between 8 am and noon on the downtown Clinton Square each Saturday, then from 1 pm to 2pm at the Clinton high rise.

Apple N Pork Organizers Seeking Volunteers

Even though it's the beginning of August, the DeWitt County Museum is in the middle of getting ready for the 44th Apple 'n' Pork Festival.

Resident Manager of the DeWitt County Museum Larry Buss says after the museum's July meeting, the museum starts preparing for the festival. He adds the museum spends this time figuring out what groups are participating and vendors that will be coming.

[audio:8312Pork1.mp3] [/audio]

Apple 'n' Pork has been having record setting attendance the past few years. Buss feels to keep up with the large crowds, there needs to be a large volunteer base. He says the volunteers are highly appreciated and help make Apple 'n' Pork the festival it is.

[audio:8312Pork2.mp3] [/audio]

The Museum is looking for volunteers of all kinds. Buss says there is a volunteer job for everyone. Volunteers aren't just needed during the festival either. The Museum needs help setting up for the event the week before as well.

[audio:8312Pork3.mp3] [/audio]

The Apple 'n' Pork festival is held every year during the last full weekend of September on the grounds surrounding the C.H. Moore Homestead and down Center St.

For more information on how to become active at the Apple 'n' Pork festival, call 217-935-6066.

NASCAR Heads To Pocono

NASCAR's Sprint Cup Series heads to Pocono this weekend for Sunday's Pennsylvania 400.  Four days after fracturing his left ankle in a crash while testing at Road Atlanta, Brad Keselowski charged past Kyle Busch to win last August's race at Pocono.  In the 69 previous races at Pocono, the pole sitter has won 14.  Jimmie Johnson won last weekend at The Brickyard in Indianapolis to climb to fourth in the Sprint Cup Standings.  Dale Earnhardt Jr. holds a 14-point lead over Matt Kenseth atop the standings.  Greg Biffle sits in third and Denny Hamlin rounds out the top-five.

Phelps Beats Lochte For Gold In 200 IM

Michael Phelps beat American rival Ryan Lochte to win gold in the men's 200-meter individual medley.  Phelps extended his Olympic records by winning his 20th medal overall and 16th gold.  Lochte, the world record holder in this event, finished .63 seconds behind.  Minutes earlier, Lochte finished third behind American gold medalist Tyler Clary in the 200-meter backstroke.

U.S. Men's Basketball Breaks Records In Rout Of Nigeria

The U.S. men's basketball team put on the greatest offensive performance in Olympic history with a 156-73 rout of Nigeria.  The 156 points broke Brazil's previous Olympic record of 137 in 1988.  Carmelo Anthony set an American single-game record with 37 points to help the United States improve to a perfect 3-and-0 in Group A play.  Team USA also set Olympic records with 29 three-pointers, a 71.1 shooting percentage from the field and the largest margain of victory at 83.  They tied the most single-game assists record with 38.  The Americans play Lithuania on Saturday and wrap up group play on Monday versus Argentina.

Rockies Salvage Series Against Cards; Sox, Cubs Off

>>Rockies Roll Cards

(Denver, CO)  --  Josh Rutledge and Wilin Rosario each belted two-run homers as the Rockies rolled the Cardinals, 8-2, to salvage the finale of a three-game set.  Jordan Pacheco went 3-for-3 with a run and two RBI for Colorado, which put the brakes on a five-game skid.  Rex Brothers was credited with his sixth win.  Jon Jay and Carlos Beltran each plated a run in the sixth for the Cardinals.  Fernando Salas was charged with the loss.

Cincinnati Reds 9, San Diego Padres 4
New York Mets 9, San Francisco Giants 1
Washington Nationals 3, Philadelphia Phillies 0
Atlanta Braves 6, Miami Marlins 1

Minnesota Twins 5, Boston Red Sox 0
Texas Rangers 15, LA Angels of Anaheim 9
Kansas City Royals 7, Cleveland Indians 6 (11 inn)
Oakland Athletics 4, Toronto Blue Jays 1

>> Maholm Says Braves 'Number One Landing Spot For Me'

Left-hander Paul Maholm is settling in with the Braves, a team he says was "landing spot No. 1 for me" if he had to be traded from the Cubs.

The Braves acquired Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from Chicago for right-handers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman on Monday night. Maholm joined the Braves Wednesday. Johnson is starting in right field in Wednesday night's game against Miami.

The Braves on Wednesday placed right-hander Jair Jurrjens on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right groin to clear a spot for Maholm, who will make his Braves debut when he starts on Saturday against Houston.

Maholm, from Greenwood, Miss., says he grew up cheering for the Braves. He says Tom Glavine, also a lefty, was his favorite pitcher.

>>Cubs' Rizzo Named NL Rookie Of The Month

(New York, NY)  --  Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo has been named National League Rookie of the Month for July.  Rizzo batted .330 with a .375 on-base percentage and .567 slugging percentage in 25 games for Chicago.  He tied Gene Baker for most home runs by a Cubs rookie for the month of July with seven.  Baker accomplished the feat in 1954.  In all, Rizzo had 32 hits, seven homers, 17 RBI and 55 total bases.

>>Cubs In Los Angeles

(Los Angeles, CA)  --  The Chicago Cubs kick off a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers this evening at Chavez Ravine.  Jeff Samardzija gets the nod opposite Chad Billingsley in the West Coast opener.  The Northsiders have dropped back-to-back games on the heels of a three-game winning streak to fall to 43-and-60 on the season.  They lost two-of-three to Pittsburgh in their last series.

>>White Sox Host Halos

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago White Sox open up a three-game set against the LA Angels this evening at The Cell.  Philip Humber will go up against Zack Greinke in game one.  The Southsiders have won seven of their last nine games and took two-of-three at Minnesota in their last series to improve to 57-and-47 on the season.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-3

August 3, 2012


Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 0


Anthony Thoennes, 29, Bloomington, was issued a citation for Speeding (79 mph in a 55 mph zone). Thoennes posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Jacob Fatheree, 28, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (75 mph in a 55 mph zone). Fatheree was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Kent Jackson, 59, LeRoy, was issued a citation for No Valid Driver’s License. Jackson was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Bradford Downs, 39, Wapella, was issued a citation for Expired Registration. Downs was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 4:50 p.m. on Thursday, August 2, revealed that a vehicle driven by Melvin Baker, 62, Emden, was westbound on IL-10, west of County Highway 17, when the driver veered off the road to the left (south). Continuing in the ditch, Baker slid sideways, struck an embankment, and then partially rolled. Baker came to a rest on its wheels, facing east. Both front airbags deployed. The crash appeared to cause significant damage to Baker’s vehicle. Baker was transported by ambulance to St. Joseph Hospital in Bloomington. The vehicle was towed from the scene.



Clinton BOE Rejects Bid On Old Jr. High Property; Work To Begin Soon At Elementary Property

Clinton residents may soon notice some work beginning at the site of the new elementary school.

The plan is for things to begin this fall once the harvest has taken place. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains there are poor soil conditions at the site, so some digging will have to be done and filling with good soil for compaction.

[audio:8412elementaryproperty1.mp3] [/audio]

A few weeks ago, the Board of Education opened bids for the old Junior High School property. Dr. Holmes says bids came in under what they felt the value of the property was, so they will sell the property either through a realtor or on their own. Dr. Holmes says the BOE would like to have $200-thousand for the property.

[audio:8412elementaryproperty2.mp3] [/audio]

This Tuesday, August 7, the Clinton Board of Education will be holding a special meeting at 6 pm, after which, there will be a walk-through opportunity of the high school renovations.

Escaped Inmate Back In Custody

An inmate who escaped from the East Moline Correctional Center this morning is back in custody.  State officials say David Stodolny got away about 8:50 this morning but was apprehended about an hour later.  He managed to get about a quarter of a mile away from the facility.  Officials have not said how Stodolny escaped but they are investigating the circumstances behind the incident.

EPA Says Can't Regulate Livestock Farms It Can't Find

A report to Congress in 2008 said the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was failing to regulate pollution from the nation's livestock farms because it lacked information as basic as how many farms existed.

Four years later, the EPA still doesn't know the location of many livestock farms, let alone how much manure they generate and how all the waste is being handled.

Environmentalists say they were flabbergasted when the EPA recently decided against adopting a rule that would require livestock operators to provide the agency with information.

But industry officials say there's no reason for farmers to have to give the EPA information. An EPA spokeswoman says nobody at the agency is available to discuss the decision.

Governor Signs 'Facebook Law'



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U of I's Alma Mater Statue To Get Facelift

The Alma Mater sculpture that's greeted students at the University of Illinois' Urbana campus for more than 80 years is going on break.

The iconic sculpture by Lorado Taft will be taken down next week, disassembled and shipped to a conservation studio in suburban Chicago for $100,000 worth of renovations.

The 13-foot sculpture features a female figure with her arms outstretched. She's standing in front of a chair and is flanked by two others.

University officials say the sculpture was dedicated in 1929 and has gone decades without proper maintenance. The Alma Mater's last major repair was done by a university sculpture professor in 1981. His team strengthened its internal supports, replaced some rusted bolts, sprayed it with rust inhibitor and caulked the statue's joints.

Feds Name 15 In Alleged Central Illinois Drug Ring

Two brothers who allegedly led a cocaine and crack cocaine distribution ring in central Illinois were among 15 people named in federal criminal complaints.

Agents from several law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and Illinois State Police, moved across Bloomington-Normal early Wednesday and arrested suspects, including 30-year-old Matthew and 29-year-old Marcus Sullivan, both of Bloomington. Ten others were also arrested, while three remain at large.

The brothers, and 32-year-old Wyatt Curtis, were among six people charged with conspiracy to distribute at least 280 grams of crack cocaine from 2001 to the present.

The affidavit filed in support of the complaints alleges the Sullivan brothers are the primary leaders of a drug trafficking organization that is involved in cocaine distribution in the Bloomington-Normal area.

Half of US Counties Now Disaster Areas Thanks To Drought

More than half of U.S. counties now are classified by the federal government as natural disaster areas mostly because of the drought.

The U.S. Agriculture Department on Wednesday added 218 counties in a dozen states as disaster areas. That brings this year's total to 1,584 in 32 states, more than 90% of them because of the drought.

The latest additions make drought-affected farmers and ranchers eligible for federal aid including emergency loans.

The USDA also announced ranchers may access some 3.8 million acres of conservation land for haying and grazing, and crop insurance companies have agreed to provide farmers a penalty-free grace period on insurance premiums in 2012.

Counties included in the announcement are in Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee and Wyoming.

Congressman Schock To Host Ag Summit

Congressman Aaron Schock is hosting an Agricultural summit next Tuesday.  He calls it an opportunity for ag interests to come together and discuss key issues facing the industry, like drought conditions, flooding, and government regulations.  Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, Congressman Frank Lucas of Oklahoma, will also be attending the event.  It's being held at Lincoln College, in Lincoln, Illinois.  The summit starts at 8 a.m. and is open to the public.  Seating is limited but you can reserve your spot by calling 309-671-7027.

Nearly All of Illinois Now Eligible For Federal Disaster Assistance



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New Sales Tax Serving Lincoln High School Well

The sales tax increase voters of Logan County approved about a year ago is beginning to pay off for Lincoln Community High School.

Summer projects for this year are being funded through the sales tax. Superintendent of Lincoln Community High School, Robert Bagby says thanks to that sales tax, the district was able to lower the property tax. He notes the new tax rate makes it the lowest sales tax in the area.

[audio:8212lincolntax1.mp3] [/audio]

The question then can be asked, how was the district able to decrease the property tax rate? Bagby explains the sales tax increase was used to pay off bonds issued in the district several years ago. He stresses the sales tax money they receive can only be used to improve their facilities, it is not able to be used on programs or salaries.

[audio:8212lincolntax2.mp3] [/audio]

A few years back the district received an interest free loan to address some areas of need. Bagby explains now the district is entering into the final phases of those areas of need and will reassess where they are and move forward.

[audio:8212lincolntax3.mp3] [/audio]

Some of the targets LCHS has had are new lockers, air conditioning in some parts of the school, and installing high speed, wireless internet around the campus. Bagby notes they have upgraded science and computer labs as well.

Raffle Licenses Must For Clinton Groups

Some recent issues have led to the city of Clinton enforcing obtaining licenses for event raffles.

According to state statute, registration is required for community organizations and non-profit groups. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains this is something that has been in place for a couple years but has not been enforced. She notes the group needs to get the approval of the governmental entity where the raffle would be held.

[audio:8212rafflelisence1.mp3] [/audio]

There are two different licenses that can be obtained. Mayor Peters explains there are yearly licenses as well. She says organizations that have weekly drawings or raffles can obtain a license and approval once rather than having to continuously come back to City Council meetings for approval.

[audio:8212rafflelisence2.mp3] [/audio]

The city will conduct background checks on the person administering the raffle. Mayor Peters explains after the raffle, the winnings need to be reported to the city as well. A one time license or a license for a year is free of charge.

[audio:8212rafflelisence3.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters says this is going to be a learning experience for those at City Hall as well as those wishing to administer a raffle. She reminds those organizations the Clinton City Council meets the first and third Monday of the month and they must get themselves on the agenda to get approval for the license.

Olympics Recap

Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps set themselves up for their second head-to-head
race of the London Games after both made the final of the men's 200 individual
medley. Lochte, the world record holder, blew away Hungary's Laszlo Cseh by
.61 seconds for the fastest time in the semis, but Phelps is the two-time
defending champion at the distance and will be looking to become the first
male swimmer to win the same Olympic race three times in a row two days after
setting the all-time Olympic medal record. He swam in the first heat with
Lochte and was .98 seconds slower than Lochte.

Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States dropped a set, ending
their 31-set winning streak at the Olympics, but still posted a 17-21, 21-8,
15-10 victory over Austrian sisters Stefanie and Doris Schwaiger. The win
moved the two-time defending gold medalists into the knockout round. They are
3-0 at the London Games.

Goodell Not Worried About Replacement Refs

If replacement officials are used this preseason, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says it should not adversely affect the game.  Speaking to the media at Green Bay Packers camp, the commissioner said fill-in refs have been training with player safety in mind and he doesn't think the players will be more at risk.  The regular officials were locked out June 3rd after their labor contract expired and the two sides have been at a stalemate since.  The Cardinals and Saints play in the Hall of Fame Game this Sunday in Canton, Ohio.

Cubs Notes

>> Theo: Dempster Had Right To Block Braves Trade

Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says Ryan Dempster had a right to block a trade to Atlanta and does not deserve criticism for it.

Epstein says they were on "great terms throughout the entire process."

The Cubs wound up trading their ace to Texas for two minor leaguers. But Epstein acknowledged he would have preferred to complete the deal with Atlanta for pitching prospect Randall Delgado that was on the table last week. It fell apart because Dempster, who had veto power, would not immediately give his approval.

Epstein says he didn't exactly turn down the Braves deal. He says Dempster said "not now." He had told the Cubs that he would consider Atlanta, but the Dodgers were his first choice.

>>Cubs Recall Volstad, Cabrera

(Chicago, IL)  --  The Chicago Cubs have recalled pitchers Chris Volstad and Alberto Cabrera from Triple-A Iowa.  The 25-year-old Volstad will join the Cubs for the third time this season.  He is 0-and-7 with a 7.94 ERA in nine starts with the club this year.  The 23-year-old Cabrera combined to go 4-and-1 with five saves and a 3.11 ERA in 36 appearances between Double-A Tennessee and Iowa this season.  In addition, Chicago optioned pitcher Casey Coleman to Iowa.  Coleman made the spot start for the Cubs against Pittsburgh on Tuesday after Ryan Dempster was traded to Texas.

Cards, Sox Win; Cubs Pounded

>>Pirates Take Rubber Match From Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  Michael McKenry capped a five-run eighth inning with a three-run homer as the Pittsburgh Pirates downed the Chicago Cubs, 8-4, in the rubber match of a three-game set.  Andrew McCutchen had two hits and three runs scored, while Starling Marte added a solo shot for the Pirates, who have won six of their last eight games.  Jeff Karstens surrendered a run on three hits with a walk in five innings of duty to pick up the win.  Starlin Castro clubbed a solo homer and Wellington Castillo added a two-run shot for Chicago.  Travis Wood gave up just two runs on three hits through five frames of duty to suffer the tough-luck loss.

>>Cards Roll Rockies

(Denver, CO)  --  Matt Holliday smashed two home runs to lead the Cardinals to a 9-6 win over the Rockies.  The second home run was a three-run shot that erased a 5-3 deficit.  Holliday finished 3-for-4 with five RBI and three runs scored.  Jake Westbrook improved to 10-and-8 despite allowing five runs in six innings.  St. Louis has taken the first two games of the three-game series.  Josh Rutledge hit his fourth homer of the season for Colorado, which has dropped five straight.  Reliever Matt Belisle was tagged with the loss.

Milwaukee Brewers 13, Houston Astros 4
Arizona Diamondbacks 4, Los Angeles Dodgers 0
Philadelphia Phillies 3, Washington Nationals 2
Cincinnati Reds 6, San Diego Padres 4
Miami Marlins 4, Atlanta Braves 2
New York Mets 2, San Francisco Giants 1

>>Peavy, White Sox Edge Twins

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Jake Peavy tossed eight stellar innings to lift the White Sox in a 3-2 win over the Twins.  Peavy fanned eight and allowed two runs, just one earned, on five hits to improve to 9-and-7 on the season.  Addison Reed closed it out to nail down his 18th save.  Adam Dunn, Tyler Flowers and Alejandro De Aza all knocked in a run for Chicago, which took two-of-three at Target Field.  Danny Valencia clubbed a solo homer and Joe Mauer added an RBI groundout for Minnesota.  Scott Diamond gave up all three runs through seven-and-a-third innings of duty to suffer the loss.  Ben Revere extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a double in the first frame.

New York Yankees 12, Baltimore Orioles 3
Tampa Bay Rays 4, Oakland Athletics 1
Detroit Tigers 7, Boston Red Sox 5
Texas Rangers 11, LA Angels of Anaheim 10 (10 innings)
Kansas City Royals 5, Cleveland Indians 2
Seattle Mariners 5, Toronto Blue Jays 3

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 8-2

August 2, 2012


Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Christopher Pine, 40, Clinton, was issued a citations for Driving Under Influence. Pine was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Patrick Thompson, 21, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging him with Failure To Appear. Thompson posted the necessary bond and was released.




WHOW To Re-Air 2009 Weldon Springs Music Jam Broadcast

As part of the station's 65th anniversary, WHOW THE BIG 1520 AM/92.3 FM Radio in Clinton will replay the 2009 Weldon Springs Music Jam broadcast, this Saturday, August 4th from noon to 4pm.
Many of the country music singers and musicians that appeared in live bands on WHOW in the 1950's and 60's, appeared at the July 2009 event, which was broadcast live on WHOW.

Here's a sample of what you might here Saturday.

[audio:8312weldonspringsjam.mp3] [/audio]

WHOW president and general manager Randal J. Miller, said the re-airing of the 2009 Music Jam, is another way the station is remembering its past.  WHOW was the prominent country music radio station during its first 3 decades on the air, featuring live bands from the time it signed on August 2nd, 1947, into the 1970's.

Feel free to share your memories of listening to WHOW, or visiting WHOW.

Report Shows Illinois Lottery Manager Short $100-Million On Profit

The Illinois Lottery's private manager fell nearly $100 million short of the profits it promised to deliver for the state.

Revenues generated by Northstar Lottery Group still set an Illinois record. Illinois has fallen behind other state lotteries for years.

Northstar promised $825 million in net revenue when it took over the lottery in July 2011. A Tribune analysis found it had collected $726 million by the end of June.

That could mean hundreds of millions of dollars in penalties. The same month the company got the contract, it began seeking a reduction in what it promised. An arbitrator will decide the matter.

Illinois DNR Rejects Permit For Planned Coal Mine

State environmentalists have rejected a permit for a planned strip coal mine that opponents say would have been near a west-central Illinois wildlife area.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources turned back the request for the planned 600-acre surface mine in the Illinois River floodplain in Fulton County. The mine would have been near the village of Banner and the Rice Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.

The Sierra Club had opposed the mine, arguing it would have put at risk nearby drinking water supplies, nesting osprey, a bald eagle roost and the habitat for the state-endangered short-eared owl.

The developers, Capital Resources Development Co., haven't returned a message seeking comment Tuesday.

Illinois Lotterty Warns of Ongoing Scams

Illinois Lottery officials say residents of the state should be on guard against a number of ever-present scams related to lotteries.

The Illinois Lottery has announced that scams typically try to dupe people into believing they have won a large lottery prize. A woman in Chicago last week reported that she had been contacted by email and telephone about having won a $26 million prize in a foreign lottery. She paid out $7,000 to retrieve the promised prize and officials say she will almost certainly never see the money again.

Other lottery scammers claim they need supposed winners to pay fees up front before claiming prizes.

Lottery Superintendent Michael Jones says most scammers contact targets by email.

Anyone with questions should contact the Illinois Lottery.

Ameren Illinois Offers Aid To Struggling Customers

Ameren Illinois says it has made an additional $500,000 available to its neediest central and southern Illinois customers to help them pay their energy bills during the summer heat wave.

Ameren Illinois President and CEO Richard Mark says the money comes as extreme heat in recent weeks has made life difficult for many of the utility's customers.

The latest funds will be distributed through local support agencies, and eligible customers must meet federal low-income guidelines. For a four-person household, the maximum gross annual income is $49,500.

Officials say the utility has contributed roughly $1.2 million in energy assistance to low-income residents since the beginning of the summer.

Quincy Approves Video Gambling

Bars and restaurants in Quincy will be allowed to install video gambling machines.  The Quincy City Council passed the measure by a vote of nine to five, but not until they approved an amendment to limit machines to two per establishment.  Six of nine speakers who attended the meeting opposed video gaming.  Reverend Bruce Rice called the move a "portal of addiction" and said the act would take away from the moral fiber of the city.  Reverend Brian Meado called video gambling "a soft entry" into a lifestyle of gambling.  But Jerome Gille with the Quincy VFW says they'll put the proceeds toward a good cause, using it to benefit veterans' programs.

UIS To Host Olympic Watch Party

The University of Illinois Springfield is hosting an Olympic watch party this Thursday in support of one if its former basketball players.  Richard Oruche will be suiting up against the United States, playing with the Nigerian squad.  The match-up will include another Illinois native -- Springfield’s Andre Iguodala, who also plays for the Philadelphia 76’ers.  The party will be held in the UIS Student Life building from 4p.m until 7p.m.  Tipoff is at 4:15.

ACLU Looks Deeper Into Automated License Plate Readers

Big Brother may be tracking your every move and you don't even know it.  ACLU Illinois Staff Attorney Karen Sheley says they want to know how several Illinois agencies are using the information they collect from automated license plate readers.  

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Sheley says if current trends continue, most law enforcement agencies across the state will use automated license plate readers to keep track of people.

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Sheley says they're still in the very early stages of the process but they hope to find out how people are being tracked.  They've filed Freedom of Information Act requests with 18 Illinois agencies, including the Illinois State Police, and the Springfield, Lemont, Bellwood, and Chicago Police Departments.  The agencies have five days to comply with the FOIA requests or request an extension.

Illinois Women To Get Access To Free Preventative Care

Portions of President Obama's Affordable Care Act go into effect today.  Kathy Chan, with the Illinois Maternal and Health Care Coalition, says the new law will give more than two million women in Illinois access to preventative care.

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New and non-grandfathered private health care plans will now have to cover the co-pays for services such as well-women visits, STI screening and counseling, birth control coverage, family planning sessions, and even domestic abuse services.  Most services will go into effect in the new coverage year.  Contact your health care provider to find out if you qualify for these services and when the new plan year starts.

Quinn To Propose Assault Weapon Ban

Governor Quinn is proposing a ban on assault weapons in Illinois by placing an amendatory veto on an ammunition bill.  But State Representative Brandon Phelps says that's beyond his power.

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State Representative Brandon Phelps says Quinn playing politics to get media attention.

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Phelps adds Quinn is overstepping his boundaries but if the action was legal, it would put thousands of people out of work.

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Quinn says banning the weapons will make Illinois a safer place. Phelps says there's no way Quinn's amendatory veto will stand.  He's pushing to legalize conceal carry in Illinois and plans to call that proposal for a vote next month.

Runners Find Missing Man's Body

Authorities in Pontiac are investigating the death of a 30-year-old man whose body was found in a park after he left home to walk his dog and didn't return.

Livingston County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Marvin Rutledge says Ryan Bertsche went out with his French bulldog Sunday. When he didn't return home, his wife reported him missing.

Livingston County Coroner Michael Burke says the runners found Bertsche's body Monday on a trail in an area called Humiston Woods. There's no word yet on what caused his death.

Authorities say Bertsche didn't have any known health problems and his wallet was found in his locked car at the park.

Authorities Identify Man Killed In Pekin Fire

Authorities say a man killed in a Pekin house fire set the home ablaze but then went inside after his wife fled fearing he could kill her.

An autopsy Monday confirmed 44-year-old Lawrence Medearis Jr. died of burns. Medearis had been barred from the home by a court order of protection due to an earlier attack on his wife.

Medearis' wife told police he had a machete and a handgun when he arrived at the home late Saturday.

Tazewell County Sheriff Robert Huston says witnesses saw Medearis spread an accelerant on the home and then walk inside the home's garage as the flames grew. By that point, his wife had already fled.

Firefighters found Medearis' body.

Commodity Board Election Results Revealed

The Illinois Department of Agriculture has announced winners of the July 10 commodity board elections.

Elected to the Illinois Corn Marketing Board are Lou Lamoreux of Lanark, Paul Jeschke of Mazon, Kent Kleinschmidt of Emden and Larry Hasheider of Okawville.

Elected to the Sheep and Wool Marketing Board are Harold Davis of Odell and Lance Steckel of Winchester.

Elected to the Soybean Program Operating Board are Duane Dahlman of Marengo, Jered Hooker of Clinton, Wendel Lutz of Dewey, Donald Guinnip of Marshall, Timothy Scates of Carmi and David Droste of Nashville.

All will serve 3-year terms.

Agriculture department acting director Bob Flider says it's an honor to serve on the boards. The boards decide which industry promotions and research projects get funded by "check-off dollars," which are assessments on sales.

Heyworth School District Welcomes New Superintendent

The Heyworth School District welcomes in a new superintendent.

Dr. Ty Wolfe is coming to the Heyworth School District after being the Superintendent at Tonica School District. He also held that position in the Odell School District and is no stranger to the area. The new Hornet says  he is excited for the challenge of a larger school district.

[audio:8112Wolfe1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolfe spent some time shadowing administrators in the school district before he took over. He says he has also sat in on meetings to meet some of the teachers and staff. He feels he is lucky to be able to get to know his staff before the school year begins.

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Dr. Wolfe hopes to keep Heyworth going in the positive direction its on. His main goals are to help students achieve academic success in a safe environment.

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The Heyworth Superintendent position opened up in February after former Superintendent Randy Merker announced he was retiring.

DJWH Records Third Consecutive Month of Gains

For the third straight month the Dr. John Warner Hospital is reporting a positive bottom line.

CEO of the city owned hospital, Earl Sheehy explains thanks to decreased payroll expenses and not filling certain positions as they open up have allowed the hospital to cut back on their spending. Sheehy notes the trend of not filling some positions as they open up will continue.

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The administration of the hospital does not just cut staffing, Sheehy explains they evaluate each position as it comes available and then make the decision whether to fill it.

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Sheehy feels the hospital should continue to operate in the black and he says there is a good opportunity for them to finish the year in the black as well.

NASCAR Approves New Look Cars For 2013

NASCAR has announced that all equipment manufacturers have met the necessary requirements for the 2013 Sprint Cup Series race car.  Based on the final testing results from July 18th, the manufacturers can now begin making parts and pieces for the new models.  There are four new models.  The Chevrolet SS, Dodge Charger, Ford Fusion and Toyota Camry.  The new models will make their race debuts during the Daytona 500 on February 24th, 2013 at Daytona International Speedway.

Bulls Sign Nate Robinson

The Chicago Bulls have signed guard Nate Robinson.  Robinson averaged 11.2 points and 4.5 assists per game last season with the Golden State Warriors.  The 5-foot-9 University of Washington product will likely back up Kirk Hinrich at point guard to begin the season while Derrick Rose recovers from ACL surgery.

Olympics Notes

>>U.S. Men's Basketball Remains Unbeaten

(London)  --  The U.S. men's basketball team is still unbeaten at the London Olympics.  Kevin Love and Carmelo Anthony netted 16 points apiece to lead Team USA in a 110-63 rout over Tunisia on Tuesday.  Kevin Durant added 13 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the Americans, who improved to a perfect 2-and-0 in Group A play.  The United States plays its next contest on Thursday against Nigeria.

>>Phelps Becomes All-Time Olympic Medal Winner

(London)  --  American swimmer Michael Phelps is now the all-time leader in Olympic medals with 19.  With two medals today, Phelps surpassed former Russian gymnast Larisa Latynina, who won 18 medals from 1956 to 1964.  Phelps won a silver in the 200-meter butterfly to tie the record, and then broke the record by winning gold as part of the 4-by-200 freestyle relay team.  He and teammates Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer and Ricky Berens finished more than three seconds ahead of runner-up France with a time of six minutes, 59-point-seven seconds.  China was nearly seven seconds back in third to win bronze.  The relay gold also extended Phelps' Olympic record to 15 career gold medals.

Cards, Sox Win; Cubs Lose; Danks Out For Year

>>Cards Crush Rockies

(Denver, CO)  --  Matt Holliday hit a two-run homer and a two-run double against his former team, as the Cardinals crushed the Rockies, 11-6.  Carlos Beltran added a two-run homer and David Freese hit a solo shot for the Redbirds, who have won five-of-seven.  Kyle Lohse [[ lowsh ]] improved to 11-and-2 despite allowing five runs in six frames.  Josh Rutledge belted a three-run homer for the Rockies, who have lost four straight and 10-of-12.  Jeff Francis permitted five runs in four innings as he fell to 3-and-3.

>>Burnett Tosses One-Hitter To Lead Bucs Over Cubs

(Chicago, IL)  --  A.J. Burnett tossed a one-hitter to lead the Pirates to a 5-0 win over the Cubs.  Burnett struck out eight and walked two en route to improving to 13-and-3.  Adrian Cardenas laced a pinch-hit single with two outs in the eighth inning to break up the no-hit bid.  Neil Walker hit a grand slam in the first inning for Pittsburgh, which has won five-of-seven.  Casey Coleman allowed four runs in four-and-two-thirds innings to fall to 0-and-2.

Philadelphia Phillies 8, Washington Nationals 0
Cincinnati Reds 7, San Diego Padres 6
Atlanta Braves 7, Miami Marlins 1
Milwaukee Brewers 10, Houston Astros 1
Arizona Diamondbacks 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 2
San Francisco Giants 4, New York Mets 1

>>White Sox Trim Twins

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  A.J. Pierzynski's two-run homer in the top of the ninth lifted the White Sox to a 4-3 win over the Twins.  Pierzynski also scored on a double by Alexei Ramirez in the seventh.  Former Twin Francisco Liriano struck out eight over six innings in his White Sox debut.  Matt Thornton earned the win.  Addison Reed allowed a run in the ninth, but held on for his 17th save.  Denard Span went 4-for-5 with an RBI for the Twins.  Nick Blackburn went eight innings in a no-decision.  Jeff Gray was charged with the loss.

Baltimore Orioles 11, New York Yankees 5
Boston Red Sox 4, Detroit Tigers 1
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 6, Texas Rangers 2
Kansas City Royals 8, Cleveland Indians 3
Tampa Bay Rays 8, Oakland Athletics 0
Seattle Mariners 7, Toronto Blue Jays 2

>>Danks Headed For Surgery

(Minneapolis, MN)  --  Chicago White Sox pitcher John Danks confirmed on Tuesday that he will require season-ending shoulder surgery.  Danks has been out since late May, troubled by soreness in the sub scapular area of his left shoulder.  His last foray on the mound came last Friday, when he threw 30 pitches in Texas, followed by playing catch before Monday's series opener with the Twins.  The procedure will take place next Monday, according to the ChiSox Twitter page.  The 27-year-old went 3-and-4 with a 5.70 earned run average over nine starts before the setback.

Busy Trade Deadline Day

>>Rangers Acquire Catcher Soto From Cubs

(Arlington, TX)  --  Catcher Geovany Soto is heading to the Texas Rangers.  The American League West leaders acquired Soto from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitcher Jake Brigham and a player to be named later.  The 29-year-old backstop hit just .199 with six home runs and 14 RBI with Chicago this season.  Soto's best year came in 2008 when he hit .285 with 23 homers and 86 RBI.  To make room on the roster, Texas designated catcher Yorvit Torrealba for assignment.  Brigham was 5-and-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 21 starts at Double-A Frisco this year.  He was a sixth-round draft pick in 2006.

>>Dempster Dealt To Rangers For Two Prospects

(Chicago, IL)  --  Ryan Dempster is heading to Arlington.  The Chicago Cubs shipped the veteran right-hander to the Texas Rangers right before the trade deadline in exchange for pitcher Kyle Hendricks and infielder Christian Villanueva.  Dempster was 5-and-5 with a 2.25 ERA for the Cubs this season.  Hendricks has gone 5-and-8 with a 2.82 ERA for Single-A Myrtle Beach this year, while Villanueva hit .285 with 10 home runs, 19 doubles and 59 RBI in 100 games thus far.

>>Marlins Trade Mujica To St. Louis

(St. Louis, MO)  --  The St. Louis Cardinals have added some depth to their bullpen.  The Cards acquired reliever Edward Mujica from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor-league third baseman Zack Cox.  Mujica is 0-and-3 with a 4.38 ERA in 41 appearances with the Marlins this season.  Cox was selected 25th overall by the Cards in the first round of the 2010 draft from Arkansas.

>>Plethora Of Trade Subjects Stay Put

(Undated)  --  While there was plenty of action before baseball's trade deadline, there were also a number of players expected to move that stayed put.  The Orioles were reported to be after Phillies pitcher Joe Blanton, but he was not dealt.  Other players that remained where they are include Phillies pitcher Cliff Lee, Cubs pitcher Matt Garza, Padres third baseman Chase Headley and Twins outfielder Denard Span.  Teams can still make deals before the August 31st deadline, but players will first have to clear waivers.

Big Ten Heads Into Unusual Season

With Ohio State and Penn State both barred from the postseason, there are only four teams in the Big Ten Leaders Division competing for a spot in the league championship game.

Wisconsin and running back Montee (mon-tay) Ball are the heavy favorites as Michigan State moves on without quarterback Kirk Cousins.

Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, Northwestern, Indiana and Purdue all hope to find their footing following disappointing finishes a year ago. Nebraska and running back Rex Burkhead look to build on their first season in the Big Ten.

Urban Meyer will focus on making the Buckeyes a force again after a 6-7. And Penn State coach Bill O'Brien is simply trying to keep Penn State afloat after rippling NCAA sanctions from the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal.

ISU Football Ranked Number Eighteen

The Illinois State University football team should turn out a winning season.  The Redbirds are ranked as the Number 18 team in the country.  That's according to a 2012 NCAA Division I pre-season poll conducted by the staff of College Sporting News.  Reigning Missouri Valley Football Conference champion and FCS national champion North Dakota State was ranked Number one.  In all, five league schools are ranked in the poll, including Northern Iowa, Youngstown State, Illinois State, and Indiana State.  Southern Illinois also received votes.  The Redbirds will open fall training camp this Saturday, August 4th, in preparation for their September 1st season-opener against Dayton at ISU's Hancock Stadium.

Conceal Carry Debate Heats Up In Illinois In Wake of Colorado Massacre

The Colorado theater massacre has stirred up a lot of debate in Illinois recently about concealed carry laws.

Illinois is the only state in the union without concealed carry laws and lawmakers of downstate Illinois have been trying for some time to give Illinoisans their conceal carry rights. DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says at some point, things come down to a 'good vs evil' and there are more good intentioned people than there are bad.

[audio:8212concealcarry1.mp3] [/audio]

After 25 years of in law enforcement, Sheriff Shofner says 99% of those who would carry guns would comply with the laws. He feels though the citizens who would carry weapons legally would be responsible and not take the responsibility lightly.

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Sheriff Shofner believes the focus should be on criminal control instead of new gun control laws. He feels the arguments and debates will continue on until the political climate in Illinois changes.

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Sheriff Shofner is a member of the Illinois Sheriff's Association, and he says they have voted more than once to allow concealed carry in Illinois. The Sheriff adds, by the definition of a criminal, laws or no laws, criminals are going to continue to commit violent crimes.


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