Local News


Chicago Bears 26, Detroit Lions 24
Tennessee Titans 38, Jacksonville Jaguars 20
Indianapolis Colts 28, Houston Texans 16
Carolina Panthers 44, New Orleans Saints 38
New York Giants 42, Philadelphia Eagles 7
Pittsburgh Steelers 24, Cleveland Browns 10
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 22, Atlanta Falcons 17
Buffalo Bills 28, New York Jets 9
Cincinnati Bengals 23, Baltimore Ravens 17
Denver Broncos 38, Kansas City Chiefs 3
New England Patriots 28, Miami Dolphins 0
San Diego Chargers 24, Oakland Raiders 21
San Francisco 49ers 27, Arizona Cardinals 13
Minnesota Vikings 37, Green Bay Packers 34
Seattle Seahawks 20, St. Louis Rams 13
Washington Redskins 28, Dallas Cowboys 18

NCAA Football
No Games Scheduled

Detroit Pistons 96, Milwaukee Bucks 94
San Antonio Spurs 111, Dallas Mavericks 86
Sacramento Kings 118, Boston Celtics 96
Los Angeles Clippers 107, Utah Jazz 96

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
No Games Scheduled

NHL, NHLPA To Meet Today

 The NHL and NHLPA will meet face-to-face today to continue labor discussions.  Both sides spoke via conference call on Saturday and met Sunday morning for about two-and-a-half hours.  The league's new proposal includes a 48-game season, which would start no later than January 19th. 

Rams Fall To Seahawks

Sam Bradford completed 25-of-42 passes for 252 yards and a touchdown, but the Rams could not hang on to an early lead in their 20-13 loss to the Seahawks Sunday. Bradford was intercepted on the Rams' final drive of the game.  The Rams finished the season 7-8-and-1. 

Bears Hang On For Win Over Lions

Jay Cutler threw for 257 yards and a touchdown as the Bears held on for a 26-24 win over the Detroit Lions.  The Bears were eliminated from the playoffs after Minnesota beat Green Bay.  Matt Forte ran for 103 yards and a touchdown and Earl Bennett caught a 60-yard scoring pass.  The Chicago defense forced four turnovers as the Bears finished 10-and-6.  Matthew Stafford threw for 272 yards and three touchdowns with an interception.  The Lions lost their final eight games to end the season 4-and-12. 

Bulls Host Bobcats

The Bulls welcome the Bobcats to United Center this afternoon for a matinee tilt. Chicago won on Saturday at home against the Wizards to move to 16-and-12. Charlotte comes in having lost 18 straight games. Today's game tips off at 2:00.
>>Bears Top Lions, Fall Short Of Playoffs

Missouri State beats Southern Illinois 70-59

Anthony Downing scored 16 points and Nathan Scheer scored 15, going 5 for 5 from 3-point range, as Missouri State ended an 8-game losing streak by beating Southern Illinois 70-59 Sunday night.

Marcus Marshall added 11 points for the Bears (3-10) in the Missouri Valley Conference opener for both schools. Missouri State shot 54% in each half.

Kendal Brown-Surles led the Salukis (7-5) with 12 points. Anthony Beane Jr. scored 11.

Scheer had 3 of his 3-pointers in the first half as the Bears led 39-32 at the break. An 11-0 run in the second half, featuring 3-pointers from Scheer, Downing and Marshall, put the Bears in front 58-46 with 6:16 to play.

Illinois Starts Big Ten Play Wednesday, Northwestern Thursday

Illinois ramps up Big Ten play on Wednesday when it plays at Purdue. The Illini held on for an 81-79 win over Auburn on Saturday afternoon. Illinois is now 13-and-1 on the season. Meantime, Northwestern starts Big Ten play Thursday at home against Michigan.

ISU's Pesky Crows Not Sacred by Phony Snakes, Owls

Illinois State University has tried just about everything, but has not been able to stop thousands of crows from roosting on the quad this winter.

West Nile Virus took a heavy toll on the birds in 2001. Since then, however, they've bounced back, causing a nuisance.

The university has tried to scare them off with plastic owls, rubber snakes and something called pyrotronics, which are similar to bottle rockets and produce a loud bang when launched into the trees where the birds roost.

That has had some effect, but more than 2,000 crows came to roost on the quad at dusk Thursday.

ISU biological sciences professor Angelo Capparella says before the pyrotronics were brought in "every single tree was just covered in crows."

Illinois Dragging Its Feet On Huge Pension Problem

Illinois is a state with a reputation for political wheeling and dealing. And now it is dragging its feet on a deal to solve its biggest crisis in a generation.

The state's pension funds are the most underfunded in the country, with a shortfall approaching $100 billion.

Lawmakers will convene again next week in hopes of fixing the problem.

On the table are solutions other states adopted as long as five years ago. They include higher retirement ages, asking workers to contribute more and switching to 401(k)-style plans.

Critics blame Illinois' situation on procrastination, budget gimmicks and using state employees' retirement funds as a veritable credit card.

It's a problem decades in the making, through nearly a dozen Republican and Democratic governors and legislatures controlled by both parties.

State Lab Renews Its Certification

The state lab charged with monitoring commercial measuring devices such as supermarket scales and gas station meters to ensure that they're accurate has been recertified.

The Illinois Department of Agriculture's Metrology Lab has been awarded a 2-year certificate of traceability by the National Institute of Standards and Technology after an evaluation of its proficiency and operations.

The lab's calibration and measurement capabilities were evaluated by the institute, in addition to the lab's equipment, quality control systems and staff competency.

Agriculture officials say the lab protects consumers and businesses from unfair practices by ensuring that the standards used to test weighing and measuring devices are precise.

Last year, more than 128,000 devices were tested.

Lincoln Museum Offers Special Coupon Via Facebook

The New Year is bringing new savings for families visiting the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield.

Families who download a special coupon found on Facebook will pay a $10 admission fee for the whole family.

The deal is valid every Sunday for the month of January.

Officials say the family must consist of at least one parent and can include any number of directly related children.

The normal price of admission is $12 per adult and $6 per child.

Museum visitors can see 1 of the museum's permanent exhibit galleries, "The Tide Turns," which features a section on the 13th Amendment, the official act that abolished slavery and the central issue in the recently released "Lincoln" film.


Springfield Historic Sites Report Uptick In Visits

Officials say attendance at historic sites in Illinois' capital city is up and 1 of the factors could be the new "Lincoln" movie directed by Steven Spielberg.

Visits to Springfield area historic sites were up more than 3% in the first 11 months of 2012.

Illinois Historic Preservation Agency spokesman Chris Wills believes the movie contributed to the uptick in attendance at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. The museum also offered reduced admission for people who brought in ticket stubs from the film.

The Lincoln Home National Historic Site also saw a spike in attendance

Other factors that could have affected attendance included the re-opening of the Dana-Thomas House State Historic Site, which was closed for much of 2011 for renovations.

Some Illegal Immigrants Fear Applying For Liscenses

When Illinois' top political leaders touted a proposal to allow illegal immigrants to obtain driver's licenses, it was called a public safety measure and had the backing of immigrant rights advocates.

But the idea is running into some resistance among illegal immigrants themselves.

For some of Illinois' estimated 250,000 undocumented residents of driving age, volunteering an address and photograph to a state database seems risky, possibly more than driving without a license.

Faviola Villagomez was brought to the U.S. illegally from Mexico as a child. She says she'd hesitate to give her information, which might make her a target for deportation.

However, the bill's sponsors dismiss that concern, calling it public safety matter not immigration reform. It may be called for a vote in January.

Year In Review 2012

On this New Year's Eve holiday, let's look back at the stories that caught the most attention. The stories are rated according to dewittdailynews.com.

>>Clinton To Investigate Missing Ordinance - From August 13

A local resident is disturbed by Clinton's handling of water bills.

Clinton resident Robert Kreitler addressed the Clinton City Council [at their August 6th] meeting to express an 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.

[audio:81012bill1.mp3] [/audio]

The City Council acknowledged they need to work on how they get information about new ordinances out. John Wise of the council says he didn't want to implement the new late fee, but he had noticed a massive decline in homes that had their water shut off. Wise apologized for any confusion on the new ordinances concerning how the water bills work.

Mayor Carolyn Peters is pleased Kreitler brought the issue to the council's attention. She said they would research the issue and make sure the right section will be listed on the warning documents.

>>Drug Arrests Made - From October 25

As a result of a Task Force 6 (TF6) investigation initiated in DeWitt County, two subjects have been arrested in Clinton. Arrested were John D. Smith, age 54, and Mary F. Smith, age 52, both of Clinton. Both were arrested for commission of the offenses of Criminal Drug Conspiracy, a class X felony; Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance, more than 15 grams but less than 100 grams, a class X felony; Unlawful Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver, more than 15 grams but less than 100 grams, Class X felony; and Money Laundering, a class 3 felony. Offenses were enhanced due to being less than 1,000 feet from a school. Both subjects are incarcerated in the DeWitt County jail pending a bond hearing. If convicted, a class X felony carries a possible sentence of not less than 6 years and not more than 30 years and the class 3 felony carries a possible sentence from probation up to 5 years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.


>>Former Daycare Worker Makes Plea Deal - From October 31

A former worker at the Clinton day care, Kid Konnection, made a plea deal to giving sleep supplements to kids in her care.

Carron Hospelhorn, 40, pleaded guilty to endangering the health of two children. She received a 500 dollar fine and is on two years probation. While working at Kid Konnection, a police investigation indicates Hospelhorn gave a melatonin pill to a 15 month old and a seven month old without the parents' knowledge or consent.

As a part of the sentencing, Hospelhorn is now banned from working or volunteering at any daycare center.


>>DeWitt County Board Member Arrested - From December 13

Terry K. Hoffman, 55, of Maroa was arrested by DeWitt County Sheriff’s Deputies at approximately 7:30 P.M. on December 12 at the Sheriff’s Office. Hoffman was charged with 2 counts of felony aggravated battery and lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

[On December 14], 6th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Flannel reviewed probable cause affidavits submitted to the court and ruled that probable cause did exist for Hoffman’s arrest. Bond was set at $10,000.00. Hoffman posted 10% of the bond and was released. He is scheduled to appear in DeWitt County Court on January 16, 2013 at 9:00 A.M.


>>3-Vehicle Accident Claims Life of Elderly Clinton Woman - From January 25

[January 24] around 5:30 pm the DeWitt County Sheriff's Department, the Clinton Fire Department, and the DeWitt County Emergency Management Agency were called to the scene of an accident about 3 miles south of Clinton on US Highway 51, where a 3 vehicle crash had occured involving 2 cars and a sport utility vehicle. DeWitt County Sheriff's Deputies were called to the scene to stabalize the situation before Illinois State Police arrived. The DeWitt County Sheriff's Department [said] 4 people were treated for injuries but were not transported. One victim, 87-year old Imogene Blue of Clinton, was extricated from the vehicle and transported from the scene by emergency crews to Decatur Memorial Hospital where the Macon County Coroner's office confirmed she passed away shortly after her arrival.

National Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Overnight New Year's Eve

 width=The National Weather Service in Lincoln has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the entire Regional Radio listening area until 6 o'clock Tuesday morning.

Meteorologists say a break in the snow will be followed by redevelopment overnight, with light to moderate snow expected. Snowfall amounts of 2 to 3 inches will be common across central and southeast Illinois, with 4 inches possible south and west of Springfield. The snow may mix with or change to light freezing rain south of Interstate 70 overnight with minor icing.

Snow-covered roadways will create hazardous driving conditions during the overnight hours into early Tuesday morning. Motorists are urged to use caution when driving over the New Year's holiday.

1-2 Inches of Snow Expected Monday

 width=The National Weather Service in Lincoln issued a special weather statement early Sunday morning, calling for snow across Central Illinois on Monday into Monday night.

The Weather Service says an upper-level distrurbance interacting with an approaching cold front, will bring a period of light snow to parts of central and southeast Illinois Monday, with snow developing across the area by mid-to-late morning, then continue thru-out the afternoon into the evening.

The Weather service says at this time, they're expecting one to 2 inches of snow along and south of a Rushville to Lincoln to Rantoul line. Slightly higher amounts of 2 to 3 inches will be likely along and south of Interstate 70.

While snowfall totals are expected to remain light, snow-covered roadways could create hazardous driving conditions Monday afternoon and evening. The Weather Service says that if you have New Year's Eve travel plans, exercise caution and plan on extra travel time.

Rare golden eagle rehabbing broken wing in Decatur

The Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur has been caring for a rare golden eagle found with a broken wing.

The bird was found in a field north of Sadorus in Champaign County on Oct. 25. Now named Midas, the 8-pound bird has been with the raptor center since Dec. 6.

Raptor center program director Jacques Nuzzo says the center has never had a golden eagle and caring for the bird has presented challenges. Golden eagles eat a lot of food and instead of diving for their prey they slam into them. Nuzzo is rehabbing the bird's wing by forcing him to fly to food on a perch.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says about 50 golden eagles spend the winter in northwestern Illinois.

SIU Weekly Medical Update

Driving under the influence of alcohol kills nearly 12,000 people in the United States annually. Long-term heavy alcohol use can cause serious health conditions.
Each year, in Illinois there are about 300 deaths due to alcohol-related accidents. Ronald Kanwischer, assistant professor of psychiatry and a substance abuse counselor at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains the blood alcohol level at which drivers are considered intoxicated.

Kanwischer says there are serious legal and medical consequences to consuming alcohol and for driving under the influence. The most serious legal charges can carry a substantial fine. If the driver hurts another person, they can be sentenced to jail or even lose their license. From a medical perspective, long-term heavy alcohol use can cause health conditions such as cancer and liver failure. Kanwischer offers suggestions about drinking and driving.
Kanwischer says eating helps absorb the alcohol, especially foods such as cheese and crackers. He urges people to celebrate responsibly. If someone has a drinking problem, they should see their primary care physician or mental health counselor.

County Unemployment figures Released for November

Most of the area saw drops in unemployment from October to November.

DeWitt County's unemployment dropped from 7.5 to 7.3%.

Piatt County saw a small decrease from 6.6% to 6.5%.

Logan County dropped from 7.7% to 7.5%.

McLean County saw one of the areas largest drops, going from 6.6% to 6.1%.

Macon County saw the areas lone rise in unemployment, going from 10.1% to 10.2%.

Champaign County also dropped a half-percent, going from 7.7% to 7.2%.

Christian County dropped just slightly, going from 9% to 8.9%.

Moultrie County also dropped just slightly, going from 6.7% to 6.6%.

The state's lowest unemployment rate was in Brown County, which registered at 4.6% unemployment rate. Alexander County saw the largest unemployment rate at 11.1%.

The state's biggest drop in unemployment was in Rock Island County, with almost a percent drop, going from 7.9% to 7%. And the largest increase was in Calhoun County, going from 7.2% to 8.4%.

Illinois' unemployment rate in November was 8.2%, down from 8.4% in October. Illinois' unemployment rate was also almost a percent higher than the national average of 7.4%.

January Begins New Social Host Law


Illinois Celebrates 5th Anniversary of smoke-free law

Illinois officials are saying, "Thanks from the bottom of our lungs" as the state celebrates the fifth anniversary of the smoking ban in most public places.

The Department of Public Health is launching the "Thanks" campaign to encourage continued support for the Smoke-Free Illinois Act. It took effect Jan. 1, 2008.

Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck is director of public health. He says breathing secondhand smoke causes lung cancer and heart disease in adults who don't smoke. Children exposed to smoky air risk serious respiratory problems such as asthma attacks and infections.

Officials say the number of people who reported smoking in Illinois dropped from 21% in 2008 to 17% two years later. Calls to the Illinois Tobacco Quit Line increased 45% from 2008 to 2012.

Illnois warns snowmobilers to take extra caution

Many snowmobile accidents are preventable, and authorities in Illinois are urging operators and riders to take extra caution.

Last winter, there were 11 reported snowmobile accidents in the state, resulting in three deaths.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is urging people to take a safety class before their first ride. Online courses are also available.

The department has put out some safety tips. They include knowing your equipment, wearing a helmet to prevent injuries from flying debris and avoiding long scarves that can become caught in the vehicle's moving parts.

It says more than 50% of snowmobile fatalities in North America involve intoxicated operators.

Drowning is another cause of snowmobile fatalities, and the department is warning people to avoid areas when not familiar with the thickness of ice.

Bridgestone tire plant in Normal expanding

A central Illinois tire manufacturer is adding employees and machinery to meet an increased demand for giant tires used in mining.

The Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations plant in Normal plans two multimillion-dollar expansion projects that will increase its workforce by more than 80 employees during the next two years.  Production is expected to grow by about 30%.

The plant now employs about 500 people. Bridgestone Americas is adding tire building machines and presser stations that are used to cure tires at high heat and pressure.

Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations is a business unit of Bridgestone Americas Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world's largest tire and rubber company.

Supermax era ends as last Tamms inmates leaves

The era of the notorious Tamms "supermax" prison ended Friday as the last five inmates housed there were packed up and moved.

The transfer of the five to Pontiac Correctional Center ended a nearly 15-year Illinois experiment with the high-security prison. The facility isolated the "worst of the worst" inmates from the rest of the inmate population and kept them in their cells 23 hours a day.

Gov. Pat Quinn's administration says the prison is too costly to run. Officials moved swiftly over the past nine days to move the final 140 Tamms inmates after the state Supreme Court ruled that a court order preventing the closure be lifted.

Four dozen inmates from the Tamms minimum-security facility moved to Sheridan prison Friday as well, emptying that unit.

Illinois women upset No. 6 Georgia 70-59

Karisma Penn had 27 points and 19 rebounds, and Illinois sent Georgia to its first loss of the season with a 70-59 victory over the No. 6 Lady Bulldogs on Friday night.

Penn scored 13 points to help the Illini (7-5) jump out to a 31-13 lead. She also had 11 points during a game-changing 13-5 run that gave Illinois a 65-57 advantage after Georgia (12-1) had tied it at 52.

Guard Adrienne GodBold, playing her first game of the season after regaining her eligibility, and Amber Moore added 11 points apiece for Illinois.

Jasmine James and Khaalidah Miller each scored 17 points for the Lady Bulldogs.


NCAA Football
Ohio Bobcats 45, Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 14
(Independence Bowl at Shreveport, LA)

Virginia Tech Hokies 13, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 10 (OT)
(Russell Athletic Bowl at Orlando, FL)

Texas Tech Red Raiders 34, Minnesota Golden Gophers 31
(Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas at Houston, TX)

Indiana Pacers 97, Phoenix Suns 91
Washington Wizards 105, Orlando Magic 97
Atlanta Hawks 102, Cleveland Cavaliers 94
Detroit Pistons 109, Miami Heat 99
Brooklyn Nets 97, Charlotte Bobcats 81
Toronto Raptors 104, New Orleans Hornets 97 (OT)
Denver Nuggets 106, Dallas Mavericks 85
San Antonio Spurs 122, Houston Rockets 116
Los Angeles Clippers 116, Utah Jazz 114
Sacramento Kings 106, New York Knicks 105
Golden State Warriors 96, Philadelphia 76ers 89
Los Angeles Lakers 104, Portland Trail Blazers 87

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Indiana Hoosiers 93, Jacksonville Dolphins 59
UCLA Bruins 97, #9 Missouri Tigers 94 (OT)
#13 Gonzaga Bulldogs 94, Baylor Bears 87

Drunk Driving patrols to increase for holidays

Law enforcement agencies across Illinois say they're increasing drunken driving patrols and seat belt check as the New Year's holiday approaches.

Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Transportation and nearly 300 police agencies statewide announced the "Drive to Survive" push. There will be roadside safety checks and safety belt enforcement zones.

IDOT crash data show 42 people died during the New Year's holiday in the last five years in Illinois. Of those deaths, about 40% involved a driver who had been drinking. IDOT data also show that about 3,100 people were injured in 12,750 crashes on Illinois roadways over the New Year's holiday in the last five years. Last year nine people died and about 500 were injured.

Holiday Hangover Prevention Tips


Monticello Lady Sages Take 4th Place In Holiday Hoopla Tournament

The Monticello Lady Sages fell to Ridgeview Lady Mustangs by a final score of 47-35 on Friday Night. The Lady Sages were led by Lanye Buzan with 14 points. Elise Pontious also chipped in with 7 points. The Lady Mustangs was led by Paige Jones with 29 points. Your First State was Lanye Buzan. With the loss the Lady Sages fall to 4-13 and the Lady Mustangs improve to 10-6. The Lady Sages take 4rd place and the Lady Mustangs take 3rd place at the Holiday Hoopla Tournament. Tune in Monday, Januay 7 as the Lady Sages take on A-O at 7:30. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com

Monticello Sages Win Championship Game Against Blue Ridge

The Monticello Sages defeated Blue Ridge Knights by a final score of 69-29 on Friday Night. The Sages were led by Nick Stokowski with 21 points, 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Ryan Donohue chipped in with 11points and 4 rebounds. Matt Kruse also chipping in with 10 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. The Sages scored 46 out of the 69 points in the paint with a 63 percent accuracy. With winning the Holiday Hoopla Tournament the Sages improve to 10-1 and the Knights fall to 10-4.Your First State Bank player of the game was Nick Stokowski. Congraulations to Ncik Stokowski, Matt Kruse, Lanye Buzan and Elise Pontious for making the All-Tournament Team. Tune in Friday, January 4 as the Sages take on Central A&M at 7:30. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdaily.com.

Illinois Secretary of State Offices Closed January 1

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White is announcing that all offices and driver service facilities will be closed Tuesday for the New Year's Day holiday.

All driver services facilities will reopen for business on Jan. 2.

The secretary of state's website will still be accessible for people who want to change an address, register to become an organ and tissue donor or renew license-plate stickers by mail.

New Laws Cover Everything From Fins To Facebook

Around 150 new Illinois laws take effect on Jan. 1, ranging from bans on the possession of shark fins to prohibitions on employers asking job applicants for their social-media passwords.

Another new law increases the fees on Illinois license plates to help fund overdue state-park repairs. Basic license-plate fees will increase $2, to $101 annually. That should raise as much as $20 million for state parks.

Shark fins are used to make a pricey soup. They aren't harvested in landlocked Illinois, but Chicago has a thriving market. Environmentalists say harvesting the fins is inhumane and threatens the world's shark population.

Among other new laws is one that lets authorities use wiretaps during a felony drug investigation if approved by a state's attorney instead of a judge.

Bloomington Woman Accused of Stealing From Charity

Authorities in central Illinois say they've apprehended the Grinch who stole hundreds of gifts from a Bloomington charity and gave some of the presents to family members.

Bloomington Police spokesman Dave White says a 48-year-old Bloomington woman was arrested on preliminary charges Wednesday in connection with the theft of the WJBC Brotherhood Tree presents.

White says investigators tracked her down thanks to tips from Brotherhood Tree volunteers and organizers.

A Bloomington police officer found most of the 220 gifts in the woman's home, although some had already been given away to family members. White says she told officers she wanted her family to have a good Christmas and wasn't able to provide for them.

Coordinator Janae McGrew says she's working to increase security for the charity event next year.

Children's Advocacy Center Gearing Up For Biggest Event of Year

One local non-profit agency is gearing up for their biggest event of the year in February.

While the event is still a month and a half away, the Children's Advocacy Network of McLean, Livingston, and DeWitt Counties are raising awareness about their organization and their "Blue Kids Benefit". Jake Walters with the Advocacy Network explains the benefit serves as a fundraiser that provides the Advocacy Center with a large chunk of their yearly budget. Walters says, over the years, the event has gone from local celebrities trying to solicit money from people to a nice evening with dinner and several items auctioned off.

[audio:122812bluekids1.mp3] [/audio]

Things auctioned off through the course of the night include trips to Africa, Ireland, and stateside trips. Walters explains there is a portion of the night where they explain to those in attendance an item they have a goal of obtaining, and they basically ask for donations to acquire that. Last year, their goal was new recording equipment for their interview room. They were successful in obtaining that and have since installed and been able to use it.

[audio:122812bluekids2.mp3] [/audio]

This year the focus of the fundraising effort is going to be the CASA program. Executive Director of the Children's Advocacy Center, Judy Brucker explains the CASA program is a grant only funded program, but they recruit and train community members to speak out for children currently in foster care.

[audio:122812bluekids3.mp3] [/audio]

The "Blue Kids Benefit" this year is February 16th at the Uptown Marriott in Normal. Tickets are $65/person and include admission to the event and dinner. Contact Judy Brucker at 309-888-5656 to make a reservation or receive more information.

Clinton Y Looking Towards 2013

As we wind down the year 2012, one local organization is looking ahead to 2013.

 width=The Clinton YMCA has some goals for the upcoming year, and one of those is a new aquatic wall for their swimming pool. Jann Martin, Executive Director of the Clinton YMCA says an aquatic climbing wall would allow kids to climb up it and when the reach the end or fall off, they land in the water.

[audio:122812climbwall1.mp3] [/audio]

The wall would sit on the wall of the deep end, and the kids would start to climb up from the deep end. Martin says her goal is to have it by January. She notes it is not permanent nor does it take long to bring down or put up.

[audio:122812climbwall2.mp3] [/audio]

Safety will not be an issue on the aquatic wall. Martin explains only two kids could climb at a time, but it would supervised much like a water slide, where two kids would get to take their turn, and a life guard would signal for two more to start.

[audio:122812climbwall3.mp3] [/audio]

Martin says aquatic climbing walls like the one they have picked out are not common around the area, and she feels it would be a great asset, not just for the kids of the Y, but for some of the seniors as well. She notes there are some active seniors that use the Y for their exercise.

To make a contribution, you can contact Jann Martin at 935-8307.

Local Business Owners Seeing Rapid Increase In Gun Sales

Gun sales and ammunition sales for sporting goods stores around the area are on the rise.

 width=Local store owners are seeing an increase in their sales since the re-election of President Barack Obama and the shooting in Connecticut. Rebecca Moore, owner of Round Again Sports in Clinton says she has seen an exponential increase in sales over the past few months. She says that is all with not many people realizing she is open and inquiries day after day.

[audio:122812gunsales1.mp3] [/audio]

A Monticello business owner is also seeing the same trends as Moore. Owner of Blue Ridge Backwoods in Monticello, Jake Romano says he is seeing gun sales of all types skyrocketing recently. He says ammunition is so hard to find right now, not just at his store, but bigger box stores as well.

[audio:122812gunsales2.mp3] [/audio]

Romano attributes the skyrocketing numbers in gun sales all over to a fear that government is becoming to big and government is going to leave people unprotected. He says the right to bear arms is the checks and balances towards government as a last resort is if need be.

[audio:122812gunsales3.mp3] [/audio]

With the re-election of President Obama, both Moore and Romano confirm their gun sales went up after the November 6 election. Illinois was recently ordered by a federal court to come up with a conceal carry law within six months, one has not been put together to this point. Governor Pat Quinn has also proposed banning assault weapons ammunition.

Blue Ridge Backwoods is located at 1410 North Market Street in Monticello.

Round Again Sports is located at 55 Cedar Square in Clinton.

Nets Fire Avery Johnson, Targeting Phil Jackson

>>Nets Fire Avery Johnson; Carlesimo Takes Over As Interim Coach

(Brooklyn, NY) -- The Brooklyn Nets fired head coach Avery Johnson on Thursday. The Nets made the announcement at a press conference. Assistant P.J. Carlesimo will serve as interim head coach. Johnson guided the Nets to a 14-and-14 mark this season, but the team is just 3-and-10 in the month of December. He is just 60-and-116 in two-plus seasons as coach of the Nets. He also spent four years as head coach in Dallas. Overall, Johnson is 254-and-186 in the regular season and 23-and-24 in the playoffs.

>>Report: Phil Jackson Is Brooklyn's Top Target

(Brooklyn, NY) -- Now that the Brooklyn Nets have fired head coach Avery Johnson after a 14-and-14 start, they want to make a big splash. According to ESPN their top target to replace Johnson is former Bulls and Lakers coach Phil Jackson. Jackson's agent told NBA.com earlier in the day that his client did not have interest in the job. Brooklyn, with the deep pockets of owner Mikhail Prokhorov, will attempt to lure the 11-time champion anyway. Jackson was close to a return earlier in the season with the Lakers, but they decided to go with Mike D'Antoni. Jackson's name came up during the offseason in relation with the New York Knicks job. New York ended up retaining Mike Woodson.

Oklahoma City Thunder 111, Dallas Mavericks 105 (OT)
Los Angeles Clippers 106, Boston Celtics 77

Locals Playing For Post-Season, Pagano Inspirational Story Continues

 width=>>Bears Battle Lions Clinging To Playoff Hopes

(Detroit, IL) -- The Chicago Bears battle the Detroit Lions on Sunday at Ford Field clinging to their playoff hopes. After a second-half collapse, the Bears find themselves on the outside looking in. They need a win and a Minnesota loss to Green Bay to earn a trip to the NFC playoffs. After starting the season 7-and-1, the Bears dropped five of their next six games. Chicago is coming off a 28-13 victory in Arizona. The Lions have dropped seven in-a-row to slip to 4-and-11 on the year. Calvin Johnson broke Jerry Rice's NFL single season record for receiving yards last week and looks to add to that total. He currently has 117 catches for 1,892 yards and five touchdowns. The Bears have won eight of the last nine meetings in the series, including a 13-7 victory in Week Seven.

 width=>>Packers Meet Vikings In Crucial Season Finale

(Minneapolis, MN) -- NFC North rivals meet in a crucial regular season finale on Sunday as the Green Bay Packers face the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field. Coming off a franchise-worst 3-and-13 season, the Vikings are one win away from reaching the NFC playoffs for the first time since 2009. Minnesota sits at 9-and-6 overall and 6-and-1 at home. The Packers need a victory to secure the second seed in the NFC and earn a first-round bye. Green Bay has won four in-a-row to improve to 11-and-4. The Packers have won 12 straight division games, including a 23-14 victory over the Vikings in Week 13 at Lambeau Field.

 width=>>Pagano Returns To Coaching As Colts Host Texans

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Indianapolis head coach Chuck Pagano returns to the sidelines after a three-month absence to treat leukemia as the Colts host the Houston Texans at Lucas Oil Stadium. Bruce Arians guided the Colts to a 9-and-3 record in Pagano's absence, lifting them to 10-and-5 overall and into the AFC playoffs for the 10th time in 11 seasons.

 width=>>Seahawks Host Rams Aiming For Perfect Home Record

(Seattle, WA) -- The playoff-bound Seattle Seahawks look to finish off a perfect regular season at home as they host the St. Louis Rams on Sunday at CenturyLink Field. St. Louis is trying to finish above .500 for the first time since 2003. The Rams are 7-7-and-1 on the season, including a 19-13 home victory over Seattle in Week Four.

Illini Face Auburn In Chicago

 width=The Illini battle the Auburn Tigers at the United Center tomorrow afternoon. Illinois is coming off its first loss of the season, an 82-73 setback to rival Missouri. Illinois is 12-and-1 and the Tigers are 5-and-6 overall.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
New Mexico Lobos 55, #8 Cincinnati Bearcats 54

Lady Maroons Cruise By Blue Ridge At Okaw Valley Holiday Tournament


CLINTON (14-2, 6-0)   61

BLUE RIDGE                31
CLINTON            11      19      21      10
BLUE RIDGE       6        9        7         9      
GREEN 1-0-2, GINGER 5-1-11, NEWBERRY 1-0-2, HICKMAN 3-0-6,
TOOHILL 7-0-18, SCOTT 7-0-17, BIEBER 0-4-4
CHEEK 2-0-4, CLANCY 3-1-7, WATTERSON 1-0-2,
PEARL 4-1-9, BRANDT 3-2-9
CLINTON        24-5-61
BLUE RIDGE 13-4-31

Illinois Counties' Unemployment Rates Released For November

Most of the area saw drops in unemployment from October to November.

DeWitt County's unemployment dropped from 7.5 to 7.3%.

Piatt County saw a small decrease from 6.6% to 6.5%.

Logan County dropped from 7.7% to 7.5%.

McLean County saw one of the areas largest drops, going from 6.6% to 6.1%.

Macon County saw the areas lone rise in unemployment, going from 10.1% to 10.2%.

Champaign County also dropped a half-percent, going from 7.7% to 7.2%.

Christian County dropped just slightly, going from 9% to 8.9%.

Moultrie County also dropped just slightly, going from 6.7% to 6.6%.

The state's lowest unemployment rate was in Brown County, which registered at 4.6% unemployment rate. Alexander County saw the largest unemployment rate at 11.1%.

The state's biggest drop in unemployment was in Rock Island County, with almost a percent drop, going from 7.9% to 7%. And the largest increase was in Calhoun County, going from 7.2% to 8.4%.

Illinois' unemployment rate in November was 8.2%, down from 8.4% in October. Illinois' unemployment rate was also almost a percent higher than the national average of 7.4%.

UPDATED: Monticello Sages Defeat GCMS; Thursday Okaw Valley Scores


The Monticello Sages defeated GCMS by a score of 63-30 on Thursday Night. The Sages were led by Nick Stokowski with 16 points and 8 rebounds. Ryan Donohue also chipped in with 12 points. Trevor Bargman also chipping in with 10 points Your First State Bank player of the game was Isaac Bales with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists. With the win the Sages improve to 3-0, GCMS fall to 2-1 in the Holiday Tournamnet. Tune in tomorrow Friday, December 28 at 7:30 as the Sages take on Blue Ridge in the Holiday Hoopla Championship Game. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.


Macon Meridian 30
Rock Island Alleman 50

Tuscola 49
Mount Zion 80

Sullivan 48
Midwest Central 52

Maroa-Forsyth 72
Effingham St. Anthony 55

Clinton 48
South Fulton 65

Monticello 63

Shelbyville 52
Effingham St. Anthony 50

Macon Meridian 64
Peoria Christian 51

Warrensburg-Latham 57
Petersburg Porta 74

Tuscola 61
Blue Ridge 70

Okaw Game For Friday 12/28

Roanoke-Benson 9:00 AM at Williamsville Holiday Tournament

Havana 10:30 AM at Williamsville Holiday Tournament

Altamont 12:30 PM at Vandalia Holiday Tournament

Macon Meridian
El Paso-Gridley 1:30 PM at State Farm Classic

Tolono Unity
Red Bud 2:30 PM at 2012 Duster Thomas Hoops Classic

Sangamon Valley 3:00 PM at Monticello Holiday Hoopla

Delavan 4:30 PM at Williamsville Holiday Tournament

Mt. Pulaski 6:00 PM at St. Teresa Christmas Tournament

Vandalia 6:30 PM at Vandalia Holiday Tournament

Tolono Unity
Pinckneyville 7:00 PM at 2012 Duster Thomas Hoops Classic

Central A&M
Decatur St. Teresa 7:30 PM at St. Teresa Christmas Tournament

Thomas More Society: Gay Marriage Not Necessary

A bill to legalize gay marriage could come up for a vote next month but Peter Breen, with the Thomas More Society in Chicago, doesn't like the idea. He says if the bill passes, religious groups and other organizations could be forced to accommodate the couples, even if they don't want to.

[audio:rddGayMrg1.mp3] [/audio]

Breen says civil unions are enough for same-sex couples.

[audio:rddGayMrg2.mp3] [/audio]

Breen adds everyone will be forced to participate, whether they know it or not.

[audio:rddGayMrg3.mp3] [/audio]

Breen says marriage is not just about the two people who enter into the relationship. He says it's more about children and the continuing of society. The Thomas Moore Society doesn't plan to lobby lawmakers against the bill. Breen says they'll simply advise lawmakers on the possible consequences of passing the bill.

Parents, Guardians Required To Report Missing Children

Parents who fail to report their children missing will face tougher penalties, come January 1st. State representative Jack Franks says "Caylee's Law" closes a loophole in Illinois' law.

[audio:rddCaylee1.mp3] [/audio]

The law comes after two-year-old Caylee Anthony, from Florida, was found dead months after she went missing. Her mother, Casey Anthony, waited a full month before reporting her missing. Casey was eventually convicted for lying about the circumstances surrounding the child's disappearance and death. Caylee's Law makes it a Class 4 felony for not reporting a child missing in the allotted time. The crime is punishable by one to three years in prison and a fine of up to 25-thousand dollars.

Christmas Night Fire Destroys Church

Investigators are trying to determine what caused a Christmas night fire that destroyed a historic church in Robinson. Fire Chief Ted Atteberry says the fire was very intense when they arrived at the First United Methodist Church.

[audio:rddAtteberryChurch.mp3] [/audio]

He says the cause of the fire is under investigation. At this point, they have no idea what might have sparked it. He says it could take awhile before they do find out how the fire started. Nobody was hurt.

Maroa-Forsyth Schools Receive Grant To Upgrade Gym Lights

With kids out of the school buildings for Christmas break, one local district is taking the opportunity to upgrade part of their facilities.

The Maroa-Forsyth School district will be upgrading the lighting in all of their gyms. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools Mike Williams says the lights in their gym are very much in need of upgrades. He say they still have the old bulbs that when you turn on, take 15 minutes to get to full brightness and have to be left on all day.

[audio:122712mflights1.mp3] [/audio]

The district was fortunate enough to receive a grant to take care of a portion of the cost for the upgrades. Williams explains the grant is through the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, DCEO. He says they have an individual consumer sector and another for governmental entities. They learned about the grant in making some energy efficiency upgrades to other systems in the school buildings.

[audio:122712mflights2.mp3] [/audio]

Not only will the lights be more energy efficient, but Williams says it will give them flexibility in the opportunities they will have. Turning the lights on and off will no longer be a problem. If they need to turn the lights off at graduation or during a sporting event, they can do it without having to wait 15 minutes for them to brighten back up. They also will not have to leave the gym lights on all day now.

[audio:122712mflights3.mp3] [/audio]

The cost of the project is about $35-thousand, but the DCEO is covering a little more than $21-thousand, leaving around $12 to $13-thousand for the district to cover. Williams notes the cost savings should pay for the project in less than two years.

Williams is hopeful with the new lighting, they will be able to host some more tournaments and other events. Maroa-Forsyth schools are scheduled to host the Okaw Valley tournament in late-January.

DeWitt County Museum Eyeing Winter Improvements

Now that the busy holiday season is all but over for the DeWitt County Museum, their two or three months of renovations begin.

Each year the CH More Homestead targets areas of need within the home that need upgrades or improvements. Resident Manager of the Museum, Larry Buss explains, this year they have some minor inside improvements to be done. With the Museum being almost 140-years old, the projects always seem to be prevalent.

[audio:122712museum1.mp3] [/audio]

Many historic sites, much like the DeWitt County Museum will take advantage of grant opportunities. According to Buss, those funds many times have restrictions as to how the money can be used. While the Museum does not eliminate the possibility for any and all grants, they do try to steer clear of many of them.

[audio:122712museum2.mp3] [/audio]

According to Buss, 99% of the Museum's budget for upgrades or repairs comes from the Apple and Pork Festival. In a good year, the Museum can raise upwards of $50-thousand, but Buss says the cost of many things is so high, the money only goes so far.

[audio:122712museum3.mp3] [/audio]

In a record Apple and Pork year, like 2012, Buss says they have to balance what projects must get done while they have the funds, and also how much of those record breaking funds go into savings. He says they do put money away for the rainy day.

DJWH Continues Strong Financial Reports

The Dr. John Warner Hospital continues to report strong financial statements.

CEO of the DJWH, Earl Sheehy explains this time last year they were at an operating deficit of over three-quarters of a million dollars. This year's deficit? Just over $50-thousand. That is a tremendous turnaround, and Sheehy expects things to only get better. He says they are targeting April of next year to be breaking even, or on a more optimistic view, seeing positive gains.

[audio:122712djwhfinance1.mp3] [/audio]

Relatively speaking, the DJWH is doing much better than other Illinois critical access hospitals. Sheehy says when you look around the state at hospitals similar to the Dr. John Warner Hospital, their financial condition is in an envious state.

[audio:122712djwhfinance2.mp3] [/audio]

Several factors can be attributed to the positive financial outlook of the City owned Hospital. While many may point to the ambulance service no longer being a part of the hospital's financial responsibility, Sheehy points out the two have not been separated for a month yet, and those numbers are not even in yet. He says their main source of revenue savings is through cuts.

[audio:122712djwhfinance3.mp3] [/audio]

While not having the December financial statements yet, Sheehy says the separation of the ambulance from the hospital is already helping their statements. He says the sales of the ambulances and the equipment have helped. The money they received from those sales will go mostly into the Hospital's reserves.

Tomorrow on Regional Radio News we will bring you more specific details about the sales of the ambulances and the equipment.

Red Sox Acquire Hanrahan From Pirates In Six-Player Deal

The Boston Red Sox have acquired closer Joel Hanrahan from the Pittsburgh Pirates in a six-player deal.  The Sox also get infielder Brock Holt in exchange for first baseman/outfielder Jerry Sands, pitchers Mark Melancon and Stolmy Pimentel, and infielder Ivan De Jesus.  Hanrahan posted 82 saves in 94 opportunities after taking over closing duties for Pittsburgh in 2010.  The 31-year-old right-hander is 22-and-17 with 96 saves and a 3.74 ERA in 353 career games with Washington and Pittsburgh. 

Central Michigan Edges Western Kentucky

Ryan Radcliff threw three touchdown passes,
including the eventual game-winning toss to Cody Wilson late in the fourth
quarter to give Central Michigan a 24-21 victory over Western Kentucky in the
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.

Central Michigan (7-6) needed to win its final three games of the regular
season to even become bowl eligible and on Wednesday justified their selection
by capturing the program's first postseason victory since its last bowl
appearance in 2009.

Radcliff completed 19-of-29 passes for 253 yards and tossed two touchdown
passes to Andrew Flory, who logged 105 yards on just three catches. Wilson
caught a game-high 10 passes for 101 yards.

NCAA Football
3:00 p.m. - Bowling Green Falcons vs. San Jose State Spartans
(Military Bowl at Washington, DC)

6:30 p.m. - Cincinnati Bearcats vs. Duke Blue Devils
(Belk Bowl at Charlotte, NC)

9:45 p.m. - Baylor Bears vs. UCLA Bruins
(Holiday Bowl at San Diego, CA)

NFL Notes: Pro Bowl Rosters Selected, Cowboys' Brent Indicted

>>Cutler Says Offense Needs To Step Up

Jay Cutler understands the Chicago Bears need help to get to the playoffs, and they could use more than just an assist from archrival Green Bay.

It would help if their offense pitched in.

It hasn't in recent weeks, and that's one reason the Bears (9-6) are in danger of missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. Those struggles have played a big role in their free-fall after a 7-1 start, and even if they win at Detroit in the season finale on Sunday, there's no guarantee they'll make it.

They'll still need Green Bay to beat or tie Minnesota. They could also get in with a tie if the Vikings lose.

Either way, Cutler says for quarterbacks, these are "games you've got to have."

>>NFL Announces Pro Bowl Rosters

(New York, NY) -- The NFL announced its Pro Bowl rosters on Wednesday night. Quarterbacks Peyton Manning of the Broncos and the Patriots' Tom Brady, along with Texans defensive end J.J. Watt will head to Hawaii. Manning is the starting QB in his 12th Pro Bowl selection. On the NFC side, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was named the starter and will be joined by Redskins rookie Robert Griffin the Third and Matt Ryan of the Falcons. Vikings running back Adrian Peterson and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson headline the skill position players. The San Francisco 49ers had the most players named to the Pro Bowl with nine, including outside linebacker Aldon Smith and middle linebacker Patrick Willis. The game will take place on January 27th at Aloha Stadium. The AFC won last year's game 59-41, and wide receiver Brandon Marshall was the MVP. Marshall, now with the Bears, will start this year for the NFC opposite Johnson.

>>Five Bears Earn Pro Bowl Selection

(undated) -- The Chicago Bears had five players named to the NFC squad for the 2013 Pro Bowl. Cornerbacks Tim Jennings and Charles Tillman join defensive end Julius Peppers, defensive tackle Henry Melton and wide receiver Brandon Marshall in the Pro Bowl.

>>Three Packers In Pro Bowl

(undated) -- Quarterback Aaron Rodgers joins linebacker Clay Matthews and center Jeff Saturday on the 2013 NFC Pro Bowl squad. Rodgers is closing in on four-thousand passing yards this season for the playoff-bound Packers.

>>Cowboys' Brent Indicted In DUI Manslaughter Case

(Dallas, TX) -- Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent has reportedly been indicted for felony intoxication manslaughter. The "USA Today" reports Brent is charged in connection with the December 8th crash that killed friend and teammate Jerry Brown. A trial date has not been set. Brent is out on a 100-thousand-dollar bond. The 24-year-old Brown was killed after Brent hit a curb and flipped the car the two were riding in. Brent had a blood-alcohol level of .189, which is more than twice the legal limit in Texas. Brent and Brown were teammates at the University of Illinois.

Bulls/Pacers Postponed

The NBA game between the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls has been postponed by a snowstorm that hit the Indianapolis area.

The Pacers announced the postponement Wednesday afternoon, a few hours before the scheduled tip-off. No date has been set for rescheduling the game.

Cleveland Cavaliers 87, Washington Wizards 84
New Orleans Hornets 97, Orlando Magic 94
Miami Heat 105, Charlotte Bobcats 92
Atlanta Hawks 126, Detroit Pistons 119 (2OT)
Houston Rockets 87, Minnesota Timberwolves 84
Milwaukee Bucks 108, Brooklyn Nets 93
Philadelphia 76ers 99, Memphis Grizzlies 89
San Antonio Spurs 100, Toronto Raptors 80
Golden State Warriors 94, Utah Jazz 83
Denver Nuggets 126, Los Angeles Lakers 114
New York Knicks 99, Phoenix Suns 97
Portland Trail Blazers 109, Sacramento Kings 91

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-27

December 26, 2012


Jail Population: 63

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1


Christopher Moore, 24, Decatur was issued citations for speeding 92 mph in a 65 mph zone and operating uninsured vehicle. Moore posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.





Lady Sages Defeat GCMS; Play For Third Friday

Lanye Buzan scored 23 points and went 5-5 from the free throw line, guiding the Monticello Lady Sages over the GCMS Lady Falcons this afternoon by a score of 53-48. Buzan scored 11 points in the first half and 12 in the second half and Elise Pontious scored six of her 14 points in the fourth quarter.

With the won the Lady Sages finish pool play at 2-1 and will play for third place in the Holiday Hoopla Tournament tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Sages Take Two At Hoopla Wednesday

The Monticello Sages defeated Neoga by a score of 59-51 early Wednesday afternoon. The Sages were led by Jr Nick Stokowski with 20 points and 11 rebounds, who was also the First State Bank Player of the game. Matt Kruse and Bryann Phipps also both added 12 points.

Neoga was led by Jake Baker with 29 points.

The Monticello Sages defeated the Sangamon Valley Storm by a final score of 54-40 later in the evening. The Sages were led by Nick Stokowski with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Matt Kruse also chipped in with 15 points and 5 rebounds. Your First State Bank player of the game was Nick Stokowski. With the win the Sages improve to 8-1, and 2-0 in the Hoopla.

Tune in this afternoon as the Sages take on GCMS at 3:30 in the Holiday Hoopla Tournament. With a win, the Sages can get to the Championship game of the tournament for the first time in three years.

You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WECZ and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Okaw Valley Boys Basketball Scores

Sullivan 47
Heyworth 63

Shelbyville 56
Maroa-Forsyth 60

Macon Meridian 29
Quincy Notre Dame 70

Tuscola 44
Colfax Ridgeview 55

Warrensburg-Latham 64
South Fulton 61

Maroa-Forsyth 44
Altamont 55

Shelbyville 55
Vandalia 42

Lady Sages Split Pair At Hoopla

The Monticello Lady Sages fell to the Stark County Lady Rebels by a final score of 57-40 on Wednesday Night. The Lady Sages were led by Layne Buzan with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Elise Pontious also chipped in with 9 points. Your First State Bank player of the game was Layne Buzan. Tune in Monday, Januay 7 at 7:30 as the Lady Sages take on A-O. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WECZ and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Earlier in the day, the Lady Sages defeated Neoga 55-52. The Lady Sages were led by the 15 points of Elise Pontious. Layne Buzan chipped in with 14. Chrissy Gadbury also added 10 points.

The Lady Sages are 3-13 on the season.

The Lady Sages are in action today at 2 pm against GCMS.

Church Rebuilds After 2011 Christmas Eve Fire

Parishioners at a southwestern Illinois church destroyed in a Christmas Eve fire last year are working to repair the historic building.

Construction crews arrived at St. Mary's Catholic Church after Thanksgiving and started clearing rubble. The church is in the small community of Brussels which is about 30 miles north of St. Louis.

Last year parishioners vowed to rebuild the 1860s church.

Fire officials say it was an electrical fire. Parishioners were able to save some statues and books, among other things.

Church officials say watching crews work on the church is gratifying and gives them hope.

The first phase of construction will involve putting on a new roof, laying floors and installing doors and windows. It's expected to cost about $750,000.

Governor Quinn Welcomes Insurance 'Co-op'

Gov. Pat Quinn is welcoming the news that a nonprofit organization plans to offer health insurance in the state starting in 2014.

The new nonprofit - called Land of Lincoln Health - announced last week it is applying for a state license and has received a $160 million federal loan to begin operations.

In a statement Monday, Quinn called the announcement "another positive step to provide the people of Illinois more choices" in health care.

President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law created a category of insurance carriers called Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or "co-ops."

Land of Lincoln Health was incorporated by the Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council. It's the first co-op in Illinois to receive approval from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Illinois Gun Makers Ponder Weapons Ban Response

Illinois gun manufacturers are developing a strategy to address calls for a state assault weapons ban.

The owner of Geneseo-based ArmaLite says the gun makers are considering possible action.

ArmaLite's Mark Westrom says there shouldn't be a rush to judgment following the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at a Connecticut elementary school. And he says the issue of semi-automatic weapons might better be addressed at the federal level than by Illinois lawmakers.

ArmaLite and several other gun manufacturers in western Illinois employ several hundred people.

In the past, gun makers have threatened to leave Illinois if an assault weapons ban were to be enacted. One manufacturer with about two dozen workers moved from Hillsdale to LeClaire, Iowa.

Quinn Says 'Ample Time' For Illinois Pension Deal

Gov. Pat Quinn says lawmakers should have plenty of time to deal with pension reform and other major issues during a shortened lame duck session.

Legislators are scheduled to return to Springfield next week. Quinn has said he wants them to approve a fix for the state's estimated $95 billion pension crisis before new lawmakers are sworn in Jan. 9. Other issues that could be on the agenda are a gambling expansion, allowing gay marriage and a bill to let illegal immigrants have driver's licenses.

Legislative leaders in the House and Senate have canceled some of the days lawmakers had been scheduled to meet.

Speaking at an unrelated event Tuesday, Quinn said he talked with the leaders Monday and believes there will still be "ample time" to get things done.

Barge Companies Plead For Help On Mississippi

Several companies that operate barges on the drought-stricken Mississippi River have asked Gov. Steve Beshear to intervene by calling for a presidential disaster declaration.

The companies, including three based in Paducah, said doing so could be a first step in getting the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to improve the flow of the Mississippi.

Crounse Corp., Marquette Transportation Co., AEP River Operations, James Marine and Ingram Barge Co., made the appeal in a Dec. 20 letter.

On the day the letter was penned, company officials said 15 towboats were waiting to travel an especially shallow portion of the Mississippi with barges that were only partially filled in order to navigate the channel.

Beshear previously declined to ask for a presidential disaster declaration.

Inmate Transfers From Illinois Prisons Almost Complete

Illinois prison officials are moving quickly to empty correctional facilities that are slated to be closed.

Department of Corrections spokeswoman Stacey Solano said Monday that 124 inmates have been moved from the high-security Tamms prison since Thursday. The inmates, who've been called "the worst of the worst," are moving to the maximum-security Pontiac prison.

Twelve inmates remain at the state's "supermax" and 48 in Tamms' minimum-security unit.

Solano says all residents also have been moved out of 3 halfway houses targeted for closing.

Gov. Pat Quinn ordered the transfers after a judge on Wednesday lifted an injunction blocking the shutdowns. A union representing correctional employees had sued to stop the closings, but the Illinois Supreme Court ordered the injunction lifted.

The facilities are scheduled to close by Jan. 4.

CT Tragedy Brings Awareness, Preparation To Forefront of One Local School

Schools administrators across the country are revisiting their readiness strategies should a person armed with a weapon enter their school.

Most school districts regularly discuss and adjust their plan in place, and Blue Ridge Schools are no exception. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson says they regularly revisit their plan. They spend time as a school district reviewing, but according to Wilson, they also meet with local law enforcement agencies regularly and review any new information not just in school shootings, but other emergency situations.

[audio:122612shootplan1.mp3] [/audio]

It may start to become more common practice for schools to practice putting their plans into action through mock drills. Wilson says Blue Ridge schools did that over the summer not only for their staff, but to familiarize local law enforcement of their facilities.

[audio:122612shootplan2.mp3] [/audio]

With these recent events taking place, school administrators, lawmakers, and parents may begin calling for more security in the schools. From a Superintendent's standpoint, Wilson says she could see more discussion begin and feels many of the points made have a lot of validation.

[audio:122612shootplan3.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson mentioned DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner's involvement in bringing DeWitt County school administrators and law enforcement together to continue updating plans in place. The Sheriff has been very active to find out what can be learned and done differently during these events.

Clinton Chamber Annual Dinner To Honor Non-Profit Groups

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Dinner is right around the corner.

Once again this year the Chamber will be handing out some awards to local businesses, non-profit groups, and local citizens. Carolyn Sugg with the Chamber says they once again are bringing back their "Large Business of the Year" and "Small Business of the Year" awards. She says there are some criteria that must be met, such as, the business awards are only open to Chamber Member businesses and are voted on by Chamber members.

[audio:122612dinnerawards1.mp3] [/audio]

New this year will be the "Non-Profit of the Year" award. Sugg explains because they have such a large number of non-profit groups that are Chamber members, they felt they deserved recognition for the many great things they do throughout the community.

[audio:122612dinnerawards2.mp3] [/audio]

Also back this year will be the "Clintonia of the Year Award". This award can be nominated by anyone in the community and Sugg says each year they get so many deserving candidates as well. The community will vote on those nominated and they will be named at the Annual Dinner.

[audio:122612dinnerawards3.mp3] [/audio]

This year's Annual Chamber Dinner is January 19 at the Clinton Country Club on US Route 51, with drinks being served at 5 pm and the annual Chamber Meeting and the awards ceremony at 6 with dinner to follow. Tickets went on sale last week and are $35 per person, $60 for a couple, and $240 for a table of eight.

New at this year's event will be a karaoke contest. For more information or to get your tickets for this year's event, you can contact the Chamber at 935-3364.

Clinton Police Host 3rd Shop With Cop

The Clinton Wal-Mart and the Clinton Police Department recently teamed up to give local kids in need a Merry Christmas.

Each year the Clinton Wal-Mart and Police Department team up for their "Shop With A Cop" night. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says a lot of credit goes to the Clinton Wal-Mart for each year being willing to fund this event for the local youth and brighten their Christmases.

[audio:122612shopcop1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy feels "Shop With A Cop" is a great event because it puts law enforcement personnel in a different role. He feels it shows the kids, who may have a very negative view of police, they are humans too and enjoy doing fun things. For the officers, the Chief says it gives everybody a nice feeling of helping the kids of the community out.

[audio:122612shopcop2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy says as they are walking through Wal-Mart picking out toys and clothes, the kids were also thinking about their brothers or sisters and the things they would want. He feels that is very heartwarming gesture that the kids are not just thinking about themselves, but they have their family in mind.

This was the third year for the "Shop With A Cop" night.

Bears, Packers Notes

>>Bengals Acquire Former Bears' WR

The Cincinnati Bengals have acquired wide receiver Dane Sanzenbacher on waivers from the Chicago Bears and placed first-round draft pick Dre Kirkpatrick on injured reserve.

Sanzenbacher was released this week by the Bears and was picked up Tuesday by the Bengals. He played in five games with one catch for 7 yards this season.

Kirkpatrick, the 17th overall selection in the 2012 draft, has been sidelined with a knee injury. He played in five games this season, with two tackles on defense and two on special teams.

>>Cobb To Stay On Special Teams

(Green Bay, WI) -- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy said he will continue to play wide receiver Randall Cobb on special teams. Cobb sprained his ankle in the win over the Titans on Sunday. He returns kicks and punts.

Bradley Falls To Portland In Las Vegas

Ryan Nicholas and Derrick Rodgers scored 12 points apiece to lead Portland to a 57-55 win over Bradley in the consolation game of the Las Vegas Classic on Sunday night.

Nicholas also grabbed 12 rebounds for a double-double. Rodgers was 4 of 5 from the field.

Oskars Reinfelds added 10 points. Riley Barker grabbed 10 rebounds.

Portland led 28-27 at halftime in a game with 17 lead changes. Bradley had another chance to win the game, but Will Egolf missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Portland (7-7) shot 44% from the field for the game, while Bradley (8-4) shot 31.5%. Portland had 42 rebounds, while Bradley had 31.

Dyricus Simms-Edwards led Bradley with 15 points. Egolf and Walt Lemon Jr. had 10 points apiece. Jake Eastman had six rebounds before fouling out.

Bulls Lose Christmas Day Game

James Harden scored 26 points and Jeremy Lin added 20 points and 11 assists to lead the Houston Rockets to a 120-97 win over the Chicago Bulls on Tuesday night.

Omer Asik returned to the United Center and had a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds in his first trip back to Chicago since signing with the Rockets in the offseason.

The Rockets starters all scored in double figures. Chandler Parsons added 23 points and Marcus Morris had 10.

Houston has won 6 of 7.

The Rockets had been just 3-7 on the road entering Tuesday, but a strong second quarter turned the holiday matchup into a blowout. The Rockets outscored the Bulls 31-19 in the period to break the game open.

Boston Celtics 93, Brooklyn Nets 76
Los Angeles Lakers 100, New York Knicks 94
Miami Heat 103, Oklahoma City Thunder 97
Houston Rockets 120, Chicago Bulls 97
Los Angeles Clippers 112, Denver Nuggets 100

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Arizona Wildcats 68, #16 San Diego State Aztecs 67 (at Honolulu, Hawaii)

Monticello Hosting Holiday Hoopla

The Monticello Sages boys and girls basketball teams begin the annual Holiday Hoopla tournament today. On the boys side, they are in action this morning at 11:30 as they host Neoga. The boys will turn around and play 7:30 this evening as they will play Sangamon Valley.

On the girls side of the bracket, they are in action this morning at 10 am as they Neoga and then are back in action at 6 pm today taking on Stark County.

WEZC will have a full day's schedule of basketball from the Holiday Hoopla, as at 11:30 and 7:30 you can hear the boys action, then at 6 pm this evening you can hear the girls game as they take on Stark County.

Those games can also be accessed live from dewittdailynews.com.

Maroons In Action In Williamsville

The Clinton Maroons are headed to the Williamsville Holiday Tournament, and kick play off this afternoon at 3 pm. The Maroons take on PORTA today and will be again in action tomorrow. If they win this afternoon, they play tomorrow at 6 pm, and if they lose, they play tomorrow at noon.

The Maroons are coming off a 63-57 loss last Tuesday, and enter today at 3-8.

Monticello Sages Defeat Neoga

The Monticello Sages defeated Neoga by a score of (59-51) on Wednesday afternoon.  The Sages were led by Sr. Stokowski with 20 points and 11 rebounds, who was also the First State Bank Player of the game.  Kruse and Phipps also both added 12 points.

Neoga was led by Baker with 29 points.

With the Win the Sages improve to (7-1).

Tune in tonight as the Sages take on Sangamon Valley.  You can hear the game live on Monticello- 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com

DeWitt County Sheriff's Holiday Weekend Report

December 21, 2012


Jail Population: 62

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 22, 2012


Jail Population: 65

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 23, 2012


Jail Population: 62

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 24, 2012


Jail Population: 61

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 25, 2012


Jail Population: 63

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


Paul Jackson, 25, Decatur was issued a citation for speeding, 73 mph in a 55 mph zone. Jackson posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Cody Mills, 20, Clinton was issued citations for operating uninsured motor vehicle, failure to reduce speed/ accident and 2 counts driving under the influence. Mills posted the necessary bond and was released.


Thomas Benge, 28, Bloomington was issued a citation for speeding, 66 mph in a 45 mph zone. Benge posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Chelsea Sloan, 22, Forsyth was issued a citation for operating uninsured vehicle. Sloan posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 7:56 a.m.on Friday, December 21, revealed that a vehicle driven by Michelle McRoberts, 33, Decatur, was traveling northbound on US 51, due to icy conditions McRoberts lost control of her vehicle, spinning in a counterclockwise motion and headed toward the median, where Everett Burchman, 61, Decatur, was stationary due to sliding off the road. McRoberts vehicle struck Burchmans vehicle. No citations were issued. McRoberts was transported to Decatur Memorial Hospital.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 8:43 a.m. on Friday, December 21, revealed that a vehicle driven by Aaron Priddis, 18, Bloomington, was traveling northbound on US 51 in icy conditions, when Priddis lost control and slid into the center median striking a wooden sign post. There were no injuries reported at the scene.










Clinton Maroons lose to the Porta Blue-jays

The Clinton Maroons fell to Porta by a score of 60-24 on Wednesday night. The Maroons were led by Jr. Colten Reeves with 6 points, and was also your Clinton IGA Clinton Player of the Game. Dillon Smith also contributed 4 points.

With the loss the Maroons fall to (3-9).

Tune in Tomorrow as the Maroons compete in the Williamsville tournament at noon. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/ 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

National Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Champaign County, and Counties East

 width=The National Weather Service in Lincoln says a winter storm will continue to take shape across Texas this morning, then lift northeast through the day. By Wednesday morning, it is expected to be centered in south central Tennessee. This type of track would favor the potential for heavy snow across portions of southern Illinois and western Indiana.

No travel impacts are expected during the daylight hours Tuesday, but snow is expected to spread northward across east central and southeast Illinois Tuesday night, and continue through much of Wednesday before diminishing from west to east.

Areas along and south of the I-70 corridor have the best potential for seeing at least 6 inches of snow out of this system. Snowfall amounts taper off to the north of I-70, with little or no snow expected northwest of I-55. North winds of 15 to 25 mph, with gusts to 40 mph, will lead to blowing and drifting snow as well.

Given the high travel activity associated with the holidays, people traveling across the Midwest Christmas Day and Wednesday should check the latest forecasts before departing, and be prepared to make adjustments to travel plans as necessary.

National Weather Service Issues Winter Weather Advisory for Wednesday


A major winter storm will continue to impact southeast Illinois today. The snow is expected to be heaviest this morning, and will gradually taper off from west to east this afternoon. Areas along and south of the I-70 corridor have the best potential for seeing 5 to 8 inches of snow, with the highest totals toward Olney and Lawrenceville. Snowfall amounts taper off to the north of I-70, with little or no snow expected northwest of I-55. North winds of 20 to 25 mph, with gusts to 40 mph, will lead to blowing and drifting snow as well.

Given the high travel activity associated with the holidays, people traveling across the Midwest through today should check the latest forecasts before departing, and be prepared to make adjustments to travel plans as necessary.


Habitat For Humanity Seeking New Board Members

One local group aimed at helping families in the community is looking for new board members.
The DeWitt County chapter of Habitat for Humanity is seeking Board Members to help them in their decision making and service projects. Board member for Habitat, Norman Emery, says they are looking for at least three new members. The board is at nine members and their charter requires twelve.
There are several qualities they are looking for in a potential board member as well as time requirements. Emery explains they are seeking members from just about any industry, as their work skills will come in very handy in serving with Habitat.
There are a number of issues and topics discussed at each Habitat for Humanity board meeting. He says they discuss anything from applicants for housing, fundraising, and sites for their next home.
Being a Board member for Habitat for Humanity can require as little as two hours a month. While Habitat prefers their Board members to help out in the building of their new homes, that is not necessarily a requirement.

For anyone interested in joining the board, you can call Habitat for Humanity at 217-935-4663. You can also stop by their next board meeting on Tuesday, January 8 at 6:30 at the Habitat building on Washington Street in Clinton.

University Of Illinois Extionsion Introduces New Nutrition and Wellness Educator

The University of Illinois Extension Offices have a new addition to the staff.
Caitlin Huth is the new nutrition and wellness educator at U of I Extension. Being from Champaign, she is familiar with the Central Illinois area and hopes to reach out to the local communities through several nutrition and wellness programs. One of the programs she hopes to get started soon is "Eye on Diabetes".
Huth also plans to jumpstart programs that can assist people with heart health and food safety. She plans to reach out to as many towns throughout the community as she can. She also wants to reach out to community groups.
Many of the programs Huth wants to start have already been established state-wide. She's hoping to continue them and make them as effective as possible. Many of these programs are geared toward young and older adults, so Huth would like to create some new programs for children.
To information about the programs or would like to leave feedback, you can contact Caitlin Huth at 217-877-6042 or through e-mail at chuth2@illinois.edu. She also encourages visiting the U of I extension website.

Social Security Sees Rise In Retirment Applications To Close Year

As the new year approaches, the number of prospective retirees get bigger.
Jack Meyers, with Social Security, says the majority of retirees prefer to retire at the end of the calendar year. This means that the number of retirement applications are numerous during the month of December. Myers says that finishing at the end of the year provides those retiring with a sense of accomplishment. He says that it's never too early to start planning for retirement.
Myers says that there are several tools that can help in retirement planning. The Social Security website is one one of those helpful tools. Statements and estimators can help give a future retiree an educated estimate as to how much they will receive during the years of retirement.
Myers says that the website is pretty accurate and gets even more accurate with its projections as one gets closer to the retirement years. He also adds that it's important for young people to start planning for retirement. He says that 401Ks offered by employers should be utilized.
Myers says that it's important to get your application filed before the month that your benefits start. You must be 62 years of age or older. He also says to be aware that checks don't arrive until the month after they are due.
For more information on retirement or other social security information, you can go www.socialsecurity.gov or call the Social Security office at 1-800-772-1213.

Storms Improve Outlook for Mississippi River

A release of water from the Missouri River and recent storms are offering some relief for the Mississippi River, where water levels have been dangerously low.

The Mississippi River channel at St. Louis was roughly 12 feet deep on Thursday - up about a foot.5 since Monday.

River interests are paying close attention because if the Mississippi channel gets to 9 feet, more restrictions for barge traffic are expected. Forecasters initially expected the river to get to 9 feet by late this month.

National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs now says that probably won't happen until the second week of January. He cites two reasons for the improved forecast: This week's release of water from an upper Missouri River dam; and heavy snow and rain in the upper Midwest.

Durbin Asks Feds To Approve New FutureGen Phase

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve the next phase of central Illinois' FutureGen clean-coal project.

Durbin's office says the Illinois Commerce Commission voted Wednesday in favor of a purchase agreement for the power that the Meredosia plant would generate. The next phase of the project would include preliminary design, pre-construction and engineering.

Durbin says the ICC's decision solidifies FutureGen's "financial viability." He says a power plant in Meredosia can start be retrofitted once the next phase receives Energy Department approval. Durbin met with the energy secretary earlier this month in Washington.

Bears, Packers Recaps; NFL Scores

>>Bears Ease Past Cardinals

(Glendale, AZ)  --  The Chicago Bears scored a pair of defensive touchdowns and Brandon Marshall caught a touchdown pass in a 28-13 win over the Arizona Cardinals.  Charles Tillman returned an interception for a touchdown for the third time this season.  The Bears snapped a three-game losing streak to improve to 9-and-6 and keep themselves alive for an NFC playoff spot.  Matt Forte rushed for 88 yards and a TD but left the game with an ankle injury in the third quarter and did not return.  Arizona got a score on a blocked field goal return in the fourth quarter.  The Cardinals have lost 10 of their last 11 games and are 5-and-10.

>>Rams Roll Buccaneers

(Tampa, FL)  --  Sam Bradford threw for 196 yards, two scores and an interception as the Rams rolled the Buccaneers, 28-13.  Steven Jackson ran for 81 yards and a touchdown for St. Louis, which improved to 7-7-and-1 on the year.  Lance Kendricks made four catches for 119 yards and a TD for the Rams.  Josh Freeman tossed for 372 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions for Tampa Bay, which dropped to 6-and-9.  Freeman has thrown four interceptions in back-to-back weeks to move his season total to 12.  Doug Martin rushed for 62 yards in the setback.  Mike Williams had seven catches for 132 yards and a touchdown for the Bucs.

>>Packers Roll Over Titans

(Green Bay, WI)  --  Aaron Rodgers threw three touchdown passes and rushed for another as the Packers whipped the Titans, 55-7.  Rodgers passed for 342 yards and James Jones caught seven passes for 100 yards and a touchdown.  Ryan Grant ran for 80 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.  The Packers moved to 11-4 and can still earn a first-round bye in the playoffs with help.  Jake Locker threw a pair of interceptions and Chris Johnson was held to 28 rushing yards for the Titans. Tennessee fell to 5-and-10 and will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season.

>>Colts Win, Clinch Playoff Spot

(Kansas City, MO)  --  Indianapolis clinched an AFC playoff spot one year after a 14-loss season with Sunday's 20-13 win over Kansas City.  Andrew Luck threw the go-ahead touchdown to Reggie Wayne with 4:08 left to play, and the Colts overcame a 226-yard rushing performance from KC's Jamaal Charles.  Luck threw for 205 yards and broke the NFL single-season rookie record set by Carolina's Cam Newton last season.  Luck's 4,183 yards this season is the new standard.  The Colts moved to 10-and-5 and hold the fifth seed in the AFC postseason picture.  Peyton Hillis added 101 rushing yards for the Chiefs, who fell to 2-and-13.



New Orleans Saints 34, Dallas Cowboys 31 (OT)
Green Bay Packers 55, Tennessee Titans 7
Indianapolis Colts 20, Kansas City Chiefs 13
Miami Dolphins 24, Buffalo Bills 10
San Diego Chargers 27, New York Jets 17
Washington Redskins 27, Philadelphia Eagles 20
Cincinnati Bengals 13, Pittsburgh Steelers 10
St. Louis Rams 28, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13
Carolina Panthers 17, Oakland Raiders 6
New England Patriots 23, Jacksonville Jaguars 16
Minnesota Vikings 23, Houston Texans 6
Denver Broncos 34, Cleveland Browns 12
Chicago Bears 28, Arizona Cardinals 13
Baltimore Ravens 33, New York Giants 14
Seattle Seahawks 42, San Francisco 49ers 13

NBA And NCAA Men's Basketball Scores

Brooklyn Nets 95, Philadelphia 76ers 92
New York Knicks 94, Minnesota Timberwolves 91
Utah Jazz 97, Orlando Magic 93
San Antonio Spurs 129, Dallas Mavericks 91
Los Angeles Clippers 103, Phoenix Suns 77
Sacramento Kings 108, Portland Trail Blazers 96

NCAA Top-25 Basketball  ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Arizona Wildcats 69, Miami Hurricanes 50
#15 San Diego State Aztecs 62, Indiana State Sycamores 55

Winter Storm to Hit Central Illinois Late Tuesday, Wednesday

 width=The National Weather Service in Lincoln says a winter storm taking shape across northern Texas on Christmas morning, will affect Central Illinois late Tuesday and Wednesday. Heavy snow is expected across eastern Illinois and western Indiana.

No travel impacts are expected during the daylight hours on Christmas Day, but snow is expected to spread northward across central and southeast Illinois late Tuesday evening, and continue through much of Wednesday before diminishing from west to east. Areas east of a Danville to Effingham line have the best potential for seeing at least 6 inches of snow out of this system, and some locations south of I-70 may see upwards of 10 or more inches of snow, especially toward Flora and Lawrenceville.

Snowfall amounts taper off to the west, with only a dusting expected northwest of the Illinois River. North winds of 15 to 25 mph will lead to some blowing and drifting snow as well.
Small adjustments in the forecast track would result in the axis of heaviest snow adjusting as well. Given the high travel activity associated with the holidays, people traveling across the Midwest on Christmas Day and Wednesday should check the latest forecasts before departing, and be prepared to make adjustments to travel plans as necessary.

Stay tuned to Regional Radio, and this on-line daily newspaper, for the latest on this developing winter storm.


NCAA Football
UCF Knights 38, Ball State Cardinals 17
(Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl at St. Petersburg, FL)

Toronto Raptors 93, Orlando Magic 90
Philadelphia 76ers 99, Atlanta Hawks 80
Milwaukee Bucks 99, Boston Celtics 94 (OT)
Chicago Bulls 110, New York Knicks 106
Detroit Pistons 100, Washington Wizards 68
Indiana Pacers 99, Cleveland Cavaliers 89
Memphis Grizzlies 92, Dallas Mavericks 82
San Antonio Spurs 99, New Orleans Hornets 94
Los Angeles Clippers 97, Sacramento Kings 85
Golden State Warriors 115, Charlotte Bobcats 100

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#6 Indiana Hoosiers 88, Florida Atlantic Owls 52
#22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 89, Niagara Purple Eagles 67



Cubs Agree To Terms With Schierholtz

The Chicago Cubs have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with outfielder Nate Schierholtz. He spent the first six seasons of his career with the San Francisco Giants before getting traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last July. Schierholtz hit a combined .257 with six home runs and 21 RBI in 114 games last season. He's a career .270 hitter with 24 home runs and 123 RBI.

Bulls Beat Knicks

Luol Deng [[ loo-OLL dang ]] posted 29 points and 13 rebounds as the Bulls defeated the Knicks, 110-106. Joakim [[ joe-keem ]] Noah added 15 points, 12 rebounds and six assists for Chicago, which improved to 15-and-10. Marco Belinelli chipped in with 22 points and seven boards in the win. Carmelo Anthony scored 29 points for New York, which dropped to 19-and-7. J.R. Smith helped out with 26 points and 10 boards in defeat. Raymond Felton turned in 21 points and six rebounds for the Knicks. Melo, Tyson Chandler and and head coach Mike Woodson were ejected on the New York side, while Noah left the game for Chicago.

Illinois Lawmaker Says Pension Plan Would Save Two Billion Dollars

1 of the sponsors of a new proposal to fix Illinois' pension crisis says the plan would save the state $2 billion next year.

Democratic state Rep. Daniel Biss is among a group of more than 20 rank & file lawmakers who pitched the plan early this month.

Illinois has the nation's worst pension problem, with an unfunded liability of $95 billion.

Biss said Friday the new plan would immediately cut that shortfall to $67 billion.

The proposal would reduce cost-of-living increases for employees and retirees and require workers to contribute more to retirement. It also would shift some costs for teacher pensions to local districts.

Lawmakers are expected to consider the plan, which has some Republican support, when they return to Springfield in early January.

Resources Available to Veterans With PTSD

The Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is reminding those who've served in the military that free resources are available to help with post-traumatic stress disorder or other challenges associated with returning from combat.

The department notes that the holidays can be an especially difficult time for veterans struggling to cope with their experiences.

Department Director Erica Borggren says "it is important for veterans to understand that seeking help for symptoms of PTSD is not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength."

The Illinois Warrior Assistance Program is a free and confidential service provided by the state of Illinois. They include PTSD screening and diagnosis, and help paying for outpatient PTSD treatment for the uninsured.

PTSD symptoms can include trouble sleeping or concentrating, as well as anger and irritability.

Miller Park Zoo To Close Early on Christmas Eve

Miller Park Zoo has open doors most of the time, with hours from 9:30am to 4:30pm every day but Thanksgiving and Christmas. However on Christmas Eve, the Zoo will close to the general public a little early. Miller Park Zoo closes at 1pm on Monday Dec 24th, and will reopen on Wednesday, December 26th. Miller Park Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says at least one of the residents of the Zoo is looking forward to Monday night.“Last Sunday, one of our two reindeer, Ealu, went through Santa’s teamtesting,” Tetzloff says. “Ealu passed with ‘flying colors’ but Rikka hadsome pre-tryout nerves.”Rikka has her hooves crossed that she might be picked as a game-day replacement to join the Sleigh Team. Fans of the Zoo can check on her progress by following her Twitter feed @RikkaReindeer.

Chaplain Chosen to Lead Illinois National Guard

Gov. Pat Quinn has named a new leader for the Illinois National Guard.

Daniel Krumrei (KRUHM-roy) on Friday was named adjutant general of the Illinois National Guard and director of the Department of Military Affairs. He replaces Bill Enyart, who left the guard to successfully run as a Democrat for Congress in Illinois' 12th District.

Krumrei is a 35-year veteran of the guard and a former colonel. He has served as Illinois Army National Guard command staff chaplain since 2005. He has been a chaplain since 1992.

Quinn's office highlighted Krumrei's skills as a chaplain, saying he will lead the guard as service members return from overseas deployment and need services.

Krumrei lives in Springfield. He holds degrees from the Army War College and Phillips Graduate Seminary.

Quinn Visits Vets in Germany



[audio:germany.mp3] [/audio]


SIU School of Medicine Weekly Feature

All the excitement of the holiday interrupts a child’s routine and can add stress for children and sometimes cause behavioral problems. That story from Ruth Slottag in Springfield. The holidays are thought of as a magical time of year, but stress and pressure from extra activities, shopping and high expectations can impact family harmony. Glen Aylward, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and psychiatry at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says there are a variety of stressors that can affect the child.

[audio:siuholidays1.mp3] [/audio]

Aylward says behavioral challenges might include emotional volatility and anxiety. He offers tips for parents to make the holidays more fun and less stressful, which will make their children’s behaviors more acceptable.

[audio:siuholidays2.mp3] [/audio]

Aylward advises parents to guide children away from the material issues of the holiday and get into the giving – the actual spirit of the season. Help them donate a gift to someone less fortunate. If a child’s behavior becomes more disruptive or doesn’t return to normal soon after the holidays, the child may need to see his or her doctor or a pediatric counselor.

3 Authors, 3 Views of History at Illinois Museum in Jan.

Three noted authors with differing views on Civil War-era and other American history will discuss their new books at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

The events are free but reservations must be made in advance. Authors will sign books at 6:30 p.m. and speak in the Union Theater at 7 p.m.

Bruce Levine of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will talk about his book, "The Fall of the House of Dixie" on Jan. 9. The book uses original sources to review the collapse of antebellum Southern culture.

Michael Lind will appear Jan. 16. The co-founder of the New America Foundation is author of "Land of Promise."

Journalist David Von Drehle will speak on his book "Rise to Greatness" on Jan. 17.

Weekly Weather Update

2012 will always be known as the year of the drought. State climatologist Jim Angel has more about that as well as an outlook for Spring.

[audio:wx1221.mp3]comment here[/audio]

Monticello Sages Defeat Tri-Valley Vikings

The Monticello Sages defeated Tri-Valley Vikings by a score of 57-40 on Friday Night. The Sages were by Nick Stokowski with 24 points. Matt Kruse also chipped in with 18 points and 7 rebounds. Also chipping in was Bryan Phipps with 5 points and 10 assists. With the win the Sages improve to 6-1 with the loss the Vikings fall to 7-3. Your First State Bank player of the game was Colten Gibson with 9 points and 6 rebounds. Tune in Wednesday, December 26 as the Sages take on Neoga at 11:30, then take on Sangamon Valley at 7:30 and then the Lady Sages take on Stark County at 6:00 in a special Hoilday Hoopla. You can hear the game live 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Storm Improves Outlook For Mississippi River

A release of water from the Missouri River and recent storms are offering some relief for the Mississippi River, where water levels have been dangerously low.

The Mississippi River channel at St. Louis was roughly 12 feet deep on Thursday - up about a foot.5 since Monday.

River interests are paying close attention because if the Mississippi channel gets to 9 feet, more restrictions for barge traffic are expected. Forecasters initially expected the river to get to 9 feet by late this month.

National Weather Service hydrologist Mark Fuchs now says that probably won't happen until the second week of January. He cites two reasons for the improved forecast: This week's release of water from an upper Missouri River dam; and heavy snow and rain in the upper Midwest.

Cardio Experts Say To Go Slow When Shoveling Snow

With the year's first major snowfall, Northwestern Medicine cardiovascular experts are warning people to take to take it easy while shoveling. Those with known heart disease should be especially careful.

Clinical chief of cardiology at Northwestern Memorial Hospital Charles Davidson says "shoveling show is very strenuous physical activity that puts a high degree of stress on the heart and its circulation."

Davidson says that in people at risk of heart disease, shoveling snow "may be putting them at risk for very serious heart problems including heart attacks."

Safety tips from experts include starting early, because shoveling snow is easier when it first falls, before it becomes compacted and heavy.

Warm clothes can also help maintain body temperature and circulation. Other advice includes staying hydrated, warming up and taking frequent breaks.

Illinoisans Should Be Concerned About The Fiscal Cliff

There's still no compromise on how to keep the nation from going over the fiscal cliff. Patricia Cutilletta [[Coo-ta-letta ]], with Morgan Stanley in Chicago, says everyone should be concerned about the nation's finances because ultimately, you'll feel the impact in your wallet.

[audio:rddCliff1.mp3] [/audio]

Cutilletta says going over the fiscal cliff could impact the gross domestic product by up to five percent, and send the nation back into recession.

[audio:rddCliff2.mp3] [/audio]

She adds the fiscal cliff is already having a negative impact on business and the economy.

[audio:rddCliff3.mp3] [/audio]

If nothing is done, Cutilletta says there will be a substantial increase in income taxes, estate tax, and payroll taxes. She also says there will be a drastic cut in federal spending, which means many government programs will be restructured. Right now the nation has about 16-point-two-trillion dollars in debt, just under its limit of 16-point-four trillion. It's likely the nation will go over its limit within a month, which means it could very well default on U.S. debt. That would have a worldwide implication. Cutilletta says some kind of compromise would help for the time being, even if that just means extending the Bush tax credits on some high income earners.

Preparing For Power Outages

Winter weather conditions could knock out power in many homes and businesses across the state. Leigh Morris with Ameren Illinois says people should have an emergency kit on hand, just in case.

[audio:rddLiteOut1.mp3] [/audio]

Partof that emergency kit should be non-perishable food items. Morris says make sure the foods don't need to be warmed up.

[audio:rddLiteOut2.mp3] [/audio]

Morris says one very important item is often left out of the safety kit.

[audio:rddLiteOut3.mp3] [/audio]

People who take regular medications should be sure to have extras on hand. Morris urges people not to use candles because they can fall over and start a fire. He says it's a good idea to keep at least one light switch on so you know when power comes back on. Morris says if everyone's power comes on except your - first, check the fuse box. If that's not the issue, call the company. Ameren is working on upgrading its system, which will minimize outages and help restore power more quickly.

Midwest, Plains Bankers See Rural Economy Growing

A new survey of rural bankers shows that rising commodity prices and lower energy costs are helping businesses in Midwestern states and the northern Plains.

The Rural Mainstreet Index released Thursday climbed in December, the fourth straight month of growth. Creighton University economist Ernie Goss, who oversees the survey, says the reading is the healthiest recorded since June 2007.

The survey showed increases in bank borrowing to purchase farmland and equipment, and rising farmland prices. The December hiring index rose half a point, to 53.5. The home-sales index slipped in December, to 61.3 from November's 62.0.

The index ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing "growth neutral." It's based on a survey of rural bankers in Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

Drought's Grip Unrelenting Across Midwest

The worst U.S. drought in decades continues its iron-fisted grip across much of the nation's key farming states, though some relief could come from the first major snowstorm of the season trekking eastward across the Midwest.

Thursday's weekly U.S. Drought Monitor update shows that roughly 62% of the continental U.S. remains in some form of drought, unchanged from the previous week. That number has been above 60% largely since July.

Nearly 22% of the lower 48 states are in extreme or exceptional drought, the two worst categories. That's up a half of a percentage point from a week earlier.

The latest numbers are as of Tuesday, before the arrival of the Midwest's first winter snowstorm.

All of South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas and Oklahoma are in drought.

Shootings Prompts University of Illinois Student To Raise Money

A University of Illinois student hopes to raise $50,000 for people affected by last week's shootings at a Connecticut elementary school and he's almost a quarter of the way to his goal.

Chris DeLetto set up a website seeking donations and so far has pledges of almost $12,000.

DeLetto says he decided to raise the money because of he was shaken by the shootings. In all 28 people died.

DeLetto says some of the money will go to relief efforts already under way in the Newtown, Conn., area. The senior from Glenview also hopes some of the money can be used for a memorial and would like to buy small gifts for the 600 students at the school.

Slow Season For DNR Conservation Officers Leaves Plenty To Do

It's the slow season for Conservation Police Officers around the area.

During the times when they are not as busy, Officer Ray Wichus says while the major hunting seasons are all but complete for the year, they still do have hunters out for some of the less popular seasons. He says this will occupy a little bit of their time, but not nearly as much as muzzle-loader, firearm, and archery deer seasons, leaving them time to do follow ups from those seasons.

[audio:122612dnrslow1.mp3] [/audio]

Maybe the most common complaint received by DNR Officers are 'hunting without permission'. Wichus explains the complaints they can only follow up on are complaints from the owner of the property. Wichus notes, in some circumstances, the property owner can even dictate if the hunter will receive a warner or citation.

[audio:122612dnrslow2.mp3] [/audio]

While it is not a complaint, DNR CPOs will investigate 'point of sales' on their permits. Wichus explains they may have a case of a hunter purchasing a permit and then checking a deer in five minutes after the purchase. He say they will look into those cases to see if they were hunting without a permit, shot a deer, and then purchased a permit before checking it in.

[audio:122612dnrslow3.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus says when not many hunters are out, they can begin to follow up on some of the complaints they have. With not many Officers in Central Illinois, he says they may not get to all the complaints they have, but they try to get to as many as possible, especially before spring months because things begin to pick up around that time again.

Lincoln's Five-Year Capital Plan In Place

A 5-year capital improvement plan in Lincoln has been put together and has should be put in motion this coming spring.

City officials have been working on this 5-year plan, which would begin for Fiscal Year 14, that begins May 1 of next spring. Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder explains the five-year plan has projects for each of the fiscal years 14, 15, 16, 17, and 18. He explains the plan begins with addressing the streets most in need first, and then progressing from there.

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While the moneys from a sales tax the voters of Lincoln approved for capital improvements will help fund a good portion of things, the Mayor hopes to take advantage of grant opportunities for some of their other goals. He explains they currently have a grant application in for some downtown streetscape work, and he believes having some plans in place for future, unknown grant opportunities would better their chances to get future funding.

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Maybe the poorest street conditions are on the brick streets in the city of Lincoln. Mayor Snyder says their goal is to preserve as much of the brick streets as possible. He notes one stretch of road in Lincoln, on Pulaski Street may have the brick removed permanently and restored with concrete.

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This plan development has been several months in the making. Mayor Snyder explains they were forced to contract with an outside firm because they had their City Engineer take another job, but they hired a local firm, Prairie Engineers.

Mayor Snyder hopes to begin getting some of their target work out for bid yet this winter and get ahead of the construction bid season in hopes of receiving lower bids.

Baseball Notes

>>Cubs Reportedly Agree To Four-Year Deal With Jackson

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Cubs are adding Edwin Jackson to their starting rotation. According to FoxSports.com, the Cubs have agreed to a four-year, 52-million-dollar contract with the 29-year-old right-hander. The deal is pending a physical. Jackson was 10-and-11 with a 4.03 ERA in 31 starts last season for the Washington Nationals. He is 70-and-71 with a 4.40 ERA in 10 seasons overall.

>>Rangers Agree To One-Year Deal With Pierzynski

(Arlington, TX) -- The Texas Rangers have agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent catcher A.J. Pierzynski [[ peer-ZIN-skee ]]. According to MLB.com, the 35-year-old must still pass a physical before the deal becomes official. Pierzynski hit .278 with a career-high 27 home runs and 77 RBI last season with the Chicago White Sox. He spent the last eight seasons with the Pale Hose. Pierzynski is a lifetime .284 hitter with 155 homers and 730 RBI in 15 seasons with the Twins, Giants and White Sox.

>>Brewers Agree To Two-Year Deal With Gorzelanny

(Milwaukee, WI) -- The Milwaukee Brewers have agreed to a two-year contract with pitcher Tom Gorzelanny. The "Milwaukee Journal Sentinel" reports the deal is pending a physical but is expected to become official today. The 30-year-old left-hander was 4-and-2 with a 2.88 ERA last season with the Washington Nationals. Gorzelanny is 44-and-45 with a 4.41 ERA in eight seasons overall.

Locals Playing For Post-Season

 width=>>Bears Clash With Cardinals In Desert

(Glendale, AZ) -- The Chicago Bears look to stay in the playoff hunt when they head to the desert to take on the Arizona Cardinals Sunday at University of Phoenix Stadium. The Bears were beaten 21-13 at home by the Packers last weekend. Chicago has lost three straight to fall to 8-and-6. The Cardinals snapped a nine-game losing streak with a 38-10 win over the Lions last Sunday. Arizona bounced back from a 58-0 loss at Seattle in Week 14 and is now 5-and-9 after starting the season 4-and-0.

>>Titans Play Packers At Lambeau

 width=(Green Bay, WI) -- The Tennessee Titans head to the frozen tundra this Sunday to take on the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Tennessee is working on a short week after a 14-10 triumph over the Jets on "Monday Night Football." That snapped a three-game losing streak for the Titans, who are now 5-and-9 on the season. The Packers clinched the NFC North with a 21-13 win over the Bears this past Sunday in Chicago. Green Bay has won eight-of-nine to improve to 10-and-4 overall.

 width=>>Rams, Bucs Battle In Tampa

(Tampa, FL) -- The St. Louis Rams are on the road this Sunday to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. The Rams' slim playoff hopes took a hit with a 36-22 home loss to the Vikings last Sunday. St. Louis is now 6-7-and-1, including a 2-3-and-1 mark on the road. The Bucs were blasted 41-0 at New Orleans in Week 15. Tampa Bay has lost four in-a-row on the heels of a four-game winning streak to fall to 6-and-8. The Bucs are 3-and-4 both home and away.

 width=>>Colts Look To Clinch Playoff Berth At KC

(Kansas City, MO) -- The Indianapolis Colts can clinch a playoff berth with a win this Sunday against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Colts lost 29-17 at Houston this past Sunday but still hold the top AFC Wild Card spot at 9-and-5. Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck is set to eclipse four-thousand passing yards for the season. KC was shut out 15-0 at Oakland in Week 15. It's the home finale for the Chiefs, who are tied with Jacksonville for the NFL's worst record at 2-and-12.

>>Pagano Could Return To Colts Next Week

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The Indianapolis Colts could be ready to welcome back their head coach next week. According to the "Indianapolis Star," Chuck Pagano could return as early as Monday. The 52-year-old was diagnosed with leukemia in September, but remains in remission after three rounds of chemotherapy. Offensive coordinator Bruce Arians has served as interim coach during his absence. The Colts are 9-and-5 and can clinch a playoff berth with a win this Sunday at Kansas City.

Bulls In New York Tonight; Rose Practices, No Timetable For Return

 width=>>Bulls Take On Knicks

(New York, NY) -- The Knicks and Bulls meet for the second time this month. Chicago won the first meeting at home, 93-85, but Carmelo Anthony did not play. Tonight, the game is at Madison Square Garden. The Bulls are 14-and-10, while the Knicks stand at 19-and-6.

Minnesota Timberwolves 99, Oklahoma City Thunder 93
Miami Heat 110, Dallas Mavericks 95
Portland Trail Blazers 101, Denver Nuggets 93

>>Rose Practices For First Time

(Chicago, IL) -- Derrick Rose participated in the non-contact part of practice on Thursday. It was the first time Rose practiced since he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in the Bulls playoff series against the Sixers. There still is no timetable for his return.

Illini Takes On Mizzou In Braggin' Rights Game

 width=>>Illinois Faces Off With Missouri

(St. Louis, MO) -- Illinois is getting set for a meeting with Missouri on the hardwood tomorrow. The two will meet at Scottrade Center in St. Louis with tip set for 5 p.m. The 10th-ranked Illini improved to 12-and-0 by beating Eastern Kentucky on Sunday. Mizzou is 9-and-1 following Monday night's win over South Carolina State. The Tigers are ranked 12th in the country.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Duke Blue Devils 76, Elon Phoenix 54
#2 Michigan Wolverines 93, Eastern Michigan Eagles 54

Top Recruit Parker Chooses Duke

 width=>>Top Prospect Parker Picks Duke

Jabari Parker still had just about everyone guessing. Then, he pulled out that blue T-shirt with a white "D," and, finally, it became clear.

The prized prospect from Chicago's Simeon Career Academy, 1 of the most highly touted recruits in years, is headed to Duke to play for Mike Krzyzewski. Parker made the announcement in front of a national TV audience Thursday, in his high school gym, surely delighting Blue Devils fans.

A 6-foot-8 forward with the ability to nail jumpers from just about any spot when he's not throwing down vicious dunks, Parker can't sign his letter of intent until April 17. But he made his intentions clear with one highly anticipated oral commitment.

Michigan State, Florida, Stanford and Brigham Young also made his top five and caps from each school lined a table next to the podium. But he said it really came down to three schools, with the Gators and Spartans right there with the Blue Devils.

In the end, he chose to play for Krzyzewski for at least a year before making what many believe will ultimately be a jump to the NBA.

Ameren Continues To Work To Restore Power Across Illinois

Ameren Illinois field crews and support staff continue to battle weather and hazardous working conditions to restore service in the wake of yesterday’s strong winter storm that brought blizzard conditions to much of Illinois.

Service outages peaked at over 40,500 customers yesterday by almost 7 pm. At 11:30 a.m. this morning, about 6,800 customers were still without power.

It is anticipated customers who are still without service will have their power restored by late this evening. However, outages may last longer if weather and working conditions deteriorate. Crews continue to work to replace broken utility poles and repair downed wires.

Ameren Illinois has activated the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to direct the service restoration effort. About 1,000 Ameren Illinois field and support personnel have been assigned to the service restoration effort.

A major cause of the power outages has been a phenomenon known as "galloping conductors." Galloping conductors can occur when strong winds blow across power lines, causing the lines to move up and down in a violent manner. This movement is known as "galloping," which often results in damage to cross arms on poles, insulators and even the wires, causing power outages.

November Unemployment Down In Illinois



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Monticello Reschedules Girls Basketball Game vs Mattoon

The Monticello Girls Basketball game that was canceled Thursday night due to the weather has been rescheduled. The Monticello Lady Sages were set to travel to Matttoon Thursday, they will now play the game Friday, February 1.

Durbin Asks Feds To Approve Next FutureGen Phase

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin has asked Energy Secretary Steven Chu to approve the next phase of central Illinois' FutureGen clean-coal project.

Durbin's office says the Illinois Commerce Commission voted Wednesday in favor of a purchase agreement for the power that the Meredosia plant would generate. The next phase of the project would include preliminary design, pre-construction and engineering.

Durbin says the ICC's decision solidifies FutureGen's "financial viability." He says a power plant in Meredosia can start be retrofitted once the next phase receives Energy Department approval. Durbin met with the energy secretary earlier this month in Washington.

Quinn Gets Go-Ahead To Close Illinois Prisons

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says two major prisons and other state facilities will be closed within weeks after a judge's order.

An Alexander County judge on Wednesday dissolved an injunction stopping the closures. The Illinois Supreme Court last week ordered that the injunction be lifted.

Quinn says shuttering the high-security Tamms prison, the women's lockup in Dwight and others makes taxpayers "the real winners today."

He says the state can't afford the facilities in a budget crisis and that many are underutilized.

A lawsuit by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees delayed the closures. An AFSCME spokesman said Wednesday night that the closures make the remaining prisons "more dangerous for employees, inmates and the public."

Union Members Willing To Share Load On Pensions

Cinda Klickna, with the Illinois Education Association, says teachers, firefighters, and other public employees are willing to share the cost of shoring up the pension systems.

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Klickna says it's time lawmakers get serious, tackle the pension problem, and face the facts.

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Sean Smoot, with the Illinois Police Benevolent and Protective Association, says police will up their pension contributions but they think raising the retirement age is a bad idea.

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Union workers say that state could generate about two billion dollars a year in additional money if they close tax loopholes for corporations and implement new taxes on vehicle trade in and satellite TV. The unions say their increased payout is contingent on the state guaranteeing payments into the pension system each year. Lawmakers introduced a pension proposal last month which includes cost of living adjustments, a cost shift for down state and suburban schools, and an increased retirement age. Union members say the plan won't stand up in court.

Springfield School Superintendent Wants Armed Guards

Springfield School District 186 Superintendent Walter Milton wants armed security in all schools. He says Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut had good security measures in place, but it didn't matter.

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Milton says it's time to put armed security guards back in District 186 schools. Some guards at high schools and middle schools were in danger of elimination as part of budget cuts, and Milton says it's unclear who would pay for the additional guards.

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Currently, the district's high schools and middle schools have armed security on hand and ideas of cutting them have likely been taken off the table.

Illinois Lt. Governor Urges Holiday Help For Hungry

Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is encouraging residents to spend some time this holiday season helping curb hunger.

Simon and members of her staff volunteered Tuesday at the Central Illinois Food Bank in Springfield. She wants to highlight volunteering time, giving money or donating food to "help children, seniors and families access nutritious food while our economy continues to recover."

Simon's office says about 15% of Illinois residents are "food insecure." That means they don't have enough money to have a ready supply of nutritious food. For children, it's 22% of the population.

The Central Illinois Food Bank serves 105,000 people annually in 21 counties. Nearly 40% are children younger than 18.

Simon and her staff bagged apples for distribution throughout the region.

Congressman-Elect Davis Looks Forward To Tackling Issues Important To Illinois

Congressman-elect Rodney Davis will be sworn in as the Republican Representative replacing Tim Johnson in the US House of Representatives.

Part of serving in Congress is serving on various sub-committees and Davis asked to be placed on the Transportation and Agriculture committees, and that request was granted. Davis says he looks forward to continuing many of the things Rep. Johnson did and hopes to represent the people of Central Illinois well on those committees.

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As for his service on the Ag Committee, Davis calls it a dereliction of duties by both republicans and democrats that no Farm Bill has been established. No matter the outcome of the current farm bill, whether it is a short term extension or no extension, Davis says both parties need to get to work to establish a stable, long term farm bill.

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Much like the Farm Bill or other issues facing the country, Davis says Congress has kicked a transportation bill down the road to be dealt with later. He feels this needs to end because the infrastructure of America is crumbling, and roads and bridges need to be rebuilt. He feels this starts by re-prioritizing the bill.

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Davis says he looks forward to working with lawmakers on both sides of the isle to get things in Agriculture and transportation moving forward. He hopes to take the ideas of farmers back to Washington and put them into action in a Farm Bill. As a member of the Transportation Committee, he says he looks forward to getting into the details of how to make Illinois a much more hospitable state when it comes to infrastructure and infrastructure improvements.

DeWitt County HRC Names New Executive Director

The DeWitt County Human Resource Center has named their new Executive Director.

Lynn Scovill comes to DeWitt County's HRC after having served as Vice President of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Scovill says she is very excited to be in central Illinois and looks forward to her time at HRC.

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As the Executive Director, Scovill will provide administrative oversight for all the programs HRC provides, which include services related to mental health, substance abuses and addictions,, crisis intervention, and case management. Scovill says those programs though are right now, facing a challenging time with the state of the economy. She hopes to bring some financial stability to them to continue offering them to the community.

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Some of the programs currently in place that are reliant on grants or state funding have not been paid in a year. Scovill says despite that, they are getting by thanks to some reserves HRC had, but she realizes those reserves will not be around forever, and they need to find other ways to fund their programs.

The DeWitt County Human Resource Center operates three sites in Clinton, IL. The West location at 1150 Route 54 W offers services related to mental health, substance abuse/addiction, crisis intervention, and case management. The East location at 10840 Route 10 E offers employment programs and developmental programs and is home to the Encore Thrift Store. The Kleeman Village location at 1101 Kleeman Drive is a low-income housing apartment subsidized by the federal government’s HUD (Housing and Urban Development Division).

Jets Notes; Victor Cruz Visits Family Of Newtown, CT Family

>>Jets Shopping Sanchez

(Undated) -- The New York Jets are reportedly ready to cut ties with a pair of former first round quarterbacks. Multiple source state they will try to trade Mark Sanchez after the season is over. Sanchez is guaranteed $8.25-million next season. The USC product had five turnovers in Monday's 14-10 loss to the Tennessee Titans. Greg McElroy has since been named the starting quarterback in New York. The team is also interested in getting rid of second-string quarterback Tim Tebow, who was acquired from Denver after the Broncos acquired Peyton Manning.

>>Eagles' Vick Says He May Be Interested in Joining Jets

(Undated) -- Michael Vick's days in Philadelphia may soon be over and the quarterback has reportedly said he would be interested in replacing New York Jets signal caller Mark Sanchez if he is released by the Eagles. NFL.com, citing sources who have spoken to Vick, reports Vick would consider signing with the Jets if he were paid more than Sanchez, making it clear he is the number-one quarterback. The report says he would not want to sign with the Jets if Sanchez is still the starter. The 32-year-old Vick hasn't played since suffering a concussion on November 11th. Rookie Nick Foles has been starting in his place despite Vick being medically cleared to play. Buffalo, Arizona and Cleveland are other possibilities if Vick is released by the Eagles at seasons end. He's due to make 15.5-million-dollars next year.

>>Victor Cruz Discusses Newtown Visit

(East Rutherford, NJ) -- New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz Wednesday spoke about his visit to the family of six-year-old Newtown school killing victim Jack Pinto. Cruz delivered gloves and football shoes that he wore in Sunday's game that carried messages to Pinto, and says he was glad to be there for the family. He and the family spoke about football for a few moments, but the conversation would quickly shift back to Jack and the family of a neighbor who also lost a child. Jack Pinto was buried wearing a replica Cruz jersey earlier this week.

Forbes Ranks Wisconsin 15th Most Valuable Football Program

 width=Forbes has ranked Wisconsin as the 15th-most valuable college football program in the country.  The Badgers are worth 67-million-dollars, according to Forbes, with a football profit of 20-million-dollars.  Texas is first on the list at 129-million.

Cubs Interested In Pair of Pitchers

 width=The Chicago Cubs are trying to build some depth in their starting rotation and are targeting veterans Edwin Jackson and Carlos Villanueva, according to a report in "The Chicago Tribune."  Villanueva was finalizing an agreement Wednesday night.  Jackson, who has pitched a no-hitter in his career, is still weighing other offers. 

Bradley, ISU Win

 width=>>Carmichael Leads ISU Past Dayton

Jackie Carmichael scored 25 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as Illinois State held off Dayton 74-73 Wednesday night.

The Redbirds (8-3) led 74-67 with 1:59 to go, but the Flyers scored six straight points, capped by Devin Oliver's layup with 35 seconds left.

After Illinois State's Johnny Hill missed a free throw with 29 seconds remaining, Dayton (8-3) set up for the final shot. Oliver missed a 3-point attempt with 2 seconds left and teammate Khari Price rebounded, but his one-handed push shot would not fall at the buzzer.

Price was in for leading scorer Kevin Dillard, who left the game with 4:19 to go due to back spasms.

Tyler Brown added 16 points and Jon Ekey 13 for the Redbirds, who led by 12 points early, but fell behind by four with 9:56 to go before regaining the advantage.

Dillard and Dyshawn Pierre led Dayton with 14 points apiece.

 width=>>Bradley Rolls Mississippi Valley State

Tyshon Pickett scored 18 points and Walt Lemon Jr. added 14 on Wednesday night, helping Bradley roll to a 77-42 victory over Mississippi Valley State.

Pickett also grabbed nine rebounds to help Bradley (8-2) win its third straight.

Bradley shot 50% from the floor, while MVSU (0-7) shot just 28%, including just 1 of 17 from 3-point range.

MVSU also had 24 turnovers, leading to 25 points for Bradley.

Julius Francis scored 21 points and pulled down nine rebounds for MVSU.

MVSU returns only 1 of its 11 lettermen that produced a 21-13 record last season.

This game was a second-round game in the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic. All teams will move on to Las Vegas for games this weekend.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Duke Blue Devils 88, Cornell Big Red 47
#4 Louisville Cardinals 79, Florida International Golden Panthers 55
#6 Indiana Hoosiers 93, Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers 54
#9 Florida Gators 82, Southeast Louisiana Lions 43
#11 Cincinnati Bearcats 60, Xavier Musketeers 45
#13 Creighton Bluejays 71, Tulsa Golden Hurricane 54
#14 Gonzaga Bulldogs 74, Campbell Fighting Camels 52
#17 New Mexico Lobos 68, New Mexico State Aggies 63
#18 UNLV Rebels 73, Northern Iowa Panthers 59
Texas Longhorns 85, #19 North Carolina Tar Heels 67
#22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 85, Kennesaw State Owls 57
#24 Oklahoma State Cowboys 69, Texas-Arlington Mavericks 44

Toronto Raptors 97, Detroit Pistons 91
New York Knicks 100, Brooklyn Nets 86
Indiana Pacers 104, Utah Jazz 84
Orlando Magic 90, Washington Wizards 83
Boston Celtics 103, Cleveland Cavaliers 91
Oklahoma City Thunder 100, Atlanta Hawks 92
Houston Rockets 125, Philadelphia 76ers 103
Phoenix Suns 121, Charlotte Bobcats 104
Memphis Grizzlies 90, Milwaukee Bucks 80
Sacramento Kings 131, Golden State Warriors 127
Los Angeles Clippers 93, New Orleans Hornets 77

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-20

December 19, 2012


Jail Population: 67

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 1


Reed Sutman, 20, Bloomington was issued a citation for speeding, 90 mph in a 65 mph zone. Sutman posted his IL drivers license as bond and was released.






Justin Deters Named Clinton Jr. High School Principal

Clinton Junior High School recently named their Assistant Principal.

With current Assistant Principal, Drew Goebel to take the reigns as Principal next year, the district named Justin Deters, currently teaching social studies, as their Assistant Principal next year. Deters says he's looking forward to taking the position and feels his knowledge and strength in the area of technology can be an asset going forward at the school.

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Sliding into the role of Assistant Principal, Deters will take over the role of disciplinarian at the school. This is Deters first administrative role in his teaching career, but he feels he's run a very good classroom in his time teaching and explains his philosophy will be to catch kids doing the right things, and rewarding them for it.

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Deters says seeing students doing the right thing and recognizing them for that makes kids know it is appreciated.

Current Jr. High Principal John Pine is retiring at the end of the school year this year, opening his position for Goebel to step in.

Blizzard Warning Issued For Central Illinois

 width=A Blizzard Warning in effect until midnight CST tonight. Snow will begin to spread into central Illinois. Snow is then expected through the afternoon through mid evening.

We can expect accumulations of 3 to 5 inches by late evening northwest of the Illinois River valley... and 2 to 3 inches from the Interstate 55 corridor to the Illinois River... with locally higher amounts possible.

Extremely difficult travel is expected as the falling snow is whipped around by strong winds. Visibilities will drop below a quarter mile due to blowing snow, especially in rural areas. Also, the combination of rapidly falling temperatures and high winds will produce favorable conditions for the development of black ice on area highways. Drifting will also be an issue, particularly on north south oriented roads and along the Interstate 55 corridor and along Highway 51 later this evening. The winds may also cause some tree damage and power outages.

For Now, Excavating Trumps Blasting On Mississippi River

The Army Corps of Engineers is delaying the use of explosives to blast away treacherous rock pinnacles on the Mississippi River in southern Illinois because crews are having so much success removing the rocks with excavating machinery.

The corps has hired contractors to use explosives to remove about six miles of rock pinnacles near Thebes, Ill. The river's water level is so low in the area between St. Louis and Cairo, Ill., that barge traffic is threatened.

Blasting was scheduled to begin Tuesday but corps spokesman Mike Petersen says excavation barges were removing so much rock that the explosions are on hold for now.

He says explosives will probably be needed eventually, but he is uncertain when that will happen.

Sheriff's Squad Cars To Use Propane To Save Money

The Coles County Sheriff's Office will use propane fuel for two squad cars in an effort to save money.

Sheriff Darrell Cox says his office often goes over its fuel budget and this will be more economical. Two of the office's 2010 Ford Crown Victoria squad cars were converted three weeks ago to run on liquid propane fuel. The vehicles will use propane part of the time and regular gas the rest of the time.

The sheriff says if the program works he could convert the office's other 12 squad cars to propane fuel too. Cox says having the whole fleet on propane could save $30,000 a year.

Bald Eagles Flocking To Mississippi River

For anyone who wants to see a bald eagle: Now's the time.

In a news release, the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau says thousands of bald eagles will be migrating along the Mississippi River in Illinois and Iowa from mid-December through February.

According to the group, the eagles particularly like the area because the turbulence created below dams leaves fish stunned. That makes fish a lot easier to catch and eat.

The group says that there are various bald eagle watches in communities that line the river from Dubuque, Iowa, all the way south to the Illinois community of Quincy.

There is more information on various websites, including www.TravelMississippiRiver.org and www.missriver.org.

Cold Weather Reminds Us To Keep Eye On Older Adults

Illinois officials are reminding older adults to get ready for the approaching cold weather. The Illinois Department on Aging says it's a good time to have the furnace checked to make sure that it is in good shape.

The department advises older adults to set their thermostats above 65 degrees. Lowering the thermostat to reduce heating bills risk carries a risk for older adults, who are more susceptible to hypothermia - a potentially fatal condition in which the body temperature drops dangerously low.

Other tips: Stock up on non-perishable food supplies, and make arrangements to have medications delivered.

If you can, plan for someone else to shovel the snow.

The Department on Aging operates a Senior Help Line with more information at 1-800-252-8966.

Educators Suggest Using Winter Break To Read

Illinois students might be ready for the winter break from school, but education officials are encouraging them not to take a break from reading.

The Illinois State Board of Education is reminding students and their families to keep reading during winter break. They recommend books and texts that will help students develop literacy and college preparedness.

But it shouldn't all be work. Education officials encourage students to read for entertainment too.

Officials say parents and guardians should discuss tips with teachers about appropriate reading material. They also recommend guiding children through reading. For example, ask them to read with a specific purpose in mind.

Another tip is setting aside a family reading time.

Illinois Student To Send Teddy Bears To Newtown

A central Illinois woman is collecting teddy bears for children who attend the Connecticut elementary school where a gunman killed 26 people.

20-year-old Alysa White started a page on Facebook called "Teddys for Newtown." The Illinois State University elementary education student has more than 3,600 members from around the country. White hopes to collect 650 teddy bears by Christmas. She wants to ship them to Newtown, Conn.

White says she thinks the children "need something to make them feel safe."

Taylorville is about 25 miles southeast of Springfield in Christian County.

Monticello BOE To Hear Results Of Facilities Assessment

A local school district is looking into their facilities district wide, and will hear tonight, exactly how their aging facilities stack up to expectations.

For almost a year, the Monticello school district has been discussing and taking action on what the future of their facilities might look like. Superintendent of the Monticello district, Dr. Vic Zimmerman explains Monticello's school buildings are very old, yet very well kept. He says the school Board of Education is considering what the future could hold for renovations of those buildings, or even, new buildings.

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Despite the age of their buildings, the district has been very diligent in keeping them well maintained. A facility study has been conducted on the district's buildings by an architecture firm, which will be reported on tonight at their monthly Board meeting.

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The architects have toured the facilities and they will make notes of what else they find. Dr. Zimmerman says when they present to the board their findings, they will then compare what 21st Century facilities should be like.

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The Board of Education in Monticello meets tonight at 6:45 and will hear from the architects about their findings in their studies of the buildings. After tonight's meeting, Board members will take a month to digest what they have heard and the Board will hope to discuss the future of the buildings in February or March.

Clinton Board of Education Sets 2013-14 School Calendar

The Clinton Board of Education has approved the 2013-14 school calendar.

Next year sees some minor adjustments throughout the year. State law, beginning next year, requires schools to have a full day of school the first and last day of the year. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes explains the first day of school will be August 16 and the final day would be May 23.

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Something new the district did this year in relation to their mid-way point of the first semester, was have parent-teacher conferences. Dr. Holmes says that has received high praises, and he says they will do that again next year.

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Homecoming Weekend for the 2013-14 school year will be September 16-21, the weekend prior to the Apple and Pork Festival.

Christmas break next year will be a full two weeks, starting Friday, December 20 and students will return for the 2nd semester on January 6. Spring break next year will be March 24-28. Graduation will continue to be the Sunday of the Memorial Day Weekend.

Next year will also be the final year the Illinois State Acheivement Tests, ISATs, will be given.

Depending on snow days, or emergency days, the district would dismiss for the year sometime between May 23 and June 2.

Bears Put Bush On IR; Jets Drama

>>Bears' Bush Placed On IR

The Chicago Bears have placed running back Michael Bush on season-ending injured reserve because of a rib injury and signed Kahlil Bell to take his place.

Losing Bush is another blow for the struggling Bears. They've dropped 5 of 6 after a 7-1 start and are coming off a loss to Green Bay that clinched the NFC North for the Packers.

Chicago needs help to make the playoffs after leading the division for much of the season, and losing Bush does not make things any easier.

Signed to a 4-year deal to give the Bears depth in the backfield with Matt Forte, Bush appeared in 13 games and ran for 411 yards and five touchdowns. Bell was waived by Chicago in October.

>>Ryan Benching Sanchez For McElroy

(Florham Park, NJ) -- The New York Jets will start a different quarterback this Sunday against the San Diego Chargers, but it won't be Tim Tebow. Head coach Rex Ryan is benching the ineffective Mark Sanchez and will instead give third-stringer Greg McElroy his first career start. Sanchez was intercepted four times and also lost a fumble in the Jets' 14-10 loss at Tennessee Monday night. Tebow has been used sparingly this season in a variety of roles. McElroy came off the bench in Week 13 to lead the Jets to a 7-6 comeback win over Arizona in his only action this year.

>>Report: Tebow To Ask For Trade Or Be Released

(New York, NY) -- Tim Tebow's stay with the New York Jets could be short lived. "The Daily News" reports that Tebow will request to be traded or released in the offseason if Greg McElroy starts New York's final two regular season games. On Tuesday, McElroy was named the starter for this week's game at home against San Diego after head coach Rex Ryan decided to bench Mark Sanchez. McElroy had been inactive the past two weeks after seeing game action in the Jets win over the Cardinals. Tebow has been the back-up quarterback in New York's games against the Jaguars and Titans. In Monday's loss in Tennessee, Tebow played a full series for the first time this season. The Jets have been eliminated from the playoffs with a 6-and-8 record.

Indians Reportedly Make Offer To Swisher

The Cleveland Indians are hoping to make Nick Swisher their starting right fielder in 2013.  MLB.com reports the Tribe has make a contract offer to the free-agent slugger, believed to be a four-year deal worth around 50-million-dollars.  Swisher toured Progressive Field and the team facility on Tuesday, but left to go meet with another undisclosed club.  The 32-year-old Ohio State product hit .272 with 24 home runs and 93 RBI this past season for the New York Yankees.

Top Recruit Parker Still Weighing Colleges, Decision Expected Tomorrow

Top high school recruit Jabari Parker of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy is still weighing his college options.

His father, Sonny, says he is trying to decide between Michigan State, Duke, Florida, Stanford and Brigham Young. Jabari Parker is scheduled to announce his choice Thursday during a news conference at Simeon.

Sonny Parker says his son is "still undecided, still talking to the coaches and making sure that's he's going to make the right decision."

Florida's Billy Donovan attended Monday's game at Chicago's Carver Military Academy and Duke's Mike Krzyzewski caught a game last week.

Sonny Parker isn't sure which way his son's leaning, just that Jabari "wouldn't be wasting coaches' time if he already knew."

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Arizona Wildcats 89, Oral Roberts Golden Eagles 64
#7 Ohio State Buckeyes 65, Winthrop Eagles 55
#8 Kansas Jayhawks 87, Richmond Spiders 59
#15 San Diego State Aztecs 76, Point Loma 49
#19 Michigan State 64, Bowling Green Falcons 53

Bulls Win Behind Noah's Triple-Double

Luol Deng and Carlos Boozer scored 21 points apiece, Joakim Noah had a triple-double and the Chicago Bulls beat the Boston Celtics 100-89 on Tuesday night.

Noah had 11 points, 13 rebounds and a career high-tying 10 assists for his second career triple-double, and the Bulls evened a 101-95 home loss to Boston on Nov. 12.

Nate Robinson scored 18 points for Chicago and keyed a fourth-quarter surge that put the game out of reach.

Rajon Rondo led the Celtics with 26 points and eight assists. Paul Pierce added 16 points.

The Celtics have lost a season-high three straight games, all on the road.

The Bulls improved to 4-2 in the second of back-to-back games this season. Chicago bounced back from an 80-71 loss in Memphis on Monday, putting up their lowest point total in five seasons.

Atlanta Hawks 100, Washington Wizards 95 (OT)
Toronto Raptors 113, Cleveland Cavaliers 99
Utah Jazz 92, Brooklyn Nets 90
Miami Heat 103, Minnesota Timberwolves 92
Chicago Bulls 100, Boston Celtics 89
Milwaukee Bucks 98, Indiana Pacers 93
Dallas Mavericks 107, Philadelphia 76ers 100
Denver Nuggets 112, San Antonio Spurs 106
Golden State Warriors 103, New Orleans Hornets 96
Los Angeles Lakers 101, Charlotte Bobcats 100

Clinton Jr. High Principal Excited About Opportunities

Clinton Jr. High School's new Principal is very excited about the future of the school and what he can bring to the table.

Drew Goebel was hired as Clinton Jr. High School's Assistant Principal prior to the start of the 2011-12 school year with the intent that he would succeed current Principal John Pine upon his retirement after this school year. Goebel says he is excited about what the future holds for him in the district and what the future hold for Clinton Jr. High School.

[audio:122012goebel1.mp3] [/audio]

Goebel calls Clinton Jr. High School "the perfect situation". He says the school is the perfect size and feels blessed to be surrounded by a quality group of teachers. He feels because all these things Clinton is going to be a great place to raise his three kids.

[audio:122012goebel2.mp3] [/audio]

Goebel likes the programs currently in place at Clinton Junior High School. He hopes to take those programs to the next level in the coming years. He says there are so many great things going on at the Jr. High level and feels blessed to be a part of it all.

[audio:122012goebel3.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton schools are in the midst of a one-to-one computing movement. Goebel says technology is an excellent way to make education enjoyable. He says there's lots of ways to keep technology in the classroom cost effective and make it enjoyable.

[audio:122012goebel4.mp3] [/audio]

As schools move towards the common core curriculum, Goebel has been working with the teachers of the Jr. High to get to the point they need to be by 2014-15. Normally, the Principal will take on that role and the Assistant Principal will act as the school's disciplinarian. In this case, Pine is the serving the role of disciplinarian and Goebel is serving as the curriculum coordinator.

The Jr. High also named their Assistant Principal to take the place of Goebel. Justin Deters, currently a Social Studies teacher is the new Jr. High Assistant Principal.

The Clinton Board of Education named their new Athletic Director as well on Tuesday night at their regular meeting, naming Basketball Coach Chris Gibson as the new district Athletic Director.

Arrest Warrants Issued For NIU Fraternity Members

DeKalb police and prosecutors have filed hazing-related charges against nearly two dozen members of a Northern Illinois University fraternity.

Arrest warrants were issued Monday for 22 members of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. The warrants were filed after the death of 19-year-old freshman David Bogenberger, who was found unresponsive at the fraternity house in November. Five fraternity members are charged with felony hazing and 17 members are wanted for misdemeanor alcohol charges.

NIU said the fraternity hosted an unsanctioned event and has received a temporary sanction removing them as a recognized student organization.

The DeKalb County coroner ruled Bogenberger's death an accident. He said the student's blood alcohol level was about five times the legal limit and triggered arrhythmia.

The fraternity did not return phone and e-mail messages seeking comment.

ISRA: Tighter Gun Laws Not The Answer

The gun control issue has taken center stage since the elementary school shooting in Connecticut last Friday. Richard Pearson with the Illinois State Rifle Association says the problem is more a mental health issue than a gun control issue.

[audio:rddGunCont1.mp3] [/audio]

Pearson says tighter gun laws wouldn't have necessarily stopped the shooter in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Pearson says despite the school shooting in Connecticut last week, Illinois needs to move forward with passing a concealed carry law with as few restrictions as possible.

[audio:rddGunCont4.mp3] [/audio]

Pearson says they'd like to see better reporting and monitoring of people who've been diagnosed with mental health issues. He says criminals are going to find a way to commit crime regarless of tighter gun laws, and that's why people need to be able to defend themselves. Politicians across the state are calling for tight gun restrictions as the state prepares to pass a concealed carry law. Some even argue against passing the law, and instead appealing a court ruling requiring Illinois to pass the measure.

Corn Marketing Board Donates To Children's Museum

The Illinois Corn Marketing Board is donating $20,000 to a proposed children's museum in Springfield for an exhibit on how corn gets from the farm to consumers.

The marketing board announced the gift Monday to the Kidzeum of Health and Science. Organizers are planning a museum in Springfield's downtown tourist district. They've raised nearly $4 million so far.

The Bloomington-based Corn Marketing Board is made up of 15 farmers elected by their peers to increase the profitability of corn by creating markets for corn and corn products.

The "Farm to Market" gallery at the Kidzeum will show how a seed grows into a plant and is harvested and used for sweet corn for human consumption, feed corn for livestock, corn syrup and ethanol.

Teen Pleads Guilty But Mentally Ill

A 14-year-old boy accused of firing gunshots into the ceiling of a central Illinois high school has pleaded guilty but mentally ill in a plea deal.

The teen entered the plea Monday. A teacher tackled the 14-year-old student and detained him Sept. 7 just after the teen fired a gunshot into the ceiling of a packed classroom at Normal Community High School.

The teen's plea applies to eight charges, including armed violence, unlawful use of a weapon, unlawful possession of a firearm and aggravated unlawful restraint. Eight similar charges were dropped.

Defense attorney Art Feldman says sentencing ranges from probation to serving time in a detention center, both until he's 21. The boy is held at a juvenile detention center. His sentencing is Jan. 22.

Lincoln Looking Into Establishing Preservation Commission

The City of Lincoln is looking into establishing a Preservation Agency for their historic sites within the city.

A Preservation Commission has been discussed before in Lincoln, and the City Council is renewing that discussion as to what it would take to establish one. Executive Director of the Abraham Lincoln Tourism Bureau in Lincoln, Geoff Ladd says as the leader of the Tourism Bureau for the County, he feels this is going to be a good thing. He says this could lead to a preservation district, which would protect certain historic spots within that area.

[audio:121812lincolnhistory1.mp3] [/audio]

Looking into a Preservation Commission has come up before. Ladd says about eight years ago the city discussed it, but no action was taken. He looks forward to this time around and explains Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder has looked into other Commissions similar to what Lincoln would like, to see how they have written their ordinances.

[audio:121812lincolnhistory2.mp3] [/audio]

Ladd is optimistic that sites deemd in a "preservation district" may open them up for grants for upkeep and basic maintenance items. He says once a site is subject to a preservation district, all modifications to the site could be limited, as they would have to first be approved by the Preservation Commission.

Shining Cases On Rise In Central Illinois

The Department of Natural Resources is seeing a spike in an illegal activity in recent weeks.

Shining is using an artificial light to locate wild animals, which is illegal in Illinois. DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus says they are seeing an increase in reports of shining in the area. Wichus says shining violations also include pulling a car over and shining the headlights into a field to look at deer or other wild animals.

[audio:121812shining1.mp3] [/audio]

Shining is not as common in central Illinois as it is in Western and Southern Illinois, however, Wichus says they do get shining cases just about everywhere in this part of the state. He explains they will wait out after dark and monitor the rural areas for people shining.

[audio:121812shining2.mp3] [/audio]

Violations for shining can vary from just a warning or a minor violation all the way up to a major violation depending on weapons in the vehicle, and whether they are cased or loaded. Wichus says they are mainly targeting poachers who are knowingly shining.

[audio:121812shining3.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus warns casual drivers who pull their vehicles over to shine the lights into a field to watch the deer with the kids or grandkids, they can be pulled over and there is a chance they could be sited. He says generally, CPO's use discretion in those situations.

Dickey Reaches Extension With Toronto To Finalize Trade

The trade of pitcher R.A. Dickey from the New York Mets to the Toronto Blue Jays is official.  The deal for the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner was pending an extension, which was completed on Monday.  FoxSports.com reported earlier Monday that Dickey agreed to a two-year, 25-million-dollar extension with Toronto.  The deal also includes a 12-million-dollar team option for 2016.  The 38-year-old knuckleballer went 20-and-6 with a 2.73 ERA last season with the Mets.  Along with Dickey, the Mets sent catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas to Toronto in exchange for highly touted catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud, catcher John Buck, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard and minor league outfielder Wuilmer Becerra.

Butler President Stirs Up Realignment Talk

Butler University president James Danko raised eyebrows on Monday after a statement about the school's role in a possible conference realignment.  Danko said the university has "controlled its destiny proactively," when speaking on the recent move from the Horizon League to the Atlantic 10.  Butler is among many schools that have been rumored to join a new conference which would include the seven Catholic colleges that recently announced they will leave the Big East.  Xavier, Saint Louis, Dayton, St. Joseph's, Richmond, Creighton, Gonzaga and St. Mary's have also been cited as possible candidates for the new potential league.

Cubs Re-Sign Stewart

The Chicago Cubs have re-signed infielder Ian Stewart.  The 27-year-old was limited to 55 games last season due to wrist surgery in July.  He batted just .201 with five home runs and 17 RBI.  Stewart was originally acquired by the Cubs from the Colorado Rockies as part of a four-player trade in December 2011.  To make room on the roster, Chicago designated pitcher Jeff Beliveau for assignment. 

Cowboys' Brent's Attendance Surprised Owner, Coach

The attendance of Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent at Sunday's game against the Steelers was apparently a surprise to owner Jerry Jones and head coach Jason Garrett.  ESPN Dallas reports Garrett didn't even know Brent would be at the game until pregame warmups.  Brent is on the reserved non-football injury list after he was charged with intoxication manslaughter two weeks ago.  He was the driver in the car crash that killed teammate Jerry Brown, the two were teammates at Illinois.  Brent reportedly attended the game at the urging of his teammates.  The Cowboys were criticized on the broadcast for having Brent on the sidelines during the game. 

NIU To Host Nebraska At Soldier Field As Part of New Agreement

Nebraska has announced a 3-game football series with Northern Illinois, including a game at Chicago's Soldier Field.

Nebraska associate athletic director for football Jeff Jamrog said Monday that the first of the three games will take place at Soldier Field on Sept. 24, 2016. Northern Illinois has played neutral-site games the past two years at Soldier Field against Wisconsin and Iowa.

Northern Illinois will visit Lincoln on Sept. 2, 2017 and on Sept. 14, 2019.

Nebraska has won the only previous meetings against Northern Illinois, winning in Lincoln in 1989 and 1990.

The Huskies are 12-1 this season and will play in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.

Nebraska also announced it has completed its 2014 non-conference schedule with the addition of a Sept. 6 game against McNeese State.

Steelers Reinstate Mendenhall

The Pittsburgh Steelers reinstated running back Rashard Mendenhall from the reserved/suspended list on Monday.  The team received a one-day roster exemption for Mendenhall, who was suspended for Sunday's loss in Dallas for conduct detrimental to the team.  The Illini-alum has been limited to just four games this season due to various injuries.  The 25-year-old has rushed for just 113 yards on 34 carries.  Mendenhall has rushed for 3,480 yards and 29 touchdowns in 55 career games over five seasons, all with Pittsburgh.

Bears Notes; MNF Recap

>>Titans End Jets' Slim Playoff Hopes

(Nashville, TN) -- The Titans crushed the slim playoff hopes that remained for the Jets, beating New York 14-10 on "Monday Night Football." Chris Johnson ran for 122 yards, which included a 94-yard touchdown scamper. Jake Locker threw for 149 yards and ran for 43 more with a TD. Tennessee won despite committing 14 penalties for 111 yards. The Titans improved to 5-and-9 on the season. Mark Sanchez threw for 131 yards with a touchdown but tossed four costly interceptions and lost a fumble in the final minute to seal the game. Shonn Greene had 68 yards on the ground while Jeff Cumberland caught four passes for 53 yards and a score. The Jets fell to 6-and-8, officially eliminating them from playoff contention.

>>Pressure Building On Bears

Bears coach Lovie Smith is searching for a way to get a December victory and stop the skid that has put his team's playoff hopes and perhaps his job in jeopardy.

The Bears have lost seven straight December games and are only 15-19 in the month under Smith.

A 6-game losing streak against Green Bay, including Sunday's 21-13 loss at Soldier Field, has only heightened the pressure on Smith. He figures the Bears must win their final two on the road against Arizona and Detroit, and get help elsewhere against Dallas, the New York Giants, and Minnesota Vikings to make the playoffs.

>>Arizona Ends 2 1/2 Month Victory Drought; Host Bears Sunday

The Arizona Cardinals' 2 ½-month victory drought is over, thanks in large part to the thievery of the team's defense.

The relief that the 9-game losing streak had ended was palpable at coach Ken Whisenhunt's day-after news conference, and he credited a strong performance by the defense for leading Sunday's 38-10 victory over the Detroit Lions.

The Cardinals intercepted Matthew Stafford three times, returning 2 of them for touchdowns and setting up a TD with the other.

With the performance, Arizona leads the NFL in interceptions with 22. That's a dozen more than the team had all of last season. Patrick Peterson leads the way with seven, including one in each of the last four games.

The Cardinals play Chicago next Sunday in Arizona's final home game of the season.

Bulls Dropped By Grizzlies

Mike Conley had 17 points, Zach Randolph added 10 points and 15 rebounds and the Memphis Grizzlies overcame a poor start to beat the Chicago Bulls 80-71 on Monday night.

Conley was 6 of 12 from the field and had four assists. Rudy Gay had 12 points for Memphis but shot 5 of 13, continuing his slump. Wayne Ellington scored all 11 of his points in the second quarter, when the Grizzlies reserves provided a lift after Memphis shot poorly in the first period.

Carlos Boozer led the Bulls with 16 points and 13 rebounds, while Marco Belinelli finished with 13 points. Luol Deng and Joakim Noah had 11 points apiece for the Bulls, but Deng was 4 of 17 from the field.

Both teams shot just better than 37%. But Memphis was 6 of 11 from 3-point range compared to the Bulls hitting only 2 of 11 long-range shots. The Memphis frontline of Gay, Randolph and Marc Gasol were a combined 10 of 34, while the Bulls starting frontline of Deng, Boozer and Noah made 16 of 42.

Orlando Magic 102, Minnesota Timberwolves 93
Houston Rockets 109, New York Knicks 96
Los Angeles Clippers 88, Detroit Pistons 76
Oklahoma City Thunder 107, San Antonio Spurs 93
Phoenix Suns 101, Sacramento Kings 90

Bradley Tops Georgia Southern; Illini Stay Put In Recent Rankings

>>Bradley Drops Georgia Southern

Tyshon Pickett scored 17 points and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds, and Bradley rode a pair of scoring runs to a 62-43 victory over Georgia Southern on Monday night in the opening round of the Continental Tire Las Vegas Classic.

Will Egolf added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Braves (7-2), who matched their win total from the entire 2011-12 season, when they were 7-25. Georgia Southern's 43 points were the fewest Bradley has allowed since a 52-42 win over Indiana State in 2004.

C.J. Reed led the Eagles (4-6) with 10 points and Cleon Roberts scored nine. Georgia Southern shot 35% from the field and made just 3 of its 11 free throws.

Bradley went on an 11-0 run midway through the first half en route to a 29-18 halftime lead. Later, the Braves scored 14 unanswered points to lead 59-40 and clinch the win.

>>Duke Takes Over Top Spot In Latest "USA Today" Rankings; Illini Stay Put

(Undated) -- The Duke Blue Devils have taken over the top spot in the latest "USA Today" men's top-25 college basketball poll. The 9-and-0 Blue Devils received 30 first-place votes and 774 total points. Previous number-one Indiana slipped five spots to number-six after falling 88-86 in overtime to Butler on Saturday. Michigan is now second, followed by Syracuse and Louisville. Arizona replaced Florida at number-five after beating the Gators in Tucson over the weekend. Ohio State, Kansas, Florida and Illinois round out the top-10. NC State fell out of the top-25, while Butler jumped into the final spot in the rankings with the upset of the Hoosiers.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Syracuse Orange 72, Detroit Titans 68
#12 Missouri Tigers 102, South Carolina State Bulldogs 51
#18 UNLV Rebls 62, UTEP Miners 60
#22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 74, IPFW Mastodons 62

Lady Maroons Fall To El Paso Gridley


CLINTON (12-2; 6-0)   52
EPG (11-0)                55

CLINTON     12     8     9     23
EPG           13     10   15    17

GINGER 2-1-7, HICKMAN 4-2-10, TOOL 4-2-12,
TOOHILL 1-2-5, SCOTT 5-0-12, BIEBER 2-2-6

EHRESMAN 9-4-22, DEVARY 1-2-4, MURPHY 1-0-2,
SOUHRADA 0-1-1, SCHLIPF 3-8-14, 6-0-12

CLINTON 18-9-52
EPG       20-15-55

EPG   0

D and L Audio and Video Opens In Clinton

DeWitt County is the home of a new audio and video business.

D and L Audio and Video was started up earlier this month by Clinton resident David Dillon. Dillon explains he can work with your televisions, sound systems, and he even does a little networking maintenance as well.

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Dillon feels the Clinton area is lacking in an expertise as to the various electronics that would be best for some people. He explains the projector TVs you see at bars and sports bars are not just for the business community, but they are a product that can be purchased by the homeowner or renter and used in your living room.

[audio:121912dlav2.mp3] [/audio]

With the rash of recent burglaries around the county, business owners may be considering video surveillance of some sort. Dillon explains he can do video surveillance and the unique part about what he offers is the equipment he can install can be accessed from your smart phone from wherever you are.

[audio:121912dlav3.mp3] [/audio]

D & L Audio and Video also offers a wide variety of the top brands of audio and video equipment, along with full house surround sound systems and Dillon explains they are very focused on no-show wires for those systems.

To contact Dillon, you can call 309-660-4851 or email him at dandlaudiovideo@gmail.com.

Clinton Maroons Defeated by Mt. Pulaski

The Clinton Maroons fell to Mount Pulaski by a score of (63-57) on Tuesday night. The Maroons were led by junior Colten Reeves with 17 points. Sophmore Bowe Carter was your Clinton IGA Clinton player of the game with 13 points.

For Mount Pulaski, they were led by Thomas with 22 points.

With the loss the Maroons fall to (3-8).

Tune in the 26th as the Clinton Maroons play in Williamsville. You can hear the game live on (Clinton- The Big 1520 AM/ 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Neoga 44
Shelbyville 58

Tri-County 58
Tuscola 55

Clinton 57
Mount Pulaski 63

Central A&M 73
Edinburg 48

Tolono Unity 41
Bismarck-Henning 53

Monticello Lady Sages Fall to LeRoy Lady Panthers

The Monticello Lady Sages fell to the LeRoy Lady Panthers  by a score of 63-45 on Monday Night. The Lady Sages were led by Chrissy Gadburry with 11 points. Elise Pontious chipped in with10 points. The LeRoy Lady Panthers was led by Lauren Russell with 21 points and Shannon Steessen with 14 points. Your First State Bank player of the game was Elise Pontious. With the loss Lady Sages fall to 2-12 and the Lady Panthers improve to 10-5. Tune in Wednesday, December 21 as the Lady Sages take on Stark County in a special Holiday Hoopla. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Central Illinois Library To Get Digital Sign

A library in central Illinois is getting a new digital sign with a nearly $19,000 price tag.

The Pekin Public Library was partly paid for by Friends of the Pekin Public Library, which donated $8,500. The rest of the money came from the library's technology savings fund.

The sign stands 29 inches tall and is more than 6 feet long.

The library's director is Jeff Brookes. He says the digital sign will have the name of the library and an electronic message board that will advertise events and sales at the library.

The library's old sign has been around since the 1970s. It'll be moved nearby.

Chief Says Indiana Man Wasn't Serious About School Threat

A northern Indiana police chief says he believes a man facing felony charges for allegedly threatening to "kill as many people as he could" at a school was bluffing.

Interim Cedar Lake Police Chief Jerry Smith said Sunday he doesn't think 60-year-old Von I. Meyer was serious when he made the alleged school threat Friday hours before a deadly shooting rampage at a Connecticut elementary school.

Smith says Meyer allegedly told his wife during a heated argument he would kill her and "as many people as he could" at "the school." Meyer's wife works at Jane Ball Elementary School near their home.

Meyer was arrested Saturday and is being held without bond.

Police found 47 guns in Meyer's home, but Smith says most of the weapons were antique guns.

Springfield Salvation Army Bell Ringer Sets Record

A Salvation Army bell-ringer from Springfield kept at it for 80 hours straight, breaking his own record from a year ago.

In a local competition aimed at bringing in more donations for the needy, Darrell Tureskis rang the bell near his collection kettle for three days, except for quick bathroom breaks. That was almost 20 hours longer than last year.

Two other bell-ringers refused to be beaten and kept up with him. But all three decided to call it quits together Friday night in response to the Connecticut school shooting.

Tureskis explained that after the tragedy it didn't seem right to seek attention.

The 3 of them then held their bells over their hearts in silent tribute to the shooting victims.

ISU Dorm Relics On Sale For Nostalgic Alumni

Illinois State University alumni nostalgic for their student days have a new way to hang onto those memories.

When the university decommissioned several residence halls in recent years it salvaged door knobs, mailbox doors and room numbers and is selling them as mementos.

Money from the sales goes toward the University Housing Services Student Employee Scholarship Fund.

Assistant director of marketing for University Housing Services says the keepsakes offer former students a way to "look back fondly on their experience."

Prices vary. Door knobs mounted on cherry wood plaques with an engraved plate go for $100.

Order forms can be found at www.housing.ilstu.edu.

WIU Board Approves 20-Year Master Plan

Officials at Western Illinois University have approved a 20-year plan for the Macomb campus.

A statement from the university says the board of trustees approved it last week. Officials say it's a continuation of the university's 2007 plan.

Officials say about 75% of goals set in the last plan were either completed or are in progress.

The "Campus Master Plan" sets goals and plans for the university until 2032. It was written with feedback from the board, a campus committee, campus groups and studies from architects.

Part of the plan is an approximately $72 million performing arts center.

Illinois Faces Hard Choices With Gun Laws

The clock is ticking for Illinois lawmakers to come up with a law approving the concealed carry of weapons after a federal appellate court's decision to throw out the state's ban on concealed guns.

The court gave the Legislature 180 days to craft a new law, but they could choose from a range of options already in place in 49 other states.

Democratic State Rep. Brandon Phelps says it is unlikely gun rights advocates will agree to restrictive bills like New York's or California's. He said he would push for a law that has fewer concessions than a defeated bill he proposed last year.

House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie said it will be hard for lawmakers not to vote for restrictions after tragedies like the recent shootings in Connecticut.

'Fiscal Cliff' Debate Should Hit Home

You've undoubtedly heard the nearing deadline of the "Fiscal Cliff" in regards to negotiations in Washington DC.

The "Fiscal Cliff" discussion can be quite confusing. Congressman-elect Rodney Davis explains the "Fiscal Cliff" is a term used to give incentives to lawmakers to extend or modify current tax rates. Davis says this subject has become one for both parties, Republicans and Democrats to try to gain political advantage. Davis explains if a deal is not reached by January 1, tax increases will be implemented on every family in America.

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Davis explains those tax hikes will have devastating effects on a family's income. Tax codes will revert back to 2001 levels, and Davis says it is frustrating because not many families understand what not reaching an agreement could mean to them.

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Part of the "Fiscal Cliff" debate is increasing taxes on Americans making more than $250-thousand. Davis says while up front this sounds like a good idea, he explains this will hurt small businesses. He says the way tax codes are written, a small business owner may be bringing in over $250-thousand but they are not taking home $250-thousand.

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Davis does not think Congress will put together a bill before going over the proverbial 'cliff', and if they come up with a short term solution, he feels that is not acceptable because both parties have known about the deadline for years.

Heyworth Schools Looking For Better Ways To Evaluate Teachers Methods

The Heyworth School District will be changing how they evaluate their teachers.

Teachers can be the most influential person in a child's life, aside from their parents. Dr. Ty Wolfe, Superintendent of Heyworth Schools, says it becomes then increasingly important teachers are very strong and able to reach their students. He explains they are in the midst of a critical movement where they look at data more closely.

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This movement focuses on reaching students earlier, and assessing their progress to make sure they are keeping up, rather than, according to Dr. Wolfe, realizing they are behind, and trying to catch them up.

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Instead of putting an emphasis on testing, Heyworth Schools are looking to put less stress on test scores. Dr. Wolfe feels developing a love of learning and reading in students is something they want develop going forward.

[audio:121712heywortheval3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolfe feels Heyworth has a very strong group of teachers in the district. He says that is exemplified by their high scores in McLean County, the state and with the schools they send their students to after high school.

Salvation Army Uses Bell Ringing Efforts To Help Throughout Year

There are many ways to get involed and help others during the holiday season, and the Salvation Army is one of them.

As you continue to finish up that last minute Christmas shopping, you will probably notice the Salvation Army Bell Ringers out. The money raised in DeWitt County through these efforts stays in the County, and is recycled back to those in need throughout the year. Ernie Harvey, with the Salvation Army, explains these are one-time gifts and the money helps those in need in terms of bills, food and prescriptions among other areas.

[audio:121712salarmy1.mp3] [/audio]

The primary fundraiser of the year is the bell-ringing at Christmas time at various locations throught the County. The more money given to bell-ringers, the more help can be given throughout the entire year. Harvey explains though, once the money runs out, they are not able to help any more families. He says they have had to turn people down because of lack of funds later in the year. Yet, he says the money raised can go a long way.

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The Salvation Army is a very personal, charitable organization, according to Harvey. They try to help individuals on a case-by-case basis. Harvey says they keep the check amounts to $40 in order to help as many as possible.

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For more information about Salvation Army or assistance, you can go to First Christian Church in Clinton at 100 North Jackson.

Blue Jays, Mets Close On Dickey Deal

The Blue Jays and Mets are reportedly in agreement on a deal that would send reigning National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey to Toronto.  The "New York Times" reports it's a potential seven-player swap that would include Blue Jays' top catching prospect Travis d'Arnaud.  The Jays would reportedly receive Dickey, catcher Josh Thole and a prospect in exchange for d'Arnaud, catcher John Buck, top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard and another minor leaguer.  The deal hinges on Dickey coming to agreement on a contract extension with Toronto.  The knuckleballer had failed to agree on such an extension with the Mets. 

Bulls Notes

Toronto Raptors 103, Houston Rockets 96
Los Angeles Lakers 111, Philadelphia 76ers 98
Denver Nuggets 122, Sacramento Kings 97
Portland Trail Blazers 95, New Orleans Hornets 94

>>Bulls Take On Grizzlies Tonight

(Memphis, TN) -- The Bulls are in Memphis to take the on the Grizzlies tonight. Chicago won at home against Brooklyn on Saturday. The Bulls sit at 13-and-9 on the season. Memphis comes into tonight's game with a 15-and-6 record. Tip off is set for 7:00.

Packers Clinch North; Rams, Colts Lose

>>Packers Clinch NFC North Crown

The Green Bay Packers clinched their second straight NFC North title with a 21-13 victory over the archrival Chicago Bears on Sunday.

James Jones caught all three touchdown passes thrown by the Packers' Aaron Rodgers. Green Bay has now won six straight in the NFL's oldest - and fiercest - rivalry.

The Packers (10-4) have won 12 straight against NFC North opponents, the longest streak in the NFL.

Brandon Marshall had a 15-yard TD catch for the Bears, who have lost 5 of 6 and are in danger of missing the playoffs after beginning the year 7-1. Clay Matthews continued his torture of Jay Cutler with two sacks, and Alshon Jeffery hurt the Bears (8-6) with three offensive pass interference calls late in the second half.

>>Texans Top Colts, Lock Up AFC South

(Houston, TX) -- Matt Schaub tossed for 261 yards and a touchdown as the Texans locked up the AFC South with a 29-17 win over the Colts. It's the second straight division title for Houston. Andre Johnson made 11 catches for 151 yards and the TD. Arian Foster ran for 165 yards on 27 carries for Houston, which improved to 12-and-2. Andrew Luck threw for two scores and 186 yards for Indianapolis, which dropped to 9-and-5. Vick Ballard rushed for 105 yards in the setback.

>>Vikings Rout Rams

(St. Louis, MO) -- Adrian Peterson rushed for 212 yards and a touchdown to lead the Vikings to a 36-22 rout of the Rams in St. Louis. Sam Bradford finished 35-of-55 for 377 yards with three TDs and one interception for the Rams, who had their three-game winning streak snapped and fell to 6-7-and-1. Steven Jackson had 13 carries for 73 yards in defeat. The Rams head to Tampa Bay to face the Buccaneers next week.

Atlanta Falcons 34, New York Giants 0
Miami Dolphins 24, Jacksonville Jaguars 3
Washington Redskins 38, Cleveland Browns 21
Denver Broncos 34, Baltimore Ravens 17
New Orleans Saints 41, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 0
Arizona Cardinals 38, Detroit Lions 10
Carolina Panthers 31, San Diego Chargers 7
Seattle Seahawks 50, Buffalo Bills 17
Dallas Cowboys 27, Pittsburgh Steelers 24
Oakland Raiders 15, Kansas City Chiefs 0
San Francisco 49ers 41, New England Patriots 34

>>Lions' Johnson Closing In On Receiving Record

(Glendale, AZ) -- Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is closing in on Jerry Rice's NFL single season receiving record. Johnson had 10 catches for 121 yards in Sunday's 38-10 loss in Arizona. With 1,546 receiving yards, the 27-year-old is now 302 yards shy of Rice's record of 1,848 yards with two games to play. Detroit hosts Atlanta in Week 16 and Chicago in Week 17.

>>Jets Take On Titans

(Nashville, TN) -- The New York Jets are in The Music City tonight facing the Tennessee Titans on "Monday Night Football." The Jets are still alive in the postseason hunt at 6-and-7. They have won three-of-four, including a 17-10 victory over Jacksonville last time out. The Titans are 4-and-9 and are out of postseason contention. Tennessee has lost three straight and five-of-six overall. The Jets have won two straight in this series and five of the last six dating back to 1998.

Illini, ISU Win

>>Illini Get Past Eastern Kentucky

Brandon Paul scored 17 points, Tracy Adams added 13 and No. 10 Illinois pulled away late to remain unbeaten with a 66-53 victory over Eastern Kentucky on Sunday night.

In a game between undefeated teams, the Illini led by 11 early but needed a late 12-2 run to gain control and help John Groce become only the second coach in Illinois history to win his first 12 games. Groce matched the school record for the best start by a first-year coach set by Fletcher Lane in 1907.

Joseph Bertrand chipped in with 11 points for Illinois.

Corey Walden scored 21 points and Glenn Cosey had 11 for the Colonels (9-1), who came in riding the school's best start in 66 years. Eastern Kentucky hadn't won nine straight games since the 1964-65 season.

>>Carmichael Leads ISU Past Morgan State

Jackie Carmichael scored a career-high 30 points to lead Illinois State to an 87-68 victory over Morgan State on Sunday.

Carmichael also had a game-high nine rebounds for the Redbirds (7-3), who never trailed in the contest. Bryant Allen added 13 points for Illinois State.

Justin Black led Morgan State (3-4) with 21 points. Anthony Hubbard scored 16 points for the Bears and matched Carmichael with nine rebounds.

ISU, now 7-0 this season when scoring 70 or more points, shot 55% in the first half on the way to a 47-29 lead. They were 25 of 32 from the free-throw line with Carmichael going 12 for 13.

It was the first meeting between the teams.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#23 Oklahoma State Cowboys 91, Central Arkansas Bears 63

Clinton Police Weekend Report















Newtown, CT Tragedy Forces Local Law Enforcement To Continue Modifying Response Strategies

The recent events in Newtown, Connecticut have shaken the nation, and events like that can be very difficult to prepare for.

The DeWitt County Sheriff's department has recently been active in trying to have a plan in place in the event, something like what happened Friday should happen locally. Sheriff Jered Shofner coordinated a meeting with law enforcement officials from the Bloomington/Normal area to get their thoughts on how they handled the shooting at Normal Community High School in September. Around 30 people from various law enforcement agencies and school administrators from around the area were on hand for this meeting.

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Since he has taken office, Sheriff Shofner's biggest area of emphasis has been communication. He says it is no surprise the biggest subject at this meeting was communication. With the explosion of social media in today's society, the Sheriff believes keeping an open line of factual communication is very important in these situations.

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One thing the Sheriff liked that he heard from those involved in the Normal incident was the fact they had executed a mock drill of an event like this, not long before the actual event took place. He notes they had designated a reunification center prior to the event. He felt students using their cell phones to inform their parents of their situation made things calmer.

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Sheriff Shofner says he came away from the two hour meeting with about five pages of notes and ideas. The meeting was held at Clinton High School in November. The Sheriff believes modifying plans in the event this happens in DeWitt County should be a constant process. He feels positive things out of these events need to be better preparation and being more ready to respond.

States emergency preparedness website now easier than every to use






White Christmas not out of question for Illinois

It's been a warmer than usual holiday season so far in Illinois, but State Climatologist Jim Angel says a white Christmas is still a remote possibility.

Angel said Friday that historically, the odds of snow on Christmas range from about 20% in southern Illinois to up to 60% at the northern end of the state.

Illinois' snowiest Christmas on record was 1951. That's when Aurora had 31 inches on the ground after 12 straight days of snow.

Angel said it is unlikely Illinois will see anything close to that this year.

The statewide average temperature this month is almost 10 degrees higher than normal and most of the state has had no snow.

Newly elected Dewitt co. board member arrested

A newly elected DeWitt County Board member says he's surprised he landed in jail after what he described as a routine "get acquainted" meeting with a fellow official.

DeWitt County sheriff's deputies arrested 55-year-old Terry Hoffman of Maroa on Wednesday.

Hoffman was jailed overnight on felony aggravated battery charges related to a meeting with Teresa Barnett, the DeWitt County/Clinton Emergency Management Agency director.

Hoffman says no harsh words were exchanged during their discussion. He says he at one point did poke her upper arm while making a point. He says he intended that to be "a conciliatory gesture."

Barnett and DeWitt County Board Chairwoman Sherrie Brown declined to comment on the case.

Hoffman is due in court on Jan. 16.

Weekly Weather Survey

December has been warmer and drier than normal to this point. State Climotologis Jim Angel says we'll see rain throughout the weekend, but it's not likely to accumulate to much. He says that will be the last chance of rain until later next week.


Illinois says Kewanee metal health fixes being sought

Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice officials say they're aggressively seeking mental health professionals to fill posts at the Illinois Youth Center at Kewanee.

A report Thursday by the public watchdog John Howard Association said mentally ill detainees at Kewanee should be removed until treatment options are adequate. It found only 8 of 17 mental health posts filled at the designated state facility for severely mentally ill delinquents.

The report says residents receive only half the therapy time provided to everyone at another, general-population site.

Juvenile Justice spokeswoman Jennifer Florent says the agency has worked for a year to fill vacant positions. She says Kewanee's remote location makes it difficult to recruit qualified people.

She says Kewanee added four weekly group-therapy sessions.

Quinn orders flags at half staff for Connecticut

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has ordered flags across the state to be flown at half-staff in memory of the dozens killed in the Connecticut school shootings.

Quinn said in a statement Friday that Illinoisans are praying for the victims and families in Newtown, Conn. A gunman opened fire inside an elementary school, killing 26 people, including 20 children.

Authorities say the gunman killed himself, and another person was found dead at a second scene. That brought the toll to 28.

Quinn says he is "deeply saddened" to learn about the shootings. He cited a 2008 shooting at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb that left five students dead.

Quinn says he intends to pursue passage of "strict laws that will protect our children and the people of Illinois from gun violence."

Healthy Holiday eating tips

Holiday gatherings mean good times with family and friends, but for many people with dietary concerns, these parties can play havoc with good eating intentions.

The wonderful foods associated with holiday meals can become a source of stress for some people on modified diets if they are trying to lose weight or watch their blood sugar or cholesterol levels. Sara Lopinski, registered dietitian at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, suggests developing a strategy to avoid overeating during the season.


Lopinski advises people to choose healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables, and to avoid sauces, gravies and calorie-loaded drinks. She also suggests practicing portion control as a way to help prevent overeating.


Lopinski says there are no quick fixes to maintaining a diet during the holidays, but making healthy food choices can help you stay on track. She also advises getting plenty of exercise and focus on enjoying the social activities. If you have dietary concerns, you should see your primary care physician or a registered dietitian.


Toronto Raptors 95, Dallas Mavericks 74
Los Angeles Lakers 102, Washington Wizards 96
Indiana Pacers 95, Philadelphia 76ers 85
Orlando Magic 99, Golden State Warriors 85
Brooklyn Nets 107, Detroit Pistons 105 (2OT)
Milwaukee Bucks 90, Cleveland Cavaliers 86
Minnesota Timberwolves 113, New Orleans Hornets 102
Houston Rockets 101, Boston Celtics 89
Oklahoma City Thunder 113, Sacramento Kings 103
Phoenix Suns 99, Utah Jazz 84
Denver Nuggets 99, Memphis Grizzlies 94

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
No Games Scheduled

Cards Name Bengie Molina Assistant Hitting Coach

The St. Louis Cardinals have named former major league catcher Bengie Molina an assistant hitting coach. He will work under John Mabry, who took over for Mark McGwire when he left to become the hitting coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Molina spent 13 seasons in the majors with the Angels, Giants, Rangers and Blue Jays. His younger brother, Yadier [[ YAH-dee-air ]], is the starting catcher for the Cardinals.

Yankees Finalize One-Year Deal With Youkilis

 The New York Yankees have finalized a one-year contract with infielder Kevin Youkilis [[ YOO-kih-liss ]].  Financial terms were not released, but the "New York Daily News" reports the deal is worth 12-million-dollars.  The 33-year-old split last season between the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox, batting a combined .235 with 19 home runs and 60 RBI.  Youkilis is expected to fill in at third base while Alex Rodriguez recovers from his scheduled hip surgery in January. 

Monticello Defeats Shelbyville Rams

The Monticello Sages defeated the Shelbyville Rams by a score of 53-37 on Friday Night. The Sages were led by Matt Kruse with 14 points and 9 rebounds. Nick Stokowski also chipped in with 21 points and 8 rebounds. With the win the Sages improve to 5-1 and 1-0 in conference. Your First State Bank player of the game was Nick Stokowski. The Monticello Sages JV fell to  the Shelbyville Rams by a score of 50-42. Tune in Friday December 21 as the Sages take on Tri-Valley. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Lady Maroons Pound Meridian

CLINTON (12-1, 6-0)   56
MERIDIAN                 30

CLINTON     13     15     17     11
MERIDIAN    6       4      11      9 

ENNIS 1-0-2, HOUSTON 0-1-1, GINGER 4-2-12, HICKMAN 3-0-6,
TOOL 4-0-8, TOOHILL 3-4-11, SCOTT 1-7-9, BIEBER 2-2-6

DOYLE 3-0-6, TRIMBLE 3-0-6, DAY 1-0-2, FONNER 3-0-7,
HAWKINS 0-1-1, KERSEY 3-0-6, COMERFORD 1-0-2

CLINTON 18-16-56
MERIDIAN 14-1-30


Study Shows Many Unknowns But Gas Could Mean Illinois Job

A new study paid for by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce says the New Albany Shale formation in southern Illinois could generate more than 40,000 jobs and $9 billion for the state if natural gas exploration and production take off. But the future and the formation are too unknown to be sure.

The chamber's Mike Wolf said Thursday that the study was done to give lawmakers an idea about the formation's economic potential. Lawmakers are considering regulation of drilling techniques, such as hydraulic fracking. Illinois Geological Survey Director Don McKay says the formation's geology suggests it may never be capable of producing a boom.

The study was conducted by Illinois State University economist David Loomis. He acknowledged there are many unknowns when evaluating the formation.

State Fair Dates Won't Likely Change

The Illinois Farm Bureau wants the dates of the state fair to be pushed up, due in part to conflicts with the start of school. But State Fair Manager Amy Bliefnick [[BLEEF-nick ]] says that's not likely.

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Bliefnick says some of the fair's largest attractions operate on a set circuit schedule, and changing fair dates wouldn't work.

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It's now impossible to change the dates for 2013 as the fair has booked Toby Keith as its headlining Grandstand Act. The resolution asked for a potential change five years in the future. Even that, fair organizers say, is unlikely.

Lawmaker Claims DOC Covered Up Drunk Driving Incident

State Senator John O. Jones is calling for a thorough investigation into the state's Department of Corrections, claiming it's filled with corruption and cover-ups. He says one cover-up involves a corrections officer at Graham Correctional Center who was never reprimanded for driving drunk.

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DOC Spokesperson Stacey Solano denies the allegations of a cover-up. She says Beck's father contacted DOC leadership within hours of the incident to alert them of the issue and let them know he would have no role in the investigation. Solano says the department will allow the criminal portion of the case to conclude before they decide on any disciplinary action.

Equality Illinois Excited About Gay Marriage Vote

Randy Hannig, with Equality Illinois, says he's excited to know same sex couples may soon have the right to get married in Illinois. He says a civil union just isn't quite the same.

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Lawmakers are gearing up to pass a plan allowing gay couples to get married in the state. Hannig says they'll be asking members of both the House and Senate to vote in favor of the idea.

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It's been on the table for at least a year when the proposal was introduced in the House. But sponsor Greg Harris never called it for a vote because he said there were more pressing issues to deal with, like pensions. Governor Quinn has called on lawmakers to get a proposal on his desk as soon as possible.

Facebook Hoax Concerning Jacksonville Area

Jacksonville Police Chief Tony Grootens says a picture making the rounds on Facebook warning of "strawberry meth" is likely a hoax.

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He says no officers in his department have come across the drug.

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The picture warns against "strawberry meth" or "strawberry quick" that looks like pop rocks and tastes like strawberries. But according to the picture, it's actually supposed to be crystal meth. The warning is typed on letterhead from "Memorial Physician Services" in Jacksonville. An official statement from Memorial Health Systems, made on their Facebook page, states the message is a hoax and they apologize for the inconvenience. Police urge any school kids who may know of the drug to contact local authorities.

Two Illinois Fire Departments To Share Grant Money

Fire departments in Streamwood and Taylorville will receive federal grants totaling $849,000.

Officials said Thursday the money is provided through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's "Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response" program.

Streamwood will receive about $628,000 for hiring initiatives. Taylorville will get $221,000 for the same purpose.

The program helps firefighting agencies maintain 24-hour staffing and ensures that communities have adequate protection from fires and related hazards.

This year, the Federal Emergency Management Agency - part of Homeland Security - will award $320 million to fire departments and volunteer support groups.

Towns, University of Illinois Ask For Aquifer Protection

Several eastern Illinois towns and the University of Illinois have asked the federal government to declare that an aquifer that stretches across the state is a primary drinking-water source. The designation would add a hurdle to plans to store toxic waste over the underground water.

Champaign, the university and the other towns have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to declare the Mahomet Aquifer a sole-source aquifer. It provides water for about 750,000 people.

The designation would add extra federal review for any project that might affect the ground water.

The Clinton Landfill plans to store PCBs 40 miles west of Champaign and says it can safely do so.

Project opponents worry the waste could contaminate the aquifer.

The EPA is reviewing the project.

Miller Park Zoo Busy With Christmas Events This Weekend

Those who enjoy visiting local zoos will have the opportunity to view one in a different light.... Literally.

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington will be bringing back their "Wild Light" night at the zoo this year. Superintendent of the Bloomington Zoo Jay Tetzloff explains this was an event that was brought back last year after about a decades absence. He notes this year's event will have some new features as well.

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The younger kids will certainly enjoy Sunday's show of Santa at the zoo, trying the reindeer out for his team. Tetzloff says Santa will put the Zoo's reindeer to the test by running them through different obstacles.

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The "Wild Lights" event is now a two-night event. It will be tonight and tomorrow from 5:30pm to 8pm Miller Park Zoo will have rare evening hours during the special event Wild Lights. The Zoo will be decorated with thousands of luminarias, illuminating the walkways of the grounds with candle light.

The Reindeer event will be Sunday at 1 pm at the zoo. For more information on the events you can visit millerparkzoo.org.

Blue Ridge Investigating Additional Parking At Mansfield Facility

The Blue Ridge Board of Education is investigating into what to do with the site of the old elementary school in Mansfield.

With the addition going on right now, the old building will be coming down once it is vacated. Superintendent of the Blue Ridge District, Susan Wilson says they are discussing ideas of what to do with the property, and the idea they are leaning towards the most is using it for a parking lot.

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Parking at the Mansfield site can sometimes be a hassle. Wilson explains when that facility hosts events, people are forced to park along the streets neighboring the school. She feels if they can make room for people to park, it not only will benefit those who come out to the school for the various events, but it will also benefit the residents around the school.

[audio:121412blueridgeparking2.mp3] [/audio]

Construction began at the site in June and the addition should be complete for the start of school next year.

Seven Catholic Schools Leaving Big East Conference

The seven catholic schools in the Big East have reportedly decided to leave the conference. ESPN reports DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova are all leaving the Big East. The presidents of the seven schools are expected to issue a statement in the next 24-to-48 hours, according to the report. With the latest defections, Cincinnati, UConn and South Florida will be the only full members in the Big East. Temple will become a full member next year. Once the seven schools decide on what league to move to, they will keep their automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. Notre Dame and Louisville may also now join Syracuse and Pitt in the ACC next season ahead of schedule, according to the report. The Irish have been negotiating an early exit.

Notre Dame basketball coach Mike Brey said the Catholic schools are also in discussion about making a national Catholic conference with Xavier, Saint Louis, Dayton, Creighton, Gonzaga and possibly Saint Mary's. In the last few years, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, TCU, Louisville, Notre Dame and Rutgers have all decided to leave the Big East. The conference added Temple and will add Houston, SMU, Memphis, UCF, Boise State and San Diego State in 2013. Tulane and East Carolina will join in 2014 and Navy in 2015.

Cubs Close To Five-Year Deal With Sanchez

The Chicago Cubs are reportedly close to landing starting pitcher Anibal Sanchez.  "USA Today" reports the right-hander came close to signing a five-year, 75-million-dollar contract, but the Detroit Tigers asked for a chance to make an offer and Sanchez agreed.  Sanchez went 9-and-13 with a 3.86 ERA in 31 starts combined with the Detroit Tigers and Miami Marlins last season.  He was 4-and-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 12 starts with the Tigers in the regular season and then went 1-and-2 with a 1.77 ERA in three postseason starts.  In seven big league seasons, the 29-year-old is 48-and-51 with a 3.75 ERA in 145 career games.

Bulls, Illini Back In Action This Weekend

>>Illinois Battles Eastern Kentucky

(Champaign, IL) -- Undefeated Illinois hosts Eastern Kentucky on Sunday night at Assembly Hall. The Fighting Illini, at 11-and-0, are ranked 10th in the country. Illinois will try to not look past the Colonels to its match up with rival and number-11 Missouri on December 22nd.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#17 UNLV Rebels 91, La Verne Leopards 44

>>Bulls In Action Saturday

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls look for their second straight win when they host the Nets on Saturday. Chicago has won four of its last five games including a 96-89 win over the Sixers on Wednesday. Both Brooklyn and Chicago are 12-and-9.

Atlanta Hawks 113, Charlotte Bobcats 90
New York Knicks 116, Los Angeles Lakers 107
Portland Trail Blazers 98, San Antonio Spurs 90

35-Game Bowl Season Begins Saturday

The college football bowl season gets underway with the first two of 35 games this holiday season.  Arizona goes up against Nevada in the New Mexico Bowl at 1 p.m. Eastern, while Toledo takes on Utah State at 4:30 Eastern in the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.  The bowl schedule picks up in earnest with 16 games between Christmas and New Year's.  New Year's Day features six bowls in all, highlighted by Georgia and Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl and Wisconsin against Stanford in the Rose Bowl.  The Suger Bowl will pit Louisville against Florida on January 2nd, Oregon against Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl on January 3rd and Texas A&M against Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl on January 4th.  The BCS National Championship features number-one Notre Dame against Alabama on January 7th. 

Bears, Packers Continue Chatter Prior To Sunday Battle; Rams At Home, Colts To Houston

>>Briggs Joins Marshall In Unloading On Packers

Chicago Bears linebacker Lance Briggs unloaded on the Packers a day after teammate Brandon Marshall did the same thing, saying he's no fan of Green Bay and that Jermichael Finley is "an idiot."

The league's oldest rivals meet Sunday and they've been talking plenty of trash.

Marshall went off on Wednesday, saying he's never disliked a team as much as the Packers. Briggs backed that up a day later, saying his feelings are "very similar."

He really took issue with Finley for telling FOXSportsWisconsin.com the Bears might be better off with linebacker Brian Urlacher sidelined by a hamstring injury. The Packers tight end was quoted as saying Chicago is not "losing too much if he's out." Briggs responded, "He's an idiot."

>>Packers Focused On Stopping Marshall

Greg Jennings thinks Chicago Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is a genius.

Marshall had made headlines when he went off on the rival Green Bay Packers during his weekly media availability. But it was something Marshall said later that Jennings found brilliant: Marshall's attempt to bait the Packers into matching their cornerbacks up with him man-to-man.

Marshall said Packers defensive coordinator Dom Capers "did an amazing job of game-planning me" in the teams' Sept. 13 meeting, in which Marshall caught only two passes for 24 yards in a 23-10 Packers victory. Then, Marshall dared the Packers to try to cover him one-on-one in Sunday's rematch at Soldier Field.

Here's the bad news for Marshall: There's no way Capers is going to do that on every down Sunday.

>>Vikings, Rams Look To Keep Slim Playoff Hopes Alive

(St. Louis, MO) -- Two teams looking to stay in the playoff hunt square off Sunday as the Minnesota Vikings lock horns with the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome. The Vikings beat the Bears 21-14 at home this past Sunday to improve to 7-and-6. They are tied with Washington and Dallas, one game out of the final playoff spot in the NFC. The Rams are just a half-game further back at 6-6-and-1. St. Louis notched its third straight win this past Sunday, rallying for a 15-12 victory over the Bills at Buffalo.

>>Colts Take On Texans In AFC South Tilt

(Houston, TX) -- The upstart Indianapolis Colts look to tighten up the AFC South when they take on the Houston Texans Sunday at Reliant Stadium. Led by rookie QB Andrew Luck, the Colts have won three straight and seven of their last eight games to hold the AFC's fifth seed at 9-and-4. Indianapolis is just two games behind Houston in the division and still hosts the Texans in Week 17. Houston is 11-and-2 after Monday's 42-14 loss at New England. The Texans can clinch the division with a win over the Colts.

>>Bengals Blast Eagles

(Philadelphia, PA) -- The Bengals scored 24 unanswered points in the second half to soar past the Eagles, 34-13. Andy Dalton threw for 127 yards and a touchdown while also running for a score for Cincinnati, which is now a half a game up on the Steelers for the sixth and final AFC postseason spot at 8-and-6. Dalton lost a pair of fumbles, and his team recovered four from the Eagles. BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 106 yards and a TD in the win. A.J. Green hauled in six catches for 57 yards and the touchdown. Nick Foles tossed for 182 yards, a score and an interception for Philadelphia, which dropped to 4-and-10. Bryce Brown rushed for 34 yards on 16 carries, while Riley Cooper made the TD grab.

ISU Player Arrested After Suspension

Police in Normal say Illinois State University basketball player Geoffrey Allen has been arrested on a preliminary charge of selling marijuana.

Normal Police Chief Rick Bleichner says Allen was arrested Wednesday night and released later after posting about $3,000 bond. Allen's warrant lists charges of criminal conspiracy-marijuana and manufacture/delivery of 30 to 500 grams of marijuana.

The McLean County Circuit Clerk's office says Allen hasn't entered a plea and doesn't yet have an attorney.

Earlier Wednesday, Illinois State announced Allen is indefinitely suspended from the team for an unspecified team rules violation. Coach Dan Muller said only that he's "very disappointed in Allen."

Allen joined the team last summer as a transfer from Eastern Washington. He's played in six games and averaged 3.5 points for the Redbirds (6-3).

Sav Mor Pharmacy Holds Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

 width=Clinton's newest pharmacy, Sav Mor Pharmacy held a ribbon cutting ceremony at their new storefront in Cedar Square.

Sav Mor Pharmacy opened their doors Monday December 3. Sav Mor Pharmacy owner Dave Fulk explains they have a service unique to the area, home delivery. He says they deliver within an approximate 20-mile radius.

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Sav Mor Pharmacy is your traditional retail pharmacy, however, Fulk notes they can do compound prescriptions. He explains compound prescriptions are a special type of prescription.

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Along with being a retail pharmacy, Sav Mor also has a full line of vitamins and other health care products. Fulk says if there is something that you need that is not on their shelves, they can special order it for you.

[audio:121512savmor4.mp3] [/audio]

Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber of Commerce, Marian Brisard says the location in Cedar Square joins several other businesses to open recently. She feels their home delivery service will be a huge plus to the residents of Clinton and DeWitt County.

[audio:121512savmor1.mp3] [/audio]

Fulk says being from the area, he understands the needs of the area, and he explains they felt the area could use an independent pharmacy, and that they can deliver a better service. Sav Mor Pharmacy is located at 59 Cedar Square in Clinton.

Clinton Maroons Defeated by Warrensburg Latham Cardinals

The Clinton Maroons Fell to the Warrensburg Latham Cardinals by a score of 59-39 on Friday Night. The Maroons were led by Jr. Dillon Smith with 12 points. Devon Kemp also chipped in with 10 points and was your Clinton Maroons, Clinton IGA player of the game.

The Warrensburg Latham Cardinals were led by Tyler Reed with 19 points.

With the Loss the Maroons fall to (3-7) on the season and (0-2) in the Okaw, while the Cardinals improve to (4-4) and a record of (1-0) in the Okaw conference.

Tune in next Tuesday as the Maroons take on Mt. Pulaski. You can hear the game live on Clinton- The Big 1520 AM /92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com

Report Shows Mental Health Care At Illinois Center Lacking

A public watchdog group says state officials should move mentally ill offenders from an Illinois youth detention center because treatment is insufficient.

A report by the John Howard Association says only 8 of 17 mental health positions are filled at the Illinois Youth Center at Kewanee. The 11-year-old facility is designated as the detention site for delinquent teens with severe mental health issues.

The report says Kewanee offers only half the treatment of other detention facilities.

The report says until there are enough staff members, residents should be moved from Kewanee and courts should stop committing kids there.

An Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice spokeswoman did not immediately comment.

Chicago Vows To Fight Conceal Carry Ruling

Chicago aldermen are urging the state to appeal a court decision to throw out the state's ban on concealed carry weapons.

A federal appeals court ruled earlier this week that Illinois' ban is unconstitutional. The court gave lawmakers 180 days to come up with a law legalizing concealed weapons.

Several alderman said Wednesday they are worried lifting the ban could lead to more gun violence. They said they would be willing to write a new city ordinance, even though it would lead to a lengthy and expensive legal fight.

Chicago's homicide rate already is spiking and there is open gang warfare in parts of the city.

Supporters of gun rights say concealed carry laws allow ordinary citizens to better protect themselves.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan will decide whether to appeal.

New State Rep Sworn In

C.D. Davidsmeyer has been sworn in as the new state representative for the 97th District. The Jacksonville Republican says building a better business climate is one of his top priorities.

[audio:rddCDD1.mp3] [/audio]

Davidsmeyer says he would not support a proposal to extend the tax hike which took effect nearly two years ago. He replaces Jim Watson, who recently retired to take a job with the Illinois Petroleum Council. Davidsmeyer will serve the state's 97th district through January 9th, when he'll be sworn in again as the representative for the state's 100th district.

EIU Football Player, Student Stabbed At Party

Police are investigating a pair of stabbings that injured two Eastern Illinois University students at a party, including a football player.

Charleston Police Lt. Brad Oyer says police were called to a party early Sunday near campus after a reported stabbing and a large fight. Police later discovered that a second student was stabbed and being treated at a local hospital.

University athletic spokesman Rich Moser confirmed that one victim was a football player. Moser declined to identify the student. Moser says the player is recovering from his injuries.

Administration spokeswoman Vicki Woodward didn't immediately release information about the second student.

Oyer says both victims were released from the hospital after being treated. Oyer says police would only say they're looking for a single suspect in the stabbings.

Western Illinois University Installs Wind Turbine

Western Illinois University says its new wind turbine will do more than just offset some of its golf course's electrical load.

The university says the 70 foot, 2.4 kilowatt turbine will serve as an on-site classroom for high school and junior high students from around the state.

The turbine installed Dec. 6 near the university's golf course is part of the Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs' Illinois Wind for Schools project. The program helps Illinois high schools and middle schools incorporate wind energy into their curricula.

Most of the funding came from a $28,000 state grant.

The Rural Affairs Institute's wind energy program coordinator, Jolene Willis, says the aim is to help prepare students for renewable energy careers.

'Horse Bowl' Competitors Wanted

Horses will be the name of the game for area 4-H youth.

Starting January 3, horse project participants, or horse enthusiasts around the area have the opportunity to take part in the Horse Bowl. Sherry Fulton, Youth Educator with the University of Illinois Extension says this is a scholastic bowl-like competition with questions that may be geared towards the care, hygiene, or even anatomy of horses.

[audio:121112horses1.mp3] [/audio]

Each year, the amount of participants varies, which results in varied amounts of Counties or 4-H Groups that participate. Fulton says the interest in horses across Illinois very strong, which makes this a very strong program.

[audio:121112horses2.mp3] [/audio]

Students in any County can participate, the best way to get more information is to contact your local University of Illinois Extension office. Practices begin after the first of the year.

New Richland Community College Site Has Local Leaders Excited

The Douglass addition east of US Highway 51 in Clinton has it's first developer, and local leaders are quite excited about it.

Richland Community College has announced their intentions to be the first to build at the Douglass addition near the Sunset Inn and Suites. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains when she came on as Mayor almost two years ago, she heard about the Douglass development, and so she took it on and after almost a year of pursuing developers for the lots, they finally have their first one.

[audio:121312rccclinton1.mp3] [/audio]

Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council, Ruth Stuaffer says this new site will be an asset to the community. She explains whenever she is speaking to potential developers, the question of incentives comes up and having the resources for an educated workforce base is very appealing.

[audio:121312rccclinton2.mp3] [/audio]

Finding the Community College a better Clinton location has been a long process. Stauffer explains she has been with the DCDC for eight years and it was a discussion even before then. She says it took a lot of discussion and searching, but the decision was made to move to the Douglass subdivision.

[audio:121312rccclinton3.mp3] [/audio]

Vice President of Richland Community College, Dr. Douglass Brauer explains they just finished celebrating their 40th year, and he feels this new chapter in Clinton is a logical step forward.

[audio:121312rccclinton4.mp3] [/audio]

Mayor Peters says the Community College plays a major role communities. She says not everyone can afford to go straight to the 4-year universities, which is why she is thrilled Clinton now has this option in the community.

A groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for January 11, 2013 with the target of completion for the start of classes in the fall semester of 2013.

Local Leaders Encouraged By Syngenta's Expansion In DeWitt County

Local leaders are very excited at the news of Syngenta's DeWitt County research facility expanding.

 width=Tuesday morning Syngenta held a ground breaking ceremony and many local leaders were on hand. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says with the times of uncertainty with local governments, it is nice to see a successful company like Syngenta investing in their DeWitt County facility. Their expansion will bring new job opportunities to the area, and the Mayor hopes that will bring families, revenue, and volunteerism to the DeWitt County community.

[audio:121312syngenta1.mp3] [/audio]

"(Agriculture) is not recession proof. We are not drought proof". After a tough year fighting drought and continuing to battle a lull in the ecomonomy, DeWitt County Farm Bureau President Tom Hieronymus feels Syngenta's continued research will help in years like farmers have experienced this year.

[audio:121312syngenta2.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Farm Bureau Executive Director Ken Bjelland says Syngenta's expansion is going to have a two fold benefit. He feels the continued research is going to be very good for agriculture and also continuing to grow a local business is going to be very good for the community.

[audio:121312syngenta3.mp3] [/audio] width=

Syngenta's expansion will bring many, high salary and very stable jobs to the community. Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council Ruth Stauffer says Syngenta's DeWitt County site will be the largest research and development facility for corn and soybeans in North America and she feels this is going to put some positive spotlights on the County.

[audio:121312syngenta4.mp3] [/audio]

Syngenta plans to have the new expansion finished by the middle of next year.

Seven Schools Leaning Toward Leaving Big East

Seven non-Football Bowl Subdivision schools could be leaving the Big East.  ESPN reports the presidents of DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall and Villanova are leaning toward breaking away.  Those schools are scheduled to have a teleconference with Big East Commissioner Mike Aresco today and make a decision on their future within 48 hours. 

Billboard Material Building Up For Sunday's Bears/Packers Match Up; TNF Notes

 width=>>Bears' WR Marshall Blasts Packers

Chicago Bears receiver Brandon Marshall says he has never disliked a team as much as the Packers.

Although he says he wouldn't use the word "hate," he has "never felt this strong in sports" about another team or group of opposing players.

During his weekly session with reporters on Wednesday, Marshall called this weekend's home game against Green Bay "personal" and said he hopes Packers cornerbacks request to cover him one on one.

His feelings seemed to stem from a 23-10 loss at Green Bay earlier in the year in which he caught just two passes for 24 yards. He says he doesn't respect "their players talking about how awesome of a job they (do) shutting down certain players."

 width=>>Packers' Matthews Returns To Practice

(Green Bay, WI) -- Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews returned to the practice field for the first time in more than a month on Wednesday. Matthews has missed the last four games after suffering a hamstring injury in a win over Arizona on November 4th. Offensive lineman T.J. Lang and defensive lineman Mike Neal also took reps in practice after sitting out last week with injuries. Wide receiver Jordy Nelson and cornerback Charles Woodson both remain sidelined with injuries. Head coach Mike McCarthy said Monday that he was hopeful they would be ready to go on Sunday when the 9-and-4 Packers battle the 8-and-5 Chicago Bears.

>>Small Fire Breaks Out At Green Bay's Lambeau Field

(Green Bay, WI) -- A small fire broke out at legendary Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Wednesday. The minor fire broke out on the construction site for the Lambeau Field expansion. The Packers said nobody was injured and the damage was limited and is not expected to affect the project. The Packers have played at Lambeau Field since 1957. Green Bay, at 9-and-4, battles the 8-and-5 Bears this Sunday in Chicago.

>>Bengals Look To Bounce Back Against Eagles

(Philadelphia, PA) -- The Cincinnati Bengals will look to stay in the playoff hunt when they take on the Philadelphia Eagles in this week's Thursday night game at Lincoln Financial Field. The Bengals had their four-game winning streak snapped with a 20-19 loss to the Cowboys on a last-second field goal this past Sunday. Cincinnati is currently the seventh seed in the AFC at 7-and-6. The Eagles will try to win consecutive games for the first time since starting the season 2-and-0. Philadelphia halted an eight-game losing streak with a 23-21 win at Tampa Bay last Sunday to improve to 4-and-9.

Bulls Down 76ers

 width=Joakim Noah scored 21 points, Luol Deng added 19 points and 12 rebounds, and the Chicago Bulls won their fourth in a row on the road with a 96-89 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night.

Less than 24 hours after losing to the Los Angeles Clippers by five points at United Center, the Bulls traveled to Philadelphia and appeared more rested than the Sixers, who had Tuesday off.

Marco Belinelli had 16 points and Nate Robinson, starting in place of guard Kirk Hinrich, had 14 for Chicago. Hinrich injured his left knee in the loss to the Clippers and is listed as day-to-day.

Jrue Holiday scored 26 points, Evan Turner added 16 and Thaddeus Young 13 for Philadelphia.

Atlanta Hawks 86, Orlando Magic 80
Indiana Pacers 96, Cleveland Cavaliers 81
Brooklyn Nets 94, Toronto Raptors 88
Golden State Warriors 97, Miami Heat 95
Los Angeles Clippers 100, Charlotte Bobcats 94
Boston Celtics 117, Dallas Mavericks 115 (2OT)
Minnesota Timberwolves 108, Denver Nuggets 105
Milwaukee Bucks 98, Sacramento Kings 85
Houston Rockets 99, Washington Wizards 93
Oklahoma City Thunder 92, New Orleans Hornets 88
Phoenix Suns 82, Memphis Grizzlies 80
Utah Jazz 99, San Antonio Spurs 96

Top Recruit Parker To Announce Decision Next Thursday

 width=Top high school recruit Jabari Parker of Chicago's Simeon Career Academy appears set to announce his college choice.

A 6-foot-8 forward, Parker is 1 of the most prized recruits to come along in recent years. Duke, Michigan State, Florida, Brigham Young and Stanford made his top five.

Parker has been slowed while recovering from a foot injury after leading Simeon to its third straight state championship as a junior.

Illinois, Illinois State Notes

 width=>>Illinois Signs Deal With Sports Media Learfield

The University of Illinois has signed a 10-year deal with Learfield Sports to take over sports multimedia marketing and production. The school says it will help generate an extra $2 million a year.

Missouri-based Learfield will produce Illini sports radio using the current announcers and handle the school's sports TV shows. The company will take over other multimedia activity and Illini sponsorship rights, too.

Illinois Assistant Athletic Director Marty Kaufman says Illinois will generate an average of about $6 million a year over the next decade on its multimedia and sponsorship rights. That's compared to the $4 million it made last year.

Learfield has similar contracts with the Big Ten and more than 50 other schools. Its Big Ten clients include Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Northwestern, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin.

>>ISU Suspends Guard

 width=Illinois State University's basketball team has indefinitely suspended guard Geoffrey Allen for an unspecified violation of team rules.

In a news release coach Dan Muller said only that he is "very disappointed" in the redshirt sophomore.

Allen transferred to Illinois State from Eastern Washington last summer. The NCAA gave the Los Angeles native a waiver that allowed him to play without sitting out the usual year required for undergraduate transfers.

Allen has played in six games and averaged 3.5 points and 2.7 rebounds for the Redbirds (6-3).

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#7 Ohio State Buckeyes 85, Savannah State Tigers 45

Monticello City Levies Holding Steady

This is the time of year when city governments analyze their levies for the upcoming year.

 width=One local community feels they can get by with leaving their levies where they have been in the past. Monticello Mayor Chris Corrie says the City of Monticello feels they can keep their tax rate where it was last year. He notes with that in mind, they are going to have look very closely at where they spend their money when it comes to city projects.

[audio:121412monticellolevies1.mp3] [/audio]

There are some areas of the city the Mayor has an eye on for improving. One being their outdoor City park. Mayor Corrie notes their regular projects are moving along like they normally would. He notes they will take caution when deciding which projects to take on so they do not have to raise taxes.

[audio:121412monticellolevies2.mp3] [/audio]

A couple local sources of revenue the City receives may be vulnerable to Springfield receiving a portion of. Mayor Corrie says there local sales tax dollars and the Corporate Personal Property Replacement Tax are revenues he sees the state getting their hands on.

[audio:121412monticellolevies3.mp3] [/audio]

Going forward Mayor Corrie says raising taxes is not out of the question, but the City Council and city administrators will do everything they can to keep the tax level where it is. He feels as long as City Government can get by with the current tax rate, they will be able to maintain it.

DeWitt County Board Member Arrested

 width=Terry K. Hoffman, 55, of Maroa was arrested by DeWitt County Sheriff’s Deputies at approximately 7:30 P.M. on December 12 at the Sheriff’s Office. Hoffman was charged with 2 counts of felony aggravated battery and lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.

This morning, 6th Judicial Circuit Chief Judge Flannel reviewed probable cause affidavits submitted to the court and ruled that probable cause did exist for Hoffman’s arrest. Bond was set at $10,000.00. Hoffman posted 10% of the bond and was released. He is scheduled to appear in DeWitt County Court on January 16, 2013 at 9:00 A.M.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner would not comment further on the situation.

Hoffman was recently sworn in to the DeWitt County Board.

Clinton Schools To Combine Athletic Director Positions

The Clinton School District has interviewed candidates for a unit-wide Athletic Director position.

Current High School AD Karl Parrish will be stepping down and taking a full time teaching position. While Jr. High Athletic Director Jane Cade will be retiring at the end of the year. Superintendent of Clinton Schools, Dr. Jeff Holmes says they will be combining the two positions into a district position.

[audio:121212clintonAD1.mp3] [/audio]

Having consistency in the sports programs district wide is a goal of Dr. Holmes and the Board of Education. He says having a unit Athletic Directory will be another step towards that goal of continuity from the grade school level to the junior high level to the high school level.

[audio:121212clintonAD2.mp3] [/audio]

There are two candidates the Board of Education has interviewed, and both are from within the district. Dr. Holmes says one candidate is first year Head Basketball Coach Chris Gibson and Baseball Head Coach John Hickman. The latest the Board of Education will name their new Athletic Director will be at their regular December Board of Education meeting, December 18.

Syngenta Breaks Ground For Expansion At DeWitt County Research Facility

Syngenta's location in DeWitt County is planning a major expansion and held a ground breaking ceremony at their location just east of Wapella.

 width=Several representatives from Syngenta and local leaders spoke as well. Syngenta Site Manager Nelson Thorpe says the vision they have for the expansion of the Syngenta site makes it a place for the research and development of corn and soybeans for central Illinois and North America to continue.

[audio:121212syngenta1.mp3] [/audio]

Dwindling acreage and more and more people to feed throughout the world is putting a heavy burden on farmers to 'do more with less' according to Thorpe. He says the plans they have for the expansion of the DeWitt County site will also aid in that challenge.

[audio:121212syngenta2.mp3] [/audio]

As a fellow farmer, Tom Hieronymus says he can appreciate what Syngenta is doing for farmers of the DeWitt County community. Hieronymus also serves as the DeWitt County Farm Bureau's President and he notes the research that will take place with Syngenta's expansion should only help farmers face the challenges of today's world.

[audio:121212syngenta3.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Syngenta has the vision to become an 'inovative leader' in research and development of corn and soybeans. Business Practice and Megasites Lead and North America Research & Development at Syngenta, Ramtin Ahmadi, says the plans they have laid out exemplifies the continued efforts of Syngenta to make their vision a reality.

[audio:121212syngenta4.mp3] [/audio]

The groundbreaking was held Tuesday morning at Syngenta's DeWitt County facility just east of Wapella. Syngenta leaders and local community leaders are excited about the expansion of Syngenta in DeWitt County.

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Baseball Notes

>>Cardinals, Dodgers Make A Deal

(Undated) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have traded utility infielder Skip Schumaker to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for minor league shortstop Jake Lemmerman. The "St. Louis Post-Dispatch" reports the deal is pending the outcome of a physical. The 32-year-old Schumaker has spent his entire eight-year career in St. Louis and batted .276 with a homer and 28 RBI in 107 games last season. The 23-year-old Lemmerman hit .233 with seven homers and 46 RBI in 116 games for Double-A Chattanooga last year.

>>Indians, Reds And D'backs Make Nine-Player Deal

(Undated) -- The Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds and Arizona Diamondbacks have pulled off a nine-player trade. The Indians receive outfielder Drew Stubbs from Cincinnati and pitchers Trevor Bauer, Matt Albers and Bryan Shaw from Arizona. The Reds get outfielder Shin-Soo Choo, infielder Jason Donald and cash from Cleveland. The D'backs receive shortstop Didi Gregorius, pitcher Tony Sipp and first baseman Lars Anderson from the Tribe. Stubbs hit just .213 with 14 homers and 40 RBI in 136 games last season. Choo batted .283 with 16 homers and 67 RBI in 155 contests last year. Albers went 3-and-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 63 games combined with Boston and Arizona last year.

NFL Notes

>>Bears Kicker To Miss Rest of Season

Chicago Bears kicker Robbie Gould will miss the remainder of the season after injuring his left calf.

The Bears placed Gould on injured-reserve on Tuesday and signed veteran kicker Olindo Mare to a 1-year contract. They also placed cornerback Sherrick McManis (knee) and safety Craig Steltz (chest) on IR while signing linebacker Jerry Franklin to a 2-year deal, elevating receiver Joe Anderson from the practice squad and waiving offensive lineman Andre Gurode.

Gould, who ranks among the most accurate kickers in league history, strained his left calf in warm-ups before Sunday's loss at Minnesota, and punter Adam Podlesh handled kickoffs in his place. Gould kicked the extra point after both of Chicago's touchdowns and tried on onside kick late in the game.

>>Congress To Grill NFL, Union On Human Growth Hormone

(Undated) -- A Congressional subcommittee will go after the National Football League and the players union today, over the NFL's delay in testing players for human growth hormone, or HGH. The league and the players union agreed more than a year ago to include HGH testing in the collective bargaining agreement, but since then the union has consistently blocked efforts to test players. Hall of Fame linebacker Dick Butkus, who starred for the Chicago Bears, will be one of the witnesses testifying during today's hearing.

>>NFL To Make Thigh, Knee Pads Mandatory

(Undated) -- The NFL will reportedly make the use of thigh and knee pads mandatory for the 2013 season in an announcement on Wednesday. FoxSports.com reports team owners will be updated on the matter when they meet in Dallas. The NFL Players Association made a successful push before the 1994 season to have the protective padding become optional for players to wear. In May, owners approved a rule change that would make the pads mandatory. However, the NFLPA argued that such a motion would be a collectivelly-bargained issue. A 2010 study showed that only about 30-percent of NFL players wear thigh and knee pads.

Bulls Fall To Clippers

Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds to help the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Chicago Bulls 94-89 on Tuesday night for their seventh straight victory, the team's longest winning streak in two decades.

Marco Belinelli hit a 3-pointer with less than a minute left to cut Chicago's deficit to 89-87, but Chris Paul answered with a floater in the lane, then iced it with three free throws down the stretch as Los Angeles snapped the Bulls' season-high 3-game winning streak.

Paul finished with 18 points and four assists, below the 20 and 10 he averaged in his first dozen games against Chicago, but it was enough for the Clippers to sweep the season series for the first time since 2009-10.

Carlos Boozer scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds for the Bulls, who had won 5 of 6 overall.

Cleveland Cavaliers 100, Los Angeles Lakers 94
New York Knicks 100, Brooklyn Nets 97
Denver Nuggets 101, Detroit Pistons 94
Washington Wizards 77, New Orleans Hornets 70

Illini Improve to 11-0; Paul Named National Player of the Week

>>Illini Get Past Norfolk State

Brandon Paul scored 14 points and D.J. Richardson overcame a shoulder injury to add 11 and help 10th-ranked Illinois hold off Norfolk State 64-54 on Tuesday night.

The Illini (11-0) were coming of a win at Gonzaga on Saturday that helped move them into the top 10, but were sluggish against the Spartans. Illinois was shooting 46% from the field coming in but shot just 35% on the night.

Rashid Gaston scored 12 points and Pendarvis Williams added 11 for Norfolk State (6-6), which led for much of the first half.

Richardson left late in the first half with a badly bruised shoulder but returned. His layup with just under two minutes remaining put the Illini up 56-51 and they went on to get the win.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Michigan Wolverines 67, Binghamton Bearcats 39
#16 Minnesota Golden Gophers 70, North Dakota State Bison 57

>>Illini's Paul Named Player of the Week

The U.S. Basketball Writers Association has chosen Illinois guard Brandon Paul as its national player of the week after his 35-point game at Gonzaga.

The association said Tuesday that it chose Paul for the honor.

Paul and the now-No. 10 Illini upset Gonzaga on the road Saturday 85-74. Gonzaga was ranked 10th coming into the game and heavily favored.

The Illini also beat Western Carolina 72-64 last week. Between the two games the 6-4 Paul averaged 24.5 points and three rebounds.

Paul leads the Illini for the season with 19.5 points a game. He also averages 4.4 rebounds.

Paul also earned him Big Ten player of the week honors. 

Medical Helicopter Hit Bad Weather Before Crash

An Illinois hospital says the pilot of its helicopter encountered bad weather and was trying to return to the hangar before it crashed in a field, killing the pilot and two nurses.

Rockford Memorial Hospital spokesman Wester Wuori says pilot Andy Olesen radioed to the hospital dispatch to report that he had "encountered some weather" while heading to another hospital to pick up a patient Monday night.

Olesen and flight nurses Karen Hollis and Jim Dillow died when the plane crashed about 8:30 p.m. near Rochelle, about 70 miles west of Chicago.

No patients were aboard at the time.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

Wuori says the hospital bought the helicopter in 1991, and it had a "perfect safety record."

Gov. Quinn Reviewing Decision On Concealed Carry

Gov. Pat Quinn's office is reviewing a federal appeals court's decision to strike down a ban on carrying concealed weapons.

Illinois is the only state where carrying concealed weapons is illegal.

Quinn has been in favor of strict gun control laws and proposed an assault weapons ban earlier this year, which lawmakers voted down. Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the Chicago Democrat's office is reviewing the opinion. She didn't immediately have further comment.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Tuesday that lawmakers have 180 days to write a new law legalizing concealed carry.

The ruling is a victory for gun rights advocates, who argue that the prohibition against concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and what they see as Americans' right to carry guns for self-defense.

Court Ruling On Illinois Gun Ban Sets Stage For Fight

A federal court ruling tossing out Illinois' ban on concealed weapons might end the last such gun prohibition in the country, but not without an expected fight. The question is whether the battle will be an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court or a legislative confrontation over the court's order that Illinois adopt a law allowing concealed carry with "reasonable limitations" like other states have. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office says she is studying the issue, while gun control advocates quickly urged her to appeal Tuesday's ruling by the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that Illinois' ban is unconstitutional. More certain is a confrontation over the order for the Illinois Legislature to come up with a law legalizing the concealed carry of weapons within 180 days.

Illinois Must Pass Conceal Carry Law

Illinois has about six months to write a law, giving people the right to carry a concealed weapon. A U.S. Appeals court calls the state's conceal carry ban unconstitutional. Richard Pearson of the Illinois Rifle Association says this is a big win for the people of Illinois.

[audio:rddGuns1.mp3] [/audio]

A bill to pass concealed carry failed in the House last year. That bill would've only allowed people to carry guns only in their home, their car, and on a sidewalk. State Representative Brandon Phelps says the restrictions were added to get a good sensible bill, but some of the restrictions will likely be lifted once the bill goes through.

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Richard Pearson of the Illinois Rifle Association says people will think twice before committing a crime once the law is in place.

[audio:rddGuns2.mp3] [/audio]

He says they'll still show respect for certain places but it's too soon to tell what will and will not be left in the bill. The current proposal also requires strict background checks and training for people seeking to buy a gun. Those safety standards will likely stay in the bill. Governor Quinn and state officials can appeal the ruling.

Governor Quinn Reviewing Decision On Concealed Carry

Gov. Pat Quinn's office is reviewing a federal appeals court's decision to strike down a ban on carrying concealed weapons.

Illinois is the only state where carrying concealed weapons is illegal.

Quinn has been in favor of strict gun control laws and proposed an assault weapons ban earlier this year, which lawmakers voted down. Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the Chicago Democrat's office is reviewing the opinion. She didn't immediately have further comment.

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals announced Tuesday that lawmakers have 180 days to write a new law legalizing concealed carry.

The ruling is a victory for gun rights advocates, who argue that the prohibition against concealed weapons violates the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment and what they see as Americans' right to carry guns for self-defense.

Courts Rule Illinois Citizens Allowed To Carry Weapons; Local Lawmakers Pleased With Ruling

Under a federal appeals court ruling issued yesterday the state of Illinois would have to allow ordinary citizens to carry weapons, but the judges also gave lawmakers 180 days to put their own version of the law in place.

In a 2-1 decision that is a major victory for the National Rifle Association, the U.S. Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals said the state's ban on carrying a weapon in public is unconstitutional.
The Illinois legislature will be forced to take up a statewide carry law this spring.

State Representative Bill Mitchell says that yesterday was big win for individual rights.

[audio:weapons1.mp3] [/audio]

Representative Adam Brown was also satisfied with the outcome of the decision and says the time has come to move forward.

[audio:weapons2.MP3] [/audio]

Currently Illinois is the only state in the nation not to have some form of conceal carry after Wisconsin recently approved law.

RCC Announces Plans For New Clinton Site

One local educational establishment in DeWitt County will be the first to take advantage of a spot that has been seeking development for some time.

Richland Community College recently announced they have intentions to begin building a facility at the Douglass Subdivision east of US Highway 51 in Clinton. Dr. Douglass Brauer, Vice President of Richland Community College explains they have long been seeking a new place of residency in DeWitt County away from their current occupancy at Clinton High School.

[audio:121212rccclinton1.mp3] [/audio]

Their current location at Clinton High School has restricted Richland in some of the things they've wanted to do here as far as programming goes. Dr. Brauer says for a long time, they have wanted to have a better site, and he says to be the first occupant of the Douglass Subdivision is something the school is excited about.

[audio:121212rccclinton2.mp3] [/audio]

The new location for the Community College will provide many more opportunities for students in Clinton and DeWitt County. Dr. Brauer says he wants to tap into more vocational and workforce ready students. He feels there is also a great opportunity to give student the opportunity to get some of their general education courses out of the way before going to the more expensive universities.

[audio:121212rccclinton3.mp3] [/audio]

When looking at possible locations, there were many things the school wanted to make sure they had room for to make available for their students. Dr. Brauer says one of the big things was multi-purpose classrooms and a computer lab.

[audio:121212rccclinton4.mp3] [/audio]

The new site at the Douglass Subdivsion will be a 4-thousand square foot building with designs to be added onto if needed. Dr. Brauer feels this is going to greatly increase their presence in the northern portion of their district, but also provide great opportunities for students, residents, and those in the workforce in DeWitt County.

Tomorrow we will have the reaction of local leaders as well as further comments from Dr. Brauer on their announcement build a new facility in DeWitt County.

Monticello Sages Defeat Olympia Spartans

The Monticello Sages defeated the Olympia Spartans by a score of 51-43 on Tuesday Night. The Sages were led by Ryan Donohue with 15 points. Matt Kruse also chipped in with 12 points. Your First State Bank Player of the game was Bryan Phipps with 10 points and 6 rebounds. With the win the Sages improve to 4-1. With the loss the Spartans fall to 0-7. Tune in Friday, December 14 as the Sages take on the Shelbyville Rams. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Governor Quinn Says Pension Problem Is Illinois' 'Fiscal Cliff'

Gov. Pat Quinn says the pension crisis is Illinois' own fiscal cliff.

The Chicago Democrat spoke to reporters Monday during a breakfast event at Bloomberg's Chicago office.

He's set a Jan. 9 deadline to overhaul the pension system, which is underfunded by an estimated $96 billion. On that day, new lawmakers will be sworn in after a lame duck session in Springfield.

Quinn has spent much of this year talking about reforming the pension system and proposed rough ideas to address it. He also launched a social media campaign to rally the public.

But he's also faced criticism for not being aggressive enough or fully backing a singular plan.

Last week, lawmakers frustrated by inaction came up with their own proposal on pensions. Quinn calls it "intriguing" and a start.

Man Convicted In Three Danville Shooting Deaths

A Chicago man already serving 25 years in federal prison has been convicted of charges related to the 2007 deaths of 3 people in Danville.

A jury in Urbana convicted 34-year-old Freddell Bryant on three counts of using a firearm during a drug-trafficking crime. Killed were 30-year-old Rodney Pepper, 19-year-old Madisen Leverenz and 21-year-old Tabreyan McCullough.

Federal prosecutors say Bryant used a firearm in a confrontation over missing kilograms of cocaine. He took McCullough to an apartment to confront Leverenz and Pepper because Bryant believed they were involved in taking cocaine from her home. The three died from gunshot wounds in the confrontation that ensued.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 15. Bryant faces up to life in prison on each of the counts.

Three Killed In Medical Helicopter Crash

The pilot of a hospital medical helicopter and two nurses are dead after the chopper went down about 94 miles west of Chicago yesterday.  The FAA says last night's crash occurred while the helicopter was heading to pick up a patient in Mendota after taking off from Rockford.  The hospital identified the occupants as pilot Andy Olson and flight nurses Jim Dillow and Karen Hollis.  The chopper crashed in a corn field in the small town of Compton, near the city of Rochelle and was destroyed.  No patients were aboard at the time.  The helicopter had been registered to Rockford Memorial Hospital.  The aircraft had taken off from Rockford which is 25-miles north of the crash site.  A team from the FAA will assist in an investigation of the crash, which will be led by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Illinois' Health Ranking Unchanged

Illinois is staying right where it is as far as America's Health Rankings are concerned.

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Dr. Reed Tuckson, chief of medical affairs for UnitedHealth Group, says Illinois has to improve in some areas.

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Dr. Tuckson says every American must reverse the fact that 25-percent of U.S. adults are now obese. The United Health Foundation report lists Mississippi and Louisiana as the least healthiest states because so many people there are obese and have diabetes. Vermont is tops on the list, followed by Hawaii, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and Minnesota.

New Health Clinic Coming To Taylorville

SIU Healthcare has announced it's opening an OBGYN clinic in Taylorville next month. SIU's Dr. Erica Nelson says the services offered will be similar to what's already in Springfield.

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Dr. Nelson says an OBGYN clinic will open in Taylorville on January 7th. Nelson says such care exists in Taylorville and surrounding areas, but many patients choose Springfield, and travel gets expensive.

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Nelson says such services are already available in Taylorville and surrounding areas, but there aren't enough because many of their patients travel into Springfield to be treated. She says vital care can get expensive and inconvenient, especially in the later parts of pregnancy when more care is required. The clinic will be open once a week to start, but hours could expand later.

Experts Propose Plan To Reform University Pensions

A group of University of Illinois professors have a plan to reform the retirement system for university employees.

In a proposal issued Monday by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs, the professors recommend letting workers trade a portion of their guaranteed benefits for a lump-sum payment. That payment would go into a self-managed retirement account.

Professor Jeffrey Brown says many employees would choose the lump sum to diversify their retirement funds.

The report says offering the lump sum payments would help cut Illinois' $96 billion unfunded pension liability.

It also recommends ending the tax exemption on retirement income, and warns that shifting the full cost of pensions to universities could lead to tuition increases.

Lawmakers have said they want to pass pension reform by Jan. 9.

Two Illinois Counties Added To EAB Quarantine

The Illinois Department of Agriculture says two more counties have been put under quarantine because of emerald ash borer infestations.

Infestations have been confirmed in Henry and Knox counties, and they'll join 39 other counties under quarantine because of the destructive beetle.

The larvae of the small, metallic-green beetle burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die.

The bug is native to Asia and was discovered in Michigan 10 years ago. Since then, it has killed more than 25 million ash trees.

Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark and new shoots growing from the bottoms of tree trunks.

The quarantine forbids the movement of live ash trees or their wood products outside of the quarantine area.

Bloomington Woman Admits To Concealing Homicide

A Bloomington woman who's accused of choking her mother-in-law to death has pleaded guilty to hiding the body.

Misook Nowlin entered the plea Monday as jury selection began on the first-degree murder charge. That trial is moving forward, and Nowlin has pleaded not guilty.

Nowlin is accused of killing her 70-year-old mother-in-law, Wenlan Linda Tyda of Crest Hill, in September 2011. She is claiming self-defense.

McLean County prosecutors say Nowlin lured her mother-in-law to central Illinois by making her think a job was available translating Chinese.

Nowlin has admitted directing police to a DuPage Forest preserve where the victim was buried. Judge Robert Freitag told Nowlin she faces two to five years when she is sentenced on the homicide concealment charge.

Congressman Johnson Will Teach, Work With Law Firm

Retiring U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson says he'll work for an Illinois law firm when he leaves Congress in January and teach at Illinois State University.

Johnson dropped his re-election bid just weeks after an easy primary win earlier this year. The six-term Republican Congressman said he wanted to devote more time to his nine children and more than a dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Johnson announced Monday that he would work for the law offices of Frederick Nessler. The firm is headquartered in Springfield with offices across Illinois. It specializes in personal injury, workers compensation, wrongful death, medical malpractice and Social Security Disability cases.

Johnson also says he will be a part-time instructor at Illinois State, teaching the course "Congress and War."

DCRTA To Hold 4th Quarterly Meeting

The fourth quarterly meeting of DeWitt-Logan Retire Teachers will be Wednesday, December 12, 2012. at 10:30 a.m. at the Bonanza Restaurant in Lincoln, IL.. The program will by holiday music be Julie King. Special guests will be Jim Bachmann, IRTA executive Director, Larry Neuman, Member Benefits and Senator Chapin Rose. DeWitt county members who wish to car-pool should meet at 9:30 a.m. at the Clinton Christian Church parking lot.

Membership in Illinois Retired Teachers Association is open to all retired and active teachers and their spouses.

Clinton Board of Education Discussing Specifics of New Elementary School

Over the past several months, the Clinton Board of Education has held several special meetings.

Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes says those work sessions are designed to look at very specific aspects of the new elementary school and to discuss with the Board what they want to see happen. Dr. Holmes notes these are very specific items of the new building.

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These specific items include floor tiles, lock systems, and bricks on the outside amongst numerous other things. Dr. Holmes feels the School Board should be the ones to make these decisions with the ideas of the community in mind, rather than the architects.

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The Board of Education has a target of going out for bid on the new building in early January. Dr. Holmes explains the unique part about the way they will be going out for bid will be to ask for a bid for each aspect of the building. He notes this will allow them to get better bids and maybe reduce the price of the project as a whole.

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Dr. Holmes says because the building will be an elementary school, they are focusing on ways to make the new school colorful and stand out.

The Board of Education will hold a special work session this afternoon at 4 pm at the Clinton Jr. High School.

NHL Cancels Games Through December 30th

The NHL has cancelled more regular season games due to the ongoing labor stalemate between owners and players.  Games through December 30th have been called off.  The lockout has now forced the cancellation of 526 regular season games, the Winter Classic and All-Star Game. 

Bulls Host Clippers Tonight

The Bulls return to action tonight as they host the Los Angeles Clippers at the United Center. Chicago has won three in-a-row and five of its last six following Saturday's 93-85 victory over the Knicks. After tonight's game, the 11-and-8 Bulls will head to Philadelphia to face the 76ers on Wednesday.

Philadelphia 76ers 104, Detroit Pistons 97
Golden State Warriors 104, Charlotte Bobcats 96
Miami Heat 101, Atlanta Hawks 92
San Antonio Spurs 134, Houston Rockets 126 (OT)
Dallas Mavericks 119, Sacramento Kings 96
Portland Trail Blazers 92, Toronto Raptors 74

Bears, Packers Notes

>>Cutler Expects To Play Against Packers

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler says he expects to play this week against Green Bay.

Cutler says "unless something drastic happens, absolutely" he will be ready to play against the Packers after leaving Sunday's loss at Minnesota with a sore neck. He says he got treatment on Monday and "should be ready to go later in the week."

Cutler was hurt during a hit from Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter, and he stayed in for the remainder of the drive before coming out. Cutler missed a game against San Francisco on Nov. 19 because of a concussion.

>>Smith Says Bears Control Playoff Hopes

Lovie Smith realizes the Chicago Bears no longer control their fate in the NFC North. Their playoff hopes still are in their hands, though.

That's something Smith emphasized Monday after an ugly loss at Minnesota that knocked the Bears (8-5) out of first place in the division. They've dropped 4 of 5 with Green Bay coming to Soldier Field this week.

If the Packers win, they clinch the division, and a wild card is no sure thing for Chicago. The Bears were sixth in the NFC after Sunday's loss, with Washington, Dallas and Minnesota a game behind them.

He says the Bears "do control our playoff hopes." Smith also says whatever pressure the Bears are feeling is "on our performances."

>>After Rough Start, Pack Controls Own Destiny

A month into the season, few people outside of Green Bay would have given the Packers a shot at the NFC North title.

Heck, even the folks in Green Bay could have been forgiven for feeling a little pessimistic. The injuries were already starting to pile up, and the Packers had been the victims of the Inaccurate Reception.

With a losing record five weeks in and the Chicago Bears off to a blazing start, a wild card seemed about the best the Packers could do.

Now look at them. 1 of the NFL's hottest teams over the past two months with seven victories in eight games, Green Bay (9-4) can clinch the division title with a win Sunday in Chicago.

>>Packers' McCarthy Hopeful Matthews, Woodson Will Play This Week

(Green Bay, WI) -- Packers head coach Mike McCarthy says he is hopeful linebacker Clay Matthews, safety Charles Woodson, wide receiver Jordy Nelson and offensive lineman T.J. Lang will play this Sunday in Chicago. The Packers lead the Bears by one game in the NFC North.

>>Caldwell Gets Promotion In Baltimore

(Owings Mills, MD) -- Former Colts head coach Jim Caldwell has been promoted in Baltimore. Caldwell is now the offensive coordinator of the Ravens after the team fired Cam Cameron yesterday. Caldwell had been working as the quarterbacks coach. After three seasons with the Colts, Caldwell was fired at the end of last season following a 2-and-14 campaign.

>>Brady, Patriots Toast Texans

(Foxboro, MA) -- New England scored on its first three possessions and never looked back, cruising to a 42-14 win over Houston on "Monday Night Football." Tom Brady threw for 296 yards with four touchdowns, including two to Aaron Herndandez. Herndandez had eight catches for 58 yards while Brandon Lloyd added seven grabs for 89 yards with a receiving touchdown and a fumble recovery for a TD. Stevan Ridley finished with 72 yards and a touchdown on the ground as the Patriots improved to 10-and-3. Matt Schaub tossed for 232 yards and an interception for the Texans while Andre Johnson made eight catches for 95 yards. Arian Foster had 46 yards and a TD on the ground for Houston, which still holds the AFC's best record at 11-and-2.

Illini Crack Top-10 In Latest USA Today Rankings

The top nine teams are unchanged in this week's "USA Today" top-25 men's college basketball poll. Indiana remains number-one in the nation. The 9-and-0 Hoosiers received 25 first-place votes and 769 total points. Duke received the other six first-place votes and is ranked second with 749 points. Michigan, Syracuse and Florida round out the top-five. Illinois jumped four spots to number-ten. The Illini swapped places with Gonzaga after beating the Bulldogs over the weekend. They are back in action tonight as they host Norfolk State at Assembly Hall.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#21 Georgetown Hoyas 89, Longwood Lancers 53

Clinton Police Weekend Report






















DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-11

December 11, 2012


Jail Population: 65

Summons Served: 8

Warrant Arrests: 3


Sherry Braden, 67, Clinton, was issued a citation for Speeding (74 mph in a 55 mph zone). Braden, posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.






The Monticello Lady Sages Fall To Meridian Hawks

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Sullivan Lady Redskins by a score of 54-43. The Lady Maroons were led by Clinton IGA Player of the Game Morgan Hickman with 14 points. Haley Toohill also chipped in for the Lady Maroons with 11 points, all in the 4th quarter

The Lady Redskins were led by Asia Morrison with 16 points.

With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 11-1 and 5-0 in Okaw Valley Conference play. The Lady Redskins drop to 3-6 and 2-3 in Okaw Conference play.

Tune in December 11th as the Clinton Maroons Boys Basketball takes on Ridgeview. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Quinn To Appeal Judge's Ruling On Pay Raise

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he will appeal a judge's ruling that the state must eventually live up to its 2011 promise of pay hikes to state workers.

Cook County Circuit Judge Richard Billik ruled Friday that the state is obligated to pay the wage increases to members of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

The Democratic governor reneged on the raise in July 2011 because the Legislature hadn't sent him money to cover it.

Quinn spokesman Abdon Pallasch (AB'-dun PA'-lish) says the state "cannot pay money it does not have."

Billik affirmed an earlier decree that Quinn couldn't spend money lawmakers hadn't appropriated. But his order Friday was that Quinn must eventually pay the bill - at 7% interest.

Democrats Plan Endorsement Session For Jackson Seat

Democratic officials in the Chicago area will hear from more than a dozen contenders to replace former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.

The Cook County Democratic Party says it'll endorse one candidate.

Thornton Township Committee Frank Zuccarelli says there are 15 names on the list. They'll meet Saturday. Each candidate gets five minutes to make a pitch and then democratic committeemen will ask questions.

The party's support would give any candidate a boost, particularly with fundraising.

The primary for the special election is Feb. 26. The election is April 9.

Jackson resigned last month citing his health and acknowledging he's under federal investigation. He first won the Chicago area seat in a 1995 special election.

It's largely Democratic territory including Chicago neighborhoods and suburbs.

Union Workers At Communications Company Strike

More than 150 employees of a telecommunications company in eastern Illinois have gone on strike as contract talks have stalled.

Consolidated Communications and a workers' union have been negotiating since October. A key issue has been pension reform. A federal mediator has been helping facilitate negotiations.

Talks broke down last week.

Officials with Local 702 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers say the strike was in protest of "bad faith bargaining." Union workers include technicians and customer service representatives.

Officials with the Mattoon-based company say no television, telephone or Internet services will be affected as a result of the walkout. A company spokesman says there's a contingency plan to minimize customer impact.

Both sides planned to meet Monday.

Grandmother Says NFL Was Dream of Cowboys' Brown

The grandmother of Jerry Brown, who was killed in what police say was a drunken-driving accident, remembers him as a young man who stopped at nothing to realize his dream of becoming a professional football player.

Theresa Clark of St. Louis says Brown lived for football, and loved it with all of his heart. He was a practice-squad linebacker with the Dallas Cowboys.

The 25-year-old Brown died Saturday in Irving, Texas. Teammate Josh Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter and being held on $500,000 bond.

While Clark's heart is heavy over the death of her eldest grandson, she remains proud of his accomplishments.

She says Brown built a foundation of faith, hard work and discipline for his younger cousins to follow.

Dallas' Brent 'Trying To Deal With Friend's Death'

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent says he's "just trying to deal" with the death of his teammate and "very best friend" Jerry Brown.

Brent is charged with intoxication manslaughter in the accident that killed Brown.

Brent was released from jail in the Dallas suburb of Irving after posting $500,000 bond Sunday, a day after police say he was drunk and speeding when the vehicle he was driving clipped a curb and flipped.

Brent's release came about an hour after the Cowboys secured an emotional 20-19 victory in Cincinnati with a field goal on the final play. Brent was supposed to start the game.

The 25-year-old Brown was a member of the Cowboys' practice squad and living with Brent while he pursued his dream of playing in the NFL.

Cowboy Charged In Player Death Had DUI In Illinois

The Dallas Cowboys player charged with intoxication manslaughter following a car accident that killed his teammate was arrested for driving under the influence in Illinois in 2009.

Josh Brent and Jerry Brown were teammates for three seasons at the University of Illinois.

Brent was arrested Saturday morning. Police say he was speeding when he hit a curb and flipped the vehicle he was driving, killing Brown.

Champaign County Court records show Brent was arrested in February 2009 near the University of Illinois for driving under the influence, speeding and driving without a valid license. Brent later pleaded guilty to DUI.

He was sentenced to 60 days in jail, two years of probation, 200 hours of community service and a fine of about $2,000.

Cowboy Charged After Player Dies In Auto Accident

Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Josh Brent is facing an intoxication manslaughter charge after a one-vehicle accident that killed linebacker Jerry Brown, a member of the team's practice squad.

Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said the accident happened about 2:20 a.m. Saturday in the Dallas suburb. Argumaniz says Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once.

Argumaniz says Brown was found unresponsive at the scene and pronounced dead at a hospital.

The police spokesman says officers conducted a field sobriety test on Brent and arrested him. The charge was upgraded after Brown was pronounced dead.

The Cowboys didn't immediately respond to an email request for comment.

Illinois Climatologist Expects Drought Through 2013

Illinois' state climatologist says he believes the worst U.S. drought in decades likely will continue through next year.

Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says "it's going to be a long, slow recovery from this particular drought." Angel spoke Thursday during a conference in St. Louis about the Mississippi River's future.

More than 60% of the continental U.S. has been gripped by some form of drought since last summer. More than 90% of Nebraska and Oklahoma were hit by extreme or exceptional drought. Those are the two worst classifications.

The drought has withered crops and lowered the Mississippi River's levels to a point that could force slowdowns, if not shutdowns, of barge traffic between St. Louis and Cairo (KEHR'-oh).

Bloomington Woman's Murder Trial To Start This Week

The trial of a Bloomington woman accused of choking her mother-in-law to death is scheduled to start next week.

Jury selection in Misook Wang's trial begins Monday.

Defense attorney Brian McEldowney expects the trial to last about a week.

Wang has pleaded not guilty in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Wenlan Tyda of Crest Hill in south suburban Chicago. McLean County prosecutors say Wang lured her mother-in-law to central Illinois by making Tyda think a job was available translating Chinese.

Prosecutors contend Wang led authorities to Tyda's body, which was buried body at a forest preserve in Des Plaines.

Earlier this year, Judge Robert Freitag granted a motion to suppress Wang's initial interrogation, in which police said she eventually revealed her culpability in the murder.

Miller Park Zoo Home To Popular New Animals

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington is now home to a couple new animals.

 width=The zoo is home to a new otter and a snow leopard, making a breeding pair for each animal. Superintendent of the Zoo Jay Tetzloff says the snow leopard introduction was the best introduction he has seen in some time. He explains the animals will sit in quarantine for several weeks to get accustom to their new surroundings and make sure it's healthy, but then they let the animals at each other, and he says in this instance, there wasn't even the slightest problem.

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Hima, the2 1/2 year old snow leopard, is part of Miller Park Zoo’s conservation efforts via the Snow Leopard Species Survival Plan. Tetzloff says it is interesting because Miller Park Zoo heads the conservation program for the Snow Leopard. While the animal is currently endangered, because of it's roots to Central Asia in the mountains, it is very difficult to obtain information about them.

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The zoo is also home to a new river otter named Tolula. Tetzloff says they are getting along very well and because the river otters are so small and active, it is one of their more popular exhibits.

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The snow leopards and river otters are both part of a breeding program. Tetzloff says chances are slim for them to see cubs of the two this year, however, they are hopeful to see new babies in the following year.

Hima arrived in Bloomington via the Bronx Zoo. She was born at the Granby Zoo in Quebec, Canada. The importation process to bring Hima to Miller Park Zoo took over a year. The large cats are currently on exhibit in the Katthoefer Animal Building.

Lincoln High School Foundation Doing Christmas Awareness Campaign, Fundraiser

One local school district's educational foundation is doing a fundraiser that aligns well with the holiday season.

 width=Lincoln Community High School's Educational Foundation this year is selling gold plated ornaments of the school's mascot, the "Railerman". Superintendent of Lincoln High School, Robert Bagby says this drive will raise a small portion of funds, however, it is mostly being done to raise awareness of the Foundation's existence.

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Many foundations are very limited in the amount of support they can provide students with scholarships and money to provide the district for un-budgeted things they need. Bagby explains about 15 years ago, Lincoln High School's foundation raised almost a million and a half dollars, and that money is used solely for student scholarship.

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That million and a half dollars is managed wisely by a couple financial professionals in Lincoln. While many educational foundations rely heavily on fundraising efforts throughout the year, Lincoln High School's has very few fundraisers, in fact, it is because of this Bagby has found not many people know about the Foundation.

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Every spring the school district holds a financial aid night for seniors interested in going on to college. Bagby says on that night, Foundation representatives will speak to all those in attendance and inform them of scholarship opportunities for college. Bagby feels the amount of scholarship money the Foundation is able to distribute each year speaks volumes for the things they try to accomplish.

County Budget Increases 125% For 2013

 width=Before the former DeWitt County Board left office, they approved the 2012 budget.

When there is an increase in a budget above 105%, a Truth and Taxation Hearing must be held. The DeWitt County Board held there's and discussed the budget at that time. Former Finance Chair, Ed Young says this year, the budget saw an increase of almost 125%.

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The first increase is due to the ambulance tax levy. Young explains there is no money in the budget currently to pay the first half of next year's ambulance bills, so they borrowed money from themselves and will use the levy to repay the money.

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The second factor for the increase is due to an increase in the general fund levy for a new animal control facility. Young says he wanted to leave enough money for the new board to pursue the new building if that was their desire.

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The DeWitt/Piatt Bi-County Health Department levy increased just slightly. Young explains they have been very successful in the past to obtain grants to help supplement the things they are required by law. However, because of the fiscal mess the state is in, the grants just are no longer available. Young adds, to make up the difference, the levy is going to increase just slightly.

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As was discussed last week, the full Board later discussed the increase in levies for the animal shelter and the amount of taxes levied for the ambulance service. All three levy increases were approved, and the FY13 budget, with a revenue increase of almost 125% went into effect December 1.

Baseball Notes

>>Rays, Royals Complete Major Trade

(Undated) -- The Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals have completed a blockbuster trade involving pitcher James Shields. The official Twitter accounts of both teams confirmed the news. Kansas City will acquire Shields and pitcher Wade Davis along with a player to be named later or cash in the swap. The Royals will send top prospect Wil Myers, right-hander Jake Odorizzi, left-hander Mike Montgomery and third baseman Patrick Leonard to Tampa Bay in the deal.

Shields was 15-and-10 with a 3.52 ERA for Tampa Bay this past season. Davis went 3-and-0 with a 2.43 ERA in 54 appearances out of the bullpen. Myers hit .314 with 37 home runs and 109 RBI between Double-A Northwest Arkansas and Triple-A Omaha last season. He is considered one of the top outfield prospects in baseball.

>>Dodgers Reportedly Close To Deal With Greinke

(Los Angeles, CA) -- The Los Angeles Dodgers are set to add the prize free agent pitcher on the market this offseason. The "Los Angeles Times" reports the Dodgers are close to a six-year, 145-million-dollar deal with free-agent Zack Greinke [[ GRAIN-kee ]]. The 29-year-old's deal will reportedly be completed today after he passes a physical. Greinke was a combined 15-and-5 with a 3.48 ERA in 34 starts while splitting last season between the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Angels. The 2009 AL Cy Young winner is 91-and-78 with a 3.77 ERA in nine major league seasons with the Royals, Brewers and Angels.

Bulls End Knicks 5-Game Win Streak

 width=Marco Belinelli and Luol Deng scored 22 points apiece as the Chicago Bulls beat the Knicks 93-85 on Saturday night, snapping New York's 5-game winning streak.

Belinelli scored 15 points in the first quarter, while Deng had 10 in the fourth, giving the Bulls their first 3-game winning streak of the season.

Carlos Boozer had 12 points and 10 rebounds for Chicago.

Raymond Felton led the Knicks with 27 points, matching his season high set on Thursday in a victory at Miami. However, Felton was just 9 for 30 from the field, exceeding his career high for field-goal attempts by six shots.

Los Angeles Clippers 102, Toronto Raptors 83
Milwaukee Bucks 97, Brooklyn Nets 88
Oklahoma City Thunder 104, Indiana Pacers 93
New York Knicks 112, Denver Nuggets 106
Orlando Magic 98, Phoenix Suns 90
Utah Jazz 117, Los Angeles Lakers 110

Pack, Colts, Rams Win; Bears Lose Again

 width=>>Packers Hold Down Lions

(Green Bay, WI) -- Green Bay fought back from an early ten-point deficit to defeat Detroit, 27-20. Aaron Rodgers threw for 173 yards and ran for 33 more with a touchdown as the Packers improved to 9-and-4. Randall Cobb had seven catches for 102 yards and Alex Green rushed for 69 yards for the Packers, who have won seven out of eight. Mike Daniels also recovered a Matthew Stafford fumble and returned it 43 yards for a score. Green Bay plays the Bears on the road on Sunday.

 width=>>Colts Rally Past Titans

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Adam Vinatieri nailed a pair of fourth quarter field goals as the Colts rallied past the Titans, 27-23. Andrew Luck threw for 196 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions for the Colts, who improved to 9-and-4 with their fifth straight home win. Reggie Wayne had six catches for 64 yards and a TD and moved into 10th place on the all-time receptions list. The Colts head to Houston to meet the division-leading Texans next week.

>>Rams Rally Past Bills

(Orchard Park, NY) -- Sam Bradford's lone touchdown pass of the day came with 48 seconds left in the game and led the St. Louis Rams to a 15-12 win over the Buffalo Bills. Bradford hit Brandon Gibson for a 13-yard score to give the Rams their third straight win for the first time since 2006. Steven Jackson rushed for 64 yards on 19 carries and added a touchdown. The Rams scored all 15 of their points in the second half and moved to 6-6-and-1. They remain in the hunt for an NFC playoff spot. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 247 yards and a touchdown. The Bills dropped to 5-and-8 and have lost two of their past three games.

 width=>>Vikings Hold Off Bears

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and a pair of first quarter touchdowns as the Vikings held on to beat the Bears, 21-14. Harrison Smith had a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown for the Vikings, who snapped a two-game skid to keep their playoff hopes alive at 7-and-6. Christian Ponder was 11-of-17 for 91 yards and an interception in the victory. Jay Cutler finished 22-of-44 for 260 yards with a TD and two picks, but left late in the fourth quarter after taking a hit to the head. Brandon Marshall had 10 catches for 160 yards and a TD for Chicago, which has lost four-of-five to slip to 8-and-5.

Dallas Cowboys 20, Cincinnati Bengals 19
Cleveland Browns 30, Kansas City Chiefs 7
Philadelphia Eagles 23, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 21
Washington Redskins 31, Baltimore Ravens 28 (OT)
Carolina Panthers 30, Atlanta Falcons 20
New York Jets 17, Jacksonville Jaguars 10
San Diego Chargers 34, Pittsburgh Steelers 24
San Francisco 49ers 27, Miami Dolphins 13
Seattle Seahawks 58, Arizona Cardinals 0
New York Giants 52, New Orleans Saints 27
Green Bay Packers 27, Detroit Lions 20

ISU, Illini Win Saturday Games

 width=>>Illini Top Gonzaga

Brandon Paul scored 35 points to lead No. 13 Illinois over No. 10 Gonzaga 85-74 on Saturday in a matchup of unbeaten teams.

Tracy Abrams added 14 points for Illinois (10-0) and new coach John Groce is off to the best debut for an Illinois coach in the team's modern history.

Kelly Olynyk scored 16 points to lead Gonzaga (9-1).

Myke Henry's basket gave Illinois its first lead of the game at 44-43 in the opening seconds of the second half, and the Illini pushed that to 54-49 by making all 5 of their field goals to open the half.

Henry's 3-pointer gave Illinois a 59-51 lead. Two baskets by Przemek Karnowski cut Illinois' lead to 61-58.

 width=>>ISU Downs Western Michigan

Jackie Carmichael scored 24 points and Illinois State rolled to an 85-63 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday night.

Illinois State (6-3) also benefited from 50.8% shooting from the floor (31 of 61) and a 39-8 scoring advantage off the bench.

Tyler Brown scored 13 points for Illinois State, and Johnny Hill contributed 10 assists.

Western Michigan (6-3) could not get untracked with its shooting, making just 33.9% from the floor (33.9%). It did have a 41-35 rebounding edge.

Nate Hutcheson scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Western Michigan. Darius Paul scored 14 points and Brandon Pokley scored 13.

NCAA Top-25 Sunday Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#13 Creighton Bluejays 77, Akron Zips 61
#18 UNLV Rebels 76, California Golden Bears 75

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Indiana Hoosiers 100, Central Connecticut State Blue Devils 69
#2 Duke Blue Devils 90, Temple Owls 67
#3 Michigan Wolverines 80, Arkansas Razorbacks 67
#4 Syracuse Orange 108, Monmouth Hawks 56
#6 Louisville Cardinals 99, UMKC Kangaroos 47
#7 Ohio State Buckeyes 89, Long Beach State 49ers 55
#8 Arizona Wildcats 66, Clemson Tigers 54
#9 Kansas Jayhawks 90, Colorado Buffaloes 54
#11 Missouri Tigers 68, Tennessee State Tigers 38
#12 Cincinnati Bearcats 92, Maryland-Eastern Shore Hawks 60
#16 North Carolina Tar Heels 78, East Tennessee State Buccaneers 55
#17 Michigan State Spartans 73, Loyola (IL) Ramblers 61
#20 New Mexico Lobos 65, Valparaiso Crusaders 52
#21 Minnesota Golden Gophers 71, USC Trojans 57
#22 Oklahoma State Cowboys 62, Missouri State Bears 42
#23 Georgetown Hoyas 46, Towson Tigers 40
#24 North Carolina State Wolfpack 80, Cleveland State Vikings 63
#25 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 84, Brown Bears 57

Congressman-Elect Davis Readying To Serve Central Illinois

Now that the election season is over, one local lawmaker is readying for the challenges that await him in Washington, DC.

 width=Congressman-elect Rodney Davis will be filling the Congressional seat vacated by retiring Rep. Tim Johnson. Davis realizes he has his work cut out for him and credits Rep. Johnson with many years of service to Central Illinois.

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Since Davis' victory became official, he has been out to Washington, DC a couple times for orientation sessions. Davis says while he is familiar with the landscape of the nation's capitol, he says he still has some things to learn.

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During his orientation, Davis notes there was a large number of new faces, and notes it was pretty evenly split between Republicans and Democrats. He says he is looking forward to getting know his constituents and working with them closely in the future. While his contact with the current members of Congress was limited, Davis explains whenever he would see someone, he would walk up to them and introduce themselves.

[audio:121112davis3.mp3] [/audio]

Davis will be sworn in January 3. He has been assigned to the Transportation and Agriculture Committees and says he is is glad to be a part of them, as they were his first two choices of the committees he wanted to serve on.

Davis was elected in a close race over Democrat David Gill in the November election.

Lady Maroons Defeat Sullivan 54-43

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated the Sullivan Lady Redskins by a score of 54-43. The Lady Maroons were led by Clinton IGA Player of the Game Morgan Hickman with 14 points. Haley Toohill also chipped in for the Lady Maroons with 11 points, all in the 4th quarter

The Lady Redskins were led by Asia Morrison with 16 points.

With the win, the Lady Maroons improve to 11-1 and 5-0 in Okaw Valley Conference play. The Lady Redskins drop to 3-6 and 2-3 in Okaw Conference play.

Tune in December 11th as the Clinton Maroons Boys Basketball takes on Ridgeview. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com

Clinton Fell To LeRoy

The Clinton Maroons fell to the LeRoy Panthers by a score of 55-38 on Saturday Night. The Maroons were led by Junior Colten Reeves with 13 points. Freshman Jacob Overton also chipped in with 11 points. The LeRoy Panthers was led by Nick Aupperle with 25 points. Tune in Tuesday as the Maroons take on Rigeview at 7:30 P.M.The Lady Clinton Maroons will play Monday against Sullivan at 7:30 PM. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

November Was Full of New Releases At The Warner Public Library

The Warner Public Library is gearing up for the holiday season and are adding some new releases in the book and video sections.
Paula Lopatic says that there are several great new releases in the library this month. She wants to remind people that if something is not on the shelf, ask for it. The library participates in the Inter-Library Loan Program. One of her favorite new releases is "Binky Takes Charge" by Ashley Spires which is a graphic novel for 2nd-4th graders. Other books include new non-fiction which include "Extreme Earth Records" by Seymour Simon which teaches kids about records in nature all over the world. Lopatic also mentions a personal favorite picture book.
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Bobbi Perryman discusses the adult side of the library. There are several excting new releases coming to the library. She mentions that there are several new movies that have arrived including "The Dark Knight Rises", "Hope Springs" and "The Odd Life of Timothy Green". Perryman also discusses several new releases coming in the book section.
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For more information on new releases, you can visit the library at 310 N. Quincy , call them at  935-5174, visit their website at www.vwarner.org or find them on Facebook.


Philadelphia 76ers 95, Boston Celtics 94 (OT)
Denver Nuggets 92, Indiana Pacers 89
Chicago Bulls 108, Detroit Pistons 104
Golden State Warriors 109, Brooklyn Nets 102
Atlanta Hawks 104, Washington Wizards 95
Minnesota Timberwolves 91, Cleveland Cavaliers 73
Memphis Grizzlies 96, New Orleans Hornets 89
San Antonio Spurs 114, Houston Rockets 92
Milwaukee Bucks 108, Charlotte Bobcats 93
Utah Jazz 131, Toronto Raptors 99
Oklahoma City Thunder 114, Los Angeles Lakers 108
Sacramento Kings 91, Orlando Magic 82

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
No Games Scheduled

Cards Finalize Deal With Choate

The St. Louis Cardinals have finalized a three-year contract with reliever Randy Choate. The deal is worth a reported 7.5-million-dollars. Choate has been one of the game's more effective lefty specialists in his twelve-year career, holding left-handed hitters to a .201 average over that time. The 37-year-old split last season between the Miami Marlins and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Cubs Sign Japanese Pitcher Fujikawa

The Chicago Cubs have signed pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa to a two-year contract with a vesting/club option for 2015.  The deal is worth a reported 9.5-million-dollars.  The 32-year-old has spent the last twelve seasons with the Hanshin Tigers of the Japanese Central League.  Fujikawa went 42-and-25 with a 1.77 ERA and 220 saves over that time.  He is the second Japanese player in Cubs history, following outfielder Kosuke Fukudome [[ KOHS-kay  foo-koo-DOH-may ]].

Noah Powers Bulls Past Pistons

Joakim [[ joe-keem ]] Noah's 30 points and 23 rebounds led the Bulls to a 108-104 win over the Pistons.  Carlos Boozer added 24 points with six boards and Luol Deng [[ loo-OLL  dang ]] had 16 points and six assists in the win.  Marco Belinelli also netted 16 points as Chicago won its fourth game in five tries.  Rodney Stuckey had 24 points and seven assists off the bench to lead Detroit.  Brandon Knight added 21 points while Charlie Villanueva poured in 15 points for the Pistons.  Detroit fell for the fourth time in five games. 

IL CMS Department Unites Federal Property With Law Enforcement Agencies

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Quinn Appoints New DHS Inspector General

 Gov. Pat Quinn has appointed a new inspector general for the Illinois Department of Human Services.

The Friday appointment of Michael McCotter comes after a Belleville News-Democrat investigation revealed that, since 2003, the department's inspector general didn't investigate more than 50 cases about disabled adults living at home who were allegedly abused or neglected and later died.

Quinn appointed McCotter to be special investigator at the department's inspector general office in July. McCotter is a 40-year law-enforcement veteran. Quinn's office says McCotter now will be responsible for implementing reforms to overhaul the office, ensure accountability and strengthen protection for disabled adults.

Former DHS inspector general William Davis stepped down Aug. 1.

U of I Graduate Students OK Deal With School

 Members of the union that represents graduate student employees of the University of Illinois have approved a new contract that will raise wages and continue tuition waivers.

The Graduate Employees Organization said Friday that more than 95% of the union members who voted approved of the new 5-year agreement. The vote ends more than seven months of negotiations.

A news release from the GEO says graduate student workers will get a 2.5% raise the first year. The minimum wage for graduate students will also be raised in increments over the life of the deal. About 40% of graduate student workers make the minimum wage.

Tuition waivers were a key sticking point but will be maintained at current levels.

The union has about 2,400 members.

IEMA Winter Storm Preparedness Sweepstakes

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Chicago Post Office Offers Holiday Shipping Tips

The Chicago Post Office is offering tips to ensure gifts and greetings arrive on time this year.

The U.S. Postal Service has seen a double-digit increase in package shipments already this holiday season. So postal officials say the earlier customers can mail, the better.

First-class mail should be sent by Dec. 20 to arrive in time for Christmas. The recommended deadline for parcel post is Dec. 14 and for express mail, Dec. 22.

The post office also recommends senders put a card with both the delivery and return addresses inside each box, in case the outer labels fall off or are destroyed.

Customers who don't want to deal with lines can create pre-paid shipping labels using their own PC and printer. Free package pickup is available at no cost.


If-I-Were-Santa Essayists Honored

One essayist would give medicine to the sick and another would guide refugees to safety employing magic reindeer.

Those were among the suggestions from children in a statewide essay contest that asked what they'd do if they were Santa.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is honoring ten winners and runners-up.

Robbie Diefenbach attends Adams School in Creal Springs. He wrote the winning essay in the 5th grade through 8th grade category.

If he were Santa, he wrote he would be, in his words, "the love you feel when you pick out a present for your grandma" and "the generosity you feel when you drop a dollar in the Salvation Army bucket."

All those honored will have a chance to read their essays at the museum on Dec. 16.

Governor Working With Top Leaders to Address Mississippi River Levels

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Flu Shots Are Essential This Flu Season

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Drought Revives Old Water Wars Among River States

The water wars are raging again in America's heartland. Drought-stricken states are competing for the increasingly scarce water of the Missouri River and have taken their case to the White House.

Officials from more than 30 states have written President Barack Obama urging him to intervene - or not - in a dispute about whether water in the Missouri River's upstream reservoirs should be released to flow down to the Mississippi River.

Officeholders in downstream states say the water is needed to help raise low levels on the Mississippi that are threatening to halt barge traffic.

But if the water is released, officials in upstream states warn that the toll of the drought could worsen for farms and towns that depend on the Missouri River.

Illinois Gets $35-Million Grant For Early Childhood Education

Illinois will get nearly $35 million if federal aid for early childhood education.

The Race to the Top-Early Learning Challenge grant will fund a website to inform parents about school-program quality and help communities find programs that match children's needs.

It will fund professional development for early-childhood teachers, will allow the state to make 1-time investments in efficiency, assist streamlining of program administration and data systems. It'll also pay for program evaluation to determine effectiveness.

The Illinois grant from the U.S. Departments of Education and Health and Human Services is 1 of 14 provided to states for helping children considered a risk for academic failure.

State schools Superintendent Christopher Koch (KUK') says the money will help improve the state's infrastructure and program efficiency.

Federal Employment Benefits Ending

The federal emergency unemployment program expires at the end of the year. Greg Rivara, with the state's Department of Employment Security, says that will have a drastic impact in Illinois.

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Rivara says anyone who's been receiving unemployment benefits for more than 25 weeks will be impacted.

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Rivar adds people can browse job openings at IllinoisJobLink.com

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Those who are impacted by the change will be contacted individually.

ICC Approves Ameren Advanced Meters

The Illinois Commerce Commission has approved Ameren's proposed advanced meters. Spokesman Leigh Morris says the new meters will report usage levels automatically, allow customers to track their energy usage, and tell whether problems are present that may cause an outage.

[audio:rddmorris1.mp3] [/audio]

Ameren plans to roll out its new advanced electric meters as part of its grid modernization plan, but more slowly than expected. The Illinois Commerce Commission approved the meters, but reduced the company's revenue further than expected. Morris addds that won't kill plans entirely.

[audio:rddmorris2.mp3] [/audio]

The meters are one component of Ameren's grid modernization plan. The ICC approved them, but reduced the utility's revenue further than expected. The legislature, in response, passed resolutions telling the ICC to follow rate-setting formulas outlined by state laws. Morris says the company will still move forward with the electric meters, just slowly and cautiously.

Central Illinois Food Bank Moving

The Central Illinois Foodbank will soon have a new home. The group will move from its current location on East Moffatt Street, in Springfield, to the former Pepsi bottling plant on East Cook Street. Pam Molitoris, the food bank's executive director, says the bigger facility will help with their growing number of food options

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Springfield Mayor Mike Houston says the Central Illinois Food Bank's move to a new facility is necessary, as the needs of central Illinois are changing.

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Molitoris says the facility is more than double the size of its current location, and will provide three times the space for cold storage. They're in the midst of raising a million dollars to retrofit the building, and received 300-thousand dollars in donations from WalMart, Monsanto, and others yesterday. Pepsi Springfield donated the building to the foodbank. The move will be complete sometime in mid-2013.

DNR Records 99-Thousand Deer Taken During Illinois Firearm Season

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources says hunters harvested more than 99,000 deer during this year's firearm season.

The preliminary total of 99,324 deer is about 2,500 more than last year.

Illinois' firearm season was held Nov. 16-18 and Nov. 29-Dec. 2. IDNR Forest Wildlife Program Manager Paul Shelton says hunters likely benefited from the split season this year because the weather was different.

He says the first week of hunting took place in warm, spring-like conditions.

Preliminary harvest reports show the top five counties for deer were Pike, Fulton, Adams, Jo Daviess and Randolph.

The state's 3-day muzzleloader season is this Friday through Sunday. The archery deer season ends Jan. 20, and the antlerless-only season will be held Dec. 27-30 and Jan. 18-20.

University of Illinois Gets $4-Million For Veterans Center

The University of Illinois is getting $4 million in state funds to build a new center for disabled veterans.

The Wounded Warrior Center will provide 24-hour support to help severely injured veterans prepare to live independently and pursue their educational and career goals.

It will offer housing for up to 12 veterans in addition to counseling, rehabilitative and academic services.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the grant Thursday.

Quinn said men and women who sacrifice years of their lives to serve their country deserve support when they return.

The $4 million comes from a state fund established to help create jobs.

A veteran and 1962 U of I graduate, Ronald L. Chez, has pledged $6 million for the project.

The university is raising the additional money to complete the center.

CHW Physical Therapy To Close Doors

One local business owner is calling it a career.

Chrissy Willoughby of CHW Physical Therapy on the Clinton Square is retiring effective Friday, December 7. Willoughby explains her children are at the age where nearly all of them are moved out, and she feels retiring will allow her a lot more freedom.

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In the process of retiring, Willoughby has a lot of medical records she will need to hold on to. She says her patients should soon be receiving information on how to access those in the event they would be needed.

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Willoughby has had her own practice for nine years now. She says this is an emotional time for her because she feels a strong connection to her patients, they are not just names or numbers on a page.

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Willoughby thanks the community for their support through her time in Clinton and also thanks her patients for being a part of her life and allowing her to help them along their way.

Clinton High School Sees Enrollment Jumps In Several Classes

Over the past week, we've looked at the various departments of Clinton High School and the state of their materials and curriculum.

While a lot of the findings and reports have not been so positive, not all the departments in the high school are in need of major attention. Principal of the High School, Dr. Candice Swift says the Spanish department has seen a skyrocket in enrollment this year. The enrollment increase has created six new sections of the class along with new materials as well.

[audio:12712classes1.mp3] [/audio]

While the math department does not have a common written curriculum, Dr. Swift says the teachers do a good job of communicating and making sure they are teaching similar skills and testing at the same levels. She explains the goal for the department in the near future will be to develop the curriculum and work for a common standard of testing and skill development.

[audio:12712classes2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Swift has walked into a school with a very strong FFA program and she says the structure of the program right now makes it one that does not need many improvements. However, down the road she would like to see expanded opportunities for the Ag students. She feels focusing on ag careers could be a good direction to expand in the future.

[audio:12712classes3.mp3] [/audio]

Through the course of investigating the materials and curriculum in place at the high school, Dr. Swift has stumbled upon materials that are nearly, if not, 20 years old, and some equipment at the building is original to the build date.

Dr. Swift is currently working with her staff to find what areas of the programs need help, and to figure out what things need to be addressed first.

NFL Notes

>>Bears, Vikings Look To Reverse Course

(Minneapolis, MN) -- NFC North rivals square off for the second time in three weeks as the Chicago Bears battle the Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome. The Bears are coming off an overtime loss to Seattle and have dropped three-of-four to fall to 8-and-4. Chicago will be without linebacker Brian Urlacher, who is expected to miss at least three games with a strained hamstring. The Vikings have lost four-of-five to fall back to .500 at 6-and-6. Minnesota lost 28-10 at Chicago in Week 14.

>>Rams, Bills Look To Keep Slim Playoff Hopes Alive

(Orchard Park, NY) -- The St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills look to keep their slim playoff hopes alive when they meet Sunday at Ralph Wilson Stadium. The Rams beat the 49ers 16-13 in overtime last Sunday for their second straight win. St. Louis is now 5-6-and-1, but will play three of its final four games on the road. The Bills are coming off a 34-18 victory over Jacksonville. Buffalo has won two of its last three to improve to 5-and-7. This is the second of three straight home games for the Bills.

>>Lions Play Packers At Lambeau Sunday Night

(Green Bay, WI) -- The Detroit Lions take a four-game losing streak into Lambeau Field to face the Green Bay Packers Sunday night. The Lions lost 35-33 at home when the Colts scored a touchdown on the final play this past Sunday. Detroit is last in the NFC North at 4-and-8 and has lost 20 straight games at Green Bay dating back to 1991. The Packers are tied with the Bears atop the division at 8-and-4 but have already beaten Chicago once. Green Bay won 24-20 at Detroit back in Week 11.

>>Titans Take On Playoff Hopeful Colts

(Indianapolis, IN) -- The Tennessee Titans and Indianapolis Colts meet for the second time this season Sunday at Lucas Oil Stadium. The Titans lost to the Colts 19-13 in overtime at home back in Week Eight. Tennessee has dropped two straight and four of its last five to fall to 4-and-8. The Colts pulled out a 35-33 win on the final play this past Sunday at Detroit. Indianapolis has won two straight and six of its last seven games to improve to 8-and-4. The Colts are currently the fifth seed in the AFC.

>>Broncos Beat Raiders For Eighth Straight Win

(Oakland, CA) -- Peyton Manning threw for 310 yards and a touchdown as the Broncos beat the Raiders 26-13 for their eighth straight win. Manning finished 26-of-36 to surpass 5,000 career completions. Knowshon Moreno rushed for 119 yards and a TD on a career-high 32 carries for Denver, which improved to 10-and-3. Joel Dreessen had five catches for 30 yards and a score in the victory. Carson Palmer was 19-of-30 for 273 yards with two TDs and an interception for the Raiders, who fell to 3-and-10 with their sixth straight loss. Darren McFadden, who missed the previous four games with an ankle injury, had 11 carries for 52 yards in his return. Oakland head coach Dennis Allen returned to the sidelines Thursday following the death of his father, former NFL linebacker Grady Allen, on Tuesday.

Heisman Trophy Announcement Saturday

The 78th Heisman Trophy will be handed out on Saturday in New York. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel, Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o [[ MAN-tye TAY-oh ]] are all up for the award. Manziel is trying to become the first freshman to win the Heisman. He has thrown for 3,419 yards, 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions this season, leading Texas A&M to a 10-and-2 record and Cotton Bowl appearance. He has also rushed for 1,181 yards and 19 scores.

Klein, also a dual threat quarterback, has thrown for 2,490 yards, 15 TDs and seven picks while also running for 890 yards and 22 scores. He has the 11-and-1 Wildcats in the Fiesta Bowl against Oregon. Te'o racked up 101 tackles and seven interceptions for the 12-and-0 and top-ranked Fighting Irish, who will play Alabama in the BCS National Championship Game. Te'o is trying to become just the second defensive player ever to win the award. Michigan wide receiver/cornerback Charles Woodson won the Heisman in 1997. Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin the Third won the Heisman in 2011.

Illini At Gonzaga Saturday

The 13th ranked Fighting Illini will put their perfect 9-0 record on the line Saturday night as they battle tenth ranked Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington. The Illini are coming off a 72-64. Brandon Paul leads the Illini in scoring with almost 18 points a game tweeted Wednesday "Now watching our game against Butler...we played hard this game, gotta bring the same intensity with us on Saturday". This will by far be the biggest test for Illinois to this point in their season. Gonzaga is also 9-0 and coming off a 71-69 win at Washington State. They're led by Elias Harris with almost 17 points a game and 7-foot forward Kelly Olynyk with almost 14 points per game.

Game time Saturday is 9pm Central time.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)


#4 Syracuse Orange 84, Long Beach State 49ers 53
#12 Cincinnati Bearcats 87, Arkansas-Little Rock Trojans 53
#13 Creighton Bluejays 64, Nebarska Cornhuskers 42
#15 San Diego State Aztecs 84, UC Santa Barbara Gauchos 70

Maroons Play Shelbyville In Indianapolis

The Clinton Maroons and Shelbyville Rams will face off today at the Conseco Fieldhouse in downtown Indianapolis. The past few seasons the two Okaw Valley teams have played their conference opener in the Hoosier state. The Maroons are coming off a thrilling 47-46 victory over Hartsburg-Emden last Friday.

The lady Maroons will start the day off with their game tipping at 11 am central time. The Boys game will follow at just before 1 pm central time. You can hear the boys game on The Big 1520 AM and 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

The JV and freshman boys and girls teams will also see some action on the floor the Indiana Pacers play on before the Pacers home game tonight.

The teams will have the opportunity to also stay for that game as the Pacers finish off a mini two-game homestand tonight against the Denver Nuggets. Indiana has won two in-a-row and four of its last five to improve to 10-and-9.

Okaw Valley Conference action from Thursday night...

Macon Meridian 50
Central A&M 64

Maroa-Forsyth 42
Decatur St. Teresa 48

Argenta-Oreana 61



New York Knicks 112, Miami Heat 92
Dallas Mavericks 97, Phoenix Suns 94

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-7

December 7, 2012


Jail Population: 65

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0


Ronald Terry, 56, Clinton, was issued a citation for Operating Uninsured Motor Vehicle. Terry, posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.






Mississippi River Dropping Slower Than Expected

A revised Mississippi River forecast is offering a bit of a reprieve for shippers, showing the water level isn't dropping as quickly as feared. Still, at least two large barge companies already are reducing loads over concerns about the river's depth.

The river at St. Louis on Wednesday was about 13 feet deep. The Coast Guard has said further restrictions on barge traffic are likely if the river dips to around 9 feet, though the decision is based on observation of conditions and not the level on the gauge.

Earlier forecasts by the National Weather Service had projected getting to the 9-foot level by Sunday or Monday. But a Weather Service hydrologist told The Associated Press Wednesday that revised modeling now calls for reaching that level around Dec. 29.

Illinois Senate Chief Says Pension Plan Needs Closer Look

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton is concerned a new plan to fix the state's $95 billion pension problem may be unconstitutional.

A group of rank & file House lawmakers proposed the plan Wednesday.

It calls for workers to contribute more to their retirement and younger employees to work longer. It also reduces cost-of-living increases for retirees and shifts some costs for teacher pensions to school districts.

Cullerton says the plan appears to impose unilateral cuts to benefits, which he believes the Illinois Constitution prohibits.

Rep. Elaine Nekritz is 1 of the proposal's authors, and she says it remains to be seen how the Supreme Court would rule.

Nekritz also says a new provision to guarantee Illinois will meet its funding obligations may sway justices.

Cullerton says he'll take a closer look.

Quinn's Prison Cuts Stand

Governor Pat Quinn's prison cuts will stand. The House failed to take up the governor's amendatory veto, which deleted money for Tamms, Dwight and other facilities out of the budget lawmakers approved. State Rep Raymond Poe is disappointed the governor took the money out in the first place.

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The House left Springfield without voting to override Governor Quinn's veto that removed funding for Dwight and Tamms plus youth centers and halfway houses. Poe says this shows the governor isn't in tune with the people's wishes.

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The Senate overrode the veto last week.

Champaign Fire Engines Headed To Ebay

The city of Champaign is in the market for some new fire trucks and just about anyone could end up with old ones - if they submit the highest bid. The city plans to auction three old fire trucks on eBay. The trucks destined for online auctions include a 50-year-old model that doesn't always start and two 18-year-old trucks with about 90,000 miles on them. Fire Chief Doug Forsman says the city expects to get $,5,000 to $10,000 for each. That won't help much with the cost of the new engines. The city plans to spend almost $1.5 million on them.

DeWitt County Salvation Army To Have Bell Ringers Out Once Again in 2012

As you head out to do your Christmas shopping over the next several weeks, you will probably here that familiar sound that comes with Christmas... The ringing of the Salvation Army bells.

DeWitt County's drive is underway, however, the local Salvation Army does their drive a little different than most. Ernie Harvey with DeWitt County's Salvation Army explains they have bell ringers out only on Friday and Saturday's each week.

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Last year, through efforts of the bell ringers, the Salvation Army was able to raise over $25-hundred. Harvey says all the money they are able to raise through the select few weekends, stays in DeWitt County. The bell ringers are scheduled to be out more weekends this year and Harvey hopes they can raise more money this year.

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Because this is the only fundraiser of the year for the Salvation Army, Harvey says once the funds run out that they raise in December during the Christmas season, they are no longer able to help people. Harvey notes, while a couple thousand dollars can go a long ways, he says it can be tough turning people away because there are no longer funds available.

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Bell ringers will be out at the Clinton Wal-Mart each Friday and Saturday until the end of the Christmas season. If you would like to give, but are unable to do so during the times bell ringers will be out, Harvey says you can take your contributions to First Christian Church, and the ladies in their office can direct those to the appropriate place.

Process To Re-Establish Downtown Clinton TIF District Nearly Complete

The new downtown TIF District has all but been finalized.

Establishing, or in Clinton's case, re-establishing a TIF district is a very long and drawn out process. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says recently they held public forums for business owners and residents in the new district to obtain information and ask question. She says those discussions included why businesses were on and why some were left off.

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There has also been some confusion that the TIF would cause a business or homeowners taxes to increase. The Mayor says that is not the case because the EAV is assessed by the County and they determine those values. She notes, this year, Clinton saw it's property values increase.

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Property values are set at the beginning of a certain period. Then after that period has expired, properties are re-assessed. The Mayor explains it is that difference in the values that goes into the TIF fund. If property values decrease, then no money is put into the TIF.

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Re-establishing this TIF district was very important for the development of the downtown and surrounding areas of Clinton. This fund is really the only source of revenue businesses can draw from to help development of their business.

The Mayor explains the fund is limited to businesses only. Residents in the TIF district unfortunately cannot draw from it.

Baseball Hot Stove Notes

>>Sox, Keppinger Agree To Deal

A person familiar with the contract tells The Associated Press that versatile infielder Jeff Keppinger has reached agreement with the Chicago White Sox on a $12 million, 3-year contract.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Wednesday because there was no announcement by the team.

Keppinger hit .325 with a career-high nine home runs and 40 RBIs for Tampa Bay last season. The well-traveled 32-year-old is known for making contact and has more walks than strikeouts during his 8-year career with the Rays, San Francisco, Houston, Cincinnati, Kansas City and the Mets.

Keppinger is expected to play third base for the White Sox. Kevin Youkilis finished the season at that spot for Chicago last season, then became a free agent. The New York Yankees and Arizona also had been interested in Keppinger.

>>Cubs, Schierholtz Agree To Terms

A person familiar with the negotiations says outfielder Nate Schierholtz and the Chicago Cubs are closing in on a 1-year, $2.25 million contract.

The person, speaking Wednesday on the condition of anonymity because the deal had not been finalized, confirmed reports by several media outlets. Schierholtz can earn an additional $500,000 in performance bonuses.

"I'm so excited for the opportunity to play in Chicago," Schierholtz said in a text message to The Associated Press.

Schierholtz was traded from San Francisco to Philadelphia last season in the deal that sent Hunter Pence to the Giants at the July 31 non-waiver deadline. He batted .257 with six homers in 114 games overall this year and is a .270 career hitter in six seasons.

The Phillies declined to tender Schierholtz a 2013 contract offer before last Friday's deadline, making him a free agent.

AP Baseball Writer Janie McCauley in San Francisco contributed to this report.

Bulls' Hamilton Out For Few Weeks; Kobe Reaches Milestone

>>Bulls Hamilton Out Two Weeks Chicago Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau says veteran guard Richard Hamilton could miss two weeks because of a foot injury. Hamilton sustained a left plantar fascia tear in Saturday's game against Philadelphia and didn't play in Tuesday's loss to Indiana. Thibodeau said before Wednesday night's game against Cleveland that Hamilton, who is averaging 13.9 points, will probably miss a week or two. The Bulls have played the entire season without point guard Derrick Rose, who underwent reconstructive surgery on his left knee during last season's playoffs. Thibodeau has given no timetable on when the former MVP will return. >>Kobe Reaches 30,000 Career Points In Lakers Win (New Orleans, LA) -- Kobe Bryant scored 29 points to surpass 30,000 career points in the Lakers' 103-87 win over the Hornets in New Orleans. The 34-year-old Bryant becomes the youngest player to reach the milestone and fifth overall in NBA history, joining Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Karl Malone, Michael Jordan and Wilt Chamberlain. He currently ranks fifth in NBA history with 30,016 career points. Abdul-Jabbar holds the record with 38,387 points. Metta World Peace added 11 points and nine rebounds in the contest to become the sixth player in NBA history to record 12,000 points, 4,000 rebounds, 1,000 three-pointers and 1,500 steals in a career.

Bulls Win

>>Deng Leads Bulls Over Cavs

Marco Belinelli scored a season-high 23 points, Luol Deng added 22 and the Chicago Bulls took control early on to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 95-85 on Wednesday night.

Belinelli, starting his second straight game in place of injured shooting guard Richard Hamilton, helped the Bulls bounce back from a 4-point home loss to Indiana on Tuesday.

Chicago went ahead for good less than two minutes in and shot 66.7% in the first quarter.

The Cavaliers have lost 13 of 15 and are 2-7 since point guard Kyrie Irving broke his left index finger last month. Anderson Varejao recorded his 10th straight double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds - his 10th straight game with at least 15 boards.

Donald Sloan scored a season-high 14 points to lead Cleveland.

New York Knicks 100, Charlotte Bobcats 98
Indiana Pacers 99, Portland Trail Blazers 92
Golden State Warriors 104, Detroit Pistons 97
Boston Celtics 104, Minnesota Timberwolves 94
Chicago Bulls 95, Cleveland Cavaliers 85
Atlanta Hawks 108, Denver Nuggets 104
Los Angeles Lakers 103, New Orleans Hornets 87
San Antonio Spurs 110, Milwaukee Bucks 99
Utah Jazz 87, Orlando Magic 81
Sacramento Kings 107, Toronto Raptors 100
Los Angeles Clippers 112, Dallas Mavericks 90

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Florida Gators 72, Florida State Seminoles 47
#10 Gonzaga Bulldogs 71, Washington State Cougars 69
#17 Michigan State Spartans 76, Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions 44
#20 New Mexico Lobos 75, USC Trojans 67
#23 Oklahoma State Cowboys 61, South Florida Bulls 49

New layer...

T'eo Captures Lombardi Award

Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o continued to pick up more hardware on Wednesday by winning the Lombardi Award as the nation's top lineman or linebacker.  In addition to winning the Nagurski Award for the top defensive player and the Butkus Award as the best linebacker, Te'o is also a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.  The winner will be announced on Saturday.

Bears Notes; Broncos At Raiders For TNF

>>Cutler Says Bears Offense Needs To Pick Up Slack

Jay Cutler says it's up to the offense now for the Chicago Bears.

They're banged up on both sides of the ball, but the defense might be without its leader for the remainder of the season with Brian Urlacher sidelined by a hamstring injury.

Cutler says the offense has to "find a way" to pick up the slack.

The defense led the way early on as the Bears jumped out to a big start. The schedule took a tougher turn and the injuries mounted. It's added up to three losses in four games, and suddenly, the playoffs don't seem like such a lock for the Bears (8-4). Things could really get dicey with a loss at Minnesota this week.

>>Vikings Place Harvin On IR

(Minneapolis, MN) -- Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Percy Harvin's season came to an end on Wednesday when the team decided to place him on the Injured Reserve List. Harvin, who was in the midst of a breakout season, injured his ankle Week Nine against the Seahawks. Through nine games, the fourth-year wide out had 62 catches for 677 yards and three touchdowns. The most catches Harvin had previously was 87 in 16 games in 2011. Minnesota is currently clinging onto playoff hopes at 6-and-6 along with three other teams in the NFC. The final wild card spot is held by the Seahawks at 7-and-5. The Vikings host the Bears Sunday afternoon.

>>Streaking Broncos Look To Keep Raiders Reeling

(Oakland, CA) -- The Denver Broncos take a seven-game winning streak into the Black Hole for a Thursday night showdown with the Oakland Raiders. The Broncos are enjoying their longest winning streak since 1998 and have already clinched the AFC West at 9-and-3. Peyton Manning passed for 338 yards and three touchdowns as Denver defeated Oakland 37-6 in Week Four. The Broncos are still fighting for a first-round bye, tied with Baltimore and New England for the AFC's second seed. The Raiders have dropped five in-a-row and are just 3-and-9 overall. Oakland surrendered 364 yards passing to rookie Brandon Weeden in a 20-17 home loss to Cleveland on Sunday. The Raiders are allowing an NFL worst 31.3 points per game and will miss the playoffs for the tenth straight season.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-6

December 5, 2012


Jail Population: 68

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 3:31 p.m on Monday, December 3, revealed that a vehicle driven by Meyer Chapman, 64, Champaign, was traveling west bound on State Highway 10 near intersection of State Highway 54 while approaching illuminated squad car parked in the road way. Meyer veered into the east bound lane realizing the road was blocked by fire department and another vehicle in the roadway. Meyer turned into a parking lot to turn around. Officer Alex Lovell, 33, Clinton, saw Meyer evade the blocked intersection and proceeded into parking lot behind Meyer. Meyer backed into Lovell not realizing the squad car was behind him. Meyer and passenger had no visible signs of injuries and did not report any at the scene. Meyers vehicle was driven from the scene with minor damage. Clinton Police vehicle was driven from the scene. Meyer was issued citations for disobeying Police officer and operating uninsured motor vehicle.








DeWitt County Board To Work Without Committees

The DeWitt County Board Thursday night voted to eliminate Committees.

Newly appointed DeWitt County Board Chair, Sherry Brown at Monday's meeting explained she would like to see the Board as a whole work together for the Committee meetings. She says they would divide when committee and department heads would address the Board.

[audio:12712nocommittee1.mp3] [/audio]

Brown put together a proposal for the County Board members to view. After a 15 minute recess for each member to review the proposal, discussion followed. State's Attorney Karle Koritz had many issues with the proposal. One issues was the agenda was not specific to the modification of the code book, along with issues involving adequate notice of changes.

[audio:12712nocommittee2.mp3] [/audio]

He also had concerns with the ordinance specifically. He says the wording suggests the County Board can flip flop back and forth when wanting to go back to Committees. He suggested providing wording of having a super-majority vote because that change could be made several times during a Board's tenure.

[audio:12712nocommittee3.mp3] [/audio]

Many questions were raised about the ordinance involving decisions to be made by the Board before everyone had the opportunity to review what decisions they were making. Questions also surfaced about Board members voting on Committee recommendations without knowledge of the items they were voting on. Board member Camille Redman suggested perhaps the new Board members should take part in Committee Meetings to learn how they work before making major changes.

[audio:12712nocommittee4.mp3] [/audio]

Koritz was asked if he had seen a copy of the ordinance prior to the meeting, and he recognized he had, however, changes were made to it. Koritz later would state, he could not give his blessing on the document that would be called to a vote.

[audio:12712nocommittee5.mp3] [/audio]

The ordinance to eliminate Committees passed by a vote of 6-4. Those who voted against the ordinance were Dan Ballenger, David Newberg, Camille Redman, and Sue May. The Board as a whole will now meet the first three Thursday's of each month and will hear from department heads at those meetings and approve purchases, hirings, and any other items on the agenda.

State Police Encouraging Drivers To Slow Down Around Stranded Cars

Illinois State Police are reminding motorists to slow down and exercise caution around vehicle crashes and stranded cars because of the likelihood of pedestrians.

Officials said Tuesday pedestrians account for 13% of car-crash deaths.

State trooper Kyle Deatherage of St. Jacob was killed Nov. 26 when he was struck by a passing truck while conducting a traffic stop.

Police say motorists should be aware of stalled vehicles or crash sites, reduce speed and change lanes.

They say pedestrians should always walk on the outside edge of a roadway and in two-way traffic, walk facing oncoming traffic.

At night pedestrians should carry a flashlight or wear reflective clothing. If your vehicle stalls on a highway, attempt to call for assistance before walking along the road.

US Home Prices Rise In October By Most In Six Years

A measure of U.S. home prices rose 6.3% in October compared with a year ago - for the largest yearly gain since July 2006.

The jump adds to signs of a comeback in the once-battered U.S. housing market, but the news isn't all good for Illinois.

The report indicates home values increased in 45 states in October - with the biggest increase in Arizona, where prices rose 21.3%. The five states where prices declined were: Illinois, Delaware, Rhode Island, New Jersey, and Alabama.

Core Logic today also said prices declined 0.2% in October from September, the second drop after six straight monthly increases. The real estate data provider says the decline reflects the end of the summer home-buying season.

Trucker Probed In Trooper's Death Ordered To Park

Federal regulators say a Georgia-licensed trucker admits losing consciousness before his truck struck and killed an Illinois State Police trooper making a freeway traffic stop.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered Johnny Felton Jr. to immediately stop driving commercially, saying he's an imminent hazard because he failed to exercise appropriate care regarding his medical conditions.

The department didn't identify what conditions it said disqualify him from trucking. Felton declined to comment when reached by telephone at his home in Hinesville, Ga., on Tuesday.

No charges have been filed against Felton in the Nov. 26 accident near Litchfield that killed Illinois State Police trooper Kyle Deatherage. Authorities say Deatherage was working a traffic stop along Interstate 55 when he was hit by a tractor-trailer.

Quinn Not Concerned About Low Approval Rating

Governor Quinn has been called the most unpopular governor in the nation but he says, he's not concerned about that.

[audio:rddApprove1.mp3] [/audio]

A recent Public Policy Institute poll reveals only 25-percent of Illinois voters approve of the job Quinn is doing.

Too Early To Count Quinn Out For Reelection

Governor Quinn could face tough competition during his bid for re-election in 2014 but he says people shouldn't count him out so soon.

[audio:rddReelect1.mp3] [/audio]

Several Republicans have expressed interest in the state's top job, including state senator Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford, and Congressman Aaron Schock. A recent public policy poll puts Quinn's approval rating at just 25-percent.

Springfield To Conjure Up Lincoln Era Christmas

Ever wonder what Christmas felt like around the Lincoln household? Now's your chance to find out.

Springfield's second annual "An Historic Christmas!" will feature decorations from holidays past at Abraham Lincoln's home of 17 years and at half a dozen other historic sites in the city.

The event takes place for five hours on Saturday afternoon, Dec.15. It kicks off with a Christmas concert by Sound Celebration Chorus at the Lincoln Home Visitor Center.

The sites will also feature visits by Abraham and Mary Lincoln impersonators. Some will also offer period refreshments, including cider and gingerbread.

Among the other venues on the old-style Christmas tour are the Illinois Executive Mansion, the Pasfield House Inn and the Edwards Place Historic Home at the Springfield Art Association.

New Proposal Could Spur Pension Deal

Lawmakers will have a new proposal on the table Wednesday as part of efforts to fix Illinois' multibillion-dollar pension crisis.

Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz and about a dozen other lawmakers are expected to announce new legislation aimed at reducing the state's $95 billion pension liability.

The plan calls for raising employee contributions and a tiered retirement age. It also would phase in a plan to shift some of the costs for teachers' pensions to school districts.

Illinois' pension crisis is among the worst in the nation, but lawmakers have been unable to agree on legislation needed to fix it.

It remains to be seen whether Gov. Pat Quinn or legislative leaders will support this new proposal.

Defense Wants Beason Family Murder Trial Moved

The lawyer for a central Illinois man accused of killing five members of a Beason family has asked a judge to move the trial to another county.

Attorney Dan Fultz filed a motion Monday asking the judge to move Christopher Harris' trial, which is scheduled to begin on April 29. Fultz contends Harris can't get a fair trial in Logan County because of the sympathies residents still hold for the slain family.

Ruth and Rick Gee and 3 of their children were found beaten to death in their Beason home in September 2009.

Harris and his younger brother have pleaded not guilty to murder charges and the attempted murder of child who survived.

The judge set a Jan. 14 hearing on the attorney's motion.

Blue Ridge Sets In Motion Plan To Improve Football Program

One local school district is looking to rebuild a sports program that has struggled in recent years.

The Blue Ridge school district's football program has not been very successful in recent years, as they have not made the playoffs since 2001, which was also the last time they recorded a winning record. That has administrators, coaches, parents and even the athletes desiring change. Superintendent of Blue Ridge Schools, Susan Wilson explains recently, all parties met to discuss how to turn the program around.

[audio:12512blueridgefootball1.mp3] [/audio]

That discussion, Wilson feels, has led the program to take a lot of positive steps forward. Wilson notes they have already implemented a few things, but she says the effort is going to be from every aspect of the program. From the players, the students, the parents, and of course the coaches and administrators.

[audio:12512blueridgefootball2.mp3] [/audio]

Parents of football players stepped up and challenged each other to keep the kids accountable about getting to the weight room for lifting sessions and being at all practices. Wilson also says community members had a presence at the meeting as well and she explains they addressed changing the perception of the football program, and trying to eliminate any negativity towards the program.

[audio:12512blueridgefootball3.mp3] [/audio]

Wilson was proud of the way everyone at the meeting conducted themselves. She says there wasn't any "sugar-coating" of the issues, but at the same time, people spoke their minds in very respectful tones. Wilson called the meeting positive. She says she came away the most proud of the student athletes because they came up with several things could do and committed to doing to help improve the program.

Latest Labor Talks Produce Optimism For NHL Season

Meetings between NHL owners and players on Tuesday have produced optimism that an abbreviated season could be saved. A total of 18 current players attended the day's meetings after being invited by the NHL Players Association. NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr did not attend Tuesday's meetings, but remain in New York while talks are ongoing.

The league's Board of Governors has scheduled a meeting for 11 a.m. Eastern today to be followed by a 1 p.m. press conference from Bettman. The league has already cancelled games through December 14th including the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend. It is believed that if and when a deal is reached, it would take just 10 days for the season to begin.

Cubs Manager Accidentally Shot; Cards Considering Molina's Brother As Coach

>>Cubs' Sveum Accidentally Shot By Yount on Hunt

Chicago Cubs manager Dale Sveum says he was accidentally shot in the right ear and back by former teammate Robin Yount during a recent quail hunt in Arizona.

Sveum brushed off the mishap Tuesday at the baseball winter meetings. Sveum says the pellets drew blood, but adds he was OK and didn't need stitches.

Sveum and the Hall of Famer played together in Milwaukee and are hunting partners. Sveum said he was about 50 yards ahead of Yount when a bird went up. Yount pulled the trigger, but had lost track of Sveum and hit him.

"You don't get hit very often," Sveum said. "It's not that big a deal."

Yount got the bird, plus some razzing from his friend. Sveum said he started calling him "Dick Cheney," a reference to the former vice president who once accidentally shot a friend while hunting.

>>Cards Offer Molina Job

(Nashville,TN) -- The Cardinals are set to offer former major league catcher Bengie Molina their assistant hitting coach position. Bengie is the brother Cards' catcher Yadier Molina. If the sides come to terms it will most likely be announced after the Winter Meetings.

Urlacher Could Miss Rest of Season; Colts' Pagano Finishes Chemo

>>Urlacher Could Miss Rest of the Season

Linebacker Brian Urlacher acknowledges he could miss the rest of the regular season because of a hamstring injury, meaning he might have played his last game with the Chicago Bears.

In an interview Tuesday with FOX Chicago, Urlacher says doctors tell him he could be out "two to four weeks, three, could be four." The Chicago Tribune, citing sources, reported earlier in the day that he was expected to miss three games and possibly the rest of the regular season because of a Grade 2 right hamstring strain.

Urlacher came up lame in coverage on the second-to-last snap Sunday in an overtime loss to Seattle. The Bears (8-4) have four games left, starting this week at Minnesota. Urlacher's contract is expiring, meaning he might not suit up for them again.

>>Colts' Pagano Finishes Chemotherapy

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Colts head coach Chuck Pagano [[ puh-GAH-noh ]] could be one step closer to a return to the sidelines. The ailing coach finished his third and final round of chemotherapy on Tuesday in his battle with leukemia. Doctors say he could return to coach the Colts' regular-season finale against the Houston Texans on December 30th.

Indiana Outlasts Chicago

Paul George scored 34 points with nine rebounds to pace Indiana in an 80-76 win over the Bulls. Roy Hibbert added 10 points and 11 boards while David West had 10 points with nine rebounds and five assists. The Pacers won their third game in four tries to move to 9-and-9. Nate Robinson led Chicago with 19 points off the bench. Carlos Boozer had 14 points and 10 rebounds while Luol Deng added 17 points and seven boards. Chicago fell to 8-and-8 with the defeat.

Washington Wizards 105, Miami Heat 101
Minnesota Timberwolves 105, Philadelphia 76ers 88
Oklahoma City Thunder 117, Brooklyn Nets 111
Houston Rockets 107, Los Angeles Lakers 105
Memphis Grizzlies 108, Phoenix Suns 98 (OT

Illinois Edges Western Carolina; ISU Falls Late; Bradley Wins

>>Illinois Edges Western Carolina

Brandon Paul scored 14 points and No. 13 Illinois earned a 72-64 win over Western Carolina on Tuesday.

Western Carolina tied the game at 54-54 with 5:53 left.

Illinois guard D.J. Richardson hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions for a 62-56 lead. Richardson finished with 13 points.

After a Western Carolina turnover, Illini guard Tracy Abrams made two free throws and a basket on the following possession for a 66-56 lead.

Guard Preston Ross paced the Catamounts (3-6) with 17 points. James Sinclair added 13 points.

The Illini (9-0) play at No. 10 Gonzaga on Saturday.

Illinois was 3 of 14 from the field to start the game, but the Illini stretched the lead to 32-22 at halftime with a 15-8 run to end the half.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Michigan Wolverines 73, Western Michigan Broncos 41
#6 Louisville Cardinals 80, Charleston Cougars 38
#8 Arizona Wildcats 63, Southern Miss Golden Eagles 55
#11 Missouri Tigers 81, Southeastern Missouri Redhawks 65
#18 UNLV Rebels 68, Portland Pilots 60
#19 Kentucky Wildcats 88, Samford Bulldogs 56
#21 Minnesota Golden Gophers 88, South Dakota State Jackrabbits 64
#23 Georgetown Hoyas 64, Texas Longhorns 41 (Jimmy V Classic at New York, NY)
#24 North Carolina State Wolfpack 69, Connecticut Huskies 65 (Jimmy V Classic at New York, NY)

>>ISU Falls To Wyoming

Larry Nance Jr. scored 19 points and the Wyoming Cowboys ran their winning streak to nine with an 81-67 comeback win over Illinois State Tuesday night.

Wyoming trailed 43-29 at halftime, and was down 50-31 with 17 minutes left. A 14-0 Cowboys run pulled them within 60-59 with 8:32 to play, and Wyoming outscored the Redbirds 18-1 in the final 5 minutes.

Luke Martinez added 17 points for Wyoming, 9-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 Cowboys won their first 11. Leonard Washington and Josh Adams had 15 points apiece and Derrious Gilmore scored 13 for Wyoming, which shot 64% in the second half and 54% for the game.

Tyler Brown led Illinois State (5-3) with 22 points. Jon Ekey added 13 points and John Wilkins scored 12 for the Redbirds, who were coming off a 3-point loss Saturday at No. 5 Louisville.

The game was part of the Mountain West-Missouri Valley Challenge.

>>Bradley Edges George Washington

Jordan Prosser matched his career high with 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds, the Braves defense had 17 steals and Bradley narrowly escaped a second half surge by George Washington to hold on for a 72-68 victory Tuesday night.

Bradley (6-2) led 38-21 at halftime and took a 19-point lead just 13 seconds into the second half but the George Washington (4-4) outscored the Braves 47-32 the rest of the way and still came up short.

The Braves defense forced 23 turnovers and outscored George Washington 24-8 on turnovers.

Walt Lemon Jr. added 14 points, five steals and four assists for Bradley and teammate Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 11 points, pulled five rebounds and tallied five steals.

Patricio Garino was 10 of 17 from the field to lead the Colonials with 24 points and Isaiah Armwood recorded a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds.

Clinton High School English Department To Receive Much Needed Attention

As we've looked the past week, first year Clinton High School Principal Dr. Candice Swift has done some surveying of her departments and has identified needs and future improvements they may have.

One area of focus that is being given considerable focus is the English and Reading department. There are a lot of things to be done in the American Literature department. Dr. Swift explains currently there is a curriculum in place, but not for all grade levels. She has begun working with her teachers to begin the process of aligning their curriculum and materials with the new Common Core standards.

[audio:12612english1.mp3] [/audio]

As a part of updating and improving the curriculum, Dr. Swift wants to include writing and developing a research paper to prepare for college. As of right, there is no standard for senior students in the areas of writing. Her goal also would be to have a senior course that would align with the 'career readiness' portion of the common core.

[audio:12612english2.mp3] [/audio]

Right now the English department is in somewhat of a messy state. Dr. Swift says because there is no common curriculum written down, she does not know what books are being used by which teachers. She also explains there is also sharing of books amongst the teachers, which can create overlap in the learning for the students.

[audio:12612english3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Swift says there are currently books on their shelves, which may or may not be in use, that were used by her when she was in school.

Not all books in the English department are extremely outdated. She says they received new grammar books this year.

Illinois Joins Network To Track Prescription Drug Use

An Illinois medicine-monitoring program has joined a national data-sharing network to help prevent prescription drug abuse.

The Department of Human Services will link its prescription monitoring program to a National Association of Boards of Pharmacy network. It will help Human Services officials to better identify patients who have been issued duplicate prescriptions for controlled substances in different states.

To prevent abuse of prescriptions it will alert physicians and pharmacies when a patient has been given more than recommended dosages.

The program began in Illinois in 1986 but monitored only certain drugs.

Last year, the program collected 18 million prescription records which 19,000 doctors and pharmacies consult regularly.

Pension Troubles Continue To Plague Illinois

Illinois has an 83-billion-dollar underfunded pension liability but lawmakers aren't expected to do anything about it for at least another month. Jonathan Ingram with the Illinois Policy Institute says the state is losing millions of dollars each day because of the shortfall.

[audio:rddPensProb1.mp3] [/audio]

Ingram adds the state needs to shift away from a defined benefit plan.

[audio:rddPensProb2.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers have failed to reach a compromise on how to reform the system. Republicans criticize a cost-shift plan that would force local school districts and universities to pay more into the retirement systems. They say the shift will put too much of a burden on schools and families in their areas. Pension experts argue that of lawmakers don't do anything at all, or continue to push the problem down the road, retirees in Illinois will stop receiving a paycheck in between six and 20 years.

Top Illinois Lawmakers Back Immigrants' Licenses

Top Illinois Republicans plan to announce their support for providing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross of Oswego and Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno will join former GOP Gov. Jim Edgar at a news conference Tuesday at the state Capitol.

The plan awaiting a Senate floor vote would allow the 250,000 illegal immigrants who are already driving the chance to be tested, licensed, and buy insurance.

Uninsured immigrant motorists cause $64 million in damage claims each year.

Edgar joined Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Senate President John Cullerton two weeks ago in announcing support for Cullerton's legislation.

Cross and Radogno weren't there. Radogno blamed a scheduling conflict and a spokeswoman didn't know Cross' position at the time.

November In Illinois Dry, Cooler Than Normal

Illinois' state climatologist says November was abnormally cool and dry across the state.

Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says November's average precipitation was 1.26 inches - or 2.21 inches below normal. That makes last month the 17th driest November since record-keeping began in 1895. Precipitation was almost 10 inches below normal from January through November.

Angel says the statewide average temperature for November was almost 41 degrees - 1.1 degrees below normal.

But that's not the case when looking at the whole year so far. Preliminary data show the statewide average temperature was 57.3 degrees from January through November. That's 3.1 degrees above normal and the second-warmest on record.

Temperatures were warmer only in 1921, when they averaged almost 58 degrees from January through November.

Trial Date Set For Two Peoria Officers

Two veteran Peoria police officers are scheduled to stand trial early next year on charges that they attempted to cover up a drunken driving crash involving 1 of the officers.

A judge on Monday set a trial date of Feb. 25 for John Couve, a vice officer, and Sgt. Richard Glover.

Prosecutors contend that Couve crashed an unmarked SUV into an electrical transformer and knocked out power to 468 customers in the area and that Glover allegedly gave false information.

Both men are charged with official misconduct. Couve faces a charge of obstructing justice, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident.

The officers have been on unpaid leave since just before Labor Day. Both have pleaded not guilty.

Illinois State University President Retires

Illinois State University President Al Bowman is calling it quits.  Bowman announced his retirement yesterday, citing health concerns as his reason for stepping aside.  He says he had a serious surgery several years back and even though he's in good health right now, doctors suggest stepping away from the high pressure job will be best for his health in the long run.  Bowman has been the president at ISU for nine years. 

Clinton High School Social Studies Department In Need Of Updates

High School Principal Dr. Candice Swift in her first semester has begun somewhat of an investigation into the condition of the materials and curriculum of the high school.

As she has talked with department heads and teachers from each department, she has begun to make progress in finding out the needs of the classrooms, from both a materials standpoint, but also a curriculum standpoint. In the social studies department, Dr. Swift has identified some things they need to be addressing and her teachers are working on those.

[audio:12412socialstudies1.mp3] [/audio]

One area of concern for the social studies department is the aging text books. Dr. Swift says their history text books are nearly 20 years old and their sociology text books are in fact over 20 years old. She says the technology currently can be the bridging gap for the history the textbooks do not cover and same for subjects of sociological importance over the last 15-20 years.

[audio:12412socialstudies2.mp3] [/audio]

Since the textbooks are so old, Dr. Swift recognizes they are going to need updating. She explains though their dillema becomes, do they update using the iPads or do they continue using hard copy text books? She says that is something they are investigating, however, an answer may not come for another year or two.

[audio:12412socialstudies3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Swift has scoured the shelves of the high school's classrooms and storage rooms, finding equipment and other things that can be disposed of or thrown away. Over the next week we will continue to look at some of those areas Dr. Swift has looked at and what she has found, and also, what she has planned for the future of Clinton High School's materials.

Clinton Lady Maroons Top Maroa-Forsyth


CLINTON (8-1)    57
M-F                   41
CLINTON          16    14    18    9
M-F                  11     9     12    9

GINGER 3-5-12, HICKMAN 3-2-8, TOOL 7-3-18,
TOOHILL 4-1-10, SCOTT 1-1-3, BIEBER 1-4-6
TOTALS 19-16-56
MASON 2-2-6, FINCK 4-0-9, FLESNER 6-0-12,
COVENTRY 1-0-2, CURRIE 1-0-2, SNYDER 3-3-10
TOTALS 17-5-41
M-F 2  (FINCK 1, SNYDER 1)

New County Board Sworn In; Changes Proposed


Eight new DeWitt County Board members were sworn in on Monday night. Along with those eight, a new County Board Chair, Vice-Chair were named, and also new to the County Board was the State's Attorney.

 width=Sherry Brown was unanimously named the County's Chair, and Pete Dougherty was unanimously named the Vice-Chair. Normally the process of Monday night would have been the naming of committees and their chairs. However, newly named Board Chair Brown proposed a little bit of a shake-up.

[audio:12412newboard2.mp3] [/audio]

Because the action would require amending of the County Board's rules, newly elected State's Attorney Karle Koritz will have to investigate if this can be done. He explains County Board rules state there is to be a Chairperson and four members.

[audio:12412newboard2.mp3] [/audio]

New Board Member George Wissmiller says in his time around County Board's, the system proposed seems to work the best. He explains there is much more transparency, all Board Members are in the know of the workings and discussions of all departments of the County.

[audio:12412newboard3.mp3] [/audio]

The County Board has set a special meeting for Thursday to further discuss and take action on amending their rules by which they govern. It is estimated, holding fewer meetings would save the County $90 per month.

Also at the special meeting, the Cencom and ETSB Board's will be set, the 708 Board members will be determined, along with he DCDC, the Friendship Center, and the Bi-County Health Department Board's will be nominated for.


Baseball Notes

>>A-Rod Injury Highlights First Day At Winter Meetings

(Nashville, TN) -- The news of an injury to Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez stole the headlines on the first day of the Winter Meetings in Nashville. "A-Rod" will have arthroscopic surgery to correct a torn labrum, bone impingement and cyst in his left hip and is expected to miss the first half of next season. In terms of transactions, the Red Sox agreed to a three-year contract with catcher Mike Napoli [[ NAP-oh-lee ]]. He spent the last two seasons with the Rangers.

Texas agreed to terms with catcher Geovany Soto and are also reportedly close to signing reliever Joakim Soria to a two-year deal. Outfielder Angel Pagan [[ pah-GAHN ]] is also returning to the World Series champion Giants on a four-year contract. The Rays also inked first baseman James Loney to a one-year deal. Loney split time between the Dodgers and Red Sox and was apart of the blockbuster trade between the two sides. The Padres are also bringing back right-hander Jason Marquis on a one-year contract. The Winter Meetings continue through Thursday.

>>Deshaies Joins Cubs TV Crew

Former major league pitcher Jim Deshaies has agreed to a 4-year contract to serve as a Chicago Cubs television analyst.

WGN-TV and the Cubs announced the agreement Monday. Deshaies will work with Len Kasper in the booth and replace Bob Brenly, who left in October to return to broadcasting for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Deshaies has been serving since 1997 as an analyst in Houston, where he spent most of his playing career. He was 84-95 with a 4.14 ERA in 12 major league seasons.

Skins Take One From Giants On MNF

Robert Griffin the Third hit Pierre Garcon on an eight-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter to lead the Redskins in a 17-16 win over the Giants.  RG3 finished with 163 yards passing and 72 more on the ground as Washington improved to 6-and-6 with its third straight win.  The Skins and Cowboys are just a game back of the now 7-and-5 Giants in the NFC East.  Garcon had 106 yards receiving on eight catches and Alfred Morris rushed for 124 yards in the win.  Josh Morgan also scored for the Skins when he recovered a fumble by RG3.  Eli Manning had 280 yards with a touchdown for the Giants.  Ahmad Bradshaw ran for 103 yards while Victor Cruz had 104 yards receiving for New York.

NIU Promotes Assistant Coach; Heisman Finalists Announced

>>NIU Promotes Offensive Coordinator To Coach

Northern Illinois has promoted offensive coordinator Rod Carey to head coach, replacing the departed Dave Doeren.

The school announced the move Sunday - the same day it accepted an invitation to the Orange Bowl. Doeren was hired Saturday by North Carolina State to replace the fired Tom O'Brien after leading NIU (12-1) to Mid-American Conference championships in each of his two seasons.

The Huskies were 23-4 with a 17-1 record in conference play under him. Now, they're turning to Carey, who will make his debut against ACC champion Florida State.

He has spent two years on the staff and moved up from line coach to coordinator after the first game this year when Mike Dunbar left the team for health reasons.

>>Notre Dame's Te'o A Finalist For Heisman Trophy

(Undated) -- Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o is a finalist for the Heisman Trophy. He is joined by Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein and Texas A&M freshman QB Johnny Manziel. Te'o will attempt to become just the second defensive player to win the award after Michigan's Charles Woodson in 1997. The Heisman will be awarded Saturday in New York City.

Colts' McGlynn Confronts Lions' Suh After Injury Taunt

Colts tackle Mike McGlynn is taking exception to some Detroit Lions allegedly celebrating an injury to tackle Winston Justice on Sunday.  According to the "Indianapolis Star," McGlynn confronted the Lions' Ndamukong Suh [[ en-DOM-uh-kon  Soo ]] after he says Suh and several Detroit players pointed and laughed at Justice after Suh knocked him down following an interception.  Justice suffered a concussion.

Bulls Welcome Pacers Tonight

The Bulls welcome the Indiana Pacers to United Center tonight. Chicago has won two straight to improve to 8-and-7 on the young season. The Pacers enter tonight's game at 8-and-9.

Portland Trail Blazers 118, Charlotte Bobcats 112 (OT)
Detroit Pistons 89, Cleveland Cavaliers 79
New Orleans Hornets 102, Milwaukee Bucks 81
Denver Nuggets 113, Toronto Raptors 110
Los Angeles Clippers 105, Utah Jazz 104
Orlando Magic 102, Golden State Warriors 94

Illini At Home, Ranked 14 In Country

>>Illinois Hosts Western Carolina Tonight

(Champaign, IL) -- Illinois will host Western Carolina at Assembly Hall tonight. The 14th-ranked Illini improved to 8-and-0 following last week's win over Georgia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Western Carolina is just 3-and-5 this season.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#6 Syracuse Orange 84, Eastern Michigan Eagles 48
#21 San Diego State Aztecs 74, Texas Southern Tigers 62

>>IU, Duke Remain Top-Two In "USA Today" Poll

(Undated) -- Indiana remains the number-one team in this week's "USA Today" men's college basketball poll. The 8-and-0 Hoosiers received 25-of-31 first-place votes. Duke is still number-two, but picked up two more first-place votes this week with six. Michigan remains third, followed by Syracuse and Florida. Louisville, Ohio State, Arizona, Kansas and Gonzaga round out the top-ten.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-3

December 3, 2012


Jail Population: 70

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 2


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 4:30 a.m. on Saturday, December 1, revealed that a vehicle driven by Patrick Coyle, 54, Washington, was traveling southbound on County Highway 16. Coyle dozed off. Coyle realized it was too late to stop at the intersection and pulled the steering wheel right, entering an empty field. Coyle struck the ditch causing airbags to deploy and the vehicle came to rest in the field. Coyle was transported to St. Joseph Hospital by DeWitt County EMS. The vehicle was towed by Baum’s Towing. Coyle was issued citations for Failure to reduce speed/Accident and Disobey Traffic Control Device.


Investigation into the scene of an accident which occurred at approximately 2:37 a.m. on Sunday, December 2, revealed that a vehicle driven by Donald Sturgeon, 42, Beason, was traveling west bound on State Route 10 near Y-end road. Sturgeon lost control of the vehicle, driving off the roadway on the North bound side. Sturgeon overturned in the ditch on the north side of roadway, facing south. Sturgeon was issued citations for DUI, failure to reduce speed to avoid an accident and leaving the scene of a Property Damage Accident.

UPDATED: House Fire Early Tuesday Claims Life of Elderly Clinton Man

 width=The Clinton Fire Department responded to a house fire this Tuesday morning at 321 South Walnut Street
in Clinton just before 2 am.

Clinton Fire Chief Shawn Milton says prior to the arrival of the Fire Department, they were told
a man was trapped in the home. Upon their arrival, they entered through a bedroom window and
pulled the elderly man out.

[audio:12512housefire1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton says the fire was contained mostly to the kitchen of the home, which is all but
destroyed. He says other parts of the house are now either heat or smoke damaged.

[audio:12512housefire2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton says one of the men at the house had left the stove unattended with oil cooking.
The Chief says the house was shut up for the winter months, and the home became very hot,
very quickly.

[audio:12512housefire3.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Milton says 30 firefighters from Clinton, Wapella, and Kenney were on scene for about 3

The fire claimed the life of 87-year old Douglass Fleming of Clinton. DeWitt County Coroner Randy Rice said an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday, at which time they will know the official cause of death.

Clinton Home To New Pharmacy

Clinton is the home of a new pharmacy.

 width=Sav Mor Pharmacy opened their doors Monday morning for business. Sav Mor Pharmacy owner Dave Fulk explains they have a service unique to the area, home delivery. He says they deliver within an approximate 20-mile radius.

[audio:12512savmor1.mp3] [/audio]

Sav Mor Pharmacy is your traditional retail pharmacy, however, Fulk notes they can do compound prescriptions. He explains compound prescriptions are a special type of prescription.

[audio:12512savmor2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Along with being a retail pharmacy, Sav Mor also has a full line of vitamins and other health care products. Fulk says if there is something that you need that is not on their shelves, they can special order it for you.

[audio:12512savmor3.mp3] [/audio]

Fulk says being from the area, he understands the needs of the area, and he explains they felt the area could use an independent pharmacy, and that they can deliver a better service.

Judge: Religious Groups Can't Defend Gay Marriage Ban

Three religious groups will not be allowed to defend the state's ban on gay marriages. Lambda Legal Marriage Project Director Camilla Taylor says a Cook County judge made the right decision Friday when she decided to keep the churches from joining the case.

[audio:rddGayMar1.mp3] [/audio]

Taylor says the groups don't have a stake in the case because it only involves civil marriage, and whether the government can decide who can and can't get married.

[audio:rddGayMar2.mp3] [/audio]

Twenty-five gay and lesbian couples filed suit back in June, claiming the gay marriage ban discriminates against them and violates their freedom to marry. The state's attorney general and the Cook County state's attorney sided with the same sex couples, calling the ban unconstitutional and refused to defend the case. Two downstate attorneys will defend the case, instead. The Illinois Family Institute was one of the groups looking to defend the ban. The group considers marriage an institution ordained by God, not a civil right.

Hundreds Attend Funeral of Illinois Trooper

 width=Hundreds of law enforcement officers are attending the funeral of an Illinois State Trooper who was struck and killed by a passing tractor-trailer during a traffic stop this week.

Kyle Deatherage, of St. Jacob in southwestern Illinois, was killed Monday morning on Interstate 55 near Litchfield.

During Saturday's services, the Rev. Larry Chute said "thank you doesn't cut it" in paying tribute to the trooper.

Deatherage had been a member of the Illinois State Police since May 2009. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.

His family released a statement thanking the community for their support and urging people to watch for emergency safety workers when driving.

Out of State of Enrollment Up At University of Illinois

A published report says that 25% of University of Illinois undergraduates at the flagship campus are from outside Illinois, which is a departure from years past when officials pledged to limit out-of-state enrollment.

The change is expected to continue.

In 2006 when the university announced plans to enroll more students from outside Illinois, there was public outcry and the plan was dropped. Officials said they'd limit out-of-state enrollment to roughly 12%.

Enrollment at the Urbana-Champaign campus is nearly 32,000, more than 3,500 students a decade ago. But there are 200 fewer from Illinois while the number of international students - who pay more tuition - skyrocketed.

The university is accepting more out-of-staters and Illinois students are increasingly turning down admission.

Flu Bug Hits Area Early In 2012

With winter approaching, flu season has already begun to creep it's way into the community.

Ever since the summer, local health officials say the flu bug has been spreading and very rampant. Sandy Rice, Business Director of the Doctor John Warner Hospital, says within the past few weeks, the hosptial has been seeing more and more cases of the stomach flu.

[audio:12112flu1.mp3] [/audio]

Food preparation can go a long ways in keeping yourself free of the flu. People tend to leave food out at various lengths of time. Rice recommends cooking your food and refrigerating it properly. She adds while hand sanitizers are great at times, nothing can be as effective as soap and water for your hands.

[audio:12112flu2.mp3] [/audio]

This is the typical season to see pneumonia more. Rice recommends to always leave the house with a coat, and somtimes hat, no matter how nice out it may be. This is especially important for children.

[audio:12112flu3.mp3] [/audio]

Rice recommends seniors take advantage of flu shots offered at most major pharmacies and also at the hospital.

For more information on the flu bug, you can go to www.djwhospital.com.

Clinton Art Program In Need of New Structure, New Supplies

First year Principal at Clinton High School, Dr. Candice Swift has done a sweep of the school's classroom supplies and curriculum resources, and her findings may surprise you.

In her first three months or so on the job, Dr. Swift has met with department heads, and teachers in each of the various departments to find out what they need. Her findings have interesting, if not surprising, to say the least. Starting in the art department, Dr. Swift says she and art teacher Traci Manning found supplies almost 20 years and some things as old as the building.

[audio:113012art1.mp3] [/audio]

One thing both Dr. Swift and Manning feel would benefit students in the art program at the high school would be introductory courses and modifications made to the curriculum. Manning says she has some great students who do great work, however, she feels there are overlapping lessons for students who take more than one art class.

[audio:113012art2.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Swift compares no foundational courses to putting a student in algebra or trigonometry without giving them algebra I or geometry. The proposal from the two offers four semester long courses with an introductory course. Manning says not only would introductory and structured courses remove the overlap and gap in teaching, but it would give students confidence as they continue to move along in the curriculum.

County Approves Tax Increase For Future Animal Shelter Funds

The Fiscal Year 13 budget in DeWitt County calls for a tax increase to generate funds for a new animal control facility.


Finance Chair for the DeWitt County Board, Ed Young explains there was eight cents left in a levy the County had. Young says because of interest expressed over the past year, the Finance Committee has put the line in to allow funds to build the new facility. The tax would generate about $400-thousand.

[audio:12312newtax1.mp3] [/audio]

Board Member Pete Dougherty says this tax is a classic case of "rat-holing money". He feels there is no reason to tax for another almost half-million dollars when the County's Building Depreciation Fund is already quite healthy, with over $600-thousand there.

[audio:12312newtax2.mp3] [/audio]

Supporter of the animal shelter, and County Board Chair Melonie Tilley expressed concerns over the new animal shelter. Tilley explains it was never her intentions to have the tax rate raised to help fund this project. While she did not know how it would be funded, she always felt they would find a way to do that.

[audio:12312newtax3.mp3] [/audio]

Board member Terry Ferguson expressed disagreement with using funds from the Building Depreciation Fund to support the animal shelter. He felt as though that money was in place to be an emergency fund for the now aging County Building, and to use money from that fund to build an animal shelter would take away from future emergencies. He adds, to put another tax increase on top of the new tax for the ambulance, would make this not a good time to add a tax to the people.

[audio:12312newtax4.mp3] [/audio]

The tax increase passed, but not by a majority vote. It was a 4-4 tie with Dana Evans abstaining from voting. Those who voted to add funds to the Building Depreciation Fund through a tax hike were Camille Redman, Laura Enger, Terry Ferguson, and Young.

The tax rate in the building depreciation fund will go from 20 cents to 27 cents.


Baseball's Winter Meetings Start Today

Executives from all 30 Major League Baseball teams are gathered in Nashville, Tennessee this week for the Winter Meetings.  Teams will meet with agents and each other to discuss signing free agents and making trades.  The week marks the unofficial start of baseball's offseason and when the hot stove begins to heat up.  Rangers slugger Josh Hamilton, Angels pitcher Zack Greinke and Braves outfielder Michael Bourn are some of the top free agents on the market.  This is the fifth time Nashville has hosted the event. 

Bears Lose Late; Pack Tops Minnesota; Luck Leads Indy In Final Moments

 width=>>OT Touchdown Lifts Seahawks Over Bears

Russell Wilson connected with Sidney Rice on a 13-yard touchdown with 7:33 left in overtime to lift the Seattle Seahawks to a wild 23-17 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

Unbeaten in five home games, the Seahawks finally figured a way to win on the road after dropping 5 of their first six, and knocked off the NFC North leaders in the process.

This one sure was dramatic.

Seattle took a short-lived lead late in regulation on Wilson's 14-yard pass to Golden Tate, only to watch the Bears' Robbie Gould boot a 46-yard field goal as time expired to send it into OT.

Wilson finished with 293 yards and a pair of scores for Seattle, which moved to 7-and-5. Rice and Golden Tate each had over 95 yards and a score in the win. Marshawn Lynch rushed for 87 yards and a TD for the Hawks.

Bears kicker Robbie Gould hit a 46-yard field goal as time expired to send the game to OT. Jay Cutler tossed for 233 yards and two touchdowns for Chicago, which dropped to 8-and-4. Brandon Marshall hauled in 10 balls for 165 yards.

The Seahawks got their only other road win at Carolina.

 width=>>Rams Rally To Stun 49ers In Overtime

(St. Louis, MO) -- Greg Zuerlein nailed a game-winning 54-yard field goal with 26 seconds left in overtime, as the Rams stunned the 49ers, 16-13. Janoris Jenkins' two-yard fumble return for a touchdown tied the game with just over three minutes left in regulation. After a David Akers field goal with 1:34 to go, Zuerlein booted a 53-yard field goal as time ran out to force the extra period. Sam Bradford finished 26-of-39 for 221 yards for the Rams, who have won two in-a-row to improve to 5-6-and-1. Colin Kaepernick threw for 208 yards and ran for 84 yards on nine carries, but had the costly fumble deep in St. Louis territory that resulted in the game-tying score. The rookie was also whistled for a safety in the third quarter. Frank Gore rushed for 58 yards and a TD for the Niners, who fell to 8-3-and-1. The teams were 26 seconds shy of tying for the second time this season, a feat that hasn't happened since 1963.

>>Colts Clip Lions Late

(Detroit, MI) -- Andrew Luck connected with Donnie Avery from 14-yards out to give the Colts a 35-33 win over the Lions as time expired. Luck finished with four scores, three interceptions and 391 yards for Indianapolis, which improved to 8-and-4. Avery had two TDs and 91 yards in the win. The Colts host the Titans next week.

 width=>>Packers Bounce Back With Win Over Vikings

(Green Bay, WI) -- Aaron Rodgers threw for 286 yards and a touchdown as the Packers bounced back to beat the Vikings, 23-14. James Starks rushed for 66 yards and a TD, while James Jones had the lone receiving score for the Packers. Green Bay had its five-game winning streak snapped with a 38-10 loss to the Giants last week. Adrian Peterson rumbled for 210 yards and a TD for the Vikings, who have lost two in-a-row and four-of-five overall. Christian Ponder finished 12-of-25 for just 119 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions in the setback.

Buffalo Bills 34, Jacksonville Jaguars 18
New England Patriots 23, Miami Dolphins 16
New York Jets 7, Arizona Cardinals 6
Houston Texans 24, Tennessee Titans 10
Kansas City Chiefs 27, Carolina Panthers 21
Denver Broncos 31, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23
Cleveland Browns 20, Oakland Raiders 17
Cincinnati Bengals 20, San Diego Chargers 13
Pittsburgh Steelers 23, Baltimore Ravens 20
Dallas Cowboys 38, Philadelphia Eagles 33

New York Knicks 106, Phoenix Suns 99
Orlando Magic 113, Los Angeles Lakers 103

Two Missouri Valley Teams Nearly Pull Off Upsets Saturday

 width=>>No. 5 Louisville Survives ISU

Russ Smith scored 24 points and Peyton Siva added 20, including four 3-pointers, to help No. 5 Louisville edge Illinois State 69-66 on Saturday.

Down 3 with a chance to tie, Illinois State's Tyler Brown airballed a 3-pointer with eight seconds left that was saved by Bryant Allen to Jackie Carmichael. Carmichael found Brown for another chance at overtime, drawing considerable contact from Louisville's Chane Behanan as the buzzer sounded. Louisville (6-1) claimed the win with the shot awry and no foul called.

Up 67-66 with 43 seconds left, Behanan missed two free throws but made amends on the next defensive possession, pinning a Carmichael shot on the glass and grabbing the rebound. That set up Siva for two free throws for the game's final margin.

Illinois State (5-2) led 61-60 with 4:25 to play after being up nearly the entire first half. Brown led all scorers with.

 width=>>No. 3 Michigan Survives Bradley

Freshman Nik Stauskas scored 22 points in his first start and No. 3 Michigan survived a late run to beat Bradley 74-66 on Saturday.

Stauskas started for Matt Vogrich and delivered early with eight first-half points to help the Wolverines (7-0) hold onto a narrow halftime lead, 34-30.

Walt Lemon Jr. led Bradley (5-2) on a late run to close to 70-65 with half a minute to play. But the Braves were force to foul and the Wolverines held on to win.

Trey Burke added 16 in the Wolverines' first trip to Bradley since 1997. Glenn Robinson III scored 13 and Jordan Morgan scored 10 and pulled down 10 rebounds.

Lemon led Bradley with 15 points. Tyshon Pickett added 11 for the Braves.

ISU Survives Appalachian State

 width=Matt Brown threw for five touchdowns and 322 yards and Illinois State blocked the game-tying PAT in overtime to beat Appalachian State 38-37 Saturday in the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.

Brown, who was voted 2012 Missouri Valley Football Conference Offensive Player of the Year, was 20 of 32 passing for the Redbirds, who made their first playoff appearance since 2006 and handed Appalachian State (8-4) its third-straight postseason loss.

Illinois State (9-3) entered the fourth quarter with a 28-17 lead but Appalachian State outscored the Redbirds 14-3 in the quarter to send the game into overtime.

After Brown threw his fifth touchdown of the day - a 25-yarder to James O'Shaughnessy that gave Illinois State a 38-31 overtime lead - Jamal Jackson and Appalachian State answered three plays later with a touchdown pass to cut the deficit to 38-37.

However, Illinois State blocked the ensuing PAT kick to seal the win.

Northern Illinois Splashes Into BCS Orange Bowl

 width=>>Northern Illinois Splashes Into BCS Bowl Game

Northern Illinois has busted the BCS, and is heading to the Orange Bowl.

The Mid-American champions (12-1) finished 15th in the final Bowl Championship Series standings. Finishing in the top 16 and ahead of a qualifying conference champion meant the Huskies were automatically BCS-bound, and they'll play Atlantic Coast Conference champion Florida State (11-2) on Jan. 1 in Miami.

Northern Illinois actually finished ahead of 2 conference titlists, Big East winner Louisville and Big Ten champion Wisconsin.

The Huskies beat Kent State for the MAC title on Friday night.

Dave Doeren will not coach the Huskies in the Orange Bowl. He was hired Saturday as the new coach at North Carolina State.

>>Irish, Tide To Meet In BCS Title Game

(Irving, TX) -- The top-ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish will face the number-two Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship Game in Miami on January 7th. Notre Dame finished 12-and-0 and will be playing for its first-ever BCS title. Alabama has won two of the last three title games. Pac-12 champion Stanford will face Big Ten title game winner Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl on January 1st. Big East champion Louisville will take on Florida from the SEC in the Sugar Bowl on January 2nd. The Fiesta Bowl pits Big-12 champion Kansas State against Oregon from the Pac-12 on January 3rd.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

November 30, 2012


Jail Population: 66

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 1, 2012


Jail Population: 69

Summons Served:

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 2, 2012


Jail Population: 69

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


Valencia Bryant, 32, Decatur, was issued a citation for speeding, 65 in a 45 mph zone. Bryant posted her IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.


Patrick Coyle, 54, Washington, was issued citations for failure to reduce speed/accident and disobeying traffic control device. Coyle was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Janet Cunningham, 42, Forsyth, was issued a citation for speeding 74 in a 55 mph zone. Cunningham was posed her IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.


Marissa Nanez, 21, Wapella, was issued citations for 2 counts of driving under the influence, operating an un-insured vehicle and improper lane usage. Nanez posted her IL Drivers License as the necessary bond and was released.


Donald Sturgeon 42, Beason, was issued citations for driving under the influence, failure to reduce speed/accident, leaving the scene of a property damage accident. Sturgeon posted the necessary bond and was released.


Jason Brown, 30, Clinton, was issued a citation for operating uninsured vehicle. Brown posted his IL Drivers License as the necessary bond and was released.






Clinton Police Weekend Report














DeWitt County EMS Begins New Era of Service To County


DeWitt County's Emergency Medical Services, owned and operated by Paramedic Services of Illinois took over the ambulances services from the Dr. John Warner Hospital effective Saturday morning.

 width=DeWitt County EMS, as they will be known, obtained a property at 1410 East Jefferson, right off Route 54. Mike Hanson, Vice President of PSI, feels the new facility is going to serve the new operation well. He feels the location is going to be ideal for the four ambulances coming and going from the facility.

[audio:12412DCEMS1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Because the location was a former business location, Hanson explains most of the now living quarters were formerly offices. He explains they had to hire local contractors in their efforts to really transform the place into a facility appropriate for EMS crews to live and work from.

[audio:12412DCEMS2.mp3] [/audio]

 width=DeWitt County EMS has hired all local employees. Hanson says their staff consists of about half of the employees from the Dr. John Warner Hospital, and notes none of their staff is from the Chicago area.

[audio:12412DCEMS3.mp3] [/audio]

 width=The company plans to be very active in the community. Hanson explains they plan on working with the local law enforcement agencies in hosting health and safety clinics, such as CPR Training exercises, proper ways to fasten children into vehicle seats, and many other things.

[audio:12412DCEMS4.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County EMS took over ambulance services effective 7 am Saturday morning.



Brooklyn Nets 98, Orlando Magic 86
Philadelphia 76ers 104, Charlotte Bobcats 98
Toronto Raptors 101, Phoenix Suns 97
Cleveland Cavaliers 113, Atlanta Hawks 111
Boston Celtics 96, Portland Trail Blazers 78
New York Knicks 108, Washington Wizards 87
Memphis Grizzlies 90, Detroit Pistons 78
Minnesota Timberwolves 95, Milwaukee Bucks 85
Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Utah Jazz 94
Indiana Pacers 97, Sacramento Kings 92
Los Angeles Lakers 122, Denver Nuggets 103

NCAA Football  (BCS Standings)
#8 Stanford Cardinal 27, #16 UCLA Bruins 24 (Pac-12 Championship)
#21 Northern Illinois Huskies 44, #17 Kent State Golden Flashes 37 (2OT) (MAC Championship at Detroit, MI)

NCAA Top-25 Basketball  ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Syracuse Orange 91, Arkansas Razorbacks 82
#10 Kansas Jayhawks 84, Oregon State Beavers 78 (at Kansas City, MO)
#25 Georgetown Hoyas 37, Tennessee Volunteers 36


Bulls Battle Sixers

The Chicago Bulls welcome in the Philadelphia 76ers on Saturday night.  The Bulls have won two-of-three to move to 7-and-7.  The Bulls close the four-game homestand on Tuesday against Indiana.

Seahawks Square Off With Bears At Soldier

  The Seattle Seahawks and Chicago Bears look to continue their drive to the playoffs as they face off Sunday at Soldier Field.  The Bears snapped a two-game skid with a 28-10 home win over the Vikings in Week 12.  Quarterback Jay Cutler returned after missing most of the last two games with a concussion.  The Bears are 8-and-3 overall, including a 5-and-1 mark at home.

49ers, Rams Rematch In St. Louis

 NFC West rivals meet for the second time this season when the San Francisco 49ers take on the St. Louis Rams Sunday at the Edward Jones Dome.  The two teams battled to a 24-all tie in San Francisco in Week 10.  Quarterback Alex Smith suffered a concussion in that game and second-year signal-caller Colin Kaepernick [[ CAP-er-nick ]] has led the team to two wins in his place. Head coach Jim Harbaugh announced he is sticking with the hot hand this week even though Smith is now healthy and cleared to play.  The Niners lead the division at 8-2-and-1.  The Rams picked up their first win since Week Five with a 31-17 victory at Arizona this past Sunday.  St. Louis is 4-6-and-1.

N. Illinois wins MAC in double OT over Kent St

Jordan Lynch ran for three touchdowns, including a 2-yarder in the second overtime, and Demetrius Stone's interception in the end zone gave No. 19 Northern Illinois a 44-37 victory over No. 18 Kent State in a stirring Mid-American Conference championship game Friday night.

Both teams were hoping a win would boost them into the top 16 of the BCS rankings and give them a berth in 1 of college football's marquee bowls. Northern Illinois (12-1) dominated for much of the night, but the Golden Flashes (11-2) tied it at 34 in the final minute of regulation.

Kent State trailed 27-13 earlier in the fourth before scoring two touchdowns in a 15-second span.

DCRA Holiday Home Tour This Weekend

The holiday season always provides the opportunity for people to decorate their homes and this weekend will give you an opportunity to view some home from the inside.

The DeWitt County Restoration Association will be presenting their Annual Christmas tour of homes this Sunday. Becky Adams, chair of the DCRA, says that they hope as many people as possible come out and take the tour. She says that there will be many interesting aspects to the 4 houses on the tour. 3 of the homes are out in the country and some are re-modeled farm houses. One of the homes belongs to Mayor Carolyn Peters. Adams describes some of the features of Mayor Peters' home.


The Christmas Tour of Homes is a great fundraiser for the DCRA and there is a specific area in which this year's funds will be directed. Adams says that the money raised will go to assist the restoration of the Magill House.


If anyone is interested in the tour of homes, it is Sunday from 2-5 pm. Tickets will be $10 and can be purchased at Graves Stationers or at one of the homes on the tour. The closest home would be Mayor Peters' house which is the only one in town. The address is 29 Manorhill Drive.

Flu Bug Hits DeWitt Country

With winter approaching, flu season has already begun to creep it's way into the community.

Ever since the summer, local health officials say the flu bug has been spreading and very rampant. Sandy Rice, Business Director of the Doctor John Warner Hospital, says within the past few weeks, the hosptial has been seeing more and more cases of the stomach flu.


Food preparation can go a long ways in keeping yourself free of the flu. People tend to leave food out at various lengths of time. Rice recommends cooking your food and refrigerating it properly. She adds while hand sanitizers are great at times, nothing can be as effective as soap and water for your hands.


This is the typical season to see pneumonia more. Rice recommends to always leave the house with a coat, and somtimes hat, no matter how nice out it may be. This is especially important for children.


Rice recommends seniors take advantage of flu shots offered at most major pharmacies and also at the hospital.

For more information on the flu bug, you can go to www.djwhospital.com.

SIU School of Medicine Weekly Feature

Gastroesophogal reflux disease is a medical condition that is common in people of all ages, even babies and children.

Gastroesophogal reflux occurs when stomach contents reflux, or back up, into the esophagus during or after a meal. Dr. Terry Hatch, professor of pediatrics at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, says gastroesophogal reflux begins in infancy when most infants spit up after feeding.


Dr. Hatch says when reflux occurs frequently and is severe, it can develop into gastroesophogal reflux disease or GERD. In children, GERD can cause troublesome symptoms or complications such as failure to gain weight, bleeding, respiratory problems or tummy aches. He describes some GERD symptoms in children.


Dr. Hatch says infants and children with GERD can be helped first with feeding and lifestyle changes or possibly medication. If symptoms are severe or persist parents should contact their primary care physician or pediatrician.

Illinois Lottery Adds Powerball to Online Sales

Illinois residents dreaming of being the next big Powerball winner have a new way to buy their lottery tickets - without leaving home.

The Illinois Lottery announced Friday it has re-launched its Internet sales and added Powerball to its website.

The newly designed site also allows people to use their cellphone or other mobile devices to play Powerball, Lotto and Mega Millions.

Users can view their games and numbers played online, and the site will automatically notify players via email if they've won.

The Illinois legislature approved a pilot project for online lotto sales more than three years ago. That first-in-the-nation pilot project started in March.

Players are limited to $150 in purchases per day, and registration and online age verification is required.

Campaign To Send Cards To Illinois Service Members

The director of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs is encouraging people to send holiday cards expressing their support to U.S. service members.

Director Erica Borggren, herself an Iraq war veteran, says it means a lot to a service member to receive a holiday card.

For information on how to participate in the Illinois Heroes holiday card drive, visit OperationHomefront.org.

Gov. Pat Quinn will personally deliver cards written by Illinois residents when he visits service members at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany and military hospitals in Illinois.

Landstuhl is the largest American hospital outside the United States.

GOP Leader Says Too Early For House Action on Lawmaker

The top Republican in the Illinois House says it's too early to make a recommendation on whether the Legislature should take action on the indictment of a state representative on federal bank fraud charges.

House Minority Leader Tom Cross calls the charges "very serious and very troubling" but says lawmakers need more information.

Prosecutors allege Chicago Democrat La Shawn Ford made false statements to a bank to get a $500,000 increase on a line of credit. They say he told the bank he would use the money to rehabilitate investment properties but instead used it for expenses like car loans, credit cards, casino payments and for his 2006 campaign for state representative.

Ford says he's innocent.

Earlier this year, the Legislature expelled another House member under federal indictment.

Sages Fall To Pleasant Plains 63-37


The Monticello Sages fell to Pleasant Plains by a score of 63-37 on Saturday afternoon. The 1st State Bank of Monticello Player of the Game was Nick Stokowski with 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Taylor Staff led Pleasant Plains with 24 points

With the loss, the Sages fall to 2-1 on the year. Pleasant Plains stays undefeated at 5-0.

Tune in Tuesday, December 4th as the Sages take on Auburn. You can hear the game live on 95.9 WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com


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