Local News

Monticello Lady Sages Defeat Warrensburg - Latham Lady Cardinals

The Monticello Lady Sages defeated the Warrensburg - Latham Lady Cardinals by a final score of 45-33 on Thursday Night. The Lady Sages were led by Senior Sarah Wells with 13  points. Chrissy Gadbury also chipped in with 13 points.  Your First State Bank player of the game was Senior Sarah Wells. With the win the Lady Sages improve to 8-19 and 3-7 in the Okaw Conference. With the loss the Lady Cardinals fall to 5-19 and 2-8 in the Okaw Conference. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

How Realistic Should School Shooting Drills Be?

School emergency drills have moved beyond the duck & cover exercises of the Cold War era. Today's drills practice brace students for the presence of armed intruders.

The shooting of 20 first-graders and six adults in Newtown, Conn., has school administrators reviewing and practicing their own emergency plans.

Most states began to require district emergency management plans after the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo. Data compiled by the Education Commission of the States shows preparations vary widely.

On Wednesday, an intruder drill at Cary-Grove High School in Illinois featured the sound of gunfire from a starter pistol.

An October drill at Howe Hall in South Carolina saw victims fall with fake wounds.

Illinois Ranked 4th For Green-Certified Buildings

The United States Green Building Council has ranked Illinois fourth out of all U.S. states in leadership on environmentally sound buildings.

The group cites Gov. Pat Quinn's leadership in particular.

Council members said Wednesday that Illinois has a commitment to creating a sustainable environment. Illinois is behind Virginia, Colorado and Massachusetts in its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED, certifications.

The group ranks states each year.

Illinois certified 156 LEED projects last year, including the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and the KONE Centre in Moline, which has the highest rating in the state.

State officials say another 50 projects are slated to meet LEED certifications.

Gibson City Council Members Use iPads

Members of the city council in east-central Illinois' Gibson City have started using iPads.

The council approved up to $6,000 to buy the iPads in an effort to be more environmentally friendly and obtain more convenient access to information. Mayor Dan Dickey explains there may be glitches, but council members will "work through them."

Council members used the iPads this week to review zoning ordinances.

City officials also plan to spend $500 for a new document scanner. The goal is a paperless city council.

Schock: Mass Shootings Not About Guns

Congressman Aaron Schock says gun reform is not the solution to solving tragedies like the one in Newtown, Connecticut.

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Schock says President Obama’s administration is taking a cheap shot at gun advocates in their talks of reforming gun laws.

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Schock says he’s working on legislation that seeks to help people with mental health issues get the treatment they need.

Millikan University President Retires

The president of Millikin University in Decatur has announced his retirement and says it's effective immediately.

Harold Jeffcoat announced Tuesday he is retiring from the 2,300-student private school. He offered no reason other than saying it's a good time for him to step down.

Jeffcoat was hired in 2010 after retiring as president of Texas Wesleyan University.

Van Dukeman chairs the school's board. He said Jeffcoat has been talking about possible retirement with some board members for several weeks. He doesn't believe there are any factors beyond Jeffcoat's desire to retire.

Vice President of Enrollment Rich Dunsworth will be interim president.

Soil and Water Conservation District Holds Annual Meeting Friday

The DeWitt County Soil and Water Conservation District will be having their annual meeting and breakfast this Friday.

The breakfast will be held at the Clinton County Club just south of Clinton on Rt. 51. Registration will begin at 7:30am with a buffet breakfast being served at 8:00am and a short business meeting at 9:00am.

After the short business meeting, comedian Charlie Preston will be entertaining. Preston has appeared on outlets such as Comedy Central and XM Radio. He will present his views on topics that range from life with a child to the current state of the U.S.

Once again, the meeting will be this Friday, February 1, 2013 with registration beginning at 7:30am.

Illinois Congressman Pleased With New Tax Bill

As the clock struck midnight, the federal Government passed a tax bill that kept the country from going over the proverbial, fiscal cliff.

One local lawmaker is pleased they did that, and feels it might be a good thing, but he hopes to promote change when it comes to the Country's finances. Congressman Rodney Davis explains President Obama wanted the threshold for tax increases to go towards Americans making $250-thousand and above, however the tax that passed sets the threshold at $400-thousand. Davis feels that's going to benefit a lot of farmers and small business owners.

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There will be a lot of things this upcoming year coming off the books in Washington. Davis says withdrawing troops from Afghanistan will save money, which will also cut down on defense spending, and can be turned back into the American economy. Davis feels though spending habits in Washington needs to change.

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Davis points to sixteen years ago when President Bill Clinton took office as a similar situation America faces today. He explains President Clinton was able to bring lawmakers from both sides of the isle together and spur change that generated revenues and brought the country surpluses.

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Davis says as a part of the new tax bill, President Obama has received the revenue he wanted, now he would like to see that revenue go towards paying down the nations trillions of dollars of debt, which should begin to grow the economy.

Maroa-Forsyth Feels Schools Safe

Security in schools may be an issue leaving the public eye, but for administrators of every school, it's an issue they never stop thinking about.

Children's safety when they are under the protection of the public school system is one of the top priorities of school leaders, and with the recent events in Newtown, CT, administrators are having to revisit what safety measures they have in place. For Maroa-Forsyth Schools, they have two facilities that have been built recently, and Superintendent Mike Williams says their Middle and High School buildings were built with student safety in mind.

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Once the school day starts, just about every school building locks all their doors but one main entry door. One thing Maroa-Forsyth could do better, and Williams speculates a lot of districts could do the same, is when students are in and out of the buildings through the day for other classes, locking those doors behind the last person.

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Knowing who the visitors to a school are that may be roaming the halls can be challenging, especially with districts who have older school buildings. Williams explains their new buildings, the middle and high schools are built with single entrances that run through the main office, and visitors have to be buzzed in before they can gain access to the halls of the building.

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Some districts around the state have discussed possibly allowing their administrators to be armed in the schools, and Williams says he hasn't thought much about something like that because he would be concerned if weapons were brought into a building. He notes they are always looking at ways to better protect the kids, but feels that may be a measure that is not necessary.

DeWitt County HRC Finding Ways To Generate Revenues Despite State's Shortfalls

Like just about every single non-profit organization that relies on state funding, the DeWitt County Human Resource Center is owed hundreds of thousands of dollars from the state.

Lynn Scovill is the new Executive Director of HRC and she explains when she started a little over a month ago, the Center faced a massive deficit. She says since that time they have received money from the state, but they are still owed quite a bit more.

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With HRC unlikely to see the full amount of money the state owes them, Scovill says they need to become more self-sufficient. She says they can do that through expanding the revenue generating programs they have in place, but they also need to put pressure on the state to pay their bills.

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HRC East's Encore Thrift store provides them with revenue to fund programs, but when clothes that are not selling need to be removed for new items, Scovill says those clothes can be shipped overseas, and HRC receives revenue for those items as well.

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Scovill believes part of the reason groups and programs that deal directly with a persons mental health have been neglected financially is because of a lack of focus those issues. She points to the recent Newtown, CT school tragedy as proof that mental health issues need to be addressed.

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Scovill says most people with a mental illness learn to live normal, productive lives despite their handicaps. She feels these services allow them those opportunities to be productive members of society and cope with their illnesses in healthy ways.

Super Bowl Notes

>>Sandy Hook Chorus To Sing At Super Bowl 47

(New Orleans, LA) -- A little over a month after the tragic mass shooting of 26 students and faculty in Newtown, Connecticut, chorus students from Sandy Hook Elementary will reportedly sing at Super Bowl 47 on Sunday in New Orleans. The "USA Today" reports a group of 26 students from the school will perform "America the Beautiful" during the pregame show. The NFL is flying the students and their families to New Orleans later this week. The San Francisco 49ers battle the Baltimore Ravens in Super Bowl 47 on Sunday at the Superdome.

>>Harbaugh Parents Make Super Bowl A Family Affair

(New Orleans, LA) -- Super Bowl 47 is certainly a family affair with Ravens head coach John Harbaugh going up against brother and 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh. Father Jack, a former coach himself, says each has their own style. Jack and wife Jackie Harbaugh are both in New Orleans this week to cheer on their sons, but neither is taking a specific side. It's the first time brothers have ever coached against one another in a major pro sports championship. John and Jim have squared off one previous time, with John's Ravens beating Jim's 49ers 16-6 during the regular season in November 2011.

Wild Sneak By Blackhawks In SO

Zach Parise [[ puh-REE-zee ]] and Matt Cullen each found the back of the net in the shootout to lift the Wild over the Blackhawks, 3-2.  Cullen also scored in the first 1:30 of regulation for Minnesota, which improved to 4-2-and-1.  Wild forward Cal Clutterbuck chipped in with the game-tying goal a minute into the second frame.  Niklas Backstrom stopped all 28 shots he faced in relief of Josh Harding, who made two saves on four attempts.  Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews [[ Tayves ]] each lit the lamp for Chicago, which had started the season 6-and-0.  Corey Crawford turned aside 23 shots in the setback.

Bulls Win; Rose Continues Rehab

>>Robinson Fuels Bulls Past Bucks

Nate Robinson scored 16 of his 24 points in the second quarter, leading the Chicago Bulls to a 104-88 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday night.

Jimmy Butler, a second-year pro from Marquette, had 18 points and five rebounds in a return to the arena where he played college basketball.

Samuel Dalembert had 14 points and a season-high 13 rebounds for the Bucks. Ersan Ilyasova added 18 points and seven rebounds.

Chicago broke open the game midway through the second quarter, using a 20-4 run to take a 49-30 lead. The run included a long 3-point shot by Robinson, who capped the rally with a driving layup and made the ensuing free throw.

Robinson, who also had a breakaway dunk during the run, shot 7 for 9 from the floor during the quarter to help Chicago take a 55-37 lead at the half.

Indiana Pacers 98, Detroit Pistons 79
Philadelphia 76ers 92, Washington Wizards 84
Boston Celtics 99, Sacramento Kings 81
New York Knicks 113, Orlando Magic 97
Atlanta Hawks 93, Toronto Raptors 92
Los Angeles Clippers 96, Minnesota Timberwolves 90
Miami Heat 105, Brooklyn Nets 85
San Antonio Spurs 102, Charlotte Bobcats 78
Denver Nuggets 118, Houston Rockets 110
Utah Jazz 104, New Orleans Hornets 99
Phoenix Suns 92, Los Angeles Lakers 86

>>Bulls' Rose Taking Full Contact In Practice

(Milwaukee, WI) -- Chicago Bulls All-Star guard Derrick Rose is making strides in his return from ACL surgery. According to ESPNChicago, Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau said before Wednesday's shootaround that Rose is now taking full contact and the only thing left is putting in more time and getting acclimated to a game situation. Rose will likely return after the February 17th All-Star Game. However, Bulls chairman Jerry Reinsdorf says there is still no specific date. Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists in 39 games last season before the injury. He's averaged 21 points in his four NBA seasons.

Illini at Michigan State Tonight; Groce Says Struggles Come Down To Shooting

Illinois basketball coach John Groce (grohs) says analyzing what's gone wrong since his team's 12-0 start isn't complex or difficult.

Groce on Wednesday said his team has stopped making shots.

The Illini (15-6, 2-5 Big Ten) have just plain gone cold since that hot, shot-driven start.

Groce says his team is doing many things well. And he thinks his players took good shots Sunday in a 74-60 loss to now-No. 1 Michigan. But the Illini hit just 37% of their shots.

And Groce says poor shooting magnifies other problems the team might otherwise be able to overcome.

A brutal stretch for the Illini continues Thursday at No. 13 Michigan State. That's followed by games against Wisconsin, No. 3 Indiana and No. 23 Minnesota.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Michigan Wolverines 68 Northwestern Wildcats 46
#3 Indiana Hoosiers 97, Purdue Boilermakers 60
#4 Florida Gators 75, South Carolina Gamecocks 36
#5 Duke Blue Devils 75, Wake Forest Demon Deacons 70
Stanford Cardinal 76, #12 Oregon Ducks 52
#15 Miami Hurricanes 73, Virginia Tech Hokies 64
#17 Creighton Bluejays 91, Missouri State Bears 77
LSU Tigers 73, #18 Missouri Tigers 70
#21 Kansas State Wildcats 83, Texas Longhorns 57
#22 New Mexico Lobos 63, Wyoming Cowboys 59
#23 Cincinnati Bearcats 62, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 54

Okaw Boys Tournament Continues

The Okaw Valley Boys basketball tournament continued on last night as the consolation side of the bracket held their games. In the opening game, Shelbyville edged Warrensburg-Latham 42-41. And in the night-cap, Maroa-Forsyth was upset for the second time in the tournament, as they fell to Unity 46-45.

With the loss, Maroa-Forsyth has been eliminated. Shelbyville and Unity wil play for the Consolation Championship Friday night at 8pm.

Clinton Residents Have Opportunity To Chose Lower Electric Rates

This spring voters will be deciding if they want the Clinton City Council to go out for aggregation of electricity.

The biggest question voters face is not a yes or no vote, but rather, what does your yes or no vote mean? Christine Pinckard of Integrys Energy Services explains there are many things to consider when deciding. She says no matter what the outcome of the vote, the customer has all the power to join the program or not.

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For those that chose to stay, Pinckard points out not only will their rates stay the same, but they will, in a sense, inherit some costs from the residents that choose to leave. She says some of the costs go away for those that switch to a different supplier.

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For those that make the switch, their bill will stay the same. Pinckard explains everything continues to run through Ameren and they will receive the same bill. She says the only thing on the bills that change are the supply portion.

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Unfortunately for some residents, this is only available for Ameren territory residents. It's estimated that 2800 customers are with other suppliers, mainly CornBelt.

This will be voted on April 9.

Monday the Clinton City Council will decide whether to pursue this process through Integrys Energy Services or Good Energy L.P.

Illinois Accuses 14 of Unemployment Benefit Fraud

Fourteen Illinoisans are accused of defrauding the state by collecting more than $400,000 in unemployment benefits even though they had jobs.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan and the Illinois Department of Employment Security announced indictments against the 14 defendants Tuesday.

The sweep caught nine defendants in Cook County, including one who allegedly collected more than $48,000 in fraudulent benefits. Additionally, the indictment accuses three Will County residents and residents from Kankakee and Champaign counties.

In a statement Tuesday, Madigan says prosecuting such cases deters fraud and ensures that the government has the resources to help those who are truly unemployed.

The defendants face felony charges of theft, state benefits fraud and wire fraud.

Illinois GOP Senators Get Extra Work, Pay After Losses

Republicans in the Illinois Senate hold a dubious distinction: because of a November shellacking, every 1 of them will hold a caucus or committee leadership post.

Reports Tuesday show every GOP senator will receive a stipend for extra work on top of a $68,000 salary.

Some will even pull double duty. The 59-seat Senate has 21 standing committees but just 19 Republicans.

Democrats added five seats in the fall election to rule with an unprecedented 40 votes.

The GOP allowances range from about $10,000 for ranking Republicans on committees to the $27,000 that Christine Radogno (ruh-DOHN'-yoh) of Lemont receives as Senate minority leader.

Republican senators doubling up on work will only get one stipend.

Illinois Ethics Commissioner May Have Broke Ethics Law

A former member of the Illinois Executive Ethics Commission has been fined $2,500 for violating the state ethics law.

A commission report released Tuesday said Stephen Thurston attended a March 2011 prayer breakfast and campaign fundraiser for a Chicago City Council candidate.

State law prohibits commissioners from contributing to political campaigns or even attending a political event related to a specific office.

Thurston spoke at the breakfast in support of aldermanic hopeful David Moore.

He told investigators he didn't think he violated the law. But he did not contest the findings of an investigation by Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza (MAY'-suh).

Thurston left the commission in October 2011. He could have faced a fine of $5,000 but the commission noted his cooperation.

Gov. Quinn Offers Kudos As LaHood Steps Down

Gov. Pat Quinn is offering congratulations to fellow Illinoisan and outgoing Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood.

LaHood said Tuesday that he would step down from President Barack Obama's administration. Obama and LaHood at one point served together in the Illinois congressional delegation. LaHood was 1 of 2 Republicans in Obama's Cabinet.

Quinn said Tuesday that LaHood helped lead the U.S. "through 1 of the most challenging times in history." The governor says LaHood made "unprecedented" safety improvements to the country's roads, rails, transit systems and air transportation.

LaHood is 67-year-old and a native of Peoria. He says he won't seek public office and indicated he didn't have any specific plans.

Peoria Mayor's Trip To Africa Delayed

The mayor of Peoria says a planned trip to Africa this February will have to wait until later this year.

Mayor Jim Ardis plans to go to Botswana to discuss a possible sister-city relationship. He had said a group from Peoria would go in February, but on Tuesday he said it likely won't happen until the middle or end of April. He says there's still interest, but some people planning to go couldn't make it in February.

The idea came after Botswana's ambassador to the United States visited Peoria twice last year. The ambassador invited the mayor to bring a delegation from Peoria to Botswana.

Peoria already has sister-city relationship with cities in China, Ireland and Germany.

Severe Storms Pummel Central, Southern US

A large storm system packing high winds, thunderstorms and the threat of tornadoes is continuing its sweep across several Southern and central U.S. states.

Emergency management officials say the large storm front blacked out thousands in Arkansas and has caused scattered power outages in northern Mississippi. At least one person was reported injured by lightning in Arkansas.

Jeff Rent at the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency urged residents to be on guard for severe thunderstorms, high winds and possible twisters. Tennessee and other states also were on guard Wednesday.

Rent says some houses have been damaged and trees and power lines felled as the brunt of the storm was felt in four Mississippi counties overnight. The storm is set to sweep toward the Eastern seaboard in coming hours.

Calls On Stolen Cell Phone Leads To Burglary Charge

Brice Walter did just as he is required to do as a parolee when he telephoned the state's department of corrections. Unfortunately, authorities say he made the call from a stolen cell phone.

Walter now faces a residential burglary charge. The key question will be how he got a phone that a Decatur man reported missing Jan. 3.

Reports show the 21-year-old Walter has some explaining to do after an investigation also revealed that the same phone was used shortly after the burglary to telephone Walters' cousin.

Walter recently was sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular burglary. He was released from prison in August after serving eight months of a 4-year sentence for residential burglary.

Wild Bald Eagle Making Appearances At Miller Park Zoo

The Miller Park Zoo in Bloomington has been the destination for an unsuspecting guest recently.

 width=A bald eagle has been paying regular visits over the past month or so at the Bloomington Zoo and Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says they started noticing the eagle when a third eagle showed up with their two eagles.

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While it might seem odd having a bald eagle in central Illinois, Tetzloff says Illinois has the most bald eagles in the US other than Alaska. He says normally it might be more common to see them around major bodies of water.

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Tetzloff believes there could be a number of reasons the bird is hanging around the zoo. He suspects the eagle is a female who may be reaching maturity and looking to pair. He adds it may have just been flying over and saw the two eagles the zoo has.

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A seasoned veteran like Tetzloff says he has seen wild animals make appearances with the animals at other zoos, but he says he's never seen one stay around as long as this eagle has. He adds, the two eagles the Zoo has are not a threat to leave because they are injured and unable to fly. They are at the Miller Park Zoo as a part of a rehabilitation program.

Baum Chevrolet Buick Remodel Continues, Nearing Completing

Baum Chevy Buick's remodel continues as the storefront will have a new look soon.

 width=Chevrolet, Buick and GMC dealerships around the country are going to a uniform exterior look, however, it is the inside of the dealerships that owners had a little flexibility with. Owner of Baum Chevy Buick in Clinton, Scott Baum explains their interior should have a nice flow to it that will benefit both his staff and the customers.

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As progress continues at the site, the east side of the building, which neighbors Ted's Garage, has added garages, but these garages will be geared towards a customer drive through-like experience. Baum explains the service drive, which is nearing completion, allows customers to bring their vehicles into these new garages and get out of their vehicle away from the weather.

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 width=The east side of the facility also has a new waiting area which has glass exposure to the garage where the customers car would be taken care of. Baum says all of their employees offices, which are now finished, will have glass exposure as well. Baum says you will see a lot of glass with the new design.

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Baum says the last remodel to the dealership in 1992 and it is original to 1948. He says they are excited to go to the next level and is glad Chevrolet kept them as a dealer.

A specific date has not been set for the remodel, but the goal is to have things finished by the spring.






Clinton Schools Issue Final Bonds For New Elementary School

The Clinton School District has now issued all the bonds for the money for the new elementary school.

The Clinton Board of Education issued part of the bonds last year and then part of them again this January. Superintendent of Clinton Schools Dr. Jeff Holmes explains they had to go in that order because schools are only allowed to issue a certain amount of bonds at a time. He says it also gave local investors the opportunity to buy those bonds, and they did.

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Bond rates over the past several months have been very favorable, and in fact, Dr. Holmes says the rate they received was lower than what they were anticipating it being. He notes as well, the low bond rate will make the payments lower and the tax rate lower as the life of the bonds ages.

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The low bond rate will allow the district to keep their taxing rate right in line with where they want it and where they have promised it to be. Looking farther into the future, it appears the tax rate should remain right where it is as well.

Bulls Head To Milwaukee

>>Bulls travel to Milwaukee

(Milwaukee, WI) -- Having won four of their last five games, the Bulls travel to Milwaukee tonight to battle the Bucks. Chicago's coming off a 93-85 win over Charlotte. Bulls All-Star Luol Deng returned from a hamstring injury getting 12 points and four rebounds in 31 minutes. Second year man Jimmy Butler had a career high 19 points.

Golden State Warriors 108, Cleveland Cavaliers 95
Milwaukee Bucks 117, Detroit Pistons 90
Portland Trail Blazers 106, Dallas Mavericks 104
Los Angeles Lakers 111, New Orleans Hornets 106

>>Sacramento Kings Fans Outnumber Seattle Fans

(Sacramento, CA) -- If the decision to relocate the Sacramento Kings to Seattle was based on fan support, the NBA team would be staying put. According to the "Seattle Times," only four-point-one percent of people in the Seattle market have a very high level of interest in pro basketball. On the other hand, the Sacramento Kings have sold out 19 of their 27 seasons.

A-Rod Linked To PED's Again

Alex Rodriguez is denying he had any relationship with a South Florida clinic linked to performance-enhancing drugs.  The "Miami New Times" published a report saying the Yankees slugger and a number of other professional athletes were regular patients of nutritionist Anthony Bosch.  Handwritten documents were provided, but they only showed nicknames connected to supplement orders, treatments and dollar figures.  Through a spokesman, A-Rod said he has never been advised or treated by Bosch and the handwritten documents are fake.  Bosch was linked to Manny Ramirez in 2009 when Ramirez was suspended for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.  "A-Rod" has previously admitting to using performance-enhancing drugs, but only when he was with the Texas Rangers about ten years ago.

Urlacher May Give Bears 'Hometown Discount'; Rams Decide Against Hiring Ryan

>>Urlacher Might Give Bears A Discount

(Chicago, IL) -- Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher says he's willing to take a hometown discount to stay with Chicago. The 13-year veteran is poised to reach free agency for the first time in his career. Urlacher's coming off a disappointing season hampered by knee and hamstring injuries.

>>Rams Decide Not To Hire Ryan As DC

(St. Louis, MO) -- Rob Ryan won't be the new defensive coordinator of the St. Louis Rams after all. The team announced it has decided the former Dallas Cowboys coordinator is not a good fit after a second visit with the coaching staff this week. ESPN reported last week that the Rams would hire Ryan, whose defense in Dallas ranked 19th overall this past season. After being fired by the Cowboys January 8th, Ryan said that he would "be out of work for like five minutes." St. Louis went without a traditional DC this past season after Gregg Williams was suspended for his role in the Saints' bounty scandal.

>>Vikings Interested In Longtime Packer Driver

(Undated) -- The Minnesota Vikings are interested in longtime Packers wide receiver Donald Driver, according to Fox 11 Sports in Green Bay. Driver, who is an impending free agent, has spent his entire 14-year career in Green Bay. "USA Today" reported last week that Driver was leaning toward retirement. The soon-to-be 38-year-old has 743 career catches for more than 10-thousand yards and 61 touchdowns. He had just eight grabs for 77 yards and two TD's in 13 games in 2012.

>>49ers Fans Scammed In Super Bowl Ticket Hoax

(Hayward, CA) -- Two San Francisco 49ers fans from Hayward, California that wired nearly six-thousand-dollars for Super Bowl tickets, realize now they're victims of a scam. After purchasing a pair of tickets on Craigslist, the couple opened their Fed Ex delivery yesterday, only to find a note with the words "Enjoy the game!!!! Goo Ravens!!! LOL." The scammed woman says the seller claimed to be a Baltimore Ravens season ticket holder and she was even communicating with him over the phone, through text messages, and emails. Despite the hoax, the dedicated Niners fan and her boyfriend still plan to head to New Orleans to watch the game from a sports bar.

Bradley Tops Rival ISU

Walt Lemon Jr. scored a career-high 27 points on 9 of 16 shooting Tuesday night, helping Bradley snap its losing streak against intrastate rival Illinois State with an 83-77 win.

Lemon added five rebounds and five steals. Tyshon Pickett and Dyricus Simms-Edwards chipped in 15 points apiece for the Braves (13-9, 5-5 Missouri Valley), who had lost their last seven games against Illinois State. Simms-Edwards, whose average of 3.00 steals per game was fourth in Division I entering the game, had four steals Tuesday.

John Wilkins and Jackie Carmichael scored 16 points each for the Redbirds (12-10, 3-7), who led by as many as 16 in the first half before Bradley rallied. Tyler Brown added 13 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Jon Ekey scored 11 off the bench.

Bradley dominated inside, outscoring Illinois State 46-14 in the paint, and scored 27 points off the Redbirds' 23 turnovers.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#11 Ohio State Buckeyes 58, Wisconsin Badgers 49
Indiana State Sycamores 68, #14 Wichita State Shockers 55
Kentucky Wildcats 87, #16 Ole Miss Rebels 74
Virginia Cavaliers 58, #19 North Carolina State Wolfpack 55
#24 Minnesota Golden Gophers 84, Nebraska Cornhuskers 65

Sages Come Back, Defeat Central A&M

The Monticello Sages overcame a nine point second half deficit, and scored 10 unanswered points to start the fourth quarter, as they defeated Central A & M 57-47 Tuesday night in the semi-finals of the Okaw Valley Boys basketball tournament.

Bryan Phipps rattled off nine straight points to end the third quarter and start the fourth as his presence fueled the Sages frantic comeback.

Ryan Donahue had six of this 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a crucial steal that led to a break away layup with just under a minute and a half remaining that gave Monticello their largest lead of 11.

Phipps finished with 17 points and five rebounds. Isaac Bales finished with 11 points, five rebounds and five assists, including back-to-back three's late in the third quarter that cut the nine point deficit to three.

Nick Stokowski was a rebound shy of a double-double, despite being hounded on defense all night, as Central A&M used a box-in-one style defense throughout the night.

With the win, Monticello advances to the Okaw Valley Conference tournament championship on Saturday, to take on Meridian, who defeated Decatur St. Teresa Tuesday night.

Monticello is now 18-2 on the season and Central A&M is 15-5.

Game time Saturday night is at 7:30. You can hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Okaw Valley Tournament games tonight...

Warrensburg-Latham 6PM @ Maroa-Forsyth

Maroa-Forsyth 7:30PM @ Maroa-Forsyth

Clinton Police Report for 1-30









Cullerton Wants Votes on Pension and Gay Marriage

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton wants to push forward with a pension overhaul "as quickly as possible" and says the timing is good to move forward with legalizing gay marriage.

He spoke to the City Club of Chicago on Monday, giving a slide-slow presentation on Illinois' financial problems.

The Chicago Democrat stressed the need for addressing Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem, which he says drains the state budget.

Cullerton introduced a bill after lawmakers were sworn in this month. Senate Bill 1 combines a Senate-approved measure along with a bill that failed to get a House roll-call.

He says he's working to get support. The Senate reconvenes next week.

Cullerton says Standard & Poor's recent credit rating downgrade should motivate lawmakers to act.

Unemployment Forms Available In Spanish, Polish

Illinois applications for unemployment benefits are now available online in Spanish and Polish.

Department of Employment Security officials say online applications are preferable to paper ones because of accuracy and efficiency.

The new translations come after other changes made to help people whose primary language is not English.

The agency converted key documents on its website last year to the four non-English languages most requested - Spanish, Polish, simplified Chinese and Russian.

Other translations are available when requested. The agency has had requests for more than 60 languages.

The agency also sponsors the IllinoisJobLink help-wanted website. It features more than 100,000 job openings and 70,000 resumes of job-seekers.

The Department of Employment Security also offers no-cost recruitment services to Illinois businesses.

Durbin Unveils Immigration Reform Framework

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is very happy about new framework for sweeping immigration reform. Durbin says the immigration system has been broken for far too long.

[audio:Immig0128Durbin1.mp3] [/audio]

Sen. Durbin of Illinois says something must be done about illegal immigration.

[audio:Immig0128Durbin2.mp3] [/audio]

Durbin announced the framework yesterday, saying it would help fix illegal immigration as well. He was joined by Florida Republican Marco Rubio, who said the problem isn't going away. The framework includes a path to citizenship for roughly eleven-million illegal immigrants in the USA. It also calls for increased border security and a reliable employee verification system.

Japan's New Import Rules To Help US Beef Industry

Japan's decision to ease restrictions on U.S. beef imports will provide a boost to the American meat industry, but tight supplies may limit how much exports can grow this year.

Beef producers hope to restore Japanese sales to where they were before the first case of mad cow disease was found in the United States in 2003.

National Cattlemen's Beef Association President J.D. Alexander said Monday the Japanese rules should improve profits for the industry.

If Japan's decision to allow imports of beef from cattle up to 30-months-old leads to higher demand overall, American consumers may pay more for beef.

But the North American Meat Association says the effect on prices is likely to be limited because many popular cuts of meat in Japan, like tongue, aren't popular in America.

Grainger Foundation Pledges $100-Million To University of Illinois

A private foundation in suburban Chicago has pledged $100 million to the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Chancellor Phyllis Wise announced the gift on Monday from The Grainger Foundation of Lake Forest. The contribution is made in honor of William Grainger, who graduated from the university in 1919 and founded W.W. Grainger, Inc. The school says a substantial portion of the money will create an endowment to attract top-notch professors and scholars.

Other money will be used to help pay for renovations to a laboratory building at the school's engineering campus.

Substance Abuse Uphill Battle For Local Law Enforcement

Local law enforcement is fighting an uphill battle against substance abuse.

An accident in DeWitt last weekend, which saw a woman killed by a drunk driver, may have been the tipping point for DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner, who recently voiced his frustration with the problems of substance abuse he deals with on a near daily basis. The Sheriff says while there are a lot of free programs throughout the County to help people with their issues, they've added a drug court which aims to hopefully directly address those individuals issues.

[audio:12913substanceabuse1.mp3] [/audio]

For Sheriff Shofner, the battle against substance abuse is never won. He explains his department must continue to strictly patrol the Counties roads, but in the end, he says they count their victories one person helped at a time.

[audio:12913substanceabuse2.mp3] [/audio]

The drug court system DeWitt County has in place has been effective and Sheriff Shofner says they have seen people who have had their lives turned around because of the program in place and the help they receive. He hopes it is the success stories that will keep the problem from effecting the next generation.

[audio:12913substanceabuse3.mp3] [/audio]

The school system has programs geared towards teaching children substance abuse is not OK, and the Sheriff says many times those programs and morals are negated because of the home environment some children go home to. He says these problems must be dealt with by friends and family to get these people help.

Communities Drawing From Mahomet Aquifer Go Beyond Those Over Water Source

 width=The Mahomet Aquifer serves around 750-thousand residents in central Illinois across over a dozen counties.

While communities and businesses draw from the Aquifer that sit directly over it, communities near the massive water suply, also draw from it. Al Wehrmann with Lane Hydro based in Indiana was hired by the City of Champaign to analyze if the Mahomet Aquifer can become a designation 'sole source aquifer'. He explains with the Aquifer being the primary drinking source for towns and communities lying above it, it also qualifies because of the many communities that draw from it that are around it.

[audio:12913aquiferdraw1.mp3] [/audio]

As it pertains to drinking water purposes only, Wehrmann says the area pumps about 53-million gallons goes to public supplies. He adds 4-million gallons goes towards rural residents. That figure does not include irrigation, Werhmann notes that is a different category.

[audio:12913aquiferdraw2.mp3] [/audio]

The other qualification the aquifer must meet to be designated a sole-source water supply relates to surrounding water supplies. Wehrmann says when you move away from the Mahomet Aquifer, there is not much beyong the Mahomet Aquifer for it's residents to draw from. That same reasoning is why so many other communities are drawing from the Mahomet Aquifer that do not sit over it.

[audio:12913aquiferdraw3.mp3] [/audio]

Wehrmann spoke on behalf of the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition's efforts to designate the water source as a sole source aquifer. Doing so would limit any federally funded projects from potentially contaminating the water of the aquifer.

The Clinton City Council is considering joining the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition. Wehrmann says the more communities that join their efforts, the better the chances are of getting the designation.

Tiger Wins Farmers Insurance Open For 75th PGA Tour Victory

Tiger Woods is the champion of the Farmers Insurance Open.  He captured his 75th career PGA Tour victory with a four-shot win on Monday.  Woods dropped four shots over his final six holes to close with an even-par 72 in the final round, which was completed Monday after play was suspended on Sunday due to darkness.  Woods finished the tournament at 14-under 274.  He earned his eighth career win at Torrey Pines, giving him the most victories at any one venue in PGA Tour history.  He is now seven wins shy of Sam Snead's Tour record of 82 career victories.  Defending champion Brandt Snedeker and Josh Teater both finished with three-under 69's to share second place at 10-under-par 278.  Nick Watney and Jimmy Walker tied for fourth place at minus-nine.  Phil Mickelson finished in a tie for 51st at even-par. 

Hockey Notes

>>Rangers Nix Deal With Arnott

(New York, NY) -- The New York Rangers are backing out of a contract agreement with Jason Arnott due to concerns about his health. The two sides agreed to a one-year, 1.6-million-dollar contract on Saturday pending a physical, but the "Daily News" reports the team will not proceed after reviewing the 38-year-old's medical records. The 18-year veteran had 17 goals and 17 assists in 72 games with the St. Louis Blues last season, but had arthroscopic knee surgery during the offseason.


Boston Bruins 5, Carolina Hurricanes 3
Columbus Blue Jackets 2, Dallas Stars 1
Phoenix Coyotes 4, Nashville Predators 0
Edmonton Oilers 4, Colorado Avalanche 1
Los Angeles Kings 3, Vancouver Canucks 2 OT

Bears, NFL Notes

>>Ex-Bear Chris Harris Returns as Assistant. Coach

(Chicago, IL) -- Chris Harris didn't leave the Bears for long. Just days after retiring with Chicago, the former safety is reportedly returning as the team's defensive quality control coach. Harris played 101 NFL games, including 88 starts with multiple teams. He finished his career with 16 picks, 14 forced fumbles and nine fumble recoveries.

>>Bears Name New Linebackers Coach

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bears have named former Purdue defensive coordinator Tim Tibesar as their new linebackers coach. He'll reunite with new Bears Head Coach Marc Trestman. Tibesar worked under Trestman with the Montreal Alouttes from 2009 to 2010. He also spent time as special teams coach and defensive coordinator at Kansas State.

>>Lovie Smith To Take 2013 Off From Coaching

(Undated) -- Former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith is taking some time off from the NFL. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Smith plans to sit out the 2013 season and return as a head coach in 2014. The 54-year-old was fired last month after nine seasons as Bears head coach. Chicago went 10-and-6 this season, but missed the playoffs for the fifth time in six years. Smith was 84-and-66 with the Bears, including three playoff appearances and a trip to Super Bowl 41.

>>Goodell Approval Rating 39-Percent In "USA Today" Player Poll

(New Orleans, LA) -- As Super Bowl week begins in New Orleans, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell's approval rating is taking a hit. In a recent "USA Today" poll of 300 players, 61-percent said they disapprove of the job Goodell is doing. Most of the criticism centered around his handling of the Saints' bounty scandal and the overall increase in fines.

Cardinals Sign Free-Agent Infielder Cedeno

The St. Louis Cardinals have signed free-agent infielder Ronny Cedeno to a one-year contract.  The 29-year-old hit .259 with four home runs and 22 RBI in 78 games for the New York Mets last year.  The eight-year veteran played shortstop, second base and third base.  To make room, the Cards designated pitcher Barret Browning for assignment.

Kansas New Number-One In USA Today Poll

Kansas is the new number-one in the "USA Today" top-25 men's college basketball poll. The Jayhawks received 16 first-place votes and 760 points to move from second to first. Previous number-one Duke slipped four spots to fifth after losing to Miami last week. Michigan got 14 first-place votes and 757 points to climb one spot to second. Indiana is third, followed by Florida, which received the remaining first-place vote. Syracuse, Gonzaga, Arizona, Michigan State and Butler round out the top-ten. Miami entered the poll this week at number-15 after blowing out the Blue Devils. Marquette also checks in this week at number-25. Virginia Commonwealth and Notre Dame dropped out of this week's poll.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Kansas Jayhawks 61, West Virginia Mountaineers 56
#13 Louisville Cardinals 64, Pittsburgh Panthers 61
#25 Marquette Golden Eagles 63, South Florida Bulls 50

Bulls Down Bobcats

Jimmy Butler scored a career-high 19 points and Nate Robinson added 15 as the Chicago Bulls defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 93-85 on Monday night.

Luol Deng returned to the Bulls' lineup after missing five games with a hamstring injury, and scored 12 points in 31 minutes. The Bulls won 3 of 5 without Deng as his absence was eased by the strong play of Butler, who returned to a reserve role.

Joakim Noah finished with 13 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists to help Central Division-leading Chicago win for the seventh time in its last nine games.

Kemba Walker and Ben Gordon led the Bobcats with 18 points apeice. Charlotte has lost 9 of its last 11 games.

Golden State Warriors 114, Toronto Raptors 102
Sacramento Kings 96, Washington Wizards 94
Memphis Grizzlies 103, Philadelphia 76ers 100
Brooklyn Nets 97, Orlando Magic 77
Houston Rockets 125, Utah Jazz 80
Denver Nuggets 102, Indiana Pacers 101

Sages Take On Central A&M At Okaw Tourney

The Central A&M Raiders will try to avenge a loss earlier this month as they take on the Monticello Sages in the semi-final game of the Okaw Valley Conference tournament tonight at Maroa-Forsyth High School.

The Sages beat Central A&M earlier this month in Monitcello 54-45. Nick Stokowski had 25 points and 15 rebounds and the Sages went 19-25 at the free throw line.

Game time tonight is 6 pm, and you can hear all the action live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Tonight's contest puts the winner into the Championship game Saturday night against the winner of tonight's 7:30 pm game between Decatur St. Teresa and Meridian.

Lady Maroons Stay Undefeated In Conference

The Clinton Lady Maroons defeated Argenta-Oreana 70-50 Monday night and stay undefeated in the Okaw Valley Conference. Coming off a loss last Thursday to Central A&M at the Okaw Valley Tournament Championship, the Lady Maroons bounced back. Okaw Valley Conference Tournament games do not count towards the teams' conference records.

The Lady Maroons were led by the 16 points of Jessica Scott. Megan Tool added 15 and Morgan Hickman chipped in with 12.

Head Coach of the Lady Maroons, Josh Williams Tweeted yesterday, "I love my girls. They understand heart, desire and passion."

The Lady Maroons are 23-4 overall and 10-0 in the Okaw.

The Lady Maroons will play for the regular season conference championship Thursday when they take on Central A&M.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-29

January 28, 2013


Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Heather Kahsen, 39, Decatur, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with Driving on Suspended License. Kahsen posted the necessary bond and was released.


Clinton Tharp, 25, Farmer City, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Tharp posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.


David Johnson, 26, Bellflower, was issued a citation for Illegal Transportation Alcohol. Johnson was issued a notice to appear and was released.




Renovations On University of Illinois Building Back On Track

Stalled renovations on a historic University of Illinois building are back on track.

The Natural History Building located on the Urbana-Champaign campus was built in 1892. Later structural problems led university officials to close almost half of the building in 2010 and move offices, labs and classrooms.

The building was already scheduled for an overhaul when officials fast-tracked a $70 million renovation. Then it was put on hold as the university came under scrutiny for potential conflicts of interest with the building architect.

The university has since changed architects. The estimated completion date is now in 2016.

Geology professor Steve Marshak says it's been frustrating, but he's excited about the improvements.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

ISU Still Trying To Scare Off Thousands of Crows

Those pesky crows just won't leave the quad at Illinois State University.

In its latest attempt at crow crowd control, the university is hanging bright inflatable balls with target-like circles meant to look like the eyes and mouths of predator birds.

But to at least some of the thousands of crows roosting there they evidently just look like harmless globes of yellow, black and white.

ISU grounds staff arborist Heather Wilcox was hanging more "Scare-Eye" bird chasers Friday as three crows flew into a nearby tree.

Still, she says that judging by how often they have to clean sidewalk droppings she thinks the effort that began two weeks ago might be having an effect.

Reports show earlier this winter, staff even tried noisemakers resembling bottle rockets.

Okaw Valley Boys Basketball Tournament Has New Host For 2013

The Okaw Valley Conference tournament got kicked off over the weekend, and the site for this year's games will be a new venue.

Maroa-Forsyth will be the host of the Okaw Tournament, as the past several years, Decatur St. Teresa has been the site of things. Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools, Mike Williams says hosting the tournament is not easy. He says there are a lot of behind the scenes things that go into it.

[audio:okawtourney1.mp3] [/audio]

For many years, Decatur St. Teresa was the host of the annual tournament, but before that, the tournament would rotate sites. Williams explains the decision to have the tournament based in Decatur was strictly financial. He says the change this time around is thanks to improved facilities around the conference.

[audio:okawtourney2.mp3] [/audio]

While hosting the Okaw Valley Tournament may seem like a big financial win for a district, Williams says that is not the case. He says Maroa-Forsyth get s a guarantee to host the tournament, and the conference covers the expenses for that, but any profits they take in go directly back into the conference to help fund other activities. The Okaw Valley Boys basketball tournament is basically the biggest fundraiser of the year for conference.

[audio:okawtourney3.mp3] [/audio]

Williams says the Okaw Valley tournament is a great draw for the casual basketball fan and he looks forward to hosting the Okaw Valley tournament this year. The tournament got kicked off Friday and games began and Maroa-Forsyth High School Saturday. Games will continue through the week as well.

Clinton City Council Entertaining Joining Mahomet Aquifer Coaltion

The Clinton City Council is considering joining the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition, an intergovernmental agreement to petition the US EPA to designate the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source aquifer.

The City of Champaign hired Lane Hydro as a consulting firm to study the Mahomet Aquifer becoming sole source aquifer. Al Wehrmann studied the Mahomet Aquifer extensively and explains the to become a sole source aquifer, the aquifer must provide 50% of the drinking water in the area overlying the aquifer, as well as other communities served by the supply. US EPA guidelines also stipulate the service area can have no alternative water sources which could physically, legally, and economically supply all the water currently supplied by the aquifer.

[audio:12813designation1.mp3] [/audio]

If Clinton was to join the Coalition, it would be another voice, among many, to petition the EPA to designate the Mahomet Aquifer as a sole source aquifer. Wehrmann explains the US EPA can review any federally funded project that can contaminate the aquifer. The Coalition does not want federal funds to be used to potentially contaminate the water.

[audio:12813designation2.mp3] [/audio]

Wehrmann believes the sole source designation will have a great impact on local awareness. He notes it will not have an impact on the Clinton Landfill, however, he notes the more communities that join in the Coalition, the better the chance the Mahomet Aquifer gets that sole source designation.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow on Regional Radio News as we will outline the effects the Mahomet Aquifer has, the amount people it serves and how much people use it. The numbers will probably surprise you.

Local Sheriff 'Frustrated' By Areas Substance Abuse

One local law enforcement official is voicing his frustrations over substance abuse in DeWitt County.

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner says about 75% of reports that come across his desk involve substance abuse in some way or another. Sheriff Shofner encourages anyone who knows someone who may be struggling with alcohol or substance abuse to be aggressive and get them help.

[audio:12813frustrated1.mp3] [/audio]

The Sheriff explains during the 90s, there was a massive push to make people aware of the consequences of drunk driving. He says now his deputies are arresting people for DUIs several times a day in a week and at all times of the day and night. He says no matter how discouraging it gets, both on the roads, and in the courtrooms, he says they will continue to work to keep the roads safe.

[audio:12813frustrated2.mp3] [/audio]

While law enforcement can be dedicated to cracking down on DUIs all they want, Sheriff Shofner says this needs to be a concerted effort by those who are watching friends or family become victims of substance abuse.

[audio:12813frustrated3.mp3] [/audio]

Last Saturday night a DeWitt man struck and killed a Bloomington woman while driving drunk.

Find out tomorrow on Regional Radio News the things the Sheriff has done to begin addressing this problem and the things he believes need to happen to begin addressing this growing problem.

Fifth Racing President Announced By Nationals

The president's race at each Washington Nationals game could be more exciting than ever this coming season as the team has announced the identity of a new, fifth running bobblehead president.  The "Washington Post" reports the new figure will be William Howard Taft.  He'll join George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. The fourth inning footraces among the presidential figures are a fan favorite.  Taft was selected in part because he became the first president to throw the first pitch on Opening Day in Washington, DC in 1910.  He's also widely credited with having accidentally created the seventh-inning stretch.  The team will refer to Taft as "Bill" and the "Big Chief," due to his later role as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

Dr. Phil Snags Interview With Alleged Manti Te'o Hoaxer

Dr. Phil has reportedly landed the first TV interview with the man believed to be behind the Manti Te'o [[ MAN-tye  TAY-oh ]] girlfriend hoax.  Sources tell TMZ.com TV counselor Phil McGraw sat down with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo [[ Roe-NYE-ah  TOO-ee-ah-sah-SO-poh ]] for several hours Thursday in Los Angeles where they discussed Te'o's interview with Katie Couric.  The interview is expected to air sometime this week. 

Blues, 'Hawks Win

>>Blackhawks Clip Red Wings In OT

(Chicago, IL) -- Nick Leddy lit the lamp in overtime to send the Blackhawks to a 2-1 win over the visiting Red Wings. Chicago is off to its best start in franchise history at 6-and-0. Duncan Keith scored on the power play less than three minutes into the game while Corey Crawford made 29 saves for the victory. Johan Franzen scored the lone goal for the Wings, who dropped to 2-2-and-1. Jimmy Howard made 25 saves in the setback.

>>Blues Tame Wild In OT

(St. Louis, MO) -- Vladimir Sobotka's overtime tally lifted the Blues past the Wild, 5-4, in St. Louis. Wade Redden, Patrik Berglund, Chris Stewart and Barret Jackman all lit the lamp as well for St. Louis, which improved to 5-and-1. Brian Elliott made 12 saves for the victory. Zach Parise [[ puh-REE-see ]] scored a pair of power play goals for Minnesota and assisted on another. Mikko Koivu and Dany Heatley also found the back of the net while Niklas Backstrom made 29 saves in the loss. The Wild fell to 2-2-and-1 with the loss.

Washington Capitals 3, Buffalo Sabres 2
Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Ottawa Senators 1 (SO)
Montreal Canadiens 4, New Jersey Devils 3 (OT)
Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Philadelphia Flyers 1
Winnipeg Jets 5, New York Islanders 4 (OT)
San Jose Sharks 4, Vancouver Canucks 1

49ers Arrive In Big Easy For Super Bowl

The San Francisco 49ers have landed in New Orleans for Super Bowl 47.  The NFC Champions arrived around 7:00 p.m. local time at Louis Armstrong International on Sunday.  Head coach Jim Harbaugh and some players met with the media following their arrival.  The team will practice at the Saints' facility in Metairie.  The Niners face the AFC Champion Baltimore Ravens on February 3rd at the Superdome.  The Ravens will land in the Big Easy on Monday.

NFC Destroys AFC In Pro Bowl

Russell Wilson threw for 98 yards and three touchdowns to help the NFC dismantle the AFC 62-35 in the Pro Bowl.  Eli Manning tossed for a pair of scores, while Drew Brees added one for the NFC All-Stars.  Game MVP Kyle Rudolph made five catches for 122 yards and a TD while Victor Cruz had 10 grabs for 96 yards and a score.  Vincent Jackson added two more touchdowns and 91 yards in the win.  A.J. Green made seven catches for 119 yards and three scores for the AFC.  Josh Cribbs had three receptions for 56 yards and a TD in defeat.  Derrick Johnson returned a 42 yard interception for a score to give the AFC a 14-10 lead early in the second quarter.  Andrew Luck passed for 205 yards, two TDs and a pick, but also lost a fumble.  Starter Peyton Manning was 6-of-12 for 43 yards and a touchdown.

Bulls Host Bobcats Tonight

The Bulls welcome the Charlotte Bobcats to the Madhouse on Madison this evening. Chicago split a pair of games over the weekend. The Bulls beat Golden State at home on Friday before falling to the Wizards in DC on Saturday. Chicago is now 26-and-17 on the year. Charlotte enters tonight's game at 11-and-32.

Boston Celtics 100, Miami Heat 98 (2OT)
Los Angeles Lakers 105, Oklahoma City Thunder 96
Detroit Pistons 104, Orlando Magic 102
New Orleans Hornets 91, Memphis Grizzlies 83
New York Knicks 106, Atlanta Hawks 104
Dallas Mavericks 110, Phoenix Suns 95
Los Angeles Clippers 96, Portland Trail Blazers 83

>>NBA Champion Heat To Visit White House Today

(Washington, DC) -- A stop at the White House in on the agenda today for the Miami Heat. LeBron James and the rest of the Heat will visit President Obama in honor of their NBA championship last season. The president will also recognize the team's efforts in supporting the men and women who serve in the military. The Heat will also meet with wounded warriors during their stay in Washington. Miami defeated Oklahoma City in five games last June to capture its second NBA crown.

ISU Wins, Bradley Crushed

>>ISU Edges Evanseville

Jackie Carmichael scored 24 points and grabbed 14 rebounds on Saturday night, leading Illinois State to a 67-62 victory over Evansville.

D.J. Ballentine sank a 3-point shot with 11:09 left in the game to give Evansville (12-9, 5-4 Missouri Valley) a 46-42, but Illinois State (12-9, 3-6) caught up and then took the lead for good on a thunderous dunk by Carmichael with 6:53 remaining.

Tyler Brown added 23 points for Illinois State, which had a 26-18 scoring advantage in the paint and 17-10 edge in points off turnovers.

Ned Cox led Evansville with 18 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. Colt Ryan scored 17 and Ballentine had 14.

>>Wichita State Whips Bradley

Nick Wiggins scored 12 points and fueled a 16-0 run in the second half with three 3-pointers as No. 20 Wichita State completed a regular-season sweep of Bradley with a 73-39 victory Saturday night.

Jake White added 11 points for the Shockers (19-2, 8-1 Missouri Valley Conference), who won their 19th consecutive home game and ensured themselves of starting the second half of their conference schedule in sole possession of the MVC lead.

Cleanthony Early and Malcolm Armstead each added 10 points for Wichita State.

Walt Lemon Jr. led Bradley (12-9, 4-5) with 14 points.

WSU defeated Bradley for the seventh consecutive time, adding to its longest winning streak in series history. The Shockers led 39-30 with 15:20 remaining, but Early and Wiggins launched the game-breaking run as Bradley went more than 6 minutes without a field goal.

Michigan Tops Illinois, Makes Case for #1

Trey Burke scored 19 points and No. 2 Michigan never trailed after the opening minutes of a 74-60 win Sunday over Illinois that could push the Wolverines to No. 1 in the nation for the first time since the 1992-93 season.

Duke's lopsided loss to Miami earlier in the week opened the door for a new No. 1 when the AP poll comes out Monday - and Michigan put itself in position to take the top spot.

Nick Stauskas scored 14 points for the Wolverines (19-1, 6-1 Big Ten). Glenn Robinson III and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 each.

Brandon Paul led Illinois (15-6, 2-5) with 15 points but had 5 of Illinois' 15 costly turnovers.

Michigan's Jordan Morgan did not return after leaving early with an apparent ankle injury.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#8 Indiana Hoosiers 75, #11 Michigan State Spartans 70
#12 Creighton Bluejays 81, Southern Illinois Salukis 51

Clinton Police Weekend Report




















DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

January 25, 2013


Jail Population: 71

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


January 26, 2013


Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 27, 2013


Jail Population: 75

Summons Served: 3

Warrant Arrests: 1




Kellie Fenton, 22, Clinton, was arrested on a DeWitt County Warrant charging her with battery/ cause bodily harm. Fenton posted the necessary bond and was released.


Skyler Schaefer, 22, Clinton, was arrested on a Dewitt County Warrant and charged with Driving on Suspended License. Schaefer posted the necessary bond and was released.


Jordan Walkins, 26, Clinton, was arrested and charged with a Dewitt County Failure to Appear. Walkins unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.


Investigation into the scene of a accident which occurred at 4:38 pm on 1/22/13 revealed Shayna Garrelts , 28, Champaign, and Karlene Hithorne, 49, Effingham, were traveling east at the intersection of State Highway 54 and State Highway 48 when Garrelts began passing Hithorne. Hithorne said left turn signal was used and when she begun turning left is when she came around and began passing. Garrelts said Hithorne used right turn signal then left turn signal. Garrelts said she was unsure what Hithorne intended and she began passing her. They then collided. Both vehicles sustained damage. Drivers of both vehicles and passenger of Garrelts vehicle had no visible signs of injuries. Garrelts was issued a citation for improper overtaking intersection. Garrelts posted her IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.




Investigation into the scene of a accident which occurred at 12:59 pm on 1/22/13 revealed that Ashley Holmes, 23, Kenney, was traveling west bound on Sunset Drive. Holmes looked down inside the vehicle and left roadway striking a utility pole. Holmes had a dog getting sick in the vehicle, causing a distraction. The vehicle had major damage to the front passenger side. The vehicle was towed by Kathy’s Towing. Holmes had no visible signs of injuries and did not report any at the scene. No citations were issued.


Investigation into the scene of a accident which occurred at 2:24 pm on 1/23/13 revealed that Clint Rabbe, 28, Normal was traveling north bound on Leroy Road when both passenger side tires left the blacktop and touched the soft gravel on the east side of the road. Rabbe stated he over corrected the vehicle and swerved across both lanes of traffic into the soft gravel on the west side of the road. Rabbe then attempted to correct the vehicle again, ultimately losing control and swerving into the ditch on the east side of Leroy Road. Upon impact, the vehicle rolled side over side into a grassy area. Farmer City Arrow Ambulance also responded to the accident. Rabbe claimed no injuries and signed a refusal of treatment form. His vehicle was towed from the scene by Quinn’s Towing per his request. Rabbe was wearing his seatbelt, and the airbags did not deploy as a result of the accident. Rabbe was issued a citation for Failure to Reduce Speed/ Accident. Rabbe posted his IL Driver’s License and was released.


Scott Goodman, 60, Lincoln was issued a citation for operating uninsured vehicle. Goodman posted his IL Driver’s License as bond and was released.






Local Unemployment Figures Released For December

Local unemployment figures were released last week with little good news, as just about all areas of the state saw gains in unemployment from November to December of last year.

DeWitt County saw inunemployment go from 7.3% to 7.9%.

Logan County's unemployment rate jumped to 8.1%, up from 7.5%.

In Piatt County, unemployment rose almost a percentage point, from 6.5% to 7.4%.

McLean County's unemployment inched up just slightly, going from 6.1% to 6.3%.

Macon County had one of the area's largest jumps, going from 10.2% to 11.8%.

Champaign County went from 7.2%to 7.3%.

Christian County's unemployment bumped from 7.9% to 8.6%.

Ford County jumped a half percent, at 7.4% to 7.9%.

In Livingston County, unemployment went from 7.6% to 8%.

Mason County saw unemployment jump over the ten-percent benchmark, going from 9.3% to 10.1%.

Sangamon County saw unemployment go from 6.9% to 7.2%.

And Tazewell County jumped in unemployment, from 7.2% to 7.9%.

The state's lowest unemployment rate was in Brown County, which was at 4.7% and the highest unemployment rate was in Boone County, where unemployment jumped nearly two percent, up to 11.9%.

The biggest gains in unemployment were in Scott County, where unemployment ballooned to 10.9%, up from 8.8% in November of 2012.

One County saw drops in unemployment, and that was in Alexander County, where unemployment there dropped from 11.2% to 10.6%.

The State's unemployment rate for December was at 8.6%, which was up from 8.3% in November. The national average was 7.6% for December.

Illinois Lawmaker Wants Limited Lame-Duck Votes

A state lawmaker wants to make it harder for the General Assembly to push through controversial legislation during lame-duck sessions.

Republican Rep. Jim Durkin of Western Springs filed a bill this week that would require lame-duck legislation to have the votes of 3-fifths of the House and Senate, rather a simple majority.

Several legislators liked the proposal but that Durkin isn't sure Democratic leaders will allow it to get to a committee or a floor debate.

Under Illinois law, members of the Legislature who are stepping down or who have lost their re-election bids can vote on bills in January before a new General Assembly is sworn in. They are often crucial to passing controversial legislation because they don't have worry about voter backlash.

Fraud Concerns Linger Over New Illinois License Law

Illinois is the fourth state to allow illegal immigrants to obtain a driver's license with a new law signed by the governor.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation Sunday surrounded by hundreds of supporters who say the measure will make Illinois' roads safer and expand opportunities for illegal immigrants.

Quinn says people need a way to get to work, drive to the doctor and drive their children to school. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says the new law should serve as a model for the nation.

New Mexico and Washington both issue licenses to undocumented immigrants, while Utah issues permits.

Illinois officials say the dissemination of the temporary licenses is expected to begin in October.

The legislation was billed as a public safety measure and had bipartisan support.

Durbin, McCarthy Push New Gun Laws

Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy is joining U.S. Senator Dick Durbin in calling for stronger gun laws. McCarthy says stronger gun laws, like New York City's, will prevent the sale of illegal guns.

[audio:chimccarthyguns1.mp3] [/audio]

Durbin says stricter gun laws will help families and law enforcement.

[audio:chidurbinguns1.mp3] [/audio]

Durbin plans on looking at the Second Amendment as a whole.

[audio:chidurbinguns3.mp3] [/audio]

Both McCarthy and Durbin told reporters on Friday it was very important for the federal government to "do something" about guns to make America safer for families and law enforcement. Durbin also announced he'd be holding a hearing on the constitutional aspects of the 2nd Amendment. The Senate Judiciary Committee is also going to start hearings on gun violence this Wednesday.

Quinn Signs Immigration Driving Bill

Illegal immigrants in Illinois can legally get behind the wheel in as little as 10-months. Secretary of State Jesse White says they'll have to pass several tests before they can get a temporary driver's license.

[audio:rddIMIGdr.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says they're hard working individuals who deserve the right to drive without fear.

[audio:rddIMIGdr1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn signed the new law yesterday, clearing the way for about 250-thousand immigrants to get temporary driver's licenses. Lawmakers call the measure a big step toward improving road safety in Illinois. According to the Illinois Highway Safety Coalition, unlicensed, uninsured drivers are involved in almost 80-thousand accidents in Illinois each year. Unlicensed immigrant drivers cost 64 million dollars in damage claims alone. If half of the estimated 250-thousand unlicensed immigrants are properly licensed and insured, Illinois insurance policy holders would save an estimated 46-million dollars a year in premiums.

Quinn Urges People To file For Tax Credit

The Earned Income Tax Credit has doubled over the past two years. The credit puts money back into the pockets of hard working, low-income families, but Governor Quinn says not enough people are applying for it.

[audio:rddCredit1.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn says people are leaving money on the table because they're not applying for the Earned income Tax Credit. He says you may still be able to get what's owed to you if you forgot to apply in the past several years.

[audio:rddCredit2.mp3] [/audio]

For more information about the credit, and to find help filing your returns, check out EITC.Illinois.gov.

Ameren Illinois Wants $50-Million Rate Increase

Residential customers of Ameren Illinois could see an increase of several dollars per month on their gas bills.

The company filed a request Friday for a $50 million rate increase to help recover the costs of delivering natural gas as well as replacing pipes and modernizing equipment.

The utility delivers gas to 813,000 customers in central and southern Illinois.

The Illinois Commerce Commission approved a $32.2 million gas deliver rate increase for the company a year ago.

If the new request is approved, a typical residential customer would pay an extra $2.52 to $4 a month, depending on where they live.

Vice President Craig Nelson said in a statement the company would try to help consumers handle any increase by offering advice on energy efficiency.

State Officials Host Youth Pheasant Hunt

State officials say young hunters can now apply for a new addition to the Illinois Youth Pheasant Hunt Program.

It is called the Pere Marquette Youth Pheasant Hunt and hunters ages 10 to 15 are eligible. The event will be held March 2 at Pere Marquette State Park in Jersey County.

The hunt is modeled after the World Shooting and Recreational Complex Youth Pheasant Hunt. Young hunters will also get to participate in a wingshooting clinic and practice shotgun safety.

The event is sponsored by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and Pere Marquette State Park, along with several other groups.

Permits are available through the department's online reservation system.

Peoria Man Gets 22-Years For Choking Young Girls

A Peoria man has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for choking two young girls who were in his care.

Reports state 28-year-old Antwon Glover received 11 years on each of 2 counts of aggravated domestic battery.

The girls, ages 5 and 7, were at Glover's house on May 26 of last year when the abuse occurred.

After seeing the older girl's condition, concerned neighbors called the police.

At his sentencing Friday, Glover told the judge he was innocent.

The 5-year-old was too overcome with emotion to read a statement on how the attack affected her. She froze after a few words and handed the statement to the judge to read.

Circuit Judge Steve Kouri said a long sentence was necessary to protect the children.

Rep. Mitchell Pushes for Drug Tests for Welfare Recipients

As part of his push for welfare reform in Illinois, State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) wants welfare recipients as well as lawmakers to undergo mandatory drug testing.

Mitchell has filed legislation that would require substance abuse testing as a condition for filing nomination papers for the office of State Representative or State Senator. House Bill 174 would also require drug testing of welfare recipients. Individuals who test positive for controlled substances would be ineligible to receive welfare benefits for one year.

“Welfare should more resemble work and not be a way of life,” Mitchell said. “People in the private sector oftentimes undergo random drug testing at work. People that receive taxpayer-funded welfare benefits should also be required to undergo drug testing. We need fundamental welfare reform in Illinois. In the next few years, we could have 4 million people out of 13 million Illinoisans on some form of public assistance. We simply cannot afford to do nothing.”

Representative Mitchell stated that members of the Illinois General Assembly should be held to the same standard as welfare recipients, adding that what makes his legislation unique is the requirement that candidates for the General Assembly submit to drug testing as a condition of filing to run for office.


Health Officials say Illinois Flu Deaths up to 58

State health officials say Illinois flu activity continues to be high in a season where the virus struck earlier than usual.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Friday that 534 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 58 have died.

She says all but 1 of the people who died were age 50 or older.

This year's main flu strain tends to make people sicker, and public health officials continue to encourage people to get vaccinated.

Flu typically includes a fever and respiratory problems such as cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose. It can be accompanied by head and body aches and fatigue. Most people recover in one to two weeks, but some develop complications such as pneumonia.

Illinois Hunters Harvest 180,700 Deer

Illinois officials say hunters in the state harvested about 180,700 deer during the 2012-2013 seasons.

The Illinois Department of Natural Resources released the preliminary number on Friday. Deer hunting season ended last weekend in Illinois. The number is less than the approximately 181,500 deer that hunters took the previous year. The state's record deer harvest was in 2005-2006 when hunters took more than 201,200 deer.

2 of the top Illinois counties for deer harvesting were Fulton and Pike counties. Hunters took more than 5,700 deer in Fulton County and nearly 7,250 deer in Pike County.

Jobless Rates Fall in Most Illinois Metro Areas

December jobless rates fell in most of Illinois' metropolitan areas compared to the previous year.

Figures released Friday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show that rates fell in 9 of the state's 12 metro areas compared to December of 2011.

Bloomington-Normal had the lowest unemployment rate, at 6.3%, compared to 6.9% a year earlier

The Davenport-Moline-Rock Island area was second-lowest, at 7.1%, followed by Springfield at 7.2%, and Champaign-Urbana at 7.4%.

Unemployment fell to 11.2% in Rockford, 10.5% in Kankakee-Bradley, 8.6% in Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, 8.5% in the Lake County-Kenosha area and 8.3% in Illinois' St. Louis metro area.

Three metropolitan areas saw increases. Decatur was up to 11.8%, Danville to 10.4% and Peoria to 8.3%.

Barn Quilts of Dewitt County in need of Volunteers for 2013

The upcoming DeWitt County Barn Quilt Tours for 2013 are in need of volunteers.

There are two Barn Quilt tours a year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Carolyn Sugg, Tourism Director for the Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce says they could always use extra hands. Each year the Barn Quilt program grows ,which means more work is needed to pull the event off. Sugg says there are 5 different areas that could use assistance.


According to Sugg, there are several jobs that can accommodate someone with only an hour or two to spare during a given month. Sugg says they are always excited to welcome new people to the Barn Quilt Tours. Their main team consists of 10 people, but over 50 usually end up helping in some form or another.


Sugg says each volunteer is very much appreciated and it is their efforts that make the event each year a success.

Prospective volunteers can call the Chamber office for applications at 935-3364 or go to barnquiltsofdewittcounty.com.

SIU Weekly Medical Update

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

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

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


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

Weekly Weather Update

We had a cold and dry week with just a bit of snow. A few rain events have made up for a lack of snow this winter. We'll see a cold weekend but a warm front will bring rain at the beginning of next week. State Climatologist Jim Angel has more.



Washington Wizards 114, Minnesota Timberwolves 101
Atlanta Hawks 123, Boston Celtics 111 (2OT)
Miami Heat 110, Detroit Pistons 88
Cleveland Cavaliers 113, Milwaukee Bucks 108
Chicago Bulls 103, Golden State Warriors 87
Houston Rockets 100, New Orleans Hornets 82
Memphis Grizzlies 101, Brooklyn Nets 77
San Antonio Spurs 113, Dallas Mavericks 107
Oklahoma City Thunder 105, Sacramento Kings 95
Los Angeles Lakers 102, Utah Jazz 84

Boston Bruins 4, New York Islanders 2
Carolina Hurricanes 3, Buffalo Sabres 1
New Jersey Devils 3, Washington Capitals 2 (OT)
Tampa Bay Lightning 6, Ottawa Senators 4
Detroit Red Wings 5, Minnesota Wild 3
Winnipeg Jets 4, Pittsburgh Penguins 2
Vancouver Canucks 5, Anaheim Ducks 0

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

White Sox Agree To One-Year Deal With Lindstrom

The Chicago White Sox have agreed to a one-year, 2.8-million-dollar contract with pitcher Matt Lindstrom. The deal includes a club option for 2014. The 32-year-old went 1-and-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 46 games last season while splitting time between the Baltimore Orioles and Arizona Diamondbacks. Lindstrom is 13-and-15 with 45 saves and a 3.64 ERA in six big league seasons overall with the Marlins, Astros, Rockies, Orioles and D'backs.

Bulls Run By Warriors

Kirk Hinrich hit 6-of-7 three-pointers in route to 25 points as the Bulls topped the Warriors, 103-87. Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 13 rebounds while Jimmy Butler added 16 points and 12 boards. Joakim [[ joe-keem ]] Noah added 14 points and 16 rebounds for Chicago, which has won three straight and six out of seven. Nate Robinson poured in 22 points off the bench in the win. Luol Deng [[ loo-OLL dang ]] missed his fourth straight game with a hamstring injury. David Lee had 23 points and six boards for Golden State while Stephen Curry scored 21 points in the loss. Klay Thompson added 13 points and eight boards for the Warriors, who had won three straight.

Illinois State Board of Education Asks For More State Funding

The Illinois State Board of Education wants lawmakers to increase funding for schools by $874 million next year.

The board voted Thursday to recommend the 13.4% increase.

Finance Committee Chairman Jim Baumann says school districts are in "dire, dire straits," with 67% of districts in deficit spending. He says more than 6,400 teachers have been laid off and class sizes have grown in recent years as school funding has been cut.

But an increase in funding for education is unlikely.

Illinois is in the midst of a massive budget crisis, in part because lawmakers haven't reached a deal on pension reform.

Gov. Pat Quinn's office released budget projections earlier this month. They estimated school funding would be cut by $400 million in the next fiscal year.

University of Illinois Raising Tuition

University of Illinois trustees have raised tuition for in-state students starting school this fall by 1.7%. It is the smallest increase in almost two decades.

Under Thursday's unanimous vote, undergraduate tuition at the flagship Urbana-Champaign campus will increase $198 to $11,834 a year. Chicago campus undergraduates will see an increase of $174 to $10,406. And tuition in Springfield will increase $157.50 to $9,247.50.

Increases won't affect current students. State law guarantees students at public universities will pay the same tuition for four years.

The coming increase is the smallest in terms of percentage since 1994. Recent increases have been as high as 9.5%.

Trustees also raised housing costs to $9,979 a year in Urbana-Champaign, $10,261 in Chicago and $10,350 in Springfield.

University of Illinois To Name Dorm After 1st Black Woman Graduate

The University of Illinois' Urbana-Champaign campus will have a new residence hall next fall named for the first African-American woman to graduate from the school.

The board made the decision Thursday to name the new residence hall in honor of Maudelle Tanner Brown Bousfield. The dorm is six stories tall and will house 485 students.

Bousfield graduated with honors from the university in 1906 and went on to teach high school math in Baltimore, Chicago and East St. Louis. She also became the first African-American principal in Chicago's public schools in 1928.

She retired in 1950 and died in 1971.

Official Says University of Illinois To Keep Top Minds

A University of Illinois official working on a planned public-private research laboratory in Chicago says it could serve as a job creator for the region and a magnet to draw and keep the best and brightest in Illinois.

Larry Schook is vice president for research at the planned UI Labs. He told university trustees at a meeting Thursday about plans for the public-private lab that would link the university, the city of Chicago, the state government and ideally major companies.

The research institute would have a budget of up to $100 million in five years. The money would have to come from grants, donors and outside organizations involved in the research.

Trustees did not vote on the plan Thursday but will eventually have to sign off on the university's role.

GOP Rep. Aaron Schock Considering Running For Governor

Republican Congressman Aaron Schock of Peoria says he's considering a run for Illinois governor.

According to a report, Schock says he hopes other GOP hopefuls will step aside. Schock says "the less bloodletting, the better."

The 31-year-old congressman and former state representative says he knows he can't "tell them not to run." But Schock says other candidates from his party who have run before are wasting their time.

He says his age won't be a factor in whether he runs for governor.

Schock was first elected to Congress in 2009.

Other Republican candidates who have shown interest in the Illinois governor's race include state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, and state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard.

The next general election for Illinois governor is in November 2014.

Canadian Lottery Most Common of All Scams

The past few days, we have outlined the most common scams hitting the Clinton and surround area and ones that are effecting people the most.

The most common and oldest scam law enforcement has seen over the past several years is the "Canadian Lottery". Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says this scam says the person is the winner of a lottery of some sort, but to collect their winnings, they must first send in money. Chief Reidy says sending money to receive money should be a red flag.

[audio:12513lottery1.mp3] [/audio]

Recently one resident was scammed and the person who scammed this individual got greedy and physically came to Clinton to her front door to receive more cash. Chief Reidy says fortunately they were informed of what was going on and they were able to apprehend the person and turn him over to the FBI.

[audio:12513lottery2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy says many business owners who provide services for WesternUnion or MoneyGram generally keep an eye on their patrons, and in some cases are able to keep them from being scammed.

Chief Reidy encourages anyone who is suspects they may be getting scammed to to do some follow up research and to never hesitate to contact the local authorities with questions.

Hoops For Haiti Raising Awareness Haitian Organization Serving Families

The efforts of a couple local teachers led to over a dozen high school basketball games raising money for a non-profit organization.

Chad and Sherry Cluver teach at Maroa-Forsyth High School, and four years ago, adopted two children from Haiti. Sherry Cluver says their adoption process was quite unique because they were able to adopt the children, and the children eventually went back to their biological families. It was through this process Cluver was connected with the organization Haitian Families First.

[audio:12513adopted1.mp3] [/audio]

Haitian Families First is an organization that helps provide families with things they need to keep their families together. Cluver explains the need for this is so great in Haiti, but there are so few social services that this organization helps bridge that gap.

[audio:12513adopted2.mp3] [/audio]

Prior to the 2010 earthquake that left Haiti devastated, Cluver explains Haitian Families First was an organization that took care of only the most needy of Haitian children, who needed to be adopted. Their goal was to still keep families together, but they would coordinate adoptions for the children in the most need first. Once the earthquake hit, that forced the children into adopted homes, leaving them free to focus on keeping these families together.

[audio:12513adopted3.mp3] [/audio]

Hoops for Haiti started with the Cluver's simply contacted members of the present Okaw Valley Conference, and asking them to join in the effort. Sherry says she knew Haitian Families First was in need of support financially, but they also needed more awareness to be raised. Cluver says the response from the schools in the Okaw and around central Illinois was overwhelmingly positive, and led to 13 teams participating in it's inaugural year.

[audio:12513adopted4.mp3] [/audio]

Haiti is the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere. Haitian Families First preserves and sustains families by helping them to find employment, supply their loved ones’ most basic needs, and provide for their children’s educations and care.

Haitian Families First assists families by providing formula for infants, helping with medical expenses and other health-related costs, and by giving tuition assistance to school-aged children. They work with families to assess their individual needs and help them to determine how they can best achieve their goals of preservation and self-sufficiency.

HRC Executive Director Striving For Continued Success In Programs

The DeWitt County Human Resource Center's new leader has spent her first month on the job familiarizing herself with the organizations ins and outs.

Lynn Scoville joined the HRC a little over a month ago and is excited about the services provided by their three sites. The main facility is their West facility, on Route 54, which provides mental health services. She explains those services are well utilized, but those in need do not have to wait long to join a program. The services primarily focus on substance abuse.

[audio:12213hrc1.mp3] [/audio]

Their East facility, on Route 10, focuses on those with developmental or physical disabilities. It is called "Developmental Training". Scoville explains the programs help individuals with disabilities develop basic life skills, and gives them the opportunity to practice those skills at the Encore Thrift Store. The funds from Encore go right back into their programs.

[audio:12213hrc2.mp3] [/audio]

The newest facility at the HRC is the Kleemann Village Apartment on Kleemann Drive. The focus of these apartments is to house those with chronic mental illness. According to Scoville, as a part of these apartments, the tenants can receive help with tasks that may be challenging for them such as balancing a check book, buying groceries, and things like that.

[audio:12213hrc3.mp3] [/audio]

Scoville hopes for expansion of the apartments in the future, however, with the state fiscal crisis, she is focused on keeping all of their services stable at all three sites.

Scoville feels she has a great staff on hand and says they do great work with all the people that utilize their services.

'Hawks, Blues Win

>>Blackhawks Beat Stars In OT

(Dallas, TX) -- Marian Hossa [[ HOE-suh ]] notched his fifth goal of the season 1:41 into overtime to lift the Blackhawks over the Stars, 3-2. Jonathan Toews [[ Tayves ]] tied the game at two with six minutes left in regulation, while Patrick Sharp scored in the second period for Chicago, which stayed undefeated at 4-and-0. The Hawks were 3-of-7 on power play chances. Corey Crawford stopped 21 shots in the win. Kari Lehtonen [[ KAR-ee LET-ih-nin ]] made 38 saves in defeat. Loui Eriksson and Ray Whitney each found the back of the net to put Dallas up 2-0. The Stars fell to 2-1-and-1.

>>Blues Blank Preds

(St. Louis, MO) -- Jaroslav Halak [[ YAHR-roh-slav HAH-lak ]] had to make just 13 saves for his second shutout of the season and 24th of his career, as the Blues blanked the Predators 3-0 at Scottrade Center. Patrik Berglund tallied a goal and an assist, while T.J. Oshie and Vladimir Tarasenko also lit the lamp for the Note, which bounced back from its first loss of the season and improved to 3-and-1. Pekka Rinne [[ PEH-kuh RIH-neh ]] allowed all three goals on 24 shots for Nashville, which fell to 1-1-and-2.

New York Islanders 7, Toronto Maple Leafs 4
Philadelphia Flyers 2, New York Rangers 1
Montreal Canadiens 4, Washington Capitals 1
Carolina Hurricanes 6, Buffalo Sabres 3
Ottawa Senators 3, Florida Panthers 1
Colorado Avalanche 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 0
Edmonton Oilers 2, Los Angeles Kings 1 (OT)
San Jose Sharks 5, Phoenix Coyotes 3

Baseball Notes

>>D'backs Deal Upton To Braves In Seven-Player Swap

(Undated) -- Justin Upton is on the move. The Arizona Diamondbacks have traded the slugging outfielder to the Atlanta Braves in a seven-player deal that brings infielder Martin Prado [[ mar-TEEN PRAH-doh ]] to the desert. Atlanta also gets third baseman Chris Johnson, while pitchers Randall Delgado and Zeke Spruill and infielders Nick Ahmed and Brandon Drury all head to Arizona. The 25-year-old Upton is united with brother B.J., who signed with the Braves as a free-agent this offseason. Justin Upton hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI last year while playing through a thumb injury. The 29-year-old Prado batted .301 with 10 home runs and 70 RBI last season. He's expected to play third base for the D'backs.

>>Cubs Add OF Hairston

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Cubs added some outfield depth on Thursday, agreeing with Scott Hairston. According to MLB Network and Fox Sports the deal is pending a physical. The 32-year-old hit .263 with 20 home runs and 57 last season with the New York Mets.

>>Mets Agree To One-Year Deal With Marcum

(Flushing, NY) -- The New York Mets have agreed to a one-year contract with pitcher Shaun Marcum. According to multiple reports, the deal is still pending a physical. Marcum spent the last two seasons with the Milwaukee Brewers. A lingering elbow issue limited the 31-year-old to 21 starts last season as he went 7-and-4 with a 3.70 ERA. Marcum was 13-and-7 with a 3.54 ERA in 2011. He spent his first five seasons with Toronto, but missed all of the 2009 campaign while recovering from Tommy John surgery. Marcum is 57-and-36 with a 3.76 ERA in seven big league seasons with the Jays and Brewers.

Weekend Football Notes

>>AFC, NFC Face Off Sunday In Pro Bowl

(Honolulu, HI) -- The Super Bowl is still another weekend away, but most of the NFL's top stars will be on display this Sunday in the annual Pro Bowl at Aloha Stadium. Denver Broncos head coach John Fox leads the host AFC squad against Green Bay Packers head coach Mike McCarthy and the visiting NFC. The Broncos' Peyton Manning will start at quarterback for the AFC. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers was selected to start for the NFC, but is out with an injury. A Pro Bowl record three rookie quarterbacks were selected this year in Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin the Third and Russell Wilson. Luck is an injury replacement for Patriots QB Tom Brady on the AFC side. RG3 is also out with a knee injury and will not play for the NFC. Wilson, Drew Brees and Eli Manning are the three quarterbacks on the NFC roster.

The Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers had the most Pro Bowl selections with nine, but the 49ers players have been replaced as they prepare for Super Bowl 47 instead. The AFC beat the NFC 59-41 last year, with then Miami Dolphins wide receiver Brandon Marshall winning MVP honors. A lack of defense by either team in order to avoid injury has prompted NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to consider whether the series should continue. The game has been played in Hawaii every year since 1979, except 2010 when it was played in Miami, site of that year's Super Bowl.

>>North, South Clash In Saturday's Senior Bowl

(Mobile, AL) -- College football's top players will be looking to impress in the annual Senior Bowl tomorrow in Mobile, Alabama. The nation's top senior talent will comprise teams representing the North and South. It offers NFL teams another chance to evaluate players in game conditions, and players the chance to boost their stock ahead of the April draft. The South roster is led by quarterbacks Landry Jones of Oklahoma, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson and E.J. Manuel of Florida State. The North roster features N.C. State quarterback Mike Glennon as well as Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson making the switch to wide receiver. The North beat the South 23-13 last year behind the MVP efforts of Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead. The South leads the overall series 30-27-and-3. Three games in the early 1990s did not feature the North-South format. Saturday's kickoff is set for 4 p.m. Eastern.

Rams Hire Rob Ryan

The Rams have hired Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator.  Ryan held the same position with the Dallas Cowboys before being fired earlier this month.  Under Ryan, the Cowboys' defense was 19th overall, 17th against the run and 21st against the pass.

Bulls Win, 2 Named To All-Star Team

>>Bulls Host Golden State

(Chicago, IL) -- The Chicago Bulls conclude a four-game homestand tonight against the Golden State Warriors. The Bulls have won two straight and five-of-six overall to move to 25-and-16. The Warriors come in at 26-and-15 on the season, having won three consecutive games.

Toronto Raptors 97, Orlando Magic 95
New York Knicks 89, Boston Celtics 86
Phoenix Suns 93, Los Angeles Clippers 88

>>Two Bulls Named To All-Star Roster

(New York, NY) -- Joakim Noah and Luol Deng were named to the Eastern Conference All-Star squads on Thursday night. This is Noah's first appearance and Deng's second. The 6-foot-11 center is averaging 12 points and 11 rebounds per game this season. Deng is averaging 17.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per contest.

>>Rams Hire Rob Ryan

(St Louis, MO) -- The Rams have hired Rob Ryan as their new defensive coordinator. Ryan held the same position with the Dallas Cowboys before being fired earlier this month. Under Ryan, the Cowboys' defense was 19th overall, 17th against the run and 21st against the pass.

Illinois Hosts Michigan Sunday

>>Illini Hosting Wolverines

(Champaign, IL) -- The Illini square off with the Wolverines this Sunday in Champaign. U of I is coming off a win at Nebraska, while Michigan is gunning for its third straight victory. Michigan is second in the Big Ten standings trailing only Michigan State and Illinois is third to last.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Michigan Wolverines 68, Purdue Boilermakers 53
UCLA Bruins 84, #6 Arizona Wildcats 73
#10 Gonzaga Bulldogs 83, BYU Cougars 63
Richmond Spiders 86, #16 Virginia Commonwealth Rams 74 (OT)
#24 Ole Miss Rebels 62, Tennessee Volunteers 56

Maroons In Shelbyville; Sages Play Saturday, Await Opponent

>>Maroons In Shelbyville

The Clinton Maroons travel to Shelbyville tonight to take ont he Shelbyville Rams as the Okaw Valley Conference tournament opens play tonight. The Maroons received the last overall seed. Shelbyville is the fifth seed in the tournament. The Winner of this game will take on Central A&M tomorrow afternoon at Maroa-Forsyth High School, the site of this year's Okaw Tournament.

Okaw Valley Conference Tournament games do not count towards the teams' conference record.

You can hear the game live on 92.3 FM WHOW, online at dewittdailynews.com and on Clinton Cable Channel 13.

Other Okaw Valley games tonight:

Macon Meridian 7:00 PM

Sullivan 7:00 PM

Tolono Unity 7:00 PM

>>Sages Play Saturday

The Monticello Sages will have a Friday night off this week as they prepare for a 3 pm Saturday game. Monticello is the Okaw Valley Tournament's #1 overall seed and will play the winner of tonight's contest between Warrensburg-Latham and Sullivan.

The Sages are 16-2 overall and 6-1 in the Okaw Valley. After having a 12-game winning streak snapped, the Sages have since rattled off three straight.

Monticello has yet to see Warrensburg-Latham, but they did edge out Sullivan last Friday night in overtime, 48-45.

You can hear tomorrow's game on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Analyst: Madigan Could Be Tough Challenge For Quinn In Primary

Attorney General Lisa Madigan could end up being a tough challenge for Governor Pat Quinn if she does challenge him in the 2014 Democratic primary.

[audio:chimadigananalyst1.mp3] [/audio]

UIC Professor Dick Simpson says Governor Pat Quinn could survive the 2014 Democratic primary, if there are too many opponents.

[audio:chimadigananalyst2.mp3] [/audio]

Simpson says Quinn could get a boost if the pension plan is able to be solved this session. He also says the governor could have an easier time surviving the primary if Madigan, ex-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and other candidates end up splitting the vote. U.S. Senator Dick Durbin told the "Chicago Sun-Times" earlier this week about Madigan's upcoming decision, saying she's "seriously thinking" about running.

Illinois To Invest $9-Million In Illinois Airports

The state of Illinois will invest $9 million in infrastructure improvements at 19 airports.

Gov. Pat Quinn announced the investment Wednesday. He says maintaining and improving the facilities is necessary to ensure the safety of airport workers and meet the needs of travelers.

Quinn says the project will generate hundreds of jobs. It is funded by $7.3 million from Illinois Jobs Now, a multibillion-dollar building initiative Quinn signed into law in 2009. Another $1.6 million will come from local funds.

The improvement projects include the rehabilitation of a terminal and some taxiways, aircraft parking ramps and changes to major parking lots.

The state's aviation system includes nearly 80 publicly owned airports. A recent local economic impact study found the system injects more than $40.9 billion annually to local economies.

Lt. Governor Forming Working Group On Concealed Carry

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is inviting new lawmakers from across Illinois to work with her on a concealed carry law.

A federal appeals court panel ruled last month that Illinois' ban on concealed weapons is unconstitutional. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is appealing the ruling. But lawmakers still face a 180-day deadline to pass a bill legalizing concealed carry.

Simon says she wants new legislators from both parties to join her firearms working group.

Illinois lawmakers tend to split along geographic rather than party lines on gun issues, with Democrats from outside Chicago aligning with Republicans.

Simon says as a Democrat from downstate Carbondale she hopes to help lawmakers find common ground.

She says the group will hear from people with many perspectives on gun issues and discuss other firearms legislation.

Missouri Needs Ilinois' Help To Get Bridge Named After Musial

Missouri legislators are hoping to get some help from Illinois in naming the new Mississippi River bridge named after Stan Musial. State Senator John Lamping says both states will have to pass laws agreeing to the name before it can become official.

[audio:stlmusialbridge1.mp3] [/audio]

Senator Lamping has no problem with U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill and Dick Durbin filing federal legislation to get the bridge named after Musual, even if it's supposed to be left up to the states.

[audio:stlmusialbridge2.mp3] [/audio]

Lamping has no problem with U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Dick Durbin filing federal legislation to get the bridge named after Musial, even if the statute leaves it up to the state, saying it just needs to happen.

State Rep Wants Lawmakers To Be Drug Tested

State Representative Bill Mitchell, from Decatur, says some of his colleagues have criticized his plan to have welfare recipients tested for drugs. They claim he's picking on people who are down on their luck. So, to counter that argument, Mitchell says lawmakers should get tested for drugs too.

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Mitchell wants people who apply for welfare to get tested for drugs. He says taxpayers could be out of more cash if the bill isn't passed.

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Mitchell realizes getting it will be an uphill climb to get the proposal through the legislature, especially with Democratic Super majorities in both the House and Senate. Mitchell says up to four million Illinois' residents may be eligible for state assistance once the Affordable Care Act is implemented. He says lawmakers should consider his proposal as a way to save the state money.

Local Schools Host 'Hoops For Haiti' Thanks To Efforts of Local Couple

This time of year, a lot of high school basketball teams will participate in the annual 'Coaches vs Cancer' event, to raise money and awareness towards cancer research. A pair of local schools chose to do something a little different this year.

Maroa-Forsyth boys basketball coach Chad Cluver and his wife, Sherry spent time in Haiti a few years ago, and recently adopted two children from Haiti. Because of the Okaw Conference connection, the two worked with other Okaw Schools to start an event this year, Hoops For Haiti. Monticello Athletic Director Randy Moss says it was a natural fit for them to join in the effort this year.

[audio:12413hoopsforhaiti1.mp3] [/audio]

Normally, Monticello plays their Coaches vs Cancer game in mid-to-late January, traditionally against Sullivan, but this year they hosted Hoops for Haiti. The Sages hosted Sullivan last Friday night and the players for Monticello sported t-shirts to commemorate the night. Moss says they were not the only ones in the conference to do this.

[audio:12413hoopsforhaiti2.mp3] [/audio]

Monticello held a chili-supper prior to the game Friday against Sullivan to try and draw fans in, and then a portion of their admissions went to relief efforts from the 2010 earthquake, which continue still, in Haiti. Last week, Monticello hosted two home games against Tuscola and as mentioned Sullivan, they held 50/50 raffles with the proceeds going towards the same cause.

Tomorrow on Regional Radio News, we will tell the story of Chad and Sherry Cluver and them getting the Hoops for Haiti effort up and running in the Okaw Valley Conference.

Craig's List Becoming Place For People To Be Scammed

Law enforcement locally are battling scams that have mostly been targeted towards the senior citizen population, however, there is one scam that targets anyone who might do some shopping online.

The "Craig's List" scam targets those who may do some browsing on that website. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy explains this scam targets the seller of an item, who thinks they have a potential buyer, and they receive a check for well over the amount their item is being sold for. The seller is usually instructed to cash the check for an excessive amount of money, and send money and the item to the scammer posing as a buyer.

[audio:12413craigslist1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy cautions those who use Craig's List to first make sure the check you are sent clears the bank. He also suggests not sending an item or money off until that check has cleared.

[audio:12413craigslist2.mp3] [/audio]

The old adage, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is" applies here according to Chief Reidy. He says to use common sense when dealing with Craig's List buyers, or sellers. The Chief says scams are one of the more under-reported crimes in the area.

Rejuvenation of City Park Nearly Complete

The Clinton High School Class of 1973's Roque Court Project is looking like it could be complete in 2013.

The class has spent the better half of two years transforming a former sore spot that was once prominent city property into a rejuvenated city park. Cris Rogers is a member of the Class of 73, he explains there are only small things left to improve at the park, otherwise, it is ready to be dedicated and handed back over to the City of Clinton.

[audio:12113roquefinish1.mp3] [/audio]

The Class of 73 has faced a lot of adversity through the course of the transformation. Between underestimating the time it would take to complete the project to having not enough funds or help, Rogers says it's taken a long time, but it is coming together nicely.

[audio:12113roquefinish2.mp3] [/audio]

Thanks to an early winter fundraising effort, the Class of 73 was able to secure enough funds to update some tables and chairs for the park. Rogers says they still need to add another layer of clay surfacing to the roque court. He hopes one day they can put down a permanent Astroturf-like surface on the court.

[audio:12113roquefinish3.mp3] [/audio]

The Class of 73 is hopeful their dedication of the park and turning it back over to the city of Clinton will coincide with the 40th Class Reunion of their high school graduation.

Once the dedication takes place, the Peace Park will become a city park, under city governance and city care. It will also take on the same rules as all the other city parks.

Te'o Admits He Lied For A Short Time

Former Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o admitted he briefly lied about his thought-to-be-dead girlfriend in an interview with Katie Couric Wednesday.  Te'o maintained he was the victim of a hoax and that he played no part in it.  The Heisman Trophy finalist made three references to his girlfriend when talking to reporters after December 6 when he received a call from a woman posing as the fake person. 

Soldier Field Selected For Gold Cup

CONCACAF has announced the 13 venues for the 2013 Gold Cup.  Soldier Field is returning as a host for the fourth time.  The competition features 12 nations from North and Central America and the Caribbean, including the United States, Canada and Mexico.  The Gold Cup takes place from July 7th-28th. 

NHL Notes

>>Blackhawks Battle Stars

(Dallas, TX) -- The Chicago Blackhawks are on the road tonight in Dallas facing the Stars. The Blackhawks have started the season with three straight victories over Los Angeles, Phoenix and St. Louis. Chicago is also on the road Saturday in Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets.

>>Blues In Nashville Tonight

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Blues return to action tonight at home against Nashville. St. Louis is 2-and-1 to start the season. The Blues go to Dallas on Saturday to face the Stars.

Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 2
New York Rangers 4, Boston Bruins 3 (OT)
Vancouver Canucks 3, Calgary Flames 2 (SO)
Phoenix Coyotes 5, Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Niners Fans Buying Up Temporary Tattoos Of Quarterback Kaepernick

Faithful 49ers fans are buying up stacks of temporary tattoos of quarterback Colin Kaepernick [[ CAP-er-nick ]] for their Super Bowl parties. There are three "KaeperTats [[ CAP-er-tats ]] " that are full-sized temporary versions of the ink on the star player's arms. The religious tats, which cost 8.99 each or 19.99 for a three-pack, are being offered online at kaepertat.com. The Niners face the Ravens in Super Bowl 47 in New Orleans on February 3rd.

D'backs Talking Justin Upton Trade With Braves

Trade talks involving Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton are heating up again.  CBSSports.com reports the D'backs are in talks with Atlanta and that the Braves have offered a strong package of players in return.  Arizona is also reportedly talking about a possible deal that would instead send outfielder Jason Kubel [[ KOO-bull ]] to the Baltimore Orioles.  The D'backs had a deal for Upton worked out with Seattle, but he declined to waive his no-trade clause to go to the Mariners.  Atlanta is not one of the four teams on Upton's no-trade list and brother B.J. Upton now plays for the Braves.

California NBA Notes

>>Report: Lakers Point Fingers At Meeting

(Memphis, TN) -- The season-long troubles of the Los Angeles Lakers apparently have hit their boiling point among the players. The "Los Angeles Times" reports the Lakers held a clear-the-air team meeting in Memphis Wednesday morning, where one person says "guys went at each other a little bit." Kobe Bryant reportedly directly asked Dwight Howard if he disliked playing with Bryant. Head coach Mike D'Antoni also apparently told the players he was tired of reading newspaper stories about players questioning his offense. The Lakers have struggled to gel all season with new additions Howard and Steve Nash. They fell 105-93 in Memphis last night to fall to 17-and-25 on the season. LA currently sit in 12th place in the Western Conference.

>>Major Investors For Kings

(Sacramento, CA) -- Two major investors may be teaming up to buy the Sacramento Kings and keep the NBA team in town. The "Sacramento Bee" reports billionaire Ron Burkle and Bay Area investor Mark Mastrov are seriously considering putting in an offer and helping the city build a new downtown sports arena. Burkle owns the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins and Mastrov is the founder of 24 Hour Fitness. A Seattle investment group has already agreed to buy the Kings with the hope of moving the team to Seattle. That deal is still subject to approval by the NBA's Board of Governors.

Bulls Rally Past Pistons; 3rd Most Valuable NBA Franchise

Nate Robinson had 11 points and seven assists in 21 minutes off the bench, leading a furious fourth-quarter comeback that carried the Chicago Bulls past the Detroit Pistons 85-82 on Wednesday night.

Joakim Noah sacrificed his body to save a loose ball, which Marco Belinelli converted into a game-winning basket with 7 seconds left. Tayshaun Prince and Rodney Stuckey each missed potential tying 3-pointers at the other end.

Robinson put the Bulls on his back, scoring nine straight points early in the fourth as Chicago overcame a 17-point deficit to beat Detroit for the 17th straight time.

Noah had 10 points and 18 rebounds, and Jimmy Butler added 18 points and nine boards.

Brandon Knight led the Pistons with 13 points and seven assists.

Atlanta Hawks 104, Charlotte Bobcats 92
Miami Heat 123, Toronto Raptors 116 (OT)
Denver Nuggets 105, Houston Rockets 95
Memphis Grizzlies 106, Los Angeles Lakers 93
Brooklyn Nets 91, Minnesota Timberwolves 83
San Antonio Spurs 106, New Orleans Hornets 102
Utah Jazz 92, Washington Wizards 88
Portland Trail Blazers 100, Indiana Pacers 80
Phoenix Suns 106, Sacramento Kings 96
Golden State Warriors 104, Oklahoma City Thunder 99

>>Bulls Third-Most Valuable NBA Franchise

(Undated) -- The Bulls have been ranked the third-most valuable NBA franchise by Forbes. The team is worth an estimated 800-million-dollars, which is up 33-percent from last year. The average NBA team is worth 509-million-dollars, a 30-percent jump from last season. The Knicks are the most valuable team at 1.1-billion-dollars.

ISU Wins, Bradley Falters, Duke Upset

>>ISU Holds Off Indiana State

Johnny Hill scored 18 points, Jackie Carmichael added 16 and Illinois State rode a late run to a 60-58 victory over Indiana State on Wednesday night.

Hill was 6 of 9 from the floor. Carmichael grabbed nine rebounds for the Redbirds (11-9, 2-6 Missouri Valley), who avenged a 77-75 loss to Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind., on Dec. 30.

Manny Arop led the Sycamores (12-7, 5-3) with 13 points. R.J. Mahurin added nine points and eight rebounds but missed a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Jake Odum put Indiana State ahead 53-51 on a jumper with 3:53 left, but that was the Sycamores' last lead. Illinois State scored the next seven points on a Hill layup, a John Wilkins tip-in and three free throws. Odum's two free throws with 6 seconds left pulled Indiana State within 59-58, but the Sycamores could get no closer.

>>Evansville Tops Bradley

Colt Ryan scored 19 points to lead Evansville to a 66-56 victory against Bradley on Wednesday night.

Ned Cox added nine points and Edidijus Mockevicius seven points and 10 rebounds for the Purple Aces (12-8, 5-3 Missouri Valley), who shot 27 of 54 (50%) from the floor.

Walt Lemon Jr. had 22 points and Tyshon Pickett and Dyricus Simms-Edwards 12 apiece for the Braves (12-8, 4-4).

Ryan's 3-pointer with 7:22 remaining made the score 54-50 and helped Evansville get separation. Mockevicius, D.J. Balentine and Jaylon Moore followed with layups to push the lead to double digits, and Bradley got no closer than eight points the rest of the way.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
Miami Hurricanes 90, #1 Duke Blue Devils 63
#7 Florida Gators 64, Georgia Bulldogs 47
#8 Indiana Hoosiers 72, Penn State Nittany Lions 49
Drake Bulldogs 74, #12 Creighton Bluejays 69
#14 Minnesota Golden Gophers at Northwestern Wildcats
#17 New Mexico Lobos 66, Colorado State Rams 61
#19 Oregon Ducks 68, Washington State Cougars 61
#21 Wichita State Shockers 62, Missouri State Bears 52

Clinton Lady Maroons Play For Okaw Tournament Championship

The Clinton Lady Maroons will play for the Okaw Valley Conference Tournament Championship tonight at Unity High School. The Lady Maroons were the #2 and take on the top overall seed Central A&M. The Lady Maroons have defeated Decatur St. Teresa and Maroa-Forsyth to this point to get to the Championship.

Game time tonight is set for 8 pm and you can hear all the action live on 92.3 FM WHOW, dewittdailynews.com and Clinton Cable Channel 13.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-24

January 23, 2013


Jail Population: 70

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Matthew Porter, 45, Decatur was arrested on a Dewitt County Warrant and charged with Possess Drug Paraphernalia and Possess Cannabis <2.5 Grams. With no bond allowed Porter remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.





Attorney Says Ryan To Be Released By End of January

Imprisoned ex-Gov. George Ryan is scheduled to be released to a Chicago halfway house at the end of January.

Ryan attorney Albert Alschuler says Ryan will leave prison Jan. 30 through a work release program, something attorneys have mentioned before. The federal Bureau of Prisons website lists Ryan's official release date as July 4. The 78-year-old Ryan is serving a 6 ½-year sentence in Terre Haute, Ind., for a 2006 corruption conviction.

Attorneys say it's been difficult because Ryan's wife died while he was incarcerated and he has no money.

Ryan was convicted of steering state contracts and leases to insiders in exchange for vacations and gifts while he was in office. He was accused of stopping an investigation into state employees accepting bribes in exchange for truck driver's licenses.

State Rep Says All Lawmakers Should Forego Pay

Illinois is in a financial crisis, with more than nine billion dollars worth of unpaid bills. Newly elected state Representative Charlie Meier, from Highland, says lawmakers should step up to the plate and forego their own pay until the bills are paid.

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Meier feels maybe lawmakers would step up and make the bills a priority if they felt the same pain as those who are still waiting for their cash.

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Lawmakers have given up their pay raises for the past several years to help keep the pressure off the state's budget. Rep Meier says that's a great start, but it's not enough.

[audio:rddBills3.mp3] [/audio]

Businesses, nursing homes, hospitals, and even school districts are still waiting to be paid from the state. Meier says lawmakers aren't the only ones who should give up their salaries until the debt is gone. He wants Governor Quinn, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, and Treasurer Dan Rutherford to do the same. Meier says if it takes three years to pay the debt, then that's how long they should forego their pay. Meier is a grain and livestock farmer by trade.

Midwest Remains Locked In Deep Freeze

The Upper Midwest remains locked in the deep freeze, with bitter temperatures stretching into a fourth day across several states.

The cold snap arrived Saturday night as waves of Arctic air swept south from Canada, pushing temperatures to dangerous lows and leaving a section of the country well-versed in winter's pains reeling.

Authorities suspect exposure has played a role in at least four deaths so far.

Among the coldest temperatures recorded Tuesday was 35 below at Crane Lake, Minn., a National Weather Service forecaster said early Wednesday.

The coldest location in the lower 48 states Monday was Embarrass, Minn., at 36 below, according to the National Weather Service.

The bitter conditions were expected to persist into the weekend in the Midwest through the eastern half of the U.S.

High School Teams Competing In Dancing Competition

For those Illinois high school students who fashion themselves great dancers, the time has arrived to prove it.

The Illinois High School Association will hold its first ever state dancing championships this weekend at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, with the preliminary rounds on Friday and the finals on Saturday.

More than 200 teams have taken part and last week, the sectional competitions around the state whittled the original field down to 91 teams.

On Friday and Saturday, the teams, each with as many as 28 members, will perform routines in a variety of dance styles, including jazz, hip hop, kick, or combinations of various styles. They will be judged on technique, choreography, synchronization, musicality, formations, transitions and overall effect.

16-Year Old Boy Fatally Shot In Bloomington

Police in central Illinois are investigating a shooting outside a Bloomington apartment complex that killed a 16-year-old boy.

McLean County Coroner Beth Kimmerling says Kuantrae "Trae" Massey was pronounced dead Monday afternoon in the emergency room at OSF St. Joseph Medical Center.

Police spokesman Dave White says officers responded to a report of a loud argument at the complex and were told that witnesses saw several people carrying a shooting victim to a car, which then sped away.

Kimmerling confirms that Massey was brought to the hospital by relatives in a private vehicle. An autopsy is planned.

Authorities aren't releasing many details about the shooting. There's no word of any arrests.

Safety Key During Cold Spells

You may not have to leave the house to know it's been bitter cold the past several days.

The American Red Cross has some things to keep in mind during this stretch of cold weather. Carl Baker, Executive Director of the Red Cross' Mid-Illinois Chapter says for those that may want to do their daily running or exercising in this weather, it's very important to dress in layers. It's also a good idea to always stretch and prepare before doing any physical activities outdoors.

[audio:wintersafety1.mp3] [/audio]

Even though we haven't had much snow, snow shoveling can be physically demanding. Baker says several winter chores and activities can be demanding physically. The Red Cross has an app for your smartphone that will tell you signs of frostbite if you think you may be getting to that point.

[audio:wintersafety2.mp3] [/audio]

Another thing to keep an eye on is your car. Baker notes it is important to keep a winter survival kit in your vehicle at all times with items to keep you warm and some snacks to provide energy. He also recommends keeping your car filled up at or over a half of a tank of gas during the winter months. This will help in case you get stranded on the side of the road and keeps the gas from freezing.

[audio:wintersafety3.mp3] [/audio]

During cold spells like the one we're in, it is important to keep your home warm. Baker recommends keeping water running at a slow drip, so it won't freeze. He also says it's important to keep an eye on your neighbors, especially those who are elderly.

One Day Event Offering Cash For Collectibles

Clinton and DeWitt County residents have the unique opportunity to trade in their antiques or collectibles in for cash today.

The Collector's Road Show, which is a group of collectors who travel the country will be in Clinton today from 9 am to 6 pm. Jeff Allan, one of the collectors says this is a good opportunity for anyone with old items they suspect may have value to bring them out and have them appraised.

[audio:12313collectors1.mp3] [/audio]

Along with antiques or collectibles, they will also be buying unused electronic items. Electronic items are no longer accepted at landfills, and Allan says it's a good opportunity to turn those unused cell phones, computers, tablets, or even videos or games into cash.

[audio:12313collectors2.mp3] [/audio]

The Collector's Road Show will be at the Clinton American Legion today from 9 am to 6 pm. It is a one day event and is free to the public.

Cards Sign Motte; Other MLB Free Agent Notes

>>Cards Sign Motte To Two-Year Deal

(St. Louis, MO) -- The St. Louis Cardinals have locked up closer Jason Motte for the next two seasons. The team has signed the right-hander to a two-year deal, covering Motte's remaining two years of arbitration eligibility. Motte tied for the National League lead with 42 saves last season while posting a 2.75 ERA in 67 games. The 30-year-old is 17-and-13 with 54 saves and a 2.87 ERA in 282 career games since breaking into the majors with the Cardinals in 2008.

>>Phillies Sign Delmon Young

(Philadelphia, PA) -- Delmon Young is latching on with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Phils have signed the veteran outfielder to a one-year, 750-thousand-dollar contract. The 27-year-old hit .267 with 18 home runs and 74 RBI last season with Detroit. He was acquired by the Tigers from Minnesota during the 2011 season. Young was arrested last April for allegedly getting into a scuffle with a group of men outside a New York hotel and making anti-semitic remarks. He's a career .284 hitter with 89 home runs in seven big league seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays, Twins and Tigers.

>>Blue Jays Sign DeRosa

(Toronto, Ontario) -- Mark DeRosa is the newest member of the Toronto Blue Jays. The 37-year-old utilityman has signed a one-year, 750-thousand-dollar contract, with a 750-thousand-dollar club option for 2014. DeRosa appeared in 48 games with the Washington Nationals last season, batting .188 with no home runs and six RBI. He's a career .270 hitter with a .340 on-base-percentage in 15 major league seasons with the Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Indians, Cardinals, Giants and Nationals.

Lawyer For Mizzou's Haith Disputes NCAA Allegations Report

A lawyer for Missouri head men's basketball coach Frank Haith is hitting back at a report suggesting he's facing NCAA discipline.  Attorney Michael Buckner says whoever told CBSSports.com on Monday that Haith could be charged with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance at the University of Miami violated NCAA's confidentiality rules.  The NCAA is looking into accusations by a Miami booster to Yahoo! Sports claiming some Hurricanes players and family members received improper benefits from members of Haith's staff.  Buckner also says he hasn't heard any word from the NCAA on whether Haith is going to be disciplined.

NFL Notes

>>Suspended DC Williams Free To Pursue New NFL Jobs

(Undated) -- Former Rams Defensive coordinator Gregg Williams is free to pursue new coaching opportunities in the NFL despite not yet being reinstated by the league. According to NFL.com, Commissioner Roger Goodell will evaluate Williams' status on reinstatement after he lands a job. Williams was suspended indefinitely last March for his role in the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal from 2009-2011. The Rams cut ties with Williams and his son, Blake, earlier this month.

>>Cardinals' Fitzgerald To Replace Bears' Marshall In Pro Bowl

(Tempe, AZ) -- Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald is heading to the Pro Bowl. He's been named a replacement for Chicago's Brandon Marshall. It's the sixth straight year and seventh overall that Fitzgerald has been named to the Pro Bowl. Only Hall of Fame tight end Larry Wilson has more Pro Bowl selections as a Cardinal with eight. Despite an unsettled quarterback situation all season in Arizona, Fitzgerald had 71 catches for 798 yards and four touchdowns.

>>Vikings' Rudolph Selected To Pro Bowl

(Eden Prairie, MN) -- Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph has been selected to his first Pro Bowl. Rudolph will replace injured Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez in Sunday's contest in Hawaii. The second-year Notre Dame product recorded 53 catches for 493 yards and a team-high nine touchdowns this season. Rudolph joins teammates Jared Allen, Adrian Peterson, Jerome Felton, Chad Greenway and Blair Walsh on the NFC roster.

Blackhawks Edge Blues

Chicago scored once in each period to beat the visiting Blues, 3-2. Patrick Kane lit the lamp in the first followed by goals from Brent Seabrook and Viktor Stalberg. Corey Crawford halted 32 shots for the Blackhawks, who are 3-and-0 on the young season. St. Louis tried to storm back with goals from Andy McDonald and T.J. Oshie in the third period. Brian Elliott turned back 24 shots for the Blues, who dropped their first game of the year after two straight wins.

Winnipeg Jets 4, Washington Capitals 2
Tampa Bay Lightning 4, Carolina Hurricanes 1
Montreal Canadiens 4, Florida Panthers 1
New Jersey Devils 3, Philadelphia Flyers 0
Dallas Stars 2, Detroit Red Wings 1
Nashville Predators 3, Minnesota Wild 1
Chicago Blackhawks 3, St. Louis Blues 2
Colorado Avalanche 3, Los Angeles Kings 1
San Jose Sharks 6, Edmonton Oilers 3

Bulls Host Pistons Tonight

The Bulls welcome the Detroit Pistons to United Center this evening. Chicago is winners in four of its last five contests and is now 24-and-16 on the season. Detroit has lost three out of five, but is coming off Sunday's win over the Celtics to improve to 15-and-25. Tonight's tip off is scheduled for 7:00.

Cleveland Cavaliers 95, Boston Celtics 90
Detroit Pistons 105, Orlando Magic 90
Milwaukee Bucks 110, Philadelphia 76ers 102
Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Los Angeles Clippers 97

Richardson Drops 30, Illini Get By Nebraska Late

D.J. Richardson scored a career-high 30 points, Brandon Paul added 14 and Illinois ended a 3-game losing streak with a 71-51 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday night.

Illinois (15-5, 2-4 Big Ten) held Nebraska without a field goal for the last 8:51 of the first half and led 35-23 at the break. The Huskers got no closer than six points the rest of the way.

Dylan Talley had 16 points and Brandon Ubel added 10 for the Cornhuskers (10-10, 1-6).

John Groce, in his first year at Illinois, recorded his 100th win in five seasons as a head coach.

The Illini shot 45% and committed 14 turnovers, but they had more offensive rebounds (12) than Nebraska had total rebounds (10) in the first half and finished with a 40-28 advantage on the boards.

Nebraska was 2 of 14 on 3s and shot 32% for the game.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Kansas Jayhawks 59, #13 Kansas State Wildcats 55
Villanova Wildcats 73, #5 Louisville Cardinals 64
#11 Michigan State Spartans 49, Wisconsin Badgers 47
#15 Ohio State Buckeyes 72, Iowa Hawkeyes 63
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 86, #18 North Carolina State Wolfpack 84
#22 Missouri Tigers 71, South Carolina Gamecocks 65

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-23

January 22, 2013


Jail Population: 71

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


Thomas Hunter, 19, Clinton was arrested on a Dewitt County Warrant and charged with Unlicensed. Hunter unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the DeWitt County Jail.





Sages Pull Away From Argenta-Oreana

Nick Stokowski scored 34 points, Bryan Phipps recorded a double-double, and the Monticello Sages defeated Argenta-Oreana Tuesday night 71-54. Bryan Phipps had 15 points and 12 rebounds. Matt Kruse added 15 points and nine rebounds as the Sages used a 20-9 third quarter to pull away.

34 points is not Nick Stokowski's career high. As a sophomore last year, Stokowski scored 35 points against the Bombers in Monticello.

The Sages shot 19-22 from the free throw line and had 48 points in the paint.

The Bombers were led by Keegan Mchood with 15 points.

With the win the Sages improve to 16-2 and improve to 6-1 in the Okaw Conference.

With the loss the Bombers fall to 8-11 and 0-7 in the Okaw Conference.

Tune in Saturday, January 26 at 3:00 for the OVC Boys Conference Tournament. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other Okaw Valley Tuesday night scores:

Central A&M 54
Macon Meridian 56

Tuscola 42
Decatur St. Teresa 57

Warrensburg-Latham 54
Maroa-Forsyth 57

Shelbyville 50
Sullivan 57

Mental Health Expert Wants Compromise On Capital Hill

President Obama wants to continue fighting to reduce the costs of healthcare for people across the nation. Joel Johnson, with Human Resources Development Institute, says the Affordable Care Act will be extremely helpful in getting people the care they need.

[audio:rddJoel1.mp3] [/audio]

Johnson says contrary to public opinion, the Affordable Care Act will not just benefit the poor.

[audio:rddJoel2.mp3] [/audio]

Johnson adds one former Illinois Congressman's struggle is proof that people of all walks of life sometimes need a helping hand.

[audio:rddJoel3.mp3] [/audio]

Johnson made the trek out to Washington D.C. to be a part of the inaugural events. He didn't make the trip four years ago and said he wanted to make sure he got a chance to be a part of history. Johnson says he's gotten a renewed sense of hope in the nation and in government. He wants to see politicians on Capital Hill put aside their differences and get to work solving the nation's most pressing problems.

2012 Tax Returns To Determine Healthcare Eligibility

Filing your taxes is important every year, but they have a bit more significance this year. Jackie Perlman, with H & R Block, says your income from 2012 will help determine if you qualify for assistance, once the Affordable Care Act is implemented.

[audio:rddTaxTime1.mp3] [/audio]

People in Illinois will be required to get healthcare coverage by the end of the year, thanks to the Affordable Care Act. Those who don't have coverage will be charged a penalty when they file their taxes next year, explains Perlman.

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Those who don't have coverage will be charged a penalty when they file their taxes next year. Perlman says it may be wise just to buy the coverage.

[audio:rddTaxTime3.mp3] [/audio]

People who fall within 400-percent of the federal poverty level will likely qualify for assistance. That means you'll pay your portion of the deductible out of pocket and the government will send your provider a check for the rest. Tax experts say it makes more sense to purchase insurance and get your benefit in case of emergency, than simply pay the tax and never receive proper care.

Former Peoria Mayor, Jim Maloof, Dies at 93

A former three-term mayor of Peoria has died at age 93.

Jim Maloof died Saturday at his home in Peoria. A son, Nick Maloof, says the former mayor was surrounded by his family when he died.

He was Peoria's mayor from 1985 to 1997 and was often called "the cheerleading mayor." He was involved the opening of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Midwest Affiliate at Methodist Medical Center.

The family plans a memorial Friday at 7 p.m. at Riverside Community Church in Peoria. The service will be preceded by a visitation starting at 3 p.m. at the church.

There will be a Mass at St. Mary's Cathedral at 2 p.m. Saturday. Visitation will precede Mass, starting at 8 a.m. at the cathedral. The burial will be private.

Clinton Chamber Dinner Recap

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Bureau's Annual Dinner aims to recognize the great things done in Clinton and the many businesses, organizations, and people that make Clinton a great community.

 width=Outgoing President of the Chamber Board, Scott Williamson explains 2012 was a great year for the Chamber. He says the many events hosted by the Chamber continue to be profitable and the free events continue to be successful as well.

[audio:12213chamberdinner1.mp3] [/audio]

The Clinton Small Business of the Year Award went to Clinton Auto Auction owned by Lance Schmid. Clinton Auto Acution opened in 2003 and has expanded their business since. Tourism Director for the Chamber, Carolyn Sugg presented them with their award and thanks them for the many years of dedication not just to the Chamber, but to the Clinton Community.

[audio:12213chamberdinner2.mp3] [/audio]

The Large Business of the Year award went to Illinois Oil Marketing and owner Dan Ballenger. Sugg says Ballenger is quick to help anyone with any needs they may have, and serves a large role in the Barn Quilts of DeWitt County.

[audio:12213chamberdinner3.mp3] [/audio]

The Non-Profit of the Year award went to the Clinton YMCA. Each year the Y gives out tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships to allow young kids the opportunity to take advantage of their programs. The YMCA also has many partnerships in the community and their staff volunteers for many things throughout the community as well.

[audio:12213chamberdinner4.mp3] [/audio]

 width=The Clintonian of the Year had a tie, and the two co-recipients were Sissy Leggett and Ernie Harvey. Both Leggett and Harvey give very generously of their time and talents and are very encourage to people on the opposite ends of the life cycle spectrum. Leggett encourages and serves the Seniors of the community beyond her job description. Harvey served as the Youth Minister at First Christian Church for 20-plus years and was a great example to the youth in those many years.

[audio:12213chamberdinner5.mp3] [/audio]

The Chamber will havea new Board of Directors. Dexter Peterson will be the new Board President. Ryan Utterback will be the Vice-President. Amanda Ferguson is the new Secretary. And Kevin Myers is the Treasurer of the Board. Other Board Members include Krystal Cicenas, Bill Harris, Vicki Morrow, Karissa West, Randy Miller, Katie Mollet, Brittany Price, Caleb Smith, and Shianne Smith.

(Top Picture - Outgoing Chamber Board President Addresses Chamber Dinner Attendees)

(Bottom Picture - Carolyn Sugg & 2011 Clintonian of the Year Patrick Peterson Award 2012 Clintonian of the Year Sissy Leggett)


Patrick Peterson and Carolyn Sugg Name Clintonian of the Year Candidates


Carolyn Sugg Presents Ed & Krystal Cicenas With Special Award


Carolyn Sugg Addresses Chamber Dinner Attendees


Carolyn Sugg Awards Danny Ballengar (Illinois Oil Marketing) With Large Business of the Year Award


Carolyn Sugg and Marian Brisard Award Mike Schmid (Clinton Auto Auction) With Small Business of the Year 


Clinton Chamber Dinner At Clinton Country Club

NHL Notes

>>Blues Upend Predators In Shootout

(Nashville, TN) -- T.J. Oshie [[ OH-shee ]] and Alex Steen each scored in the shootout to send the Blues to a 4-3 victory over the Predators. Vladimir Tarasenko had a goal and two assists in regulation for St. Louis while Andy McDonald added a goal and an assist of his own. Alex Pietrangelo [[ pih-TRAN-jell-oh ]] also scored for the Blues, who moved to 2-and-0. St. Louis is back in action tonight against the Blackhawks in Chicago.

Boston Bruins 2, Winnipeg Jets 1 (SO)
New York Islanders 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 3
Buffalo Sabres 2, Toronto Maple Leafs 1
Ottawa Senators 4, Florida Panthers 0
Detroit Red Wings 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 3 (SO)
Anaheim Ducks 5, Calgary Flames 4

>>Blackhawks Host Blues In Home Opener

(Chicago, IL) -- The Blackhawks welcome the Blues to the Madhouse on Madison tonight for their home opener. Chicago has started the season with wins at Los Angeles and Phoenix, putting up 11 goals in the two contests. The Blues are also 2-and-0 this year after beating Detroit on Saturday and winning at Nashville in a shootout last night.

>>Blackhawks Acquire Goalie Karlsson From Flames

(Chicago, IL) -- The Blackhawks have traded a seventh-round draft pick to the Flames for goalie Henrik Karlsson. The 29-year-old Karlsson played in 26 games over the past two seasons for Calgary, posting a 5-9-and-8 record. The draft pick was originally owned by Ottawa but acquired in a trade by Chicago.

MLB To Award Cincinnati 2015 All-Star Game

The Midsummer Classic is heading to the Queen City in a few years. The "Cincinnati Enquirer" reports that MLB commissioner Bud Selig will announce Wednesday that the 2015 All-Star Game will be awarded to the Reds. Cincinnati hasn't hosted the All-Star Game since 1998 at Riverfront Stadium. The American League won the contest, 2-1. The Reds now play on the banks of the Ohio River at Great American Ballpark. The Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins were reportedly also bidding for the '15 game. The Mets' Citi Field will host this year's game while the Twins' Target Field gets the honor in 2014.

Luck To Replace Brady In Pro Bowl

Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck will play in this Sunday's Pro Bowl from Hawaii.  Luck replaces Patriots quarterback Tom Brady on the AFC roster.  Brady will miss the game with an injury.  Luck becomes the sixth Colts QB to make the Pro Bowl, but the first to do so as a rookie.  He will back up former Colts QB, Peyton Manning. 

Report: Mizzou's Haith In Trouble With NCAA

CBS Sports reported Monday that Missouri basketball coach Frank Haith is expected to be charged with unethical conduct and failure to promote an atmosphere of compliance by the NCAA.  The charges stem from Haith's time at Miami of Florida.  They could ultimately cost Haith his job.

Lakers Collapse Against Bulls; Rose Inches Closer To Return

The Bulls outscored the Lakers by 12 in the fourth quarter to pull out a 95-83 win at the United Center. Kirk Hinrich scored 22 points on 9-of-11 shooting with eight assists and seven rebounds for Chicago, which won for the fifth time in its last six games. Jimmy Butler posted 10 points, eight boards and four assists getting the start for the banged up Luol Deng. Kobe Bryant was held under 20 points for only the fourth time this season. Bryant scored 16 and missed all six of his shots from behind the arc. Los Angeles shot just under 40-percent and had 15 turnovers to only 15 assists as it lost for the eighth time in its last 10 games.

Indiana Pacers 82, Memphis Grizzlies 81
New Orleans Hornets 114, Sacramento Kings 105
Houston Rockets 100, Charlotte Bobcats 94
Atlanta Hawks 104, Minnesota Timberwolves 96
Brooklyn Nets 88, New York Knicks 85
Golden State Warriors 106, Los Angeles Clippers 99
San Antonio Spurs 90, Philadelphia 76ers 85
Washington Wizards 98, Portland Trail Blazers 95

>>Derrick Rose Getting Close To Full Contact Drills

Bulls star point guard Derrick Rose could soon be going through full-contact drills in practice.

Coach Tom Thibodeau says Rose is "very close" to doing just that and it'll be "the next step" in his recovery from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.

Asked if it could happen this week, Thibodeau responded, "Yeah - it could."

Is it scheduled to happen this week? The Bulls' coach repeated, "It could."

Thibodeau says Rose will have to go through full-contact drills "for an extended amount of time" and that he won't be playing after "one or two days of contact."

While Rose inches closer to making his season debut, the Bulls were without Luol Deng (sore right hamstring) Monday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Illini Back In Action Tonight

Illinois looks to snap its three-game slide tonight in Lincoln against the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Illinois started the year with 12 straight wins but is now 14-and-5 with a 1-and-4 record in Big Ten play. Nebraska is 1-and-5 with a 10-and-9 overall mark.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#6 Syracuse Orange 57, #24 Cincinnati Bearcats 55
Georgetown Hoyas 63, #20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 47

Okaw Valley Notes: Lady Maroons In Tourney Semi's; Sages, Maroons In Action Tonight

>>Lady Maroons In Semi-Final At Okaw Tournament

The Clinton Lady Maroons will be in action tonight at 6:30 pm as they look to move on the the Okaw Valley Girls Tournament Championship. The Lady Maroons were the #2 seed in this year's tournament and defeated Decatur St. Teresa Saturday night by a score of 68-58. Tonight they take on Maroa-Forsyth, the tournament's #3 seed, who defeated Tolono Unity in overtime Saturday 58-52. The winner of tonight's matchup takes on the winner of Central A&M and Sullivan. That game will be Thursday at 8pm.

>>Maroons in Action at Unity

The Clinton Maroons continue Okaw Valley play tonight as they travel to Tolono Unity High School. The Maroons will look to end a 12-game losing streak, while Unity looks to improve on a 6-9 mark. Unity is 3-3 in the Okaw while the Maroons are 0-6. Tonight's game gets underway at 7:30 pm. You can hear all the action live on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

>>Sages At Argenta-Oreana

The Monticello Sages look to improve on their 5-1 mark in the Okaw Valley tonight as they take on the Argenta-Oreana Bombers tonight at Argenta-Oreana High School. After dropping a game at Meridian eleven days ago, the Sages have bounced back with wins against Tuscola and Sullivan. The Sages are tied for first in the Okaw at 5-1 with four other teams. The Sages are 15-2 overall.

Tomorrow the Sages will learn where they sit in the Okaw Tournament as Okaw coaches votes will determine their seed placement. The Okaw Valley Tournament for the boys kicks off this Friday and continues to next Saturday.

Other Okaw Valley Boys basketball games for tonight:

Central A&M
Macon Meridian 7:30 PM

Decatur St. Teresa 7:30 PM

Maroa-Forsyth 7:30 PM

Sullivan 7:30 PM

Monticello Receives #1 Seed in Okaw Tournament, Maroa-Forsyth #3

The Monticello Sages will have the #1 seed in the upcoming Okaw Valley Tournament to be held this year at Marao-Forsyth High School. The Sages have the conferences best record at 15-2 overall and are in a 4-way tie at 5-1. All the teams at 5-1 received the 1-4 seeds in the upcoming tournament. Decatur St. Teresa received the #2 seed while Maroa-Forsyth received the #3 seed and Central A&M received the 4th seed.

All four teams will have a first round bye and will play the winners of the play-in matchups, all to be played Friday night. Saturday afternoon the Sages will play the winner of Sullivan at Warrensburg Latham.

Maroa-Forsyth will play the winner of Argenta-Oreana at Meridian.

Decatur St. Teresa will play the winner of Tuscola at Unity.

Central A&M will play the winner of Clinton at Shelbyville.

The Okaw Valley Tournament will be played this year at Maroa-Forsyth High School.

You can hear all the Clinton Maroons games through the tournament on 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

You can hear all the Monticello Sages games through the tournament on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-22

January 18, 2013


Jail Population: 71

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 1


January 19, 2013


Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 20, 2013


Jail Population: 77

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 1


January 21, 2013


Jail Population: 73

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0




Lynnette Fink, 23, Urbana, was issued a citation for speeding 61 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Fink was issued a promise to comply and was released.


Douglas Sullivan, 48, Wheaton, was issued a citation for speeding 65 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Sullivan posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Marketa Whittinghill, 34, Bloomington, was issued a citation for speeding 65 MPH in a 45 MPH zone. Whittinghill posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Ashley Brown, 26, Warrensburg, was issued a Citation for speeding 79 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. Brown posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


James Gordon, 23, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence. Gordon was issued citations for Driving while license suspended, Operating uninsured vehicle and 3 counts driving under the influence. Gordon posted the necessary bond and was released.


Brittany Lord, 22, Clinton was arrested and charged with Agg Battery/ Public Place and Contempt of Court. Lord unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the Dewitt County Jail.


Bradley Morrow, 22, Clinton was arrested and charged with contempt of Court. Morrow posted the necessary bond and was released.


Duane Boyer, 72, Bloomington was arrested and charged with Aggravated DUI. Boyer unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the Dewitt County Jail.


Johnny Lowe, 36, Clinton, was arrested on a Dewitt County Warrant and charged with Failure to Pay or Appear. Lowe posted the necessary bond and was released.


Jayson Rodgers, 27, Maroa, was arrested on a Dewitt County Warrant and charged with Failure to Pay or Appear. Rodgers posted the necessary bond and was released.





Law Enforcement Battling Many Types of Scams

A billion dollar business is having a negative effect on Clinton and DeWitt County.

Scams continue to be a nuisance to seniors and law enforcement across the country, but especially locally. Perhaps the most common scam right now is the 'grandparents scam'. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says it starts with an innocent phone call, and before the person receiving the call knows it, they've given the scammer enough information to take advantage of them.

[audio:12313grandma1.mp3] [/audio]

Once they have the information they need, the scammers request money from the person they've called. Chief Reidy says once that money is sent off, it is more than likely unable to be recovered.

[audio:12313grandma2.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy says this particular scam has cropped up once again, most recently, around the Christmas holiday. The Chief says, during that time it is easy to scam seniors because while banks and other establishments locally look out for their customers, it is much harder when amounts of money transactions increase and traffic increases as well.

[audio:12313grandma3.mp3] [/audio]

Many seniors may beat themselves up over being the target of a scam, but Chief Reidy feels that is unnecessary. He says seniors are part of a generation that are very trusting, and these scams take advantage of that trust.

The Clinton Police Department and DeWitt County Sheriff's Department are very proactive when it comes to trying to inform seniors of the scams that may be out there. Both Chief Reidy and Sheriff Jered Shofner have spoken to senior groups all over the County. Chief Reidy says they will speak to any group or any age get the information out and make people aware of this growing problem.

Illinois Gets Official Float In Inaugural Parade

Illinois will be well represented during today's Inaugural Parade.

The procession that follows President Barack Obama down Pennsylvania Avenue following his swearing-in ceremony will feature more than 60 groups and eight official inaugural floats. 1 of those floats will recognize Illinois, as the birthplace of First Lady Michelle Obama.

The float will feature American flags, the state flag and a panorama of the state Capitol.

Hawaii, the state where President Obama was born, also will have an official float.

The parade is scheduled to begin about 1:30 p.m. More than 8,800 people and 200 animals are expected to participate.

Quinn Greatly Proud Of President Obama

Governor Quinn is in Washington, D.C. today, attending the swearing-in ceremony for President Obama's second term. Quinn says he is greatly proud of the President.

[audio:rddTermTwo2.mp3] [/audio]

Quinn says he looks forward to working with the President over the next four years.

[audio:rddTermTwo.mp3] [/audio]

President Obama took the official oath of office in a private ceremony yesterday. The public swearing in ceremony and other inaugural events will take place throughout the day today.

Men And Women Stalked Each Year

January is National Stalking Awareness Month. Millions of people are stalked each year in the U.S. and according to Margarette Truschell, with the Oasis Women's Center in Jerseyville, not all victims are women.

[audio:rddStalking.mp3] [/audio]

Stalkers will repeatedly call their victim, follow them, and send unwanted gifts, letters, cards, or e-mails threatening to hurt their victim or their loved ones. The stress and anxiety of being a victim of stalking can affect a person’s lifestyle, self-esteem, and sometimes force them to move or quit their jobs. Stalking laws have been put in place in all 50 states but less than one-third of states classify stalking as a felony upon first offense.

More Illinois Lawmakers Refuse Legislative Pension

Illinois' multibillion-dollar pension crisis has prompted a rising number of lawmakers to say they won't accept their legislative pension.

Reports indicated at least two dozen of the 177 members of the House and Senate have opted out of the General Assembly pension system.

Timothy Blair, who oversees the pension system, says that's the biggest uptick he's seen.

Many lawmakers pledged during their campaigns not to take the pension. But that doesn't mean they'll never get a state retirement check. Some earned pensions in previous jobs.

Rep. Sue Scherer, a Democrat from Decatur, issued a statement last week trumpeting her decision to forego her legislative pension. But she's already collecting $5,084 per month after retiring from a 33-year teaching career.

Peoria Man Sentenced In Robbery of Gambler

An Illinois man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for robbing a gambler he followed halfway across the state after seeing him win $23,000 in an East Peoria casino.

Marvino Mister of Peoria was sentenced Friday in Champaign County Circuit Court in Urbana after he was convicted in December of the April 12 armed robbery.

Mister and another man watched then-University of Illinois student Sean Harrigan for several hours as he won at a craps table at the Par-A-Dice casino. The two then followed Harrigan and 2 of his friends back to Champaign where Mister robbed Harrigan of $2,500 at gunpoint.

Another Peoria man, 28-year-old John Williamson, is charged with armed robbery in the crime. He has pleaded not guilty.

Former Obama Adviser Speaks Of King Legacy At ISU

A former adviser to President Barack Obama has urged an audience at Illinois State University to follow the example of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and get involved in important causes.

Environmental and civil rights activist Van Jones served as White House adviser on green jobs for six months.

He spoke Friday to an ISU dinner celebrating King's legacy.

Jones said King is so revered not because of what he was able to achieve but "because of the quality of the effort."

He added that King's dream "was giving America a second chance at the greatness we are striving to still become."

Jones told students earlier in the day their generation is "poised to do a lot," using its technological savvy and sheer numbers.

Illinois Democrats Still Eye Borrowing To Pay Back Log of Bills

Illinois Democrats haven't given up on borrowing billions of dollars to reduce the state's staggering backlog of unpaid bills.

The state owes nearly $9 billion to charities, businesses and local governments which provide services and materials.

Democrats are preparing legislation for this spring. They say a short-term loan of $4 billion or more could make a big dent in a pile of bills up to four months old.

Republicans have repeatedly halted the plan. The latest version lost momentum after criticism from GOP Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Critics fear Democrats will use the money to start new programs.

Both sides agree there won't be any action until lawmakers come up with a plan for reducing a $96 billion deficit in public-employee pension funds.

Reporters Get Look Inside Southern Illinois Prison

Journalists have been allowed to tour a southern Illinois prison that a watchdog group had found to be overcrowded and plagued by squalid conditions.

Reports show members of the media who were visiting the minimum-security Vandalia Correctional Center on Friday were given a close look at the facility's vocational programs.

Prison officials said they have so far been able to maintain the work experience programs at Vandalia and even expand them despite budget constraints.

Gov. Pat Quinn is closing two Illinois prisons that he says are too costly to operate, prompting an outcry from prison workers that doing so will worsen the state prison system's already severe overcrowding.

The independent prison watchdog group The John Howard Association visited Vandalia in 2011 and reported, in some cases, squalid conditions.

Gun Show Offers Weapons Gov. Quinn Wants Banned

As Gov. Pat Quinn and other Illinois Democrats vow to pursue a statewide ban on assault weapons, some of those same guns are on sale this weekend at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield.

According to ads for the weekend gun show, some of the brands that could be affected by a state or federal ban are being offered for sale at the state-owned facility.

The event is taking place as officials who favor stricter gun control laws in other states are debating whether to ban such gun shows from public property.

The gun show at the fairgrounds features weapons made by Ruger, Glock, Beretta and several other brands that could be affected by a state or federal ban.

Congressman Davis Has Sights On New, Long Term Farm Bill

The Federal Government may have passed a Farm Bill extension, but a new face on Capitol Hill believes that is not good enough.

Congressman Rodney Davis looks forward to the challenge of working with Federal lawmakers in Washington DC to craft a new, long term Farm Bill. Davis will be serving on the Ag Committee in Congress and he says his number one priority is a strength in crop insurance program. He says farmers are willing to give up certain things to get that, but the crop insurance program gets bottled up because of the food stamp program being a part of the Ag Committee.

[audio:12113farmbill1.mp3] [/audio]

While the Farm Bill is a major focal point for Davis, there are a lot more issues the Agriculture Committee faces other than the Farm Bill. Davis explains funding for local universities and their research departments goes through the Ag Committee. He says with numerous universities and community colleges in his district, he's having to brush up on some of the things they will be discussing.

[audio:12113farmbill2.mp3] [/audio]

Davis is still waiting on his sub-committee assignments for the Ag Committee to be assigned, but one piece of legislation he's already voted on in his short time in Washington DC, was a bill that temporarily extended the National Flood Insurance program to cover it's claims. Davis explains that program is essential because there are flood plains in each County in his district, and extending the program means claims of Central Illinois residents who pay into the program, will be covered in the event of a wet spring.

[audio:12113farmbill3.mp3] [/audio]

Davis hopes to bring Republicans and Democrats together to get a new, long term Farm Bill passed. He feels the stalemate between the two parties has stalled progress. He feels he has a good idea of what farmers in Central Illinois are looking for in a Farm Bill and hopes to have good news for them in the future.

Clinton Schools Leader Calls Schools Still Safest Place For Children

As we're about a month removed from the devastating shooting at the elementary school on Newtown, CT, school leaders continue to learn about what they need to do to keep their campuses secure.

Most schools have revisited their plans in place should someone pose a threat to a school, and Clinton Schools are no exception. Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes explains all the schools of the district lock down all but one entrance to the building once the school day begins. He says this isolates every person that enters the building to the one entrance that is continuously monitored.

[audio:11813schoolsecurity1.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton has a couple very old buildings that were built during a time when in school violence was even rarer than it is today. Dr. Holmes feels they need to get those buildings up to code and he hopes to begin working on creating a single entrance that takes people entering the school from the outside during the school day. That entrance would then connect to the office, and they would be isolated there before being granted access to the rest of the building.

[audio:11813schoolsecurity2.mp3] [/audio]

Stepping up crisis drills is another goal Dr. Holmes has for the schools. In talking with administrators from Normal Community High School about the incident they had this fall, Dr. Holmes learned having practiced what to do in that situation helped not just the teachers, but the students know what to do.

[audio:11813schoolsecurity3.mp3] [/audio]

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner has been very proactive in connecting with the County's school district leaders and working with them on their plans and how his department fits into those plans. Dr. Holmes says during this year's spring break, the Sheriff and his deputies will be touring the Clinton school buildings learning the layout in the event, the safety of the children and staff of the schools are threatened.

[audio:11813schoolsecurity4.mp3] [/audio]

Other things the school district is considering as a safety measure is what Dr. Holmes calls "panic buttons", or commonly known as silent alarms that would notify the proper authorities.

With all these potential safety measures and the shooting in Connecticut, Dr. Holmes feels schools are one of the safest places for children to be.

Other than practicing emergency situations through drills, the Clinton Board of Education has only had preliminary discussions about these other safety measures.

Hockey Notes

>>Blackhawks Tame Coyotes

(Glendale, AZ) -- Chicago took control with a three-goal second period en route to a 6-4 win over the Coyotes. Marian Hossa [[ HOE-suh ]] and Dave Bollan each had a pair of goals while Patrick Sharp potted a score and had an assist. Viktor Stalberg also scored while Patrick Kane had two assists for the Blackhawks. Ray Emery made 25 saves for the 'Hawks, who have started the year 2-and-0. The Hawks beat the Kings 5-2 on Saturday to start the season. Chicago holds its home opener tomorrow night against the Blues.

>>Blues Face Preds Tonight

(Nashville, TN) -- Coming off Saturday's season-opening shutout win at home over Detroit, the Blues are in Nashville tonight to skate with the Predators. Chris Stewart and Vladimir Tarasenko each scored two goals while Jaroslav Halak made 14 saves in the win. St. Louis is also on the road tomorrow night to play Chicago before returning home to battle the Preds on Thursday.

Cubs Notes

>>Cubs Sign Three, White Sox Ink Two

(Chicago, IL) -- The Cubs avoided arbitration hearings with three players on Friday while the White Sox signed two. The Northsiders signed pitchers Matt Garza, Jeff Samardzija and James Russell to one-year deals. The Sox reached deals with Gordon Beckham and Alejandro De Aza.

>>Cubs Will Pay For Renovations If Restrictions Eased

(Chicago, IL) -- The Cubs say they will spend 300-million-dollars to renovate Wrigley Field if the city eases restrictions surrounding the landmark. The proposed upgrades will take place over five-years and include larger concourses, additional restaurants, more bathroom and concession areas, expanded suites and amenities for the players, a new roof, new seats, and restoring the stadium's facade. On Sunday, Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts said, "We're not a museum. We're a business."

Bears Make Coaching Moves

The Bears announced Saturday that defensive backs coach Jon Hoke and defensive line coach Mike Phair will return next season under new head coach Marc Trestman.  Chicago also announced that assistant defensive backs coach Gill Byrd won't be back.  Additionally, director of physical development Rusty Jones announced he is retiring after 28 years in the NFL. 

Niners, Ravens Punch Tickets To Super Bowl

>>Niners Advance Past Falcons To Super Bowl

(Atlanta, GA) -- The San Francisco 49ers are heading back to the Super Bowl after defeating the Atlanta Falcons 28-24 in the NFC Championship Game. The Niners rallied from 17 points down to move to their first Super Bowl since winning the 1995 title following the '94 season. Colin Kaepernick threw for 233 yards and a touchdown, while Frank Gore ran for 90 yards and a pair of scores for San Francisco, which will face the Baltimore Ravens on February 3rd in New Orleans. The matchup pits Niners coach Jim Harbaugh against his brother, John, of the Ravens. Vernon Davis had five catches for 106 yards and the TD. Matt Ryan threw for 396 yards, three touchdowns and an interception for Atlanta. Julio Jones made 11 catches for two TDs and an Atlanta postseason record 182 yards. Tony Gonzalez added eight catches, 78 yards and a score in defeat.

>>Ravens Advance To Super Bowl, Beat Patriots In AFC Championship

(Foxboro, MA) -- The Baltimore Ravens are headed to Super Bowl 47 after defeating the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, 28-13. Joe Flacco threw for 240 yards with three touchdowns as Baltimore outscored the Pats 21-0 in the second half. Anquan Boldin had five catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns while Torrey Smith ended with 69 yards receiving. Ray Rice had 48 yards and a touchdown on the ground while Bernard Pierce added 52 rushing yards. Tom Brady had 320 yards passing with a touchdown and two interceptions. Stevan Ridley had 70 yards on the ground but fumbled as well. Wes Welker made eight catches for 117 yards and a TD in the loss.

The Super Bowl will match Ravens head coach John Harbaugh against his brother, Jim, of the San Francisco 49ers. It's the first time brothers will ever coach against one another in a Super Bowl. The two coached against each other last season in Baltimore, with the Ravens beating the Niners, 16-6.

Baseball Loses Two Hall Of Famers

The baseball world is mourning the loss of two Hall of Famers, who both died on Saturday.  Former Cardinals outfielder Stan Musial passed away at the age of 92.  Stan "The Man" played all 22 seasons in St. Louis and was named MVP three times.  The perennial All-Star was a career .331 hitter with 475 homers and nearly two-thousand RBI.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1969.  Former Orioles manager Earl Weaver died at the age of 82.  Weaver was aboard a cruise in the Caribbean according to a team spokesman.  The "Earl of Baltimore" managed parts of 17 seasons for the O's and led them to four American League pennants and a World Series title in 1970.  He is the fifth winningest manager in modern baseball history.  Weaver was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1996. 

Bulls Welcome Lakers To Town

The Bulls welcome the Lakers to the Madhouse on Madison tonight. Chicago won in overtime at Boston on Friday before falling in overtime against the Grizzlies at home Saturday. The Bulls are now 23-and-16 on the year. Los Angeles lost yesterday at Toronto to fall to 17-and-23 this year.

Toronto Raptors 108, Los Angeles Lakers 103
Dallas Mavericks 111, Orlando Magic 105
Detroit Pistons 103, Boston Celtics 88
Denver Nuggets 121, Oklahoma City Thunder 118 (OT

The Bulls welcome the Lakers to the Madhouse on Madison tonight. Chicago won in overtime at Boston on Friday before falling in overtime against the Grizzlies at home Saturday. The Bulls are now 23-and-16 on the year. Los Angeles lost yesterday at Toronto to fall to 17-and-23 this year.

Toronto Raptors 108, Los Angeles Lakers 103
Dallas Mavericks 111, Orlando Magic 105
Detroit Pistons 103, Boston Celtics 88
Denver Nuggets 121, Oklahoma City Thunder 118 (OT)

ISU Tops Southern Illinois

Tyler Brown scored 22 points and Jackie Carmichael had 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead Illinois State over Southern Illinois 70-56 Sunday night, snapping a 6-game losing streak.

Brown had six 3-pointers to lead the Redbirds (10-9, 1-6) in their first Missouri Valley Conference win of the season. Carmichael, the team's top scorer, was 7 of 12 from the field in reaching his double-double.

Johnny Hill had six assists as the Redbirds shot 45% from the field for the game. The Redbirds had 41 rebounds.

The Redbirds took the lead early in the game and were up 47-21 at halftime. Illinois State never looked back.

Jeff Early led Southern Illinois with 16 points and nine rebounds. Kendal Brown-Surles had 13 points, and Desmar Jackson added 11.

Southern Illinois (8-10, 1-6) shot 41.8% from the field and had 31 rebounds.

Southern Illinois leads the overall series 75-67.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Indiana Hoosiers 67, Northwestern Wildcats 59
#15 North Carolina State Wolfpack 66, Clemson Tigers 62

Clinton Police Weekend Report



















Closed Door Meeting Details Leads To Confrontation At County Board Meeting

A request for an Assistant State's Attorney by State's Attorney Karle Koritz recently turned into heated words and misunderstandings.

In the State's Attorney's office currently, there is Koritz and an assistant. Koritz outlined to the Board at the County Board meeting on January 10, his office has seen their work load increase exponentially. It is because of that increase that Koritz has requested money be designated to allow him to hire an Assistant State's Attorney. Koritz explains, the morning of January 10, Chairwoman Sherrie Brown, Vice-Chair Pete Dougherty, and County Board Member George Wissmiller came into his office and offered to approve his request only if that person would be under the control of the Board, to which Koritz refused.

[audio:12213boardheat1.mp3] [/audio]

Dougherty felt Koritz was leaving out details of that meeting that took place. Dougherty stated the trio that morning suggested Koritz hire a part-time assistant because of budgetary constraints.

[audio:12213boardheat2.mp3] [/audio]

Board member Danny Ballenger voiced his concern over the three going alone to Koritz to discuss his request. Chairwoman Brown stepped in to say they met with Koritz because she chose not to bring it all out. She refuted the claim by Koritz that they requested this new assistant be under the County Board's control. Ballenger says if the whole Board was a part of the discussion, which he felt they should have been, they would all be able to know the truth.

[audio:12213boardheat3.mp3] [/audio]

At the Board Meeting on January 10, the Board approved Koritz to hire an assistant State's Attorney, however, the issue would not be laid to rest there. The following Thursday evening, January 17, Brown addressed the Board on her thoughts about what Koritz said the previous week. She says she was offended by his statements and felt they were inaccurate.

[audio:12213boardheat4.mp3] [/audio]

Brown's remarks, according to Koritz, "could not be more wrong". Koritz explains there are no State's Attorneys' in Illinois under the control of a County Board. He adds the job description which Brown referenced answered to the Land Use Committee, which no longer exists, vacating that job description.

[audio:12213boardheat5.mp3] [/audio]

Making the meeting public with the three Board members did not please a few members of the Board. Koritz commented quote-"I would have been happy to talk about this privately as well." Being confronted by new Board Member Ron Savage, Koritz felt the public should have known about the meeting he felt as though attempts were being made to strong arm him. New Board Member George Wissmiller says trying to strong arm him was not their intentions at all.

[audio:12213boardheat6.mp3] [/audio]

The County Board approved Koritz's request for an assistant State's Attorney by a 6-5 vote. The Assistant State's Attorney to be hired by Koritz will be under the control of the State's Attorney's office.

UPDATED: DeWitt Man Arrested After Killing Pedestrian While Driving Drunk

The DeWitt County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a pedestrian that was struck by a vehicle late Saturday evening in the village of DeWitt.  The vehicle’s driver was arrested for aggravated DUI and lodged at the DeWitt County Jail.  

At 11:17 P.M. on Saturday, January 20th, emergency crews were dispatched to the intersection of Bloomington and Franklin Street in the village of DeWitt, Illinois after 911 calls reported a person had been ran over by a vehicle.  Despite the efforts of first responders, the pedestrian later died.

Investigation into the incident resulted in the arrest of 72 year old Duane R. Boyer of DeWitt for Aggravated Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, a class 2 felony. The victim has been identified as Cathrine K. Kohl, 38 years old of Bloomington.

The matter remains under investigation by the Sheriff and Coroner. 

All suspects are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

Police Say Illinois Man Kidnapped From Mont. Hotel

Police are searching for two armed suspects who purported to be FBI agents when they allegedly kidnapped an Illinois man from a Montana hotel room.

Police in Billings said Friday that 29-year-old Dejuan Laster is missing after two men showed up at the Extended Stay hotel where Laster was staying with an unidentified woman.

After brandishing handguns and claiming to be federal agents, police say the suspects zip-tied the woman and questioned her extensively about Laster before releasing her.

Laster has not been seen since Thursday.

Both suspects are described as Hispanic males in their 30s, driving a white Suburban and a green four-door car.

Billings Police spokesman Lt. Kevin Iffland says the relationship between the suspect and the victims is unknown. Laster's hometown was unavailable.

EIU Raises Cost of Room and Board in Most Housing

Trustees at Eastern Illinois University have raised the cost of room and board starting next fall.

EIU said Friday that students living in dormitories and the schools Greek Court will see their room and board increase by 2% to either $4,150 a semester or $4,679 depending on meal plans.

Rates at the Charleston university's University Apartments will pay $13 to $15 more a month. Under Friday's vote rents will be $448 to $503 a month. University Court apartment rents will remain the same.

About 35% of Eastern Illinois' students live in university housing.

Body of Missing Missouri Man Found in Illinois

The body of a missing northeast Missouri man has been found near Barry, Ill.

The body of 21-year-old Christopher Witt of Palmyra was found Friday morning at the base of a water tower in an industrial park.

Pike County, Ill., Sheriff Paul Petty says Witt did not jump and foul play is not suspected. He says it appears that Witt died from exposure to the elements, but it isn't clear why he was at that site.

Authorities say no one had heard from Witt since Jan. 12.

Witt's car was found about 140 feet from the body.

FAA Oks request to Privatize Midway

Federal authorities have given a green light to Chicago to press ahead with plans to privatize Midway International Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration says Friday in a statement that the city "can take the next steps to select a private airport operator" after the agency accepted a preliminary application to privatize Chicago's second largest airport.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel said last month he's seeking private bidders interested in leasing Midway for up to 40 years. He wants enough cash from the deal to pay off Midway's roughly $1.4 billion debt. There'd be a split of profits with the private operator.

Emanuel proposed a panel of City Council members, business leaders and labor representatives to oversee the process.

He says a "Traveler's Bill of Rights" would be part of any deal.

Flu Continues in Illinois with 50 Deaths this Season

Illinois is among 30 states reporting high flu activity in a season where the virus is striking earlier than usual and the main flu strain is one that tends to make people sicker.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Friday that 476 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 50 have died.

Public health officials continue to encourage people to get vaccinated.

One bright spot: Chicago's flu hospitalizations continued a two-week decline.

Last week there were nine patients in hospital intensive care units with the flu, a decrease from 31 the previous week.

Dr. Julie Morita of the Chicago Department of Public Health says the demand for vaccine remains high, but it's not overwhelming. She says supplies are good.

4 Killed in Springfield House Fire

Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of a Springfield house fire in which four people died overnight.

Firefighters were called to the scene at 11:43 p.m. Thursday. When they arrived four minutes later, the single-family home was fully engulfed in flames.

Firefighters used a ladder to help a woman thought to be in her late 50s escape from a second-story window in the back of a house. Springfield Fire Chief Ken Fustin says her condition and injuries weren't immediately known.

The four who were killed were all males who ranged in age from 14 to 60. Fustin says authorities believe they were related to the woman who survived, though that hasn't been confirmed. Victims' names haven't been released.

Weekly Weather Report

We're going to start off with a warmer weekend, but things drastically change as we head into Sunday. State Climotologist Jim Angel says as we move towards the middle of next though, things should begin to moderate, and expect a moderate finish to January and transition all the way through to April.


Local Authorities Continue To Battle Scams

Area seniors continue to get bombarded by scams from almost every direction.

Scam artists continue to change the way they attack people from every walk of life, but locally, law enforcement officials are seeing seniors being targeted the most. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says there are many ways seniors are taken advantage of. He explains recently one senior was scammed and the person who scammed this individual got greedy and physically came to Clinton to her front door to receive more cash.

[audio:11913scamarrest1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy explains many of these transactions take place through MoneyGram or Western Union money transfer agencies, and local business owners keep an eye on those seniors that use those services in their businesses. He says that has stopped many scams from taking place.

Tune in next week to Regional Radio News and we will talk about some of the current scams and how to keep yourself protected and recognize when you are being scammed.

Area seniors continue to get bombarded by scams from almost every direction.

Scam artists continue to change the way they attack people from every walk of life, but locally, law enforcement officials are seeing seniors being targeted the most. Clinton Police Chief Mike Reidy says there are many ways seniors are taken advantage of. He explains recently one senior was scammed and the person who scammed this individual got greedy and physically came to Clinton to her front door to receive more cash.

[audio:11913scamarrest1.mp3] [/audio]

Chief Reidy explains many of these transactions take place through MoneyGram or Western Union money transfer agencies, and local business owners keep an eye on those seniors that use those services in their businesses. He says that has stopped many scams from taking place.

Tune in next week to Regional Radio News and we will talk about some of the current scams and how to keep yourself protected and recognize when you are being scammed.


Chicago Bulls 100, Boston Celtics 99 (OT)
Indiana Pacers 105, Houston Rockets 95
Philadelphia 76ers 108, Toronto Raptors 101 (OT)
Charlotte Bobcats 106, Orlando Magic 100
Brooklyn Nets 94, Atlanta Hawks 89
Memphis Grizzlies 85, Sacramento Kings 69
San Antonio Spurs 95, Golden State Warriors 88
Washington Wizards 112, Denver Nuggets 108
Oklahoma City Thunder 117, Dallas Mavericks 114 (OT)

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

Cardinals Pitchers Avoid Arbitration

The St. Louis Cardinals have avoided arbitration with a pair of pitchers, signing right-handers Mitchell Boggs and Edward Mujica [[ moo-HE-kuh ]] to one-year contracts. Boggs posted a 4-and-1 record with a 2.21 earned run average while making a career-high 78 appearances last season, his fifth with the Cardinals. Mujica was acquired from Miami in a trade deadline deal last season and posted a 1.03 ERA in 29 games with the Cards.

Bears Name Tucker DC

The Chicago Bears have named Mel Tucker their new defensive coordinator.  Tucker replaces Rod Marinelli, who told the Bears he would not return.  The 41-year-old was with the Jacksonville Jaguars since 2009, where he was the DC and assistant head coach.  Prior to Jacksonville, Tucker was with the Cleveland Browns from 2005-08.  This move was one of many new head coach Marc Trestman has made to fill his staff.  The former CFL head coach also hired his tight ends, quarterbacks and running backs coaches. 

Belinelli's Shot Lifts Bulls Over Celtics In OT

Marco Belinelli hit a short fadeaway jumper with three seconds remaining in overtime to lift the Bulls past the Celtics in Boston, 100-99.  Belinelli ended with 10 points while Carlos Boozer poured in 19 points with 20 rebounds.  Joakim [[ joe-keem ]] Noah added 14 points and 13 rebounds while Richard Hamilton scored 20 points in the win.  Chicago has won three straight and seven of its last nine.  Rajon Rondo had a game-high 30 points along with seven assists for Boston.  Kevin Garnett totalled 16 points and seven boards while Paul Pierce netted 13 points to go with six boards.  The Celtics have lost back-to-back games following a six-game winning streak. 

Monticello Sages Defeat Sullivan Redskins In Overtime

The Monticello Sages defeated the Sullivan Redskins by a final score of 48-45 on Friday Night. The Sages were led by Nick Stokowski with 12 points and 9 rebounds. Bryan Phipps also chipped in with 10 points and 6 rebounds. Your First State Bank player of the game was Isaac Bales. With the win the Sages improve to 15-2 and improve to 5-1 in the Okaw Conference. With the loss the Redskins fall to 6-10 and fall to 2-4 in the Okaw Conference. Tomorrow the Lady Sages will participate in the Okaw Tournament at 3:00 in Unity against Central A&M. Tune in Tuesday, January 22 at 7:30 as the Sages take on A-O Bombers. 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Illinois Woman Pleads Guilty To Wine Poisoning

A central Illinois woman has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor reckless conduct charge filed after her husband drank wine poisoned with soap.

Reports indicate 39-year-old Brandis R. Paige pleaded guilty Thursday in Coles County Circuit Court in Charleston. She was sentenced to a year of supervised discharge.

Court records indicate Paige has addresses in both Mattoon and Effingham. An Effingham phone listed in her name and called by The Associated Press was not answered Thursday or set up to take messages.

Paige was initially charged with felony aggravated battery after her husband, Douglas Paige, drank wine poisoned with dish soap in October 2011 and became ill.

Brandis Paige pleaded guilty to the lesser charge under a deal with prosecutors.

Peoria Airport Sets Passenger Record in 2012

The airport in Peoria had a record year in 2012.

Reports state the General Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport had 13% more passengers in 2012 compared with 2011. The airport had a record 580,530 passengers arrive or depart during 2012. The number beats the airport's previous passenger record set in 2008.

Airport director Gene Olson attributes the bump to new routes. That includes flights to Atlanta and Fort Myers, Fla. Olson says the airport also has been able to keep down costs with the more efficient operation of its terminal building.

Midwest Bankers Survey Suggests Continued Growth

A new survey of rural bankers suggests that growth in farmland prices, cash rents and farm equipment sales remain strong despite the continuing threat of drought in some Midwestern and northern Plains states.

A report on the Rural Mainstreet Index released Thursday says the index hit 55.6 in January, down from 60.6 in December. It is the index's fourth straight month above growth neutral.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the region's rural economy is still expanding at a moderate pace and that farm communities "appear to have shed the negative impacts of the 2012 drought."

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.

County Board Approves Special Committee For Animal Shelter

The DeWitt County Board met Thursday night and appointed a special committee to oversee the process of building a new animal shelter.

The committee will consist of county board members, along with maintenance supervisor Wendy Scwartz. Ron Savage will chair the committee and Terry Hoffman will be recording secretary.
Board chair Sherry Brown says the idea came from board vice-chair Pete Dougherty, who wasn't present at last night's meeting.


[audio:11813sheltercomm1.mp3] [/audio]

Chairwoman Brown had received a request to extend an invitation to Village Presidents or Mayors. Brown recommended extending an invitation to those people to be a part of the Committee.

[audio:11813sheltercomm2.mp3] [/audio]

The Committee has been given a final conclusion deadline of July 18 of this summer.

On top of this special Committee, the Board has also established a special fishing committee. That committee is investigating the County's water areas and the care they receive. The County Board did away with their regular committees when the Board was first sworn in, in early December.

DeWitt County Board Contemplating Joining Mahomet Aquifer Coalition

The DeWitt County Board is considering joining the Mahomet Aquifer Coalition.

The Mahomet Acquifer Coalition is a group of various governing bodies on the Mahomet Aquifer who are fighting the Clinton Landfill's attempts to dump PCBs into the landfill, which sits over the Mahomet Aquifer. County Board Member George Wissmiller explains the effort is spearheaded in Champaign and covers all of seven counties and parts of eleven others.

[audio:11813coaltion1.mp3] [/audio]

The purpose of the coalition is impose restrictions on projects that threaten aquifers such as the Mahomet Aquifer. Wissmiller explains the Clinton Landfills attempt to obtain a state permit has already been granted, so these efforts won't effect that effort directly.

[audio:11813coalition2.mp3] [/audio]

While the coalition does have some legal powers, the biggest impact they have is raising public awareness. Wissmiller believes this is not a single county or city issue, but a multi-governmental issue. He feels the original issuance of the permit should never have been granted.

[audio:11813coaltion3.mp3] [/audio]

The County Board has not yet joined the coalition. Wissmiller encouraged his fellow County Board members who may not have been familiar with the coalition to do some research. Wissmiller says he is not in a hurry to join the coalition as he wants his fellow board members to be in full understanding of what it would mean to join it.

CHS To Recognize 2013 Wall of Honor Inductees Tonight

Each year, Clinton High School honors alumni who have gone on to do admirable things both locally and abroad.

Friday night at Clinton High School's home boys basketball game, for the 7th year, they will honor three alumni of Clinton High School who have accomplished great things. This year's inductees are Terry Milton, Michael Overy, and R. Wayne Whitehead, and Lynne Severson of Clinton High School says these three gentlement have distinguished themselves in various ways.

[audio:11813wallofhonor1.mp3] [/audio]

Anyone can be nominated for the Wall of Honor and Severson says each year, those that are not selected to the Wall of Honor have their nomination letters set aside to be considered in the future. Two to four selctions have been made each year since the Wall of Honor was started in 2006.

[audio:11813wallofhonor2.mp3] [/audio]

For the inductees, the evening starts with a welcome reception beginning at six o'clock, which is open to the public to welcome and celebrate them. At 6:30, Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes and CHS Principal Dr. Candice Swift will unveil the plaques on the wall outside the gym. Severson explains the inductees are then honored prior to the varsity boys basketball game around 7:15.

[audio:11813wallofhonor3.mp3] [/audio]

Past inductees onto the Wall of Honor include Terry Ijams, Don Prather, Ernest Thorp, John Hickman, Al Austin, Larry Gentry, Tyrone Byrd, Judge Stephan H. Peters, Tom Steward, and Myra Westray.

Clinton will play host to Meridian tonight around 7:30, the Wall of Honor ceremonies in the main gym will take place between the JV and Varsity basketball game. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

World Baseball Classic Notes

>>Five Cardinals on opening World Baseball Classic rosters

(undated) -- The provisional rosters for the 2013 World Baseball Classic were announced Thursday and five St. Louis Cardinals players are on teams. Cardinals big-leaguers Carlos Beltran and Yadier Molina are on Puerto Rico's team. Fernando Salas will pitch for Mexico. Mitchell Bogs is in the Team USA bullpen and minor-leaguer Richard Castillo is on Spain's roster.

>>Rizzo On WBC Roster

(Chicago, IL) -- Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will play for Italy in the 2013 World Baseball Classic this March. Three other Cubs minor-leaguers are on other national teams. Italy will play the USA, Mexico and Canada in Arizona in pool play.

>>Sox Sending Three To WBC

(Chicago, IL) -- The White Sox have three players on provisional rosters for the World Baseball Classic. Outfielder Alex Rios will make his third WBC appearance for Puerto Rico. Pitcher Hector Santiago joins him but may choose not to play. Pitcher Jesse Crain is on the roster for Canada.

>>Dickey, Braun Headline U.S. World Baseball Classic Provisional Roster

(Durham, NC) -- Reigning National League Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey and former MVPs Ryan Braun, Jimmy Rollins and Joe Mauer [[ MOW-er ]] headline the United States' provisional roster for this spring's World Baseball Classic. Dickey is joined in the U.S. rotation by the Giants' Ryan Vogelsong, Braves' Kris Medlen and Rangers' Derek Holland. Other position players include Orioles outfielder Adam Jones, Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira [[ tuh-SHARE-uh ]], Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips and Mets third baseman David Wright. Joe Torre [[ TORE-ee ]] will manage the U.S. squad, which will begin training in Scottsdale, Arizona on March 1st. The Americans begin round-robin play in Pool D against Mexico at Chase Field on March 8th. Canada and Italy are also in the United States' bracket. Team USA has finished sixth and fourth in the two prior World Baseball Classics.

Cubs Agree To Terms With Garza

Matt Garza and the Chicago Cubs have agreed to a $10.25 million, 1-year contract that avoids salary arbitration.

Creative Artists Agency, which represents the right-hander, announced the deal Thursday night on Twitter. Garza also posted on his account, "Business side over! Hooray! Time to focus on what really matters 2013."

Garza avoided arbitration a year ago as well, agreeing to a $9.5 million deal with the Cubs, and was a potential trade candidate before he was derailed by an injury to his pitching elbow against St. Louis on July 21.

He missed the rest of the season, finishing 5-7 with a 3.91 ERA in 18 starts.

Garza, the 2008 AL championship series MVP with Tampa Bay, can become a free agent after the upcoming season.

Arians Named Cardinals Head Coach

The Arizona Cardinals named former Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians their next head coach Thursday.  Arians will be introduced at a news conference today at team headquarters.  Arians served as Colts interim head coach for 12 games in 2012 with Chuck Pagano receiving treatment for leukemia.

Championship Weekend In NFL

The conference's top two seeds square off Sunday as the San Francisco 49ers face the Atlanta Falcons in the NFC Championship Game at the Georgia Dome.  The 49ers are back in the conference title game after outgunning the Green Bay Packers 45-31 in last weekend's divisional playoff matchup in San Francisco.  Duel threat quarterback Colin Kaepernick [[ CAP-er-nick ]] combined for 444 yards and four touchdowns in his first career playoff game.  The 49ers are looking to reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 1995 after falling to the Giants in last year's NFC title tilt.  Atlanta is a win away from its first Super Bowl since 1999 after a thrilling 30-28 victory over Seattle in the divisional round.  The top-seeded Falcons blew a 27-7 lead before pulling out the win on Matt Bryant's 49-yard field goal in the closing seconds.  Atlanta earned the top seed in the NFC after going 13-and-3 during the regular season, including 7-and-1 at home.  San Francisco is the second seed after an 11-4-and-1 regular season, including a 5-and-3 road record.

Bulls In Boston Tonight

The Chicago Bulls seek their third straight win tonight in Boston against the Celtics. The Bulls outlasted the Toronto Raptors 107-105 on Wednesday in Canada. Chicago is 22-and-15 on the season.

New York Knicks 102, Detroit Pistons 87
Los Angeles Clippers 90, Minnesota Timberwolves 77
Milwaukee Bucks 98, Phoenix Suns 94
Miami Heat 99, Los Angeles Lakers 90

>>Starters For NBA All-Star Game Announced

(New York, NY) -- The results of the NBA's All-Star fan vote are in. The league has announced the starters for the February 17th game in Houston. In the West, four of the starters are from Los Angeles. The Lakers' Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard will be joined by Clippers teammates Chris Paul and Blake Griffin. The other starting spot goes to Thunder forward Kevin Durant. In the East, the Celtics duo of Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo along Heat teammates LeBron James and Dwyane Wade will start. Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony earned the other starting nod. Bryant was the leading vote-getter and will start in an NBA-record 15th straight All-Star Game.

Northwestern Continues Illini Skid

Reggie Hearn scored 20 points and Northwestern built an early lead using 3-point shooting to hand No. 23 Illinois its third straight loss, 68-54 on Thursday night.

Illinois has lost 5 of 7 after starting 12-0.

The Wildcats (11-7, 2-3 Big Ten) were 8 of 15 from 3-point range but hit 5 of those shots in the first half to build a 36-21 lead.

The cold-shooting Illini (14-5, 1-4) closed within 48-39 on a free throw by Brandon Paul with 4:36 to play. Illinois would get no closer.

Jared Swopshire had 12 points and six rebounds for Northwestern, while Alex Marcotullio scored 12 points and Dave Sobolewski added 10.

Paul had 21 points for Illinois, which shot 38% from the field, including 15% from 3-point range.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#3 Duke Blue Devils 73, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 57
#5 Michigan Wolverines 83, #12 Minnesota Golden Gophers 75
#8 Gonzaga Bulldogs 71, Portland Pilots 49
#9 Florida Gators 68, Texas A&M Aggies 47
#19 Virginia Commonwealth Rams 92, Saint Joseph's Hawks 86 (OT)
#25 UCLA Bruins 74, Oregon State Beavers 64

Maroons Host Meridian, Sages Host Sullivan

>>Maroons Host Meridian

The Clinton Maroons play host to the Meridian Hawks this evening at Clinton High School. The Maroons are coming off a loss at Maroa-Forsyth Tuesday. The Maroons led at the end of the first quarter but could not keep things going as they fell 65-32. The Maroons come into tonight's game at 3-14 overall and 0-5 in the Okaw Valley Conference. Meridian enters play at 7-9 and 3-2 in the Okaw Valley.

Tonight is also the Wall of Honor night at Clinton High School. Three CHS alumns will be inducted into the Wall of Honor, you can find more on that story in the news section of dewittdailynews.com. That ceremony will take place between the JV and Varsity game.

Tonight's game can be heard live on the Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com. Tip off is scheduled for around 7:30.

>>Sages Host Sullivan

The Monticello Sages are coming off a 63-37 victory over Tuscola Tuesday night and face off against Sullivan tonight at Monticello High School. The Sages lost last Friday at Meridian, but are tied for second in the Okaw Valley with a trio of 4-1 teams. They are 14-2 overall. Sullivan 6-9 overall and 2-3 in Okaw play.

Tip off is scheduled for 7:30 tonight. You can hear all the action on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other Okaw Valley Boys basketball games tonight:

Shelbyville 7:30

Central A&M
Tuscola 7:30

Decatur St. Teresa
Maroa-Forsyth 7:30 PM

Tolono Unity 7:30 PM

Cook County Could Require Stolen Gun Reports

The Cook County Board is considering an ordinance that would require gun owners to report stolen or lost firearms.

Board President Toni Preckwinkle introduced the measure Wednesday. It would require anyone who loses, destroys, transfers or has their firearm stolen in Cook County to report it to the sheriff's office within 48 hours.

Anyone who fails to do so could be fined $1,000 for the first violation.

In a statement, Preckwinkle says guns that were purchased legally too often end up in the hands of criminals. She says the ordinance will help law enforcement crack down on people who don't file police reports yet claim their guns were lost or stolen after the weapons are recovered from a crime scene.

New Brewery Comes To Springfield

A new brewpub is coming to the city. Ground was broken yesterday for Engrained Brewing Company.

[audio:1brent0116.mp3] [/audio]

Owner Brent Schwoerer [[ schweh-werr ]] says he plans to open in August or September. The bar, restaurant and brewery is being built in the Legacy Pointe development on the MacArthur Extension.

More Illinoisans Relying On Food Stamps, Pantries

The number of Illinois residents relying on food stamps and visiting food banks is rising along with the poverty rate.

The number of food stamp recipients increased 19% during the recent recession and has increased an additional 41% since it ended in June 2009.

At the same time, households served by the state's emergency food program spiked from 2.27 million in fiscal year 2009 to almost 3 million in 2012. That's according to the Illinois Department of Human Services, which distributes federal surplus commodities to food banks.

The Chicago-based Social IMPACT research Center reported Wednesday that 15% of Illinoisans are in poverty and another 18% are close to it.

Food pantry officials say many seeking help are working full-time but still can't make ends meet.

Illinois Foreclosures Rise in 2012

Illinois home foreclosure activity rose 32.6% in 2012 compared to the previous year. But it was almost 10% lower than in 2010.

A report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac shows Illinois with 136,603 foreclosure filings last year. That represents a rate of 1 in every 39 housing units, or 2.58% of all homes. It's the fifth-highest rate in the nation.

Filings include default notices, auction-sale notices and bank repossessions.

Florida had the nation's highest foreclosure rate - one in every 32 housing units. Other states with foreclosure rates worse than Illinois were Nevada, Arizona and Georgia.

Nationally, last year's foreclosure activity fell almost 3% from 2011. That was 36% lower than in 2010.

Illinois Lawmaker Raffles Off Guns To Raise Campaign Cash

An eastern Illinois lawmaker is trying a novel tactic to raise campaign money. He's selling raffle tickets for chances to win guns.

State Rep. Josh Harms reports he likes guns and hunting. He says the raffle is a good alternative to accepting money from political action committees or lobbyists.

The Republican from Watseka (waht-SEE'-kuh) is selling tickets for $5 each. The top prize in the drawing will be a Ruger Mini-14 rifle. Other prizes include a Ruger revolver and a Mossberg shotgun. Watseka is about 60 miles northeast of Champaign.

The first-term lawmaker isn't sure how much money he's raised. His father bought the guns and two gift certificates also offered as prizes for $1,776 and donated them. Sales will continue into March.

Red Cross Plans First Ever Black Tie Event

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross over the past few years has been looking for ways to raise money for their various programs.

The American Red Cross' First Annual "Diamond Affair" is coming in February. The event will be a formal black-tie event where guests can dress up and have a fun evening out. Carl Baker, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross' Mid-Illinois Chapter, explains the event will be great for those who get cabin fever over the winter months and would love to have a night out. The "Affair" will feature live music and auctions to keep those attending involved.

[audio:11713diamond1.mp3] [/audio]

The "Diamond Affair" will also premiere a special honorary award for the first time. According to Baker, the award will be named after Inez Andreas who was a dedicated worker and friend of the Red Cross for many years. Her family will be present to accept the award, posthumously, on her behalf.

[audio:11713diamond2.mp3] [/audio]

Baker adds the Red Cross will be looking for a special person to receive the award in future years. The person will need to exude enthusiasm and passion for the organization. The "Diamond Affair" will be Saturday, February 23rd from 5:30-11:30 pm. The event will be held at the Country Club in Decatur.

Information will be posted on the Red Cross' website soon at www.midillinoisredcross.org or they can be contacted by phone at 428-7758.

Clinton's Legion Receives Grant For Parking Lot Improvements

One local non-profit organization is getting a new parking lot.

 width=Clinton's American Legion was the recipient of a $100-thousand grant to pave their gravel parking lot. Illinois State Representative Bill Mitchell made an appearance Wednesday afternoon as to congratulate them on the grant. He feels the Legion is very deserving of the money because of the many things they do throughout the Clinton community.

[audio:11713legion1.mp3] [/audio]

Rep. Mitchell and several other legislative leaders were instrumental in the Legion obtaining the grant. Tom Reddington, Vice-Commander of Legion, feels fortunate to get the grant and feels the local leaders saw the work they were doing and saw the need for a parking lot.

[audio:11713legion2.mp3] [/audio]

The veterans of the Legion rejuvenated the organization to what it is today. Reddington explains it was a complete volunteer effort to get the building on Elizabeth Street up. He says when they opened their doors almost four years ago, everything on the building was paid for, and the last step was a new parking lot.

[audio:11713legion3.mp3] [/audio]

The American Legion rents out their building for various community events including weddings, reunions, and birthday parties. Reddington welcomes the community to check their building out. It is located at 219 North Elizabeth Street.

For more information you can contact the Legion at 935-5381.

Clinton High School Budget Looks Surprisingly Good At Year's Mid-Point

At the midpoint of the year, the budget in the Clinton School district is surprisingly in good shape.

The district was projecting a deficit for this year's budget at around $1.5-million, but according to Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes, things right now are projecting to shape up nicely. Dr. Holmes says the one area of the budget that is the most encouraging is their expenditures. He explains this time of year, expenditures should be at 50%, but Dr. Holmes credits the work of his administrators and teachers of keeping those down.

[audio:11713midbudget1.mp3] [/audio]

Over the summer, the high school received some energy efficiency upgrades, and they recently switched electrical providers. Dr. Holmes feels those upgrades are beginning to pay off already and he says the electrical provider switch is is keeping those costs down as well.

[audio:11713midbudget2.mp3] [/audio]

Most of the expenses the district has get purchased during the first half of the year. Dr. Holmes says there is always salaries and benefits on the budget, but those are already accounted for in the second half of the year. He hopes they can maintain around a 43%-45% expenditure in the second half, which would greatly reduce that $1.5-million deficit.

[audio:11713midbudget3.mp3] [/audio]

Revenues look good in the district as well. Dr. Holmes says local revenues are right where they thought they would be. He says state and federal money will continue to come in to the district throughout the rest of the year.

Baseball Notes

>>Mariners Acquire Morse In Three Team Trade

(Seattle, WA) -- The Seattle Mariners have upgraded the middle of their lineup. The M's have acquired slugger Mike Morse from the Washington Nationals in a three-team trade that also includes the Oakland Athletics. Morse hit 18 home runs last year despite playing only 102 games. The first baseman/outfielder smacked 31 with 95 RBI in 2011. Morse was with the Mariners from 2004-2008 before moving onto Washington. The Nats picked up three prospects from the A's, while Oakland nabbed catcher John Jaso [[ JAY-soh ]] from Seattle. The lefty catcher hit .276 with 10 home runs and 50 RBI in 294 at-bats in 2012. Right-handed pitcher A.J. Cole, who Washington dealt to Oakland in the Gio Gonzalez trade, returns to the Nationals. The other two prospects are pitcher Blake Treinen and a player to be named later.

>>A-Rod Recovering After Hip Surgery

(New York, NY) -- New York Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez is recovering from hip surgery. "A-Rod" had a two-hour procedure Wednesday to repair a torn labrum and impingement in his left hip. The team issued a statement saying the surgery went as planned and without complication. Recovery time is estimated at six months. Rodriguez is expected to be discharged from the hospital today and begin supervised rehabilitation. The Yankees signed Kevin Youkilis [[ YOO-kih-liss ]] this offseason to help fill in at third base while "A-Rod" is sidelined.

>>USA WBC Roster To Be Announced Today

(Undated) -- Team USA's roster for the World Baseball Classic will be released today at 10:00 a.m. Eastern. Manager Joe Torre will add insight to his team on MLB Network. The Americans are in the Arizona bracket with Mexico, Canada and Italy.

Notre Dame Confirms Te'o Victim Of Girlfriend Hoax

Notre Dame is calling star linebacker Manti Te'o [[ MAN-tye  TAY-oh ]] a victim of a hoax in which his supposed girlfriend died during the football season last year.  According to a university statement, someone using a fictitious name apparently ingratiated herself with Te'o and then conspired with others to lead him to believe she had tragically died of leukemia.  Authorities are still investigating the matter.  The statement comes on the heels of a Deadspin report that there is no record of the 22-year-old ever existing.  Te'o told "Sports Illustrated" that she had been in a serious car accident in September and was later diagnosed with leukemia.

Eagles Agree To Deal With Oregon's Chip Kelly

Chip Kelly is bolting the University of Oregon for the NFL after all.  The Philadelphia Eagles announced that they have agreed to terms with Kelly to become the 21st head coach in team history.  He previously interviewed with the Eagles, Cleveland Browns and Buffalo Bills but elected to remain with the Ducks.  Kelly went 46-and-7 and led Oregon to a BCS bowl game in each of his four years at the school.

Bears' Trestman Adds Saints' Kromer To Staff

New Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman is wasting no time in beginning to fill out his staff.  After being tabbed as the 14th head coach in franchise history on Wednesday, the Bears later announced that New Orleans Saints offensive line coach Aaron Kromer has been hired as the team's offensive coordinator.  Chicago also named veteran special teams coach Joe DeCamillis as an assistant head coach/special teams coordinator.  Kromer had been with the Saints since 2008 and served as New Orleans' acting coach for the first six games this season while both Sean Payton and assistant Joe Vitt were serving suspensions for their involvement in the Saints' bounty scandal.  New Orleans went 2-and-4 in the games Kromer was in charge.

Illini Football Notes

>>Cubit Relishes Reclamation Project At Illinois

New Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit says he enjoys a reclamation project.

At Illinois, he'll take over an offense that was last in the Big Ten in points scored at just under 17 a game last year. The team went 2-10 and lost its last nine in a row.

Cubit was hired Monday. On Wednesday, he said he's told players they'll have to put last season behind them if they don't want to relive it.

Cubit is still figuring out what kind of offense he'll run but expects to be more balanced than the pass-heavy teams he led as head coach at Western Michigan. The Broncos fired Cubit after last season.

Cubit says it could be summer before he chooses a starting quarterback between Nathan Scheelhaase (SHEEL'-hows) and Reilly O'Toole.

>>Illini Plan Spring Night Football Game

Illinois will play its annual Orange and Blue Spring Game under the lights this year. It's scheduled for a Friday night, April 12.

The Illini will start spring practices on March 5 in Champaign and run through April 10. One practice session will be held in Gately Stadium on Chicago's South Side on March 29.

Illinois finished last season 2-10. The Illini have since fired co-offensive coordinator Chris Beatty and hired former Western Michigan head coach Bill Cubit to run the offense.

Boozer Leads Bulls Past Raptors in OT

Luol Deng hit a tiebreaking jump shot with 3 seconds left in overtime and the Chicago Bulls beat Toronto 107-105 in overtime on Wednesday night, their eighth victory in nine meetings against the Raptors.

Carlos Boozer had a season-high 36 points and 12 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Bulls.

Deng scored 19 points and Richard Hamilton had 15 as Chicago won its fourth straight road game. The Bulls have won 9 of their past 11 away from home.

Boozer's double-double was his Eastern Conference leading 21st, and his 11th in 13 games against the Raptors.

Alan Anderson fouled out with 27 points, matching his career-high, and Kyle Lowry had 26 as Toronto lost its third straight.

Orlando Magic 97, Indiana Pacers 86
Atlanta Hawks 109, Brooklyn Nets 95
Oklahoma City Thunder 117, Denver Nuggets 97
Dallas Mavericks 105, Houston Rockets 100
New Orleans Hornets 90, Boston Celtics 78
San Antonio Spurs 103, Memphis Grizzlies 82
Cleveland Cavaliers 93, Portland Trail Blazers 88
Sacramento Kings 95, Washington Wizards 94
Miami Heat 92, Golden State Warriors 75

Wichita State Downs ISU

Cleanthony Early scored 16 points to lead Wichita State over Illinois State 74-62 Wednesday night.

Early was 5 of 11 from the field. Williams scored 14 points and Malcolm Armstead and Nick Wiggins had 10 points apiece for the Shockers (16-2, 5-1 Missouri Valley). Carl Hall had a team-high 10 rebounds, and Tekele Cotton had seven points and seven assists.

Wichita State led 31-20 at halftime. Wichita State shot 46.6% from the field and had 44 rebounds. The Redbirds shot 32.8% and had 36 rebounds.

Jackie Carmichael had 22 points and nine rebounds for Illinois State (9-9, 0-6). Tyler Brown had 14 point and nine rebounds, and Bryant Allen and John Wilkins had 11 points apiece.

Illinois State has lost six consecutive games.

Wichita State has won 17 consecutive games at home.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#13 Butler Bulldogs 62, Richmond Spiders 47
UNLV Rebels 82, #14 San Diego State Aztecs 75
Maryland Terrapins 51, #15 North Carolina State Wolfpack 50
#16 Missouri Tigers 79, Georgia Bulldogs 62
#17 Michigan State Spartans 81, Penn State Nittany Lions 72
#18 Kansas State Wildcats 67, TCU Horned Frogs 54
#21 New Mexico Lobos 79, Boise State Broncos 74 (OT)

Governor Quinn Holds First Summit On Employment Diversity

Gov. Pat Quinn is focusing on equal opportunity and diversity in hiring to honor Martin Luther King Jr.

Quinn held a meeting Tuesday at the University of Chicago with business leaders from across the state to address the issues. The governor's office says it was the first annual Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Quinn says everyone should have the opportunity for employment, "regardless of race, gender or orientation."

The summit included presentations from minority business leaders and companies like Oak Brook-based McDonalds Corp.

Political Strategist Predicts Gun Control Success

Political strategist David Axelrod says he believes Congress will act on gun-control legislation despite opposition from what he calls a "tremendously powerful" gun lobby.

President Obama on Wednesday will announce a sweeping effort to curb gun violence that will include a ban on military-style assault weapon

Axelrod said Tuesday he doesn't think President Obama will get everything he wants, but there has been an awakening following the shooting at the Connecticut school last month that left 20 kindergarteners and six others dead.

Axelrod, who ran Obama's presidential campaigns, spoke at a benefit for Misericordia, a home for the developmentally disabled. Axelrod said the most extreme of the spectrum of National Rifle Association members has "seized control" of the group. He added it's the Obama administration's cultivate those who favor reforms.

Firm Wins Relief From State Birth Control Mandate

A judge has granted an Illinois company temporary relief from a state requirement that its employee health insurance plan covers birth control.

DuPage County Circuit Court Judge Terence Sheen granted a temporary restraining order Tuesday in favor of the Oak Brook-based company, Triune Health Group.

The Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm, says it's the first state court ruling that says laws protecting religious freedom pre-empt the state's contraception mandate for health insurance.

Earlier this month, the same company won temporary relief in federal court from a federal contraception mandate.

Company owners Christopher and Mary Anne Yep say government requirements for contraceptive coverage for women violate their Roman Catholic beliefs.

Mandatory coverage for birth control has been among the most controversial parts of President Barack Obama's health care law.

Bill Daley Talks Politics At Donor Breakfast

Bill Daley is considering a potential run for governor of Illinois and yesterday he took time to talk life and politics at a donor breakfast in Chicago. Daley pulled no punches when talking about the current political system in America, saying life in the public eye is not easy.

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Daley says there is a lack of civility in politics.

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Daley spoke during a breakfast event at the Misericordia House on Chicago's North Side. The former White House Chief of Staff is mulling a run for the governor's seat in Illinois in 2014. The Chicago-native could potentially challenge fellow Democrat and current Governor Pat Quinn.

University of Illinois Expected To Consider Housing-Cost Rise

Later this month trustees at the University of Illinois will consider an increase of 2% to almost 7% in the cost of student housing on its three campuses.

Fees would also rise but recommendations for tuition for the coming school year have not been made.

Reports indicate trustees will meet Jan. 24 in Chicago and consider raising the annual cost of housing at the Urbana-Champaign campus about 3% to $9,979.

The cost in Chicago would increase by 2% to $10,600 a year. In Springfield housing costs would increase by almost 7% to $10,350.

Fees would rise 1% to $2,916 in Urbana and 1.5% to $2,948 in Chicago. Springfield fees would increase 6% to $1,892.

Police Chief Randy McKinley Leaving Bloomington

After 28 years of service, Police Chief Randy McKinley is saying goodbye to Bloomington.

Reports say City Manager David Hales and Mayor Steve Stockton presented McKinley with a special award commemorating his service on Monday. Hales says McKinley's vision and sense of community won't be easy to replace.

McKinley has served as Bloomington's police chief for the last four years.

His final day is Friday. He's leaving to become the police chief in St. Charles, Mo.

McKinley says it's time to hand off to somebody else in Bloomington and he's hoping he'll be received as well in Missouri as he has been in central Illinois.

Two Died Trying To Escape Cluttered Pekin Home

Fire officials in central Illinois say an elderly couple likely succumbed to smoke inhalation as fire gutted their cluttered home.

Reports indicate 79-year-old Sam Garland and 75-year-old Barbara Garland died Sunday in a Pekin home that was packed with items due to her hoarding habit.

Pekin Fire Department Assistant Chief Brian Cox says the combination of heat, smoke and virtual walls of junk that met firefighters at the home's doors made rescue efforts impossible.

Authorities say the home's main floor and ceiling collapsed in flames, sending tons of debris into the basement. The Garlands' bodies were later found in the basement.

Flu Hitting Local Schools Hard

Cold and flu season has been running rampant this winter and area schools are feeling the effects.

Mike Williams, Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth schools, says his district hasn't been immune to the sickness. He says that they saw their worst number of illnesses right before Christmas. He also says that the percentage of absenteeism before the holidays was larger than the normal school year.

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Williams says while it would take a large percentage of students absent to cancel school, sick teachers pose as the biggest reason to close. He also says that they usually judge this issue on sickness surrounding the area.

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For any information on school cancellations or other school related information you can go to the district's website at www.mfschools.org.

World Baseball Classic Notes

 width=>>Halos' Trout Out Of WBC, Hamilton Too

(Undated) -- Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout will not play for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic this Spring. Fellow Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton is also expected to sit out for the Americans. On the other hand, first baseman Albert Pujols [[ POO-holes ]] is still unsure if he will play for the Dominican Republic. He is recovering from knee surgery. Pujols did participate in 2006 but missed the 2009 WBC. Los Angeles position players are scheduled to report for Spring Training in Arizona on February 14th.

>>Beltre, Cruz To Play In WBC

(Undated) -- Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre and outfielder Nelson Cruz will play for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic. Beltre was on his native team for the 2006 WBC but was absent in 2009. Texas closer Joe Nathan is still unsure if he will play for the United States.

>>Adam Jones To Play In WBC

(Undated) -- Orioles center fielder Adam Jones will play in the upcoming World Baseball Classic for Team USA. Jones received the invitation from United States manager Joe Torre prior to Christmas. Jones is expected to be the only Oriole on Team USA, but other O's could represent different countries. Starter Miguel Gonzalez could pitch for Mexico while reliever Pedro Strop is a candidate to pitch for the Dominican Republic.

Cardinals Notes

 width=>>Cardinals To Appear Twice On Sunday Night

(St. Louis, MO) -- The Cardinals were selected for a pair of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball telecasts in the first half of the season. Both are on the road. They will play the Philadelphia Phillies on April 21st and the Chicago Cubs on July 14th. That's the final game of the first half of the season heading into the All-Star break.

>>Five Cardinals Opt For Salary Arbitration

(undated) -- Four Cardinals pitchers and key position player David Freese filed for salary arbitration Tuesday. The four pitchers are Mitchell Boggs, Jason Motte, Edward Mujica [Moo-hee-cuh] and Marc Rzepczynski [Zep-chin-ski]. The Cardinals must reach new contracts with the players or go to arbitration with them.

Packers' Rodgers To Miss Pro Bowl

 width=Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers will reportedly not play in next month's Pro Bowl.  ESPNWisconsin.com reports Rodgers will pass on the trip to Hawaii due to multiple injuries he suffered during the course of the regular season.  Rodgers said he had injections on his left knee on Tuesday and also been dealing with ankle issues, according to the report.  Rodgers threw for 4,295 yards with 39 touchdowns and just eight interceptions in 16 games this season.  He also tossed for 531 yards with three TDs and a pick in two playoff games.  The Packers were eliminated from the postseason last Saturday in San Francisco.

Bears Hire Head Coach

 width=>>Bears To Hire Trestman As Coach

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Chicago Bears have reportedly found their next head coach. The "Chicago Tribune" is reporting that the "Monsters of the Midway" are set to hire Marc Trestman for the job. Trestman had previously been the head coach of the Canadian Football League's Montreal Alouettes since 2008. The 57-year-old won two Grey Cup's in his time in Montreal. He was an assistant coach in the NFL starting in the mid-80's with a number of teams. This will be his first NFL head coaching job and he replaces Lovie Smith, who spent nine years with Chicago. Trestman was selected over Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians and Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

>>Bears' Marshall To Have Surgery

(Chicago, IL) -- Bears wide receiver Brandon Marshall is due to undergo a hip procedure in the near future, leaving his status for the Pro Bowl in doubt. Marshall says the arthroscopic procedure is "nothing" and will only put him out of action for "probably two weeks." The Pro Bowl is on January 27th. Marshall caught a Bears single-season record 118 passes for 1,508 yards and 11 touchdowns this season.

Bulls In Toronto Tonight

 width=The Bulls kick off a mini two-game road trip tonight in Toronto against the Raptors. Chicago pounded the Hawks on Monday night at home, 97-58, to improve to 21-and-15 on the season. The Bulls will head to Boston to play the Celtics on Friday before returning home to meet the Grizzlies on Saturday. The Raptors come into tonight's game at 14-and-24 after falling at Brooklyn last night.

New Orleans Hornets 111, Philadelphia 76ers 96
Indiana Pacers 103, Charlotte Bobcats 76
Brooklyn Nets 113, Toronto Raptors 106
Los Angeles Clippers 117, Houston Rockets 109
Denver Nuggets 115, Portland Trail Blazers 111 (OT)
Los Angeles Lakers 104, Milwaukee Bucks 88

Bradley Tops Southern Illinois; Indiana Upset

 width=Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 18 points and Bradley defeated Southern Illinois 69-66 Tuesday night.

Four Braves were in double figures. Walt Lemon Jr. scored 16 points and added eight assists, Tyshon Pickett scored 15 and Will Egolf had 11 points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots for Bradley (11-7, 3-3 Missouri Valley).

Desmar Jackson led the Salukis (8-9, 1-5) with 21 points. Jeff Early had 17 points and 11 rebounds and Anthony Beane Jr. added 13 points for SIU.

The win ended Bradley's 3-game losing streak and gave the Braves their first season sweep of their MVC rivals since 2000-01.

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

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
 width=Wisconsin Badgers 64, #2 Indiana Hoosiers 59
#10 Creighton Bluejays 79, Northern Iowa 68
St. John's Red Storm 67, #20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 63
#24 Cincinnati Bearcats 75, DePaul Blue Demons 70

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report 1-16

January 15, 2013


Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


Darryl Harris, 52, St. Louis, was arrested and charged with neglect family, non-support. Harris unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged in the Dewitt County Jail.





Monticello Sages Defeat The Tuscola Warriors; Okaw Valley Scores

The Monticello Sages defeated the Tuscola Warriors by a final score of 63-37 on Tuesday Night. The Sages were led by Nick Stokowski with 23 points and 9 rebounds. Isaac Bales also chipped in with 11 points. Your First State Bank player of the game was Nick Stokowski. With the win the Sages improve to 14-2 and in the Okaw Conferece 4-1. With the loss the Warriors fall to 3-11 and in the Okaw Conference 1-4. The Monticello JV Sages improve to 9-2 with the win on Tuesday Night with a final score of 50-43. Tune in Friday, January 15 as the Sages take on the Sullivan Redskins at 7:30. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other Scores around the OVC from Tuesday...

Central A&M 71
Decatur St. Teresa 60

Macon Meridian 50
Shelbyville 60 .

Sullivan 46
Tolono Unity 58

Argenta-Oreana 32
Warrensburg-Latham 73

WIU Gets Arbor Grant To Reforest Horn Field

Western Illinois University is receiving a grant from the Arbor Day Foundation that will allow reforestation of the Horn Field Campus.

The grant will pay for more than 16,000 saplings to plant in the 92-acres of woodlands, prairie and nature trails on the campus.

Rob Porter is assistant professor in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration Department, which administers Horn Field. The department's students and others who study natural-resources management will get hands-on learning when doing the reforestation work.

Horn Field program coordinator Mindy Pheiffer says the area is overgrown with invasive species which prohibit native hardwood-tree growth.

Porter says forest habitat is disappearing in Illinois. Jack-in-the-Pulpit, redheaded woodpeckers and burrowing crawfish all live in the campus.

DeWitt County Approves Electric Aggregation On Spring Ballot

As Regional Radio News reported last week, Clinton and DeWitt County are considering the process of electric aggregation.

The County Board recently approved to take the issue to referendum. DeWitt County Board Member George Wissmiller explains the process is having individuals come together to get their electricity from a third party provider which should give citizens a better rate on electricity.

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According to Wissmiller, only certain portions of DeWitt County are eligible for this process. He says first only Ameren customers can take advantage of this and also Farmer City residents are not able to either because they are provided electricity through the city of Farmer City.

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The City of Clinton has begun preliminary discussions of potentially putting this to referendum in the spring. Wissmiller says this would work a lot like health insurance, the more people they can get involved, the better the price would be for everyone involved.

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Wissmiller says he has not to this point, done much research on the issue. He says he intends to talk to other community leaders who have gone through this process already and find out what they have learned through it. He emphasizes the County Board has made no decisions about this yet other than to let the voters decide if they want them to continue forward with it. That vote will come up as a part of the Spring election.

Source: Three Rule Changes Coming To MLB

Major League Baseball will reportedly see a few rule changes heading into the 2013 season.  ESPN's Jayson Stark reports the owners approved three rule changes at last week's owners meetings that will go into effect this year.  The first will allow coaches and managers to bring interpreters to the mound for conferences with foreign-born pitchers who don't speak fluently in English.  Clubs will also be allowed to have a seventh coach in uniform in the dugout during games.  A number of teams have added a second hitting coach in recent years, pushing the move forward.  Finally, a pickoff move involving a fake throw to third base, and a throw to first base would now be considered a balk.  All the rules must still be approved by the player's union.

NFL Notes

>>Bears Narrow Coaching Search

Seattle offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell will interview a second time for the Chicago Bears' coaching job.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Monday that Bevell and defensive coordinator Gus Bradley were "heading toward second interviews." Bradley is in the running for the Philadelphia Eagles' job.

Bevell just finished his second season as Seattle's offensive coordinator and drew high praise for his work with rookie quarterback Russell Wilson. He also served as Minnesota's coordinator from 2006-10 and was an assistant in Green Bay before that, working with Brett Favre.

ESPN, citing sources, reported the Bears will also conduct a second interview with Marc Trestman, head coach of the CFL's Montreal Alouettes.

The Bears, who declined comment, are looking to replace the fired Lovie Smith.

>>NFL Players Poll: Vikings' Peterson Claims MVP, Comeback Player Of The Year

(Undated) -- In a recent poll by SOTL.com, NFL players picked Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson as the Most Valuable Player and the Comeback Player of the Year. SOTL.com, which has a partnership with the NFL Players Association, polled 612 NFL players for MVP and 433 players for Comeback Player of the Year. Peterson picked up 56.5 percent of the votes for MVP and 59.6 percent of the comeback vote. Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning finished second in both polls, earning 35.5 percent in the MVP ballot and 38.3 percent in the comeback vote.

>>Notre Dame's Wood Enters NFL Draft

(Undated) -- Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood has announced he will enter the NFL Draft. Wood ran for 742 yards and four touchdowns for the Irish this season. ESPN ranks him as the 16th running back prospect in the draft. Wood was held to just two yards on four carries in Notre Dame's 42-14 loss to Alabama in the BCS Championship Game last week.

Big Ten Could Rename Divisions

Illinois and Northwestern could be getting new division names in the near future.  Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says the conference is considering a change to the Legends and Leaders names to each division.  Illinois is currently in the Leaders division while Northwestern sits in the Legends.  Maryland and Rutgers are set to join the league next year.

Illinois Names Offensive Coordinator

Illinois has hired former Western Michigan head football coach Bill Cubit as its new offensive coordinator.

Illini head coach Tim Beckman said Monday that Cubit been hired and praised him for having an "outstanding football mind."

Cubit takes over for Chris Beatty and Billy Gonzales who shared the offensive coordinator duties last fall. Beatty was fired earlier this month after the 2-10 Illini finished last in the Big Ten in both points per game and yards per game.

Beckman said Gonzales will stay on as wide receivers coach.

Cubit was fired after the 2012 season at Western Michigan after going 4-8.

The 59-year-old was 51-47 in eight seasons at Western Michigan. He previously worked as offensive coordinator at Stanford, Rutgers and Missouri.

Cubit played at Delaware in the early 1970s.

Illini Drop In USA Today Poll

Illinois dropped from number-13 to 22 in the "USA Today" Top-25 Poll. The Fighting Illini went 0-and-2 last week with the losses at the hands of Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Illini hope to get back on track when it hosts Northwestern on Thursday.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Louisville Cardinals 73, Connecticut Huskies 60
#4 Kansas Jayhawks 61, Baylor Bears 44

Bulls Rout Hawks

Carlos Boozer scored 20 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as the Bulls mopped the floor with the Hawks, 97-58, at the United Center. Boozer has posted a double-double in seven of his last eight games. Atlanta shot an embarrassing 24-of-82 from the field as a team and had 15 assists to 14 turnovers. The Hawks were held to five points in the second quarter. Joakim Noah added nine points and 16 rebounds in the win. The Bulls improved to 21-and-15, while the Hawks dropped to 21-and-16.

Washington Wizards 120, Orlando Magic 91
Boston Celtics 100, Charlotte Bobcats 89
Los Angeles Clippers 99, Memphis Grizzlies 73
Dallas Mavericks 113, Minnesota Timberwolves 98
Oklahoma City Thunder 102, Phoenix Suns 90
Utah Jazz 104, Miami Heat 97
Sacramento Kings 124, Cleveland Cavaliers 118

Local Lawmaker Says Pension Reform A Must in 2013

One local lawmaker says he was surprised to see nothing happen during the lame duck session of the Illinois General Assembly in regards to the pension crisis in Illinois.

Former Representative Chapin Rose, who transitioned last week from the General Assembly to the Illinois Senate, says he was surprised nothing happened, but it makes sense. He explains the new legislature now has a super-majority in both the General Assembly and the Senate, so he feels Democrats may have been waiting things out to take advantage of their super-majority status.

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Pension reform has been stalled over the past two years to get anything fixed, and Representative Rose says the most frustrating part is the whole process has been controlled by the Democrats. He says everything is being handled by a handful of lawmakers behind closed doors, and people who care the most about the issue have been absent during discussions.

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While the obvious issue of Pension reform went unresolved with the last General Assembly, Rose says they actually did a lot of good things, in particular, with the budget, and setting money aside to pay down their back log of bills. Unfortunately for the next General Assembly, that money that was put aside won't be available next year because of the expected jump in Pension payments.

[audio:11613lameduck3.mp3] [/audio]

Rose says he would like to see Pension reform take place much like Medicaid reform took place. He would like to see representatives from both sides of the isle work things out and come up with a solution agreeable by both parties.

Re-elected Senate President John Cullerton has made Pension reform his number one priority for the 98th General Assembly. The Illinois Legislator will reconvene later this month.

Clinton High School Athlete Signs Division I Athletic Scholarship

It was an exciting day for one Lady Maroons softball player yesterday.

 width=Bailey Walker, a senior this year, signed her national letter of intent to attend Olney Central College, a Division I Junior College. Walker says there were a lot of things she liked about Olney Central. She says she liked Head Coach Nick Short and the program he has there. She also came recommended by Tuscola High School Alum and friend, Samantha Ledbetter.

[audio:11613walker1.mp3] [/audio]

Lady Maroons Head Softball Coach Emily Starkey says Walker has worked very hard to get to where she is at. She says Walker is a hard worker and a natural leader. She feels Walker signing a national letter of intent speaks volumes for the program.

[audio:11613walker2.mp3] [/audio]

Walker is a natural lefty, and Coach Short says that is very beneficial to her no matter what level she is competing at. He explains her potential at Olney Central can be very high because she is a talented pitcher and can also hit very well.

[audio:11613walker3.mp3] [/audio]

Walker took the process very seriously and Coach Starkey says it took Bailey a long time to make a decision. Coach Starkey says she was impressed by Walker's process of weighing all her choices, because she had very good choices, and she thought through not just the athletic aspect of her choices, but the economics as well.

[audio:11613walker4.mp3] [/audio]

Walker will join the Olney Central program in the fall semester of 2013. Coach Short says building a junior college program can be a challenge because of the continuous turnaround in players. He says there is also a challenge in finding players that come in and have a team oriented mindset from the start. He adds he tries to find athletes that are sound academically and stay out of trouble off the field. He feels Walker meets those criteria.

Illinois Coal Production Surges In 2012

Illinois coal production surged in 2012, outpacing production efforts nationwide.

Illinois coal had its best year in nearly two decades in 2012. The newspaper cites preliminary figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration showing Illinois mines produced 47 million tons of coal in 2012, the most since 1995.

Illinois Coal Association officials say the state's coal production is probably closer to 43 million tons, but insist that Illinois is bucking a national trend.

More preliminary estimates from the energy administration show a 7% decline in coal production nationwide for 2012 and another 3.6% decline this year, primarily as the result of a decline in power-plant demand.

Officials say new mines in southern Illinois have also contributed to Illinois' strong year.

Rock Blasting Puts Mississippi River In Ship Shape

Crews have completed the most critical phase of removing bedrock that threatened barges along a crucial stretch of the drought-starved Mississippi River in southern Illinois.

The work by contractors hired by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has staved off the shipping industry's fears that the treacherous channel could close to traffic.

Using excavators and explosives, workers cleared 365 cubic yards of limestone and added two vital feet of depth to the channel near Thebes, Ill., about 130 miles south of St. Louis.

That phase of the work began last month and addressed the most pressing threat.

Maj. Gen. John Peabody, commander of the corps' Mississippi Valley division, said Saturday that "the work has deepened the channel enough to successfully maintain navigation though this critical reach of the river."

New Peoria Police Unit Has Troubled Past

The Peoria Police Department has launched a new unit geared toward preventing gun crime, but an investigation says the unit also has remnants of some of the department's most embarrassing incidents.

The department, which leaders say is in the middle of a "cultural shift," began the new Target Offenders Unit earlier this month.

Reports indicate, among other things, that former officers had been involved in drunken-driving crashes with felony charges, an incident of alleged illegal surveillance that slapped one officer with a no-stalking order.

Reports cite interviews, court documents and confidential documents provided.

Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard says the department has been moving forward on all the officer investigations with the best interest of the department, city and taxpayers.

Peoria Mayor Plans Trip To Botswana

The mayor of Peoria and other local officials are planning a trip to Africa this February.

Mayor Jim Ardis is making the trip to Botswana to discuss a possible sister-city relationship. The mayor says the idea came after Botswana's ambassador to the United States visited Peoria twice last year. Ardis says the ambassador invited him to bring a delegation from Peoria to Botswana.

The trip is scheduled from Feb. 18 to 23. Peoria already has sister-city relationship with cities in China, Ireland and Germany.

Children's Advocacy Center Reports Busy, Productive 2012

2012 was a busy year and productive year for many organizations, The Children's Advocacy Center was one in particular.

Judy Brucker, with the center, says it was responsible for 369 child forensic interviews in cases involving alleged sexual and physical abuse througout the calendar year. She says that is a large amount for just one year, but there were also several positive happenings as well.

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Brucker says that one of the events that stands out to her from 2012 was the Blue Kid Trees from the holiday season. There were 30 locations throughout Livingston, McLean and DeWitt counties and Brucker says that she was very pleased with the response to the trees.

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Brucker says that while she thinks people are generous all year long with their giving, there certainly is always an upswing during the holiday season. Another great aspect of 2012 for the center was their annual Fall Training. This training is geared toward the center's professional partners which trains adults to investigate situation in which they feel children are being abused. There was also a new project called the "Darkness to Light" Program.

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For more information on these, or other, programs at the Children's Advocacy Center, you can give them a call at 309-888-5656.

Clinton Chamber Extends Deadline For Dinner Ticket Sales

The annual Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce's deadline to purchase tickets has passed, however, if you did not get the opportunity to purchase one, the Chamber has extended their deadline.

The deadline to purchase tickets to the Chamber's annual dinner was the middle of last week, however, because there are still tickets left, Chamber administrators have decided to extend their deadline. Marian Brisard, Executive Director of the Clinton Chamber says the annual dinner marks the recognition of their outgoing Board Members, and welcoming in the new members.

[audio:11413chamberdinner1.mp3] [/audio]

Brisard says the awards they will be handing out for the second consecutive year now were awards that were given out before but they have been brought back. On top of the Small Business, Large Business and Clintonian of the Year awards, this year, they have added the Non-Profit of the Year.

[audio:11413chamberdinner2.mp3] [/audio]

This year's Annual Chamber Dinner is this Saturday, January 19 at the Clinton Country Club on US Route 51. Drinks being served at 5 pm to kick off the night, and the annual Chamber Meeting and the awards ceremony at 6 with dinner to follow. The deadline to get tickets was last week, but as mentioned, those who may have missed the opportunity to get theirs can still do so. Tickets are $35 per person, $60 for a couple, and $240 for a table of eight.

This year's event will also several items up for silent auction. There will also be a live auction which will feature two mini barn quilts again this year.

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

Richland Clinton Expansion Has RCC, Local Leaders Excited About Future

Richland Community College broke ground at their location that will become the Clinton branch of the school.

 width=Almost 35 years after Richland established connections in Clinton, they have now broken ground on a new site. Dr. Douglass Brauer, Vice-President of Richland Community College says this expansion is a logic step forward in the continued growth of the college. This past year, Richland celebrated their 40th anniversary of the school.

[audio:11413rccground5.mp3] [/audio]

The expansion in Clinton and DeWitt County is going to have great impacts on the community. Executive Director of the DeWitt County Development Council (DCDC), Ruth Stauffer played an instrumental role in getting Richland to expand and has worked very hard to help Richland expand in Clinton. She feels their site near the Clinton Schools is going to be a great spot for them.

[audio:11413rccground1.mp3] [/audio]

 width=Stauffer sees many benefits to Richland's expansion in Clinton. Just a few include Richland offering workforce training locally, which will be something else to pitch to potential prospects. Also the already skilled workforce can continue educational opportunities with the coming Richland site.

[audio:11413rccground2.mp3] [/audio]

Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters says when she first took office as the Mayor, she learned about the dream of the now Douglass subdivision and she says she took on that dream and began to work to see it become a reality. She explains she also learned the importance of TIF funds. It is because of TIF funds that the site is able to be built on.

[audio:11413rccground3.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor recognizes the importances a community college can play in a community and she is pleased to be partnering with Richland Community College. She says not everyone is geared towards a 4-year university.

[audio:11413rccground4.mp3] [/audio]

Richland's planned 4-thousand square foot facility will be the first development at the Douglass Subdivision site. Richland officials hope to have everything ready for the fall semester of 2013. Class expansion is also planned.

Currently Richland offers very limited class selections at Clinton High School, which is the extent of their presence in Clinton.

NFL Coaching Carousel

>>Report: Rob Ryan Not Hired By Rams

(St. Louis, MO) -- According to the "Post-Dispatch" Rob Ryan has not yet been hired by the Rams for their open defensive coordinator position. There were rumors are on Friday that it was a done deal. The report did say St. Louis does have interest in potentially hiring Ryan. Rob Ryan was fired erlier this month by Dallas after they lost a week 17 game against Washington, which could have given Dallas a playoff birth.

>>Arians Interviews With Bears

(Lake Forest, IL) -- Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians reportedly interviewed with the Chicago Bears yesterday for their head coaching vacancy. Arians has been a top candidate for many of the NFL's open jobs. He has also been linked to openings with the Chargers and Eagles. Arians has told those close to him that he'd like to decide on his future by Friday.

>>Kelly Staying At Notre Dame

(Notre Dame, IN) -- Brian Kelly will return to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish next season. The university released a statement with quotes from Kelly saying he is honored to have interest from NFL teams, but is committed to the program and the players of Notre Dame. The 51-year-old guided the Irish to a 12-and-1 record and a berth in the BCS National Championship Game. Kelly interviewed with the Philadelphia Eagles for their head coaching position.

Niners Top Packers To Advance To NFC Title Game

The 49ers are heading back to the NFC Championship Game after a 45-31 win over the Packers in the divisional round on Saturday. Colin Kaepernick [[ CAP-er-nick ]] threw for 263 yards with two touchdowns and an interception while rushing for 181 yards and two scores. The rushing total is the most for any quarterback in a single game in NFL history, regular season or postseason. Frank Gore added another 119 yards on the ground with a TD for San Francisco, which piled up 581 total yards. Michael Crabtree caught nine passes for 119 yards and two TDs as the Niners advance to play at Atlanta on Sunday. The Niners lost to the Giants in last year's NFC title game.

Aaron Rodgers had 257 passing yards with two touchdowns and an interception for Green Bay. James Jones ended with 87 yards and a touchdown receiving while Greg Jennings had 54 yards with a score. Dujuan Harris rushed for 53 yards and a score and Sam Shields returned an interception 52 yards for a score in the loss.


Baltimore Ravens 38, Denver Broncos 35 (2OT)
(AFC Divisional Game)

Atlanta Falcons 30, Seattle Seahawks 28
(NFC Divisional Game)

New England Patriots 41, Houston Texans 28
(AFC Divisional Game)

Suns Top Bulls

Luis Scola scored 22 points to help the Phoenix Suns beat the Chicago Bulls 97-81 Saturday night, snapping a 5-game losing streak.

Michael Beasley added 20 points for Phoenix, which had lost 12 straight on the road and got their first win away from home since beating Cleveland on Nov. 27.

Carlos Boozer had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Joakin Noah added 10 points and 13 boards for Chicago, which continued its inconsistent play at home with its fourth loss in the last six. The Bulls lost for just the second time in 13 games when both Boozer and Noah recorded double-doubles.

Chicago was whistled for four technical fouls, capped by coach Tom Thibodeau's penalty with 3:57 left in the fourth. Nate Robinson was whistled minutes earlier, and Boozer and Luol Deng were each given technicals in the third.

New York Knicks 100, New Orleans Hornets 87
Milwaukee Bucks 107, Toronto Raptors 96
Brooklyn Nets 97, Indiana Pacers 86
San Antonio Spurs 106, Minnesota Timberwolves 88
Denver Nuggets 116, Golden State Warriors 105
Oklahoma City Thunder 87, Portland Trail Blazers 83
Los Angeles Lakers 113, Cleveland Cavaliers 93

>>Bulls Welcome Hawks To Town

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls entertain the Atlanta Hawks at United Center tonight. Chicago beat the Knicks in New York on Friday before falling at home against Phoenix on Saturday. The Bulls are now 20-and-15 on the year. Atlanta comes into tonight's game with a 21-and-15 record.

ISU, Bradley Fall

>>Drake Drops ISU

Chris Hines and Ben Simons scored 23 points apiece as Drake defeated Illinois State 82-78 Saturday night.

Jordan Clarke added 16 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulldogs (7-9, 1-4 Missouri Valley), who snapped a 4-game losing streak. Joey King had 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Johnny Hill had a career-high 24 points (all in the second half), Bryant Allen added 22 and Jackie Carmichael had 19 points and 12 rebounds for Illinois State (9-8, 0-5), which has lost five straight.

Drake trailed for most of the first half, falling behind 41-32 at halftime, but opened the second half with a 25-6 run to take a 57-47 lead with 12:43 remaining.

The Redbirds got as close as 77-73 on Hill's 3-point play with 37 seconds left, but Drake hit 5 of 6 free throws the rest of the way to close it out.

>>Northern Iowa Blows Out Bradley

Marc Sonnen tied two career highs Saturday with 21 points and seven 3-pointers, leading six Northern Iowa players in double figures in an 84-53 blowout of Bradley.

Sonnen, a senior and a 3-point specialist, was 7 of 9 from behind the arc for the Panthers (9-8, 2-3 Missouri Valley), who also got 15 points from Deon Mitchell, 13 from Seth Tuttle and 11 apiece from Jake Koch, Matt Bohannon and Anthony James. Koch led UNI with 11 rebounds and Mitchell dished out seven assists.

Jalen Crawford scored 13 points for the Braves (10-7, 2-3) and Dyricus Simms-Edwards chipped in 12.

The Panthers never trailed, opening the game on a 22-2 run and leading 41-14 at halftime. UNI led by as many as 34 in the second half and shot 58% from the field for the game.

UNI has now won 9 of its last 11 games against Bradley.

Wisconsin Pounds Illini

Jared Berggren scored 15 points and grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds, and Traevon Jackson added a career-best 14 points to lead Wisconsin over No. 12 Illinois 74-51 Saturday.

The Badgers (12-4, 3-0 Big Ten) scored the game's first 14 points and led by 20 at halftime on the way to their sixth straight win.

It was a stunning performance from a team that scored just 47 in the previous game against Nebraska, but a supposedly slow and methodical team locked into a higher gear and ended the suspense almost as soon as the game began.

Whether they were making 3-pointers, driving for layups, putting back misses or throwing down dunks, the Badgers had their way in this one. They outshot Illinois 49.1% to 35.3%, making 10 of 23 3-pointers, and outrebounded the Illini 43-24.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#14 Ohio State Buckeyes 56, #2 Michigan Wolverines 53
#18 Michigan State Spartans 66, Nebraska Cornhuskers 56

Clinton Police Weekend Report



















DJWH Implementing IDPH and CDC Recommendations For Patients

The flu in Illinois has really taken off this winter season and state health officials have placed a new mandate on hospitals and doctors' offices.

With widespread flu hitting just about every community hard, there are temporary hospital visitor restrictions. Jami Windhorn is the Infection Control Nurse at the Dr. John Warner Hospital, she explains patients who are exhibiting flu-like symptoms including fever, chills, and achy muscles among many others will now be required to wear masks when they walk into the Rural Health Center.

[audio:11513flu1.mp3] [/audio]

With the widespread flu right now, it is very difficult for people out and about to not come into contact with someone who has the flu or is recovering from the flu. Windhorn says the most important step to take to not contract the flu is to wash your hands very frequently.

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Windhorn says this time of year is early for flu season and the Illinois Department of Health(IDPH) and the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is calling this almost an epidemic.

The Dr. John Warner Hospital is just one of many hospitals around the area to implement these changes. The DJWH will determine when it is acceptable to lift the restrictions for patients coming into the hospital.

During times of increased incidence of influenza-like illness in the community, the IDPH has recommended the implementation of temporary visitor restriction policies in hospitals, which will now include the DJWH, and these restrictions include not allowing visitation by persons under 18 years of age, limiting the number of visitors to two per patient at any one time, and promoting compliance with respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.

Illnois Mother admits to leaving baby in ditch

 A northern Illinois woman has pleaded guilty to charges she left her baby in a roadside ditch and told police the child was abducted.

19-year-old Kendra Meaker pleaded guilty Friday in Stark County Circuit Court. Prosecutors say she put the baby in a ditch in rural Toulon (TUU-lahn) in September and then lied to police, telling them the baby girl was abducted. An Amber Alert was issued. Meaker eventually changed her story and told Illinois State Police and FBI investigators she left the baby on a roadside.

Two volunteer searchers found the crying child.

Meaker's father, Ken Meaker, said after Friday's hearing that he supports her "100%." Meaker's sentencing is scheduled for March 8.

Friday is decade since Ryan emtied Ill. Death row

It was ten years ago that former Gov. George Ryan commuted the sentences of 167 Illinois death row inmates.

Friday's anniversary marks one decade since Ryan said he had to act because Illinois' capital system was "haunted by the demon of error." The now-imprisoned former governor made his announcement in a speech at Northwestern University's law school on Jan. 11, 2003. He said the state's justice system made errors determining guilt and errors determining who among the guilty deserved to die.

The Republican was replaced as governor two days later by Democrat Rod Blagojevich, who also is now in prison.

Rob Warden is executive director of the Center on Wrongful Convictions. He says that Ryan "set off a national movement focused on the death penalty."

Tips To Keep New Years Resolution

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

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


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


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

Richland Breaks Groud for Clinton Campus Site

This (Friday) morning, Richland Community College broke ground on the site they will call home in DeWitt County.

Richland leaders, Clinton and DeWitt County leaders, and also politicians were on hand for the ceremony. Clinton Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes was on hand for the celebration, and he says the new site for Richland Community College will not only open classroom space in the high school, which is where Richland currently conducts limited classes in DeWitt County, but it will provide greater opportunities for the districts students.


Dr. Holmes likes the campus like atmosphere Richland will add to the three schools that will eventually be in the one area of Clinton. Dr. Holmes feels Richland will fit right in and hopes to create a mindset of Richland being the next step in the educational steps of their students.


The new Richland site will be a 4-thousand square foot facility northwest of the current Jr. High School and due north the high school.

Tune into Regional Radio News next week as we will bring you more reaction and comments from those many leaders on hand Friday morning.

Big Red Barn gets Remodel

Remodeling of the interior of the Big Red Barn radio studios south of Clinton has begun.  The building houses WHOW, WEZC, and dewittdailynews.com.

The building is getting a new floor throughout most of the building, replacing vinyl and carpeting with a new wood laminate floor. 

Once the flooring is done, all the interior walls will get a new coat of paint with access colors to match the new flooring.

Flooring for the project is coming from Rich's Home Center in Clinton, with paint being purchased from Gibson Ace Hardware and the painting contractor is Jim Redding of Clinton.

The project is expected to be completed in the next 30 days.

The last time the interior of the Big Red Barn was remodeled, was in 2003.

Illinois flu cases climb; 27 Deaths this season

Authorities say the risk of flu infection remains high in Illinois, but there's plenty of vaccine available.

Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Friday that 368 people in the state have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 27 have died.

Most of the hospitalizations and deaths are among people in their 50s and older. No children have died.

Health officials expect an increase in the number of hospitalizations and deaths as more doctors and hospitals report cases from previous weeks along with their current cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists Illinois among the 24 states hardest hit by the flu.

Officials say hand washing and staying home when you're sick can keep the flu from spreading.

Weekly Weather Report

January has been somewhat upside down. State Climotologist Jim Angel says between above normal temperatures and snow fall amounts being flipped, it has made for an odd start to the new year. He says snow is expected following the nice weather of Friday and Saturday.



Toronto Raptors 99, Charlotte Bobcats 78
Boston Celtics 103, Houston Rockets 91
Brooklyn Nets 99, Phoenix Suns 79
Atlanta Hawks 103, Utah Jazz 95
Chicago Bulls 108, New York Knicks 101
Memphis Grizzlies 101, San Antonio Spurs 98 (OT)
New Orleans Hornets 104, Minnesota Timberwolves 92
Detroit Pistons 103, Milwaukee Bucks 87
Denver Nuggets 98, Cleveland Cavaliers 91
Oklahoma City Thunder 116, Los Angeles Lakers 101
Golden State Warriors 103, Portland Trail Blazers 97

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#11 Creighton Bluejays 74, Missouri State Bears 52


Bulls Run Over Knicks

 Luol Deng [[ loo-OLL  dang ]] went off for 33 points to power the Bulls past the Knicks, 108-101.  Carlos Boozer added 17 points and six rebounds while Richard Hamilton scored 14 points in the win.  Taj Gibson and Marco Belinelli each added 12 points off the bench for Chicago, which has won four out of five.  Carmelo Anthony scored a game-high 39 points and added eight rebounds with five assists for New York.  Pablo Prigioni had 12 points and eight assists off the bench while Tyson Chandler scored nine points and pulled down 18 boards in the loss.  The Knicks have lost three straight and six out of nine. 

Epstein: No more lovable losers for Cubs

Chicago Cubs president of baseball operations Theo Epstein says he understands the ballclub's culture better now than he did when he first arrived.

Epstein spoke about the Cubs' reputation as "lovable losers." While that allowed the team to draw almost 2.9 million fans despite losing 101 games, Epstein won't consider it a success until the team wins. When he talks to players about being in Chicago long term, he sells them on the chance to turn things around.

Epstein spoke at a fundraiser for his charity, The Foundation to be Named Later, at Fenway Park on Friday night. The topic was "changing a clubhouse culture." Red Sox manager John Farrell and GM Ben Cherington also spoke, as did Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter and Boston assistant GM Mike Hazen.

Monticello Sages Fall To Meridian Hawks

The Monticello Sages fell to the Meridian Hawks by a score of 48-46 on Friday Night. The Sages were led by Bryan Phipps with 14 points. Isaac Bales also chipped in with 9 points. Your First State Bank player of the game was Isaac Bales. The Meridian Hawks were led by Brock Snarski with 15 points. Dylan Smith also chipped in with 12 points. With the loss the Sages fall to to 13-2. With the win the Hawks improve to 7-8. The Monticello JV Sages improve to 8-2 with the win on Friday Night with a final score of 56-30. Tune in Tuesday, January 15 as the Sages take on the Tuscola Warriors. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com

Suffocation Kills Illinois Babies At Alarming Rate

Suffocation was the leading cause of death for babies in Illinois last year. Department of Children and Family Services Spokesman Dave Clarkin says most of the deaths were preventable.

[audio:rddBabies1.mp3] [/audio]

Forty Illinois babies died from suffocation last year. That’s 44-percent of the 90 deaths by abuse or neglect last year. Clarkin explains other major causes of death.

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Ninety babies in Illinois died as a result of neglect or abuse last year, 69-percent never made it to their first birthday. Clarkin adds people often witness abuse but are afraid to speak up.

[audio:rddBabies3.mp3] [/audio]

Clarkin urges anyone who witnesses abuse to report it by calling a hotline at 1-800-25-Abuse. He says they received nearly 250-thousand tips last year, which may have saved the lives of tens of thousands of Illinois children.

Paroled Illinois Murderer Arrested In Missouri

A man on parole for the 1975 killing of an Illinois sheriff's deputy has been arrested in Missouri for trying to steal an ATM.

Reports indicate Ronald Edwards was paroled in May from the Graham Correctional Center in Hillsboro. Edwards served half of his 40-year sentence in the death of Sangamon County Deputy William Simmons. But on Jan. 3 the 66-year-old Edwards was arrested with another man near Laddonia, Mo.

The pair is charged with burglary and other felony counts for allegedly trying to steal an ATM from a convenience store. They are jailed in Mexico, Mo, on $60,000 cash bonds.

The deputy's 1975 murder was unsolved until 1992 when Edwards told authorities about his involvement. He pleaded guilty in 1994.

Corps Praised For Averting Mississippi River Shutdown

Barge operators are crediting the hustle by stewards of the Mississippi River for averting a potentially crippling shutdown of the vital commerce artery.

Shippers say the Army Corps of Engineers has done all it can to keep the river open. Those efforts include ongoing work to rid a stretch of the river south of St. Louis of treacherous bedrock, and the agency's release of water from lakes to raise the Mississippi's levels.

The president of Cargill's shipping arm, Rick Calhoun, says that "by hook and by crook it hasn't gotten as bad as we thought."

Barge operators since November had worried that the Mississippi might shrink to a level that would force restrictions on how much cargo barges can carry, effectively halting shipping on the river.

Mid-Illinois Chapter of American Red Cross Expands Coverage Area

One local non-profit organization has expanded it's coverage area.

The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross covered Macon, Moultrie, DeWitt and Shelby Counties, and now it will expand all the way to the Indiana Border. Executive Director of the Mid-Illinois Chapter Carl Baker, says the expansion adds Piatt, Champaign, and Vermillion Counties.

[audio:11113chapterexpand1.mp3] [/audio]

The expansion will give the Mid-Illinois Chapter a larger population to cover and protect during disasters. Baker explains it was an effort by the Red Cross to have a more continuous coverage area for their chapters.

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For those in the new service area of the Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross, you can contact Carl Baker in Decatur at 217-428-7758.

CHS Class of 73 Celebrating 40th Class Reunion, Finishing Peace Park

The Clinton High School Class of 1973 will has a busy year ahead of them.

The Class of 73 will be celebrating their 40th class reunion this year, but they also could see the fruits of several years of labor become reality. Cris Rogers with the Class of 73 explains they still keep in contact with a large percentage of their high school classmates. He says while they are scattered all over the country, many manage every year to make it back for their class reunions.

[audio:1111373reunion1.mp3] [/audio]

With the Clinton School District getting ready to build a new elementary school, the school buildings the Class of 73 grew up in will be coming down. Rogers says they are considering taking some final tours of those buildings, he would also like to show his peers from outside the area the nearly complete Roque Court they've been working on as well.

[audio:1111373reunion2.mp3] [/audio]

While the Roque Court project has taken much longer than the Class of 73 thought it would, it is on schedule to be dedicated this spring, if not the summer and Rogers says it is shaping to coincide nicely with their 40th Class Reunion.

[audio:1111373reunion3.mp3] [/audio]

The Class of 73 still has some minor finishing touches to make to the Roque Court Peace Project. Rogers says they've been overwhelmed by the community support to get the park looking in the shape it is. At the dedication, the Class of 73 will turn the park back over to the City of Clinton, and it will become, once again, a City Park.

Michael Waltrip To Drive For Swan Racing In Daytona 500

Michael Waltrip will drive the number-30 Toyota for Swan Racing in next month's Daytona 500.  It will mark Swan Racing's debut in the Sprint Cup Series.  David Stremme will be behind the wheel of the number-30 for the remainder of the season.

MLB To Implement In-Season HGH Blood Testing

Major League Baseball is strengthening drug testing for players this year.  MLB and the Players Association have announced they will start random, unannounced, in-season blood testing for human growth hormone this season.  MLB is now the only major North American sport to blood test unionized players.

Report: Justin Upton Vetoed Trade To M's

The Seattle Mariners reportedly just missed out on adding a big bat to their lineup.  FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports Seattle was in agreement on a trade with the Arizona Diamondbacks that would have brought outfielder Justin Upton to the M's.  According to the report, the Mariners are one of four teams on Upton's no-trade list.  The 25-year-old apparently rejected the trade.  The Blue Jays, Red Sox and Cubs are apparently included on Upton's no-trade list.  The Rangers, Orioles, Braves and Padres have all been linked in trade speculation for the two-time All-Star.  Upton hit .280 with 17 home runs and 67 RBI last season for the D'backs.

Cubs To Propose Stadium Improvements

The Chicago Cubs are expected to release plans for stadium upgrades later this month.  According to DNAinfo.com, the team wants to make improvements to the dugouts and locker rooms, and add additional bathrooms and concession areas inside the stadium.  Outside the gates, the team reportedly wants to build a hotel, plus free up space for a farmer's market and outdoor movies. 

NFL Coaching News

>>Bears Continue To Weigh Coaching Options

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears are reportedly scheduled to interview Houston Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison today. Dennison was the offensive coordinator for the Broncos during quarterback Jay Cutler's three seasons there. Yesterday, Chicago reportedly interviewed Green Bay Packers offensive coordinator Tom Clements.

>>Arians Could Bolt For San Diego

(Undated) -- Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians is becoming a hot name among head coaching candidates, especially in San Diego. After the Chargers hired former Colts vice president of player personnel Tom Telesco this week, rumors have begun to swirl about Arians following him to Southern California. Arians stepped in as interim head coach for Indianapolis this year as Chuck Pagano battled leukemia. Arians has also been linked to head coaching vacancies in Chicago and Philadelphia.

Packers, 49ers Rematch In San Francisco

Teams that opened the season against one another face off again as the Green Bay Packers play the San Francisco 49ers in an NFC Divisional Playoff game Saturday night at Candlestick Park.  After missing out on a first-round bye by losing at Minnesota in Week 17, the Packers bounced back to beat the Vikings 24-10 at home in the NFC Wild Card round this past Saturday.  Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is again a strong MVP candidate after throwing for nearly 43-hundred yards and 39 touchdowns during the regular season.  The 'Niners will be looking to beat Green Bay for the second time this year.  San Francisco pulled out a 30-22 win at Lambeau Field in Week One.  The 49ers had a first-round bye after claiming the NFC's second seed at 11-4-and-1.

Former Top Pick Oden Plans To Return To NBA

Former first-overall pick Greg Oden plans on resuming his NBA career in the future.  ESPN reports Oden has decided to continue his playing career and multiple teams are interested, including the Miami Heat.  According to the report, Oden is not planning to return before the 2013-14 season.  Oden is nearly a year removed from his latest knee surgery.  He has had two microfracture surgeries on his left knee and one on his right as well as surgery for a fractured kneecap.  The seven-foot center has not played in an NBA game since December 5th, 2009.  Oden has averaged 9.4 points and 7.3 rebounds in 82 career contests since being drafted with the top pick by Portland in 2007.

Bulls Head To New York, Knicks Lose In Indy

>>Pacers Dump Melo-less Knicks

(Indianapolis, IN) -- Indiana outpaced the Knicks on its homefloor en route to an 81-76 victory. Paul George had 24 points with 11 rebounds, five assists and six steals for the Pacers, who have won three straight and five out of six. Ian Mahinmi added 13 points on 6-of-7 shooting while Lance Stephenson scored nine points to go with seven boards in the win. J.R. Smith led the Knicks with a game-high 25 points along with six assists. Tyson Chandler poured in 12 points with 15 rebounds for New York, which has dropped two in-a-row and five of its last eight. The Knicks were without Carmelo Anthony, who was suspended for his actions following a game against Boston earlier in the week.

Dallas Mavericks 117 Sacramento Kings 112 (OT)
Portland Trail Blazers 92, Miami Heat 90

>>Bulls Battle Knicks In NYC Tonight

(New York, NY) -- The Bulls head to Madison Square Garden tonight to take on the Knicks. Chicago saw its three-game winning streak end on Wednesday with a loss to the Bucks. The Bulls are now 19-and-14 on the year. New York lost last night to the Pacers and is 23-and-12 on the season.

Illini Travel To Wisconsin Tomorrow

The 13th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini will be in Madison tomorrow to take on the Wisconsin Badgers. Illinois suffered its second conference loss on Wednesday against Minnesota to dip to 1-and-2 in league play. The Illini are 14-and-3 overall this year. The Badgers enter tomorrow's game at 11-and-4 with a 2-and-0 Big Ten mark.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
Oregon Ducks 70, #3 Arizona Wildcats 66
#8 Gonzaga Bulldogs 83, Saint Mary's Gaels 78
#18 Michigan State Spartans 62, Iowa Hawkeyes 59

Sages, Maroons Back In Action

The Monticello Sages and Clinton Maroons are back on the hardwood tonight. Clinton is coming off a 56-35 loss to Monitcello on Tuesday.

Tonight the Maroons head to Sullivan to take on the Redskins. The Maroons have dropped nine straight ball games and are 3-12, and 0-3 in the Okaw Valley. Sullivan is 5-8 overall and 1-2 in the OVC. You can hear this game live on The Big 1520 AM/92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com.

For the Monticello Sages, they head to Meridian to take on Macon-Meridian tonight. Meridian is 6-8 overall and 2-1 in the Okaw. The Sages are winners of 11 straight games and 13-1 overall with a 3-0 mark in the Okaw. You can hear this game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Other boys basketball games around the Okaw tonight...

Central A&M 7:30 PM

Tolono Unity
Decatur St. Teresa 7:30 PM

Shelbyville 7:30 PM

Warrensburg-Latham 7:30 PM

RCC Breaks Ground At Clinton Site

This (Friday) morning, Richland Community College broke ground on the site they will call home in DeWitt County.

 width=Richland leaders, Clinton and DeWitt County leaders, and also politicians were on hand for the ceremony. Clinton Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Holmes was on hand for the celebration, and he says the new site for Richland Community College will not only open classroom space in the high school, which is where Richland currently conducts limited classes in DeWitt County, but it will provide greater opportunities for the districts students.

[audio:11213rccground1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Holmes likes the campus like atmosphere Richland will add to the three schools that will eventually be in the one area of Clinton. Dr. Holmes feels Richland will fit right in and hopes to create a mindset of Richland being the next step in the educational steps of their students.

[audio:11213rccground2.mp3] [/audio]

The new Richland site will be a 4-thousand square foot facility northwest of the current Jr. High School and due north the high school.

Tune into Regional Radio News next week as we will bring you more reaction and comments from those many leaders on hand Friday morning.

Quinn Says New Lawmakers Will Help Get Pension Reform

Gov. Pat Quinn says he believes a new crop of lawmakers will help the Legislature fix Illinois' $96 billion pension crisis.

Members of the new General Assembly took the oath of office Wednesday. Among them were dozens of lawmakers who were elected to the House or Senate for the first time.

Quinn says many of those legislators ran for office on a platform of pension reform. He says that should help "get the job done."

The previous General Assembly adjourned Tuesday without a pension deal.

Quinn says the Legislature must "work night and day" to fix the problem so bond rating agencies don't further downgrade the state's credit rating. Illinois already has the lowest rating of any state, making it more costly to issue bonds.

Three Lawmakers Facing Felony Charges

Three Chicago lawmakers being sworn in today are facing federal charges.  Derrick Smith is charged with bribery for allegedly promising to secure a state grant for a daycare in exchange for seven grand.  He was kicked out of the House for the charge but won his seat back in the November election.  Representative LaShawn Ford allegedly misused money from a loan.  He was supposed to spend the cash on rental properties.  Instead, he allegedly paid for a car and one of his campaigns.  And Senator Donne Trotter is facing a felony charge for trying to get a gun through a security checkpoint at O'Hare airport.  He says he forgot the .25-caliber handgun was in his luggage. 

State Rep Wants Movement On Concealed Carry Law

State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer says there is no need for the courts to reconsider their ruling on concealed carry.

[audio:rddCDGuns1.mp3] [/audio]

Davidsmeyer says giving people the right to carry guns in public is a good deterrent for criminals. He says it's about time the Legislature put a law in place.

[audio:rddCDGuns2.mp3] [/audio]

Davidsmeyer says it's time lawmakers moved forward with giving people their 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Illinois is the only state in the nation that doesn't have some form of concealed carry on the books, but the courts say that's unconstitutional. It ordered lawmakers to pass a law by June but Attorney General Lisa Madigan wants them to reconsider their ruling.

Cullerton Reelected As Senate President

John Cullerton will keep his post as President of the Illinois Senate. But Senator Dale Righter offered the Dems an opportunity to show their bipartisanship, on day one.

[audio:rddBiPart1.mp3] [/audio]

He won't need a single Republican vote to pass any measure, considering there are 40 Democrats in the Senate. Still, Cullerton says he's looking forward to working with Republicans on tough issues.

[audio:rddBiPart2.mp3] [/audio]

Righter indeed nominated Radogno for the job, which is usually held by a senior member of the majority party. Cullerton obliged Righter and the Republicans and actually voted for Radogno, knowing his vote wouldn't alter his chances of being elected. It's the third time Cullerton has been elected as leader. Thirty seven members of the senate voted to keep Cullerton in the top spot. House Speaker Michale Madigan was also reelected as Speaker.

Changes Coming To Gaming Proposal

Gambling expansion is not a dead deal in Illinois. State Senator Terry Link says he plans to tweak the proposal and reintroduce it in the next few weeks.

[audio:rddGame1.mp3] [/audio]

Link says he's willing to listen to those who have concerns so he can get a bill that's suitable for everyone.

[audio:rddGame2.mp3] [/audio]

Governor Quinn wants people who represent the casino industry to be banned from giving campaign donations. Link says he and his colleagues will consider that and include it in the bill. They've been trying to add five new casinos in the state for a couple years, but the plan has been held up because of disagreements with the governor. Advocates say the casinos will bring in billions in extra revenue and put tens of thousands of people to work.

Advocacy Group Encourages Elderly To Get Flu Shot

Illinois residents are being reminded to check on older family members during this flu season and, if needed, to help get them to clinics or a pharmacy to get a flu shot.

The American Association of Retired Persons cites health officials as listing Illinois as 1 of 41 states reporting widespread flu activity. The advocacy group also notes Illinois health officials have reported six deaths due to flu-related illness so far this season.

In a Wednesday statement, AARP Illinois State Director Bob Gallo says this year's fast-spreading flu virus presents serious health risks for the elderly. And he encourages older residents to take the time to get vaccinated.

The AARP says that 90% of flu-related deaths are of people age 65 and older.

Lawsuit Filed After Illinois Trooper's Death

An attorney has filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the widow of an Illinois State Police trooper who was killed in a tractor-trailer crash.

Reports indicate Swansea attorney Thomas Keefe filed the lawsuit on behalf of Trooper Kyle Deatherage's wife, Sarah Deatherage. Kyle Deatherage died Nov. 26 when a Georgia trucker lost consciousness and his tractor-trailer struck and killed the trooper.

The lawsuit was filed against trucking company DOT Foods Inc. and the truck driver. DOT Foods Inc. corporate counsel Jim Tracy said the firm had not yet seen the lawsuit and had no comment.

Authorities say the 32-year-old Deatherage was working a traffic stop when he was hit by a passing truck. Deatherage died at the scene.

Explosion Forces Shut Down At ADM In Peoria

Archer Daniels Midland has temporarily shut down operations at its corn processing plant in central Illinois after an early morning explosion damaged the facility.

ADM spokeswoman Jackie Anderson says a fire broke out after the explosion in the maintenance area of the Peoria plant at about 3 a.m. Wednesday. Nobody was hurt but fire officials say one person was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

Peoria Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Morgan says firefighters arrived at the scene to find an open gas line feeding the fire. Morgan says shutting down the gas line extinguished some of the fire, but the blaze had already spread to the roof.

Anderson says ADM is investigating and working to determine the extent of the damage.

School Employee Accused In Theft Gets 8 Years

A judge in central Illinois has handed down an 8-year prison sentence for a former employee who's accused of stealing more than $1 million from the Roanoke-Benson school district

Reports indicate 74-year-old Katherine Capponi was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to a felony charge of theft of government property. Her plea came during what was supposed to be a final preliminary hearing before her trial in Woodford County.

School Superintendent Rohn Peterson says Capponi worked for the district for 42 years and residents feel "a sense of betrayal."

Woodford County State's Attorney Greg Minger says most of the money Capponi stole was used to pay for plane tickets for vacations, gifts for her grandchildren, restaurant meals and credit card debt.

Wild Eagle Visits Eagle Pair At Miller Park Zoo

The pair of bald eagles that live at Miller Park Zoo have been getting visits from a wild eagle that's stopped by the Bloomington zoo several times.

The wild eagle has even landed in the open-topped enclosure that houses the flightless pair, Beauty and Mathata.

Zoo Superintendent Jay Tetzloff says the eagles have been "talking" back and forth. He says it's been exciting to watch a wild eagle so closely.

Wildlife biology professor Given Harper of Illinois Wesleyan University says he suspects the wild eagle is looking for a mate. He says it could be an eagle that's just reaching maturity or one that lost its mate.

Warner Public Library Now Requiring Library Cards

Those who frequent the Warner Public Library will soon be required to have their library cards on their person when checking out materials.

This change comes about as the Library will be merging their system with a system that covers virtually the southern half of the state. Librarian at the Warner Library, Bobbi Perryman says keeping tabs on individuals through the new system is going to be much harder, which is why having a library card will is mandatory.

[audio:11013librarycard1.mp3] [/audio]

Librarians at the Library are very excited about the change. Perryman explains the new system will have a mobile site for those who would like to access the library from their phones or tablets. It will also allow the library more access to materials patrons may want that they do not have.

[audio:11013librarycard2.mp3] [/audio]

For the month of January, those who have misplaced their library cards can get it replaced for free. Perryman says they just need a photo identification and something with your address on it, a piece of mail or something like that will suffice.

For further information, you can contact the Warner Public Library at 935-5174 or visit them at 310 North Quincy Street in Clinton.

City of Clinton Looking To Move Towards Online Bill Paying

The City of Clinton is looking to give it's customers the opportunity to pay bills online.

The new system the City is considering will allow it's customers to view their bills online and also the ability to pay their bills online. City Treasurer, Clint Lichtenwalter explains the new system will be in real time, it will provide a transaction history, and will show you your balance of dues in real time.

[audio:11013citypay1.mp3] [/audio]

The new wesbite will offer customers more convenience. Lichtenwalter explains the old system took customers through several different websites before they arrived at the State of Illinois' website, now there will be one primary site where everything can be accessed. He feels this will bring Clinton up to 21st Century standards.

[audio:11013citypay2.mp3] [/audio]

New with this system will be free payments with credit or debit cards. In the past, consumers were hit with a convenience fee for credit cards. Lichtenwalter explains the City Council felt that was unnecessary and so that fee will be done away with as a part of the new system.

[audio:11013citypay3.mp3] [/audio]

The City Council will consider three items for their next meeting which then set the wheels in motion of getting the process moving forward. Lichtenwalter says, should the City Council approve all the measures, it will just be a matter of time before everything is in line to launch the new website. He hopes everything will be in order and the site will be accessible by the end of February.

NFL Notes

>>Eagles Rumored To Give Kelly Second Interview

(Philadelphia, PA) -- The Philadelphia Eagles are rumored to be planning a second interview with Brian Kelly. The Notre Dame coach met with team owner Jeffrey Lurie Tuesday night before heading overseas. According to the "Philadelphia Inquirer," Kelly once said he'd never leave his dream job with the Fighting Irish but he did not rule out an NFL opportunity. Today, Lurie is meeting with former Chicago Bears head coach Lovie Smith.

>>Packers' Nelson, Cobb Miss Practice

(Green Bay, WI) -- Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb both missed practice yesterday as the team prepares for Saturday's playoff showdown in San Francisco. Nelson hurt his ankle last week against Minnesota, but head coach Mike McCarthy is hopeful he will practice today. Cobb was home with an illness. Linebacker Clay Matthews was limited in practice, while defensive end Jerel Worthy will miss Saturday's game.

>>Quarterbacks Face Childhood Teams

(Undated) -- Saturday's playoff game between the Packers and 49ers has a special meaning for the starting quarterbacks. Both signal callers will face the team they grew up rooting for. Aaron Rodgers was a 49ers fan growing up in nearby Chico and played collegiately at Cal. 49ers signal caller Colin Kaepernick is from Milwaukee and grew up cheering for the Packers.

Five Writers Submit Empty HoF Ballots

A handful of Baseball Writers made a statement by turning in blank ballots for this year's National Baseball Hall of Fame vote.  Five writers submitted empty ballots in protest of baseball's steroid era.  Clouded by accusations of performance-enhancing drug use, pitcher Roger Clemens and sluggers Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa highlighted the first-time eligibles on this year's ballot.  All three fell well short of the required 75-percent of the vote for election.  For the first time since 1996, no player made the cut this year.  The empty ballot gesture is not unprecedented.  There were nine blank ballots in 2011, five in 2010, five in 2009 and two in 2008.

Bucks Top Bulls

Brandon Jennings scored 20 of his 35 points in the third quarter and the Milwaukee Bucks beat the Chicago Bulls 104-96 on Wednesday night for their second consecutive victory under interim coach Jim Boylan.

Mike Dunleavy had 16 points and Monta Ellis finished with 14 for Milwaukee, which made 10 of 22 3-point attempts. Larry Sanders grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked seven shots.

Carlos Boozer had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Bulls, who have dropped their last two games against Milwaukee at the United Center. The Bulls blew a 27-point lead in the third quarter as Milwaukee snapped a 9-game losing streak against Chicago with a 93-92 victory on Nov. 26.

Cleveland Cavaliers 99, Atlanta Hawks 83
Toronto Raptors 90, Philadelphia 76ers 72
Utah Jazz 112, Charlotte Bobcats 102
Boston Celtics 87, Phoenix Suns 79
New Orleans Hornets 88, Houston Rockets 79
San Antonio Spurs 108, Los Angeles Lakers 105
Oklahoma City Thunder 106, Minnesota Timberwolves 84
Denver Nuggets 108, Orlando Magic 105
Los Angeles Clippers 99, Dallas Mavericks 93
Memphis Grizzlies 94, Golden State Warriors 87

ISU Suspends Guard

Illinois State basketball coach Dan Muller has suspended starting guard Tyler Brown. It is the second suspension of a Redbirds player this season.

Muller said Wednesday that Brown is suspended indefinitely for what he called conduct detrimental to the team. He did not provide details, but said Brown hadn't lived up to the program's standards.

Brown has started all 16 games for the Redbirds (9-7) and is averaging 15.3 points a game.

Muller suspended sophomore guard Geoffrey Allen earlier this season. Allen was arrested on a warrant with a preliminary charge of selling marijuana. He has since returned to practice while he awaits court action, but hasn't played.

Muller is in his first season as Redbirds coach.

Illini Fall To Minnesota

Joe Coleman scored 29 points and Andre Hollins added 22 to help No. 8 Minnesota top No. 12 Illinois Wednesday 84-67 and remain undefeated in the Big Ten.

The Gophers (15-1, 3-0 Big Ten) held off a charge by the 12th-ranked Illini midway through the second half.

Joseph Bertrand pulled Illinois within at 44-42 on a short jumper with 12:37 left.

But the physical matchup took its toll on the Illini (14-3, 1-2). And as Illinois piled up fouls, Trevor Mbakwe connected on layup with 6:15 to play for a 62-49 lead that Illinois couldn't overcome.

Mbakwe added 19 points and 11 rebounds.

Brandon Paul led Illinois with 21 points.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Michigan Wolverines 62, Nebraska Cornhuskers 47
#4 Louisville Cardinals 73, Seton Hall Pirates 58
#6 Kansas Jayhawks 97, Iowa State Cyclones 89 (OT)
#7 Syracuse Orange 72, Providence Friars 66
#9 Florida Gators 77, Georgia Bulldogs 44
#15 San Diego State Aztecs 65, Fresno State Bulldogs 62
#17 Butler Bulldogs 72, Saint Joseph's Hawks 66
New Mexico Lobos 65, #19 UNLV Rebels 60
#21 North Carolina State Wolfpack 83, Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 70

Local Legislators React To Lame Duck Session; Look Ahead

A 98th Illinois General Assembly was inaugurated Wednesday.

As family and friends were excited with the pomp and pageantry, members old and new talked about unfinished business from the 97th General Assembly. The old Legislature adjourned Tuesday without fixing the state's broken public pension system. State Representative Adam Brown said he hopes the House can focus on the much needed budgetary issues.

[audio:11113Brown.MP3] [/audio]

One other local Representative says he wasn't surprised nothing happened during the lame duck session. State Representative Bill Mitchell says he was not that surprised something wasn’t accomplished in the 97th General Assembly but he looks ahead positively toward the new legislative session.

[audio:11113Mitchell.mp3] [/audio]

Meanwhile, one local lawmaker is making the jump from the General Assembly to the Illinois Senate. Chapin Rose will make the jump and was sworn in on Wednesday. He says moving forward, pension reform remains the biggest issue facing both the House and Senate, and he feels lawmakers need to work together the way they did for Medicaid reform.

[audio:11113Rose.mp3] [/audio]

Lawmakers are scheduled to return to Springfield to take up work of the 98th General Assembly on the 30th of January.

Urbana Hopes Lights Lead To Geese To Flee Lake

The growing population of geese at an Urbana lake is a sight city officials could do without. They hope new flashing strobes will keep them away.

Derek Liebert is project manager at the Urbana Park District. He says up to 90 Canada geese live at Crystal Lake. The lake is part of a park on the town's north side.

Liebert says goose droppings have increased nutrient levels in the water that have encouraged weeds to grow. The geese also graze along the shore and increase erosion.

The 14 solar-powered strobes were installed recently so Liebert isn't sure how well they'll work. They cost $4,000.

He says the real test will come in the spring when open water usually draws in many birds.

Illegal Immigrants Will Soon Drive Legally

More than 250-thousand illegal immigrants in Illinois will soon have the right to drive legally. Representative Lou Lang says that includes a very diverse group of people.

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Lang says giving illegal immigrants the right to drive is the right thing to do.

[audio:rddIMDrive2.mp3] [/audio]

Everyone who applies for a temporary driver's license will have to carry car insurance, otherwise the license will be invalid.

Blame Game Continues Over Failed Pension Reform

Political leaders in Springfield are still playing the blame game when it comes to pension reform. Lawmakers didn't get the job done before their anticipated deadline and according to Senate President John Cullerton, Republicans in the House weren't able to agree on a suitable deal.

[audio:rddPenBlame1.mp3] [/audio]

Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno is disappointed that pension reform didn't pass before the deadline. She says she's concerned nothing will get accomplished on the issue.

[audio:rddPenBlame2.mp3] [/audio]

Several pension proposals hit roadblocks in the past year. The challenge is trying to draft a proposal that doesn't violate the state's Constitution, which says pension benefits can't be diminished or impaired. Senate President John Cullerton plans to introduce another bill today. It'll outline changes to four of the five pension systems, giving workers an option to choose their benefits. Cullerton says by giving workers a choice, the proposal will be in line with the law.

Lincoln Man Gets 19-Year For Child Porn

A federal judge has sentenced a 25-year-old man to more than 19 years in prison after he was caught with child pornography in central Illinois.

U.S. Judge Sue Myerscough on Monday also ordered Anthony Ferguson remain on supervised release for life following his release from prison. Ferguson pleaded guilty in July to using a 5-year-old child to produce child pornography.

Ferguson and his co-defendant, 26-year-old Laura Sigler, were arrested in March while living in a budget hotel in Lincoln. Prosecutors say they were using the child pornography to get money to pay their rent.

Sigler has also pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced in April.

Freight Train Derails In Decatur

A freight train derailed in Decatur, causing six rail cars to topple down a steep embankment close to a roadway.

No injuries were reported in the derailment, which occurred Sunday night in a northern part of the city.

Firefighters say the six derailed Canadian National cars were carrying soybean oil and limestone.

Reports indicate the train derailed on a section of track that dead-ended before a road.

Witnesses say it appears the train cars traveled too far and rammed through the end of the track, grinding to a halt just yards from Mound Road.

Officials say no hazardous materials were involved.

Social Security Offers Tips About Handling SS Card

It may not be all that safe to carry your Social Security card around with you.

Jack Myers, with Social Security, says that carrying your Social Security card is a risk for identiy theft. It someone were to steal your card, it could cause some major problems. He advises to keep your card at home or in a vault.

[audio:1913security1.mp3] [/audio]

Myers says that it's important to know how to replace your card, if it is lost. He says that while a Social Security card can be important, it's more important to have your number memorized. Most places don't even ask for one anymore.

[audio:1913security2.mp3] [/audio]

Myers says that the process to replace your Social Security card is not difficult. Yet, there are several steps that need to be taken. He says that a State ID will need to be taken to your local Social Security office, which is easier than sending them through the mail.

[audio:1913security3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information Myers says to visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

City of Clinton To Investigate Electric Aggregation For Spring Election

Clinton and DeWitt County are beginning the early investigative stages of electric aggregation.

Several surrounding communities including Lincoln and other Logan County communities and McLean County communities have either incorporated this or begun to investigate it. Clinton Mayor Carolyn Peters explains outside companies can come in and provide bids at rates lower, if not competitive with local provider Ameren's rates.

[audio:1913clintonagg1.mp3] [/audio]

The idea of electric aggregation is to find rates that are cheaper than what you are currently paying, however, the Mayor explains, once you lock into a contract, the rate you agree to, is the rate you pay for the term of the contract, regardless of whether your local providers rates fall below that threshold.

[audio:1913clintonagg2.mp3] [/audio]

This decision is not made alone by City officials. Mayor Peters says the City Council will decide whether to take this to referendum, which would then be decided on by the voters. Should the voters decide they want to proceed with the aggregation of their electricity, the City would then go out for bid for electric rates from outside providers, and then agree to a contract of a negotiable length. The important thing for residents to remember is they are not obligated once the referendum passes, there is an opt out option for those not wishing to participate.

[audio:1913clintonagg3.mp3] [/audio]

The Mayor is calling on the citizens of the community to help in deciding whether the city wants to continue with this process. The DeWitt County Board has begun investigating this, but according to Mayor Peters, it would not affect them because the County would only be able to cover the unincorporated areas. The City of Clinton would be covering its citizens.

The Mayor is imploring residents and voters to approach her about what their feelings are. She says they need to proceed forward in this with caution with the desires of the voters in mind.

MLB To Use Cellphones In Dugouts This Year

Major League Baseball announced a partnership with T-Mobile on Tuesday that will allow phone calls between the dugout and bullpen during games this season to be made with cellphones.  T-Mobile, which is the fourth-largest wireless carrier in the United States, built the new communication system.  The program uses geofencing which won't allow the phones to operate if removed from the dugout or bullpen.  The system also won't be compromised by in-stadium wireless that is used by fans and other employees.  MLB says the regular landline phones will remain in place in case teams prefer to use them during the season. 

Sosa To Learn HoF Fate Today

Former Chicago Cubs great Sammy Sosa will learn his Hall of Fame fate today.  The 2013 class will be announced at 1 p.m. local time on MLB Network.  Sosa, along with other eligible players like Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens, have been clouded by accusations of steroid use during their careers.  Sosa also spent time with the White Sox as well as the Rangers and Orioles in his career. 

Bears To Interview Singletary, Priefer For Coaching Job

The Bears have added a pair of Vikings coaches to the list of those who will be interviewed for the head coaching vacancy.  According to Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier, Mike Singletary and Mike Priefer will both get a shot at the job.  The Bears also reportedly interviewed their own special teams coach, Dave Toub, for the job this week.  Chicago also has permission to interview Texans offensive coordinator Rick Dennison and Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell. 

Bulls Host Bucks

The Bulls welcome the Milwaukee Bucks to United Center this evening. Chicago has won three straight to move to 19-and-13 on the year. Milwaukee and head coach Scott Skiles agreed to part ways on Monday night. The Bucks won at home against the Suns last night in their first game under assistant Jim Boylan, who took over for Skiles.

Brooklyn Nets 109, Philadelphia 76ers 89
Indiana Pacers 87, Miami Heat 77
Minnesota Timberwolves 108, Atlanta Hawks 103
Houston Rockets 125, Los Angeles Lakers 112
Milwaukee Bucks 108, Phoenix Suns 99

>>Nash Reaches 10,000 Assists

(Houston, TX) -- Los Angeles Lakers point guard Steve Nash joined elite company on Tuesday night. Nash notched his 10-thousandth assist, making him the fourth fastest to reach the mark in NBA history. The two-time MVP finished the game with 16 points and 10 dimes. Nash crossed the milestone on a pass to a cutting Antawn Jamison late in the first half. The other four players to have 10-thousand assists or more are John Stockon, Jason Kidd, Mark Jackson and Magic Johnson. Los Angeles lost to the Rockets, 125-112.

Bulls' Rose Starts Contact Practices

Bulls guard Derrick Rose has begun to take contact in practices during his rehab from a torn ACL.  Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau says the next step for Rose would be to fully participate in a regular practice.  Rose tore his ACL on April 28th in Chicago's first game of the playoffs against the 76ers.  He had surgery on May 12th. 

ISU Falls At Missouri State

Anthony Downing scored 24 points Tuesday night and Missouri State defeated Illinois State 62-55.

Marcus Marshall had 14 points for the Bears (5-11, 3-1 Missouri Valley), who shot 54% from the field in the first half in building a 32-25 halftime lead. Missouri State finished the game at 47%.

Jackie Carmichael led Illinois State (9-7, 0-4) with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Johnny Hill had 14 points. Jon Ekey scored eight points but no other player had more than four points for the Redbirds, who had won four straight before entering MVC play.

Missouri State didn't have a field goal in the last 4 minutes, but closed the game with seven free throws in the final 1:23, 6 of them by Downing.

Illinois Starts Road of Tests For #8 Minnesota

No. 8 Minnesota will have that lofty national ranking tested this week.

The Gophers play at No. 12 Illinois tonight and No. 5 Indiana on Saturday, after winning their first two Big Ten games at home.

Coach Tubby Smith said Tuesday that he wouldn't place extra emphasis on these contests. Smith says every game is important, whether for the development of the program, the development of the players or maintaining the momentum of this 14-1 start.

After this trip, the Gophers have a game against No. 2 Michigan waiting for them at home on Jan. 17.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Duke Blue Devils 68, Clemson Tigers 40
#11 Creighton Bluejays 91, Drake Bulldogs 61
#12 Missouri Tigers 84, Alabama Crimson Tide 68
#14 Ohio State Buckeyes 74, Purdue Boilermakers 64
Pittsburgh Panthers 73, #22 Georgetown Hoyas 45

Sages Pound Maroons

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Monticello Sages by a score of 56-35 on Tuesday Night. The Maroons were led by your Clinton IGA Player of the Game, Colton Reeves with 15 points. Jacob Overton also chipped in with 8 points.

The Monticello Sages were led by Bryann Phipps with 14 points and Matt Kruse with 9 points.

With the win, the Sages improve to 13-1 and 3-0 in the Okaw Valley Conference. They have now won 11 straight games.

The Maroons fall to 3-12 and 0-3 in the Okaw Valley Conference.

Tune in Friday as the Maroons take on Sullivan Redskins. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 /92.3 FM WHOW; and online at dewittdailynews.com.

The Sages are back in action Friday as they travel to Meridian.

Other Okaw Valley Boys Basketball scores from Tuesday...

Tolono Unity 71
Argenta-Oreana 41

Sullivan 62
Central A&M 72

Warrensburg-Latham 29
Decatur St. Teresa 44

Maroa-Forsyth 52
Macon Meridian 41

Shelbyville 49
Tuscola 44

4-H Shooting Sports Program Strives To Teach Kids Responsibility With Guns

It's only taken a few isolated instances to make examples that kids do not understand the full realities of guns, however, one program across the country is proving that theory incorrect.

Part of the 4-H pledge states, "My head to clearer thinking", and their shooting sports program helps millions of young people across the country understand what that means. Dan Dawson is the University of Illinois Extension's Youth Educator for Shooting Sports, he explains in the 4-H's Shooting Sports program, kids are first taught about gun safety and how to safely handle them.

[audio:11013gunsafe1.mp3] [/audio]

The safety of the guns is not just taught the first day and left alone from there. Dawson explains every shooting session the kids attend, they review the safety procedures to the point it becomes repetitive, so they know the first they do when handling a gun, it becomes safety first. Dawson adds, they pride themselves on also teaching the kids life skills when it comes to using guns.

[audio:11013gunsafe2.mp3] [/audio]

This upcoming year of shooting sports in Illinois 4-H programs will be just the 4th year, however, 4-H programs across the country have had programs similar to Illinois' in place for many years. While the Illinois program is still relatively young, Dawson says the program in the state is already exponentially more popular in it's growth than anywhere in the country.

[audio:11013gunsafe3.mp3] [/audio]

Dawson says the program is a very strict program and provides a safe place for kids to learn about guns, handling them safely, and being able to use them in a proper setting.

To find out more about the shooting sports program in your area, contact your local University of Illinois Extension Office.

Clinton Maroons were defeated by the Monticello Sages

The Clinton Maroons fell to the Monticello Sages by a score of 56-35 on Tuesday Night. The Maroons were led by your Clinton IGA Player of the Game, Colton Reeves with 15 points. Jacob Overton  also chipped in with 8 points.

The Monticello Sages were led by Brian Phipps with 14 points and Matt Cruiz with 9 points.

Tune in Friday as the Maroons take on Sullivan Redskins. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 /92.3 FM WHOW; and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Migration Study Shows Northeast Still Losing People

The 36th annual United Van Lines migration study is out, and the northeastern U.S. is once again seeing the most outbound movement.

The St. Louis-based moving company tracks the states its customers move to and from over the course of a year, including Washington, D.C., but excluding Alaska and Hawaii. For 2012, the states with the highest percentages of outbound movement were, in order, New Jersey, Illinois, West Virginia, New York and New Mexico.

The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of people moving in, followed by Oregon, Nevada, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Economist Michael Stoll says the study generally shows a movement of people to Sun Belt states in the South and West.

Missouri trended toward the outbound, ranking 16th-highest in percentage moving out.

House Committee Passes Illegal Driving Bill

Lawmakers say giving illegal immigrants the right to drive will make everyone on the roads safer. Representative Edward Acevedo says it'll help police officers identify who's behind the wheel during traffic stops.

[audio:rddIlDrive.mp3] [/audio]

According to the Illinois Highway Safety Coalition, unlicensed immigrant drivers rack up about 64-million dollars worth of vehicle damage claims a year. If this becomes law, the driver's will be issued a temporary license. But, the license will be invalid if they don't carry auto insurance. The immigrants will not be allowed to use the temporary license as a form of identification to board a plane or get a FOID card. The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.

Mississippi River To Remain Open For Now

The Mississippi River will remain open for now, despite low water levels. Senator Dick Durbin took a tour of the river, getting a firsthand look at just how bad the situation is.

[audio:rddMissRiv1a.mp3] [/audio]

The Army Corp of Engineers is working diligently to remove rock buildup from the Mississippi River, with the hopes of keeping barge traffic moving. Senator Durbin says they shut the river down for about 16 hours a day near Thebes, Illinois.

[audio:rddMissRiv2.mp3] [/audio]

The forecast is a bit more grim closer to St. Louis, though, where water levels could drop to nine feet by the end of the week. Keeping the waterways open is a major priority for state officials because it's a hub for Illinois' ag and export industries.

Illinois Pension Proposal Faces Uncertain Future

A plan to rescue Illinois' worst-in-the-country pension problem faces uncertainty in the final full day of the lame-duck legislative session.

Members of a House committee approved a proposal calling for more employee contributions and freezing cost-of-living increases.

Backers say it's a compromise on a complex problem that addresses many concerns. But opponents question whether it's constitutional.

It could come up for a floor vote Tuesday. But the bill's sponsor, Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz, says Democrats and Republicans are assessing how many lawmakers support the measure before deciding whether to call for a vote.

If it wins House approval, it'd move to the Senate, which isn't currently in session. Senate President John Cullerton has said he could call senators back Tuesday.

New lawmakers are sworn in Wednesday.

IHSA Rules German Student Can't Play Sports

The Illinois High School Association has ruled that a 16-year-old German student is ineligible to play basketball and tennis for Urbana High School.

Reports indicate the association made the decision Monday at a board meeting in Bloomington. The board ruled that Niklas Bals is ineligible because he is studying in the U.S. independently and not as part of an approved foreign exchange program. Bals is from Hanover, Germany. He has practiced with the basketball team all season and sat on the bench for games.

IHSA associate executive director Kurt Gibson says Bals is "not considered a foreign exchange student."

Bals says instead of sports he will pursue photography and theater.

Local Business Owner Says Something Must Be Done About Gun Crimes

One area business owner has seen his firearm and ammunition sales increase over the past several months.

Both sides of the gun control argument have used recent events in Newtown, Connecticut and Aurora, Colorado as platforms to make their cases. Jake Romano owns Blue Ridge Backwoods in Monticello, he says, he doesn't know what the answer is, but he feels something needs to be done.

[audio:1813guncontrol1.mp3] [/audio]

From state to federal lawmakers, the issue of gun control has taken center stage over the past six months and Romano says no matter what is done, there will be consequences for any action. He believes un-arming responsible, law-abiding citizens only empowers those who intend to use guns illegally.

[audio:1813guncontrol2.mp3] [/audio]

Romano says group of statistics he says may tell the story is areas of the country with major gun control laws show their rates of gun crimes are increased greatly over areas of the country that are not heavily regulated.

[audio:1813guncontrol3.mp3] [/audio]

Sporting goods stores all over the area have seen jumps in the sales of their firearms and ammunition. The State of Illinois was recently ordered by a Federal Court to pass a concealed carry law in the next six months, ruling the ban on concealed carry was unconstitutional.

Blue Ridge Backwoods in Monticello is located at 410 North Market Street.

Deadline Quickly Approaching To Vote For Chamber Dinner Awards

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce's Annual Dinner is quickly approaching, and so is the deadline to vote on the awards that will be handed out that evening.

Awards will be given this year to the Small and Large Business of the Year, Clintonia of the Year, and the Non-Profit of the Year. Executive Director of the Chamber, Marian Brisard explains the deadline to vote for those nominations are quickly approaching. Voting ends for the awards Wednesday.

[audio:1813dinnerdeadline1.mp3] [/audio]

The Small and Large Business of the Year awards are well represented on the ballots for this year. Brisard explains, only Chamber Members are allowed to vote for those recipients and only Chamber member businesses are able to receive the awards.

[audio:1813dinnerdeadline2.mp3] [/audio]

Nominations were accepted through a short period in December and Brisard says they had great participation and great results. New for this year will be the non-profit of the year.

[audio:1813dinnerdeadline3.mp3] [/audio]

The Clintonian of 2012 has seven nominees for this year's award. Brisard feels each person has their own strengths and areas they are very active when it comes to the Clinton Community. She feels each one has a strong case for being the Clintonian of 2012.

[audio:1813dinnerdeadline4.mp3] [/audio]

This year's Annual Chamber Dinner is January 19 at the Clinton Country Club on US Route 51. The night will kick off with drinks being served at 5 pm and the annual Chamber Meeting and the awards ceremony at 6 with dinner to follow. Tickets are on sale now 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.

Click on the link http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/clintonian2012vote to vote for the Clintonian of the Year award. 

DeWitt County Habitat For Humanity Continuing To Work On Clay Street Home

In September of last year, the DeWitt County Habitat for Humanity Chapter moved a home from West White Street in Clinton across the city to Clay Street.

Nearly four months later, the process of readying that home to allow a family to move in is still ongoing. Norman Emery, with the DeWitt County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity explains the home was donated by the Dr. John Warner Hospital to Habitat and he says it took a lot of coordinating efforts to get the home moved.

[audio:1813movehome1.mp3] [/audio]

Emery says a lot of work has gone in since the house was moved to the Clay Street location. A lot of work was needed to the outside of the home, including an addition. He says a lot of that work has been completed, and they are now inside the home putting the finishing touches on. The target completion was for around Christmas, but it is looking like the end of this month is more likely.

[audio:1813movehome2.mp3] [/audio]

As the home progresses towards completion, the DeWitt County Habitat for Humanity Chapter is seeking help from the community. Emery says they do not have a lot of workers, so any little bit of time, skills, or equipment someone can donate is very helpful.

To find out how you can contribute to the completion of the home, you can contact the DeWitt County Habitat for Humanity Chapter at 935-4663 or visit their Re-Store at 401 East Washington Street in Clinton.

NFL Notes

>>Bears To Interview Dennison, Bevell

(Lake Forest, IL) -- The Bears are reportedly seeking interviews with a pair of offensive coordinators. ESPN reports Chicago has received permission to interview Rick Dennison of the Texans and Seattle's Darrell Bevell. The Bears met with eight candidates last week and talked to Broncos offensive coordinator Mike McCoy on Sunday. Sources also reported to ESPN that the Bears interviewed Montreal Alouettes coach Marc Trestman yesterday.

>>Post: Sources Say RG3 Has Partial Ligament Tears

(Ashburn, VA) -- Sources are telling the "Washington Post" that Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin the Third has partial tears in two knee ligaments. RG3 is set to be examined by Dr. James Andrews today and likely will have another MRI taken. Coach Mike Shanahan warned of speculation about Griffin's injuries during a news conference Monday. Griffin played a good deal of Sunday's playoff loss to the Seattle Seahawks with an injury before his leg buckled in the fourth quarter, forcing him to the sidelines.

Alabama Rolls Past Notre Dame To BCS Title

Alabama ran all over Notre Dame on its way to a 42-14 victory in the BCS National Championship Game from Miami.  The Crimson Tide captured their third national title in four years and locked up the seventh consecutive BCS Championship for the Southeastern Conference.  Eddie Lacy ran for 140 yards and a touchdown while T.J. Yeldon rushed for an additional 108 yards and a score.  AJ McCarron finished with 264 yards and four touchdown passes for 'Bama, which jumped out to a 35-point lead to start the game.  Amari Cooper ended with six catches for 105 yards and pair of TDs as the Tide finished the year at 13-and-1.  Everett Golson tossed for 270 yards with a touchdown and interception for the Fighting Irish, who suffered their first loss of the season to fall to 12-and-1.  Golson added a rushing touchdown while DaVaris Daniels made six catches for 115 yards in the loss. 

Carlos Boozer Leads Bulls In Rout Over Cavs

Carlos Boozer had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Chicago Bulls to an 118-92 rout of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday night.

It was the third straight game that Boozer has eclipsed 20 points. This time he did it against the team that drafted him in 2002.

Joakim Noah added 11 points and 11 rebounds while Luol Deng had 19 points and seven assists for the Bulls, who beat the Cavaliers for an 11th straight time.

Chicago (19-13), which posted a season-high in points, moved to 11-1 when Boozer and Noah have double-doubles.

Dion Waiters led Cleveland (8-28) with 18 points. C.J. Miles and Kyrie Irving had 15 points apiece.

Washington Wizards 101, Oklahoma City Thunder 99
Boston Celtics 102, New York Knicks 96
New Orleans Hornets 95, San Antonio Spurs 88
Utah Jazz 100, Dallas Mavericks 94
Portland Trail Blazers 125, Orlando Magic 119 (OT)
Memphis Grizzlies 113, Sacramento Kings 81

Duke Tops USA Today Poll For Fourth Straight Week

For the fourth straight week, Duke is number-one in the "USA Today" men's top-25 college basketball poll. The 14-and-0 Blue Devils received 30 first-place votes and 774 points to maintain the top spot. The top-seven are unchanged. Michigan remains second with 744 points and one first-place vote. Arizona, Louisville and Indiana round out the top-five. Kansas is still sixth, followed by Syracuse. Gonzaga jumped two spots to number-eight. Florida remains ninth and Minnesota jumped from 13th to 10th. Ohio State fell out of the top-10 to number-14 following a 74-55 loss at Illinois. The Fighting Illini jumped one spot to 13th. Oklahoma State, Pittsburgh and New Mexico all dropped from the rankings, while Kansas State, VCU and Wyoming replaced them.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Indiana Hoosiers 74, Penn State Nittany Lions 51
#19 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 66, #15 Cincinnati Bearcats 60

Maroons Host Sages

A pair of local Okaw Valley teams pair up tonight as the Monticello Sages visit the Clinton Maroons. The Sages are coming off back to back wins against 10-win teams in Central A & M and Riverton this past Friday and Saturday.

The Sages are riding a 10-game win streak and come into action tonight at 12-1. They are 2-0 in Okaw Valley Conference play.

The Clinton Maroons are 3-11, and losers of eight straight. They are also 0-2 in the conference.

Other Okaw Valley Boys Basketball games for tonight:

Tolono Unity (3-10)
Argenta-Oreana (8-6) 7:30 PM

Sullivan (5-7)
Central A&M (10-3) 7:30 PM

Warrensburg-Latham (5-8)
Decatur St. Teresa (11-1) 7:30 PM

Maroa-Forsyth (9-4)
Macon Meridian (6-7) 7:30 PM

Shelbyville (9-5)
Tuscola (2-9) 7:30 PM

Red Cross Encouraging Donating Blood During January

January is Blood Donor Month.

The American Red Cross is encouraging area residents to go out and give blood. Carl Baker, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Mid-Illinois Chapter explains this time of year with sickness and tough weather, blood is in high demand. He says a pint of blood can save three lives.

[audio:1913blood1.mp3] [/audio]

To donate blood, there are some things to keep in mind. If you have been sick or are recovering from illness, that automatically disqualifies you from being able to donate. Baker says some of the minimum requirements include being 16-years old and 110 pounds and of course be in good health.

[audio:1913blood2.mp3] [/audio]

There can be many reasons for blood shortages, which the Red Cross says there is currently. Baker says a good example of why there is a blood shortage was the recent superstorm on the East Coast. He explains Superstorm Sandy made it impossible to draw blood in that region for a short time, so the Red Cross was having to make up the blood not taken in other areas.

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The Mid-Illinois Chapter of the American Red Cross does a blood drive every Tuesday from 2-6 pm and Thursday from noon-6 pm at their Decatur location at 2674 North Main. It is recommended to wait 56 days before giving blood for another time.

To find a blood drive near you, visit redcross.org.

Monticello Lady Sages Defeat Argenta-Oreana

The Monticello Lady Sages defeated the Argenta-Oreana Lady Bombers by a score of 47-37 on Monday Night. The Lady Sages were led by Lanye Buzan with 12 points. Chrissy Gadbury also chipped in with 12 points. The Argenta-Oreana Lady Bombers was led by Kandie Bloch with 17 points. Your First State Bank player of the game is Chrissy Gadberry. With the win the Lady Sages improve to 6-14. The Lady Bombers fall to 8-11. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Lady Maroons Pound Lexington

Clinton (17-3, 6-0)    68
Lexington                36
Scoring by Quarter:
Clinton        17      19      18      14
Lexington     8        4       12      12
Clinton Scoring:
Ennis 2-2-8, Ginger 7-0-15, Hickman 5-1-11,
Tool 3-2-10, Toohill 3-0-6, Scott 5-0-12, Bieber 2-2-6
Lexington Scoring:
Baker 1-0-2, Carmack 2-0-4, Freed 8-0-16,
Davis 2-2-6, Walcott 1-0-2, Vollmer 3-0-6
Team Totals:
Clinton      27-7-68
Lexington  17-2-36
Three Point Baskets:
Clinton     7  (Ennis 2, Tool 2, Scott 2, Ginger)
Lexington 0

Leftover NATO Funds To Help Improve Chicago Parks

Chicago parks and cultural programs will get a multi-million dollar funding boost thanks to last year's NATO Summit.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced Sunday that an additional $2 million in private funds left over from last year's meeting of world leaders will be invested in neighborhood parks and cultural programs. Chicago hosted the 2-day meeting in May.

Emanuel says the money will be used to build a new park playground in North Lawndale at the Frazier schools and improve existing parks, including by upgrading lights and turf.

These funds will also double the number of performances of Circus in the Parks and extend the program to new parks and new audiences.

Emanuel says he hopes the initiative will help to ensure that every Chicagoan lives in walking distance from a park.

Lawmaker Optimistic On Pension Deal

A lawmaker at the heart of pension talks says the time is winding down for lawmakers to address Illinois' approximately $96 billion in unfunded liability but she's optimistic that a proposal could come up for a vote during the lame duck session.

State Rep. Elaine Nekritz told reporters Sunday that she's hoping for a resolution, but details are still being worked out. Gov. Pat Quinn's spokeswoman says talks are ongoing.

A day earlier legislative leaders met in Chicago, but did not emerge with a definitive deal.

The House reconvened Sunday. New lawmakers are scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday.

A House pension committee meets Monday where lawmakers will consider an amended pensions bill that would freeze retiree's cost-of-living adjustments for a time, among other things.

Corporate Tax Bill Rejected In Committee

An Illinois House committee has voted down legislation requiring that some corporations make their income-tax bills public.

The revenue and finance committee rejected the proposal Sunday, keeping it in committee. Several Republicans called it anti-business and anti-employment.

The Senate approved the bill in November.

Senate President John Cullerton and House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie have said most Illinois corporations don't pay any income tax but state officials don't know who they are. The Chicago Democrats have said the proposal would help lawmakers decide future tax policy and whether corporate tax breaks are effective.

Publicly traded corporations would have to post online the amount of corporate income taxes they paid two years prior to publication.

Business groups say tax bills are confidential.

Quinn Encouraged By Proposed Pension Overhaul

A spokeswoman says Gov. Pat Quinn is encouraged by a bill that addresses the state's pension crisis and is expected to come up in committee on Monday.

Quinn's spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the governor has been working with the bill's sponsor Democratic Rep. Elaine Nekritz of Northbrook.

Nekritz says she's optimistic that the bill can move out of committee. The amended measure calls for employees to chip in more toward retirement costs and freezes cost-of-living increases for retirees for a time, among other things.

Legislative leaders met in Chicago on Saturday to talk about pensions, but didn't leave with a definitive deal.

The House reconvened Sunday. New lawmakers are scheduled to be sworn in Wednesday.

Pension Proposal To Come Up In Committee

Lawmakers could finally move forward with a plan to address Illinois' worst-in-the-nation pension problem.

A proposal that requires employees to pay more and freezes cost-of-living increases for retirees is set to be heard Monday in a House committee.

1 of the bill's sponsors, Rep. Elaine Nekritz, says she's optimistic it will move out of committee.

The proposal has the support of Gov. Pat Quinn and House Minority Leader Tom Cross.

Quinn had set a deadline for pension legislation by Wednesday, when new lawmakers are sworn in.

The proposal follows a weekend meeting of legislative leaders in Chicago. They emerged without a deal but agreed to set aside a key sticking point, making suburban and downstate schools pick up their own pension costs.

Ice Fishing Requires Great Attention To Safety

With the bitter cold temperatures, fishing enthusiasts brave enough to weather the cold may be attempting ice fishing this year.

Finding a good spot could be a challenge, and should a fisherman find a good spot, the Department of Natural Resources hopes they will fish safely. DNR Conservation Police Officer Ray Wichus says so far this year, the winter weather is accommodating those who enjoy ice fishing. He says the only thing stopping them right now is if the ice is thick enough to be ice fishing.

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With plenty of bodies of water to ice fish on, Wichus says each year, the cold will bring out plenty of fisherman. He explains not being careful can end very badly should some out ice fishing penetrate the ice. He explains getting rescue personnel and equipment is not easy, leaving the person in the water very much in danger.

[audio:1713ice2.mp3] [/audio]

Wichus feels it may still be somewhat early for ice fishing season to really be in full swing. Especially at Clinton Lake, ice fishing at any point in the winter may be tough because of the warm water flow created by the Power Plant. He says smaller ponds though may be suitable right now for ice fishing.

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Those who are preparing to ice fish should have warm clothes on hand that will help you survive if you should fall through the ice. Wichus says 'mustang suites' will help keep you alive in ice water should something happen. He adds having a cell phone near is very important and letting someone know where you are at.

Warrensburg-Latham Schools Re-Evaluating Materials As Part of Common Core Movement

As local school districts continue preparing their teachers and curriculum for the new Common Core standards, there are more things to think about than just lesson plans.

One local school leader says many school districts are evaluating the condition of their learning materials. Kristen Kendrick, Superintendent of the Warrensburg-Latham School District explains several years ago, the state cut off funding for text books, which was how schools were able to keep their materials updated. Because of that, some schools have seen their text books fall behind the standard for today's learning.

[audio:1713wlbooks1.mp3] [/audio]

Despite the state cutting off funding to allow district's to update their textbooks, Kendrick feels Warrensburg-Latham schools are very strong when it comes to the materials in the classroom. She explains they now have to carefully evaluate which textbooks they need to update.

To supplement what the text books don't cover, teachers are being asked to find ways to still get

[audio:1713wlbooks2.mp3] [/audio] new information and current information to the students. Kendrick says a good way to do this will be through professional periodicals. One aspect of the new Common Core Kendrick likes is the use of non-fiction through all subjects.

[audio:1713wlbooks3.mp3] [/audio]

Some school districts are investing in one-to-one computing through tablets and iPads, which could eventually take the place of the hard copy textbooks. While Kendrick says they have begun to question how much long the hard copy textbooks will last, they have not begun any significant movements within the district to have electronic devices in the hands of their students.

Ernie Harvey Concludes 20-Plus Year Ministry In Clinton

A long time Clinton minister is saying goodbye this week.

Ernie Harvey, minister of Jr. High and Children, at the First Christian Church of Clinton spent his last Sunday at FCC yesterday. His time in the community has numbered more than 20 years and he says that there have been many highlights over the years. One of the greatest highlights for him is seeing kids that went through his programs, and are able to marry them.

[audio:1713harvey1.mp3] [/audio]

Harvey says that one of the great aspects of being part of the Clinton community over the years is the small town atmosphere. He says that it's always great to be able to know the people you see when you go out to eat or to shop.

[audio:1713harvey2.mp3] [/audio]

Harvey says that he also appreciates the Clinton schools willingness to work with the local churches to assist them in putting up flyers or participate in yearly events. One of Harvey's major involvments during his time in Clinton was his work with the local Salvation Army. He says that their totals and turnout this year were exceptional and will be hard to top next year.

[audio:1713harvey3.mp3] [/audio]

Harvey and his family will be heading to Fort Wayne, Indiana where he will begin a new minsitry position at Christ's Church.

NHL, Players Association Reach Tentative Deal

The NHL and its Players' Association have reached a tentative deal that would end the current lockout.  The deal came after a marathon 16-hour bargaining session with federal mediator Scot Beckenbaugh that lasted until early Sunday morning.  The agreement would pave the way for a 48-game season that would tentatively begin January 19th. 

Report: Kelly Decides To Stay At Oregon

After a second straight offseason of flirting with NFL teams, Oregon head coach Chip Kelly has decided to return to the school.  ESPN reports Kelly has decided to stay with the Ducks instead of joining the Eagles as their head coach.  Philadelphia and Cleveland were the two teams linked most to Kelly.  Last year, he almost left Oregon to become the head man with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Kelly is 46-and-7 in four years with the Ducks.  Oregon went 12-and-1 this season, finishing the year with a win over Kansas State in the Fiesta Bowl. 

Irish, Tide Battle For BCS Title

A pair of football powerhouses take the field at Sun Life Stadium tonight for the right to hoist the BCS Coaches' Trophy.  Undefeated Notre Dame is looking to complete its first-ever 13-and-0 season and win its first national championship since the 1988 season.  The Fighting Irish are 0-and-3 in BCS bowl games.  Notre Dame is 5-and-1 all-time against Alabama dating back to 1973.  The Crimson Tide lost to the Fighting Irish in the '73 Sugar Bowl but still earned enough votes to win the Coaches' championship.  Bama won the SEC title game to move to 12-and-1 on the season.  Alabama is looking to win its third BCS National Championship Game since 2009.  The Tide defeated SEC-rival LSU to win the title last year.  The SEC has won every BCS title game since its inception following the 2006 regular season. 

Bulls Notes

>>Bulls Host Cavs Tonight

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls are back in action tonight as they clash with the Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center. Chicago won both games in Florida, beating the Magic on Wednesday before knocking off the Heat on Friday. The Bulls sit at 18-and-13 on the season. The Cavs are 8-and-27.

Oklahoma City Thunder 104, Toronto Raptors 92
Miami Heat 99, Washington Wizards 71
Charlotte Bobcats 108, Detroit Pistons 101 (OT)
Memphis Grizzlies 92, Phoenix Suns 81
Denver Nuggets 112, Los Angeles Lakers 105

>>Bulls Sign Cook

(Chicago, IL) -- The Bulls signed free agent guard Daequan Cook to an undisclosed contract on Sunday. Cook averaged 3.4 points and 1.1 rebounds in 16 games with Houston this season before being waived last Wednesday. The 25-year-old has career averages of 6.9 points and 2.2 boards in six seasons.

Ravens Trip Up Colts; Seahawk Upset Redskins

>>Ravens Rip Colts

(Baltimore, MD) -- Anquan Boldin hauled in five catches for 145 yards and a touchdown to help the Ravens defeat the Colts 24-9 in the Wild Card round. Ray Lewis recorded 13 tackles and was the lone man in the backfield when the Ravens took their final knee. This was his last home game in a Ravens uniform. Ray Rice ran for 70 yards and had a 47 yard reception, while his backup Bernard Pierce rushed for 103 yards. Rice also lost two fumbles for Baltimore, which will face the top-seeded Broncos in Denver on Saturday. Joe Flacco threw for 282 yards and two scores in the win. Andrew Luck tossed for 288 yards and a late interception for Indianapolis. Vick Ballard ran for 91 yards for the Colts, while Reggie Wayne had nine catches for 114 yards.

>>Seahawks Sink Redskins

(Landover, MD) -- The Seahawks scored 24 unanswered points as Seattle rallied to down the Redskins 24-14 in the NFC Wild Card round. Marshawn Lynch ran for 131 yards and a touchdown for Seattle, which will face the Falcons in Atlanta in the Divisional round. Russell Wilson threw for 187 yards and a TD for the Hawks, who were down 14 points heading into the second frame. Robert Griffin the Third was 10-of-19 with 84 yards, a pair of TDs and an interception prior to leaving with a knee injury in the fourth quarter. Kirk Cousins was 3-for-10 for 31 yards in relief. Alfred Morris rushed for 80 yards on 16 carries in the setback.


Houston Texans 19, Cincinnati Bengals 13
(AFC Wild Card Game)

Green Bay Packers 24, Minnesota Vikings 10
(NFC Wild Card Game)

Northern Iowa Tops ISU; Bradley Falls To Wichita State

>>Northern Iowa Top ISU

Seth Tuttle and James Anthony scored 19 points each as Northern Iowa defeated Illinois State 70-60 on Saturday night.

Marc Sonnen added 16 points for the Panthers (8-7, 1-2 Missouri Valley), who have won 7 of their last 10 games at ISU.

Jackie Carmichael had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Tyler Brown added 12 points for the Cardinals (9-6, 0-3), who came in with the conference's top offense (79.9 points per game) but shot just 2 of 18 (11.1%) from 3-point range.

Northern Iowa never trailed after Matt Bohannon's 3-pointer gave it a 10-9 edge with 11:53 left in the first half. Illinois State got within 55-52 with 3:32 to play, but the Panthers went 12 for 14 from the free-throw line down the stretch to protect the lead.

Tuttle had seven rebounds.

>>Wichita State Beats Bradley

Cleanthony Early scored 24 points to lead Wichita State over Bradley 69-63 Sunday.

Early was 8 of 14 from the field.

Demetric Williams added 10 points, and Ehimen Orukpe had nine rebounds for Wichita State (14-1, 3-0 Missouri Valley).

Wichita State led 35-34 at halftime in a game with 12 lead changes. Wichita State closed the game on a 10-2 run. The Shockers shot 47% from the field for the game, while Bradley shot 46%.

Walt Lemon Jr. and Dyricus Simms-Edwards had 15 points apiece to lead the scoring for Bradley (10-5, 2-1). Lemon also had a team-high eight rebounds. Jake Eastman had 11 points, and Tyshon Pickett had 10.

Wichita State has won six consecutive games against Bradley and three straight in Peoria, both the longest ever in the series for the Shockers.

Illini Pounds Ohio State In Conference Home Opener

Brandon Paul scored 19 points and No. 11 Illinois bounced back from a tough loss in its Big Ten opener to beat No. 8 Ohio State 74-55 on Saturday.

The Illini (14-2, 1-1) led 37-25 at halftime and used a 13-2 run early in the second half to build a 50-27 lead.

Illinois used stingy defense to shut down the Buckeyes (11-3, 1-1), who shot just 33% from the field and turned the ball over 16 times.

Nnanna Egwu added 16 points for Illinois and Tracy Abrams had 13 points and five assists.

Deshaun Thomas led Ohio State with 24 points.

Illinois came into the game off a stunning 68-61 loss at Purdue and had lost 2 of its last three.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Michigan Wolverines 95, Iowa Hawkeyes 67
#6 Kansas Jayhawks 69, Temple Owls 62
#7 Syracuse Orange 55, South Florida Bulls 44
#9 Florida Gators 79, Yale Bulldogs 58
#13 Minnesota Golden Gophers 69, Northwestern Wildcats 51

DeWitt County Sheriff's Weekend Report

January 4, 2013


Jail Population: 59

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 5, 2013


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 1

Warrant Arrests: 0


January 6, 2013


Jail Population: 76

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0




Jacob Ziegler, 20, Kenney, was arrested and charged with consumption of liquor/ minor. Ziegler posted the necessary bond and was released.


Tayler Beck, 19, Clinton, was arrested and charged with consumption of liquor/ minor. Beck posted the necessary bond and was released.


Investigation into the scene of a accident which occurred at 1:35 pm on 12-31-12 revealed Gail Helton, 56, Weldon, was traveling east on State Highway 10 near Lilac Road when she lost control of her vehicle and slid off the roadway into the ditch. There was minor damage to the front driver side of Heltons vehicle along with tire coming off of rim. Helton had no visible signs of injuries and reported none at the scene. No citation was issued. Heltons vehicle was towed per her request.


Rusty Garriott, 31, Lincoln, was issued a citation for speeding 75 mph in a 55 mph zone. Garriott posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Luiza Phares, 21, Wapella, was issued a citation for speeding 67 mph in a 45 mph zone. Phares posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.





Shayne Welch, 20, Waynesville, was issued citations for failure to reduce speed/ accident, operating uninsured vehicle, failure to surrender registration to sos upon transfer ownership and no valid registration. Welch posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Matthew Smith, 25, Champaign, was issued a citation for operating uninsured vehicle. Smith posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.





Clinton Police Weekend Report
















Clinton Lady Maroons Defeat Tolono Unity

The Clinton Lady Maroons Defeated Tolono-Unity by a score of 56-22 on Monday night. The Lady Maroons were led by Sophomore Megan Tool with 14 points, who was your Clinton IGA Clinton Maroons Player of the Game. Sophomore Payton Beiber also added 9 points.

Tolono Unity was led by Kennedy Hartman with 7 points.

With the win the Lady Maroons improve to 18-3 and Tolono Unity falls to 9-10.

Tune in Tomorrow at 7:30 as the Maroons take on the Monticello Sages. You can hear the game live on The Big 1520 AM/ 92.3 FM WHOW and online at dewittdailynews.com

500 Otters Trapped So Far in Illinois

At least 500 otters have been caught so far in Illinois' first river otter trapping season since 1929.

Bob Bluett of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says that total comes with the season less than half over. Illinois' season began in November, and it closes statewide March 31.

The prime weeks are still ahead and it's a bit early to tell how the season is going overall.

Carroll Williams of the Illinois Trappers Association says he's talked to several trappers who are having a successful season, including one who'd caught five otters - which is the season limit.

Otters were scarce in Illinois until their reintroduction in the mid-1990s. Their population has since boomed - growing to an estimated 11,000 by 2009.

Rep Mitchell Discusses The Senate Scrapping Gun Ban

The Illinois Senate Thursday scrapped plans to vote this week on a controversial ban on certain types of guns
With votes along party lines, a Senate committee on Wednesday advanced two bills that would have banned certain types of "assault" guns as well as high-capacity ammunition magazines. The full Senate was expected to vote on the measures Thursday.
A National Rifle Association lobbyist had told lawmakers the bill would restrict about 75 percent of handguns and 50 percent of long guns in circulation today. The NRA called the proposal an assault-weapons ban "on steroids."
It would have banned specific semiautomatic guns and also any semiautomatic shotgun that has a revolving cylinder, a folding or telescoping stock, a pistol grip or thumbhole stock, or a shroud that encircles the barrel to prevent burning the shooter's non-trigger hand.
 The measure also would ban any semiautomatic pistol that can accept a detachable magazine and has one of five other characteristics, such as a weight exceeding 50 ounces when unloaded.
In addition, it would ban semiautomatic rifles with a fixed magazine that can accept more than 10 bullets.
Also on the list: semiautomatic rifles that accept detachable magazines and have one of three other characteristics, such as a pistol grip or thumbhole stock.
People who already own such guns would have been allowed to keep them, but the owners would have been required to register them with Illinois State Police at a cost of $10 or $15 per gun.
State Representative Bill Mitchell says that while Chicago has the more extensive gun control laws in the country and still can’t keep from setting record high murder rates, now they are pushing for more gun control for the rest of the state.


Keeping Those New Year's Resolutions

January is the time for making New Year’s resolutions, but some people struggle to be successful with them.

Every January many people make New Year’s resolutions to improve their lives or stop bad habits. Some people resolve to lose weight, quit smoking or spend more time with families. Jeanne Hansen, a mental health counselor at SIU School of Medicine in Springfield, explains why some resolutions are not likely to be successful.


To be successful with resolutions, it’s important to develop a plan for achieving the goals and to stay motivated. Hansen suggests setting specific goals that are realistic, achievable and measurable.


Hansen says sharing the goal helps to make the person more accountable for achieving the goal. She also encourages people to make the kinds of resolutions that are meaningful to them, which will make them more successful. Anyone who has difficulty in achieving their health improvement goals may want to consult their primary care physician or a mental health counselor for help.

Gov. Joins Modern Family Star in Gay Marriage Awarness Campaign







Above Average Temperatures Expected Next Week

We're in the driest part of the year for Illinois, according to data by the Illinois State Water Survey. State Climotologist Jim Angel says we'll see above normal temperatures over the next week. He adds the middle of next week we could see a mix of snow and rain, but by the weekend, we could see heavy snow fall.


Harvey Says Goodbye to FCC After More Than 20 Years

A longtime minister in the Clinton Community will be departing next week.
Ernie Harvey, Minister of Children and Jr. High, has resigned his position at First Christian Church of Clinton after 20-plus years on staff.  He spoke to the congregation one last time this past Sunday at FCC. Harvey says that it was an emotional day full of memories.
This coming Sunday, Januray 6th, will be Harvey's last Sunday at First Christian Church. He says that there will be a recognition of his family on Sunday morning during the service as well as a reception later in the evening.
Harvey has accepted a position in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He will be working with college students, children and senior adults at Christ's Church in Fort Wayne. He wants to concentrate on getting those particular age groups involved in local ministries.


NCAA Football
Texas A&M Aggies 41, Oklahoma Sooners 13
(Cotton Bowl at Arlington, TX)

Cleveland Cavaliers 106, Charlotte Bobcats 104
Brooklyn Nets 115, Washington Wizards 113 (2OT)
Sacramento Kings 105, Toronto Raptors 96
Detroit Pistons 85, Atlanta Hawks 84
Chicago Bulls 96, Miami Heat 89
Boston Celtics 94, Indiana Pacers 75
Oklahoma City Thunder 109, Philadelphia 76ers 85
Portland Trail Blazers 86, Memphis Grizzlies 84
Houston Rockets 115, Milwaukee Bucks 101
Utah Jazz 87, Phoenix Suns 80
Los Angeles Clippers 107, Los Angeles Lakers 102

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

Morehead State beats SIU-Edwardsville 68-64

Milton Chavis scored 16 points, and Chad Posthumus added nine points and a career-high 19 rebounds as Morehead State held on to beat Southern Illinois-Edwardsville 68-64 Thursday night in the Ohio Valley Conference opener for both teams.

Posthumus' 19 boards are the most by any OVC player this season.

Angelo Warner scored 14 points and Drew Kelly added 12 for Morehead State (7-8).

After trailing by as many as 13 points in the second half, 39-26, at the 17:37 mark, SIU-Edwardsville (4-7) cut the lead to five, 65-60, with a pair of free throws by Michael Messer and another by Jerome Jones.

Chavis' dunk with 36 seconds left and subsequent turnover by the Kris Davis sealed the victory for the Eagles.

Maurice Wiltz made 4 of 5 3-pointers, and led the Cougars with 16 points.

Bears sign WR Golden to reserve/future contract

The Chicago Bears have signed receiver Brittan Golden to a reserve/future contract.

An undrafted rookie free agent out of West Texas A&M, he spent the preseason with Chicago and the last two weeks of the regular season on Jacksonville's practice squad.

The Bears announced the move on Friday.

Bulls Beat Heat

Carlos Boozer posted 27 points and 12 rebounds as the Bulls held off the Heat, 96-89. Joakim Noah added 13 points and 12 boards for Chicago, which has won two straight to move to 18-and-13. Nate Robinson chipped in with 13 points off the bench in the win. LeBron James scored a game-high 30 points to go with six rebounds for Miami, which has lost three-of-five to dip to 22-and-9. Dwyane Wade had 22 points for the Heat, who dropped to 15-and-3 at home. Miami was outrebounded 48-28 in the loss.

Monticello Extends Win Streak to 10 With Win Over Riverton

The Monticello Sages defeated Riverton by a score of 58-53 on Saturday afternoon. The Sages were led by 1st State Bank of Monticello Player of The Game Ryan Donohue who had 23 points. The Sages JV team also won by a score of 32-28.

Tune in Monday, January 7th as the Monticello Lady Sages take on the Argenta-Oreana Lady Bombers. You can hear that game live on 95.9 WEZC. The next Boy's Monticello broadcast will be against the Clinton Maroons. That game will be simulcast on The Big 1520 AM/ 92.3 FM WHOW and 95.9 WEZC. Both of those games can also be heard online at dewittdailynews.com

Monticello Defeats Central A&M

The Monticello Sages defeated the Central A&M Raiders by a score of 54-45 on Friday Night. The Sages were led by Nick Stokowski with 25 points and 15 rebounds. Matt Kruse also chipped in with 8 points and 9 rebounds.Your First State Bank player of the game was Nick Stokowski. With the win the Sages improve to 11-1 the Raiders fall to 10-3. Tune in Saturday, January 5 at 4:30 as the Sages patrticipate in the Kessler Shoot Out at Unity High School. You can hear the game live on 95.9 FM WEZC and online at dewittdailynews.com.

Company Recalls Brownie Mix In Three States

An Illinois-based company says it is recalling one lot of Food Club Chocolate Chunk Brownies Mix distributed to stores in three states from a warehouse in southwestern Virginia.

Gilster-Mary Lee Corp. said Thursday that packaging does not list walnuts among the ingredients. People who have an allergy or extreme sensitivity to walnuts run the risk of a serious reaction if they consume the product, although the company says no illnesses have been reported.

The 14.25-ounce packages and the cartons they were packed in have a "best by" date of Nov. 23, 2013 (UPC(hash) 36800-13486). They were distributed in Virginia, Tennessee and Kentucky.

The company advises consumers to return the recalled product to the store or discard it. Consumers with questions can call the company at 618-826-2361, extension 3283 or 3035.

Illinois Day Care Centers Now Must Test For Radon

Emergency management officials in Illinois are reminding residents that a new state law will make parents better informed about radon levels in day care centers.

The Illinois Emergency Management Agency says it's highlighting the new law because January is Radon Action Month. Licensed day care centers are now required to test for radon, which is a radioactive gas. A year from now they will have to show proof that they have been tested for the gas.

Radon is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas that comes from the radioactive decay of naturally occurring uranium in the soil. Experts say it is the second-leading cause of lung cancer. They estimate about 1,200 radon-related lung cancer deaths happen every year in Illinois.

Illinois Gets $1.5-Million For Fire Departments

Fire departments in Illinois will share more than $1.5 million in grant money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin announced the grants, which come from the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. In the Chicago area, fire departments in Bellwood, Bolingbrook, Calumet City, North Riverside and Leyden will receive money. Calumet City will get nearly $380,000 and Westchester will receive about $440,000.

In central Illinois, departments in Standard, Urbana and Elkhart will receive funding. The southern Illinois towns of Alton, Ashley, Centralia, Granite City and Washington County will also get money.

Illinois Gay Marriage Vote Postponed

The state senate postponed a vote on gay marriage yesterday, claiming they need more bi-partisan support. Suzie Hutton came to Springfield hoping to watch the historic vote go down. She says she and her partner are disappointed the voted was delayed but says it still feels good to be one step closer.

[audio:rddGayMrg6.mp3] [/audio]

Hutton has been pushing for marriage equality in Illinois for over a year now and says she isn't giving up.

[audio:rddGayMrg7.mp3] [/audio]

Hutton has been with her partner, Danielle Cook, for more than a decade. They joined in a civil union last year after that became legal in Illinois. The Bloomington couple also joined a lawsuit filed in Cook County asking a judge to make gay marriage legal. Hutton says no one should be denied the right to marry the person they love.

State Upgrading Medicaid Eligibility System

The state is beefing up its system for determining Medicaid eligibility. Illinois Department of Human Services spokesperson Mike Claffey says the latest data in verification technology will help the state make sure people receiving benefits are actually entitled to them.

[audio:rddeligible1.mp3] [/audio]

Claffey adds an outside vender will help the state reduce fraud in the system.

[audio:rddeligible2.mp3] [/audio]

Claffey says it's important to reduce fraud and waste within the Medicaid system. Illinois will use an outside vender to help caseworkers check eligibility based on income more quickly, which will reduce the amount of necessary paperwork.

Senate Committee Approves Same Sex Marriage Legislation



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Senate Fails To Pass Assault Weapon Ban

It's a no go on a proposal to ban assault weapons.  State senators weren't able to rally enough support behind the bill, which would have prohibited people in Illinois from owning military style assault weapons and high capacity magazines.  Those who already own the items would have been allowed to keep them.  But, they would've had to pay a fee and register the items with the Illinois State Police.  The ISP supports the proposal but Todd Vandermyde, with the National Rifle Association, was adamantly against the idea.  He says it punishes law abiding gun owners and invades their privacy.  On top of that, Vandermyde says anyone could request the information and find out whose homes are protected, and whose are not.  A spokesperson for Senate President John Cullerton says they're not giving up on the ban.  They just need more time to get bi-partisan support. 

Illinois Senate Quits For Week, Might Return Tuesday

The Illinois Senate has canceled a session scheduled for Friday and has adjourned.

Senate President John Cullerton told senators to be prepared to return Tuesday in case action is needed after a House session.

The House is scheduled to work Sunday through Wednesday, the final day of the current General Assembly.

Expectations were high that Cullerton's Democrats would approve a gay marriage bill. A committee OK'd the measure Thursday, but backers are uncertain when they'll call it for a floor vote after the proposal hit several unexpected snags.

Another Senate committee approved curbs on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, but those bills haven't yet moved to the floor for action.

Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn says the Legislature must reform the underfunded state pension systems before finishing Wednesday.

Autopsy Reveals Springfield Homicide Victims Were Shot

The Sangamon County coroner says two people found dead inside a Springfield home were both shot.

Coroner Cinda Edwards says an autopsy performed Wednesday found that 24-year-old Larry Grice suffered two gunshot wounds.

Edwards says 24-year-old Andrea Pocklington was shot and also suffered multiple stab wounds. The coroner says she didn't know which injury caused her death as both could have been fatal.

Edwards adds that Pocklington was five to six months pregnant.

The pair's bodies were found Monday inside a Springfield apartment. Edwards wasn't sure when they died, but it could have been the night before they were found.

There's no word of any arrests.

Quinn Remains Hopeful of Deal To Fix Illinois Pensions

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn remains optimistic that lawmakers will send him a solution to a monstrous pension problem next week despite the Senate's abrupt departure from the Capitol on Thursday.

The Senate canceled Friday's scheduled session, but President John Cullerton told members to be ready to return Tuesday after House action.

Spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says Quinn and his staff continue to meet with legislative leaders and "progress has been made" on resolving a $96 billion debt in state pension accounts.

The Senate planned no major pension action. Cullerton has proposed a scaled-down pension-reform plan as a starting point. The Senate approved it last spring.

A more comprehensive proposal is percolating in the House. The House plans to convene Sunday and work until Wednesday when the current General Assembly session ends.

2012 Was 2nd Warmest, 10th Driest In Illinois

The state climatologist says 2012 was Illinois' second warmest and 10th driest year on record.

Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey says the average temperature statewide in 2012 was 55.5 degrees. That's 3.3 degrees above normal. 1921 holds the record as the warmest year at 55.6 degrees.

Illinois averaged just more than 30 inches of rainfall in 2012 - about 10 inches below normal. The Illinois State Water Survey says that makes last year the 10th driest since record keeping began in 1895.

Angel says the lack of rain and the heat were brutal on Illinois crops. He says soil moisture for farming will recover before the ground water and the levels of lakes, rivers and streams recover.

Cost of Living Adjustments Will Rise In 2013

Beneficiaries of Social Security may have noticed that they received a bit more money this January.

There has been a 1.7% cost of living adjustment. Jack Myers, with Social Security, says that all ongoing payments after this month will be a little more than in the past. He says that you may not see the exact increase because there was also an increase on the Medicare Part B premium that corresponds to the cost of living adjustment, but it seperate.

[audio:1413adjustment1.mp3] [/audio]

Myers said that there are other figures that go up with a cost of living adjustment. He says that the adjustment is a measure of inflation. He explains that the Bureau of Labor puts out The Consumer Price Index for Urban and Clerical Wage Earners.

[audio:1413adjustment2.mp3] [/audio]

Myers says some of the other figures that rise with the cost of living include the amount that you have to pay Social Security taxes on. He also says that the number of earnings for credits that are needed to earn retirement benefits has gone up.

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For more information on the cost of living adjustments or any Social Security needs, Meyers says the best place to visit is the Social Secuirty website at www.socialsecurity.gov.

December Snow Giving Streets Departments More Activity

Central Illinois has already experienced more of winter in the past few weeks than we may have all of last year.

Bringing a more wintery feel to the area is going to mean more work for local city streets departments. Steve Lobb, Public Works Director for the City of Clinton says the blizzard central Illinois experienced just before Christmas made keeping the roads suitable for travel difficult.

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With last year being one of the more mild winters in recent memory, the Clinton Streets Department used little to no salt, which left a large reserve heading into this year. Since there is so much left from last year's inventory, that left the City needing very little salt to be purchased heading into the winter of 2013.

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While the city has a nice amount of salt on hand for any and all snow falls this year, Lobb explains they are not going to waste any salt. Like just about every commodity, salt is an expensive one right now.

[audio:snow2.mp3] [/audio]

Because salt alone can have such a negative impact on the roads and travelers cars, Lobb says they try not to use the salt in excess. He explains on some roads, they will put together a sand and salt mix. That serves a two fold purpose. First to allow vehicles more traction in the slippery conditions, but to also conserve salt.

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According to theweatherchannel.com, 62% of snow is covering the United States, which is four times what we saw this time last year. Many areas both east and west of Illinois have been hit by major snow storms, but to this point this winter, it appears Illinois has escaped significant snow fall.

Syngenta's Thorpe Retires

One local business leader in DeWitt County has called it a career.

Syngenta Site Manager for DeWitt County, Nelson Thorpe is calling it a career. Thorpe says in his time with Syngenta, many of his goals have been fulfilled and he's looking forward to being able to be more active in the community and looks forward to doing things he's always wanted to do, but never had the time.

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Over almost three decades, Thorpe has watched a family business turn into one of the primary research sites for seeds in North America. Syngenta recently announced and broke ground on expansion to make the DeWitt County site North America's largest corn and soybean research facility. Thorpe said has the years have passed, he had hoped the site could become what it is and what the future still holds.

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His predecessor will be Tyson Walters who hails from the Delevan area. Thorpe feels good about his replacement, as Walters was hired by Thorpe when the company was still Thorpe Seed in 2003.

Including his time with Thorpe Seed, which was then purchased by Syngenta, and Thorpe has been in the seed business for over 30 years.

Rangers, Astros To Kick Off MLB Season

The Texas Rangers and Houston Astros will start the 2013 Major League Baseball regular season with a primetime game on ESPN.  It will be the first game in the American League for the host Astros, who have moved to the AL West from the NL Central.  The game will take place Sunday, March 31st.  On April 1st, games between the Red Sox and Yankees, Giants and Dodgers, Phillies and Braves and Cardinals and Diamondbacks will all be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN2. 

NFL Rumors

>>Oregon's Kelly To Interview With Three NFL Teams

(Undated) -- Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly is expected to interview with three NFL teams. They are the Buffalo Bills, Philadelphia Eagles and Cleveland Browns. "USA Today" states the meetings will most likely take place in the Phoenix Metropolitan area. Kelly and the Ducks defeated the Kansas State Wildcats 35-17 in the Fiesta Bowl on Thursday night. All three teams fired their head coaches following disappointing seasons. The paper also reports Oregon offensive coordinator Mark Helfrich will be the Ducks' head man should Kelly make the leap to the NFL. The New Hampshire native is 46-and-7 at the helm of Oregon since 2009.

>>Report: Ray Lewis Headed To Broadcast Booth

(Baltimore, MD) -- It looks like Ray Lewis is headed to the broadcast booth once his football career is over. That's according to "Sports Illustrated," which reports the Ravens linebacker is close to signing a multi-year deal with ESPN. "SI" says Lewis is expected to play a major role in the network's "Monday Night Countdown" program. No formal announcement is expected until after the Ravens' season and ESPN is not commenting on the report. Lewis announced yesterday that he will retire after Baltimore's postseason run. The Ravens host the Colts on Sunday in an AFC Wild Card playoff game at M&T Bank Stadium.

>>Bill O'Brien Staying At Penn State

(State College, PA) -- Penn State head football coach Bill O'Brien will not be heading to the NFL. Multiple reports stated O'Brien decided to pass on opportunities at the highest level. The "Cleveland Plain Dealer" said on Thursday he had interviewed with the Browns earlier in the week, and the Eagles were also supposedly interested in his services. The Nittany Lions head man led them to a shocking 8-and-4 record in the midst of controversy and transfers because of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. O'Brien replaced Penn State legend Joe Paterno after being with the New England Patriots since 2007. He served numerous roles on the Pats coaching staff eventually leading to him being an offensive coordinator in 2011.

Ducks Drop Wildcats In Fiesta Bowl

 De'Anthony Thomas returned the opening kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown to help the Oregon Ducks defeat the Kansas State Wildcats, 35-17, in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Arizona.  Thomas finished with 15 yards rushing and 60 yards receiving, including a 23-yard catch-and-score in the opening quarter.  Marcus Mariota threw for 166 yards and two TDs for number-four Oregon, which won a BCS Bowl for the second straight year.  He also ran for 62 yards and a score.  The Ducks close the season at 12-and-1.  Collin Klein tossed for 151 yards, a score and a pair of interceptions for Kansas State, which ends the year 11-and-2 with its third straight Bowl loss.  He added 30 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries in defeat. 

Bears Continue Coaching Search

The Bears are continuing to search for a new head coach to replace Lovie Smith.  The Chicago Sun-Times reports Chicago interviewed Saints offensive coordinator Pete Carmichael yesterday.  ESPN also reports the Bears have received permission to interview Colts offensive coordinator Bruce Arians about the job.

Wild Card Weekend Outlook

>>Vikings, Packers Rematch At Lambeau

(Green Bay, WI) -- Longtime division rivals meet in an NFC Wild Card Game as the Minnesota Vikings play the Green Bay Packers Saturday night at Lambeau Field. It's a rematch of Sunday's regular-season finale at the Metrodome. Minnesota had to beat Green Bay to get into the playoffs and pulled out a 37-34 win on Blair Walsh's 29-yard field goal as time expired. Christian Ponder threw three touchdown passes and Adrian Peterson rushed for 199 yards for the Vikes, who claimed the NFC's sixth seed at 10-and-6. Aaron Rodgers threw for 365 yards and four scores for the Packers, who failed to claim the conference's second seed and a first-round bye. Green Bay had already clinched the NFC North title and finished 11-and-5. The Packers beat the Vikings 23-14 at home in Week 13.

>>Four NFL Games On Tap For Wild Card Weekend

(Undated) -- The NFL will feature four Wild Card games this weekend as the playoffs begin. The Houston Texans host the Cincinnati Bengals at 4:30 Eastern Saturday in a rematch of last year's Wild Card round. Houston won the AFC South while the Bengals earned a wild card berth. A victory for the Texans sends them to New England while a Cincinnati win vaults them into a matchup with the Broncos.

On Sunday, the Ravens host the Indianapolis Colts in Baltimore for a 1:00 Eastern kickoff. The game will have added emotion after Ravens future Hall of Fame linebacker Ray Lewis announced earlier this week his intentions to retire at the end of the season. Indy is 2-and-0 all-time in the postseason against the team from its former hometown. At 4:30 Eastern, a pair of rookie quarterbacks hook up outside the nation's capital as the Washington Redskins host the Seattle Seahawks. 'Skins QB Robert Griffin the Third led Washington to the NFC East title while Seattle's Russell Wilson has the 'Hawks in the postseason on a wild card berth.

Bulls In Miami To Face Heat

The Bulls hit South Beach tonight to take on the Miami Heat. Chicago has won two out of three to improve to 17-and-13 on the season. The Bulls were 96-94 winners last time out against the Magic. Miami enters tonight's game with a 22-and-8 record.

New York Knicks 100, San Antonio Spurs 83
Minnesota Timberwolves 101, Denver Nuggets 97

Illinois Welcomes In Ohio State Saturday

Number-14 Illinois tries to bounce back from a tough start to Big Ten play tomorrow afternoon by welcoming number-eight Ohio State to Champaign. The Illini lost their conference opener 68-61 to Purdue on Wednesday. Illinois is 13-and-2 on the season, while the Buckeyes are 11-and-2.

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#2 Michigan Wolverines 94, Northwestern Wildcats 66
#3 Arizona Wildcats 92, Colorado Buffaloes 83 (OT)
#10 Gonzaga Bulldogs 78, Pepperdine Waves 62

Sages Back In Action Tonight

The Monticello Sages are back in action tonight as they play host to the Central A & M Raiders. The Sages are coming off a dominating 4-0 performance in the Holiday Hoopla at Monticello High School. They Sages have won eight in a row and are 10-1 on the season, and 1-0 in the conference, with their lone victory being a win over Shelbyville.

Central A & M comes in at 10-2.

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

Decatur St. Teresa
Argenta-Oreana 7:30 PM

Macon Meridian
Tuscola 7:30 PM

Tolono Unity 7:30 PM

Sullivan 7:30 PM

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-4

January 3, 2013


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0



Bruce Thompson, 45, Windsor, was issued Citations for Illegal Transportation Alcohol, Speeding 76 MPH in a 65 MPH Zone, 2 Counts Driving Under the Influence and Improper Lane Usage. Thompson unable to post the necessary bond remains lodged at the Dewitt County Jail.


December 22, 2012


Rachel E. Brewer, 19, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. Brewer posted the necessary bond and was released.


Jordan Good, 20, Waynesville, was arrested and charged with Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. Good posted the necessary bond and was released.


John Lane, 20, Clinton, was arrested and charged with Illegal Consumption of Alcohol by a Minor. Lane posted the necessary bond and was released.





DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 1-3

January 2, 2013


Jail Population: 58

Summons Served: 2

Warrant Arrests: 0



Denton Nebel, 31, Bloomington, was issued a Citation for Speeding 78 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. Nebel posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Kaileigh Ayers, 19, Bloomington, was issued a Citation for Leaving scene of accident. Ayers posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Casey Glaub, 30, Lovington, was issued a Citation for 6 counts of driving under the influence. Glaub was issued a notice to appear and was released.


Charles Lehman, 45, Clinton, was issued a Citation for Speeding 73 MPH in a 55 MPH zone. Lehman posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.





DeWitt County Sheriff's Holiday Weekend Report

January 1, 2013


Jail Population: 60

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0



Dylan Mann, 20, Clinton, was issued Citations for Failure to Reduce Speed Accident, Leaving Scene of Accident, Failure to Report Accident to Police Authority and Improper Lane Usage. Mann posted the necessary bond and was released.


Jeffrey Dunnam, 50, Foosland, was issued Citations for operating uninsured vehicle and Failure to wear seatbelt. Dunnam posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Ilmi Balazi, 52, Farmer City, was issued a Citation for Failure to wear a seatbelt. Balazi posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


John Heil, 47, Clinton, was issued a Citation for Operating Uninsured Vehicle. Heil posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Anthony Gibbs Johnson, 21, Bloomington, was issued a Citation for speeding 61 mph in a 45 mph zone. Gibbs Johnson posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.




DJWH Considering Firms For Electronic Medical Records

The Dr. John Warner Hospital will soon be making a decision on the future of their medical records.

The City of Clinton owned hospital has to transition from paper medical records to electronic medical records. A decision of what firm to make that transition will be made this month and CEO of the DJWH, Earl Sheehy says this decision is going to be based on money, but the biggest factor will be implementation time.

[audio:1313medrec1.mp3] [/audio]

The hospital is looking at a total cost of the transfer of around $1-million. Sheehy explains about a fifth of the cost is going towards infrastructure improvements. The entire hospital will have to install wireless internet access. Sheehy notes this is going to be cheaper than hardwiring all the computers together.

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The hospital eventually has to go to electronic medical records by late in the year in 2014. Sheehy explains doing this now will have a couple incentives for the hospital, mainly by receiving money back for depreciation of the system.

[audio:1313medrec3.mp3] [/audio]

Sheehy says the goal is to have meaningful use of electronic medical records by October of 2014. The deadline for full implementation of electronic medical records is October of 2015. Sheehy says they should have no problems meeting the latter deadline.

The Dr. John Warner Hospital Board of Directors is currently considering four firms to bring in for this process. Sheehy says they will make their decision at their January Board Meeting.


NCAA Football
Louisville Cardinals 33, Florida Gators 23
(Sugar Bowl at New Orleans, LA)

Chicago Bulls 96, Orlando Magic 94
Toronto Raptors 102, Portland Trail Blazers 79
Sacramento Kings 97, Cleveland Cavaliers 94
Indiana Pacers 89, Washington Wizards 81
Miami Heat 119, Dallas Mavericks 109 (OT)
Memphis Grizzlies 93, Boston Celtics 83
Brooklyn Nets 110, Oklahoma City Thunder 93
San Antonio Spurs 117, Milwaukee Bucks 110
Houston Rockets 104, New Orleans Hornets 92
Phoenix Suns 95, Philadelphia 76ers 89
Utah Jazz 106, Minnesota Timberwolves 84
Golden State Warriors 115, Los Angeles Clippers 94

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#1 Duke Blue Devils 67, Davidson Wildcats 50 (at Charlotte, NC)
#4 Louisville Cardinals 80, Providence Friars 62
#7 Syracuse Orange 78, Rutgers Scarlet Knights 53
#8 Ohio State Buckeyes 70, Nebraska Cornhuskers 44
#11 Creighton Bluejays 79, Illinois State Redbirds 72
Purdue Boilermakers 68, #14 Illinois Fighting Illini 61
#17 San Diego State Aztecs 72, Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners 57
#20 Butler Bulldogs 70, Pennsylvania Quakers 57




Rams Cutting Ties With Williams Duo

The St. Louis Rams are severing ties with suspended defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. FoxSports.com reported that linebackers coach and son Blake Williams has informed teams that he and his father are no longer part of the Rams organization. Gregg Williams is under contract through 2014, but has yet to be reinstated by the NFL following an indefinite suspension for his role in the Saints bounty scandal.

Cubs Ink Jackson

 The Cubs made it official with free agent Edwin Jackson, signing the pitcher to a four-year contract on Wednesday.  The deal had previously been reported to be worth $52-million.  The 29-year-old former White Sox starter will be joining his eighth club since debuting in the majors in 2003.  He made 31 starts last season with the Washington Nationals, going 10-and-11 with a 4.03 ERA. 

Bulls, Pacers Rescheduled

The Bulls at Indiana Pacers game that was postponed on December 26th has been rescheduled for February 4th. The contest will take place at 7:00 p.m. local time at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. A snowstorm caused the game to be postponed.

Bulls Hold Off Magic

  Carlos Boozer totalled 31 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Bulls to a 96-94 win over the Magic.  Taj Gibson also had 11 boards to go with 21 points and four blocks for Chicago, which has won two-of-three overall.  Luol Deng chipped in with 23 points in the win.  The Bulls are at Miami on Friday. 

Illinois Loses At Purdue

Brandon Paul scored 15 points as number-14 Illinois fell to Purdue, 68-61. Joseph Bertrand added 14 points off the bench for the Illini, who drop to 13-and-2 and 0-and-1 in the Big Ten. The Illini host Ohio State on Saturday.

No. 16 Creighton beats Illinois State 79-72

Junior forward Ethan Wragge was 6 of 9 from 3-point range for his 18 points to lead No. 16 Creighton to a 79-72 victory over Illinois State on Wednesday night.

Grant Gibbs had 16 points for the Bluejays (13-1, 2-0 Missouri Valley Conference), while leading scoring Doug McDermott (23.5 points per game) finished with 15 points and nine rebounds.

Tyler Brown and Bryant Allen each scored 15 points to lead the Redbirds,(9-5, 0-2).

Creighton led 42-39 at halftime, although Illinois State mounted a furious run that culminated with a 3-pointer by Nick Zeisloft with 2 seconds left to make it a 3-point game.

The teams combined for 26 3-pointers in the game, 17 in the first half.


National Museum of Surveying Closes

Abraham Lincoln's National Museum of Surveying has closed.

Officials of the Springfield museum say a sharp drop in corporate donations, the lagging economy and the failure of a fundraising campaign prompted the closing of the museum Wednesday.

The museum, which opened in 2010, highlighted Lincoln's time from 1833 to 1837 as a central Illinois surveyor.

Museum treasurer Bob Church says that the museum has struggled since a building was purchased in 2007 to house exhibits. He said at the time, surveyors, engineers and surveying manufacturers were prospering, adding that changed with the recession.

Church says the final blow to the museum's prospects came when a planned $400,000 fundraising campaign only raised $50,000.

According to Church, attendance at the museum averaged about 120 people a week.

Extraordinary Snowfall Needed to Relieve Drought

The storms that recently covered parts of the U.S. with snow won't be enough to ease the nation's drought.

In fact, climatologists say, it would take historic snowfalls - an absurd amount, really - to undo the damage inflicted by 1 of the driest years on record.

Tom Schwarz understands that all too well. He believes it would take 150 inches to get the soil on his 750-acre Nebraska farm back to its pre-drought condition in time for spring planting. That's unlikely to happen in an area that usually gets about 30 inches per winter.

Climatologists say Schwarz's estimate isn't far off, in part because it takes about a foot of snow, depending on density, to equal an inch of water.

'Modern Family' Actor Pushes for Gay Marriage

Advocates of gay marriage in Illinois are getting a boost from a television star from ABC's "Modern Family."

Jesse Tyler Ferguson is openly gay and plays Mitchell Pritchett on the show. He's launching a "Bow Tie Lobby Day" in Springfield Thursday. It symbolizes tying the knot.

In Chicago on Wednesday, Ferguson said he struggled with coming out but having a president who supports gay marriage gives him hope.

Lawmakers have reconvened in Springfield and plan to consider a proposal legalizing gay marriage.

Supporters say momentum in other states will work in their favor. They've received support from top business executives, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and some clergy members.

However, some religious groups aren't on board. Chicago's Cardinal Francis George has urged parishioners to let legislators know they oppose gay marriage.

New Congress To Welcome Back Old Friend

When the new Congress is sworn in today the Senate will be welcoming back a familiar face. Illinois Republican Mark Kirk will be making his triumphant return to Capitol Hill. He's still recovering from a major stroke suffered almost a year ago. Kirk had to learn how to walk again and this morning, he will be walking up the steps of the U.S. Capitol Building. The 53-year old Kirk is expected to be met at the steps by Vice President Joe Biden and fellow Illinois Senator Dick Durbin. That should happen around 11:30 Eastern. As president of the Senate, Biden gets to swear-in that side of the Hill. House Speaker John Boehner [[ BAY-nur ]] will swear-in the new House.

Kirk uses a cane with four prongs to walk but will rely on a wheelchair on long distance excursions in the Capitol according to his communications director Lance Trover. Kirk is also now blind in one eye.

Quinn Says Pension Crisis is Illinois' 'Fiscal Cliff'

Gov. Pat Quinn is calling on lawmakers to resolve Illinois' pension crisis in the next week, calling it "our state's own fiscal cliff."

In a press release Wednesday, Quinn says he salutes President Barack Obama and Congress for coming up with a bipartisan solution to avert the so-called fiscal cliff and prevent "devastating fiscal disaster." He says Illinois legislators now must do the same in regard to the state's $96 billion pension crisis.

The Senate returned to Springfield on Wednesday for the start of the lame duck session. The House is scheduled to return to Springfield on Sunday.

Quinn says he wants lawmakers to send him a bill by Jan. 9, when the current session ends and new members take office.

He says Illinois can't move forward without pension reform.

Illinois Senate Might Consider Gay Marriage Bill

Supporters of gay marriage are expected to try again today to move landmark same-sex marriage legislation through the Senate.

The proposal would remove from state law a prohibition on marriage between two people of the same sex. It was expected to be debated on the first day of the Legislature's lame duck session Wednesday. But it hit a procedural snag and didn't get a hearing.

Sen. Heather Steans, (STAYNZ') the Chicago Democrat who is sponsoring the bill, says she has enough Senate votes for approval.

Cardinal Francis George of Chicago denounced the idea as going against the "natural order" of traditional marriage.

Other measures that might be considered Thursday are bans on semiautomatic weapons and a bill to fix Illinois' $96 billion pension crisis.

Quinn, Emanuel Back Senate Assault Weapons Moves

Both Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are praising an Illinois Senate committee's approval of a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines.

In a party-line vote, the committee approved measures that would ban the possession, delivery, sale and transfer of semiautomatic handguns and rifles, but would allow current owners to keep them. High-capacity ammunition magazines would be restricted.

Quinn said late Wednesday he is very pleased the Public Health Committee took the step. He said "there is no place in Illinois for weapons designed to rapidly fire at human targets at close range."

In a statement, Emanuel said in order to protect children, families and communities, there is a need for "common-sense laws that provide the residents of our cities with the safety they deserve."

Law Enforcement Agencies Always Proactive In Protecting Schools

DeWitt County Sheriff Jered Shofner has been very active since being elected into the Sheriff's position to prepare his department and local schools in the event a person armed should enter a local school building.

While plans for an even like this are always being modified, he explains they do have a general strategy in place. He says the general strategy can be summed up into his "5 D's". They are deny, deter, detect, delay and defeat any violence in the schools. He explains denial is not what many people may think it is. It is ridding the mentality that things like that cannot happen in your community.

[audio:13135Ds1.mp3] [/audio]

When it comes to deterring violence in our local schools, the Sheriff believes making them a hard target is very important. He credits the Clinton Police Department for anytime school is in session, there is an armed officer on the site. He feels that goes a long way in deterring anyone from entering the school armed.

[audio:13135Ds2.mp3] [/audio]

Detecting problems before they escalate into violent acts comes back on the importance of the role of the community in these situations. The Sheriff says the key to keeping these situations from happening is family members or friends recognizing someone is suffering from some emotional issues and telling someone about it.

[audio:13135Ds31.mp3] [/audio]

Since the Columbine shooting in Colorado, Sheriff Shofner says law enforcement's strategy towards school violence has changed dramatically. He says schools have gotten much safer. He says schools are now designed to delay access to the school buildings. He also says law enforcement's strategy in defeating criminals has changed as well. He says when Columbine happened, the strategy was to surround the building for the people to not escape. He says now law enforcement agencies are instructed to enter the building and eliminate the threat.

Heyworth Schools Looking Into Engagement As Part of Future Goals

A first year school leader in one local district is seeking to make the future goals of the schools' as transparent to the community as possible.

Heyworth's first year superintendent, Dr. Ty Wolfe explains to accomplish this, they are going to engage the community through a series of community engagement meetings. He says they have identified five goals they want to focus on, and he hopes the community can provide input on how to best achieve those goals.

[audio:1313heycomm1.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolfe feels this will build trust and confidence within the community. He says he has worked with Heyworth Mayor Larry Mowery on what is good for both the community and the schools. He says they are trying to build on the schools benefiting the community, and the community benefiting the schools.

[audio:1313heycomm2.mp3] [/audio]

The goal for Dr. Wolfe in getting this process started, they will start with the internal groups of the schools and branch out from there. He says they will start with groups such as the various booster clubs, then move out to parents of students, and he hopes then by the fall season they will be to a point of engaging the community and its’ groups as a whole.

[audio:1313heycomm3.mp3] [/audio]

Dr. Wolfe says school improvement is not a destination, but rather a journey. He says this engagement process will start with short one year goals and then it will branch out to longer term goals. He say they will continue to revisit their goals as time continues to pass.

Vendor Begins Checks of Illinois Medicaid Eligibility

llinois officials have announced the launch of an effort to make sure only people who are eligible receive Medicaid.

Medicaid is a state and federal program that helps pay for health care for the poor and disabled. The goal of the new project is to verify annually the income levels and residency of the state's 2.7 million Medicaid clients.

An outside vendor started the work Wednesday. Reston, Va.-based Maximus Inc. was hired to improve the system, eliminate a backlog and make recommendations to state caseworkers.

Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Julie Hamos says annual verification can determine whether people's circumstances have changed and they're no longer eligible.

Republican legislative leaders have said that Gov. Pat Quinn's administration has taken too long to get the project under way.

DeWitt County Sheriff's Report for 12-28

December 28, 2012


Jail Population: 57

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 29, 2012


Jail Population: 60

Summons Served: 4

Warrant Arrests: 0


December 30, 2012


Jail Population: 61

Summons Served: 0

Warrant Arrests: 0



Angela Umstattd, 35, Heyworth, was issued citations for 3 counts driving under the influence and operating motor vehicle when registration suspended for non-insurance. Umstattd posted the necessary bond and was released.


Phillip Nash, 26, Richton Park, was issued citations for Illegal Transportation Alcohol and Driving while license suspended. Nash posted the necessary bond and was released.


Chad Stanford, 34, Clinton, was issued citations for Operation of vehicle with expired registration and unlawful display on a vehicle of registration sticker not authorized for such vehicle. Stanford unable to post bond remains lodged at the Dewitt County Jail/


Nicholas McCauley, 20, Kenney, was issued citations for operating uninsured vehicle and operating vehicle with expired registration sticker. McCauley posted his IL Drivers License as bond and was released.


Tamara Franklin, 42, Maroa, was issued a citation for speeding 90 mph in a 65 mph zone. Franklin posted her IL Drivers License as bond and was released








Chicago Records First Homicide

A 20-year-old Chicago man is apparently the city's first homicide victim of 2013.

Police say Octavius Dontrell Lamb was shot in the throat shortly before 4 a.m. on the city's West Side on Tuesday, and was pronounced dead at 4:16 a.m. at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Police say no arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.

Lamb's death comes after Chicago recorded 506 homicide, the first time since the total topped 500 since 2008 and the second time since 2003.

Losing Holiday Pounds

Many people will be hitting the gym this morning, hoping to start shedding those extra holiday pounds. Fitness Guru Eric Bassett, with EB30x Fitness in Westmont, says there are five keys to successfully taking off the weight.

[audio:rddChallenge1.mp3] [/audio]

Bassett says the key to success is clean eating, starting with breakfast within the first 30 minutes after you wake up. He says you may not see the results right away but he urges you to keep pushing. He's launching an 82-Day Challenge this Saturday to help people jump start their New Year weight loss goals. The three people who lose the most weight, inches, and body fat will receive prizes, including a celebrity hair makeover and cash. Call 708-955-1074 for more details.

Illinois Woman Killed In Wisconsin Snowmobile Crash

Authorities in northern Wisconsin say a 40-year-old woman from Illinois was killed when she crashed her snowmobile.

The accident happened Monday night in the Town of St. Germain. The Vilas County Sheriff's Department says the woman failed to negotiate a curve and rolled her snowmobile down an embankment. She died of internal injuries.

The woman was a resident of Morton, Ill. Her name has not been released. Authorities say alcohol may have been a factor in the crash.

Bradley Basketball Player Arrested On Drug Charge

Bradley University head basketball coach Geno Ford says that starting center Will Egolf won't travel with the team for Wednesday night's game at Southern Illinois after Egolf's arrest on drug charges.

Egolf was arrested Monday night and booked into Peoria County jail on a charge of possession of a controlled substance. The jail says he is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday afternoon.

In a statement released on Tuesday by Bradley's athletic department, Ford said the school is in the process of gathering information about Egolf's arrest and would take "appropriate actions" once more is learned about what happened.

Authorities have not provided details about the arrest.

Coroner Says Two People Found Dead Were Homicide Victims

The Sangamon County Coroner says that two people found dead inside a Springfield home were apparently the victims of a double homicide.

Coroner Cinda Edwards says a preliminary investigation into the deaths of the two people whose bodies were found Monday inside an apartment apparently ruled out a murder-suicide, but authorities were continuing their investigation. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

Authorities have not said how 24-year-old Larry Grice and 24-year-old Andrea Pocklington died. But initial scanner reports indicated the two had been shot to death and Deputy Cliff Buscher of the Springfield Police Department said Tuesday that state police blood-spatter experts have been asked to investigate.

No arrests had been made as of Tuesday afternoon.

Urbana Man Arrested On Marijuana Charge

Authorities in Champaign County say they've arrested a 47-year-old Urbana man who was allegedly in possession of several pounds of marijuana.

A judge set Cary Kallembach's bond at $100,000 Tuesday and that Kallembach is expected to return to court Wednesday.

He was being held in jail on a preliminary charge of possession with intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of marijuana following his arrest by Champaign County Sheriff's deputies.

The paper says that the sheriff's department declined to provide any details of the investigation, but that the charge for which Kallembach was arrested on Monday indicates he was in possession of more than 11 pounds of marijuana.

Maroa-Forsyth Continues To Battle Financial Difficulties

Local school districts are facing challenging financial times.

With Illinois continuing to cut funding and districts expected to keep academic levels high, times are getting tough for them. Mike Williams, Superintendent of Maroa-Forsyth Schools lays out what has happened in his district the past five years. He says their funding for Fiscal Year 13 is down $800-thousand from that of 2008. He says that is a total of $2.2-million in total revenue lost over that five year period.

[audio:1212mfdeficit1.mp3] [/audio]

Not only has the economic downturn at the state level hurt schools and their funding sources, but it has slowed local economic growth. Williams says that also impacts schools. Using 2008 as the baseline, there was some economic development locally, but Williams notes, since then there's not been much at all and that is impacting them and their decision making.

[audio:1212mfdeficit2.mp3] [/audio]

In trying to find areas to save money and cut back, like many districts, Maroa-Forsyth Schools are doing that through attrition. Williams says this year they have a couple teachers retiring, and instead or replacing them, they are going to leave those positions vacant and that will result in a bigger class sizes at their lower levels next year.

[audio:1212mfdeficit3.mp3] [/audio]

Many may point to the district using money to install artificial turf and a new track surface at the high school, along with a new scoreboard as unwise use of funds. However, the money used to pay for those upgrades came from a 1-cent sales tax for education. And those sales tax funds, which have generated around $700-thousand annually for Maroa-Forsyth schools, can only be used on facility improvements, not teacher salaries, programs or anything else.

Williams says if something doesn't change financially soon for the state of Illinois, schools will see major changes in the ways they receive funding.

Clinton To Pick Up Christmas Trees

With the Christmas season behind us, residents will begin taking down the decorations and of course, Christmas trees.

The City of Clinton city gives residents the opportunity to have the real trees from the Christmas season picked up. Public Works Director for the City of Clinton, Steve Lobb explains his crews will be out around the first of the year, although, they have begun to make the round already, picking up those trees. Normally, the city does not take anything wrapped in plastic, but this is the one time of year they make an exception for that rule.

[audio:trees1.mp3] [/audio]

Once those trees have been picked up, the yard waste faciltiy will hold those until the early spring time. Lobb explains they somtimes get the Department of Natural Resources or other land owners desiring the remains for their properties. He says once the early spring rolls around though, they begin the process of turning them into mulch.

[audio:trees2.mp3] [/audio]

With this summer's drought, may of the areas trees are incredibly dry. Depending on the type of Christmas tree you may have brought into your home, the drought may have caused the tree to begin shedding it's needles rather quickly. Lobb explains this doesn't surprise him, in fact, the past couple of summer's Illinois has been under a drought, and he would have expected that to happen.

[audio:trees3.mp3] [/audio]

Lobb says over the past several years, he's begun to see the trend of residents going towards artificial trees rather than the real trees.

Traditionally, city crews begin their tree collection around the first of the year, but Lobb says they have already begun to pick them up as some trees have begun cropping up outside homes since the day after Christmas. He says they will continue circling the city for the next few weeks to allow plenty of time and opportunity to get those trees out of the home.

Clinton YMCA Introducing 'Body Pump' Program

The new year is here and that means making new year's resolutions.

The biggest challenge for just about every person that makes a new year's resolution is keeping it. One of the most common new year's resolution may be getting in shape or losing weight. The Clinton YMCA is introducing a new program in mid-January to help you get in shape and sculpt muscle. Pat Fought with the Clinton Y explains their new program, "Body Pump" is an hour long exercise that works all your major muscle groups.

[audio:1212bodypump1.mp3] [/audio]

"Body Pump" is targeted towards health seekers. Executive Director Jann Martin explains this program is for the person who may have a new year's resolution or is trying to get into shape for a significant event in life.

[audio:1212bodypump3.mp3] [/audio]

"Body Pump" is a results driven program. Martin says in just a few weeks you will be able to see physical results. While it may seem like this program is for the body builder or the workout junkie, that is not the case at all. Anyone wanting to get into shape and stay in shape is encouraged to join the program.

[audio:1212bodypump2.mp3] [/audio]

The new monthly 'fit cards' are $10 a month and can get you into any of the exercise programs that YMCA offers, both aquatic and land exercises. Martin notes there are over 45 land exercise programs available.

To get more information about the new "Body Pump" program or to learn more about the new monthly 'fit cards', you can contact the YMCA at 935-8307 or visit www.clintoncommymca.org.

Bulls Battle Magic Tonight In Orlando

The Bulls start a two-game road trip through Florida tonight as they battle the Magic in Orlando. Chicago will then take on the Heat in Miami on Friday. The Bulls have dropped three of their last four games to slip to 16-and-13.

Dallas Mavericks 103, Washington Wizards 94
Portland Trail Blazers 105, New York Knicks 100
Detroit Pistons 103, Sacramento Kings 97
Atlanta Hawks 95, New Orleans Hornets 86
Denver Nuggets 92, Los Angeles Clippers 78
Philadelphia 76ers 103, Los Angeles Lakers 99

Illinois Opens Big Ten Play Tonight At Purdue

The Illinois Fighting Illini open Big Ten play tonight against Purdue at Mackey Arena.  The Illini bounced back from their first loss of the season with an 81-79 victory over Auburn on Saturday.  Illinois sits at 13-and-1 on the year.  Purdue is 6-and-6.

Bears GM: Playoff Misses Did In Smith; Packers Woodson Cleared To Play

>>Bears GM: Playoff Misses Did In Smith

Chicago Bears general manager Phil Emery says too many playoff misses and the inability to develop a productive offense led to coach Lovie Smith's firing.

The Bears let Smith go Monday even though they won 10 games.

Missing the playoffs for the fifth time in six years and the inability to fix the offense were simply too much to overlook, so they cut ties with their coach after a 9-year run that included a Super Bowl appearance.

Emery said Tuesday he'll be interviewing potential replacements over the next two weeks and would like to have one in place by the college All-Star games later this month.

Emery sees Jay Cutler as a "franchise quarterback," although the new coach will determine if he's the long-term solution. He was noncommittal about Brian Urlacher's future.

>>Seven NFL Coaches, Five GM's Fired On "Black Monday"

(Undated) -- There were seven NFL head coaches fired on "Black Monday." Arizona's Ken Whisenhunt, San Diego's Norv Turner, Philadelphia's Andy Reid, Cleveland's Pat Shurmur, Kansas City's Romeo Crennel, Chicago's Lovie Smith and Buffalo's Chan Gailey are all looking for new jobs. Five general managers were also sent packing. Rod Graves of the Cardinals, San Diego's A.J. Smith, Tom Heckert of the Browns, Jacksonville's Gene Smith and Mike Tannenbaum of the Jets were all let go on Monday. The Jets and Titans both announced that their respective coaches are staying put. Rex Ryan will return for a fifth season in New York, while Mike Munchak will be back for a second year.

>>Packers' Woodson Cleared To Play

(Green Bay, WI) -- Packers cornerback Charles Woodson has been cleared to play in Sunday's playoff game against Minnesota. Head coach Mike McCarthy made the announcement yesterday. Wide receiver Randall Cobb practiced yesterday and McCarthy anticipates he will play. Fellow wide outs Jordy Nelson and Jarrett Boykin and defensive end Jerel Worthy all missed yesterday's practice.

NIU Falls Short At Orange Bowl; New Year's Day Bowl Recaps

>>NIU Comes Up Short At Orange Bowl

Florida State stuffed Northern Illinois all-purpose threat Jordan Lynch for most of the night Tuesday and won the Orange Bowl 31-10.

Senior fullback Lonnie Pryor, voted the game's outstanding player, ran for a career-high 134 yards and two scores in only five carries for Florida State. Senior EJ Manuel threw for 291 yards.

The victory was a consolation prize for the No. 13 Seminoles (12-2), who began the season with national championship hopes. They've won five consecutive bowl games, but the victory was their first in a BCS bowl since 2000, when they beat Virginia Tech for the national championship.

For the No. 16 Huskies (12-2), playing in a BCS bowl for the first time, the defeat snapped a 12-game winning streak. They fell to 5-28 against top 25 teams.

>>Stanford Takes BCS Bowls; Northwestern Wins First Since 1949

(Undated) -- New Year's Day provided college football fans with six bowl games, including two BCS tilts. Stanford took down Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl, 20-14. It was the first Rose Bowl victory for the Cardinal since 1972, while the Badgers have lost three straight in the "Grandaddy of them all."

Elsewhere on Tuesday, Oklahoma State crushed Purdue in the Heart of Dallas Bowl, 58-14. Northwestern won its first bowl since 1949 with a 34-20 win over Mississippi State in the Gator Bowl. Georgia got past Nebraska 45-31 in the Capital One Bowl. South Carolina also edged Michigan with a late score, 33-28, in the Outback Bowl. Tonight, the BCS games roll on as Florida and Louisville square off in the Sugar Bowl from New Orleans.

Clinton Police Holiday Weekend Report













New Nutrition Expert Joins U of I Extension

There's a new staff member at the University of Illinois extension.

Caitlin Huth, who is the new nutrition and wellness educator at the U of I extension, is familiar with the Central Illinois area. She is from Champaign and completed her studies at ISU in Bloomington-Normal. She is excited to reach out to the local communities by creating new programs. A couple of these programs include "Eye on Diabetes" and "Meals for a Healthy Heart".

[audio:123112huth1.mp3] [/audio]

One program that Huth particularly likes is called "Serve It Safely". It focuses on food safety for general organizations such as churches or schools. The program allows the organizations to be informed on how to keep foods safe and fresh for events such as school lunches and potlucks. Another specific program is partnered with the Illinois Department of Public Health. It focuses on food service and sanitation.

[audio:123112huth2.mp3] [/audio]

Huth says that she has also recently partnered with Kirby Medical Center in Monticello. She is planning to teach a class once a month. This partnership will involve classes that focuses on food preparation in the home.

[audio:123112huth3.mp3] [/audio]

For more information on these programs you can contact Caitin Huth at the U of I extension Macon Office at 217-877-6042 or she can be contacted by e-mail at chuth2@illinois.edu.

Deadline For Direct Deposit Social Security is March 1st

The deadline to make the switch to direct deposit for Social Security is quickly approaching.

Jack Myers, with Social Security, says that all existing beneficiaries will have to make the switch from paper checks to direct deposit on March 1st, 2013. He says that they are still sending out quite a few paper checks out as of late.

[audio:123112deposit1.mp3] [/audio]

Myers says that this switch will be a great benefit for multiple reasons. He says it will save the government money on checks. It will also save a trip to the bank for beneficiaries who have a hard time getting out. The switch will also be much safer for those used to receiving checks through the mail.

[audio:123112deposit2.mp3] [/audio]

Once again, the deadline to switch from paper checks to direct deposit will be on March 1st, 2013. For more information about the transition, visit Social Security's website at socialsecurity.gov. You can also call their office at 1-800-772-1213.

Winter Road Safety Tips

Winter is officially here and that means that road safety is especially important.

Chief Mike Reidy says that one easy step to take this winter is to take some extra time to make sure that ice and frost are cleared off your car windows. He says that while it's easy to jump in the car when you're in a hurry, taking those extra steps could make a big difference for yourself or another vehicle on the road.

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Chief Reidy says that people can get a false sense of security if they live in town. County roads can be very treacherous during this time of year. He says it's important to create a winter survival kit to keep in your vehicle at all time. It's also important to constantly keep your car's gas tank filled.

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Reidy says it's important to run your car for at least 5 minutes before you use it during the winter months. He also says to make sure that snow doesn't gather on your tailpipe and to always have a fully charged cell phone at hand.


Social Host Law Takes Effect on New Year's Day

As the clock strikes midnight for the coming new year, the important role adults play in keeping alcohol out of the hands of our children will be further defined, when new sanctions take effect on those allowing underage drinking in their home.

Sponsored by state Rep. Carol Sente and state Sen. Susan Garrett, the new legislation closes a loophole of legal accountability on those who knowingly allow alcohol consumption by minors.

Violators of the social host law, which takes effect on Jan. 1, will be guilty of a Class A misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not less than $500 when they knowingly authorize or permit underage drinking in their home. If this activity results in great bodily harm or death to any person, the individual is subject to a Class 4 felony. However, a person will not be in violation if he or she has taken all reasonable steps to prevent this activity from occurring. Also, no charges will be filed if assistance is requested from law enforcement after discovery of the illegal activity.

Search Now Nationwide for Escaped Bank Robber

The FBI says it has broadened the search nationally for a convicted bank robber who escaped from a high-rise prison in downtown Chicago.

FBI Special Agent Joan Hyde said Monday that the agency has no recent reports of Kenneth Conley sightings. Conley escaped Dec. 18 with Joseph "Jose" Banks, who was captured two days later.

Hyde says Conley may have traveled outside the Chicago area and has "been known to travel in the past." The FBI is circulating a poster of Conley with a devil tattoo on his upper right arm. Hyde says the tattoo "would be very hard to remove or disguise."

The men made a daring escape, apparently scaling down about 20 stories using a makeshift rope tied to the bars in a cell window.

New Public Swimming Pool Fees Fund Inspections

Fees are going up for operators of Illinois public swimming pools for the first time in almost 40 years.

Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says the higher fees will allow more inspections and quicker responses to complaints, injuries and outbreaks of illness.

The new fees took effect Tuesday with the start of the new year. They result from legislation enacted in August. The law also requires swimming facility engineers, architects and contractors to be pre-qualified by the health department before submitting plans to build public swimming facilities in Illinois.

Fees depend on the size of the pool. Schools and cities pay nothing unless their pools have features such as water slides and spray pools. Non-profit organizations such as YMCAs pay minimal fees.

New Judge Named To Hear Murder Trial

A new judge has been named to preside over the trials of 2 brothers accused of killing five members of a Beason family.

McLean County Circuit Judge Scott Drazewski will replace Judge Thomas Harris, who was named recently to the 4th District Appellate Court.

Drazewski is scheduled on Jan. 14 to hear a defense motion filed by 33-year-old Christopher Harris asking that his April 29 trial be moved outside Logan County. A trial date hasn't been set for 25-year-old Jason Harris.

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 the child who survived.

150 New Laws To Take Effect With the Arrival of 2013.

Drivers will pay more to renew their Illinois license plates, strip clubs will have to contribute to rape crisis programs and employers will no longer be allowed to ask job applicants for their social media passwords in 2013.

There will 150 new laws taking effect in Illinois on Tuesday. The new laws range from prohibiting the possession of shark fins to requiring better reporting of people who should not be issued permits to purchase guns.

Because of Illinois' continued budget problems - that despite a 2011 income tax increase - new fees have been adopted to keep pace with spending.

Basic license plate fees will increase $2, to $101 annually, raising as much as $20 million for state parks, where there is a $750 million maintenance backlog.


NCAA Football
Vanderbilt Commodores 38, North Carolina State Wolfpack 24
(Music City Bowl at Nashville, TN)

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 21, USC Trojans 7
(Sun Bowl at El Paso, TX)

Tulsa Golden Hurricane 31, Iowa State Cyclones 17
(Liberty Bowl at Memphis, TN)

Clemson Tigers 25, LSU Tigers 24
(Chick-fil-A Bowl at Atlanta, GA)

Indiana Pacers 88, Memphis Grizzlies 83
Charlotte Bobcats 91, Chicago Bulls 81
Miami Heat 112, Orlando Magic 110 (OT)
Houston Rockets 123, Atlanta Hawks 104
San Antonio Spurs 104, Brooklyn Nets 73
Oklahoma City Thunder 114, Phoenix Suns 96

NCAA Top-25 Basketball ("USA Today" Rankings)
#5 Indiana Hoosiers 69, Iowa Hawkeyes 65
#7 Syracuse Orange 96, Central Connecticut State Blue Devils 62
#8 Cincinnati Bearcats 70, #24 Pittsburgh Panthers 61
#13 Gonzaga Bulldogs 69, #22 Oklahoma State Cowboys 68
#14 Minnesota Golden Gophers 76, #19 Michigan State Spartans 63
#25 North Carolina State Wolfpack 89, UNC-Greensboro Spartans 68


New Year's Day Features Six Bowl Games

The New Year's Day bowl schedule is packed with six games, including two BCS contests.  Things kick off at Noon Eastern when Purdue and Oklahoma State meet in the Heart of Dallas Bowl.  Also at Noon, Mississippi State meets Northwestern in the Gator Bowl from Jacksonville, Florida.  The Capital One Bowl from Orlando, Florida will feature Georgia against Nebraska starting at 1:00.  At the same time, Michigan and South Carolina will kickoff in the Outback Bowl from Tampa, Florida.  The first of the BCS bowls starts at 5:00 when Stanford takes on Wisconsin from the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California.  The night will be capped off at 8:30 when Florida State and Northern Illinois meet in the Orange Bowl from Miami, Florida. 

Bears Fire Head Coach Lovie Smith

Lovie Smith is out as head coach of the Chicago Bears. The move comes just a day after the Bears missed the playoffs despite a 10-and-6 record. Smith has been the Bears head coach since 2004, leading Chicago to the Super Bowl in 2006. The Bears, however, have only made the playoffs once since then, losing in the NFC Championship Game in 2010. Overall, Smith went 81-and-63 in nine seasons.

Bobcats Snap 18-Game Skid

The Charlotte Bobcats have snapped their 18-game losing streak with a 91-81 win over the Bulls in Chicago.  Kemba Walker scored 18 points and Gerald Henderson had 16 for the 8-and-23 Bobcats, who surpassed their entire win total from last season.  Ben Gordon added 15 points against his former team in the victory.  Carlos Boozer posted 19 points and 14 boards for the Bulls, who have dropped three-of-four.  Luol Deng [[ loo-OLL  dang ]] added 20 points and 12 boards in the setback. 

Northwestern, NIU In Action Today

Northwestern takes on Mississippi State today in the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville. The Wildcats went 9-and-3 this season and were 5-and-3 in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, Northern Illinois will play in the Orange Bowl against Florida State. NIU was 12-and-1 and won the MAC with an 8-and-0 record.

Illinois Starts Big Ten Play Tomorrow

Illinois opens up Big Ten play tomorrow night at Purdue. The Illini are ranked 14th following Saturday's win over Auburn. Illinois is now 13-and-1 on the season. Purdue enters tomorrow's game at 6-and-6.


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